As a result of their unwavering support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), the UFC’s main website was hacked and redirected to the URL UGNazi.com – a SOPA/PIPA protest site – earlier this week.
Ever combative, UFC president Dana White egged the hackers on, assuring worried UFC.com users that their sensitive information was safe, while at the same time inviting people he described as “f***ing geniuses” with the ability to crack government websites to take another swing.
White made the media rounds yesterday as part of promotion for UFC on Fox 2: Evans vs Davis and issued a direct challenge to the hackers, telling them to “do it again. Do it tonight.” Speaking with MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani and after accusing the media of being terrified of the internet and asserting that he’s not, White stirred the pot further.
“I’m not afraid of the internet, its’ a place where cowards live,” he said. “The way that this whole thing has gone down – them hacking our site was the best thing they could have ever done for us. Because, what that does – now you look like terrorists and now a lot of people that were afraid of you, now hate you.”
In the same interview, White admitted that SOPA and PIPA may not be perfect bills, but that he maintains his support because he thinks stealing is wrong, whether it’s done virtually or otherwise. He also warned the bills’ protestors that they may have given the bill new life through their actions.
“All these hackers and all these guys that want to act f*****g cool and think they’re f*****g funny, you guys just flipped the switch and believe me I have a lot more information on what’s going on than you do,” he said. “This bill that looked like it was going to be dead, you might have brought it back to life.”
Last night, the hacker cell Anonymous – who’ve successfully targeted such large entities as Bank of America, NATO, Stratfor Global Intelligence and many more – contacted White through Twitter and defended themselves.
@danawhite tell that to the freedom fighters in Syria (and in many other countries) who, if their names were known, they’d be murdered. @danawhite your characterization of anonymous persons betrays a gross ignorance of government reprisals. I propose an MMA fight between Anonymous and @danawhite … Our martial art: the internet.
Hi. My name is @danawhite and I support any law that would take away your freedoms in order to protect my precious videos.
Shortly thereafter, much of White’s own sensitive personal information – like his alleged Social Security number, known addresses, criminal record, credit report and much more – were leaked, the UFC website was hacked more intensively and defaced with Anonymous’ trademark images, featuring the titular character from Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta, and several files allegedly taken from within the UFC’s networks.
Unfortunately, it’s looking like things will continue to escalate from here, as both sides appear to have dug in their heels. With White continuing to brush Anonymous off and taunt them, the hacker cell has announced #OpUFC, a campaign against the promotion and those within who would support SOPA/PIPA.