With much talk about the extreme surveillance methods being planned in the United Kingdom, Anonymous took its revenge by taking down the Home Office web site.
Anonymous reported via Twitter that it had launched the attack on the web site yesterday due to the "draconian surveillance proposals."
Security agencies in the United Kingdom are pushing for a law to allow the police to monitor telephone calls, text messages and emails of British citizens. They want to further monitor Twitter and Facebook posts, web sites visited and even online chat. It is estimated that this extreme surveillance would cost more than $3 billion in the first decade alone, and that the British taxpayer would be the one to fork out the price of being spied upon, should the bill be passed into law.
The draconian bill is allegedly aimed at tracking potential criminals and terrorists in order to protect British citizens. However, the Information Commissioner's office, which is an independent watchdog fighting for the citizen's information rights, says that once implemented the bill could lead to the arrest of innocents, wrongly identified as terrorists or criminals.
The Home Office confirmed the attack, saying: "We are aware of some reports that the Home Office website may be the subject of an online protest. We have put all potential measures in place and will be monitoring the situation very closely."
The web site returned to normal at around midnight GMT last night.
The hacktivists also stated that they had launched a cyberattack on the websites of the UK Ministry of Justice and the British Prime Minister “for continued derogation of civil liberties," but both these websites appear to be operating normally at this stage.
Anonymous is becoming increasingly associated with international "hacktivism" for their high-profile cyberattacks and online protests, having attacked scores of political and government web sites including the CIA, FBI, White House and even China's government web sites.
The hacktivists have warned via Twitter messages: "EXPECT a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) every Saturday on the UK Government sites."