Several websites belonging to the Federal Trade Commission were allegedly knocked offline on Friday by cyber activist group Anonymous.
Anonymous, in a post to the website Pastebin.com, said that the action was taken in protest to an international treaty, The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
The ACTA was first signed by eight countries in October 2011 — including the United States, Australia, Canada, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Morocco and Singapore — to initiate a stronger cooperative international legal framework to combat the looming problem of online piracy and commercial-scale counterfeiting. The treaty has the support of numerous trade organizations in the U.S.
The treaty has caused wide-scale uproar among Internet freedom advocates in recent weeks following the controversy surrounding the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA). Poland decided on Friday to withdraw from ratification of the treaty.
“If ACTA is signed by all participating negotiating countries, you can rest assured that Antisec will bring a fucking mega-uber-awesome war that rain torrential hellfire down on all enemies of free speech, privacy and internet freedom,” Anonymous threatened.
The Associated Press reported that the removed sites were “replaced with a violent German-language video satirizing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA.”
The FTC responded to The Daily Caller’s inquiry Tuesday with a statement on the hacking.
“The Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Business Center website and the partnership site NCPW run by the Federal Trade Commission were hacked earlier today,” said Cecelia Prewett, Director of the Office of Public Affairs at the Federal Trade Commission, in the statement.
“The FTC takes these malicious acts seriously. The sites have been taken down and will be brought back up when we’re satisfied that any vulnerability has been addressed.”