Anonymous Threatens U.S. Government Over Potential Internet Censorship

Receiving multiple criticisms from all sides of the blogosphere and online news media, SOPA got a new enemy last week as Anonymous hacker group threatened the U.S. government to stop what they see as an attempt to censor the Internet. A guest user who called him- or herself Anonymous OpBlackout posted on Pastebin, encouraging citizen action against the government's campaign to "detract rights." The user wrote:

We think we are free and can do what we want, but in reality we are very limited and restricted as to what we can do, how we can think, and even how our education is obtained.

According to the group, the American government is following in the footsteps of more repressive and authoritarian regimes, and citizens “must destroy its foundation before it becomes too powerful." Among the allegations targeted at the government are ISP blocks, DNS blocks, search engine and web site censorship, and a variety of other methods to stifle freedom. The Inquirer writes that if the group carries out its threats, the White House's site and other U.S. government websites could experience attacks. Anonymous's threats were backed up by a taste of what could happen should they take action—just last Monday, they published the personal address and phone number of Department of Justice investigator Alfredo Baclagan along with 38,000 messages from his Gmail account.

Coming on the heels of the SOPA bill, this call to stop state-controlled censorship makes a connection to the Senate's suggested solution to international copyright infringement that's more than merely coincidental. Although the group doesn't explicitly state the SOPA bill as motivation, Anonymous appears to join the oppositional outcry, as the current proposal on the table in Congress has incited many critics to launch accusations that the government is trying to broaden their legal censoring capabilities.