Apparent message from Anonymous posted on site used to announce other campaigns
Anonymous, the loosely-knit group of hacker activists, plans to take down Internet streams of President Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday, according to a message that appears to be from the group.
The message was posted to an affiliated site that was previously used to announce Anonymous campaigns in Indian Kashmir and Egypt. It said Anonymous planned to obstruct Internet streams of the broadcast to protest of Congress's renewed interest in passing the Cybersecurity Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.
The bill that would allow tech companies to share Internet data with the U.S. government. Its stated aim is to help authorities prevent cyberattacks, but critics have slammed it as an intrusive anti-privacy measure.
"We reject the State of the Union," the statement reads. "We reject the authority of the President to sign arbitrary orders and bring irresponsible and damaging controls to the Internet."
The release, written in Anonymous's conversational, meme-infused style, invokes Aaron Swartz, whose recent suicide has been blamed on pressure from a federal prosecutor, and Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of leaking a massive trove of secret documents to WikiLeaks two years ago.
"Aaron Swartz was one of the leading voices in the fight against these idiotic and destructive efforts to control the last free space on Earth," the statement said. "Aaron Swartz was persecuted. Now Aaron Swartz is dead."
It remains to be seen whether the group will execute its plans. Anonymous has previously promised to hack into targets ranging from Fox News to the Zetas Mexican drug cartel — though neither attack has happened, so far.
"There will be no State of the Union Address on the web tonight," the release declares. "For freedom, for Aaron Swartz, for the Internet, and of course, for the lulz."