There was a new wave of distributed denial-of-service attacks in protest of anti-piracy activity over the weekend, this time targeting Polish government websites. The attacks came in advance of the Polish government’s expected signing of ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) on Thursday.
The loosely knit hacktivist group Anonymous, which claimed credit for DDoS attacks on the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI and several music industry group and entertainment company sites, was apparently responsible for the latest attacks as well. Those attacks came after the popular file-sharing company Megaupload was shut down and several employees arrested. It was a busy week for the debate over Internet copyright infringement, as the Obama administration came out against the controversial SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) legislation, which proponents withdrew to try to hammer out bills that would garner enough support to pass and avoid a potential presidential veto.
The attacks in Poland brought down a number of government sites, including those of thes lower house of parliament), the Prime Minister's Chancellery, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Justice and the Internal Security Agency. On Twitter, Anonymous announced the attacks would continue, warning the Polish government not to sign ACTA. The group then called for a cessation of the attacks pending the outcome of discussions between Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Minister for Administration and Digitalisation, Michal Boni, who has asked Tusk to reconsider the decision to sign the agreement.
ACTA, which is designed to establish international standards for enforcing intellectual property rights, was signed by United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea last fall. Opponents claim the agreement would be disruptive to Internet trade and force ISPs to violate the privacy and civil rights of their customers.
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