“Namaste #India, your time has come to trash the current government and install a new one. Good luck. #SaveTPB #Anonymous #Censorship,” tweeted Anonymous, after attacking the websites of Supreme Court of India and Congress in protest against the ban on the file sharing sites in India.
This international hacktivist group launched ‘Operation India’ on the 17th of last month, taking down the websites of the Supreme Court of India, DoT, MIT, AICC, BJP, and Copyrights Labs. Most recently, they have taken down the website of the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT In), the primary national agency to counter cyber security threats. The Department of Telecom’s ban on file sharing sites like Pirate Bay, Vimeo.com, Megaupload and many more has resulted in these attacks from the Anonymous. “We aren’t harming the websites or changing their content. This is a silent protest.”
The ban was imposed on these file sharing sites largely because Bollywood and the Tamil film industry lose millions of dollars every year due to piracy. The Telugu film industry loses Rs. 383 crores annually to online piracy. A big film might lose Rs. 4-5 crores in revenues to online piracy. It has now reached a point where before the evening show on the first day, an illegal copy is available online. Now, Anonymous counterattacked this ban, calling it ‘a gag on freedom of speech and expression’.
The Indian government isn’t its first target. Protesting against Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), they had brought down the CIA’s website. They even hacked down the Wikileaks cables, revealed the truth about Obama’s birth, brought down Chicago Police’s website and Virgin Media’s website.
While the Indian government has made it clear that the ban is just the first step in controlling online piracy, Anonymous too has made its intentions clear – “We are united by one, divided by none”.