Hackers synonymous with the Anonymous collective have begun a campaign of cyber attacks against the Finnish government to protest against its decision to block access to the PirateBay website.
Elisa, one of Finland's largest internet providers, has been ordered to block access to the PirateBay website. According to the service provider's press release, it had been ordered to instigate the ban by the local district court in Helsinki. Elisa said it would attempt to overturn the decision in supreme court.
Numerous Twitter accounts linked with the Anonymous collective erupted with messages of discontent and - at times - threats of action against the Finnish government.
"Do you not find it f**king ridiculous that FINLAND of all places is going hard with censorship? bit.ly/yqdrpr," read a tweet from Sabu, one of the most prominent members of Anonymous. "We will not sit idle and allow our governments to censor us. F**k that! Next they will tell us what to eat and think. Cliche? Reality."
Later adding, "To the Finnish government: Stop censorship or deal with the consequences."
The sentiment was later mirrored on the collective's main AnonymousIRC Twitter feed, when it reiterated Sabu's sentiment tweeting, "sexually deviant #Antisec terrorist hackers readying The Flying Dutchman, set to sail to #Finland. #ExpectUs #Anonymous #TPB."
Since the call to arms, a tweet went up from Twitter user Killmwithlazers publicising a distributed denial of service attack on the ifpi.fi website. The message was subsequently re-tweeted by Sabu with a follow-up tweet following from AnonymousIRC.
"TANGO DOWN the mind behind the block of thepiratebay in finland! #finland #elisa" read the original tweet. "Let's help our fellow Finns against censorship! Target: ifpi.fi #Anonymous @Anon_Finland" AnonymousIRC soon followed up.
Anonymous' anger towards the block comes as a part of the collective's ongoing insistence in absolute online freedom. One of the few common aspects recorded between every cell of the collective, Anonymous has consistently threatened and enacted attacks on governments or organisations seeking to censor the internet.
As well as its activities in Finland, Anonymous is also actively combating the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act. Designed to combat online piracy, since being announced the SOPA bill has come under wide-spread criticism, with numerous groups voicing concerns about the new powers the act could grant U.S. law enforcement. A common concern is the suggestion that the act will allow police to arrest, fine and potentially jail individuals for seemingly minor offences, such as uploading a copyrighted video onto YouTube.
Anonymous initially issued threats of possible "retribution" against companies supporting the bill in December when it announced "OpBlackOut" - a website defacement campaign that would see it target law enforcement agencies and companies vocally supporting SOPA. The collective has since continued to issue threats to any group or company actively supporting the bill.
At the time of writing the ifpi.fi site was still down.
UPDATE: Since the call-to-arms, a flame war has erupted between prominent Anon Sabu and Finnish security expert Mikko Hypponen polarising online opinion of Anonymous' actions.