In an interview conducted by Pankaj Maru of CyberMedia News over the Internet Relay Chat (IRC), the Anonymous Group members used various nicknames like +Gummy, Amikanon and others
MUMBAI, INDIA: Anonymous Group, which has carried out several cyber attacks against Reliance Communications as well as several government and political parties’ websites in the past few weeks, talks to Pankaj Maru of CyberMedia News about the group’s prime objective to fight censorship of Internet, blocking and curtailing of websites by ISP and government bodies and the Occupy Protest on June 9.
CIOL: Can you brief us on what led you to start the attacks on RCom and other websites early this month?
+Gummy: Last year itself some ISPs like BSNL and others, had blocked some sites mainly Torrent, Songs.pk, etc. without any court ruling. And then when Isac revealed to us that Reliance Communication is blocking more than 350 plus sites, we decided to act– that was on May 6 and then we decided to protest and started 'operation India' or '#OpIndia'. People became aware of it and joined us – some of them had hacking skills, some didn’t; while some learnt, some were taught. But our main goal was to get rid of the censorship and here we are.
CIOL: Is this the right method to achieve your goal and to protest against censorship?
+Gummy: Who knows? Shouldn't the government be doing something about it? And we are not causing damage to sites. It’s the people who have to do that! Did they (government) talk about it in the parliament before censoring? No.
CIOL: Even though it's others and not you damaging the sites, the customers might be suffering?
+Gummy: We did not hit any site which affects commoners. We could have targeted the media sites or IRCTC or passport to get quick attention but no we are among the people.
CIOL: After the 6 May attack, how many more attacks have been carried out and who were the targets?
+Gummy: We did not keep a count because we have no leaders. As soon as a website is attacked, we release it to the masses and it gets restored in some time. The government has absolute power and Reliance Communication has absolute money, which makes them a lethal corrupt combo.
One more thing we observed is that Satish Seth, who worked for ADAG and then led the Swan telecom, involved in the 2G scam, though I don’t have the proof - why would Reliance Communication block all websites related to his name? Because of guilt or is it censorship for covering their crimes.
http://cdn.anonfiles.com/1338369118706.rar-this link is the proof of we had entered Reliance Communications servers and other link shows the complete list of URL blocked by Reliance -http://cdn.anonfiles.com/1338369409510.txt
CIOL: What is your plan to take the protest ahead and how will you get more people involved in it?
+Gummy: Our plan is to protest until this censorship is blocked. What we intend to do till then is make people aware of how they are being muted or blinded. They have themselves come up with locations in various cities for protests. Have a look at the link - http://opindia.posterous.com/anonymous-to-stage-street-protest-on-9th-june
CIOL: Are you saying that your protest is only against Internet censorship? And will not indulge in any destructive activities?
+Gummy: Yes, we are also making sure that no political party is supporting us even if they decide to join us. We are attacking BJP, AICC, AITMC and slowly getting to all political parties.
CIOL: Are you aware that during this whole protest there are possibilities that some other groups might take advantage and carry out cyber attack against India?
+Gummy: The cyberspace is open. We did not cross borders to attack it. Other groups could have attacked even if we were not here and we are instead doing a favor.
CIOL: But in the given situation, What if some attack occurs and you are blamed for it?
Amikanon: That is what - we are anonymous, we have no leaders, who will they (government) blame? There were other revolutions also with leaders and the government crumbled them with their toes because they defamed the leader.
CIOL: Beside these attacks, how are you trying to make people aware about Internet censorship?
Amikanon: We are engaged in cyber space only - we have blogs and articles being written by anonymous people. We have Facebook events which highlight the issues faced.
CIOL: Which are other websites you have hacked in recent times?
Amikanon: MumbaiBJP.org, AITMC.org, Mizoram.gov.in and many more. We had defaced 35 websites of various colleges to spread awareness - the college websites hacks may actually make the students happy.
CIOL: Anonymous group has announced 9 June as the deadline for massive attacks in Indian cyberspace? So what can one expect on June 9?
Amikanon: No, on June 9 people are requested to protest and ask the government to remove censorship. Don't put it the wrong way -if the government doesn't do anything about it, we have plans which we would not like to disclose as of now. We have faith in the government and the people of India that they will stop censoring websites by then.
CIOL: Many hackers have condemned your method of protest and said it will not lead you anywhere.
Amikanon: That is their point of view. Every time India has had any move for change, there were people who thought it was wrong. Right from burning widows to modern day child marriages in Rajasthan, from protesting the oppression of tribal or anti-nuclear locals to Internet Hacktivism - at the end of the day it is about what you think will work and what your conscience agrees with. If you call for media reforms, there will be others who will think there should be guidelines imposed. A situation has many sides - people fall on different sides depending on what their values are.
CIOL: Will this protest strictly pertain to Internet censorship or will it turn into cyber war within India?
Amikanon: Tough to say, well at the moment, it is Internet censorship not a cyber war but it will stick to whatever is wrong; as you see…people you call "HACKERS" already refer to this as CYBER WAR....whereas...I mean... Censorship is wrong - we call it Hacktivism. Who knows about the future but we shall fight for FREE INTERNET at the moment!!