The group of hackers known as Anonymous issued a press release last night announcing their intent to hack and take down the official website for Formula One at formulaone.com for the duration of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Their reason? To protest the increasingly violent crackdown on the people of Bahrain by their own government.
formualone.com was shut down as promised and another website, F1-racers.net, is displaying a message from Anonymous that claims responsibility.
In its press release, Anonymous addresses Bernie Eccelstone, president and CEO of Formula One, directly, promising the following.
Anonymous will turn your web site (www.formula1.com) into a smoking crater in cyber space. We will also jam your phone lines, bomb your E-Mail inboxes - and wreck anything else of yours we can find on the internet.
The group also calls upon fans of F1 to ignore the race by either not attending in person or watching it on television. They also appeal to the drivers themselves to protest the race by not crossing the starting line at the beginning of the race.
Last year's Bahrain Grand Prix was cancelled due to civil unrest, and despite the increasing frequency of protests and severity of their crackdown leading up to this weekend's race, it has not yet been cancelled. As a result, activists, now including the Anonymous group, are using the motorsport's worldwide popularity to gain attention for their cause.