Anonymous’s war on internet restrictions wages on in Eurasian country known as the Republic of Turkey. Anonymous is known for their stance on internet freedom, claiming that the internet is a free place where people can view whatever information and sites they wish. The Turkish government has now become a target for the international hacking group due to new restrictions that are about to be enacted on internet usage.
The government of Turkey has set up a system that forces internet users to sign up for one of the four filtering packages. These filters will restrict internet sites and the government claims it is for the protection of younger web browsers. They claim that there are a lot of dangerous and harmful websites out there that young people need to be sheltered from. Anonymous, however, disagrees.
The international hacking group claims that the Turkish government is just using the protection of young web users as a façade and that its real purpose is to monitor web activity of all users. Anonymous is not alone in their beliefs. There are numerous critics that claim the government is trying to suppress dissent by restricting web access. Many Turkish citizens have taken to the streets with banners and signs to protest the national net filter that is going to take place. In support of the Turkish people, Anonymous has also taken action.
On June 10th Turkish government websites became the target of Anonymous’s justified attacks. They DDoSed these websites with an application known as LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon). DDoS is a computer term for distributed denial of service attack. When it is one person it is a DoS, when it is multiple people acting, it is a DDoS. The main goal of a DDoS attack is to render the website (or service) unusable. The most common method of DDoSing is by flooding the intended target with so many requests that it simply cannot process them all and the entire site bogs down so that any user attempting to access the site will experience significant lag and will likely timeout. Anonymous successfully DDoSed several Turkish government websites, forcing them to go completely offline. The government, however, wasn’t going to give up without a fight.
Just days after the websites were attacked, Turkish government officials found a way to possibly trace LOIC users. As a result 32 arrests were made in various cities around Turkey. Nine of the individuals detained, who were also minors, have already been released and cleared of charges. The rest are still being questioned.
The government doesn’t plan to enact these internet restrictions until August 22 of this year, but already they are faced with a strong resistance from both its citizens, outside critics, and internet hacking groups from around the globe. Unfortunately for the Turkish government their internet restrictions will likely attract the attention of more hacking groups like Anonymous and they may face a more aggressive resistance as the deadline draws near.
So are Anonymous and other hacking groups justified in their attempts to free the internet from “filtering” and “restrictions”? Indeed they are. While hacking and cyber-attacks are illegal, the Turkish government is not likely to listen to the peaceful rallies and protests of its citizens. Hopefully the government overturns their decision to restrict internet usage. The façade that they are using to cover up their true intentions is easily dismissed; parents are responsible for their children and should monitor their internet usage, the government has no business interfering and limiting internet usage of its citizens. The internet should be a free place where knowledge and information are at the disposal of the user, no restrictions should be put in place by government or any institute other of authority.