It turns out that the FBI investigation into Operation Payback after their DDoS attacks on the US Copyright Group may not be the reason for their abrupt change in tactics after all.
The members of Anonymous who have been coordinating the attacks for Operation Payback reportedly received a letter last week from the US and UK Pirate Party organizations asking them to “choose a more moderate and legal way” to promote copyright law reform.
“We, the undersigned, call upon you to immediately cease the Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks and to instead seek out a legal method to express your frustration and disquiet with the copyright industry, and their perversions of copyright law for personal gain,” wrote the Pirates to the leaders of Operation Payback.
“By continuing Operation:Payback attacks, you will hamper those who promote copyright reform and curtailment of abuses of copyright, but who do so within the bounds of the law,” says the letter. “Instead of being able to argue for legislative reform of copyright on its own merits, they will be accused of defending criminals and promoting lawlessness. It will be easier for legislators and the media to ignore the clear benefits of fair copyrights and free speech, in favour of clamouring for harsher legislation to ‘stop those pirates and hackers’.”
While the Pirate Party makes some very good points in their correspondence, the one thing that Operation Payback’s attacks were good for was gaining attention and publicity. It’s going to be a challenge to try to get that kind of press notoriety using moderate and legal tactics. That is, of course, if Anonymous decides to comply with the request long-term. There is a chance that the DDoS attacks could resume now that the Pirate Party has officially distanced themselves from the activities of Operation Payback. Only time will tell.