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Tokyo, Japan - The Anonymous global hacking collective has targeted the Narita International Airport of Japan in a powerful direct denial of service (DDoS) attack, which took the website offline Friday evening in to Saturday. The attack was in protest over the country’s arrest of dolphin activist Ric O’Barry as he entered the country. A DDoS attack overwhelms a site with traffic from various networks, with the intention of crashing the servers on which the website is hosted.

Ric O’Berry is the dolphin activist appearing in the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove,” which detailed the annual barbaric slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. The Taiji hunt lasts for six months, killing or capturing up to a quota of 1,873 animals last season alone. The annual slaughter continues to cause international outrage from animal rights advocates.

According to a report from Dolphin Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to stopping the global dolphin slaughter, O’Berry was detained by Japanese authorities upon his arrival at Tokyo’s Narita Airport. Japanese officials refused his entry into Japan, arresting and holding him at a deportee facility. The activist claims he has been repeatedly interrogated and not received proper nourishment during his detention by Japanese authorities.

“The Japanese government is cracking down on those who oppose their war on dolphins.” ~ says Ric O’Barry, through his son, Lincoln O’Barry. He continues, “I’m incarcerated on trumped-up charges, just like in Taiji last August. For the past 72 hours, I have been behind bars in a detention facility, yet I have broken no laws.”

Japanese authorities confirmed that the airport’s website was taken down in the attack, but claim that no flight operations were affected by the disruption. This is not the first time that the Anonymous hacker group has targeted Japan for attack as a result of the annual dolphin slaughter.

According to a report by Hackread:

In October, last year same Anonymous group had shut down Narita and Chubu International Airport websites against the slaughter of Dolphin and trade to aquariums.

In September, the same group of hackers took down the website of the town of Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture in protest of the town’s hunting of dolphins and storing them.

Hunting of dolphins has been protested by many activists around the world and taking down of websites is one of the ways they record their protest.

Anonymous has dedicated itself to protect animal rights around the world. In the past, the hacktivists went against X-Rated animal abuse websites and shut down world’s largest animal abuse forum.

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The Anonymous hacker behind the attack, in an exclusive conversation, told Hackread, “The attack on the Airport was done because they detained @RichardOBarry there and denied him into Japan because of the movie he made called ‘The Cove’ in 2009.”

In an effort to put pressure on the Japanese government to end the hunts, in 2010 conservation organization Sea Shepherd began sending “Cove Guardians” to document and record the slaughter. The Japanese government has responded to the increased attention by trying to ban those that would expose this heinous practice to people across the world from documenting the slaughter.

The Japanese government is cracking down on those who oppose their war on dolphins.” ~ Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director, Dolphin Project

According to a report by The Dodo:

Each year, 20,000 dolphins are slaughtered in Japan, hundreds of them in the Taiji hunt alone. The few who survive the blood-red waters are sold into captivity, fated to spend the rest of their lives cut off from family and performing at zoos and marine parks.

Some have attempted to justify the brutality using claims of cultural heritage and tradition. However, the mass killing, using dolphin drives, have only recently become a common occurrence.

The reality of the Taiji hunt is not an overarching cultural tradition, but rather a small group of local men generating large amounts of revenue from the murder of this extremely intelligent, and self-aware being.

The targeted website has since been restored, but the issue has once again garnered international attention thanks to the Anonymous collective.

Jay Syrmopoulos is a political analyst, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay's work has been published on Ben Swann's Truth in Media, Truth-Out, Raw Story, MintPress News, as well as many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.