Update: We’ve uncovered that Anonymous currently don’t plan to attack the PSN, but rather Sony employees and websites.
With Sony’s online service hacked and brought down earlier in the year by internet activists Anonymous, gamers everywhere suffered from the downtime of the PlayStation Network and its subsequent hack. Unfortunately, if you thought that it was all over, then you’d sadly be wrong – Anonymous seems to have declared war on Sony, again.
TheAnonMessage uploaded the following video on YouTube:
We are Anonymous.
It has come to the attention of the Anonymous activist community that you have chosen to stand by the Stop Online Piracy Act. This act will halt online businesses and restrict access to many sites for many users. Supporting SOPA is like trying to throw an entire company from off a bridge. Your support to the act is a signed death warrant to SONY Company and Associates. Therefore, yet again, we have decided to destroy your network. We will dismantle your phantom from the internet. Prepare to be extinguished. Justice will be swift, and it will be for the people, whether some like it or not. Sony, you have been warned.
To those doubting our powers. We’ve infiltrated the servers of Bank of America, The United States Department of Defense, The United Nations, and Lockheed Martin. In one day.
For their approval to SOPA, we have also declared that our fury be brought upon the following persons. Justin Bieber. Lady Gaga. Kim Kardashian. and Taylor Swift.
Operation Blackout, engaged.
Operation Mayhem, engaged.
Operation LulzXmas, engaged.
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Supporters of SOPA, you should’ve expected us.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is the highly controversial bill that, if passed, would give the US government and copyright holders powers to block access to “rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods”. But SOPA has received growing criticism by free speech activists and tech companies like Google and Facebook due to the vague terminology of the bill, which could mean sites like YouTube (or even PSLS) could be blocked for having copyrighted material submitted by users rather than the actual site owners.
With Sony being one of the largest publishers and producers of films, music and games, piracy has severely impacted their profits, and have a vested interest in SOPA being passed. While it’s fair to protest SOPA and any company that supports it, Anonymous’ actions earlier this year showed that the group is willing to let normal consumers suffer from their attacks.
It’s important to note that Anonymous have no central leadership, and this video seems to be the only declaration of war against Sony so far, so it’s hard to tell just how many Anonymous ‘members’ are actually behind the new attack.
PlayStation LifeStyle will keep you updated with further coverage of Anonymous and the threat, as it develops. In the meantime, we must reiterate the importance of ensuring your password on the PSN is different to other sites.
In recent weeks we discovered BitTorrent pirates at the RIAA, Sony, Fox, Universal and even law-abiding organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security. By now it should be clear that people are using BitTorrent pretty much everywhere, and not only for lawful downloads. Today we can add the U.S. House of Representatives to that list, the place where lawmakers are drafting the much discussed “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA).
YouHaveDownloaded is a treasure trove full of incriminating data on alleged BitTorrent pirates in organizations all across the world.
Although we don’t plan to go on forever trawling the archives, we felt that there was at least one place that warranted further investigation – the U.S. House of Representatives. Since it’s the birthplace of the pending SOPA bill, we wondered how many of the employees there have engaged in unauthorized copying.
The answer is yet again unambiguous – they pirate a lot.
In total we found more than 800 IP-addresses assigned to the U.S. House of Representatives from where content has been shared on BitTorrent. After a closer inspection it quickly became clear the House isn’t just using it for legitimate downloads either, quite the opposite.
Below we’ll list a few of the 800 hits we found on YouHaveDownloaded, which in turn represent just a fraction of total downloads since the site only tracks a limited percentage of total BitTorrent traffic. Again, this is real and confirmed data that is just as good as the evidence used by the RIAA when they sued tens of thousands of people for file-sharing.
Something that immediately caught our eye are the self-help books that are downloaded in the House. “Crucial Conversations- Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High,” for example, may indeed be of interest to the political elite in the United States. And “How to Answer Hard Interview Questions And Everything Else You Need to Know to Get the Job You Want” may be helpful for those who aspire to higher positions.
Books tend to be popular in the House because we found quite a few more, including “Do Not Open – An Encyclopedia of the World’s Best-Kept Secrets” and “How Things Work Encyclopedia”. But of course the people at the heart of democracy are also downloading familiar content such as Windows 7, popular TV-shows and movies.
And there was another category we ran into more than we would have wanted too. It appears that aside from self-help books, House employees are also into adult themed self-help videos. We’ll list one of the least explicit here below, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Although the above is interesting, as the House is the place where lawmakers are currently trying to push though SOPA, this revelation might actually help their cause. If even people at the House are “stealing” content, we really need SOPA to counter it, they may say.
The question is though, whether SOPA will be able to break the habits of millions of Americans, as there will always be alternatives available. And even if it manages to put a dent in the current piracy rates, is that really worth it considering the potential damage SOPA can do to the open Internet and legal businesses?