According to the latest Edward Snowden leaks, GCHQ disrupted 'hacktivist' communications by using one of their own techniques against them.
Documents from the whistle-blower show UK cyber spies used a denial of service attack in 2011 to shut down a chat room used by the Anonymous group.
Dr Stephen Murdoch, a security researcher at the University of Cambridge expressed his concern about using a denial of service attack to overwhelm a computer server, stating that it could risk disrupting other services.
He said: "It's quite possible that the server was used for other purposes which would have been entirely unrelated to Anonymous.
"It's also likely that most of the chat that was going on about Anonymous was not to do with hacking because the people who join Anonymous are fairly wide-ranging in what they think it is legitimate to do.
"Some have gone into criminality but many others just go out and organise protests, letter-writing campaigns and other things that are not criminal."
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