CNN: "Hacktivist" collective Anonymous took credit for taking down the sites Thursday after the arrests of leaders of Megaupload.com and shut down the popular hub for illegal media downloads.
CNN: Hours after the announcement of the arrests, some of Megaupload's fans turned the table on the feds, knocking the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI websites offline.
Slate: Although the Megaupload shutdown was not directly related to SOPA, according to DoJ, the timing may have partly fueled the anger of hacker collective Anonymous, which responded with one of their largest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in recent memory.
Slate: According to various anonymous twitter feeds, the Washington Post reports, the group also attacked the RIAA, MPAA, and Universal Music sites.
WaPo: The attacks did not appear to be designed to collect any information from the Web sites, but simply flooded the pages with more Web traffic than they were designed to handle. This is known as a distributed denial-of-service attack, and is a common tactic Anonymous members use to embarrass companies and organizations.
WaPo: Barrett Brown, the Dallas-based founder of an online think tank that works with Anonymous, said that Anonymous hackers might also figure out a way to ensure that certain Congress members’ names would be linked to their support of the Stop Online Piracy Act.
NYMag: Following the U.S. government's seizure of Megaupload.com and its related file-sharing domains yesterday, the loose hacktivist collective Anonymous brought down the websites of the Justice Department, Universal Music Group, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the Motion Picture Association of America.
NYMag: The DDoS attacks, which overloaded the targeted sites with activity until they crashed, were meant as retaliation for the FBI takedown of the popular "cyber locker," where users could share music, movies, and more, both legally and illegally.
Forbes: In fighting for the rights of the Internet ‘to be free,’ Wednesday’s black-out protesters are to Anonymous what Martin Luther King, Jr. was to Malcolm X. Or for comic book geeks, as Professor Xavier is to Magneto.
Forbes: Wednesday resulted in millions of names signed to a Google petition, countless calls and emails to politicians, and a mass political awareness campaign. Thursday’s takedowns were simply a brute show of force.
Cnet: If the SOPA/PIPA protests were the Web's moment of inspiring, non-violent, hand-holding civil disobedience, #OpMegaUpload feels like the unsettling wave of car-burning hooligans that sweep in and incite the riot portion of the play. The result is always riot gear, tear gas, arrests, injury, and a sea of knee-jerk policies, laws, and reactions that address the destructive actions of a few, and not the good intentions of the many.
Cnet: I don't truly know whether Anonymous was cleverly goaded into #OpMegaUpload. But I do know that an attack this big on this many government sites will effectively erase those good Internet vibrations that were rattling around Capitol Hill this week and harden the perspective of legislators and law enforcement who want to believe that the Web community is made up of wild, law-breaking pirates.
Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Ryan Broderick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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