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Hacker group targets Ecuadorian politician's blog protesting communications resolution

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - 15 August 2012 - On 10 August 2012, 45 web portals belonging to State institutions and political parties, among others, were hacked. Anonymous, a group of computer activists, claimed responsibility for the attack, which is part of Internet Operation Surkishka, begun at the start of August. The personal blog of Fernando Alvarado, National Communications Secretary, was one of those attacked. Alvarado's website was hacked along with other official sites at the same time that President Rafael Correa presented his annual report to the nation before the National Assembly.

As a response to the attack, Alvarado published in his Twitter account: "Greetings to Anonymous, who claims to defend freedom of expression and shows it by preventing mine". The page remains inaccessible and only a graphic with the official's name can be seen when attempting to access it.

Anonymous announced on 1 August - on YouTube and its Twitter account - that it would carry out these attacks as a show of rejection of resolution TEL-477-16-CONATEL-2012, issued on 11 July by the National Telecommunications Council. Article 29, item 9 of this resolution states that: "Communications and value-added service providers must present to the Telecommunications Superintendancy, whenever it requests it, information about the IP addresses assigned to their subscribers/clients-users, in the time frames, terms and conditions established by this entity to that effect".

In the video, one of the group's members - using the customary mask inspired by the film V for Vendetta - points out that: "Not satisfied with the closedown of media outlets and the control it still has over those it has seized, it has now began interfering with the internet - with the aim of finding out and retaliating against those who oppose its government - by using software that can monitor social networks (...) Let us make surfing the Web synonymous with freedom, so that it can neither be an object of political manipulation nor gagged".

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