HACKTIVIST COLLECTIVE Anonymous has reportedly knocked the Virgin Media web site offline in what's believed to be retaliation against the network's blocking of The Pirate Bay.
Virgin Media was the first UK internet service provider (ISP) to block access to The Pirate Bay after a court order was issued at the end of April, in a move that led to an outcry among digital activists claiming the order represented the next stage of internet censorship.
Writing on the @AnonymousUK Twitter account, the group claimed to have taken down the web site.
Virgin Media confirmed that its web site had been hit by an attack and is offline as a result, and that Anonymous was claiming credit for the attack.
"Our website has been the subject of denial of service attacks so we've taken the site offline for a short period of time," a spokesperson said. "We're aware some groups are claiming the attacks are a result of the recent High Court order which requires ISPs to prevent access to the Pirate Bay."
Under the ruling the other UK ISPs Sky, Everything Everywhere, Talk Talk and O2 must also block access to The Pirate Bay web site, although at present none have done so yet.
The High Court decision to hand down the blocking order was slammed by digital activists, with Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group claiming it would lead to a repressive internet regime.
"Internet censorship is growing in scope and becoming easier. Yet it never has the effect desired. It simply turns criminals into heroes," he said at the time. µ