The websites of the Congress party, the Department of Telecommunications and Reliance Big Entertainment were brought down on Friday by hacker group OpIndia, which claims to be partnering with international hacking group Anonymous. At 6 pm, the sites were back up. The group says it plans to attack the website of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) soon.
The hackers claim this is their way of fighting "Internet censorship". In a video uploaded on YouTube on May 6, Anonymous referred to the fact that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been blocking torrent and file-sharing sites.
In recent months, sites like Vimeo have been inaccessible before the release of big films, whose producers say they are worried about piracy. In March, Chennai firm Copyright Labs got a "John Doe order" to protect its new Tamil film, 3, which has the massively popular song Kolaveri Di. Hari Ram, the firm's CEO, told NDTV on Thursday that he had sought the blocking of URLs that led to pirated clips, but found that entire sites had been blocked instead.
Reliance Entertainment had got a similar John Doe order blocking various file-sharing sites in August last year, before the release of its big-budget film Bodyguard, starring Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor. A message posted today by the OpIndia group on Twitter on Friday said "#TARGET : rbe.co.in Reliance BIG Pictures Got John Doe long back."
Speaking to NDTV.com on Thursday, Sanjay Tandon, Vice-President, Music and Anti-Piracy, Reliance Entertainment said, "All websites like Megaupload and Filesonic are located out of India and such sites rampantly promote online piracy. In fact, steps such as the John Doe order are the only step that we copyright owners are left with."