After hitting riaa.org during the weekend, Anonymous members have turned their attention towards the United States Copyright Office and are currently coordinating a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against its website.Anonymous is group of hacktivists claiming to fight for freedom of expression and freedom of information online, which has no problem with using illegal means to get its message out.
It is not an organization with a real structure or leaders, but rather a spontaneous gathering of Internet users who share the same views.
The group has its origins on the infamous 4chan /b/ board, the birthplace of many Internet memes, where the majority of users post anonymously.
On September 28, Anonymous began a DDoS campaign dubbed Operation Payback against the entertainment industry and anti-piracy organizations.
It started after an Indian company called Aiplex Software openly admitted to attacking torrent sites that failed to respond to takedown notifications sent on behalf of movie studios.
So far, the group's targets have included music and film industry associations, law firms involved in copyright litigation, record labels and even artists, who were vocal against Internet piracy.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the Dutch BREIN Foundation, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), the Spanish General Society of Authors and Editors (SGAE) and the Federation of the Italian Music Industry (FIMI), are amongst the group's victims.
Some outfits were even attacked multiple times. For example, the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) was hit on two separate occasions.
Last time it was during this past weekend, after a court shut down the LimeWire file sharing application, as a result of a complaint filed by the association.
It's not immediately clear if there is any specific reason why copyright.gov has become the main target, except for the organization's mission to protect copyright.