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Anonymous Files Petition To Make DDoS Legal Form of Protest

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the let-us-break-stuff dept.

Security 323

hypnosec writes "Anonymous has filed a petition with the U.S. Government asking the Obama administration to make Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks a legal form of protest. Anonymous has argued that because of advancements in internet technology, there is a need for new ways of protest. The hacking collective doesn't consider DDoS as a form of attack and equates it to hitting the 'refresh' button on a webpage. Comparing these attacks to the 'occupy' protests, Anonymous notes that instead of people occupying an area, it is their computers occupying a website for a particular period of time."

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Mannequin Attack (5, Insightful)

dittbub (2425592) | about 2 years ago | (#42553099)

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

Re:Mannequin Attack (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553159)

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

Re:Mannequin Attack (-1, Troll)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#42553479)

... or smoke pot ... or have sex in (or out of) tents ... or steal stuff ... or litter ... or develop intense body odor ...

Re:Mannequin Attack (0, Offtopic)

schizz69 (1239560) | about 2 years ago | (#42553571)

We could always build an army of protesting robots to do it for us. They would be able to chant and wave pickets for as long as their charge lasts, while we can still go to work and earn our 1%

Re:Mannequin Attack (0, Troll)

horusofoz (1856906) | about 2 years ago | (#42553199)

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

I would say it is little different from the Koch brothers busing in a bunch of uninformed societal dregs to protest issues they know nothing about or right wing "think tanks" such as "American Crossroads" bank rolling Tea Party groups with pre-determined objectives and calling it grass roots organising.

Re:Mannequin Attack (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553267)

I would say it is little different from the Koch brothers busing in a bunch of uninformed societal dregs to protest issues they know nothing about

So, the Koch brothers were the ones behind OWS?

Re:Mannequin Attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553345)

no, it would be like a mannequin occupying another mannequin, pretty sane in my mannequin book...

Re:Mannequin Attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553763)

mannequin porn

Re:Mannequin Attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553347)

And who's mannequins? Some DDoS attacks are done with bot nets and not just people running software voluntarily on their own computer. A crappy car analogy would be like staging a sit in, by steal cars to park in the area you want to occupy.

At least with most protests involving people actually showing up, the primary resource is people's time, which tends to be a bit more equalizing (even if people with money can try to hire people to protest for them). Turning it into computers versus computers makes it a material fight, and if legal, would be dominated by those with money and resources.

Re:Mannequin Attack (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42553509)

if legal, would be dominated by those with money and resources.

Or the biggest network of other people's compromised machines.

And lets face it, that is what this is really about: legalizing bot nets as a free speech issue.

Re:Mannequin Attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553397)

Kudos on the analogy. Other than that I was thinking much the same thing

Re:Mannequin Attack (5, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#42553473)

My favorite are the meatspace DDoS attacks. There was one in Dallas where the protesters went to a busy intersection, and walked around in circles around the intersection, obeying traffic laws, but the extra time for walk signals disrupted traffic timing, and everyone got a chance to stop and see the signs. There are lots of things people can do in meatspace that get in people's way that are explicitly legal. We just don't do it because we fear the law.

Re:Mannequin Attack (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#42553543)

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

Re:Mannequin Attack (2)

marciot (598356) | about 2 years ago | (#42553933)

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

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

Yeah, this ought to be legal...

Not going to fly (3, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | about 2 years ago | (#42553101)

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

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

Re:Not going to fly (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553221)

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

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

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

Re:Not going to fly (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 2 years ago | (#42553287)

As it would likely be a constitutional defence, I would imagine that it would be up to the defendant to prove that they didn't follow an automated process.

Re:Not going to fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553947)

Yeah, innocent until proven guilty is a thing of the past.

Re:Not going to fly (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553283)

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

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

Re:Not going to fly (4, Insightful)

multimediavt (965608) | about 2 years ago | (#42553749)

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

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

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

Re:Not going to fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553805)

Then there's the fact, if you can launch a DDoS, you have very many compromised computers out there. All illegal. Making botnets out of other peoples machines is bad mmkay?

Re:Not going to fly (3, Informative)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 years ago | (#42553925)

Not necessarily. Orbital Ion Cannon does essentially the same thing with the consent of the computer users. Launching a DDoS with compromised computers would be a separate issue entirely.

Re:Not going to fly (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#42553461)

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

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

Re:Not going to fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553667)

The consequences of this form of protest are reprehensible. However the power of those and the willingness of those who don't care makes it easy for those in power to crush protest. Those in power are corrupt and deserving of condemnation. The people are too stupid to make good choices and generally don't have the information or ability to do so (be it the direct decisions or the indirect ones; ie voting for leaders who do). I'm not against a dictatorship. I just wish for a lenient liberal minded policies. Those protesting should have a right to be a nascence. They have the right to go to war. Until war is declared though every person committing acts of war should be held responsible. Declare war and the government has the right to kill you on a battlefield should capture not be an option.

Re:Not going to fly (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about 2 years ago | (#42553477)

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

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

Re:Not going to fly (2)

Stewie241 (1035724) | about 2 years ago | (#42553601)

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

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

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

Re:Not going to fly (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#42553587)

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

Re:Not going to fly (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#42553757)

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

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

So I kind of think the turnaround is fair play.

On the other hand aren't most effective DDoS attacks run by botnets... meaning the resources being used to conduct the 'protest' are effectively stolen. I don't see how a case for that being legal would ever work.

Re:Not going to fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553819)

I disagree - Protester spending time to code "refresh" algorithms against "Wall Street" isn't different than Wall Street spending time to program short-sell or puts in HFT. So, Occupy Wall Street = Occupy uSec.... Let fun ensue.

Its not your packets (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553105)

Unlike conventional protests, the protesting packets in a ddos are not your property.

Re:Its not your packets (3)

theNetImp (190602) | about 2 years ago | (#42553125)

I paid for the damn internet connection better believe they're my property....

Re:Its not your packets (2)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42553471)

I paid for the damn internet connection better believe they're my property....

You paid for your half of the connection.

Re:Its not your packets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553539)

ddos is 99% not your computer. that is the nature of it being distributed. unless your computing property is distributed, they are not your packets.

Re:Its not your packets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553913)

I think you would be on the phone to your ISP complaining about being under attack if I pointed my handy-dandy test rig at the public IP address you are using. Can't understand why though - those are my packets and I want them delivered to you. You should just bend over and take it. Not like you paid for the connection...

Oh, right, you did.

The internet is not a sender-paid model. Stop thinking like it is. Phone service wasn't really caller paid either, only the incremental per minute charge was. The internet is a bi-lateral cost shared model. Somewhere in the middle of my network your packet is no longer yours, it is the property of the person who it's been addressed to, and if they've asked me not to deliver that packet, or packets like it, I won't.

Occupy public space (3, Interesting)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 2 years ago | (#42553315)

Generally, you can't occupy private property. Protests need to be on public property. So how about this. You can only ddos .gov sites. Let's see how far that flies.

Quantum Occupy (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553113)

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

Full Retard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553119)

So we're going to a form of protest to whoever can afford to allocate them most IP addresses to something?

Why are Slashdotters obsessed with Anonymous? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553127)

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

Re:Why are Slashdotters obsessed with Anonymous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553157)

o rite money=speech

Re:Why are Slashdotters obsessed with Anonymous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553859)

Huh? A website is not money. Are you arguing that people and groups that have a lot of money are not entitled to free speech?

Re:Why are Slashdotters obsessed with Anonymous? (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#42553307)

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

a website doesn't equal free speech.

Re:Why are Slashdotters obsessed with Anonymous? (3, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | about 2 years ago | (#42553331)

"It's only censorship if the government does it"

Re:Why are Slashdotters obsessed with Anonymous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553521)

"It's only censorship if the government does it"

Perhaps they should apply this same logic to the filibuster. Oh wait.

Re:Why are Slashdotters obsessed with Anonymous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553685)

Incorrect.

Re:Why are Slashdotters obsessed with Anonymous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553441)

Trick question right? Because they are not obsessed with Anonymous.

Agreed. (0)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#42553589)

Guy Fawkes kiddies take a regular beating on /. It must suck to go to jail for using DDoS tools that you don't even understand.

Nobody's fawning here... (1)

sirwired (27582) | about 2 years ago | (#42553573)

Hmmm... I don't see any fawning going on here at all. Anonymous has done some worthy things, but I don't remember anybody on Slashdot arguing that their DDoS attacks should be legal. That's not to say that they haven't had some worthy targets... but that is different from approval of their methods.

No (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553133)

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

Re:No (-1, Troll)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | about 2 years ago | (#42553243)

I work for a small hosting/cloud provider...

And that is where I stopped reading. What you really mean is your company resells shared hosting on virtual servers...

Re:No (5, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | about 2 years ago | (#42553257)

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

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553743)

And he should be supported in what he is advocating. See, when a protest clogs up the admin building of a university nobody dies. When you block the ability for a paramedic squad to get to an accident you are grievously injuring someone. The problem with network DDOS attacks is that they cannot be granular in the same way personal space occupation can be, which can allow emergency services to get through to that protester who fell off the balcony. Because of the uncontrolled collateral damage caused in network DDOS attacks where the attacker cannot know who is actually being affected, it is not a legitimate form of protest, but one of extreme irresponsible behavior.

In any event I'll scrub that crap out of the data stream and drop it on the floor. This isn't traffic you have paid me to carry to you - fine I won't deliver it. The DDOSers can scream into the void - I won't prevent them from transmitting and using up their own bandwidth. I will expect them to pay me to let them do it, and when they hit their bandwidth caps I'll toss on a rate limiter. But if it isn't bandwidth they've paid for I'll shut them down without a second thought.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553911)

If a DDOS on a service hosted by a cloud provider brings down an emergency services service also hosted by that provider, the issue isn't the DDOS - the issue is, WTF were the emergency services doing getting their services hosted on shared resources? Or at the very least, shared resources without minimum guaranteed service levels

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553715)

That sucks- however you can't ban protests just because they are inconvenient to those not involved. It sucks to be targeted. You do have choices. You can mitigate the attacks as a provider. Drop the customer in question (temporarily or permanently).

DDoS affects comerce (5, Insightful)

Q-Hack! (37846) | about 2 years ago | (#42553135)

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

Re:DDoS affects comerce (2, Insightful)

thoughtlover (83833) | about 2 years ago | (#42553163)

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

Re:DDoS affects comerce (3, Insightful)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about 2 years ago | (#42553401)

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

That's capitalism, actually.

Re:DDoS affects comerce (4, Funny)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about 2 years ago | (#42553453)

Distributed Denial of Revenue attack?

Re:DDoS affects comerce (1)

jakimfett (2629943) | about 2 years ago | (#42553823)

My DDR game [ddrgame.com] just made more sense...err...wait...sorry...wrong acronym...

Re:DDoS affects comerce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553733)

Yes, that is a good way to fool yourself into feeling you have some political power. It makes all sorts of heinous acts okay, because it becomes the consumers' fault for not knowing and refusing to do business with the guilty parties.

Re:DDoS affects comerce (1)

Maow (620678) | about 2 years ago | (#42553797)

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

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

Re:DDoS affects comerce (2)

Bradmont (513167) | about 2 years ago | (#42553195)

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

Re:DDoS affects comerce (2, Interesting)

sco08y (615665) | about 2 years ago | (#42553663)

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

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

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

In aggregate, society benefits from these protests and they're a necessary part of the political dynamic. Many times people just won't listen until you raise all hell.

But that's an appeal to the greater good, fundamentally arguing that the ends justify the means. They don't. If you've ever been part of those protests, you owe those people an apology.

Re:DDoS affects comerce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553215)

Not a fan of sit-ins, I take it?

Re:DDoS affects comerce (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553333)

Sit-ins aren't a legal form of protest either. It's trespassing; hence why people involved in a sit-in generally need to chain themselves up. It's a delay tactic that forces the police to go the extra step of bringing in some bolt cutters while they enjoy some extra face-time with the local media.

Re:DDoS affects comerce (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#42553433)

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

as opposed to Boycotts? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553535)

you have to appreciate the irony that our (US) current president in no small part owes his status to the work/sacrifices of a man he (O) would eagerly sic the FBI/DOJ/etc on were he still alive today (pretty confident MLK would've sided w/Occupy)...

in a sick/twisted/depressing sort of way it's a huge tribute to racial progress that the US' 1st AA president is accurately characterized as "Bush Lite"...

(btw, this is coming from a 2% male WASP)

Re:DDoS affects comerce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553553)

> I think Anonymous is missing the concept a bit here. You can protest a business with a sign and megaphone, but you are not allowed to stop people from patronising that business.

Really? Picket lines would say otherwise... they block vehicle access frequently.

Re:DDoS affects comerce (1)

jakimfett (2629943) | about 2 years ago | (#42553841)

And they're illegal. And when they happen, people go to jail. If you haven't noticed, people have been going to jail in proven DDOS cases too. I'm glad you noted the similarity.

Not akin to hitting the refresh button. (2, Interesting)

macraig (621737) | about 2 years ago | (#42553149)

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

Re:Not akin to hitting the refresh button. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553191)

Too bad the petition creator "Dylan K" wasn't wise enough to use that analogy instead of the stupid refresh button one.

Re:Not akin to hitting the refresh button. (1)

dittbub (2425592) | about 2 years ago | (#42553247)

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

Re:Not akin to hitting the refresh button. (1)

macraig (621737) | about 2 years ago | (#42553447)

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

Re:Not akin to hitting the refresh button. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553643)

Why not? It would be illegal for that same group to show up at a store and physically prevent people from entering the store. They could yell at them, care signs indicating the source of their dispute, politely educate patrons and passersby, but they could not legally prevent people from entering (or leaving) the premises. How is a DDOS not the same thing? I'm genuinely curious, as I see no difference.

Re:Not akin to hitting the refresh button. (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 2 years ago | (#42553515)

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

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

Toxic precedent (5, Insightful)

starfishsystems (834319) | about 2 years ago | (#42553167)

I hope, and expect, that the petition will be denied. What it means is that any entity with sufficient knowledge and resources (individual or corporation) would be permitted to flood the net with DDoS packets.

If such activity were legalized, by the same principle so would automatically-generated petitions. So would spam. So would noise pollution. It sets an extremely toxic precedent.

Ya I'm ok with it (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 years ago | (#42553719)

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

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

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

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

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

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

I like their chances (4, Funny)

paiute (550198) | about 2 years ago | (#42553217)

I also filed a petition - that I be recognized as the Queen of England. I think mine will be approved just before the one approving DDoSs.

Re:I like their chances (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553359)

Your petition has been approved. Here is your entry form. [youtube.com]

Too easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553235)

If only a pissed off 16 year old could single handedly occupy a building in a legal way (ie without weapons), then the comparison would perhaps be valid. Talk about half baked idea...

Clickity Click click clak finger cramp (1)

portwojc (201398) | about 2 years ago | (#42553237)

"It is the equivalent of repeatedly hitting the refresh button on a webpage"... Only if you, not a program, can click refresh in excess of at say 500 times per minute, non stop for 24 hours and get a couple thousand of your buddies to join in. Good luck with that.

Re:Clickity Click click clak finger cramp (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 2 years ago | (#42553693)

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

The Slashdot Effect is alive and well.

Terrible example. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553259)

DDoSs can DAMAGE systems.
Not only that, it doesn't "disrupt" a service, it outright DENIES it, it is in the fucking name for crying out loud!

Protests disrupt a service, it does no direct damage to anything within the business either.

Not only that, a protect occupies a person time, showing that they are willing to waste their time in defiance of [something].
DDoSing is some skiddie crap that is left running on some morons computer most of the time, even sometimes without the persons consent if they were one of the morons who installed that botnet DDoSer.
That doesn't occupy time, refreshing the button on the website would be the actual example. And that isn't going to do shit, that is only going to help the site because they could probably say "hey, look at our hits, give us ads!" (that is only half true, most advertisers want checks of this data to ensure there is no foul play)

Re:Terrible example. (0)

Xeno man (1614779) | about 2 years ago | (#42553567)

That is the fucking point!

Protest are meant to cause damage. They can damage a business by blocking and discouraging people from shopping there. "Don't shop at ABC, they hate this thing" They can damage a reputation or public image. "Boycot ABC, they use children to make their product and it causes cancer!"

I think your confusing a hippy love in with actual protesting.

Abusers (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553263)

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

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

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

Re:Abusers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553853)

I'll be interested to see what happens the first time they piss off a company that owns a couple data centers like, say, Google.

"DDoS me?! Oh no no no, Anonymous... DDoS YOU!"

Re:Abusers (4, Informative)

jakimfett (2629943) | about 2 years ago | (#42553869)

And we have an AC who hit the nail on the head. Legalizing DDOS attacks as a form of protest will turn the internet into a warzone.

No need for DDoS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553271)

Just link them to an article on Slashdot and watch their server buckle under the load, I believe it's called the Slashdot effect, or simply being 'Slashdotted'

Analogy time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553353)

So let's accept rape as a form of protest. It's just a way of occupying a vagina for a short period of time.

Re:Analogy time! (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 2 years ago | (#42553485)

I'm sorry, that's just idiotic. Yes, the sarcasm was detected, but still.

Or perhaps I should put sugar in your gas tank to protest your use of earth-damaging petro-chemicals.

I suppose you feel that the Nazis were just protesting that they had non-Aryans in their country.

Everything else, too, but also this.. (2)

Brett Buck (811747) | about 2 years ago | (#42553365)

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

here's something to consider (1)

houbou (1097327) | about 2 years ago | (#42553367)

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

I wish... (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 2 years ago | (#42553427)

... I had a website that was so popular that it would be a target of Anonymous.

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

It's got 12 billion signatures already (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553489)

;)

Slashdot unanimity? WTF? (1)

sirwired (27582) | about 2 years ago | (#42553549)

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

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

The suppression of speech is not speech. (2)

sco08y (615665) | about 2 years ago | (#42553551)

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

I can agree - its protesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553577)

A denial of service attack carried out by an individual or small group is indeed hacking and therefor is a federal crime. But if thousands of angry people unite and just start hitting the refresh button in their browsers over and over again to express their discontent, I don't call that hacking; I call that protesting. Its a mass public demonstration of objection. Yes, its often more likely that they're using some kind of program like LOIC, but so what? If it weren't automated, would that make the person participating any less disgusted by the entity they are protesting against? Or any less willing to take some kind of action to participate, even if its manual instead of automated?

Yes, its destructive. Its meant to be. Its meant to get people to take notice. No different from throwing garbage at a referee who made a bad call at a sporting event. If you don't wanna get trash thrown at you, then quit being a douchebag!

Re:I can agree - its protesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553791)

Is it not the case that most DDoS are performed by botnets -- collections of hijacked computers operating on remote control?
Does anonymous propose that hijacking 3rd-party computers should be made legal?

If on the other hand DDoS attacks were performed entirely by computers under the "protest" group's control, the it would only need connectivity providers to prohibit DDoS in their terms of service. The machines participating in DDoS are generally identifiable at least by the local connectivity provider. The reason owners of these machines are not currently prosecuted is that their machines have been compromised and are not acting according to the owner's volition.

Not analogous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42553703)

DDoS isn't analogous to Occupy Wall Street. It would be if the protestors denied the public usage of the business offices of private firms. As the buildings are private property, so are servers, and the fact that some customer may not want me to use either in no way validates that they should be able to make me unable to.

Aside from that, once you cross the line from public space and mechanisms, it opens all sorts of clearly-unacceptable parallels. Perhaps CEO's of industrial enterprises can protest their sense of excessive taxes by removing their company's filtration systems, and "DDoS-ing" the surrounding public of breathable air?

By the way, I'm posting AC. Does this make me fully as qualified to speak for "Anonymous" as the unspecified association of the petition filers does?

Political protesters get arrested... (2)

matt.m.munz (2663915) | about 2 years ago | (#42553765)

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