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Anonymous knocks out 10 Australian government sites

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The hacktivist collective Anonymous took down down 10 Australian government sites last weekend in retaliation to a new measure threatening Internet privacy.

According to details in an online security paper that could get passed into law, the government would force Internet service providers to store social media details, email addresses and other private user data for two years. The new measures aim to increase the effectiveness of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) in fighting crime, news.com.au reported.

“Do you like the idea of surrendering your password or people spying on your Facebook or Twitter account? Nope we didn't think you did,” wrote Anonymous, according to the Australian. "Your government seems to think that everyone in Australia is a terrorist."

Websites for Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Council, Queensland Government, and Queenland’s Employment and Economic Department were taken down over the weekend but are now back up.

Anonymous claims that it will not stop until the law is gone. The Australian government, on the other hand, says the legislation is necessary to protect the country.

"Defence, through the Cyber Security Operations Centre, works with affected government agencies, as required, to help mitigate threats to information security," a government spokesperson told news.com.au. “We must always stay a step ahead of terrorists, cyber criminals and organised criminals who threaten our national security.”

Photo by irrezolut