Anonymous Targets Irish Government Sites In Response To “Irish SOPA”

Bert Thoughts

The last couple of days have been very “interesting”.

As I mentioned previously, the Irish government intends to enact legislation that could have a “chilling effect”. I went into this a bit in my previous post and far more eloquent people have written extensively about the entire subject.

My key issues with the legislation can be summed up as:

  • lack of transparency – if the legislation isn’t so abhorrent then why not let us see the text?
  • illogical “logic” being applied to it – Minister Sherlock claims that the legislation already exists. If that is the case why does he feel obligated to introduce more legislation? I’m not a lawyer, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
  • Lack of debate (see transparency) – I went into this last time
  • Lack of consultation – industry groups such as the IIA (which we are members of) were NOT consulted

Meanwhile, back at the “ranch”, the people have spoken loud and clear.

Over 30 thousand people have signed the petition over on Stop Sopa Ireland. There are at least two other petitions doing the rounds at present, so the number of voices crying an emphatic “NO” (or “hands off” if you want to be more melodramatic) is higher.

Unfortunately, while the Minister has “engaged” at some level his opinion does not appear to have changed. He has been talking to various people over the last couple of days and there’s been emails and phone calls involving some very big companies, politicians and more. Where this will end is anyone’s guess at the moment. Hopefully at some point soon industry will be able to play a role in the drafting of legislation that impacts us and our clients.

I’d love to be optimistic and think that the government might reverse their position, but the reality is that Judge Charleton’s decision in EMI vs UPC is putting the government under pressure. However that pressure is not balanced. Why should the IP lobby have greater rights than you or me? (And for the record, Blacknight holds IP rights that we will protect energetically)

But this morning’s headlines weren’t about any of this.

 


That single message of less than 140 characters was posted last night at around 9pm Irish time. Shortly afterwards several Irish government sites were effectively taken offline in an attack by “Anonymous“. The sites weren’t “hacked”. Any personal data stored on servers was not tampered with. The sites were simply unreachable due to a DDOS attack.

While Anonymous may have launched / orchestrated these attacks in “support” of our campaign against “Irish SOPA” I wouldn’t endorse their actions. Not for a minute.

Why not?

Because it distracts people and causes more confusion. Politicians and journalists have enough difficulty dealing with technology as it is without adding to the confusion.

“Cyber-activism” might be understood by a netizen, but far too often government sees cyber-activism as cyber-terrorism. We’re an internet company, so “obviously” we’re somehow linked to the negatives as well as the positives ..

TJ McIntyre is more eloquent on the subject

So let’s see what the next chapter in this saga will be ..

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