WikiLeaks’ advocates compare ‘hacktivism’ to 1960’s civil protests

December 12th, 2010 - 7:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 12(ANI): Since releasing a cache of 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables this month, WikiLeaks has been under the scanner of various governments and faced intense criticism around the world.

However, the whistleblower website has also enjoyed the frenzied support of groups who seem intent on speaking out, and in some cases waging war on WikiLeaks’ behalf.

The most prominent of these groups is known as Anonymous, which last week sought to disable the websites of several U.S. companies as part of what it called ‘Operation Payback’.

A member of Anonymous, who declined to be named because he said he feared arrest, compared the attacks on US companies’ web sites - known to some as “hacktivism” - to earlier versions of civil protests.

“It was like the sit-ins during the 1960s when you had college students taking up space in restaurants,” the Washington Post quoted the member, as saying.

Now, Anonymous is helping a wider audience comb through the WikiLeaks documents in a new campaign called ‘Operation Leakspin’.

On the social media website Reddit, the member said that he helps moderate a “sub-Reddit” section where users sift through various leaked cables.

WikiLeaks has also drawn the support of traditional civil rights organizations and advocacy groups, which see the controversy surrounding WikiLeaks as an important test of US commitment to freedom of the Internet. (ANI)

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