News / USA

Anonymous Threatens to Hack Obama Speech

Activists of the international network
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

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs