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Anonymous Petitions to Make DDoS a Legal Form of Protest

By , Wolfgang Gruener - Source: Slashdot | B 51 comments

Anonymous wants to make DDoSing a legal form of protest.

Hacktivist group Anonymous, known for hacking websites of high-profile organizations, is petitioning the U.S. government to make distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks a legal form of protest as protected by the First Amendment.

Anonymous is filing the petition on the grounds that DDoSing doesn't involve any illegal action, as it "is the equivalent of repeatedly hitting the refresh button on a webpage." The group believes equates DDoSing to be the digital version of an "occupy" protest, as DDoSing significantly slows or stops the flow of traffic to a site.

"As part of this petition, those who have been jailed for DDoS should be immediately released and have anything regarding a DDoS, that is on their 'records', cleared," it reads.

Thus so far, the petition has garnered a little over 2,000 of the 20,000 signatures that it needs to gain the attention of the Obama administration. The group has until February 6 to get the required number of signatures. Considering the popularity that Anonymous has had on the Internet, garnering over 80,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 800,000 followers on Twitter, the group should have no problem in getting the required amount of digital signatures.

However, considering the poor treatment that occupy protestors have experienced at the hands of law enforcement, and the recent attempts to police the Internet that the U.S. government has made with SOPA and PIPA (among other pieces of legislation), it seems highly unlikely that Anonymous's petition will get fair consideration.

The "We the people" page on the White House web site allows anyone to file an online petition. More successful recent petitions include virtually any topic affecting potential changes to U.S. gun laws and the fiscal debate, and almost 24,000 signatures on a petition that seeks to replace the Imperial system with the Metric system in the U.S.

 

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    mdahlke , January 12, 2013 6:23 AM
    Not even going to read the article...DDoS is not a form of protest, it's a dick move.
  • 17 Hide
    adbat , January 12, 2013 6:46 AM
    DDoS no - it can be preformed by one person or two people with there army of illegally acquired zombie army, or if they are lucky they just might have access to classroom full of PC'a with external IP's and good connections.
    But DoS attack where each "protester" can be accounted for just like in real protest I'm all for that I could take part in an protest like that.
  • 16 Hide
    derekullo , January 12, 2013 7:25 AM
    I don't see this ending well ...
Other Comments
    Display all 51 comments.
  • 12 Hide
    blazorthon , January 12, 2013 6:08 AM
    As much as I may not like a lot of companies, DDoS is still an outright attack on them rather than something like a boycott which is simply not using them. I don't see a reasonable way to legalize it.

    EDIT: Even if it gets legalized, there'd be no reason to release people jailed over it AFAIK. Just as you can't be charged with a crime for committing an act before it is made illegal, you shouldn't be able to get away with committing a crime just because it is legalized after you committed it.
  • 25 Hide
    mdahlke , January 12, 2013 6:23 AM
    Not even going to read the article...DDoS is not a form of protest, it's a dick move.
  • 10 Hide
    tanjo , January 12, 2013 6:34 AM
    Yeah, might as well build a concrete wall on building entrances/exits. Nothing illegal there. Same effect, too.
    /s
  • 17 Hide
    adbat , January 12, 2013 6:46 AM
    DDoS no - it can be preformed by one person or two people with there army of illegally acquired zombie army, or if they are lucky they just might have access to classroom full of PC'a with external IP's and good connections.
    But DoS attack where each "protester" can be accounted for just like in real protest I'm all for that I could take part in an protest like that.
  • 16 Hide
    derekullo , January 12, 2013 7:25 AM
    I don't see this ending well ...
  • 1 Hide
    vaughn2k , January 12, 2013 7:36 AM
    Grow up guys...
  • 0 Hide
    casualcolors , January 12, 2013 8:05 AM
    We're still pretending like these guys are news-worthy? Every time one of them is publicly outed, they not so surprisingly end up being a lonely middle-aged walking stereotype. Embarrassing, really.
  • -2 Hide
    abbadon_34 , January 12, 2013 8:14 AM
    First, this is not the way to do it. You have to file a lawsuit, not politely ask Obama to comment. Second, good luck, DDoS has cause real monetary damages and can't be considered free speech. The flaw in their arguement isn't that is has the same effect as hitting refresh, but that it's INTENT is cause a problem, not to mention they are close to being labeled a terrorist group but they THREATEN before doing this.

    Not that I don't agree with some of their causes, but this is waste of time.
  • 0 Hide
    spectrewind , January 12, 2013 8:33 AM
    blazorthonAs much as I may not like a lot of companies, DDoS is still an outright attack on them rather than something like a boycott which is simply not using them. I don't see a reasonable way to legalize it.EDIT: Even if it gets legalized, there'd be no reason to release people jailed over it AFAIK. Just as you can't be charged with a crime for committing an act before it is made illegal, you shouldn't be able to get away with committing a crime just because it is legalized after you committed it.


    It won't be.
  • 6 Hide
    spectrewind , January 12, 2013 8:37 AM
    As far as I know, a petition has to be filed by *someone*.
    A summons generated that a respondent must react to.
    No longer anonymous at this point? My logic is flawed....?
  • 5 Hide
    Gundam288 , January 12, 2013 8:48 AM
    spectrewindAs far as I know, a petition has to be filed by *someone*.A summons generated that a respondent must react to.No longer anonymous at this point? My logic is flawed....?

    John Smith, John Doe, Jane Doe, etc. still an unknown person in my book.
  • 1 Hide
    JJ1217 , January 12, 2013 8:49 AM
    lol
  • 9 Hide
    techcurious , January 12, 2013 8:51 AM
    Ya ok.. If the DDoS was performed by means of thousands of people hitting refresh on their browsers at the same time, I would agree. But the way they do it is more like 4 guys hiring thousands of people to block a street, which I suspect would be illegal too..
  • 8 Hide
    -Jackson , January 12, 2013 8:56 AM
    Meh, if legal corruption (aka, Lobbying) is possible, I don't see why the heck not this can't be.
  • 4 Hide
    tpi2007 , January 12, 2013 8:58 AM
    blazorthonEDIT: Even if it gets legalized, there'd be no reason to release people jailed over it AFAIK. Just as you can't be charged with a crime for committing an act before it is made illegal, you shouldn't be able to get away with committing a crime just because it is legalized after you committed it.



    Actually logic says otherwise and so does the law in probably every civilized country.

    If an action is no longer deemed to deserve such a severe punishment as being considered a crime, then there is no longer a legal basis or moral justification (because the behaviour is no longer considered to deserve such a punishment - this is especially obvious in those cases of laws that are obsolete and that are still applied from time to time, even though the majority of the people think the law is wrong, and then when the law is abolished, everybody still doing time is released) to continue to punish someone for something that is not currently regarded as deserving jail time, it's a matter of being fair and treating people equally, and as such anybody doing time for such a behaviour has to be released immediately as soon as the law goes into effect, otherwise you are not treating people in an equal manner. And by equality I mean this: if someone still doing time in jail for such a behaviour is left in jail to do the whole time, he would be treated unequally compared to someone who, in the free world, does the exact same thing but does not go to jail anymore.

    Having said this, and talking about the subject of the news, I don't think this will result in anything. This is akin to a blocking of a physical location, a building, for example, or a demonstration that blocks roads. If you make a requirement to the local government, such a demonstration may be authorised (like in strikes and subsequent demonstrations in the streets, provided the authorities take security measures for the safety of everybody (police, ambulances, etc), the general public is informed in advance, so they can plan another route, etc), but if the requirement isn't made or if it's not authorised, then, to the authorities, it is still illegal.
  • 0 Hide
    fudoka711 , January 12, 2013 9:42 AM
    "considering the poor treatment that occupy protestors have experienced at the hands of law enforcement"

    These occupy protesters (*cough* Oakland) don't realize the poor treatment the people have received at the hands of these occupiers.

    And DDoSing is still just a form of harrassment. Also, by making a website, or multiple websites unusable - what does it actually accomplish. Again, it just makes it bad for the rest of us.
  • 1 Hide
    billgatez , January 12, 2013 9:52 AM
    Good luck trying to get this passed.
  • 0 Hide
    demonhorde665 , January 12, 2013 10:18 AM
    techcuriousYa ok.. If the DDoS was performed by means of thousands of people hitting refresh on their browsers at the same time, I would agree. But the way they do it is more like 4 guys hiring thousands of people to block a street, which I suspect would be illegal too..



    actually both by their very nature are illegal as they interfere with other people's rights to use said buisness /street or internet service . i hope these guys go stuff their head in a toilet and drown already , i hate this hacktivist group
  • -1 Hide
    LORD_ORION , January 12, 2013 11:30 AM
    DDoSing... definitely less annoying than blocking real traffic in the streets?

    Also whatever happened to DRDoSing?
  • -3 Hide
    hedwar2011 , January 12, 2013 11:33 AM
    Let's see if I can go ahead and find the right words for this....


    NO!
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