Over the weekend, the Texas Republican Party website was hacked by unconfirmed sources. As of now, the primary suspect is the hacker group Anonymous, whose claim to fame is replacing hacked pages with pop culture blips and memes. In this case, the website had direct links to Anonymous Twitter pages and even ‘rick-rolled’ visitors with Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
Texas GOP regained access to the page URL as of Monday. The rest of the page is still dark. The hack was assumed to be in protest of the Texas Republican Party’s support of the new anti-abortion act. The Heartbeat Act, which went into effect September 1st, banned abortions past six weeks or if there was any observable heartbeat. Anonymous’s stance was confirmed when they added a heading to the page claiming that the Republicans were “jeopardizing women’s rights.” The archive of the page officially states, “Texas: Taking voices from women to promote theocratic erosion of church/state barriers.”
“Operation Jane” was a campaign set up by Anonymous, which targets websites the hacking group deems as threatening to women’s rights. The operation began after the September 1st Heartbeat Bill. The hacking of the GOP website appears to be another attack under the “Operation Jane” movement.
Anonymous’s act was initiated on the weekend of 9/11 remembrance. Texas GOP is asking for donations to up the cybersecurity of their page. Anonymous seemed to have support from pro-abortion activists, who praised the organization for taking action. Chairman of the Texas Republican Party Matt Rinaldi stated, “We will be increasing security and appreciate the hackers providing us with a fundraising opportunity—funds we will use to promote even more robust Pro-Life legislation in Texas.”