The shadowy online hackers group Anonymous briefly hijacked the French presidential website on Friday in apparent retaliation for the US shutdown of file-sharing site Megaupload.
The slogan “We Are Legion,” the group’s online rallying cry, was inserted into the navigation bar of the official Elysee site’s (www.elysee.fr).
Before the end of the day, the site had been restored to normal.
The group’s action appeared to be linked to France’s stance on the US clampdown on file-sharing.
French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand on Friday denounced those behind the file-sharing site Megaupload.com as delinquents, backing the US decision to shut it down.
“It is delinquency, it is theft,” the minister said in an interview with BFM TV, denouncing what he called the site’s massive violations of copyright law.
“The truth is that they are stealing on a large scale,” he added.
The US Justice Department and FBI indicted seven people for “massive worldwide online piracy of numerous types of copyrighted works, through Megaupload.com and other related sites”.
Washington wants the extradition of four of the company’s senior figures from New Zealand to face prosecution for online piracy, racketeering and money laundering that could carry jail time of up to 20 years.
The Anonymous group had earlier shut down the FBI and Justice Department websites for several hours.