Today on the net: Australian websites under attack from Indonesian hackers; a video exposing the impact of bombings in the Sudanese province of South Kordofan; and Katy Perry is now the most popular person on Twitter.
Anonymous Indonesia attacks Australian websites
The NSA and its Australian equivalent the DSD allegedly joined forces to spy on members of the Indonesian government during the United Nations Climate Change conference in Bali in 2007. The reports were published on several international dailies, and based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden. The revelations have sparked outrage with countless netizens taking to the web to vent their anger.
And Australia is in the line of fire. Hackers claiming to be from the Indonesian branch of Anonymous launched operation Australia this weekend, in retaliation to what they consider to be an unacceptable act. Their aim is to hack into as many Australian websites as possible, to denounce the alleged spying on Indonesia. And they did pretty well, hacking in to over 200 pages and replacing them with a message urging Canberra to end this mass surveillance of Indonesians.
Hundreds of Indonesian social networkers have praised the act of revenge, and have been pledging their support for the Anonymous campaign under the #StopSpyingIndonesia hashtag.
But whilst some have been hailing the hacking attack, others are more wary of the current campaign. These Twitter users for example point out that up until now the majority of attacks have targeted small local businesses and not official government sites. Something they think proves the instigators of the campaign have very limited means.
Sudan bombings video exposes horrors of army campaign
Two and a half years on from the start of the conflict between the Sudanese government and armed rebels in the disputed oil-rich region of Abyei, Sudanese journalist organization, Nuba Reports, has released a video highlighting the plight of civilians in South Kordofan province. According to the organization, since April 2012, around 1200 bombs have been dropped in the province, killing at least 52 people and leaving thousands of others utterly destitute.
The video, recently posted online, features residents sharing accounts of the attacks by government forces. This man for example lost his home in the bombing and thanks God that he escaped unharmed.
This young woman wasn’t quite so lucky; she was seriously injured as she battled flames caused by bomb fragments. She, and other survivors, also describe how everyday life is marked by hunger and exhaustion.
Amnesty International has been concerned about the situation for some time now. The NGO released a report back in January 2013 highlighting the extent of the damage and destruction, with photos to illustrate. The NGO says the subsequent shortages in food, water and medical supplies, have prompted thousands to flee South Kordofan.
In 2012, Human Rights Watch devoted a photo story to these refugees, with a particular focus on the women living in makeshift camps in South Sudan. And for them the nightmare is far from over, explains the organization, as they have great difficulty in gaining access to supplies and attacks on female refugees are of a daily occurrence.
Now trending on social networks
With over 46 million 500 000 Twitter followers, the American singer Katy Perry is now the most popular person on the micro-blogging platform. The California born artist now has several dozen thousand more followers than Justin Bieber who takes silver in this particular popularity contest. Her rise to the top of the Twitter leaderboard is largely down to the success of her new album, Prism, released last month and number one in the American music charts for the past few weeks.
Star Wars characters invade Thomas Kinkade paintings
Artist Jeff Bennett has been incorporating Star Wars characters into the realistic and bucolic works by American painter Thomas Kinkade who died last year. This astonishing project, merging two very different worlds, is called “Wars on Kinkade”. It’s available to view on the site Deviant Art and will no doubt prove very popular with fans of the George Lucas saga.
Video of the day
Some web users will already be familiar with vocal group Pentatonix and their cover versions of well-known pop songs. And here’s their latest offering, a tribute to Daft Punk, in which they revisit some of the French duos greatest hits. You can check out the video in its entirety on the group’s YouTube page…