Did DOJ Provoke Anonymous On Purpose?
from the conspiracy-theory-time dept
I’ve been on record for a while now that I think the strategy of doing DDoS attacks on websites that people don’t like is a bad idea, that will lead to backlash. Though, I will admit that I underestimated their effectiveness in some cases. Indeed, even as the Anonymous DDoS attacks on various targets in response to the Megaupload takedown is getting a ton of attention, I’m still convinced it’s a bad idea long-term. I should be clear that I understand the response. Also, the response is not a surprise. If we’ve learned anything over the last few months, it’s that large segments of the internet are exceptionally frustrated with attempts to censor speech online — and when you get that many people frustrated, and then poke them in the eye with a big stick, it’s not a surprise that they might react.
Over at News.com, Molly Wood is suggesting that DOJ did this all on purpose — including the timing of the release — in order to provoke just such a response. This serves multiple purposes for the government. It gives them the chance to make the (obviously bogus and laughable) argument that the wider protests were done by this same group. But, it also gives DOJ and law enforcement the chance to go even further, and use this as an excuse to crack down online and put people in jail. It also gives a (again, bogus) reason to pass far-reaching cybersecurity legislation. The end result could be a lot worse.
Supporters of these actions may claim that it’s the only way to be heard. But I’m not convinced that’s true. What happened Wednesday showed that there are ways to be heard without resorting to tactics that can be described as vandalism. I don’t think it’s fair to call it vandalism — as I’ve said that I believe that such actions are a lot more like a digital sit-in. But I’m just not sure it’s productive. I’m sure it feels good to vent… but the end result may not be productive at all.