Hackers hit party websites

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The websites for both the Norwegian Conservative Party (Høyre) and the Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet) were disrupted this week, when an activist group known as “Anonymous” allegedly expressed its unhappiness over the two parties’ politics.

The two parties normally are in opposition, but on Monday they teamed up to force passage of a new law that will bring Norway in line with an EU directive on storage of telecommunications activity. All telephone calls, Internet use and e-mail will, under the new Norwegian law, be stored for up to six months and available for police review in connection with criminal investigations.

Approval of the law prompted immediate protests, because of threats to personal privacy, and the activist group allegedly used hackers to render the parties’ websites unusable. Large quantities of data were sent to the websites in a conscious effort to overload the sites’ servers. The Labour Party also encountered problems on Thursday when trying to broadcast the opening of its national meeting live on the Internet.

“Someone is trying to hinder Arbeiderpartiet from conducting our national meeting over the Internet, by attacking our website,” party officials wrote on their Facebook page. “This is an undemocratic action that we distance ourselves from. We encourage all those who are interested in following our national meeting live to do so via our party’s and our politicians’ Facebook pages.”

Views and News staff