The loose-knit confederation of internet activists who organise under the banner “Anonymous” appears to have again targeted Federal Government websites and other communications systems in protest against the internet filtering initiative.
The Attorney-General’s office said this afternoon that the group had knocked the website of the Australian Parliament House offline this morning for approximately 50 minutes due to a distributed denial of service attack by the group. However, at the time of writing the site was still unavailable.
A spokesperson for the department confirmed that Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy had also been suffering a “degraded service” on its website.
Anonymous promised on flyers distributed online (pictured) that the denial of service attack would be followed by a flood of “porn email, fax spam, black faxes and prank phone calls to government offices”, in an initiative dubbed “Operation Titstorm”.
“Australian Government agencies identified as potential targets by ‘Anonymous’ were briefed in advance and were provided with suggested mitigation strategies,” said the spokesperson for Attorney-General Robert McLelland. “The Department of Defence Cyber Security Operations Centre continues to monitor the situation.”
It’s not the first time Anonymous has attacked government websites; in September last year, the group, which has achieved notoriety for its attacks against the Church of Scientology, temporarily took down several Australian Government websites, including the website of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
In a statement issued by Anonymous, the group said Australia’s laws on internet censorship were among the most restrictive in the western world.
“No government should have the right to refuse its citizens access to information solely because they perceive it to be ‘unwanted'”, said Anonymous. “Indeed, the only possible interpretation of ‘unwanted content’ is content that the government itself does not want to be seen.”