‘Anonymous’ stages dramatic take-down of FTC websites

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, February 17, 2012 11:07 EDT
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Protesters in Strasbourg, France demonstrate against the ACTA treaty while wearing 'Anonymous' masks. Photo: Flickr user silv_eric.
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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was feeling the wrath of unknown hackers with the “Anonymous” movement on Friday morning, after seven different government websites managed by the agency vanished from the Internet.

Calling the FTC the “Fuctarded Troglodyte Clusterfuck,” hackers chide the government agency for lax enforcement of the national Do Not Call Registry, and for recently allowing search giant Google to merge data-sharing practices between its individual services. They also berated the agency for failing to properly maintain its own websites.

But more than those complaints, the hackers issued a stern warning over the government trade group’s support for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Act (ACTA), which essentially extends often-criticized provisions of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act to numerous foreign nations.

“You really want to empower copyright holders to demand that users who violate IP rights (with no legal process) have their Internet connections terminated?” they asked. “You really want to allow a country with an oppressive Internet censorship regime to demand under the treaty that an ISP in another country remove site content?”

Seven separate FTC sites were not available on Friday morning, including business.ftc.gov, consumer.gov and consumer.ftc.gov. The official FTC site, ftc.gov, was still online.

The FTC’s online security website OnGuardOnline.gov was taken offline last month by hackers with the “Anonymous” movement, who also claimed a hack on the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) website last Friday. After the CIA relaunched its site over the weekend, Anonymous hacked them again on Monday.

“If ACTA is signed by all participating negotiating countries, you can rest assured that Antisec will bring a fucking mega-uber-awesome war that rain torrential hellfire down on all enemies of free speech, privacy and internet freedom. We will systematically knock all evil corporations and governments off of our internet,” they warned.

The post went on to explain that they have “hundreds of rooted servers getting ready to drop all your mysql dumps, child pr0n and mail spools,” warning that the information would contain passwords, addresses, bank accounts and online dating details.

“Yep, we know all about you,” they concluded. “All of your little secrets will be laid bare for the world to see. So, how does it feel to be the one spied on?”

The FTC’s office of public affairs told Raw Story it would email a prepared statement on the hack, but it did not arrive by press time.

Photo: Flickr user silv_eric.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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