A group of hackers has attacked the Italian government website in protest against media freedom curbs, Italian media said on Monday.
The hackers responsible were a group called Anonymous, who are thought to be 1,500 to 2,000-strong. Their cyber attack was dubbed Operation Italy, and was in protest at Italy's "Internet censorship, unfair trials, support for underage prostitution, shady mafia ties, the abuse of power and media freedom curbs," La Republicca cited the group as saying.
Access to the www.governo.it website was blocked on Sunday afternoon, but is now operating normally.
The cyber attack came after a Wikileaks-unveiled cable from the U.S. embassy in Rome, describing a new Italian media law as "troubling, as it appears to have been written to give the government enough leeway to block or censor any Internet content."
"We do not love violence, we do not want war, we are not trying to trigger disturbances. We are modest and numerous defenders of the freedom of expression," Anonymous said.
Anonymous in December targeted MasterCard, Visa, Pay Pal and other companies who had frozen ties with Wikileaks.
A number of protests against Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are taking place throughout Italy. On Sunday, Milan police dispersed demonstrators gathered outside Berlusconi's villa. Protestors were calling on the premier to resign over his "authoritarian" policy towards the media and alleged liaisons with underage prostitutes.
ROME, February 7 (RIA Novosti)