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Anonymous Attacks Tunisian Government, in Defense of WikiLeaks

anonymous attackThe notorious band of hackers known as Anonymous has taken down the Tunisian government's website, in apparent retaliation for the country's decision to block WikiLeaks. The country's WikiLeaks embargo went into effect in early December, when the government blocked not only the whistle-blowing website, but any other news organization publishing diplomatic cables related to Tunisia. Officials also blocked a site called TuniLeaks, which is devoted to exposing any Tunisia-specific information revealed in the leaked documents.

Not surprisingly, the move garnered the attention of the world's WikiLeaks supporters, and incited a widespread effort to retaliate against the government. A so-called "recruiting" call was soon posted to AnonNews.org, a forum devoted to all things Anonymous. "The Tunisian government wants to control the present with falsehoods and misinformation in order to impose the future by keeping the truth hidden from its citizens," the post reads. "We will not remain silent while this happens. Anonymous has heard the claim for freedom of the Tunisian people. Anonymous is willing to help the Tunisian people in this fight against oppression. It will be done. It will be done."

The attack, known as '#optunisia' was conducted with noticeably more sophistication than the previous Anonymous operations against MasterCard, PayPal and Visa. Whereas the organization's distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks took down these sites with floods of traffic, the "hacktivists" behind #optunisia appear to have more deeply infiltrated Tunisian platforms. According to Gawker, they even managed to plaster an open letter across the Prime Minister's home page.

As of right now, many of Tunisia's government sites are still down. And, according to Anonymous, they'll stay down until the government changes its ways. "It's on the hands of the Tunisian government to stop this situation," the recruiting call explains. "Free the net, and attacks will cease, keep on that attitude and this will just be the beginning."

Tags: anonymous, censorship, hacktivists, Julian Assange, JulianAssange, operation payback, OperationPayback, optunisia, politics, security, top, tunileaks, Tunisia, Wikileaks