If you piss off the hacktivists at Anonymous, one thing you can be sure of is that they're going to find a way to hit back. So when the U.S. Department of Justice closed down Megaupload.com on Thursday, it didn't take long for Anonymous to respond.
Within hours, Anonymous started their attacks on the websites of 14 government agencies and organizations involved in the Megaupload takedown or promoting the SOPA and PIPA bills. Targets included the Department of Justice, FBI, MPAA, RIAA, U.S. Copyright Office, The White House, Senator Chris Dodd, Universal Music, Vivendi France, Warner Music Group and several foreign agencies similar to the RIAA.
As I write this most are back online, although Universal Music is still dead, and several others seem to be loading very slowly.
While this is an impressive display of Anonymous' abilities, I wonder if this actually does more harm than good. If hackers mess around with government websites, aren't a lot of our tech-challenged lawmakers likely to conclude that the Internet is a wild frontier that needs more control rather than less? On the other hand, if the government was able to shut down Megaupload and arrest its directors even without passing SOPA and PIPA, you've got to wonder why they need those additional powers.