Hacktivists Anonymous is planning to attack New Zealand government websites after all major political parties in NZ, with the exception of the Greens, offered their support for a new copyright bill that will introduce a three-strikes system, as well as fines of up to $15,000 for repeat offenders.
The bill, which was passed by a 111-to-11 margin last Thursday, has been criticized for being too harsh, with some critics even warning that this will be the end of public Wi-Fi. Under the new amendments to existing copyright laws, the owner of the connection, not the actual user, is responsible for all actions being carried out on the network, and so with public Wi-Fi hotspots, such as those found in McDonalds, at cafes or even at Airports, the owner of the connection can be found guilty of copyright infringement if just one person uses the connection for illegal means. And with compensation of up to $15,000 available to copyright holders, many will normally flock to anonymous public Wi-Fi to get their download fix, increasing risk for operators of public Wi-Fi networks.
As yet, Internet cut-offs are not yet been pencilled in, and it might only be a matter of time before the island country adopts this harsher form of punishment on top of warnings and fines.
Anonymous, posting on a now removed video on YouTube, listed on the full reasons for choosing NZ as their next target in a speech, as the group calls the new laws "a form of censorship and an invasion of privacy". The group also attacked the way downloaders are "guilty until proven innocent", and the $15,000 fine. "New Zealand, you now have the full attention of Anonymous," concluded the ominous speech just before posting their usual war cry of "We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us".
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