Anonymous Petitions to Make DDoS 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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  • mdahlke
    Not even going to read the article...DDoS is not a form of protest, it's a dick move.
  • adbat
    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.
  • derekullo
    I don't see this ending well ...
  • Other Comments
  • blazorthon
    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.
  • mdahlke
    Not even going to read the article...DDoS is not a form of protest, it's a dick move.
  • tanjo
    Yeah, might as well build a concrete wall on building entrances/exits. Nothing illegal there. Same effect, too.