Operation Payback – Defending the Internet since 2010
To fellow users of the Internet:
Anonymous has a grave announcement to make to all users of the World Wide Web. The Internet you have come to take for granted has once again come under attack. Several interest groups have been successfully lobbying to consolidate internet censorship within the United States. They are rallying for the right to remove any websites they deem „inappropriate“ and, ultimately, for the ability to remove any content that disagrees with their profit margins, personal whims, or other agendas.
This new initiative is called the PROTECT IP Act:
This bill would allow the US Government to force ISPs and search engines to censor websites they do not like under the guise of „copyright protection“. Instead of reducing piracy, this bill endangers the free flow of information. Through domain seizures, ISP blockades, search engine censorship, and the restriction of funding to websites accused of infringement, this bill promises to take Internet censorship to the next level. Furthermore, it violates the citizens ‚ rights to due process, to free speech, to free expression and to legal representation at their hearing.
The Internet is a place where anyone and everyone can come together freely to share information and opinions. The freedom the Internet provides has served as a global aid for tens of millions of people in places like Egypt, Tunisia and Iran, to name a few. All of this has been accomplished largely without interference from corporations, governments, or any other global institutions until now.
We must unite and stand up to those who wish to censor the Internet.
We must not allow them the freedom to moderate information and decide what we are „permitted“ to view.
We must protect what is rightfully ours.
We must protect the rights of the Internet.
You Are Anonymous
You are legion
You can not forgive this.
You can not forget this.
To the media
Institutions of the Media,
This message is a response to recent actions of the U.S. Government, the RIAA , the MPAA and others. For some time now, powerful interests have been vigorously lobbying the US Government in a campaign to censor the Internet. The PROTECT IP Act is the result of their campaign. Through domain seizures, ISP blockades, search engine censorship, and funding cuts to allegedly copyright infringing websites, the PROTECT IP Act will take Internet censorship to the next level. In its present form, this act threatens the very foundation on which the Internet was built: freedom of thought.
Anonymous are strong supporters of Internet freedom, and believe that the Internet should remain a place where any person, from any country, regardless of religion, race or political persuasion can communicate freely with the world. The Facebook and Twitter „revolution“ and its role in the recent changes in the Middle East illustrates these principles. The PROTECT IP Act would allow government agencies and corporate interests to control what we, the users of the Internet, are permitted to read, by censoring search results on sites such as Google or Yahoo. Do we really want to live in a country where the government determines what we should and should not see?
We are asking for your help and support in keeping the Internet a place where information flows freely and without restriction. We believe that this is of vital importance to the media , since Internet users are quickly becoming its primary viewing audience. The public needs to be made aware of the consequences of the PROTECT IP Act. The people must not be left in the dark, and Anonymous is determined to not let this happen.
We ask that you pledge to do the same.
BBC, „Americans face piracy website blocking,“ BBC News (13 May 2011): accessed 15 May 2011, <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13387795>.
Downes, Larry, „Leahy’s Protect IP bill even worse than COICA,“ cnet News (12 May 2011): accessed 15 May 2011, <http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20062419-38.html>.
Ernesto, „U.S. To Introduce Draconian Anti-Piracy Censorship Bill,“ Torrent Freak (11 May 2011): accessed 15 May 2011, <http://torrentfreak.com/u-s-to-introduce-draconian-anti-piracy-censorship-bill-110511/>.
McCullagh, Declan, „Senate bill amounts to death penalty for Web sites,“ cnet News (12 May 2011): accessed 15 May 2011, <http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20062398-281.html>.
To perpetrators of Censorship, the makers of this bill, and to the RIAA/MPAA
Your repeated attempts to seize control of the Internet have captured our full and undivided attention.
You seek to control the free flow of Information for your own ulterior motives
. You try to impose draconian laws under the guise of „copyright“ while ignoring the basic tenets
of the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments to the US Constitution. Anonymous will not let this
happen. We will not submit to your intimidation and bullying and stand prepared to take all
necessary measures to halt your agenda of internet censorship.
You have declared war on the Internet, a war that you cannot win, against an entity you do not
understand. We are a sovereign nation, the first, last, and only free nexus of Information.
We are a Cyber Nation that you do not and can not control.
We are united, and we will stop at nothing to preserve our Freedom.
You have been warned. Cease your attempts at censorship, or face the wrath of the Hivemind.
We Are Anonymous
We are Legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget