The Internet has become an avenue for groups with a political agenda [Credit: Morguefile]
From the physical terrain to the virtual domain, references to places spell the difference between territories. This became apparent when a reference to Israel on Google maps prompted hackers to redirect Google Palestine's homepage to an anti-Israel website. A page showing Google's search box interface on Monday carried a statement protesting 'Uncle Google's' labeling. 'It would be revolution,' the hackers warned.
The statement linked to the site www.hackteach.org, which identifies itself as the 'Network wrath of Palestine 2013-2014.' It was signed by Dod, Hij@ker, alzher, Mr_AnarShi-T, and toxico-dz. The domain was suspended on Tuesday.
Google, however, clarified 'Google services in Palestine were not hacked.' As online users visit Google.com, they are led to their country's local domain. Ramy Kandil, a public relations executive for the company, maintained it was a problem with the DNS registry in Palestine. The issue has now been resolved.
The Internet company also caused tension in May when it changed its reference on the Palestinian Google homepage from 'Palestinian Territories' to 'Palestine.' The switch comes after the UN decision to recognise Palestine as a 'non-member observer state.' Other international agencies have since followed suit. It was welcomed by the Palestinian Authority, but criticised by Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin who said the move was a 'mistake.'
The Internet remains an avenue for hackers to convey their political agenda, as seen through DNS registry attacks and the defacement of government and media websites. Earlier this month, the Washington Post and New York Times were the subject of attacks claimed by the Syrian Electronic Army, with a second assault lodged against NY Times on Tuesday afternoon.
The SEA is known to support Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and to hijack the Twitter accounts of well-known media organisations.
Max Fisher of the Washington Post views the collective merely as 'pranksters' who only draw attention to the group without having any 'concrete goals.'
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