Turkish police have arrested 32 suspected members of Anonymous, the loosely knit cracktivist collective, following hack attacks against government websites.
Anonymous supporters in Turkey vented their frustration against proposed net filtering legislation by running a series of denial of service attacks against government websites last week. The sites targeted included Turkey’s Telecommunications Communication Presidency (http://tib.gov.tr) and Ministry of Labour (www.sgk.gov.tr).
It appears that the activists made the mistake of using tools, such as Anonymous' Low Orbit Ion Cannon, that fail to cloak the identity of computers participating in denial of service attacks.
However they did it, Turkish authorities were quick to identify potential suspects, before launching a series of raids that resulted in the arrest of 32 suspects in 12 cities, according to Turkish news agency Anadolu.
Turkey has a history of net censorship, including incidents where it mandated local ISPs to block YouTube, sometimes for months at a time, over clips taken as insulting the country's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Activists fear Turkey's net filtering systems, due to come online in August, could become a tool for logging surfing habits and stifling free speech.
The arrests in Turkey follow last week's arrest of three Spanish residents accused of hacking the Sony PlayStation store and the Spanish Electoral Commission website. These assaults were also motivated by proposed laws geared towards clamping down on illegal filesharing.
Unsurprisingly the Spanish arrests have incurred the ire of parts of Anonymous, who responding by launching a fresh wave of attacks targeting the web presence of Spain's national police. The site - www.policia.es - was knocked offline for about an hour on Saturday as a result, the BBC reports. ®