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Hackers attack Ugandan gov't sites in reply to homophobia

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Hackers attack Ugandan gov't sites in reply to homophobia

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – "You have been warned, repeatedly to expect us," begins the message on the Ugandan prime minister's office website.

"Your violations of the rights of LGBT people have disgusted us," the Aug 14 message continues. "ALL people have the right to live in dignity free from the repression of someone else's political and religious beliefs. You should be PROUD of your LGBT citizens, because they clearly have more balls than you will ever have."

"Fuck you Ugandan government! See you again soon x," the message concludes.

Gay Star News and Think Progress LGBT report that the hacktivist group Anonymous, whose members sometimes wear Guy Fawkes masks in public, is responsible for the attack.  

An Aug 14 posting on Pastebin reads, "Today's hack and deface of the Ugandan Prime Minister's site was the latest in a long list of actions against the government and infrastructure of Uganda for crimes against LGBT people."

It adds, "#TheEliteSociety and #Anonymous will continue to target Ugandan government sites and communications until  the government of Uganda treats all people including LGBT equally and with respect, dignity and immediately ends the arrest and harassment of LGBT."

This is apparently not the first time Anonymous has targeted the Ugandan government. A June 25 Pastebin posting, also attributed to Anonymous, includes claims that a number of Ugandan websites have been infiltrated.


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I think Lisa's comments are
I think Lisa's comments are worth keeping in mind. South Africans fighting apartheid asked for sanctions against the regime that oppressed them, and the world responded to that. They knew what they needed - economic pressures.

Absent good intelligence about the on-the-ground response, this could do more harm than good, no matter how well intentioned. Amnesty International stresses firm and polite - not swearing and abuse. Let's take Lisa's suggestions to heart. Eagerness is good, but must sometimes be tempered with the voice of experience. Let's hope we're being overly cautious and the response is positive. Good on Ugandans. We are incredibly fortunate here. But let's help in a way that will accomplish the goal, not just make some people feel like done something.
In my comment I made an error
In my comment I made an error on the URL. It should be: http://www.uganadaurgentaction.com
Given the reactionary nature
Given the reactionary nature of most Ugandan politicians, I hope this latest attack does not result in retaliatory measures agains Uganda's sexual minorities. I don't disagree with the need to draw international attention to Uganda's homophobic ways and to impress upon Uganda's leaders that discrimination of any group in its society weakens the whole, especially when laws are passed that legitimize this discrimination. Let's not forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal. Yes, Ugandan leaders must be held accountable, and yes, justice is slow when it comes to human rights, and yes, desperate times call for desperate measures. The sad reality is that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed, as MLK aptly put it. So, what to do and what to say? In my opinion, profane attacks will only exacerbate the situation in Uganda and will give the moral high-ground to the oppressors. Anonymous' denial of service and other web-based tactics may get Uganda's attention, but if retaliation on LGBT persons results from this, then what good is it? I know it sounds Polly Anna-ish, but if you are disturbed in the least by how Uganda treats its sexual minorities, then write an intelligent, diplomatic and polite letter to the these people and don't cede to them the moral high-ground. For this expressed purpose I created http://www.ugnadaurgentaction.com. There you will find all the active email addresses for Ugandan MPs and instruction on how you can direct your letter to them. And Cc: you MP and the Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs. It will only take you ten minutes and it could save lives.
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