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Anonymous India to stage street protest against Internet censorship

IBNLive.com
Jun 09, 2012 at 11:49am IST

New Delhi: After launching attacks on a number of websites in protest against Internet censorship in India, hacker group Anonymous Operation India is taking to the streets on Saturday.

Ground protests have been planned in 18 major cities across the country. In Delhi the protest is at Jantar Mantar from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Saturday.

ALSO SEE Anonymous hackers take down MTNL website

The Delhi protest venue had to be shifted from the previously announced India Gate as Delhi Police refused permission, Ishaan Garg, one of the organisers of the Delhi event posted on Facebook.

Anonymous India's street protest today

Hacker group Anonymous Operation India is taking to the streets on Saturday.

Anonymous had earlier posted two open letters on their Posterous blog (http://opindia.posterous.com), one addressed to the Government of India and the other to journalists and bloggers.

ALSO SEE Anonymous India plans June 9 protest

Full text of the letters:

ANONYMOUS INDIA

ALSO SEE Transcript: Anonymous Operation India press conference

OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

June 6, 2012

ALSO SEE Indian ISPs block websites; hackers retaliate

Dear Government of India,

We are Anonymous. It has come to our attention that you have blocked file sharing websites in India. We also know you are in the process of making a Great Indian Firewall, to censor the internet in India. Anonymous believes, however, that pursuing this direction is a sad mistake on your behalf. Not only does it reveal the fact that you do not seem to understand the present-day political and technological reality, we also take this as a serious declaration of war from yourself, the Indian government, to us, Anonymous, the people.

We, the Anonymous are attacking the websites of Government of India, Internet Service Providers with a DDoS attack for past 15 days to spread our message. We would also like to bring to your notice that no content or the data was harmed in this process.

First and foremost, it is important to realize what a DDoS attack exactly is and what it means in the contemporary political context. As traditional means of protest (peaceful demonstrations, sit-ins, the blocking of a crossroads or the picketing of a factory fence) have slowly turned into nothing but an empty, ritualized gesture of discontent over the course of the last century, people have been anxiously searching for new ways to pressure politicians and give voice to public demands in a manner that might actually be able to change things for the better.

Anonymous has, for now, found this new way of voicing civil protest in the form of the DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Service, attack. Just as is the case with traditional forms of protest, we block access to our opponents’ infrastructure to get our message across. Whether or not this infrastructure is located in the real world or in cyberspace seems completely irrelevant to us.

Moreover, we would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight on the difference between a DDoS attack and hacking, as these concepts often seem to be confounded when media and policy-makers talk about Anonymous. Hacking as such is defined by the law as ‘unauthorised access to a computer or network’, whereas a DDoS attack is simply a case of thousands of people making legitimate connections to a publicly accessible web server at the same time, using up the entire bandwidth or processing power of the given server at once and thereby causing a huge ‘traffic jam’.

It is clear then, that arresting somebody for taking part in a DDoS attack is exactly like arresting somebody for attending a peaceful demonstration in their hometown. Anonymous believes this right to peacefully protest is one of the fundamental pillars of any democracy and should not be restricted in any way. Moreover, we have noted that similar attacks have also been carried out against Wikileaks itself, yet so far, nobody has been arrested in connection with these attacks, nor are there even any signs of an investigation into this issue at all.

The HC Madras never issued any list of websites of be blocked, the DoT never issued a list of websites to be censored. Why is that ISPs are forced to block file sharing websites? Why is that instead of blocking few links the whole domain was blocked? The blocking of these websites is wrong and unjustified.

Torrents are widely used to distribute open source and free software such as linux distributions, and many other books and publications that are in the public domain. Video hosting sites like Vimeo are used by millions of people every day. You no longer have access to this content even though it is perfectly legal. Many small - medium businesses use Vimeo to showcase their services and individuals including filmmakers and designers use it to promote their work. These people are strongly hit by the ban on these websites through no fault of their own.

Most of these sites provide a mechanism for illegal and copyrighted content to be taken down, but the GoI and Indian ISPs decided to bypass this mechanism and block these sites entirely. Few ISPs are blocking contents for their own good, to hide the scams, to hide their corrupt doings.

We can therefore only assume that these censorships are politically motivated, and were being carried out under pressure from the Government of India. Anonymous can not, and will not, stand idle while this injustice is being done.

You can easily arrest individuals, but you cannot arrest an ideology. We are united by a common objective and we can and WILL cross any borders to achieve that. So our advice to you, the Government of India, is to take this statement as a serious warning from the citizens of the world. We will not rest until all the ISPs unblock the censored websites.

A great man once said "Freedom is my birth right and I shall have it".

Today, we echo his words. We stand as one. We demand freedom.

Signed,

Anonymous.

We are Anonymous.

We do not forgive the denial of basic human rights.

We do not forget those who assist the oppressed.

To the tyrannical government of India ... Expect us.

******************************************

ANONYMOUS INDIA

OPEN LETTER TO JOURNALISTS, REPORTERS, BLOGGERS

June 6, 2012

Dear Journalists of the World,

You were intrigued by us when we took on the financial sector by attacking Visa, Mastercard and Paypal as part of Operation Payback. Many of you became enamoured with us during various operations and applauded our efforts. Some of you are now paying close attention to Operation India.

We know that we have gained support from even a few of you. Those few are hoping against hope that our unconventional methods will continue to have an effect on people, perhaps even the world. Those few admire us, if for no other reason than the fact that, in a world full of apathy, a world filled with people who don't even bother to read the information you painstakingly present, we are trying to do something. This intrigues you. At the very least, it inspires you to keep an eye on us, hoping we continue to take newsworthy actions.

You know that, whether you are risking your own safety - perhaps even your own life - to share the truth, or whether you are beholden to your dictators or your advertisers, unable to write anything they do not approve, we, Anonymous, are on your side and are fighting for you and your freedoms. You, the journalists, reporters, and bloggers. You, the newspapers, television networks and websites who hunt down and disseminate information. We are fighting for you.

Some of you have recorded milestones of our efforts. Some of you have reported upon them, and some of you have even participated in our fight. You are the press, and you have our gratitude.

We need your help now. From various parts of India, people are rising up and taking serious efforts to demand nothing more than basic rights, an end to the corruption, and a fair chance. Our demands are simple. We want Freedom of Speech and Expression over the Internet. What the large number of people of India is unaware of, and the media largely ignores, is the fact that the people in India are protesting against Internet Censorship.

Here is where we need your help. We ask you, the journalists, to bring to the rest of the world the humanity of our revolutions. What we are witnessing are extremist acts of censorship that are committed by misled, ignorant people in power. The world needs human news. The world needs to know who it is that needs their support. We don’t want India to become like China over Internet Censorship. Indian Government is on their way of making the Great Indian Firewall to monitor and censor various websites. A censor free internet also allows bloggers to broadcast their view on any topic.

What we ask is simple. There are people protesting in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and many other cities at this very moment against Internet Censorship. There is a nation wide peaceful protest in many cities on Saturday, June 9 2012. Tell us and the nation who they are and what it is they want for their country and their people, for now and in the future. So many voices are raised in protest right now and all the world can hear is the noise. Tell us what the people are saying. Some of you will ignore this message. It announces no new operations, as we are still focusing our efforts on Operation India. This message issues no threats, as you are the press and are always safe from us. If you heed our request, however, it could make all the difference in the world, as it made a difference for the Tunisians to know that they were speaking and the world was hearing their message. Help us do this for India and for the netizens.

Signed,

Anonymous.

We are Anonymous.

We do not forgive the denial of basic human rights.

We do not forget those who assist the oppressed.

To the tyrannical government of India ... Expect us.

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