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Tuesday, 30 November, 1999, 16:58 GMT
'Hippies' declare web war on WTO
site Sit-in protest: Electrohippies hope for mass action

Internet activists have launched a "virtual sit-in" to block websites carrying information on World Trade Organisation talks.

The seven-strong UK-based activists, operating under the title of the Electrohippies, have developed a website to allow people around the world to protest against the WTO, which begins a fresh round of talks in Seattle on Tuesday.

Spokesman Paul Mobbs, an independent environmental consultant from Banbury, Oxfordshire, said: "The internet is a military experiment that the state has lost control of.

"Today we can use the power of that system for people all over the world to join together and protest about the insane policies being developed by the political elite and global corporations."

The action is intended as the start of an ongoing campaign against government, security and commercial databases in Britain.


The internet is a military experiment that the state has lost control of
Electrohippy Paul Mobbs
In the "virtual sit-in" campaigners can occupy the so-called gateway to the WTO's web servers.

"In this way we hope to block the flow of information from the conference," the Electrohippies said in a statement.

The protest web pages were uploaded onto the site at 0001 GMT on Tuesday, with action from 1600 GMT and running until 5 December.

'Self publicity'

But the group urged people to concentrate their sit-in action around 1800 GMT on 3 December.

The Electrohippies claim their attack will target three WTO websites, - the main site, the conference site and the webcast site.

Mr Mobbs said that at least 5,000 people would have to be involved in the action for a concentrated period of 30 seconds.

kosovo Kosovo: Belgrade hackers attacked Nato website
The plan was attacked by hackers' collective Hippies From Hell who accused the Electrohippies of "indulging in self-publicity".

"They are certainly not striking any kind of blow for freedom. Instead they are inviting governments everywhere to bring in new measures to abolish private communications in cyberspace."

Similar tactics were used during the Kosovo conflict when the Nato website was assaulted by hackers from Belgrade, the Yugoslav capital.

The result only meant that accessing Nato's website was made more difficult.

At the same time, a group of hackers, working under the name MacroHard Group, attacked a site called World-Albania.com, replacing the site's information with a link to a banned Belgrade radio station.

Earlier this month the Taiwan government and the cult Falun Gong claimed the Chinese People's Liberation Army attacked its web pages with pro-Beijing propaganda.

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See also:
30 Nov 99 |  UK
Police monitor London demo
24 Oct 98 |  Sci/Tech
Net warfare over Kosovo
26 Nov 99 |  UK
Online activists plan global protest
30 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
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06 Sep 99 |  e-cyclopedia
Cracking: Hackers turn nasty
24 Oct 98 |  Monitoring
Cyberwarfare breaks out on internet

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