Any regular user of the Internet is unlikely to have missed the actions of the online activist group Anonymous over the last few months.
Anonymous has gone after a number of targets, from solicitors chasing alleged illegal downloaders to the Tunisian government. And of course, the likes of PayPal, Visa and Mastercard over the WikiLeaks affair in their so-called Operation Payback.
Now it appears the FBI is looking to exercise payback of its own, issuing 40 search warrants throughout the US as part of an investigation into the operation, ZDNet UK reports.
Indeed, five people have already been arrested in the UK over the WikiLeaks attacks, and have just been released on bail today.
Yesterday, Anonymous issued a press release criticising the UK government’s actions in arresting those five, and clarifying their own views of their protests.
They pointed out that the media tends to refer to their actions as hacking, when in fact they only utilise denial-of-service attacks.
The difference being that hacking involves illegally accessing a computer or network, whereas a denial-of-service is a case of thousands of users “making legitimate connections to a publicly accessible webserver at the same time”, jamming it with traffic.
Anonymous compares this to a traditional demonstration, such as picketing a factory or shop in town as a means of protest.
The organisation concludes by calling the arrest of the five an injustice, and politically motivated, being “carried out under pressure from the US government.”