Obama live stream unaffected despite Anonymous threats

The White House's live stream, along with one on YouTube, were not disrupted

Anonymous failed to disrupt the White House's online video stream of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

Obama speech was streamed live from the White House's website as well as YouTube. Neither stream appeared to experience serious problems during Obama's speech. The group also vowed to "hijack" a Twitter stream with the #sotu hashtag, Twitter did not appear to be disrupted, either.

Anonymous is a decentralized collective of activists that have targeted companies and governments over policies they find offensive with cyberattacks. Their campaigns have involved hacking websites and conducting distributed denial-of-service attacks, which jam websites with an overwhelming amount of traffic.

According to several messages on Twitter, it did appear that hackers successfully struck the website of a small organization based in Stuart, Florida, called the American Justice Foundation. The organization, which is not connected with the U.S. government, describes itself as a nonprofit dedicated to preserving "our God-given rights."

One page of the website had been vandalized and featured a graphic promoting the supposed attack on the State of the Union online stream saying "Anonymous is here" and that the battle royale for the internet would begin at 9 p.m. EST, when Obama was scheduled to speak.

In a statement on one of its websites, Anonymous said it was targeting Obama's address in protest of a White House plan to issue a cybersecurity executive order on Wednesday, as well as other causes, such as efforts by government to exert more control over the Internet.

"This action is being taken to underline a fact that appears to be sorely unrecognized by the Obama Administration -- that the internet is a sovereign territory and does not fall under the jurisdiction of any nation state," the group said.

Anonymous has also been a vocal supporter of WikiLeaks and of Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army soldier who is charged with leaking U.S. diplomatic cables to the whistle-blowing website.

Law enforcement have directed more attention towards hackers who participate in cyberattacks. An offshoot of Anonymous, called Lulz Security or "LulzSec," became inactive after some of its prominent members were arrested and charged in countries including the U.S. and U.K.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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Jeremy Kirk

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