January 25, 2012    /    by

Anti-Piracy Legislation Protests Continue: FTC Cyber Awareness Site Down

The Federal Trade Commissions website at www.onguardonline.gov remained down for a second day after it had suffered a security breach.

The Federal Trade Commission’s website at www.onguardonline.gov remained down for a second day after it had suffered a security breach. According to Government Computer News (GCN.com), the group Anonymous hacked the site in protest over proposed anti-piracy laws and recent anti-piracy arrests.

Here’s a quote from GCN's story:

"The OnGuardOnline.gov site, intended to give people cybersecurity advice, was hacked early Jan. 24, with the home page replaced by the Anonymous logo, a rap song and a message threatening more attacks if anti-piracy legislation in Congress — which has stalled after a massive online protest Jan. 18 — were to pass.

FTC, which operates the site with several other agencies, took it offline after the hack...."

Since the protest last week, many legislators have backed away from Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) because of the public outcry and pushback from many technology companies.

Meanwhile Computerworld ran an article that said the European Union’s proposed privacy rules could hinder the Internet. Here's an excerpt:

The rules, proposed by E.U. Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, include the so-called "right to be forgotten," allowing Internet users to have data about them deleted if there are no legitimate reasons for retaining it. The proposal would require companies with more than 250 employees to appoint data protection officers, and it would require companies to report data breaches within 24 hours.”

This new hacking trend is not slowing down, and ushers in a new cyber chapter in my view. If “hacktivists” can manipulate public opinion and get the results that they desire (like stopping new legislation), we will surely see more of this behavior in the years ahead when developments don't match the goals of various online groups.

What is your view on these developments?