News / USA

    Anonymous Threatens to Hack Obama Speech

    Activists of the international network "Anonymous" behind their masks posing in Berlin.
    Activists of the international network "Anonymous" behind their masks posing in Berlin.
    The online activist group Anonymous is threatening to hack U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday to protest what it considers the administration’s attack on Internet freedom and disregard for the law.
     
    The international collective of hackers says it is preparing to take down live Internet streams that will be broadcasting the annual speech in which the president reflects on what the country has experienced politically, socially and economically, and where it’s heading.
     
    “We reject the State of the Union. We reject the authority of the President to sign arbitrary orders and bring irresponsible and damaging controls to the Internet,” Anonymous said in a statement. “The President of the United States of America, and the Joint Session of Congress will face an Army tonight.”
     
    The tech-savvy activists have been effective in the past. Hackers united by Anonymous have overwhelmed the sites of MasterCard, Amazon.com and PayPal in support of the activist group WikiLeaks. They have also hacked the websites of the U.S. Justice Department and the geopolitical analysis group Stratfor.
     
    But bringing down the State of the Union streams will be difficult because so many different websites and news agencies will be broadcasting the address, including the Voice of America.
     
    Anonymous complained that Obama’s speech will not address issues it cares most about, including an executive order on cyber security, the proposed Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a defense funding law and the use of military drones.
     
    President Obama “will not be covering the secret interpretations of law that allow for warrant-less wiretapping and surveillance of any U.S. citizen without probably cause of criminal acts,” the Anonymous statement said, referring to CISPA, which is being reintroduced for consideration in Congress this week.
     
    CISPA would allow the government to look at Internet traffic with the help of private tech companies. Advocates say it will help defend the country against cyber threats and attacks. But critics say it will allow the government to spy on the public.
     
    Anonymous also criticized Obama for not discussing the National Defense Authorization ACT, which the hackers called “an act of outright tyrannical legislation allowing for indefinite detention of citizens [completely] outside due process and the rule of law.”
     
    The president signed the NDAA into law last month, outlining how U.S. taxpayer funds will be allocated to the Defense Department. The $633 billion act includes provisions that hinder Obama’s pledge to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
     
    In its statement, Anonymous paid tribute to Aaron Swartz, an American computer programer and Internet activist who committed suicide last month. Swartz became a rallying figure for advocates of information and Internet freedom after federal prosecutors charged him with being a cyber thief for illegally accessing and downloading subscription-based academic journals.
     
    Anonymous is calling on supporters to unite on its webchat and on Twitter

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora