President Obama will be meeting before a joint session of Congress tonight to deliver the annual State of the Union address. The address will be streamed live on the Internet to the millions of Americans who will be tuning in to hear the president talk about what the future holds. If a certain hacking collective has its way, however, nobody will be watching it.
Anonymous announced this morning that it's engaging in #opSOTU, or Battle Royale for the Internet. The operation will see Anonymous attempting to hijack and shutoff the State of the Union address live stream tonight. Here's the full statement:
Citizens of the Internet,
Last year we faced our greatest threat from lawmakers. We faced down SOPA, PIPA, CISPA and ACTA.
And we won!
But that victory did not come easily. Nor did it come without a price.
Aaron Swartz was one of the leading voices in the fight against these idiotic and destructive efforts to control the last free space on Earth.
Aaron Swartz was persecuted. Now Aaron Swartz is dead.
Tonight, the President of the United States will appear before a joint session of Congress to deliver the State of the Union Address and tomorrow he plans to sign an executive order for cyber-security as the House Intelligence committee reintroduces the defeated CISPA act which turns private companies into government informants.
He will not be covering the NDAA, an act of outright tyrannical legislation allowing for indefinite detention of citizens completely outside due process and the rule of law. In fact, lawyers for the government have point-blank refused to state whether or not journalists who cover stories or groups the Government disfavors would be subject to this detention.
He will not be covering the extra-judicial and unregulated justifications for targeted killings of citizens by military drones within the borders of America, or the fact that Orwellian newspeak had to be used to make words like “imminent” mean their opposite.
He will not be covering Bradley Manning, 1000 days in detention with no trial for revealing military murders, told that his motive for leaking cannot be taken into consideration, that the Government does not have room for conscience.
He will not be covering the secret interpretations of law that allow for warrant-less wiretapping and surveillance of any US citizen without probably cause of criminal acts, or the use of Catch-22 logic where no-one can complain about being snooped on because the state won’t tell you who they’re snooping on, and if you don’t know you’re being snooped on, you don’t have a right to complain.
We reject the State of the Union. We reject the authority of the President to sign arbitrary orders and bring irresponsible and damaging controls to the Internet.
The President of the United States of America, and the Joint Session of Congress will face an Army tonight.
We will form a virtual blockade between Capitol Hill and the Internet. Armed with nothing more than Lulz, Nyancat and PEW-PEW-PEW! Lazers, we will face down the largest superpower on Earth.
And we will win!
There will be no State of the Union Address on the web tonight.
For freedom, for Aaron Swartz, for the Internet, and of course, for the lulz.
We Are Anonymous,
We Are Legion,
We Do Not forgive,
We Do Not forget,
It's not clear if this is an extension of #OpLastResort, the op that saw the release of banker records and attacks on government Web sites in retaliation for Aaron Swartz' suicide. It certainly sounds like it, but Anonymous is dragging other issues it's heavily opposed to, like NDAA, into the mix this time as well.
Will Anonymous be successful in their most daring and potentially visible operation yet? I highly doubt it, but it would certainly be something if Anonymous succeeded in hijacking the State of the Union address.