The website of an International governance group that’s accused of trying to take over the Internet has been knocked offline.
itu.int, the official website of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a branch of the U.N. that many fear will try to grant itself the power to regulate the Internet, went offline late Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning. A member of #opwcit, a division of the hacktivist group Anonymous that’s fighting the ITU, claimed responsibility, via Twitter, to the Daily Dot.
It’s unclear exactly when the site went down, though an Anon who goes by @AnonyOdinn on Twitter posted “and it’s down,” in reference to the ITU’s site, at 2:10 Wednesday morning.
Eight hours later, @AnonymouSkY confirmed, posting “#TANGO #DOWN,” a reference to successfully taking down a website, as well as a link to the ITU’s site and the hashtag #opwcit, a reference to Anonymous’s current campaign against the ITU.
The ITU is currently in Dubai until Dec. 14 for a gathering called the World Conference on International Telecommunications, where UN members will debate whether the ITU should begin regulating the Internet the way it does the telephone industry.
Plenty of different agents, ranging from “Father of the Internet” Vint Cerf to the EU and U.S. Congress, have strongly condemned a potential ITU takeover. This is a rare instance of Anonymous being on the same page as those latter two, and the group has released both a video and statement about it. In part, its release reads:
the internet is in danger.[...] If some proposals at WCIT are approved, decisions about the internet would be made by a top-down, old-school government-centric agency behind closed doors. Some proposals allow for internet access to be cut off more easily, threaten privacy, legitimizes monitoring and blocking of online traffic. Others seek to impose new fees for accessing content, not to mention slowing down connection speeds.
The release also warned of a “global day of protest” against the ITU to take place Saturday, Dec. 8, as part of a more general rally against government surveillance online.
Screengrab via YouTube