Despite Anonymous’ vows to block Web broadcasts of tonight’s State of the Union address, the hacktivist collective failed to disrupt the president’s speech.
Declaring that “there will be no State of the Union Address on the Web tonight,” the loose-knit group announced earlier today its intention to block live streams of the address in protest of the president not mentioning issues during his speech that are important to Anonymous.
However, live streams originating from the White House’s Web site and YouTube appeared unaffected during the president’s speech.
Anonymous, which is famous for using distributed denial-of service attacks to jam Web sites, was protesting a variety of issues, including the prosecution of Web activist Aaron Swartz, the long detention of alleged WikiLeaker Bradley Manning, wireless wiretapping, the targeted killings of U.S. citizens by drones, and the National Defense Authorization Act, which it calls “an act of outright tyrannical legislation.”
The group said was also taking the action to protest the president’s approval this evening of a cybersecurity executive order that is expected to reduce pressure on Congress to move forward with controversial new legislation. The long-anticipated order expands “real time sharing of cyber threat information” to companies that operate critical infrastructure, requests new cybersecurity standards, and proposes a “review of existing cybersecurity regulation.”
“This action is being taken to underline a fact that appears to be sorely unrecognized by the Obama Administration — that the Internet is a sovereign territory, and does not fall under the jurisdiction of any nation state,” Anonymous said in a blog post.
Previous campaigns waged by the group against governments engaging in objectionable behavior have had mixed results. Anonymous launched more than 44 million hacking attempts against Israel in just a few days after the country began air strikes in the Gaza Strip in November, though the government claimed that only one of the attempts was successful.[source:cnet]