A Denial of Service attack appeared to take down Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s website and other official sites, for a few minutes tonight at around 7.20PM AEST.
The attack was announced on the website http://www.09-09-2009.org using the name of Anonymous, the loose disorganisation of Internet users which has previously acted against the Church of Scientology.
There has been some criticism of this tactic, notably by Michael Meloni at the “Somebody Think of the Children” website. Stephen Conroy, the Minister with the political job of selling the censorship plan, has used his favourite lie – that the censorship will only affect things that are already illegal, and Meloni takes this down very well.
Meloni’s argument against the illegal attacks is that they “will do nothing to help the fight against net censorship” and that “…such methods and demands suggest little understanding of how political policy is changed in Australia. Acts like this have the potential to unravel the hard work already done by many to try and end this policy”.
I don’t know enough about the intimate details of public policymaking to argue for or against that, but in a comment there I suggested a wider battlefield:
It’s interesting that in the first paragraph of the “Message to the Australian Government” on YouTube the “conservative culture” of Australia (and the USA) is identified as a problem deeper than any particular politician.
I think this particular strategy may be an attempt to engage with and change that culture, which shifts the whole ground that policymakers stand on.
The attacks could support such a strategy if backed with the following arguments:
– The Internet CANNOT be controlled. The “Message” calls for anti-censorship tech (such as Tor) to be spread widely. The attacks also show the Government can’t control their own websites, let alone anyone else’s.
– Since control is futile, should we be wasting money on it?
– Defiance in spreading the blacklist of sites purportedly banned by the ACMA can also be effective: “We’re letting you know what the Government doesn’t think it can trust you with