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Security Censorship United Kingdom Your Rights Online News

Anonymous Hacks UK Government Sites Over 'Draconian Surveillance' 151

Posted by timothy
from the revolution-will-be-cctvified dept.
Krystalo writes "The hacktivist group Anonymous today hacked multiple UK government websites over the country's 'draconian surveillance proposals' and 'derogation of civil rights.' At the time of writing, the following websites were taken down: homeoffice.gov.uk, number10.gov.uk, and justice.gov.uk. The group is not pleased with the UK government's plans to monitor Internet users."
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Anonymous Hacks UK Government Sites Over 'Draconian Surveillance'

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  • Support Them? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tvlinux (867035) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @11:49PM (#39610623)
    Hacktivisim at it finest. The more governments restrict freedom the more "terrorist" there will be.
  • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @11:50PM (#39610627) Journal
    "UK government has released a report today, announcing that as their crucial websites were taken down, they can no longer ignore the attackers, and have reversed the planned draconian surveillance."

    More like in six months, there will be more arrests.
  • by http (589131) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @11:54PM (#39610643) Homepage Journal
    Really? Really? Tell us the way that is already proven to work.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @12:04AM (#39610665)

    Paying them to write laws in your favor like the large corporations do?

  • by Zcar (756484) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @12:07AM (#39610675)

    Attacking the UK government over the internet is a sure way to get them to give up on internet surveillance.

  • sad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @12:15AM (#39610707)

    Kinda sad when the only people fighting for your rights are a bunch of script kiddies in their basements.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @12:28AM (#39610755)

    Obligatory XLCD

    http://xkcd.com/932/

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @12:45AM (#39610799)

    ... but they should be locked up until they figure out how to press for change by democratic means.

    This is a relatively small group of people, few of whom are UK citizens, that are using force to impose their ideology. They assume that their radical perspectives are supported by the majority, but are unwilling to test that by legally participating in the legislative process.

    In other words, these are a bunch of hot heads that want to ram their ideas down everyone else's throats. In that sense they aren't terribly different from other religious or political ideologues.

    (For what it's worth, I do support privacy. Yet I believe that the rule of law and democracy are far more important.)

  • by cathector (972646) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @12:59AM (#39610841)

    by that reasoning, revolution is never an option.

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @01:18AM (#39610901)

    Revolution is only an option when democratic and legal institutions do not exist, or there is concrete evidence that they have failed. If you seek revolution when those institutions exist, you are basically saying that your opinions are more important than those of the majority and that the courts have failed to protect minority rights.

    Any such arguments for the UK, US, Canada, etc. are dubious at best. Yes, our institutions have problems but fixing those problems involves reform rather than revolution.

  • by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @01:22AM (#39610907) Homepage Journal

    Revolution should be an option, but it should always be the last option. The problem with responding drastically is that the people who are abusing the power to begin with will only abuse it more to counter what they see as a threat. The cycle feeds itself.

    That's why violence is such a lousy idea. Sure, it may sound gratifying to give the bastards what they deserve, but the bastards will always come back with even more violence.

  • DDOS = Hacking? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @01:33AM (#39610943)

    From the first line of the article "Summary: Anonymous has launched a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) against multiple UK government websites."
    Far less impressive than hacking the sites IMO. Then they could have left a message.

  • Not Hacks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pgn674 (995941) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @01:36AM (#39610949) Homepage
    The defacing of Chinese government's websites were hacks. This is just a DDoS.
  • by mrnobo1024 (464702) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @01:41AM (#39610971)

    So-called "democracy" as it exists in countries like the US is a complete sham. The government can act against the public interest on literally every single issue and still stay in power: any individual is only going to be knowledgeable about a small fraction of what the government does, and a majority of people will just take the media's word for it that they're doing right on most everything else.

    The only issues on which the public actually has any influence are those which our rulers recognize to be of relatively minor importance, so the parties can put on a show of virulently disagreeing on them, which makes people feel like they're actually making a difference when they throw out corporate-owned party A and put into power corporate-owned party B. On the most important issues, there's always bipartisan agreement on the wrong side.

  • by DurendalMac (736637) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @01:47AM (#39610981)
    SOPA and PIPA were shut down through legitimate protests with ACTA not far behind. The problem is often getting enough people behind it to make that difference.
  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @01:58AM (#39611009)

    to do. Who cares about a website? Websites are superfluous. But hack their Blackberries and you will get their attention. Hack their family's accounts, and you will get their attention. The politicians of the world need to know that their very lives are at the mercy of geeks, and that the geeks are not pleased.

    If geeks would work together, this kind of BS would nearly instantly stop because modern life would be impossible without the active or passive participation of geeks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @02:10AM (#39611037)

    Attacking the UK government over the internet is a sure way to get them to give up on internet surveillance.

    Hackitivism by itself can't change anything, but that never was its objective. It's a way to call attention to an issue that the population has the right to be informed about (this is important dammit!). Aware of the issue, it's up to the people to force the politicians to behave.
    Without stunts like this, how else is a small group of citizens who know more about X (in this case X=Internet/computers) than most inform the other citizens (who know little about X, but know about other stuff) that the government is about to screw them? Unfortunately, unless you have extremely rich friends your options are few.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @03:05AM (#39611145)

    Hack their Blackberries and they'll pay other geeks enough (or just allow them to keep their jobs) to fix the problems. Hack their family's accounts and they'll find a way to track you down and imprison you.

    Their lives are not at the "mercy of the geeks", and it doesn't matter one little fuck that the "geeks are not pleased". People with technical skills are commodities to those in power; those whose primary skills are amassing fortunes through corruption, building high-level relationships and brokering power- things that 98% of geeks are unable to accomplish.

    Geeks are like honeybees- You give them a nice little hive to buzz around in with Aeron chairs, free snacks, and maybe a few stock options, then point them to a pretty field of flowers in which to gather pollen and keep them focused and happy, then every once and a while you open the hive and take the honey that they bust their asses to make. Piss them off and you might get stung once and a while, but 99% of the time, you're going to get the honey. "But, but look at Google and Facebook and Amazon, and, and...." Yep- and look at who steers those corporate ships now, Sparky. In the majority of these types of successes, the geeks took their cash and split- Don't ask them to organize your little geek uprising.

    "If the geeks would work together".... yep, If only they would. If I had wheels I'd be a fucking wagon. If only, for that matter, anyone that feels outrage against an unfair or oppressive system would actually "work together". You need a leader, and organization for that to happen, which involves actually finding someone who is a geek (or maybe just technically literate) AND a leader AND willing to put his or her neck on the line against existing power... good luck with that, pal.

    Your post is so heart-breakingly naive and cliched that it's not even worth making fun of. What's really disturbing is that you have a low number next to your name- You're too damned old to be that damned naive.

  • Re:Support Them? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by muuh-gnu (894733) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @03:38AM (#39611215)

    Hactivism (or any other sort of activism for that matter) is a rather desperate and pointless endevour because it will not lead to any change whatsoever in the direction the hacktivists hope for. It is just useless effort, often even damaging to their cause.

    The only way to change things is to make people at large stop voting always the same parties into the parliaments. If you have effort or money to spend, support your local pirate parties. Persuade eligible voters to vote for them.

    Whatever you do, have a clearly defined and well distinguished political party to be able to channel the support you gained. Votes are the only currency that counts. Hacktivism, demonstrations, OWS, etc are all just useless masturbation if they dont rally around a specific political party.

    The problem is political. You wont solve a political problem by non-political means. You cant beat them at their game without playing the game. You have to get in there, however dirty and rigged it may be in ther favor, and win against all odds. Only by winning will you get to change future rules.

    Hacktivism is none of that. It is a vulgar display of wretched, powerless frustration and doesnt indicate that you are or ever will be, a winner. It communicates the exact opposite, even more so.

  • Re:Support Them? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @03:49AM (#39611241)
    Hmmm. While mostly I don't agree with Anonymous in some cases they are outlaw 'Robin Hoods' - in the fact they are outside the law opposing bad and corrupt governance. This law, and many of those recently proposed in the UK, are just *bad*. Hopefully the sensationalist nature of this (which is relatively harmless as far as protests go) will draw the attention of the citizenry to these bad laws.
  • Re:Support Them? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @04:53AM (#39611393)

    "You wont solve a political problem by non-political means."

    Really? The English gave you the colonies just like that, because you voted for it?

  • by beh (4759) * on Sunday April 08, 2012 @06:16AM (#39611561)

    I'm not sure whether either the Anonymous attacks or the funny quips will help the case of civil liberties.

    Sure, you and I know that the way civil liberties have been eroded in the past decade is a bad thing. Unfortunately, most voters really haven't. And if people attack government websites, it will only strengthen THEIR case, not the case of those who want civil liberties restored.

    You taking the liberty of bringing down websites to ask for more liberties is roughly the same as if someone started to randomly shoot people proclaiming that he will continue killing people until murder will finally become legal.

    It's entirely irrelevant whether your point is a valid one (as, in my opinion, it is in the case of civil liberties -- for most bystanders that really don't have a clue on why this is even important. To them, the government is doing the right thing, seeing that that kind of surveillance would actually be needed to prevent further attacks on government websites.

    Right now, I don't know what the right course of action is to convince the governments that more and more surveillance is a bad thing. I wish I knew what the right course of action would be.

    What I do know, though, is that attacking government websites is the WRONG way.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo AT world3 DOT net> on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:38AM (#39611795) Homepage

    You taking the liberty of bringing down websites to ask for more liberties is roughly the same as if someone started to randomly shoot people proclaiming that he will continue killing people until murder will finally become legal.

    Er, you understand that the whole point of protest is to cause disruption, right? It is a vital part of democracy, the option to march down a street and hold the traffic up because there is no alternative. It's just a shame that we have got to the stage where it is pretty much the only option.

    DDOS'ing a web site doesn't seem to be any different that DDOS'ing a road by walking down it in a large group.

  • Re:Support Them? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo AT world3 DOT net> on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:53AM (#39611871) Homepage

    The only way to change things is to make people at large stop voting always the same parties into the parliaments. If you have effort or money to spend, support your local pirate parties. Persuade eligible voters to vote for them.

    The previous government tried to bring in something similar, and both the parties making up the current coalition opposed them but are now pushing forwards with basically the same thing. The Lib Dems even got as far as setting up a web site where you could tell them which freedoms you wanted back, but that seems to have been forgotten now.

    You could vote for a non-mainstream party, but that is just a wasted vote under our system. Really the only option is to pick Labour or Tory based on who you think will fuck up the economy less or reduce your personal tax burden.

    Protest is all we have left, and they have done their best to ignore that. How many protests can you remember hearing about so far this year? Occupy ended I suppose... But no-one else managed to even make the TV news. Anonymous's action got a response from mainstream politicians and hours of coverage this morning.

  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @02:19PM (#39613633)

    You taking the liberty of bringing down websites to ask for more liberties is roughly the same as if someone started to randomly shoot people proclaiming that he will continue killing people until murder will finally become legal.

    "Roughly the same". That's the most insane analogy I've seen on Slashdot, And there have been some doozies.

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