Earlier today, as in a few hours ago at time of posting, Megaupload was taken down, and the site admins were arrested in New Zealand due to the large quantity of copyrighted materials on it. Now, Megaupload honors takedown requests, is based outside the US, and they were arrested in New Zealand. This upset many people. The notorious group Anonymous included.The decentralized activism group Anonymous did not take kindly to this action taking place just one day after a blackout of multiple high-ranking sites such as Reddit and Wikipedia in protest of SOPA. Within mere moments, Anonymous released statements on their twitter account that the RIAA’s website, Universal Music Group, MPAA.org, and Justice.gov have been knocked straight down with DDOS attacks.
A DDOS attack is a form of disruption of any online service. To put it in simple terms, a DDOS is when multiple connections are made to a single site in such a high quantity, the server becomes impossible to access and the connection times out. It is akin to protesters standing in a busy street and not allowing anyone to pass.
It is a method often used by activists to disrupt a site for whatever reason, from something mundane to not releasing updates for a game (actually happened), to one immature prat disagreeing with someone. In this case, it is getting on the bad side of a group that has done some crazy things in the past in favor of freedom.
In its history, Megaupload has been a go-to for uploading large files of several hundred megabytes, and has also had support from celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Kayne West according to the Washington Post.
If this is what Anonymous does when a single site gets taken down, imagine what they would do if SOPA passed. I don’t know which of the two is scarier.