The online hacking collective ‘Anonymous’ is targeting groups like Americans For Prosperity who are backed by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, because of their support of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-union proposals.
In a press release, ‘Anonymous’ explained that it “cannot ignore the plight of the citizen-workers of Wisconsin, or the opportunity to fight for the people in America’s broken political system.”
Ben Smith of Politico reports that the Americans For Prosperity website site was “intermittently unavailable” Sunday night because of a coordinated denial of service attack by ‘Anonymous.’ The site was working at time of writing.
Americans For Prosperity was founded by Koch Industries Executive Vice President David Koch, who now serves as chairman of the board.
The ‘Anonymous’ press release explains further:
Koch Industries, and oligarchs like them, have most recently started to manipulate the political agenda in Wisconsin. Governor Walker’s union-busting budget plan contains a clause that went nearly un-noticed. This clause would allow the sale of publicly owned utility plants in Wisconsin to private parties (specifically, Koch Industries) at any price, no matter how low, without a public bidding process. The Koch’s have helped to fuel the unrest in Wisconsin and the drive behind the bill to eliminate the collective bargaining power of unions in a bid to gain a monopoly over the state’s power supplies.
The Koch brothers have made a science of fabricating ‘grassroots’ organizations and advertising campaigns to support them in an attempt to sway voters based on their falsehoods. Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and Citizens United are just a few of these organizations. In a world where corporate money has become the lifeblood of political influence, the labor unions are one of the few ways citizens have to fight against corporate greed. Anonymous cannot ignore the plight of the citizen-workers of Wisconsin, or the opportunity to fight for the people in America’s broken political system. For these reasons, we feel that the Koch brothers threaten the United States democratic system and, by extension, all freedom-loving individuals everywhere. As such, we have no choice but to spread the word of the Koch brothers’ political manipulation, their single-minded intent and the insidious truth of their actions in Wisconsin, for all to witness.
‘Anonymous’ was most recently in the spotlight for taking down sites that they say opposed Wikileaks.
Late Update: Ben Smith reports that AFP President Tim Phillips e-mailed him a statement on the attempted cyber attacks:
Yesterday, a group claimed credit for an attempt to silence our voice and to stifle that debate through an illegal attack on our website. While the political debate over government spending can be heated, we hope that even our opponents will join us in condemning this illegal attack on our free speech rights as unacceptable and irredeemable.
Americans for Prosperity will not be intimidated and will not be deterred from our effort to support responsible economic policies, including the efforts of Governor Walker and other democratically elected leaders in that state to balance the budget through common-sense reforms.
Read the full statement here.