December 8th, 2010
02:58 PM ET

Is it war?

Some groups say they're out to defend the WikiLeaks website and its jailed founder, Julian Assange.  He has been denied bail as a UK court considers extraditing him to Sweden, where he’s wanted for questioning about alleged sex crimes. 

A hacker group called "Anonymous" has launched what it calls "Operation: Payback." Its latest target has been MasterCard, which suspended financial services to WikiLeaks… and it’s claiming success via Twitter.

 MasterCard says its site has experienced heavy traffic but did not confirm the cyber attack.  The company also says there’s no impact on cardholders.

“Operation: Payback” has previously claimed to hit other companies that stopped working with WikiLeaks, including PayPal and Swiss bank PostFinance.  The group shows no sign of letting up, and is asking for suggested targets on its website.

One member calls this “the first infowar.”  What do you think?

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Filed under: General • Social networking
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. temporaldoom

    ... so WikiLeaks is supported by cyber-terrorists?

    December 8, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  2. TC

    The odd thing is I hear the press quote DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are illegal.

    no one is commenting that DDOS is the exact tool the US was trying to use on a private site (wikileaks)

    Again a it's fine for the goverment to use illegal tactics but not the people.

    December 8, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Reply
    • Gff

      That's a cunning awnser to a challenging question

      September 8, 2012 at 3:15 am | Reply
  3. vkmo

    JA along with ally Anonymous have hurt USA more than its enemies with his boatloads of stolen information about US govt operations, including names of US officers, friends, families, contacts, actions taken and methods used. JA is a thief, accused rapist and as threatening to the wellbeing of US as a nuke!! It would be mad if somebody releases account numbers and passwords of individuals bank accounts. What JA has done is something of a much greater magnitude. They are committing felonies which must be punished.

    December 9, 2010 at 2:20 am | Reply
  4. Rayne

    It is another example of the Streisand effect from nearly a decade back, albeit with many more implications for large institutions. The funny thing that I get from Internet activism is that its easier to demand change and lead a DDOS against some paper tiger like a website than it is to lead an effective and innovate civil society campaign that shuts down streets or business districts like the Yellow Shirts did in Thailand. Frankly put, those who are most openly hard-headed about their ideologies are more capable of effecting changes in the current state of things, like how the Tea Parties would love to see a Tea Party-sympathetic president in office in the United States.

    I mean really, do we have to invent teleportation before we can, in the observation of sci-fi writer Larry Niven ("Flash Crowd"), get instant flash mobs to rush from across a whole continent to a single city to organize a physical shutdown of traffic for protest purposes within a matter of minutes? I hope that we don't have to wait for that long.

    December 11, 2010 at 2:04 am | Reply
  5. Kevin

    I think that we are entering an era were states are no longer major actors and elites are no longer the decision makers. Julian Assange represents the natural direction of this movement. If it were not him, it would be another person, or millions like him. The era of the state being led by elites who do things on our behalf is coming to an end.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:11 am | Reply

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