Anonymous seeks to make DDoS attacks a legal form of protest

By Shawn Knight
Jan 10, 2013
Post New Reply
  1. The loose knit group of hackers that call themselves Anonymous have petitioned the White House in an effort to get distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks recognized as a legal form of protest. The hackers argue that DDoS attacks are not a...

    Read more
  2. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,283   +229

    Sorry, I guess I have a different viewpoint on protesting than Anonymous does. Someone involved in an "occupy" protest is standing in front of a building and typically spouting viewpoints, so you at least know what is being protested. And you can still walk past them to get into the business. A DDoS is a blind attack (users who can't get to the website they need have no idea why it's down), and is more like protesters standing INSIDE a property and preventing all customer traffic from entering... Which, as I recall, was resulting in plenty of arrests for trespassing.

    You can't chain the doors of a business without legal ramifications, why should you be able to do virtually the same thing to a business website?
    davislane1 and m4a4 like this.
  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,012   +683

    Well... either this is a just a joke for attetion or someone at Anon is even dumber than we all thought.
  4. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,319   +370

    Fat chance. Until they quit making themselves "anonymous," it is not a protest - it is more like a form of terrorism.

    Protester's - that is legitimate protester's - don't hide behind pseudo-names and masks.
  5. I don't have a problem with this. Perhaps if it were legal they might show themselves
  6. PC nerd

    PC nerd TechSpot Booster Posts: 320   +36

    I support Anonymous, but this isn't right.

    DDOSing a company's website can bring them to their knees. Widespread enough, it could cause all kinds of damage.
  7. Actually, Anonymous has a fair point. Visiting a website en mass (DDOS) is not terrorism. It has previously been used as a protest. If thousands of people, all at once, chose to browse in person at a store, clogging the entrance, and the checkouts - its not terrorism. With the internet taking the place of bricks and mortar stores, it seems logical that a DDOS protest should be allowed. Its a modern form of protest in a modern society. Protest is a way of people expressing their objection to the conduct of a company / individual / government. Protest is an important part of our society. If you dont want to get DDOS'ed - then be ethical and fair in your conduct in this world.
  8. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,012   +683

    Great advice. Be fair. And when two people think you're being unfair in opposite ways then what do you do?

    This isn't protesting. If you protest you must be present where you are protesting. a DDoS could attack many sites at once. Imagine if every website of every grocery store and restaurant was attacked because someone wanted to protest eating meat.
  9. What this guys are thinking? F... off you dudes and go find some work to do!!!
  10. The scenario you outline is unlikely. To DDOS every grocery store would take quite a lot of people and resources to do so.

    There are many people aggrieved by many different issues every day, but not everyone is out protesting about it. Only when an issue becomes big enough, with enough people aggrieved, does a protest actually happen.

    Protests are for when people wish to stand up against an issue they feel very strongly about. Because the internet is such a huge part of peoples lives today, and becoming more important than the "street", it makes perfect sense that people should be able to protest online. We are not talking about viruses or hacking, we are talking about prevention of access to websites.

    Most people enjoy the freedom that the internet brings. We should embrace the freedom, without restrictions. Protesting online should be embraced as a legitimate form of protest - without leaving your computer seat. It's the modern world. Get with the times.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,765   +1,423

    OMG, I don't believe what I'm reading. Is there actually a website available, that someone somewhere does not protest? This is the most ludicrous thing I have read in a while.

    I'm all for protesting but not for allowing just anyone to stage a protest of this magnitude. Protest in my opinion is not for individual temper tantrums. And then for a small group to DDOS a website out of protest just to strike a blow at the big guy is just cowardly. If you want to protest grab a picket sign and stand in front of the building for the world to admire or hate.
     
  12. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    The censors are dead.....long live the censors!!
    ANON if it is ANON, has lost what little credibility they had with me. The only tactic they have is DDoS. So basically they are trying to turn the only tool the have into a legal method of protest?? Heres a hint for all those little script kiddies, get off your butt and make a physical appearence if you want to protest. Thats how SOPA got dropped. Enough ppl ACTUALLY demonstrated against it.
    Next thing you know ANON is going to tell us that drunk drivers are a form of protest as well....
  13. Some one suggested to protest you must stand in front of a building. I would love you to find the Amazon building. How about Craigs List. How about a cloud storage that stores stuff on several servers in buildings across the globe. So as you see how ridiculous your suggestion sounds. Also the reason why they wear masks is to avoid their family being haresed. The kind of thing the Church of Scientology is engaged in. You protest Scientology and your family receives threats. Also your neighbors are told that you are a pedophile. It is called a fair game policy by Scientology. Any one declared the enemy of the Church falls under the fair game policy. So the mask was born.
  14. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    @Guest
    Im sure in the begining of ANON there were lofty goals and ideals. However what they have turned into is a far cry from what they started as. Every business on the internet has SOME form of physical address. It may take looking up where they would have filed thier corporate paperwork, but with a little digging you can find it. Still doesnt change the fact that when you protest in front of a business, you have a physical presence. Ppl can see you and avoid you if they like. With DDoS attacks, you have no idea why the site is down and no one keeping YOU informed as to the WHY it is down. I think thats why everyone feels ANON has become pretty much a joke. Sure they say they are for freedom on the web, but thier only tool is DDoS attacks. Which is the opposite of freedom. Basically if ANON wants credibility they need to start doing ACTUAL hacks and release information that the public SHOULD see. Not script kiddies putting out malware to highjack your computer to do thier dirtywork. Lets see some skills from these ppl and maybe they will get another chance. Untill then they are simple *****s who like to wear a mask.
  15. davislane1

    davislane1 TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,177   +441

    Love the guest comments on this article; we're really dealing with some intellectual powerhouses.

    DDoS is not a legitimate form of protest. In a legitimate protest, a group of people march, loiter or otherwise make their presence known at a public location to stand up for a set of values they believe are being violated. They do no deface the business (vandalism), bar patrons or employes from conducting business at the location, or breach access points and harass individuals within the business. In a legitimate protest, the protestors do not alienate the rights of the patrons, employees, or businesses they are protesting.

    DDoS does exactly this. Some random dissatisfied person or group comes along, figures that they need to make their voice heard, and so proceeds to crash the offending party's website. As a direct result, customers are unable to utilize the service, business stops, and techs who could be doing more important things must now clean up the mess. And, as if the flaming hypocrisy wasn't already bad enough, the act is rationalized with arguments so logically deficient that they must be posted under anonymity (see: "They don't have a physical location for me to protest").

    I feel this is the problem most of us are struggling with in rejecting DDoS as a legitimate form of protest. In the modern era, intelligence is an anachronism.
  16. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Davis
    Dont forget.....
    Common sense is a Superpower now.
    davislane1 likes this.
  17. davislane1

    davislane1 TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,177   +441

    That settles it. I'm buying a cape for every non-guest posting in this thread.
  18. I think there's too much grey area for this to become legal. Why would it become legal anyway with the way it's been used recently, or most of the time anyway.
     
  19. matrix86

    matrix86 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 800   +8

    I work in retail, so I decided to do a little survey. Out of about 250 people that I talked to, only 6 had ever even heard of Anon, and only 2 of those actually really knew about all of their antics. So my question is this. How will Anon get the word out about why they DDoS attacked a site? I know 250 people isn't a large number, but how often does the public really get informed about this collective? I've never seen a local newspaper or news station pay them much mind unless it was a HUGE issue. So the reason behind them taking the site down will be unknown to most people. If you stand outside with a sign and a chant, then people become aware of the reason for the protest. Also, the business doesn't lose money. Take down a website and they do. So no, a DDoS attack as a valid form of protest is NOT a good idea. People get ticketed and and sometimes even jailed for disrupting business, and that's exactly what this type of attack does, it disrupts business.
  20. PinothyJ

    PinothyJ TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 429   +15

    They do in Iran?
  21. davislane1

    davislane1 TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,177   +441

    Iran isn't a valid example. In the US, EU, etc. dissent isn't met with assassination and mysterious disappearances. Calling yourself a legitimate protestor while shielding yourself from the ramifications of your own views and actions is, at best, cowardly. Extreme cases such as Iran, China, most places in Africa, and North Korea excluded of course.
  22. The problem is that DDoS attacks cause physical damage to servers, often causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. They're right, it's not hacking. It's vandalism at best, terrorism at worst. The petition will never be taken seriously.
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,765   +1,423

    Can you explain to someone who doesn't know(like myself)? How would a DDoS attack become physically destructive? Are servers not designed to handle heat under stressful conditions? Are servers not design to re-boot after they have been brought to their knees?

    This is what I think, if a server cannot withstand a DDoS attack it was not successfully stress tested (or stress tested at all) when initially turned on. If there is damage resulting from a DDoS attack then the damage was only inevitable, but yet now you have a specific event to point your finger at as the cause instead of looking at the true cause.
  24. PinothyJ

    PinothyJ TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 429   +15

    It is a valid example, and moving the goalposts to ensure your point IS valid is poor show...
  25. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,765   +1,423

    A government will never sign off on an idea that will disrupt to a business. Especially if that business is putting money in their pocket. Protesting is always disruptive and will never be allowed as a legal stand point. As long as you don't disrupt the business you are usually ignored. However it is common practice as a protester to be disruptive, which is usually the only way to be seen. DDoS attacks are a way to protest but they will never become legalized.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.