Diplomats from around the globe gathering May 20-21 in Chicago for the 2012 NATO Summit were met with protestors lining the streets to express disagreement with the organization’s policies. Many reports claim the physical protests, which resulted in many arrests, have been accompanied by virtual protests as well.

A news report by Reuters, as well as an article on Huffington Post, stated that malicious hackers affiliated with Anonymous successfully took the websites of the city of Chicago, as well as the Chicago Police Department, offline for a time on Sunday, May 20.

A short video on Cyber War News featuring a representative outfitted in attire now closely associated with “hacktivist” group Anonymous states that the group is “actively engaged in actions against the Chicago Police Department,” encouraging others to follow suit.

But the Chicago Police Department told Government Technology, via email, that news reports got it wrong, asserting that their online presence was unaffected. “It [the website] was never brought down,” said Melissa Stratton, Chicago PD spokeswoman.

Despite disagreement on the scope of the online disruption, if any, both the city of Chicago, and its Police Department, have functioning websites as of Monday, May 21.

Noelle Knell, Assistant Web Editor Noelle Knell  |  Managing Editor

Government Technology managing editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of marketing and communications experience, writing about public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she graduated from the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and @GovTechNoelle on Twitter.