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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid