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Anonymous Targets Australian Government Over Censorship Plan

An entry on the ISC blog suggests that Australian government websites will be targeted later on today (September 9) in a targeted attack by "Anonymous", a loose group of other-wise unconnected individuals acting towards a common goal, commonly associated with having originated from the 4chan messageboard.

The website set up as a call to action doesn't explicitly mention the steps that will be taken as part of their plan to get their demands met, namely the resignation of current Federal Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, and the abolition of the blacklist that forms the basis for the Federal Government's censorship plan.

Despite the lack of explicit activity mentioned, if past actions linked to "Anonymous" groups are any indication, then it is highly likely that a distributed Denial of Service (dDoS) will be carried out against government sites. The statement that the group also seeks to leak and distribute the backlist as well as make freely available methods to bypass the censorship, raises the possibility that rather than carrying out a straight denial of service, the attacks may lead to the takeover of certain specific sites where information about avoiding the blacklist and planned censorship will then be published.

While there is a general sense of disgust at the planned government censorship plan, it also seems that the plans for Internet filtering aren't going to be anything more than that, just plans. The wider Australian public may not know about the plans in depth, nor really care about the means to bypass the filtering. Those that do, probably already know how to achieve it and this action under the "Anonymous" banner quite likely may not lead to any significant change, either in government stance, or in wider awareness of the information that "Anonymous" is distributing. Australian's are famous for their laid-back attitudes, and this is probably going to be a situation where the laid-back attitudes will see a smaller than expected result, if any at all from the currently-unknown actions that "Anonymous" will carry out.

If they are successful, then it would be a remarkable first for many reasons. Forcing a sitting Minister to resign through nothing more than Internet bluster would be astounding, as would be an "Anonymous" challenge being successful beyond a short term or a very localised area.

9 September 2009

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