Anonymous take down Asia Pacific Telecommunity website to protest against online censorship in various Asian countries
The global hacktivist group, Anonymous has now turned its eyes to the varying degrees of censorship being practised in Asia. The Asia Pacific Telecommunity website (apt.int) has not only been hacked by members of the Anonymous hacker collective, and they also have got entry to the site’s admin panel (running Drupal), and also have been able to get their hands on a database dump.
Many Asian countries are slowly moving ahead and making plans to setup Internet monitoring systems, similar to the ones used by the Chinese government. While Thailand is the most active amongst all of them, the others are also doing the same thing.
At a recently held second World Internet Conference, China’s President, Xi Jinping raised his country’s right to censor the Internet inside its borders, a right that every other country should exercise as well.
To make matters worse, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), at the same conference, the organization which is responsible for managing domain names, has also vowed their support for a new plan for running the Internet, where Chinese numbers have an upper hand in the decisions that are taken by the organization.
ICANN will take over more IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) functions from the US government from next year giving more power to the Chinese government. However, not many people would look forward to the managing of global internet by the Chinese government, considering the way the internet is run inside their own borders.
The only way that Anonymous hackers could draw attention and paint a bigger picture of the increasing trend of censoring access to the Internet in Asian countries in front of the people was to leave simple messages behind.
Other than the simple messages left on the apt.int/Anonymous page, the group has also left behind a link to a YouTube video and has dumped the site’s database that includes details such as usernames, hashed password strings, and emails. While this will not obstruct China’s and ICANN’s plans, but it will definitely gather some attention from both users living in Asian countries as well as Western countries.