Anonymous has claimed responsibility for downing the websites of USTelecom and Tech America as part of a wider campaign to protest the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011.
Both companies have publicly expressed support for the controversial Act, which, if implemented, would facilitate the sharing of security data between private businesses and government agencies as both sectors attempt to improve their response to cyber attacks.
Unsurprisingly, the bill has been harshly criticized by various digital rights advocacy groups for undermining existing privacy laws and creating multiple backdoors for government surveillance.
USTelecom President Walter McCormick responded to the above-mentioned attack by stating that the DDoS (denial-of-service) offensive only illustrated the need for comprehensive cyber security legislation.
"As an industry in the business of facilitating communications, we respect the right of those calling themselves 'Anonymous' to express their views and engage in lawful political advocacy," McCormick claimed in an official statement.
"But by launching a cyber attack in an effort to coerce, intimidate and stifle speech, members of Anonymous are acting contrary to the very freedoms and Internet norms that they espouse. Ironically, by their actions Anonymous hacktivists underscore the importance of speedy action on the bipartisan Rogers-Ruppersberger legislation to ensure that the Internet remains an open and safe forum for all."
In other Anonymous related news, cyber activists linked to the collective have confirmed their intention to launch additional attacks against Chinese government websites in retaliation for human rights abuses.
"First we want to alert the Chinese government that we aren't afraid, and we are going to show the truth and fight for justice," Anonymous hacker "f0ws3r" told Reuters.
"Yes, we are planning more attacks, a few at a time," f0ws3r said, adding that the group would attempt to take down the "Great Firewall of China."