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Anonymous turns to Australia

The International loose hacking group Anonymous, has turned to Australia. It has attacked at least 10 Australian government websites briefly on Tuesday in response to proposed changes to privacy laws.

The Australian arm of the group has warned it will continue the attacks on “.gov.au” sites until plans to force the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to store user data and make it available to security services are shelved.

Anonymous started the denial-of-service attacks after Prime Minister Julia Gillard answered policy questions via webcam in an online Google+ Hangout session on Saturday. The sites targeted so far are all run by the Queensland State Government. Anonymous said the sites were specifically chosen because the group had “proof” that small to medium businesses, education departments, student and personal accounts had been tracked by the State Government.

Anonymous Australia told news.com.au the attacks were brought forward to coincide with Ms Gillard’s online Q and A session and it had raised the privacy concerns with the PM earlier on a Twitter hashtag.

“The Australian Government is attempting to strip away its citizens’ Internet rights by forcing them to surrender passwords and Internet usage data,” Anonymous Australia said via email. The hackers said the attacks were in response to changes being discussed by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS).

The proposed security expansions would mean everything from social networking to emails would be monitored and stored for up to two years, and intelligence agencies would be given increased access to sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Anonymous is a decentralized network of individuals focused on promoting access to information, free speech, and transparency. The group has made international headlines by exposing The Church of Scientology, supporting anti-corruption movements in Zimbabwe and India, and providing secure platforms for Iranian citizens to criticize their government – says the  group at anonanalytics.com.

(source: foxnews.com, anonanalytics.com)

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