Anonymous targets Ireland over SOPA plans

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Anonymous targets Ireland over SOPA plans

Attacks direct media from scrutinising SOPA, critics say.

Ireland was the latest national target for the Anonymous group after the Irish equivalent of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was announced.

The hackivist collective launched distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks on the Irish Department of Justice and Department of Finance which took the sites offline for a short time.

In a statement to the Irish Times, the Department of Justice said its website appeared unscatched after the attacks ceased.

"The government is aware of the potential threat of this type of cyber attack and the Department of Communications is co-ordinating a whole-of-government response to this threat.”

An online petition against the proposed law has gained almost 30,000 signatures, and calls on the Irish government to abandon the proposed enactment of ‘S.I. No. of 2011 European Communities (Copyright and Related Rights) Regulations 2011'.

It claimed that this legislation subverts the democratic process, favours the special interests of corporations over the rights of individual citizens, will destroy the largest growth sector in the Irish economy and will subject the citizens of Ireland to unwarranted and unintended censorship.

This was specifically directed to Seán Sherlock, minister of state for enterprise, who apparently intends to publish an order this month that will effectively amend the state's copyright legislation.

Brian Honan, security consultant and head of Ireland's computer security incident response team said the attacks could be seen as a warning shot.

He predicted that attacks may intensify over the coming days as people are recruited into the operation.

“Many will see this as a way to draw government's attention to the concerns many have with the proposed new law. However, I believe that this action will simply divert the attention of the media and elected officials away from the core issue at heart and focus instead on Ireland being subjected to these attacks,” Honan said.

This article originally appeared at

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