Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Security United States Idle

Anonymous Files Petition To Make DDoS Legal Form of Protest 323

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-us-break-stuff dept.
hypnosec writes "Anonymous has filed a petition with the U.S. Government asking the Obama administration to make Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks a legal form of protest. Anonymous has argued that because of advancements in internet technology, there is a need for new ways of protest. The hacking collective doesn't consider DDoS as a form of attack and equates it to hitting the 'refresh' button on a webpage. Comparing these attacks to the 'occupy' protests, Anonymous notes that instead of people occupying an area, it is their computers occupying a website for a particular period of time."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Anonymous Files Petition To Make DDoS Legal Form of Protest

Comments Filter:
  • Mannequin Attack (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dittbub (2425592) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @08:44PM (#42553099)
    I think I could agree that hitting refresh over and over again on a website would be a valid form of protest. But wouldn't having a program do it for you be like using mannequins to occupy wallstreet?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      we would, only we lack mannequins that can shout 99% and walk over a bridge

    • Re:Mannequin Attack (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:25PM (#42553473)
      My favorite are the meatspace DDoS attacks. There was one in Dallas where the protesters went to a busy intersection, and walked around in circles around the intersection, obeying traffic laws, but the extra time for walk signals disrupted traffic timing, and everyone got a chance to stop and see the signs. There are lots of things people can do in meatspace that get in people's way that are explicitly legal. We just don't do it because we fear the law.
      • by Dahamma (304068)

        Not sure how effective that is in many big cities... try it in downtown Manhattan and no one would even notice because there are ALWAYS people crossing the street.

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          You pick intersections that are important, but not otherwise full of people. Yes, cities with good public transport get lots of walkers, so that rules out, what, 2,3 cities in the US?
      • by Waccoon (1186667) on Friday January 11, 2013 @06:23AM (#42556025)

        the extra time for walk signals

        Wait... you mean those little buttons on the walk signal poles actually do something after all?

    • by marciot (598356)

      I think I could agree that hitting refresh over and over again on a website would be a valid form of protest.
      But wouldn't having a program do it for you be like using mannequins to occupy wallstreet?

      Well, since most DDoS attacks use a botnet, it would actually be a lot like using a subliminal radio broadcast to hypnotize millions of people into showing up at a protest without their knowledge.

      Yeah, this ought to be legal...

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        The 'botnet' would still be criminal act and subject to full prosecution and considering the size of 'botnets' that's quite a few repeat offences and hence a real larger penalty will be applicable. The individual right of protest, not individual, is a very important part of any democracy, the attempt steal away this right in the vain attempt to feed the insatiable greed of corporations is the real crime that should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      wouldn't having a program do it for you be like using mannequins to occupy wallstreet?

      No, it would be like manufacturing a bunch of frankenstein's monsters, machines, programmed with only one goal in mind: hurt, disrupt, block.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      That hit close to home -- someone in Anonymous is an old Quake player that was familiar with my ancient, long-defunct site. I often joked about a DoS by repeatedly hitting the refresh button on a 33.3 modem there.

      And when I made fun of a group of hackers (I was the Don Rickles of the Quake universe) they hacked my site and removed a picture of some Down's Syndrome kids I'd illustrated a story about them with. I'll bet I got more lulz from them hacking me than they did!

      But actually, if you had a DDoS that wa

    • Shouting is a form of protest, how do you feel about a megaphone?

      How would you feel about Opera's automatic page refresh option?

      Hitting the key with some kind of mechanism for easy repetition?

      If you believe a healthy society should have a way for people to demonstrate, to protest, you got to accept that this can only be done if they can be an inconvenience to someone. If all protests had to be done in some remote field where nobody is bothered by it, protests would be meaningless.

      One of the best ways to

      • by dittbub (2425592) on Friday January 11, 2013 @03:03AM (#42555367)
        I am not against protests... In fact I highly respect someone for sacrificing their time and comfort, or sacrificing their health and freedom, for a worthy cause. It convinces ME that they really believe in their cause and maybe I and others should listen. Yeah real people can shut down service to a store or whatever by protesting in the way and forcing people to see them. But a single person can shut down a store in other ways too like with bomb threats. Do the ends justify the means? Is a DDoS attack really like protest at all!?? I don't think so. I don't see any human connection and what does it force people to see? Why should I pay attention to them when they do it in comfort and out of public view. If they can do it easily with no sacrifice of their own that I can see how can i tell if they are protesting or pranking?
  • Not going to fly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cryacin (657549) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @08:44PM (#42553101)
    The whole idea of the traditional protest is that people had to stand in a particular area to create problems for wherever they were standing. The limiting factor is that it requires people's time.

    Having a fleet of computers continually access a site does not occupy people's time, but rather is an automated process, which is not a form of individual protest. I would imagine that having people hit websites manually, and pressing the refresh button cannot be classed as a DDos attack, and if it were, then they would likely be protected by the right to protest.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The website is also an automated process. It is a battle of wills between computers. Not as good as a sit-in, but certainly not violent.

      Framing it as a parallel to a sit-in does make it sound quite legitimate.

      Requiring a non-automated process to refresh an automated website wouldn't do a whole lot, even with a drinking bird pressing the key. It is safe to assume they are using an automated system, but is there any proof? Is the speed of the DDoS action proof of automation?

      • by Cryacin (657549)
        As it would likely be a constitutional defence, I would imagine that it would be up to the defendant to prove that they didn't follow an automated process.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:03PM (#42553283)

      The difference is that, things you can effectively protest by physically being in a given space are effective for the reason that your presence blocks *other humans* from doing something. That is to say, there's an equality between what is being blocked and the means used to block it.

      But in the case of pressing a refresh button: there is no human at the other end of the network whose work is blocked by you clicking refresh. Your protest is up against an automated process. When protesting by "occupying" a website, there is no longer a level of equality between the humans doing the protesting and the automated processes they're trying to obstruct. Using automated proceses for the protest levels the playing field.

      • by multimediavt (965608) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:56PM (#42553749)

        The difference is that, things you can effectively protest by physically being in a given space are effective for the reason that your presence blocks *other humans* from doing something. That is to say, there's an equality between what is being blocked and the means used to block it.

        But in the case of pressing a refresh button: there is no human at the other end of the network whose work is blocked by you clicking refresh. Your protest is up against an automated process. When protesting by "occupying" a website, there is no longer a level of equality between the humans doing the protesting and the automated processes they're trying to obstruct. Using automated proceses for the protest levels the playing field.

        See, I was wondering how they were going to draw a physical parallel to what they were doing that *WAS* a legal form of protest. The closest I could think of was a union mob blocking the entrance to a business, BUT that is illegal. You cannot legally protest by obstructing right of way (without a permit). Right of way also includes the entrance of a business to a road front in most states, [wisconsin.gov] for instance. So blocking where cars and trucks enter a property would be illegal. By blocking all/any IP traffic to a machine connected to the Internet wouldn't you be violating "virtual" rights of way and thereby be acting illegally in the same sense as the union mob?

        • See, I was wondering how they were going to draw a physical parallel to what they were doing that *WAS* a legal form of protest.

          As far as I can tell, the Greensboro Sit-Ins [sitins.com] were legal.

          The closest I could think of was a union mob blocking the entrance to a business, BUT that is illegal.

          I believe that is illegal because of the national labor relations act, which does not apply to non-employees.

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:24PM (#42553461) Journal

      The whole idea of the traditional protest is that people had to stand in a particular area to create problems for wherever they were standing.

      And very often it is not legal, either. The whole point of civil disobedience is that you're willing to break the law and face the consequences rather than comply with something you feel is morally wrong.

    • The whole idea of the traditional protest is that people had to stand in a particular area to create problems for wherever they were standing. The limiting factor is that it requires people's time.

      Right, because the idea behind striking should apply to a company that doesn't operate in a location where you can physically protest. The limiting factor here is bandwidth and processing power, and that's all that is being consumed on both ends.

      • So then... what... if I don't like your business I can hold a 30 day protect and DDoS your site? The thing with regular protests is that there is a point in which people lose interest and go home (generally). It takes a lot longer to get tired of a little bit of computer power being used to hit a site.

        The thing that differentiates real world protests is that you have to care about an issue. You have to be willing to take time out of your day, or take time off of work or whatever in order to exercise yo

        • So then... what... if I don't like your business I can hold a 30 day protect and DDoS your site? The thing with regular protests is that there is a point in which people lose interest and go home (generally). It takes a lot longer to get tired of a little bit of computer power being used to hit a site.

          The thing that differentiates real world protests is that you have to care about an issue. You have to be willing to take time out of your day, or take time off of work or whatever in order to exercise your right to protest. Make DDoS a legal form of protest means that there is almost zero barrier to entry and people could potentially protest over things they don't really care about that much.

          I get your point about the possible need for a way to protest organizations that don't have a physically accessible spot, but I don't think that this is the answer.

          In both cases, the observable fact is that time and resources are spent to deny access to other time and resources.

          Your argument reminds me of the man who offers a woman $1,000,000 to sleep with him. She says yes, to which he replies how about fifty dollars, instead? She then says I am not a prostitute, what sort of woman do you think I am, offering me fifty dollars? ... to which he says we've established what type of woman you are, we're just haggling over price.

          In other words, you are correct in all yo

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      Yeah, I'd think of it more like: it's legal to walk into an office lobby and talk to the receptionist. But it's not legal to stay in the office lobby harassing the receptionist after they have asked you to leave. That becomes trespassing an/or harassment.

    • by vux984 (928602)

      The limiting factor is that it requires people's time.

      Playing the devil's advocate here: the limiting factor of surveillance used to be that it required peoples time. Then they automated it. Now we have cameras everywhere in public recording everything. And they told -us- that it didn't violate our privacy and that it was the same thing.

      So I kind of think the turnaround is fair play.

      On the other hand aren't most effective DDoS attacks run by botnets... meaning the resources being used to conduct the 'protes

    • I was under the impression that protests were not supposed to disrupt people and businesses. I was under the impression that 1 or 5 peole could not stand in front of a Mcdonalds doorway and protest by not allowing an customers in. I was under the impression that sure a crowd could accidentally slow down business, it could not intentionally make it impossible for citizens to do legal activities, and could simply get their message across with words, signs, and obvious passion.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      and if it were, then they would likely be protected by the right to protest.

      Then how about an army of people visiting a web page, with a javascript "button" that they are encouraged to repeatedly click on, with each click generating a series of 500 to 1000 HTTP requests within a couple seconds.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 10, 2013 @08:47PM (#42553113)

    I am in a state of super-position. Attempting to quantify me causes me to collapse to an observable state in this reality. I am Anonymous Quantum.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This site claims to hate censorship, but it fawns over a group that protests against people it doesn't like by crashing their websites so that nobody can hear their free speech.

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 10, 2013 @08:49PM (#42553133)

    I work for a small hosting/cloud provider, and from experience, I can say that this is a form of attack. It can't be controlled is the worst problem, and it starts affecting many other people who are not involved in the 'protest', who just happen to be on the same shared server, cloud, or data center. Also, as for any argument that such an outcome would be the point of a 'protest', to raise awareness, but the problem is that most people affected by it wouldn't know anything about the source of the attack. Overall, a dDoS should not be a protected option in any form or for any reason. It is way too blunt, and as we build more onto the Web, it can become dangerous or even life-threatening to allow these attacks. It could be the same as allowing people to attack power stations or plants, which is certainly a crime(bordering on terrorism in this day).

    • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

      by macraig (621737) <mark@a@craig.gmail@com> on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:00PM (#42553257)

      What you've described is no different than the collateral social cost of traditional wage strikes and other peaceful denial-of-access protests. Is that collateral social cost so great that it justifies criminalizing the protests? That is what you are advocating.

      • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DeSigna (522207) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @10:45PM (#42554107)

        Consider:

        Striking: a combination of denying your services (and only yours) to an employer with (usually) highly visible protests and PR to get the reasons for the strike out to the general public, thus gaining their support and pressuring politicians. In most locations, it is illegal to actively interfere with the employers' ability to do business beyond withdrawing your own labour and expertise - blocking access to sites, harassing customers, etc will probably attract police attention. If a group of other people decide to do the same, they've done it under their own steam and should not be coerced to do so.

        DDoS: actively suppressing the target's ability to communicate and do business with very little cost or effort, and a high potential for serious collateral damage to the operations of completely unrelated individuals and businesses along the way. In some rare instances individual participants may volunteer their resources to the DDoS, but much more often a lot of traffic is coming from compromised systems. DDoS and systems intrusion are both already criminalised actions.

        I'm 100% for the ability to protest or strike - I've done my share in the past. I'm 100% against bored kids getting their mates together to smash small websites into gravel "for the lulz".

        You can argue that it'll only be used as a responsible form of protest against those that deserve it, at which time my eyebrows will climb my forehead and burrow under my hairline. The amount of effort required to "protest" is much too small, the relative damage against small operations and individuals far out of proportion. If we would like to see spam outfits "protesting" against Spamhaus' DNSBL resolvers, pro-X advocates "protesting" against the blogs of their pro-Y opponents, kids targetting the local donut shop because they're bored and want to give them a huge bandwidth bill, sure, lets allow legal DDoS. Perhaps we could allow governments to set rules on what constitutes "fair protest" to solve this problem? I'm not really warming to that idea either.

  • by Q-Hack! (37846) * on Thursday January 10, 2013 @08:50PM (#42553135)

    I think Anonymous is missing the concept a bit here. You can protest a business with a sign and megaphone, but you are not allowed to stop people from patronising that business. Very rare is it that a DDoS doesn't affect somebodies business. Most often, it affects somebody not even related to who the attacker is intending. If you want to protest, there are non disruptive methods to use, DDoS shouldn't be one of them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thoughtlover (83833)
      I protest business(es) by not buying anything from them. Where you put your money is the most important form of democracy.
      • by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:17PM (#42553401) Journal

        I protest business(es) by not buying anything from them. Where you put your money is the most important form of democracy.

        That's capitalism, actually.

      • by davidbrit2 (775091) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:24PM (#42553453) Homepage
        Distributed Denial of Revenue attack?
      • by Maow (620678)

        I protest business(es) by not buying anything from them. Where you put your money is the most important form of democracy.

        I agree and add that $dollarsSpent > $votesCast in both quantity and quality.

    • by Bradmont (513167)
      In person protests also affect commerce. Last summer, in Montreal, there were weeks of protests with hundreds of thousands of people clogging the entire downtown core. It was incredibly disruptive for a whole lot of businesses.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sco08y (615665)

        In person protests also affect commerce. Last summer, in Montreal, there were weeks of protests with hundreds of thousands of people clogging the entire downtown core. It was incredibly disruptive for a whole lot of businesses.

        Yes, and those protests are not free speech but civil disobedience. The first reality of civil disobedience is that you should expect to wind up in jail. The second reality is you probably deserve it.

        Virtually all those protests do violate the rights of others. People really do have a right to go freely about their business, and you don't have any right to scream in someone's face.

        In aggregate, society benefits from these protests and they're a necessary part of the political dynamic. Many times people just

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      There are several kinds of DDoS, some that could be seen as a protest (i.e. making customers not being able to access a company, putting a big sign making them aware that that company is misbehaving in your opinion), and some that could be seen as vandalism (breaking windows, throwing chairs, or even launching Windows 8). A line must be drawn between both.
      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        There are several kinds of DDoS, some that could be seen as a protest (i.e. making customers not being able to access a company, putting a big sign making them aware that that company is misbehaving in your opinion), and some that could be seen as vandalism (breaking windows, throwing chairs, or even launching Windows 8).

        The first example and last example are both vandalism. The middle example is hacking a site, which is not a DDoS.

        Anonymous wants DDoS to be legal so they can attack sites they don't like (or rather, that anyone who claims to be acting under the guise of Anonymous -- i.e. anyone) for whatever reason they feel like it, or no reason at all, and not fear legal repercussions.

        The problem with their "hitting the refresh button" argument is that it is 1) hundreds or thousands of "people" hitting the refresh butt

    • by AK Marc (707885)

      You can protest a business with a sign and megaphone, but you are not allowed to stop people from patronising that business.

      That's simply not true. The good ol' protests (Before free speech zones and arrests for loitering and such during obviously political protests), you could have a protest with a thick line of people walking around a building. Nobody could get through without effort. It had the effect of a DDoS, including blocking access to stores sharing resources with the protested store.

      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        Nobody could get through without effort.

        The fact you can physically do something that is illegal doesn't make it legal. You are not allowed, legally, to prevent access, even if you can find enough people willing to do it. It's called "civil disobedience".

        Now, if you are arguing that you CAN and SHOULD be able to legally block entrance to places of business you don't like, I'm sure there are a few anti-abortion groups that would love to have you as a member.

  • by macraig (621737) <mark@a@craig.gmail@com> on Thursday January 10, 2013 @08:52PM (#42553149)

    Nope. It's akin to a union strike or a mob of protesters having a sit-in and handcuffing themselves together to DENY ACCESS to some location. That's denial of service. It makes the people in control of that location, and sometimes the clients who are dependent upon it, very angry, sometimes violently so. The whole point of denial-of-access protests is that they DO have a social cost that forces people to take notice.

    • by dittbub (2425592)
      Its more like a string of computers that handcuffed themselves together. When people do that its compelling; they are willing to sacrifice their time and comfort to make society aware of something. Protesting ought to be difficult. Otherwise we'd be in a world of mess.
      • by macraig (621737)

        It's already illegal to compromise computers that don't belong to you, so botnet DDoS techniques are already also illegal. But what if thousands of people coordinated computers they individually own to deny service/access to some domain? That shouldn't be criminalized.

    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

      The point of those tactics is to generate sympathy for the protesters. People are supposed to think they are selfless and brave while the cops or goons who remove them are violent jerks.

      A crashed website may evoke anger or schadenfreude, but never sympathy.

    • It's akin to a union strike or a mob of protesters having a sit-in and handcuffing themselves together to DENY ACCESS to some location.

      Of course, that is also illegal, which makes the petition by Anonymous stupid.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      having a sit-in and handcuffing themselves together to DENY ACCESS to some location.

      This is why if you fear the possibility of someone protesting your business... essentials to keep on hand include: LRADs, pepper spray, tear gas, bolt cutters, handcuff keys

  • Toxic precedent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by starfishsystems (834319) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @08:53PM (#42553167) Homepage
    I hope, and expect, that the petition will be denied. What it means is that any entity with sufficient knowledge and resources (individual or corporation) would be permitted to flood the net with DDoS packets.

    If such activity were legalized, by the same principle so would automatically-generated petitions. So would spam. So would noise pollution. It sets an extremely toxic precedent.
    • Ya I'm ok with it (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:51PM (#42553719)

      So long as the anon-tards are ok with me blocking them in their houses with a fleet of ROVs. Same basic deal as what they are talking about: Using a ton of automatically controlled systems to deny access. If they aren't ok with it being done to them, in the real world, then why should we be ok with them doing it to others on computers?

      The other thing about DDoS attacks is they almost always involve breaking the law anyhow, by using botnets. Unless you legally have access to 100% of the systems you are using AND the ToS of the providers allows you to generate traffic of the levels you do, then you are already in the wrong. Exploiting systems and using them for a botnet is not legal and it should be extremely obvious why.

      These morons don't want a legit protest, because next to nobody agrees with them and they are lazy. If they went out for a physical protest, they'd get like 20 people to show up for one day and it'd be ignored. So they want to use sleazy, illegal, tactics to try and amplify their voice.

      It also ignores the fundamental point of a protest. A protest is NOT to disrupt activity, particularly not to have just a couple people do so. It is to show large scale support or opposition for something. It is to let the public, and the government, know that a lot of people want something. It is impressive by its size.

      If 250k people show up in a park and protest something, that is impressive, that is something to be noticed, respected. The large number of people makes it noteworthy. If I rent out a shitload of video and sound equipment so I can broadcast myself all over a park, and protest alone, that doesn't make it noteworthy, other than as to what an egomaniac I am.

      They don't want freedom, they want tyranny, where they get to be the tyrants. A large segment of the public refusing to do business with a company because of their policies is freedom in its fullest. A small group of people shutting down a company's ability to do business because they don't like it is not.

      • by mysidia (191772)

        The other thing about DDoS attacks is they almost always involve breaking the law anyhow, by using botnets. Unless you legally have access to 100% of the systems you are using AND the ToS of the providers allows you to generate traffic of the levels you do, then you are already in the wrong.

        Big companies such as the MPAA/RIAA members, could easily afford to buy a large number of systems, and networks to use for launching attacks. If DDoS attacks were legal, they would like to protest the Peer to Peer fi

  • by paiute (550198) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @08:56PM (#42553217)
    I also filed a petition - that I be recognized as the Queen of England. I think mine will be approved just before the one approving DDoSs.
  • "It is the equivalent of repeatedly hitting the refresh button on a webpage"... Only if you, not a program, can click refresh in excess of at say 500 times per minute, non stop for 24 hours and get a couple thousand of your buddies to join in. Good luck with that.

    • We do it much more simply. We don't have to click refresh. We just follow a link. Along with several million of our buddies....

      The Slashdot Effect is alive and well.

  • Abusers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:00PM (#42553263)

    If you legalize DDOS as protest, is it going to be ok for companies to DDOS their competitors, sites they don't like, sites posting negative stories about them etc?

    DDOS: It lets you censor anyone who spends less on servers than you.

    Sure, its not always corporate folks, but if you let people do something disruptive, big money is going to be spent to abuse it. I may reluctantly go along with money=speech, but money=right to censor others is too far.

    • Re:Abusers (Score:5, Informative)

      by jakimfett (2629943) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @10:12PM (#42553869) Homepage Journal
      And we have an AC who hit the nail on the head. Legalizing DDOS attacks as a form of protest will turn the internet into a warzone.
      • by X0563511 (793323)

        It isn't already?

        OK, so it's not really a warzone. It's more like a no-mans-land where bandits prey on the weak and you get parasites if you don't wear good boots.

    • I doubt that would be as big of a problem as you make it out to be. First of all those resources cost a lot of money. Second, those data centres will have nice and easy to block IP blocks. Third, it would be the same as if Google hired a bunch of faux protesters to picket the Apple store; harassment from a single entity is easier to find legal help to stop.

  • by Brett Buck (811747) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:13PM (#42553365)

    Many good reasons that this is a bad idea already listed. However I would also note that in my quaint notion of how the Federal government is supposed to work, the Executive Branch doesn't make the laws, so asking the Obama Administration to make this legal doesn't even make sense. They can write their Congressman, except, oops, they are all trying to remain Anonymous.

  • If the internet were to be protected as a free speech right, then DDOS attacks are in fact detrimental towards that 'right'. The point is, everybody has a right to their opinions, right or wrong. When you start placing criterias against that. Then, who gets to say what 'can' and 'can't' be said? Censorship via DDOS is wrong. Better have an alternate site and build a case towards boycotting whatever/whoever your intended target based on actual proof and a viable and honest justification of your efforts.
  • ... I had a website that was so popular that it would be a target of Anonymous.

    And then I would get out on the porch and bellow, "Get off my lawn!"

  • This would be the first time in a couple of years where I have seen complete and total unanimity in a Slashdot discussion with a non-trivial number of posts. (At least, posts I can view.)

    And to confirm: Yes, this is an insanely stupid idea.

  • by sco08y (615665) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:35PM (#42553551)

    s/speech/expression/g as needed. I'm not sure what the case law says, and I don't really care. Morally and ethically, shouting someone down is not speech, it's denying them their right to speak. It's insane to hide behind freedom of speech when you're doing that. It's also depressingly common.

  • ...and are often convicted. It's kind of part of the deal. In most cases, if your protest doesn't break any laws, then it's not newsworthy. If DDoS were legalized, then we would just have a crappy, unstable internet. We would all be used to that and the fact that somebody DDoSed somebody else would be completely un-newsworthy. Political DDoSers would then necessarily move on to some other activity to get media attention. So this petition is pointless if not laughable. QED.
  • That I would live to see the day that our nation would declare war on "terrorism" or that petitions signed "anonymous" would be taken seriously.

  • by Tom (822) on Friday January 11, 2013 @08:53AM (#42556517) Homepage Journal

    They do have a point.

    Legally, I believe the main point is whether these are 10,000 people demonstrating, or 10 people and a botnet. The issue then becomes determining the difference.

    I do agree that a DDoS is a kind of blockade the way you could do in RL by getting a couple thousand people to stand around, say, some corporate HQ, blocking roads and exits. But the difference is that in the RL, you really need a few thousand people. On the Internet, a bunch of jerks with a botnet can do it.

Administration: An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. -- Ambrose Bierce

Working...