Federal agents nabbed 14 people across the country Tuesday in connection with alleged attacks by the hacker group Anonymous against the websites of numerous corporations, in what looks to be the largest such roundup ever on U.S. soil. The attacks occurred after some of the companies had blocked the ability of whistle-blower organization WikiLeaks to receive financial donations.

Formal comments on Tuesday’s arrests from Anonymous members were not easily found, but the following defiant message appeared on the Twitter account of GroupAnon: “You can arrest us, but you cannot destroy us. We are an idea and ideas cannot be destroyed.” –ARK

Los Angeles Times:

In what it said was the largest sweep of Internet “hactivists” in the U.S., the FBI arrested 14 alleged members of hacker group Anonymous, which last fall took responsibility for knocking out the websites of several large companies.

The 14 people arrested, including two from Southern California, may be the first alleged members of Anonymous to be arrested by the FBI, said a law enforcement official not authorized to speak on the matter. The raids may also mark the first time that federal agents arrested individuals for cyber crimes that may have been committed as a form of political protest.

The arrests came as a result of a distributed denial of service attack — when attackers try to jam a company’s website by getting large numbers of computers to contact it at the same time — on PayPal Inc. late last year, federal officials said.

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