Protesting against a planned Internet filter aimed at pornography, computer hackers disabled several Australigovernment websites on Wednesday in coordinated attacks.
Australia’s centre-left government, which faces elections later this year, has promised an internet filter which would block a list of banned websites, including child abuse material and pornography.
The attacks, confirmed by the Attorney-General’s Department, crippled Australia’s parliamentary website for almost an hour, including the Communications Department, which is pushing a compulsory internet filter for pornography and offensive content.
The attacks were launched by hackers aligned with an anti-Church of Scientology group known as “Anonymous”.
“No government should have the right to refuse its citizens access to information solely because they perceive it to be unwanted,” the group said in an email.
“The Australian government will learn that one does not mess with our porn,” News.com.au quoted the statement, as saying.
Australia’s sex industry claims censors were rejecting pornographic films because they starred small-breasted women who could be confused as minors and appear underaged.
A poll this week by McNair Ingenuity Research for the state broadcaster found 80 per cent of the 1000 respondents backed the filter plan, which was strongly opposed by free speech groups.
The Communications Department said the hackers had not infiltrated government security, but had instead swamped government computer servers.