Anonymous, the internet hacking group recently profiled by Parmy Olson, has shifted its attention to the increasing permissiveness of internet censorship by the Indian government. Late last month, Anonymous disabled or intruded on government- and ISP-backed websites in response to commercially-driven attempts to block instances of copyright infringement. As of yesterday, the group took things a step further by organizing protest groups in 18 Indian cities, including Mumbai and New Dehli.
The protesters — usually groups of young people with scarves and hats or even the ever-recognizable Guy Fawkes mask — are unhappy about the government’s willingness to take the side of copyright enforcement firms, like Copywritelabs, at the expense of freedom of speech. In the BBC’s report, one protester said, «we are protesting arbitrary, extra-judicial censorship, where not even the government knows — or cares — who controls what.»
Last month, Copyrightlabs obtained a court order that forced ISPs to block sites like Pastebin and Vimeo because users could momentarily use them to watch the company’s Bollywood movies. In response, Anonymous «hacked» some 15 websites using denial of service (DDoS) attacks, including the Indian Supreme Court and a handful of Indian ISPs. One such ISP, Reliance Communications, from which Anonymous claims to have taken a list of censored websites, responded that it has «the strongest possible IT» and that it could not have been hacked. Things are still developing, and TechInUs is reporting that Anonymous has been unsuccessful in hacking cert-in.org.in and india.gov.in as they said they would.