Hacker group Anonymous said late Wednesday that its Antisec movement hacked and defaced Turkish government websites, in protest against new Internet filtering rules that come into force in the country in August.
The group said it released data from about 100 websites in Turkey, and put up its logo and message on some 74 websites, criticizing what it described as greater control over the Internet in Turkey, including blocks on thousands of websites and blogs.
The websites on the list included medical-related sites such as that of a children's hospital, but did not appear to include websites of key government ministries. Websites like those of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Interior were unaffected.
The hacks released are part of a "Turkish Takedown Thursday" action planned by the group. Its Antisec program, started in June with the now disbanded hacker group LulzSec, targets governments, law enforcement, and corporations.
Turks took to the streets in May to protest against the new filtering scheme, which plans to introduce four levels of filtering - family, children, domestic, or standard - for Internet users by August 22. While protestors describe the rules as mandatory, the government has said they are optional filters for the protection of families.
Anonymous last month launched DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks on some Turkish government websites in protest against the proposed filtering rules. Among the sites that were attacked were that of the Internet regulator, Telekomünikasyon İletişim Başkanlığı. This site was not affected on Wednesday.
Turkey responded last month by arresting 32 persons said to be involved in the attacks on the government sites.
Earlier this week, police arrested 15 people in Italy for their alleged involvement in Anonymous attacks, according to reports.
The hacker group is also up against other groups, some of them intent on exposing the identities of Anonymous and LulzSec hackers. A group called TeaMp0isoN released on Wednesday what it said was the personal information of some of the hackers, including Sabu, a prominent LulzSec hacker who is now part of Antisec.