February 16, 2012, 12:34 PM — Hacktivist collective Anonymous has threatened to "shut the Internet down" on March 31.
In a message on Pastebin that went up four days ago – and was largely ignored by news media – posters claiming to be members of Anonymous announced a plan to stop web traffic in its tracks by taking down the 13 root DNS servers that direct requests for web pages to the correct physical server.
The group posted a video yesterday promising "Operation Blackout" will 404 most or all of the web that is accessible from the United States.
"To protest SOPA, Wallstreet, our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the world for their own selfish needs [and for] sheer sadistic fun, On March 31, anonymous will shut the Internet down." – Pastebin post from presumed members of Anonymous, Feb. 12, 2012
According to the video, OpBlackout will also be a lesson to both the people and government (specifically of the U.S.) in what real Internet censorship means, what citizens lose by going along with efforts to censor the Internet and how powerful the opposition is to continuing efforts to censor the Internet.
"The United States is censoring the Internet. Our response is that we will not sit by while our rights are taken away by the government we trusted to preserve [those rights]," the automated text-to-speech voice said on the video.
Still fighting forces of censorship, SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, FBI, CIA, ETC.
Though the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) were sunk in Congress by overwhelming protests from Internet users, the Anonymous leaders of Operation Blackout connect SOPA, PIPA, the ACTA international copyright-enforcement treaty and the MegaUpload takedown as part of the same Internet-censorship movement.
"ISP blockades, DNS blocking, search engine censorship, web site censorship, and a variety of other methods that directly impose on the values and ideas of Anonymous, as well as the founding fathers of this country, who believed in free speech and [a free] press," according to the video.
Anonymous, from YouTube