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Police Arrest Five Over Anonymous Attacks

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the ddos-is-bad-mmkay dept.

Crime 295

nk497 writes "Five people have been arrested in the UK, accused of taking part in Anonymous' DDOS attacks in support of WikiLeaks. The five men — aged from 15 to 26 — are still being held by police for questioning. Met Police said the investigation was a collaborative effort between forces in the UK, EU and the US."

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295 comments

5 people.., (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019536)

.... a DDoS does not make :)

Re:5 people.., (3, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019568)

1. If they run a botnet or two, yes it might
2. And where does it say these 5 were all of them?

Re:5 people.., (1, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019710)

They're just kids. Counting the 16 year old they arrested in Holland this makes 6. It's disgusting, there are real crimes being committed out there and here the police are chasing down some misguided pranksters/activivsts.

Re:5 people.., (2, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019752)

Tell the small mom and pop site that uses PayPal to do its business that losing a day or two of income is just a "prank" and not a serious crime.

Age doesn't determine the drawing line between crime and prank.

And there is more than one type of cop in the world. Some go after murderers, some go after embezzlers and some go after cybercriminals.

Re:5 people.., (3, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019888)

Tell the small mom and pop site that uses PayPal to do its business that losing a day or two of income is just a "prank" and not a serious crime.

Try telling wikileaks that the government pressuring businesses to censor because it would be illegal for them to do it directly is fine and not a serious breach of the constitution.

And there is more than one type of cop in the world. Some go after murderers, some go after embezzlers and some go after cybercriminals.

And yet none of them go after the real perpetrators, it would seem.

Re:5 people.., (2, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019936)

oh the poooooor mom and pop stores.
perhaps they'll be more inclined to instead do buisness with companies which don't attract such... oh hey there's the point of the protest like any other.

any kind of protest will disrupt buisnesses in the local area or which rely on those which are being disrupted.
Think they don't?
tell that to the poor mom and pop store off a road blocked during any big protest.

Re:5 people.., (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020026)

Doing business with what type of companies? Companies answer to shareholders and have to do what they feel is best for the company. You don't know what kind of pressure they received from the government and what impact NOT blocking wikileak payments would have had on them. People can be activists - publicly traded for-profit companies cannot.

Re:5 people.., (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020158)

Which is an argument which could be used for pretty much any deplorable act by any company.

Bopal? well they had to answer to shareholders(translation, make lots of money) and have to do what they feel is best for the company!
IBM helping a genocidal government?You don't know what kind of pressure they received !

etc etc etc

Re:5 people.., (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020220)

Best for the company within the law obviously. What PayPal did was not outside the law and didn't kill anybody.

Re:5 people.., (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020314)

well if it's work for the government then it's going to be considered as within the law by the government unless you get really unlucky and they want to shift the blame afterwards.

Great that as long as long as nobody is killed then anything is ok! right?

So I guess people also shouldn't protest about the warrentless wiretapping and the companies which helped and the government which afterwards declared the whole thing legal and gave the companies involved amnesty?

in the real world "oh we were able to make lots of money doing that" doesn't make all the protesters go away.

Re:5 people.., (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020374)

People can protest all they want. Did I ever say they couldn't? There is a step between protest and attack, though.

Re:5 people.., (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020430)

is getting a crowd of people together and sitting down blocking the entrance to a store an "attack"?

because that's pretty much what a DDoS in this context is.

Re:5 people.., (1)

TheReij (1641099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020088)

And there is more than one type of cop in the world. Some go after murderers, some go after embezzlers and some go after cybercriminals.

Unfortunately they all get funneled through the same overworked legal system. So, even if there are separate people doing the investigating and arresting, the paperwork goes through the same channels amd the cases are heard by the same judges. Meanwhile, the perps are held in the same prisons, further taxing the system. It's all the same.

Re:5 people.., (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019570)

Depends on how many machines they had in their control as well as the available bandwidth from each point of origin. Technically, it only takes one person to create a DDoS. And a very effective one at that.

Re:5 people.., (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019822)

Depends on how many machines they had in their control as well as the available bandwidth from each point of origin. Technically, it only takes one person to create a DDoS. And a very effective one at that.

Posting a link on slashdot often seems to do the job as well

first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019550)

And so it begins...

Next Step (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019612)

Excellent. Now cut off their hands to set an example for the rest of the cyber criminals.

Well Duh (4, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019614)

The protection this tool offered was designed around the fact that so many people were using it, it'd be impossible to arrest them all. This kinda falls down when there may be 500 Americans on it but just 10 Brits and you're one of the 10.

Also kinda ironic attacking people's freedom to do business with who they want in the name of protecting free speech.

Re:Well Duh (5, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019764)

Also kinda ironic attacking people's freedom to do business with who they want in the name of protecting free speech.

The word for that isn't irony, it's hypocrisy.

Re:Well Duh (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020332)

Well, the idea is that you don't deserve freedoms you deny to others. Usually governments do this kind of balance and give fines or prison time. When the government fails, someone has to do something.

Re:Well Duh (4, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019820)

"Also kinda ironic attacking people's freedom to do business with who they want in the name of protecting free speech."

some people also protest against companies which help repressive governments with things like the censorship in iran and the great firewall of china.
There's no particular irony here.

It disrupts their freedom to do buisness with who they want no more than picketing the entrance to a store disrupts their freedom to do buisness with who they want.

Re:Well Duh (4, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019846)

oh, yes, isn't it so "ironic" that they're attacking business who are complicit in the government's attempt to circumvent the first amendment by pressuring businesses to "voluntarily" do the censorship for them.

Next, you'll be complaining it's kinda ironic that they're attaching the freedom of the government to ride roughshod over the consitition.

My god, the freedom! Where will it ever end!

Re:Well Duh (5, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020020)

The businesses did not perform censorship. They have the right to do business with who they want (except if they're covered by discrimination laws). Wikileaks haven't been prevented from saying anything by them.

If I'm a shop keeper and I refuse to put a pro-life or a pro-abortion poster in my window am I engaging in censorship?

Wikileaks can still leak all they want, Visa can come out and say they don't like wikileaks and/or refuse to deal with them.

Re:Well Duh (1, Redundant)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020360)

They broke a contract with a client with no valid reason and with the intent to hurt them. It is illegal, this is not a lawful way of doing business. Wikileaks will probably attack them.

Re:Well Duh (2)

godefroi (52421) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020438)

You have a citation for that? What contract did they break? I'll bet there's a clause in there that allowed them to break it.

Re:Well Duh (2)

mahiskali (1410019) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020442)

What contract? I'm just curious, this isn't a flame post. If Visa did indeed sign some kind of contract stating they would provide credit card service for X number of years, then yes there's a problem. Otherwise, if nothing was signed stating such a thing, I don't see any laws being broken. IANAL, so if I'm wrong someone please tell me.

Re:Well Duh (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020042)

oh, yes, isn't it so "ironic" that they're attacking business who are complicit in the government's attempt to circumvent the first amendment by pressuring businesses to "voluntarily" do the censorship for them.

Next, you'll be complaining it's kinda ironic that they're attaching the freedom of the government to ride roughshod over the consitition.

My god, the freedom! Where will it ever end!

I'm not the OP but commenting on the irony of a thing is not the same as complaining about it. Reading all that extra motivation and content into a remark is what creates a false controversy. "Straw man" is the logic fallacy involved.

Re:Well Duh (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020160)

oh, yes, isn't it so "ironic" that they're attacking business who are complicit in the government's attempt to circumvent the first amendment by pressuring businesses to "voluntarily" do the censorship for them.

Next, you'll be complaining it's kinda ironic that they're attaching the freedom of the government to ride roughshod over the consitition.

My god, the freedom! Where will it ever end!

Even if I were to grant that everything you said is 100% accurate, it is simply not effective to protest restrictions of free speech by restricting free speech. The DDOS attacks in Wikileak's name did far more to damage the public perception of Wikileaks than it did in denying electronic services to the targets.

Re:Well Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35020426)

Yeah, it's ironic. Not like rain on your wedding day, but still...

Re:Well Duh (1)

dunezone (899268) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019944)

The protection this tool offered was designed around the fact that so many people were using it, it'd be impossible to arrest them all. This kinda falls down when there may be 500 Americans on it but just 10 Brits and you're one of the 10.

Even if that number increased their would still be chance of being caught. This is the same thing with the RIAA lawsuits. They couldn't sue everyone but they could sue enough people into scaring the common folk into using legitimate services. This would scare some to not even chance it because they could get caught. Now the difference is that some of these people are savvy enough to find ways to prevent themselves from being caught. Just like with the RIAA, those savvy enough could find alternate sources to those that were actively being monitored but to the non-technical savvy they had to go to legitimate sources.

Poor you... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019960)

...with your freedom to do business sooo curtailed by Bad, Bad Anonymous.

Look, man. I don't approve of Anonymous' methods, but there are Bad Guys so big and bad around there that I'll prefer to have other worries.

I, for one, will put up with any Anonymous, spammers, whatever if anyone manages to put down Monsanto (just to name one among legion).

Re:Well Duh (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020172)

Also kinda ironic attacking people's freedom to do business with who they want in the name of protecting free speech.

Also ironic that stopping people's ability to hinder that business could be considered protecting free speech... It goes both ways, really.

I personally don't think free speech has anything to do with it. Supporting Wikileaks does not necessarily mean that you banner behind the motto "Free speech". If thats what the 15 year olds were shouting, well, all the power to them.

Re:Well Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35020286)

Also kinda ironic attacking people's freedom to do business with who they want in the name of protecting free speech.

How is it ironic? They intentionally published confidential and classified documents which they knew were stolen with the intention is causing unjustified damage. Just because they are not the ones stole them does not mean they have "clean hands". They also participated in DDOS attacks which itself a crime. These guys are not vigilantes, they are just are just script kiddies looking for an excuse. Throw the book at 'em.

Re:Well Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35020288)

Oh, I didn't realise resistance was now 'ironic'. Glad you enlightened us all on that one! I expect you'll now go on to tell the people of Egypt how ironic it is that they attack the police in the name of democracy.

Re:Well Duh (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020350)

More to the point, while they can't arrest everyone (although as you say if there are few enough, then they can) they certainly can pick a bunch and arrest them to make an example of them.

Lame (5, Insightful)

anne on E. mouse cow (867445) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019628)

So they sit on there arses while billions of pounds of financial cybercrimes are committed, trillions of spam sent, and then arrest some 15 year old for hurling a few packets in the name of free speech - fucking lame.

Re:Lame (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019672)

I'm pretty sure that they are working on those other crimes, too (well not the spam - that's not a crime in all jurisdictions) but the people perpetrating are a bit more savvy than the teenagers in this case.

And DDoS attacks in support of WikiLeaks makes about as much sense as setting fire to puppies to protest budget cuts to the ASCPA.

Re:Lame (0)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019838)

I'm pretty sure that they are working on those other crimes, too (well not the spam - that's not a crime in all jurisdictions) but the people perpetrating are a bit more savvy than the teenagers in this case.

You clearly don't know the British police. All they care about is meeting their 'cleanup targets', which is why you'll see a dozen of them sitting at the side of the road looking for cars with expired road tax but you can't get one to come to your house when you're burgled, and they would much rather arrest a fifteen-year-old know-nothing who'll admit everything than a banker who's going to spend millions of his ill-gotten gains on lawyers and politicians.

Re:Lame (5, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019678)

Using a tool designed to silence people you disagree with or dislike cannot be described as doing something 'in the name of free speech'.

Re:Lame (2)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019882)

which would make sense if they actually silenced them.

they disrupted their buisness, which is pretty much the point of any non-violent protest against a buisness and it's practices.

Re:Lame (2)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019902)

Also, to the ones calling the cops "lazy fucks going after the low-hanging fruit" - consider the situation as these people being the only ones they realistically *can* catch.

Re:Lame (4, Insightful)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020096)

It was a protest. Short lived, fairly effective (in that it raised awareness of their issue) and no one got hurt. If these same people took to the streets with megaphones, stood outside Barclays and shouted their message out as loudly as they could, most likely the police would turn up and ask them to move along and that would be that. We worry that kids are not engaging in politics and then arrest them when they voice concern - pffft, it is a crazy world.

Re:Lame (0)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020254)

There are good ways to voice your concern and bad way. Kids with megaphones outside Barclays - ok. Kids throwing firebombs into Barclays - bad. Obviously this is somewhere in between the two. It's more like kids creating a blockade in front of the bank where a little old lady is trying to cash her check. They'd get arrested, too.

Re:Lame (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019692)

If you want to promote free speech, then you shouldn't attempt to hurt others' free speech. I also imagine these guys were caught because they were just doing it for the lulz and were not very careful.

Re:Lame (1)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019786)

Well, I'd say the majority of the members of Anon aren't exactly rocket scientists to begin with. How careful are you going to be when you're used to trolling porn, weed, and Boxxy threads?

Re:Lame (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019726)

Real criminals have guns... and friends with guns.

15 year old kids do not usually.

They pick the easy target because cops are lazy fucks.
Same reason most of the USA cops spend their time going after potheads... They're easy targets.

Re:Lame (1)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019878)

I disagree. I think what's lame is "hackers" that are really just guys that downloaded an application written for them. Then they are surprised when they get caught, because they have no clue what is truly happening or how to do what they intend. That's the very definition of lame. They are posers and I have no love for posers. It might be elitist but seriously, stay on the curb if you don't know what you are doing. Too many these days think they can read a few articles on gizmodo, walk through a DIY lego-minstorm hack, and that qualifies them as super-awesome-hackers. It's lame.

I have an useful motto when it comes to these things - I'm not the law. So break it. I don't care. But when you get caught remember that I don't care.

I know it's a jaded view and I apologize in advance for the terseness but it's how I feel.

Re:Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35020038)

What scares me is I probably know the people who have been doing this.

Operation: Unmask anyone?

Re:Lame (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35020058)

Apparently you haven't noticed by now, so i will inform you of this.

Police forces tend to go after the low hanging fruit most of the time, simply because it gives them high numbers in the reports at the end of whatever term.
They don't care how stupid it is, they don't care how trivial it is, they will do it simply because it increments those numbers ever higher.

This tends to be the general voice among most officers of the law, there are a few decent people who think about the bigger picture and go after those who do actual harm.

Sucks, doesn't it? But this is what happens when governments don't pay their police forces enough money, they get paid by 3rd parties to do their bidding instead.
Sadly media companies tend to be the biggest contributor.

duh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019666)

I'm 15yrs old, and what is this ?

Good guys win, bad guys lose... (1, Troll)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019680)

... and as always, England Prevails!

Re:Good guys win, bad guys lose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019746)

... and as always, England Prevails!

Just like they did around 1775-1781?

Whoosh!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019874)

V flew right past you!

Re:Good guys win, bad guys lose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019958)

I'm tentatively accepting of this case so far - they were engaging in vigilantism, with no reasonable 'self defence' argument to be made, which most people agree is (if not always bad in terms of results) too dangerous to allow. Unfortunately, precedent [toothpicks.org] suggests some serious inconsistency in sentencing when it comes to cases that catch the public eye; rather than a mid-sized fine, I can quite believe that a custodial sentence will be handed down. We shall, however, have to wait and see.

S'o Does' An Apos'trophe Follow All "s'"es' now? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019688)

...accused of taking part in Anonymous' DDOS attacks in support of WikiLeaks.

Who is "Anonymous" and in what way does he or she possess "DDOS attacks in support of WikiLeaks"?

Re:S'o Does' An Apos'trophe Follow All "s'"es' now (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019772)

...accused of taking part in Anonymous' DDOS attacks in support of WikiLeaks.

Who is "Anonymous" and in what way does he or she possess "DDOS attacks in support of WikiLeaks"?

Anonymous is the name of the group that organized the DDOS attack. The apostrophe use is perfectly legitimate in this case.

Re:S'o Does' An Apos'trophe Follow All "s'"es' now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019978)

Thanks wow. It seems I fail at RTFA.

Re:S'o Does' An Apos'trophe Follow All "s'"es' now (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019844)

Anonymous in this context is a proper noun ending with S. To end with es would be to change their name, to end in s's would look silly.

Too many people get worked up over apostrophes anyhow. When you get to complex situations all the rules start contradicting themselves and it all falls apart. Here's a grammatical puzzle.

You have a load of copies of Stephen King's It. Using just the title (plus the appropriate apostrophe suffix) what is the possessive case of all of these books as a collective (for example if you wanted to refer to all of their pages)?

Re:S'o Does' An Apos'trophe Follow All "s'"es' now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019948)

Is there actually an agreed-upon answer to that puzzle? I'm kind of curious now...

Re:S'o Does' An Apos'trophe Follow All "s'"es' now (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020104)

I don't know the answer for sure, would probably take an professor of English to give a concrete answer, I believe the answer is probably Its' though.

Redundancy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019736)

Met Police said the investigation was a collaborative effort between forces in the UK, EU and the US.

Do the Met not realise that the UK is part of the EU?

Re:Redundancy (2)

TheDarAve (513675) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019762)

They said it like that because on occasion, its the EU or US that issues the warrant and the UK just executes it. This states that they actually had a role in the investigation besides just executing the arrest warrant.

Identification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019862)

So we don't complain when the police use IP addresses to identify individuals they want to arrest, but we do when an RIAA lawyer does the same thing to find people he wishes to sue?

Double standard anyone?

Re:Identification? (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020012)

Don't worry... we'll get just as upset if the police make false claims about the fallibility of their methods, arrest people who never had LOIC on their computers, arrest hundreds of people based on the same evidence, or start extorting settlements under the threat of an expensive court case with flimsy evidence.

Re:Identification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35020210)

There is a slight difference Sarten. The guys in the OP will be sat in a cell now, rather than just wondering if they can find enough money to hire a solicitor to write a snotty "see you in court" letter back to ACS. Yet the validity of their identification in both cases is the same. An IP address still does not equate to a particular person, and most likely never will (unless the government were to mandate every individual being allocated their own IPv6 address range at birth).

A DDoS is not helpful (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019916)

Perhaps with enough publicity from this case, the "members" of Anonymous will realize that throwing a tantrum is not useful activism. Unfortunately, it's more likely that the various police involved will be targeted next, along with their supporters, families, and barbers.

Re:A DDoS is not helpful (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020000)

I don't know about where you live but the protests had the effect most protests are supposed to have.

after the mastercard DoS the whole issue got splashed across most of the national papers here.
It got the issue media attention.

Also:Anon isn't known for defending their own.

Re:A DDoS is not helpful (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020272)

And what changed as a result of this protest? Have other people stopped using Mastercard or PayPal now that their attention has been drawn to it or are people thinking - those pain the behind kids prevented me from doing what I needed to do for a day or two.

Re:A DDoS is not helpful (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020346)

Wow.
you really haven't been keeping up with the news.
it drew so much attention to the issue that in at least one country mastercard is being dragged over the coals by regulators.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/mastercard-visa-licenses-revoked-iceland-wikileaks/ [rawstory.com]

which may lead to them no longer being allowed do buisness in an entire country.
Without the Anon protests the issue wouldn't have hit the headlines and the politicians/regulators would almost certainly never heard of it.

Re:A DDoS is not helpful (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020398)

First I don't buy for even a second that the protests are what brought this to the regulators attention. Second, we are talking about Iceland - not exactly a country that is going to bankrupt mastercard or visa by banning them.

Re:A DDoS is not helpful (1)

godefroi (52421) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020474)

I don't know about where you live but the protests had the effect most protests are supposed to have.

Getting the protesters arrested? That's pretty much all I noticed happening.

Re:A sit-in is not helpful (2, Insightful)

Obyron (615547) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020010)

Perhaps with enough publicity from this case, the "members" of the NAACP will realize that throwing a tantrum is not useful activism. Unfortunately, it's more likely that the various police involved will be targeted next, along with their supporters, families, and barbers.

Re:A DDoS is not helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35020214)

Actually, that sounds like a good plan!

Re:A DDoS is not helpful (2)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020318)

While I agree with you that DDoSes are somewhat childish, pointless and rather stupid, Anonymous did manage to achieve quite a lot of publicity and did (however briefly) make a difference.

Interesting (1)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019940)

As far as I can tell, not one of these individuals can be charged under the Computer Misuse Act (but IANAL) - the DDOS was effectively reaslised across many individuals whose net effect was a DDOS. Further, surely they could claim that their action was simply an expression of their right to free assembly? Anyone any insights here?

Re:Interesting (3)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020022)

Quoting from the section headed: "Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer, etc."

(2) This subsection applies if the person intends by doing the actâ"

(a) to impair the operation of any computer;

(b) to prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in any computer;

(c) to impair the operation of any such program or the reliability of any such data; or

(d) to enable any of the things mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c) above to be done.

Just intent to slow down a website, or prevent other people accessing it, or even ENABLING people to intend to impair it's operation (e.g. distributing click-and-point tools and encouraging people to aim them at websites).

Re:Interesting (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020176)

(sorry - missed off last bit of the sentence)

Just intent to slow down a website, or prevent other people accessing it, or even ENABLING people to intend to impair it's operation (e.g. distributing click-and-point tools and encouraging people to aim them at websites) is enough to get you charged under that act and imprisoned for a long time if proven in court.

Re: I wonder... (1)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020388)

Would it be any different if a large group of people manually clicked refresh or something similar?

The intent would definetly be there.

Re:Interesting (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020050)

As far as I can tell, not one of these individuals can be charged under the Computer Misuse Act (but IANAL) - the DDOS was effectively reaslised across many individuals whose net effect was a DDOS. Further, surely they could claim that their action was simply an expression of their right to free assembly? Anyone any insights here?

DDOS attacks are malicious in nature and designed to harm a target. It would be difficult to convince a reasonable person that they are equitable to a peaceful assembly. A better analogy would be to compare it to a mob riot.

Re:Interesting (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020070)

I'm pretty sure that intent matters. There is no law against holding a ladder, but when the cop catches you holding a ladder that someone is breaking into a store with you will be arrested too.

Re:Interesting (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020072)

well there was some article written by an american lawyer talking about the issue with a DDoS being that each individual step is perfectly legal: you have every right to send a SYN to the server and only in agregate does it lead to any kind of effect.

There's even a legit debate that it falls under "non-violent political protest" since it's done as a protest about a political issue in an utterly non-violent manner which does no physical damage to any property.

It's not taking over a computer or taking access to anything you aren't allowed access so while IANAL it might be somewhat hard to prosecute.

Re:Interesting (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020328)

Don't almost all DDoS attacks use hacked computers as part of their attack?

Re:Interesting (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020406)

sure, most DDoS attacks do but unless these kids were botnet herders that isn't really an issue.
I heard that some botnet got involved but again, not really an issue.

If you turn up to a protest you aren't automatically legally liable for the actions of some other person who shows up and throws rocks.

The anon protests used the LOIC software which is a volentary botnet.

Re:Interesting (3, Informative)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020408)

For those interested, the relevant part is Section 3 [legislation.gov.uk] of the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

"(1) A person is guilty of an offence if... (a) he does any unauthorised act in relation to a computer, (b) at the time when he does the act he knows that it is unauthorised; and..." he intends "(2)(b) to prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in any computer;".

It doesn't need to be aimed at any particular data, computer etc. (4), "causing the acts to be done" is enough (5)(b) and the effects can be temporary (5)(c).

That sounds quite a bit like a DDoS attack to me (I am a law student, but not a real lawyer).

Oh, and if you plead guilty, you get at most 12 months in prison (6 months in Scotland - I guess because they don't have real computers up there). If you actually go to trial, that jumps up to 10 years. Bearing in mind that a jury system has at least an 83% uncertainty, it is actually better to plead guilty even if innocent.

Free Speech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019942)

If you block the right for someone to speak on the internet you are not allowing them to express their free speech. No matter what they are saying they should have the right to say what they want. Does that make what they are saying right? Hell no. However it is hypocritical to say you are attacking websites in the name of free speech by not allowing them to express free speech.

Just my 2 cents.

Grats (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019972)

I bet they think they're going to get a lot of information out of these boys/guys to find out who's the brain behind the operation!

good job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35020008)

yeah throw some nasty kids in jail while the adults are in charge.
See, they should of been doing
large scale commercial voicemail hacking (and making serious backs from it) as that doesn't seem to even get the police to blink up let alone having their door kicked in at 5am by 12 police in full riot gear and the contents of your house/pc seized or whatever they find turning your house over for evidence, while you in front of the kids are thrown in the back of a cold van in cuffs (while being filmed for the latest COPS show) and whisked off down the local nick for 3 days of questioning like we usually see when they arrest menaces to society.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/27/police-phone-hacking-scandal-history [guardian.co.uk]

or maybe plebs don't have the right friends?

LOIC cannot work anonymously (1)

Ricardo (43461) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020046)

LOIC (Low Earth Ion Canon) has a catchy name, and has a cool cache among people who dont know much, but it floods the target with packets from your IP address, there is no external vector, so there is no way of hiding your IP address..

maybe the members of anonymous should have checked that

I was shocked when I found this out (Steve Gibson's "Security Now" podcast)

What did they think would happen?

This should be a strong warning to people who think of using LOIC.

Why do the Met go 'round in threes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35020142)

One to read, one to write, and one to keep an eye on the other two subversive intellectuals.

Great news (1)

das3cr (780388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020190)

They need to be able to track down cyber criminals and bring them to justice. Hopefully they are sentenced to 10 years hard labor and never being able to have a computer again.

thanks anon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35020218)

I would like to thank anon for this chemo

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