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US shuts down Guantanamo Wi-Fi in response to Anonymous threats

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Military describes decision as a precautionary move against hacktivist group

guantanamo bay (wikimedia)
guantanamo bay (wikimedia)

The US military has shut down Wi-Fi access at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, after receiving threats from the hacktivist collective Anonymous. Army Lt. Col. Samuel House confirmed the move Monday, telling the Associated Press that wireless internet service was shuttered as a precautionary move, and that access to Facebook and Twitter through military networks has also been cut off.

Threats of disruption prompt action

Last week, Anonymous threatened to "disrupt activities" at the controversial detention camp as part of its #OpGITMO campaign. The group launched the campaign in protest of the treatment and allegedly wrongful detainment of Guantanamo prisoners. The effort is also a show of solidarity with prisoners held at the base, many of whom have gone on hunger strike. As the AP reports, 103 of the 166 inmates held at Guantanamo have gone on hunger strike as part of a protest against their living conditions and prolonged detainment.

The nature of Anonymous' threats remain unclear, with the group describing #OpGITMO as an effort to raise awareness of the prisoners' conditions through social media. Anonymous has urged its followers to "phonebomb" political leaders with questions about Guantanamo, posting telephone numbers for the White House and the US Department of Defense. Thus far, no disruptions of internet service have been reported at Guantanamo, and it's not clear how long the base's Wi-Fi services will remain shuttered.