Tweets by the hacktivist group, Anonymous now claim that the websites of one of the nation’s biggest political parties, BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) have been defaced. When we tried accessing http://www.mumbaibjp.org/, we were greeted with a message that you can see in the image below.
The message featuring on the BJP website till sometime back
The site now seems to be accessible. On their Twitter account (@opindia_back), the hacktivist group made this public in a series of tweets; some reading – “Young guns of #India —> We owned http://mumbaibjp.org/anonymous.html to display a message to you all. So kindly read it. #opindia”, among others in succession. Further posts on Twitter that serve as a probable explanation to the hacks, read – “BJP are the opposition they should have f****n stopped this or should have organised a protest they didn't do any.”
Early this month, file-sharing websites, like ThePirateBay and some others like Vimeo were brought to their knees when all major ISPs across the nation went on a ‘torrent sites blocking spree’, in a bid to curb online piracy. A John Doe order, dated 29th of March, 2012 filed with the Madras High court by a Chennai-based firm, Copyright Labs had reportedly triggered off the entire incident and the issue at the heart of it was the release of two movies, Dhammu (Telugu) and 3 (Tamil). This move towards web censorship by the owners of the content did not go down too well with the popular hacktivist group, Anonymous and in their response to the block of the torrent sites, the group hacked the official websites of the Supreme Court and that of the All India Congress Committee, and Reliance, soon after.
Anonymous announcing the hacking on Twitter
Through this month, we have been coming face-to-face with a string of hacks on several government websites that are in response to the blosking of file-sharing sites. The hacker group is now planning to hold peaceful protests, across the nation on June 9th, 2012, and even as you’re reading this, the planning for this peaceful protest is in progression across Facebook and Twitter. Cities like Mumbai, Indore, Kolkata, Chandigarh, among others have featured on the group’s tweets as locations for their peaceful protests. On Facebook, at the moment, the Mumbai event's page, called – Occupy Mumbai #protest for internet freedom is asking users about locations that would be good for peaceful protests with suggestions like CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus), Mantralaya, Gateway of India featuring in quick succession. Yesterday, the net was flooded with reports about the CERT-IN, a nodal agency monitoring the nation’s security revealing that several Indian websites are being increasingly targeted by hackers and that in such a situation network administrators are required to be cautious.
Web censorship has been a topic of debate in recent times. The gravity of the issue came to light only recently when incidents of hacking in retaliation to web censorship became a frequent occurrence. With the government on one side taking an increasingly active stance in tightening the reins on the way we access content on web, groups like Anonymous are on the other side citing free speech. Although, reams of media space have already been dedicated to explaining the effects of piracy on the revenues of the industry surrounding it, the issue itself continues to grow complex with each passing day. Stay tuned to this space for information on this topic.
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