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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid