Union Minister for Communication, Information and Technology, Kapil Sibal’s website was hacked by hacktivist group Anonymous’ Indian arm today. According to tweets by the hacker group, this attack was provoked by “inconsistencies” in the IT Act. The website was compromised only for a few hours and when we tried to access the site, it was said to be “under maintenance“. Meanwhile, Anonymous has called for a meeting in protest of Section 66A in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai. The 'About' page of the website was hacked to show derogatory statements about Sibal.
At the World Economic Forum in Delhi, Sibal made a statement that sparked off reactions about the IT act in India. He was referring to the arrest of a 46-year-old Pondicherry-based businessman Ravi Srinivasan, whose tweet against P. Chidambaram’s son got him arrested. “There was nothing wrong with the law, but the police should not have arrested the man,” Sibal said in defence of the act.
Srinivasan had tweeted that Karti Chidambaram had “amassed more wealth than (Robert) Vadra.” An infuriated Chidambaram lodged a complaint against Srinivasan, following which he was arrested under Section 66A of India's Information Technology [IT] Act.
Kapil Sibal's website defaced by Anonymous
AnonOpsIndia on its Twitter account tweeted: “Why did the govt. pass 66A? To make sure that online media in India is neutered and is made as un-free as the rest of the media in India.” “The true reason behind Section 66A is not to shut you on FB. But to control the online media,” they added.
When asked why they had hacked the account, AnonOpsIndia replied, “He (Sibal) used the words “Victims of freedom of Expression” He is hiding the fact that #66A is breaking the internet media.”
There have been several isolated incidents in the past that have raised questions about Section 66A of the IT Act, but the arrest of two Palghar girls over a Bal Thackeray-related status message has created a furore.
Shaheen Dhada’s status message questioning the bandh after Bal Thackeray’s demise got her as well as her friend Renu, who had liked the status, arrested. They were booked under Section 66A of the IT Act, which allegedly curtails the freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution of India, much to the chagrin of social media users. Websites have been buzzing with views and counterviews about the arrests as well as the controversial law.
The website is currently 'under maintainance'.
In the past, Anonymous had taken down MTNL’s website to protest against internet censorship when certain ISPs had blocked websites in the country. They managed to compromise the net filter of Reliance to redirect to a new page when users tried to log on to Twitter. The Page read, “Told you not to mess with free speech and lesser with Anonymous. Government of India, you know what you did wrong. You caused out twitter account to be blocked now we will show you what anonymous is capable of doing.”
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