Hackers Protest Hawaii’s Thirty Meter Telescope by Attacking Website

There is still a lot of furor over the Thirty Meter Telescope and how Hawaii officials approved its construction on historic Mauna Kea. And that was proved Sunday, when hackers had taken down the telescope’s official website.

The group Operation Green Rights, which has affiliations with notorious hacktivist group Anonymous, claimed responsibility for the attack, that had disabled the TMT website for several hours. In addition to the TMT portal, the hackers also claimed responsibility for a similar distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the state of Hawaii’s website. “Nothing will ever justify the destruction of ecosystems; filthy money can never replace them,” said Operation Green Rights in a statement published on its website. “Stand with the Hawaiian natives against #TMT.”

Dating back to the ‘90s, Hawaii natives were up in arms against the TMT project, even when it was still being conceptualized. This is because of the sacred and historic nature of Mauna Kea, a dormant 13,759-foot volcano located on the island of Hawaii, the largest island in the state of the same name. Additionally, environmentalist groups have expressed concern that TMT’s construction would prove disastrous to Mauna Kea’s ecosystem.

Despite the protests, including one held last October during TMT’s groundbreaking ceremony, the project’s administrators claim that the telescope site will be a “zero waste discharge facility,” and shouldn’t pose any risk to the environment. But these protests appear to have worked in a way – the project is still good to go, but Hawaii officials had recently temporarily put a halt to TMT’s construction.