Anonymous Launches White House Petition Saying DDoS Should Be Recognized As A Valid Form Of Protest

from the if-you-have-to-ask-what-a-valid-form-of-protest-is... dept

A few years back, we had an interesting discussion over whether or not distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) could be seen as a valid form of protest — the modern equivalent of a “sit-in.” There are significant similarities between a DDoS and a sit-in. And, we’ve seen at least one lawyer make the claim that his client was exercising his First Amendment rights when DDoSing a local city government. Law enforcement, of course, wants to take it to the other extreme, seeing DDoS attacks as being a form of hacking, or even a type of terrorist attack.

Slashdot points out that some members of Anonymous have set up a We the People petition on the White House’s website, asking the government to recognize DDoS as a valid form of protest.

With the advance in internet techonology, comes new grounds for protesting. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), is not any form of hacking in any way. It is the equivalent of repeatedly hitting the refresh button on a webpage. It is, in that way, no different than any “occupy” protest. Instead of a group of people standing outside a building to occupy the area, they are having their computer occupy a website to slow (or deny) service of that particular website for a short time.

(Random aside before I get into the larger discussion: you would think that people posting a petition to the White House would spend at least a little more time proofreading what they write, or getting more input before posting it. While the intent is clear, the typos and grammatical structure of the petition is atrocious.)

It seems unlikely that this petition will get the necessary 25,000 votes. Or that the White House will even care if it does. The problem, as always, is that much of this depends on where you sit as well as your knowledge of technology. You can make a reasonable argument for why a DDoS is just the modern equivalent of a sit-in. But you can also make a reasonable argument for why a DDoS is like hacking a site.

But here’s the larger point: When you have to petition the government to get them to tell you what form of protest is “okay,” you’ve probably already lost the battle. And that’s part of the larger problem here. It seems clear to me that many of the DDoS attacks done by Anonymous are, quite clearly, done for the purpose of expression. They are trying to make a statement, and it sometimes works (though, it frequently backfires). I’m sympathetic to the claim that it’s the modern equivalent of a sit-in, and find it troubling that the government is arguing it’s something much, much worse. At the same time, I often think Anonymous’ rush to DDoS undermines its larger efforts at times, and simply reinforces in the minds of some that Anonymous is made up of bratty, destructive kids. But, having to ask the government to say your form of expression is legitimate expression suggests that the government has already won.

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Comments on “Anonymous Launches White House Petition Saying DDoS Should Be Recognized As A Valid Form Of Protest”

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Wally (profile) says:

This isn’t a clearcut deal. I cheered anonymous on when they took out child porn services. But them we have those in the group (citing Commander X) who protest a town’s laws on sleeping in public places by using a DDoS attack on the servers in a sheriff’s department. They have become entirely way too cavalier in their approach by today’s standards.

I cannot and will never condone the use of DDoS attacks as an alternate form of legal protest.

maclypse (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I always said I like what they are trying to do, but the way they do it is like shooting themselves in the foot. Like you I never supported any of their methods.

…but they appear to have a bloody good point, and that’s annoying. DDoS is a non-intrusive “attack”. It doesn’t involve hacking, stealing passwords, using worms, backdoors, anything.

The occupy analogy actually HOLDS. It’s a non-violent, non-intrusive, and non-destructive denial of service. It’s a hell of a lot more benign than pro-lifers physically pushing and insulting people outside abortion clinics.

I have to ask myself: why is DDoS worse, than 100 people locking arms to keep people out of a business while singing and chanting? The inescapable conclusion is that it is not. It just happens to be branded as illegal. It’s different from a physical protest, and different scares old people – but it’s not really any better or worse, and certainly no more dangerous. Quite the opposite in fact. Far less danger is posed by a DDoS than an actual physical demonstration that always runs the risk of derailing into violence.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The problem with DDoS’ing a server is that it doesn’t just effect your one target precisely. Taking down…say Amazon’s Web service for instance. You take down Amazon, but the collateral damage is NetFlix on many devices.

DDoS’ing is nothing like a sit-in. Often times, those who “participate” in a DDoS attack don’t even know their computer is a compromised part of the distribution and would end up protesting against beliefs they never held.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Crowd shouting doesn’t shut down vital computer systems. Crowd shouting is more of a petition. Like I said, those who participate may not know they are participating or why during a DDoS attack. It is making them protest something they may not want to protest …which is completely illegal and a violation of the first amendment to the constitution of the US.

maclypse (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You are talking about people having their machines infected and taken control of, to then participate in the DDoS, I assume?

That WOULD be hacking. Not of the DDoS target – but of the machines used. That’s a different story though.

As for “Netflix dies if amazon is attacked” – well, this is true with physical blockades too. If you block access to one business, many nearby business will also be affected. Especially in things like malls.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“That WOULD be hacking. Not of the DDoS target – but of the machines used. That’s a different story though.”

But using illegal means to use your DDoS attack as a protest would make the protest you make illegal. So attacking your target through hacking computers to send a bottle neck of traffic to your target (a DDoS attack) would definitely be illegal.

A protest is meant to grab the attention and persuade, not force, the opposing side to listen and consider the situation at hand to get results in your favor. DDoS attacks are more like hijacking an airline.

David says:

Re: Response to: Wally on Jan 11th, 2013 @ 7:48pm

You have to understand that Anonymous is a group with very little hierarchy. Lots of ddos attacks are carried out by completely separate groups of people who all operate under the name Anonymous. Just because some of them do stupid attacks doesn’t mean the whole group should be discredited. I also think your stance on ddos is extreme.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Response to: Wally on Jan 11th, 2013 @ 7:48pm

Oh trust me, there is a lot of declassified information the Feds have on Anonymous. They have splinter groups similar to “the Democratic Party of the UK vs The UK Democratic Party”.

It should be noted that the leaders of these groups range in age from 16 to 57. Anonymous is believed to be more of the digital form of the Peoples’ Liberation Front. Very secretive, very determined, and lots of cell groups. Best modern example (sorry for the American analogy) is a group of terrorist cells…without terrorists…who do various things in the name of the organization.

The hierarchy is messed up and while in the past, it was a group effort, it is no longer the case. I see many problems involved with the way they work. There is a very good Article on All Things Digital about Commander X that I would recommend reading as to why a DDoS attack is not a very good form of protest.

Andrew F (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This. I’m not sure sit-ins are legal. It’s a form of civil disobedience, and while we frown on an excessive response to civil disobedience,it is, by definition, illegal.

The point of sit-ins during the civil rights era wasn’t to protest legally. The whole point was to break segregation, and is so doing, highlight the injustice of those laws. Alternatively, the point of a sit-in is to demonstrate a willingness to sacrifice yourself to highlight the seriousness of a cause — e.g. I think XYZ business is so evil that I am willing to go to jail for trespassing to highlight this.

Legalizing sit-ins would take much of the symbolic impact out of them. It would not, however, make them any less annoying.

harbingerofdoom (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

if, in shouting so loud you create a problem for a company doing business, or annoy neighbors because of the volume or exceed any number of ordinances that limit the max decibels in a given area, then yes…shouting can be illegal just like a sit-in.

and 1000 people trying to get into walmart at black friday opening is not the same as 1000 people showing up and blocking the door so no one else can get in…. and you know it…. there is a huge difference and you are being disingenuous by trying to use that analogy.

while i agree that ddos can be used as a form of protest, but not legal in the same manner as sit ins and spouting your preferred rhetoric at 150dB at midnight from your window can also not be legal.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You, yourself are being disingenuous by stating

“1000 people trying to get into walmart at black friday opening is not the same as 1000 people showing up and blocking the door so no one else can get in”

While there is intent on the later, and there is no intent on the former. What you have in reality, is a situation where, you are trying to relate door blockage to government controlling speech.

The simple fact is that peoples speech is far more important than that of the governments or the governments ability to block free speech.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yup … anything found to be annoying by the elite ruling class is to be considered illegal in practice even if specifically stated to be a right in governmental documentation and court rulings.

In theory, some things are legal – however in practice they will most certainly bring you some amount of distress. This is what civil disobedience is all about, the demonstration of a willingness to endure the bullshit in order to bring the topic into the limelight.

Some people have problems distinguishing between civil disobedience and terrorism, or possibly they are intensionally blurring the line between them.

Pseudonym (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

That second paragraph nails it. Someone who participates in an act of civil disobedience is willing not only to be identified (and hence be the target of reprisals), but also to spend time in jail if necessary. Bad laws partly get changed by the world seeing someone be punished for breaking or opposing that bad law.

That’s not to say that civil disobedience is the only valid response to a bad law. Ignoring a bad law can be a legitimate response, too.

Until 2003, some sex acts, between consenting adults and performed in private, were illegal in some parts of the United States. I’ll wager that there are people here who broke some of those laws, though not with the intent of being identified and taken to court to challenge the injustice of those laws.

Even if you’re too young for that, many have treated some of the laws on drug use or possession, or some of the weirder copyright laws, in much the same way.

maclypse (profile) says:

Re: Re:

While this analogy dies hold some water it fails on one simple point. Get arrested for a sit-in and you will be fined a hundred bucks and be sent on your way. Get arrested for a DDoS and you better enjoy your next five years in prison, as well as a ban from using cell phones for another ten years.

The punishment is way, way, way out of proportion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You MIGHT have a point. However, the question then becomes, did you hack hundreds of innocent people’s computers to act as your botnet for the DDOS?

If the answer is yes, then sorry, but you deserve what you get.

If you only used your own computer… then a smaller punishment is appropriate.

Anonymous Coward says:

The solution to bad speech

Isn’t it often said that the solution to bad speech is more speech?

Maybe the DDOS’ers should remember that.

A DDOS attack is not speech. It’s the suppressing of speech. At a sit-in, people can carry signs or talk to passerby to explain why they are there. That can’t happen at a DDOS. The average Internet user will not even know there’s a “protest” going on – they’ll just know the site is down.

FauxReal (profile) says:

Re: The solution to bad speech

Exactly, DDoS attacks stifle speech, it’s the equivalent of shouting someone down or muzzling them. If a government agent started DDoS-ing it would be a clear cut case of a violation of the freedom of speech (or at least would be in my eyes).

I’m not sure if there is a digital equivalent of a sit-in since hacking a site and butting up your own banner compromises the remote system in a way that the owner can no longer trust it and would also shut them down. I suppose putting up informational and parody sites would be good. I did like Anonymous’ real world tactics of picketing sites and putting up informational posters.

Though I do agree with Anon on having no problem with them wrecking pedo sites. And yes that is in essence me preferring my own personal moral code over that of others’. But I think the vast majority of the world would agree that things go to farm when yo victimize the innocent.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The solution to bad speech

Not only that… Even if a DDOS could be considered some form of speech, if you’re using other people’s computers to execute your DDOS then you’re affecting THEIR rights to free speech, not to mention using their property. That would be like hot-wiring cars from a nearby parking lot and moving them to the middle of the street to form a roadblock in front of the business you’re protesting.

“Though I do agree with Anon on having no problem with them wrecking pedo sites. “

I totally encourage those sites to complain to the police when this happens. Preferably the FBI. They should make sure law enforcement knows exactly what kind of website they are running so they fully understand the situation. I’m fully confident that justice will be served.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The solution to bad speech

so you form a ‘lynch party’ take the law into your own hands, what’s next ??

after the pedo sites, do you go after some other cause you don’t agree with, perhaps you don’t like online gaming ?? so are they your next target ?

if you come across someone doing something illegal, you are duty bound to report it to the appropriate authorities.

You are committing a crime if you take the law into your own hands and take lynch mob action.

What if you decide you do not like black people are they next, or jews ?? are they after the blacks, or women, or people who drive big cars and use lots of fuel ??

or someone who has a different hair style to you ?? or a certain tattoo ?

or if you say something (under free speech) that you don’t agree with ?

it’s not the job of Anon to be our law enforces, nor do we want them (or need) them to take on that role.

In your world it becomes the biggest and strongest who takes everything.

That is why we live in a society with rules and law’s and boundaries we do not cross.

If you want to live in Mad Max’s world go for it, see how it works out for you.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: The solution to bad speech

Muzzling government speech, and muzzling citizen speech, are two different issues. Shutting down a government site that spouts rhetoric, is different than shutting down a site that does random, currently unacceptable speech.

You are black, you are white, you are something different in the eyes of someone else. For governments to say this is different than for an individual. People should remember this or repeat the horrors of the past.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The solution to bad speech

are you going to be the judge of what is acceptable and what is not ?? clearly you are not qualified in any way to make that judgment.

No, the same rules have to apply, and free speech rights is the right to say what you want, even if you don’t like what that other person is saying, you are standing up for his right to say it.

to make a decision as to who has that right or not based on what they are saying is not supporting free speech, it is denying it.

SO muzzling any speech is against free speech, and the right to reply.

So if you want to muzzle the government, but let the citizen talk that is a suppression of the freedom’s you are supposed to hold high.

so you all for ‘free speech’ as long is you agree with what they are saying !!!!

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The solution to bad speech

I believe in free speech. I also believe in my right not to listen. I may disagree with what you say, and my choices are to speak my piece or ignore you. So, say what you want.

These are strategies. The tactics are when one tries to out shout the other in order to make their speech more prevalent. I am sure there are other tactics, many mentioned in this thread, but they are just tactics.

Ddos is a tactic. It has its appropriate place. When it is used within a dysfunctional strategy (NOT organized and communicated succinctly(military strategy and political strategy are different)) it is not appropriate.

If they want to use Ddos as a tactic, then they need to have an effective PR campaign that lets folks know what they are up to. If they just want to be petulant, then let them continue as they have been.

Strategy cries to be open in political settings. Look at all the political communicators who make a living at letting you know what their strategy is. They don’t tell you their tactics.

The folks at anonymous need to go back to Sun Tzu school, and not just a few of them. As an organization they need to have some cohesive goal. As a disorganization they need to have a reasonable way to condone or not any action, or have ways to lop off those that go outside whatever loose guidelines they come up with.

As a non membership type organization, Anonymous has a difficult task in establishing such a framework in a believable fashion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The solution to bad speech


The folks at anonymous need to go back to Sun Tzu school, and not just a few of them. As an organization they need to have some cohesive goal. As a disorganization they need to have a reasonable way to condone or not any action, or have ways to lop off those that go outside whatever loose guidelines they come up with.

You are the old way of thinking I am afraid to say.
Centralized decision making is not that good, we have been trying that for what millenia now and it keep yelding the same results over and over again.

Centralization always start benign and ends up in authoritarian fashion.

Besides Anonymous do have a form to coordinate ops, is called Twitter have you heard of it?
They even appropriated old code and re-purposed it.
Youtube: How to Use LOIC Tutorial

The new order is f-decentralized-self-organizing-structures(the “f” is for you know …)

Other example of a f-decentralized-self-organizing-structure that happened in the US is the Tea Party.

People don’t need to be organized they just need to have a common goal and they all will gravitate towards each other naturally, there is no need to a central decision making for purpose of coordination, just use whatever social network you got, from anologue to digital, it worked before Christ and it is working today in a even bigger scale.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The solution to bad speech

I’m sorry but a bank website is not speech as far as I am concerned. Temporarily making a website slow or inaccessible is not the equivalent of “shouting someone down or muzziling them.” Especially because websites are not human beings and in most cases concerning DDOS, they are not even the property of human beings, but that of corporations or other institutions.

Moreover I think it is important to recognize how the internet is changing global politics. A “sit-in” as a localized form of protest that requires a group of people to be together in physical space. Such forms of protest 1) not always possible and 2) not always effective especially when you are talking about global communities addressing global issues.

The internet is a public or shared space like that of a city but it exists on a different scale and requires different modes of interaction. In this light a DDOS “attack” is an analogue to a sit-in. While this is not a very good argument for making DDOS attacks legal (as many have pointed out), it is important to recognize DDOS attacks as a form of protest/speech rather than acts of terrorism. What is at stake is how much power the government should have to regulate these activities.

Moving into the future, we must protect our rights/abilities to use the internet as a platform for protest, we must encourage creative modes of political speech and we must stand together in solidarity against any attempts by the unaccountable hierarchical powers that be to encode such act as “terrorism.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The solution to bad speech

if a bank web site is not speech, how can an Anon DDoS be speech ??

is Techdirt speech ?? do you think a reasonable response to not agreeing with a TD article would be to DDoS it and down it down ?

or would you prefer to exercise your own freedom’s and express your own opinion ?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The solution to bad speech

The internet is a public or shared space like that of a city

yes, it is that, but it is also a private place and often specific and restricted access, like that of your house or home. The internet is a bit of a mirror to the real world, on it there are public places, mega malls, private houses, private practices, 1 to 1 communications, people conducting business, people reading news, people playing games, people going to school, people doing PRIVATE THINGS.

It is not ‘just a public place’ it is all things a society has in reality, it has good and bad, honest people and criminal’s, nice people and bullies, liars and fools and everything in between.

I might agree or not agree with your protest but I certainly don’t want it in my house !!!. and that is where it is if it is a DDoS, I am quite surprised at your concept of what the internet is, is it really that narrow ?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The solution to bad speech

Did he created those said photos?
Did he coerced or used a position of authority to produce those said photos?

The people who did are the people who produce victims, not the curious idiots that go look for those, there is a very important distinction here to be made.

One act on impulses and harm others the others may fantasize but didn’t actually do anything or have other reasons to be looking for said content.

Risking appear to be insensitive in my opinion only the people who actually do the deed should face the more severe consequences that we reserve for criminals the others should be put under observation until a time that they actually do something wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The solution to bad speech

With how easily information is spread around the internet, the point of the protest becomes known often. Anonymous always addresses their concerns as well. People find out.

Just because it’s not in person does not mean that they are not exercising their right to freedom of speech.

It’s just that, how, in our government’s right mind, will they stand with protesters and go against corporate America? We all know that there’s no money in protecting freedom, even if they want us to believe that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The solution to bad speech

what is BAD SPEECH, does that mean speech you don’t agree with ??

it’s FREE SPEECH, it’s your right to say thing’s that other people see as bad, but good or bad, is not the point. The point is your ability to say it, and to allow others to say what they want, even if you don’t agree with what they are saying, you are agreeing they have the right to say it.

It’s not free speech if you want to restrict speech you see as bad, if you don’t like what they are saying, you HAVE to like their RIGHT TO SAY IT.

Guys, learn your own rules, if you cant get that right, what right do you have to say anything, although I support your right to say these things, you need to support my right so say you are a stupid moron, and no one likes you, and you smell really bad, and have big feet.

you might not agree with me, but you need to understand it is my right to say that, good or bad, just as it is your right to say the crap you said.

now how is this exchange similar to a DDoS attack, where you stop me from saying what I want to say, and exercising my free speech rights by denying me the forum to do so ?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The solution to bad speech

A DDoS is a for of communication you are sending requests to a server that must get a reply the amount of requests and frequency can make a point about something, so it can be viewed as a form of speech, just like burning the flag is a protected form of speech.

Also who is the moron who only has one server?

Further if your rights are suspended for a very short time in the course of others trying to say something to you, you should heed the first warning.

A DDoS will not forever curtail your ability to say whatever you want, a DDoS won’t last long when it is derived from a form of protest.

Botox(Botulinum toxin) is a toxin that can kill, but if administered in the right dosages is actually useful in some cases(e.g.: hyperhidrosis treatment, blepharospasm, Migraines, etc).

The same is the DDoS dosage, if applied in medicinal doses is not a problem and it may even be a good thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

They need to think because many ddos attacks use exploits to greatly enhance the effect.

Trust me I hate the shit that’s going on just as much if not more than they do. However a ddos attack if done correctly is going to be a hell of a lot more expensive than a sit-in. Will the ddos attacks stop? Well it’s obvious they will not.

They use people who want to be script kiddies as their worker ants lol. I mean these kids download just about anything and have no clue they may be attacking a government website or whoever.

If you’re tricking people into doing you’re dirty work lol you should not be doing it in the first place.
Even if it was legal I can safely assume the methods they use to gain workers is still very illegal.

beebopadoiwah says:

Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 11th, 2013 @ 10:28pm

Everything you said in the last two paragraphs has no basis. Youre saying everyone they use is some child’s that doesn’t know what they are doing. And that you can safely assume the hey get workers illegally? Come on. You have no idea and cant have an idea so stop bullshitting to make yourself seem smart.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Like it or hate it I haven’t seen anyone point out the problem coming from the other side.

Congress was pushing DDOS as triggering an act of cyberwar, that needed swift and violent response.

People have been chased around the globe for DDOS against banks, who publicly claimed it wasn’t hurting them… but in court docs claim losses of millions, mostly in what looks to be an attempt to make sure the skiddie they caught gets life in jail.

I think the better conversation would be how protesting has changed over time, and yet society and laws remain stuck in the past. Old men scared of the magic thinking machines still make the laws, and they seem to only listen to those who want to sell them something to make it all stop.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The question that should be asked is simple

what has being insured have to do with it, who do you think pays for the insurance payout, do you think they print that money up when needed, and they do not take lots of money off everyone who has insurance to cover that cost.

Insurance fraud is the same as stealing off everyone. Including the person who is insured.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

hitting a fire alarm in a crowded building and causing several people to be trampled to death, and causing terror in many others is a form of TERROR ATTACK, (if there is not fire, and the intent was to cause terror).

Hitting a fire alarm when there is a fire, and saving many people’s lives for doing so makes you are hero.

It is intent that makes you either a hero or a terrorist.

DDoS attack is exactly the same, if your intension is to cause terror it does not matter when method you use.

therefore a DDoS attack can be easily see as a method for creating terror and panic, and you don’t have to think very hard were you would direct such an attack to cause terror, fear and panic. which is after all the very definition of a terror attack.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

what if your bank was DDoS’ed and you were not able to draw out money, or your SS payment system was taken down and you were not able to get any money.

there are many possible reasons why an attack on the internet can cause real panic, fear and terror.

you just don’t have too much imagination to think of any.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Really? that is the best you could come up with?

Don’t you have friends?
Don’t you have other bank accounts?
Can’t you walk to the bank?
Can’t you use an ATM?
Don’t you have a credit card?

You do understand that one interface of the bank could go down but they have redundancies in place and use other banks as proxies don’t you?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Terror, from French terreur, from Latin terror meaning “great fear”, a noun derived from the Latin verb terrere meaning “to frighten”,

to cause “great fear”, so if you own a company called “mulitbet” and a DDoS attack shuts down your business causing you to lose several million dollars, do you think you would experience “GREAT FEAR” of that happening ?? (I would).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

you have tornado’s in America, what if there were tornado’s in your area, and you went to the emergency services web site to find out if you were at risk and you found it offline ??? you would not know if it was down because it was hit by a tornado or taken down by a DDoS, either way you are put at mortal risk because someone attacked a critical web site that you needed, you will feel more fear, and terror (fear) and you may even die because you are not able to get the necessary information for you to survive.

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t necessarily agree that DDoS is a form of protest no different than a sit-in.
In a sit-in, you must rally people who then must be motivated and expend effort and energy to converge on a single location.
In a DDoS you just rally up a botnet to perform an automated DDoS with little to no effort on anyone’s part.
I think it’s more or less the equivalent to parking your car in the doorway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well the DDoS flag encompasses a lot under it.
It’s taken on the meaning of anything in which the demand exceeds the bandwidth. This applies to automated botnet attacks, a large volume of people protesting, the slashdot effect, trying to buy tickets for a popular concert or event…

You’re right that in such a case as a large volumes of people it is more like a sit-in, but other definitions it does not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

DDOS is not an attack! that is why you all use the term “DDOS Attack”, because you need to put the word ATTACK at the end. DDOS means distributed denial of service, it happens (for example) when there is a rush for concert tickets, people are DENIED SERVICE by the server as the bandwidth has been exceeded.
It is used as a FORM of attack, but DDOS itself does not constitute an attack.

An analogy if you will;
I want to buy an item in a store, but the queue is so ridiculously long that the staff say “sorry, but I’m afraid we are going to close before you can make your purchase”
I have just been denied service, there was no attack involved, I didn’t get my item, the store lost out on a few bucks from my wallet.
It becomes an attack when I go into the store, and there is a queue of people, who have no interest in buying items, just in inconveniencing and wasting the store’s time, by taking so very long to pay etc…
I have been denied service, I didn’t get my item, the store lost out on a few bucks from my wallet.
Same outcome, different context.

Your syntax is incorrect, please learn about things before you insist on making sweeping statements.

A DDOS attack is an expression of free speech, not suppression, that is like saying if I talk in the street protesting my cause and exercising my right to free speech that I’m suppressing free speech as someone can’t stand next to me and make his point heard as I’m too loud. It’s complete stupidity, if we all lived by that rule, no-one would ever utter a word.

However, your view is noted, acknowledged and respected as is your right, now that you are slightly more educated in the matter I hope you will make better judgments in the future.


nasch says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

DDOS is not an attack! that is why you all use the term “DDOS Attack”, because you need to put the word ATTACK at the end.

While technically correct, the distinction is not very useful because (in my experience) nobody ever refers to a website being taken offline or slowed down by innocent heavy traffic as a distributed denial of service. I’ve literally never heard it called that. Every single time I’ve ever seen the term DDOS used, it’s referred to an attack.

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s almost like people realize that DoS stands for ‘Denial of Service’…

“In sit-ins, protesters usually seat themselves at some strategic location (inside a restaurant, in a street to block it, in a government or corporate office, and so on). They remain until they are evicted, usually by force, or arrested, or until their requests have been met. Sit-ins have historically been a highly successful form of protest because they cause disruption that draws attention to the protest and by proxy the protesters’ cause. They are a non-violent way to effectually shut down an area or business. The forced removal of protesters, and sometimes the use of violence against them, often arouses sympathy from the public, increasing the chances of the demonstrators reaching their audience.” – Source

It’s almost like they’re synonyms…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

A sit-in could easily cause collateral damage. Maybe more than one business is in the building but people are staying away in general due to the commotion. Maybe the protestors took up most of the parking in the area. The organizers should take measures to limit collateral damage, but that doesn’t mean they actually will.

Anonymous Coward says:

and how do you conduct a DDOS ? first thing you need is a whole bunch of drone computers, that means you have to hack into lots of innocent people’s home computers and then use them as your tool to suppress speech.

Keep in mind the mechanics of a DDOS attack, there are many, many more victims than just the target of the attack.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

sorry that is bullshit, you simply cannot create an effective DDoS without a large bot-net, voluntary botnets don’t exist, or are totally in effective.

so you are saying you can get thousands and thousands of people manually hitting their refresh keys hour after hour after hour for 24 hours straight ???

these are kids, they simply do not have the concentration span, they will wonder off and back to playing WoW are 10 minutes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

bullshit, of course they use bot nets, and scrips and automated methods.

explain how you can launch an effective DDoS without thousands of bots.. you think these 15 year old script kiddies are going to spend 24 hours spamming the refresh button ?? do you think that would make a different on a large, high bandwidth web site ?

you cannot do a DDoS with a bot-net, that is many peoples computers who have no idea it is function as a bot. These computers have to be hacked into before you can even consider a DDoS.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Sure you can, just ask people to reload the same page over and over again with an automatic refresh plugin available to every browser out there and people can DDoS a server if many join in, just see what happened when Michael Jackson died.

DDos = DISTRIBUTED Denial of Service

Another way is to rent computer power to DDoS someone which if you are Chinese you can do it, just rent computer time in any datacenter and they will gladdy give you the machines to accomplish that task.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You seem well versed in the topic … perhaps you are one of these terrorists who are attacking websites of innocent big businesses.

Clearly, there are many ways to produce the same outcome – in this case a ddos. To claim that there is only one way to accomplish this is displaying your ignorance on the topic. Or perhaps you are grinding an axe?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

  • Individual.
    Automated – Using equipment under you control to do it, either acquired through legal or illegal means(e.g.: renting computer time in datacenters or building up botnets)

    Hacking the server and denying access to it LoL

  • Group.
    Use social networks to spread the work like Tweeter and give everybody a tool to do it like the LOIC.

    When Michael Jackson died the web stopped(literally).

Anonymous Coward says:

I more often than not share the viewpoint of Techdirt, but in this case I absolutely do not. As others have pointed out a DDoS effectively stifles free speech. Here are some obvious examples of where this falls over immediately.

I’m believe abortion is immoral, evil and goes against god’s law. As such I decide to protest abortion clinics and begin to DDoS sites containing information about abortion, this includes sites such as Wikipedia.

I’m a staunch believer of evolution and believe religion has no place in modern society. I protest this by launching DDoS attacks on Christian websites and those containing information on creationism.

I’m a disgruntled gamer who’s been banned from WoW. I disagree with the ban and decide to protest it by DDoSing Blizzard Entertainment.

By legitimising DDoS attacks you’re effectively giving anyone the ability to legally destroy your online service.

Talk about slippery slopes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

By legitimising DDoS attacks you’re effectively giving anyone the ability to legally destroy your online service.

That is just so much bullshit. You can make the argument that by legitimazing ANY form of protest you give people the right to impede a service. Seriously, stop with the drama or go google it, a DDoS wont actualy literally “destroy” anything.

If by destroying you mean making it unuable, then well surprise, I thought that was the whole point of protesting. to grab attention so that people are forced to pay attention.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

[dih-stroi] Show IPA
verb (used with object)
to reduce (an object) to useless fragments, a useless form, or remains, as by rending, burning, or dissolving; injure beyond repair or renewal; demolish; ruin; annihilate.
to put an end to; extinguish.
to kill; slay.
to render ineffective or useless; nullify; neutralize; invalidate.
to defeat completely.

My usage is correct.

Also, by your logic if I want to protest your opinion on this site I should now be allowed to legally DDoS Techdirt.

See how stupid your argument becomes? Probably not, but keep up with idiotic double speak where denying free speech is actually allowing free speech in your 1980 style world.

Thanks, but no thanks I’ll take my actual free speech.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

a DDoS wont actualy literally “destroy” anything.

Except if you business relies on the internet for it’s existence, if your internet is compromised by a DDoS, and you go out of business because of that. It’s a CRIME..

MULTIBET (google it, with DDoS)..

“ANDREW FOWLER: It’s a criminal eBay, where everything is for sale, including DDOS attacks, the cyber nastie which destroyed Multibet”

“The Herald Sun newspaper in Australia reports that widespread Distributed Denial of Services attacks have crippled a number of leading Aussie sportsbetting websites, possibly costing operators millions in lost bets over a busy weekend that features the final Ashes Test, the World Athletics Championships, Tri Nations rugby and crucial AFL and NFL games.

DDoS attacks are mounted when criminals seek to extort ransoms from websites, using tens of thousands of zombie computers under their control to overwhelm the website with data, thus inducing shutdowns. The criminals behind the attacks obtain control of ordinary computers without the owners even being aware of it by planting malignant viruses.”

“Terry Lillis, owner of corporate bookmaker Multibet, was a victim of a similar online sabotage in 2004. Multibet was put offline for 24 hours before Lillis received an email demanding payment of $US25 000.

Scotland Yard investigators revealed at the time that 50 other betting agencies across 30 countries had also been made targets. The Russian mafia was linked to the attack.”

Zauber Paracelsus (profile) says:

I am completely against such a thing. In fact, a law allowing DDoS as a form of protest may actually violate the first amendment because just as a DDoS can be used to exercise your first amendment rights, it can also be used to silence the free speech of others, and in effect the law would provide a new way for people to censor speech they disagree with.

Corporations and businesses with low ethical standards would greatly appreciate such a law, as it would legally allow them to silence critics and shut down bad reviews.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Here are the issues with your argument. If a corporation does a DDoS attack they would get reamed by the public. Even if there was a hint that they had. That would lead to their failure in the end.

Much like the current state of IP, patent, copyright law you would see people sniffing around and doing the “hate you, and you are going to fail” thing. It will only get worse as time goes by.

Elohssa (profile) says:

I am generally supportive of Anonymous’ message, but if they permit this form of jamming, who is to say that I can’t use a radio jamming arrangement to block out signals I don’t like from my neighborhood?

Maybe I think cell phone users are annoying. Maybe they don’t work within a quarter mile of my location until they disable my jammer.

It goes from funny to seriously disruptive awfully fast.

Anonymous Coward says:

a DDOS is a protesters form of free speech, shout down someone with an opposing view. That is not free speech, but the use of force against an opponent. There is a line between highly visible protest, but allowing others to carry on with legal activities and preventing them from carrying out those activities.
What nay be a more useful mode of protest is to get enough people to write and send individual emails to their political representative, so that someone has to read most of them. A cut and paste job is less effective, as it can be easily filtered. Causing people to work harder by exercing a legal right is more effective that stopping them from working.

anonymouse says:

Difficult one

If the judicial system was fair i would say it would be easy to resolve this,but the judicial system has devolved into an institute with it’s own objectives and not a totally unbiased commissioner of the law.

Sadly when people look at the American Judicial system they look at another arm of the government that uses there powers to move political/business ideals forward and not fair and balanced laws.

Then you have lawmakers that are easily bought to write laws that favor those that have money to bribe them/lobby them. Why should people abide by a corrupt system where laws and judges are mainly interested in themselves and not the truth.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Difficult one

it IS easy to resolve this, and you don’t even need a judicial system to do it, all you need to do is think for a second or two.

Sure, you can blame the Government, and the Judicial system for all your troubles, but it comes down to what YOU THINK, and the conclusions you draw.

Clearly if you hacked into my computer so you can build a bot-net for your Protest, you have committed a crime against me. (firstly). And If I do not agree with your protest why should I be forced to participate in it ?

When do you think the judicial system has done wrong in this situation ? you are quick to blame them, but slow to explain why you blame them or show what they have done to win that blame.

You say it has it’s own objectives, so what are they ?? if you don’t know what they are, and cannot put them into words, does that just mean you don’t really know, you’re just making things up because it makes you feel better.

Do you believe the judicial system has put up laws on computer hacking to protect their own biases ??

Or for them to use that power to more political / business ideals forward.. how does that work ??

So the judicial system makes laws on computer hacking to move political / business ideals.

Or are you just saying words because they sound nice in your head ?

Matt (profile) says:

Is it really speech?

I was talking to a coworker of mine about this, and he brought up a really good point. The manual act of a DDoS would be just sitting on your browser and hitting refresh continuously. That can be considered a form of speech since you are actively involved. The automation of the process, while not taking out the intent, it takes out the ongoing involvement. Its like instead of standing outside with a sign chanting, you record yourself chanting, and place the boombox outside the building playing the recording.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Is it really speech?

Good point. A sit in takes effort. You have to actually take your own time and physically be there. If they can get a large group to stay there for a long period of time, then you know that they’re committed to the cause. They have to disrupt their own lives in order to disrupt the business, so in a sense it’s fair.

But a DDOS takes no ongoing effort once it’s set up. I assume they set a script to auto-run and aren’t actually hitting refresh manually, and probably don’t even have to be there until they decide to stop. It’s too easy. They can say “It’s like hitting refresh” but they aren’t actually hitting refresh.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Never

You ever wonder why it is a misdemeanor and not a crime punished by years in jail?


Michigan’s Governor sent the National Guard in to protect the workers from the police and the company thugs, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s approval.
Times Herald: “[Governor Frank] Murphy moved into the governor’s mansion on Jan. 1, 1937, only 48 hours after members of the infant United Auto Workers barricaded themselves inside a GM factory in Flint. On Jan. 11, workers and police fought a pitched battle that injured 27 people, including 13 strikers with gunshot wounds. A court ordered the governor to expel the strikers, but Murphy had his own ideas. He sent the National Guard to Flint, where soldiers kept the peace while the governor helped mediate a compromise. A few weeks later, the most significant strike in the history of organized labor ended peacefully.”
Professor Neil Leighton, Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan-Flint, argues that Governor Frank Murphy acted with Roosevelt’s tacit approval. Only two years later, in 1939, Roosevelt appointed Murphy as his Attorney General. In 1940, FDR nominated Murphy to the Supreme Court, where Murphy served till his death in 1949.

It is illegal so law enforcement can act for when there are not very strong popular support and it is deemed unreasonable by most people, but it is not punished harshly because others would not let that happen even if they had to resource to violence to achieve that understanding.

The weak punishment is more akin to a barrier to entry, you must want it and have to be willing to risk that minimum to do it, but the government wouldn’t dare make it really illegal because everybody would come down on them like a tone of bricks.

Wally (profile) says:

In Hopes of Final Word

The biggest difference between a sit-in and a DDoS attack is simply that a sit-in requires active participation of individuals under certain protests of laws that were unconstitutional and that ignored the constitution altogether.

A DDoS attack requires you to redirect traffic of multiple IP addresses to a specific one in general with the specific motive to block or bottle neck traffic on a server making it useless. Users don’t have to actively participate and some can’t actively participate due to the randomness of the calling of IP addresses required for a DDoS attack to take place. All it takes is one user with a thumb drive, and public-use computers to pull one off. That is significantly illegal and far from a sit-in.

Anonymous Coward says:

Legitimizing DDoS attacks…like the US DMCA takedown isn’t abused enough?

I get the free speech theory, but with few exceptions they’re used right now as just another tool to stifle a competitor or shut down an avenue of information.

Is the site just down or is an attack happening? How often do those perpetrating the attack take credit for or bother to explain it?

I understand the ideal but I am skeptical.

samtellis says:

your analogy is not quite right

DDoS is not equivalent to a sit-in. DDoS is equivalent to lying down across a public street at rush hour; and you get arrested for that. Protest means you get to make your point of view clear and make it public. It does not mean that you get to prevent other people who disagree with you from getting to the place they are going, or to the information they are seeking.

ALSO, regarding your comments that having to ask the government to validate protest is wrong … this is ridiculous. If I say my legitimate for of protest is to kill everyone I disagree with, I should have to ask the government whether that is OK. Asking is not the problem; arbitrary or partisan restriction, when it results, is the problem.

The government is involved because my protest affects other people, and government exists, at least in part, to mediate between people with opposing interests; as soon as more than one party is involved and in public, the government probably won’t be too far behind (if only because one side asks for them). The problems, if they arise, do so in the results, not in the asking itself.

DNY (profile) says:

DDoS by a crowd v. DDoS by robots

The argument that a DDoS attack is analogous to a sit-in is valid only in the case where the DDoS attack is implemented by lots of people logging onto the site (and hitting their refresh buttons repeatedly) all at once. If automated scripts are used to hit the refresh button or a botnet is used, it’s more analogous to some sort of vandalism, say dumping a pile of trash in the entryway to a business.

It would be reasonable to protect hand-implemented crowd-sourced DDoS attacks on First Amendment grounds, while still treating automated DDoS attacks as hacking. (Treating DDoS attacks as terrorism is absurd: If any server is simultaneously running programs so critical to public safety that shutting them down might reasonably be considered a terrorist attack and programs that make it susceptible to DDoS attacks, whoever designed such a system should be sacked for incompetence, the functions split between two servers, and our civil liberties left relatively unmolested.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: DDoS by a crowd v. DDoS by robots

All DDoS’s are done with Bot-nets, there is simply NO WAY you can create a Denial of service with a bunch of people manually hitting the refresh button.

Even if you managed to get 1000 people doing it, it would simply not work, you need a bot-net to create a DDoS, and to create a bot-net you need to hack into a lot of innocent users computers and convert them to bots.

Then the ‘protest’ is by the bots that have been illegally hacked, and the bots are owned by people who might not agree with your cause, and might not want to participate in your illegal activity, they are also victims of your crime.

They should get 5 years prison for each innocent computer they hacked to create the bot net.. served consecutively.

Tex Arcana (profile) says:

Re: Re: DDoS by a crowd v. DDoS by robots

How many individual people do you think are on the Internet? A dozen?? :wtf:

There are enough people who fancy themselves “hackers” that could easily be “grouped” together at the same time to perform a manual DDoS, or even a manually-started DDoS that has automated scripts that can be stopped manually as well. Each halfway-decent machine these days can be set up to run 3 or 4 virtual machines; and if they decide to set up voluntary bot-nets on each of those virtual machines, you’ve got potentially 4000 machines instead of 1000, or somesuch–either way, it’s enough to make it happen.

I’m also guessing that you’d rather mow down peaceful protesters with automatic assault rifles, because they’re TERRORISTS!! :tard:

Chelsea says:


In an technologically advancing world, its only to be expected that protests extend to the internet. In my opinion, and I dont care how you really feel about it, they are heros fighting for our rights as americans and I will always be there to fund and/or support the group. They aren’t a group of
“bratty/destuctive kids” but a group of intelligent people fighting for a legitimate cause.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: anonymous

so as long as you believe a cause is legitimate, that give you the right to take cause into your own hands and take action and fight it ?

so you agree with every cause (legitimate or not) as your free ticket to fight it how you like (even illegally ??).

what if you decide TechDirt is their next ’cause’ is it legitimate ?? so you would be ok with Anon taking down Techdirt because of this article and the high number of people on here expressing their free speech rights saying they don’t like what Anon are doing ??

would stopping your free speech be considered by you to be a legitimate cause ?

Tex Arcana (profile) says:

Re: Re: anonymous

If peaceful protest is considered “illegal”, or even contrary opinion is considered “illegal”, then the system is broken, and needs to be taken back by the people for whom it’s supposed to work in the first place. Which means any means may be necessary, if peaceful means fail, or the system against wish the peaceful protest is lodged against decides to respond violently or (especially) fatally.

All causes must begin with working within the system. If said cause fails because of the will of the majority, then all the minority can do is continue working peacefully to try to change the opinions of the majority (see gay rights), and when it works, awesome.

But when a minority takes control of the system, and locks up any avenue of change, or strips rights from ANY group, then the system has just been corrupted, especially if the clear will of the majority is being violated or ignored (gay rights, cannabis legalization); at which point initial protest must begin within the system, and move outside in the form of peaceful protest. When the minority use the system violently against the peaceful protest, or twist the laws to use the courts to silence the protest, then moving beyond simple peaceful protest and into more destructive or violent responses, especially if said silencing by the system is violent and kills or maims people. Then the people have the right to revolt, preferably peacefully, but violently if required.

if you would rather stomp on people just trying to gain justice, then you best be ready to have your ass knocked down and kicked back. Just sayin’.

Jon B. (profile) says:

“…reinforces in the minds of some that Anonymous is made up of bratty, destructive kids”

IT IS! “Anonymous” is not some coherent organized group. It’s whatever kids happen to be looking at at a particular moment.

Not that that’s a bad thing or that that should affect the argument in any way, that’s just what it is. And that’s OK!!

Also this notion that “it’s free speech” when it’s something positive and “it’s hacking” when it’s something you don’t like is retarded. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Anonymous or an organized group… DDoS is DDoS. The intent, the source, and the purpose don’t affect the definition.

On one hand, a DDoS should *never* be considered “hacking” or “terrorism”. That’s not accurate at all.

On the other hand, physically occupying space can be more destructive than just “protesting”, especially if your purpose is to intimidate. If you’re infringing my ability to freely move about in the public square and go about my daily business, you’re guilty of more than just “speech” and “protesting”.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re:

But once again, DDoS attacks are different due to the use of Botnets. Sit-In’s are a legitimate for of free speech because while they draw attention to a situation, people can explain the protest personally. Sit-In’s allow people to actively be involved as individuals under their own beliefs.

Now lets take a look at Distributed Denial of Service attacks. They require individuals to use a bot-net as a collective hive of autonomous machines to bottleneck a server to uselessness.

A sit-in is used in protest to a degree to demonstrate passive-aggressive protest. A DDoS attack is an attack…not a protest. That’s the legal difference.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

A sit-in protest is a form of passive aggressive expression. Freedom of speech/expression is covered by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

When someone is arrested for “protesting” it is usually because of laws being violated in the process of of the protest. In the US, it’s very clear cut as to what a protest is and there are rules on how to legally conduct one.

Forgive me, I just don’t know if you’re trying to troll, be funny, invoke a negative reaction, or a combination therein.

Anonymous Coward says:

Anon must understand that their DDoS attacks are ineffective, as they have resorted to a form of proper and legal protest in the form of a partition.

Little anarchists that they are.

“please, Mr Government, we are playing nice now and have raised a partition for your perusal. Take your time, and see the overwhelming support for out cause.”

why not just take down the .GOV domain with a massive DDoS and tell the Government they will not get it back until they change the laws ?

How can you be Anon and sign a partition anyway, don’t you have to put your name on a partition ?

Anonymous Coward says:

your greatest form of public protest in your electoral system, you get to protest when you get to vote, you petition the Government, and the Government invites and encourages to participate.

You as a community and a society have great power and ability to determine laws and policy, far, far more effective than a DDoS by someone who is not even willing to name themselves.

You will all say that is stupid, but you also have the right and ability to participate in politics, law making and change making, and in expressing the will of the people and your society and culture.

But you will never do it by taking measure that amount to a terrorist act.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Here is life in politics for ya:
People get angry, they try conflict and remember how resource intensive it is to go that route and they find other ways to do it.

Eventually, people will realize that they can do exactly what corporations are doing and that is writing the laws and putting the people to implement those in the right positions.

The tools are already here, laws are code, there are many ways to write code and manage it in an decentralized form, then there is the spread of that code to others so the more links in the chain adopt it the more some laws become accepted.

Could you imagine if every citizen had a law-git-repository where he made his own change to the OS of the country(laws), you may not even have to have elections, people would elect naturally the guys who write the best laws in their own opinion.

Jason Birsner says:

I had gotten DDoSed before in the past, and it wasn’t because a problem, he got mad at me and DDoSed my ip. I got it fixed, but I think that people who have the power to DDoS people should be caught and charged for any damage they caused or could have caused. One last thing, the person who DDoSed me was 12 years old, so I think that’s a really bad things for little kids to learn.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

And how difficult is to redirect that traffic to /dev/null?

Or type “ipconfig /renew”

or any of the other dozen things one can do.

A 12 years old doesn’t have millions in a bank account, a 12 years old doesn’t have the experience to build a huge botnet alone, so yes if you get owned by a 12 years old the most probably explanation for it is that you are a moron, the rare 12 years old geniuses don’t do it so often that it warrants any kind of law for the less than 0.000000001% chance that this happens because someone younger is actually smarter than supposedly experienced hardened people.

Ninja (profile) says:

1- Download LOIC
2- Type in target
3- ?????
4- Profit

Anyone can engage in a DDoS attack voluntarily and easily.

I disagree with you when you say Govt already won. We are not in the Middle Ages where there was no official channels. They exist and should be tried. Whether they will work or not remains to be seen. And it does not matter if the Government does not acknowledge the petition or gives any lame, standard reply. They can’t stop it, we – the people – are only trying to go through “legitimate” means.

Tex Arcana (profile) says:

Re: the dark ages are upon us!

The illumiglitterati are doing their best to take away our voice, and turn this little democratic republic into an aristocratic despotic theocracy. Or totalitarian intolerantism. Either way, they want the great unwashed shoved into slums, and put to use for red carpets, piss-bucket sloppers, and skeet targets. And kept out of any decision-making process.

Anonymous Coward says:

I think they need to define a DDoS.
I can set my computer up to hit a site and then I can not wait for the response (ignore the wait response)and request the site again. The site will try to respond but I am not longer there. Set up corretly I can do this hundreds to millions of times and because I do not care if the host respsonds I can hit the site faster and required fewer computers to do it. I would define a DDoS attack as one that, in mass, sends request and does not wait for a response. A DDoS should not be a group of humans hitting refresh on there browsers (else Slashdot would have been the biggest DDoS in the past).

Brian R says:

There is a Difference

This is a veiled attempt to make a form of cyber attack legal. I noticed they dropped the word “attack” from the typical name of this, which is regarded by most in the industry as a “DDoS Attack”.

A sit-in is legal because a group of people gather in a place where it is legal for them to be, and simply stay there – passively.

If 1,000 individuals want to simultaneously visit a web site and click the refresh button, I would have to agree that is somewhat close to a sit-in. It’s still not as passive, but at least it is still a group of individuals exercising their right and represents 1,000 people who feel strongly enough to self-represent. It’s the numbers of the PEOPLE that matter with a sit-in.

But with a DDoS, just one or two people can launch thousands or even millions of computers against a web site. This is asymmetric. Do you really want one or two people to be able to simulate a sit-in claiming to represent an entire group of people. Do you really want them claiming to represent you in any cause their potentially radical minds might latch onto?

This is why DDoS can never be “legal”.

Tex Arcana (profile) says:

Re: There is a Difference


So how do you propose we do a “sit-in” against a website? Find it’s physical location and chain ourselves to the door? Fat lot of good THAT would do.

Give up, ‘cuz us “dirty unwashed rabble” should be happy with our lot in life?

I agree with the below poster: as long as the computers used are NOT hacked to make the DoS possible (i.e., volunteered), then it’s legit, even if a DoS tool is being used on virtual machines to multiply the effects–as long as the machines in question are under the control of a human.

Tex Arcana (profile) says:

Re: There is a Difference


So how do you propose we do a “sit-in” against a website? Find it’s physical location and chain ourselves to the door? Fat lot of good THAT would do.

Give up, ‘cuz us “dirty unwashed rabble” should be happy with our lot in life?

I agree with the below poster: as long as the computers used are NOT hacked to make the DoS possible (i.e., volunteered), then it’s legit, even if a DoS tool is being used on virtual machines to multiply the effects–as long as the machines in question are under the control of a human.

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