updated 07:00 pm EDT, Tue May 1, 2012
Video details targets, dates of local protests
In a video recently uploaded on YouTube, hacker activist group Anonymous has changed its traditional direction. Nodding to recent countermeasures to distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks against targeted websites, Anonymous announced a list of companies and dates for more conventional protesting. The group plans traditional protests beginning May 1 against companies that support the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), recently approved by the House of Representatives.
Anonymous and its like-minded supporters are planning coordinated protests against AT&T corporate offices May 1 through May 5, IBM headquarters May 4 through May 7, Intel headquarters May 8 through 13, Microsoft offices May 14 through May 19, Verizon Wireless offices May 20 through May 26, Bank of America headquarters May 27 through June 2, and Chase Bank headquarters June 3 through June 6. The group also plans a selective textbook vandalization effort against McGraw-Hill June 7 through June 10, and a Pepsi and Coca-Cola product boycott June 11 through June 14.
Anonymous also plans protests against Target stores June 15 through June 20, Walmart stores June 21 through June 25, CVS stores June 26 through June 28, with a final effort against Mastercard, Visa, and American Express June 28 through June 30. Protesters are advised by the video to remember their Guy Fawkes mask at all events.
While originating on 4chan in 2003, the Anonymous group is best known for more recent DDOS attacks against the European International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, and various attacks against US Government and entertainment industry websites in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act. At the urging of Megaupload officials, Anonymous struck the Department of Justice, MPAA, RIAA, and Universal Music, among others.
CISPA is an amendment to the National Security Act of 1947 and is intended as a means of sharing cyber threat information with the government. Opponents of the bill as written include President Obama, the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Center for Democracy and Technology.
The primary opposition claims are that that the bill lacks civil liberty safeguards, citizen confidentiality requirements, and any public oversight over information shared or law enforcement. CISPA has seen some revisions since initial proposal, but only in regards to President Obama's limited complaints about the bill to attempt to stave off a threatened veto.