On June 17th, several Canadian government websites fell victim to hackers, with hacker group Anonymous claiming responsibility. The denial of service attack lasted for two hours, but Steven Blaney, Canadian Minister for Public Safety, has reported to the media that no personal data was taken during the attack. The perpetrators boasted of their success on YouTube claiming that the attack was a protest against the passing of the C-51 Anti-Terrorism Bill, which has proved controversial.
The new statute in question provides enhanced rights to security agencies, particularly detention without charge and broader and deliberately vaguer powers to prevent potential terrorist attacks and gather intelligence. There has been disquiet from human rights groups about whether the law is at odds with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and what impact its passing will have on Canada’s reputation within the international community.
The attack was intended to act as a call-to-action to Canadian citizens to protest against the bill on June 20th. Protests are scheduled in several cities according to reports on social media.