Anonymous temporarily shut down the government website for Wakayama Prefecture, where the dolphin slaughter-ground Taiji Cove is located. Taiji Cove and the dolphin slaughter was profiled in the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove, (director Louie Psihoyos was guest on FDL Movie Night).  The site was offline for about 20 minutes.

According to Discovery.com,

Over the weekend, about 500 dolphins were corralled into a netted area, including a rare albino calf.

Some dolphins are captured  for marine park shows, but more are slaughtered for food. U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and singer activist Yoko Ono both spoke out strongly against the continued decimation at Taiji Cove, but to no avail. The local fishermen claim their slaughter of dolphins is a ancient tradition; however,

In a statement to Candace Calloway Whiting of Seattle PI, Sakae Hemmi of the Elsa Nature Conservancy in Japan said the claim of tradition is false.

“In fact, the history of dolphin hunting in Taiji is short. According to The History of Taiji, edited and published by Taiji town in 1979, the first recorded dolphin drive was in 1933, with subsequent hunts occurring in 1936 and 1944. It was not until 1969 that dolphin drives have been conducted on a large scale. The history of the dolphin drives spans not so-called 400 years, but a mere 45. Furthermore, in 1969, the main goal of the dolphin drive was to capture pilot whales as prized showpieces for the Taiji Whale Museum. In other words, the dolphin drive was purely for profit, having nothing to do with cultural history.”

Anonymous vows to be back February 9th with another attack on the Wakayama Prefecture website. But really, who looks at the prefecture’s website? But the shutdown made the news in Japan where the Japan Daily Press reported:

The tweet from the group said that is “allowing the Taiji Prefecture Website to breath again! That was another Warning Japan! Expect us February 9th #OpKillingBay,” suggesting that the previous hacking of the website was just a “warning” to local officials to put pressure on the ending of the dolphin hunt. The same tweet also hinted of other possible attacks if their protest was not heeded.

Meanwhile actress and Project Runway All Stars hostess Alyssa Milano is charmed by Anonymous, so much so that she has created a graphic novel based on the hacktivists, telling LAist:

I became obsessed with the role social media was playing in social issues throughout the world and how it was being used as a tool to get people motivated and basically organize for these protests all over the world. I then became obsessed with Anonymous and what they were doing and how hacking seemed to be its own type of warfare—sort of the freedom movement of the computer world where they were really trying to do what they could possibly do to make the world a better place in their view.

Milano explained that

she came up with the idea for the book by asking: what if Anonymous was really just one guy using the group as a front? He would have to be a coder, well-read on social issues, compassionate and passionate about social topics. Milano decided the leader would be based on Twitter founder Jack Dorsey; he also happens to be a real-life friend of her family.

The team, which has finished writing four issues, includes artist Marcus To ( monthly Batwing artist for DC Comics)  and writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, and Milano is very involved with the series which is out on Archaia Black Label.