Several websites belonging to the Federal Trade Commission were allegedly knocked offline on Friday by cyber activist group Anonymous.
Anonymous, in a post to the site Pastebin, said that the action was taken in protest to the international treaty,The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
The ACTA was first signed by eight countries — including the United States, Australia, Canada, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Morocco and Singapore — in October 2011 to initiate a stronger cooperative international legal framework to combat the looming problem of online piracy and commercial-scale counterfeiting. The treaty has the support of numerous trade organizations in the U.S.
The treaty has caused wide-scale uproar among Internet freedom advocates in recent weeks following the controversy surrounding the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA). Poland, on Friday, decided to withdraw from ratification of the treaty.
“If ACTA is signed by all participating negotiating countries, you can rest assured that Antisec will bring a fucking mega-uber-awesome war that rain torrential hellfire down on all enemies of free speech, privacy and internet freedom,” Anonymous threatened.
The Associated Press reported that the removed sites were “replaced with a violent German-language video satirizing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA.”
The FTC was unavailable for comment by the time of publication.