Anonymous Seeks First Amendment Protection for DDoS Attacks in White House Petition

January 9, 2013 -

While it might be funny that Anonymous now has a petition up on the official website for the White House, it is doubtful at the Obama Administration finds it all that humorous. The loose-knit Internet hacking collective has taken some time out of its busy schedule of attacking various government agencies and other organizations it hates to launch a petition asking the Administration to make DDoS attacks a form of protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The petition, located here reads:

"Make, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), a legal form of protesting.

With the advance in internet technology, 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.

As part of this petition, those who have been jailed for DDoS should be immediately released and have anything regarding a DDoS, that is on their "records", cleared.
"

So far the petition has 533 of the 25,000 signatures it needs. Even if it were to hit that number of signatures, the white House response would likely be to ignore it altogether. No doubt some in the government will see this slice of comedy as a middle finger to cybersecurity efforts that are sure to be pursued later this year...

Source: DailyDot


Comments

Re: Anonymous Seeks First Amendment Protection for DDoS ...

All I know is if they stop me from paying my Chase credit card on time are my civil rights being violated? If they stop me from using eBay and Paypal are my rights being violated?

Re: Anonymous Seeks First Amendment Protection for DDoS ...

Yeah, not gonna happen. "Content neutral", "time, place, and manner" restrictions on speech have long been found to be Constitutional. Speaking in a manner which is intended to block or disrupt someone else's speech and prevent it from reaching a willing audience is not protected speech. Sometimes, of course, laws overreach, such as trying to limit protests to an area where no one will see the protesters -- the SC just overturned one such law involving the Westboro Baptist Church. The law pretended to be "content neutral" but was so clearly aimed at a single group, and its message, that the SC basically rolled its eyes and said "Really? You want us to buy that?". To the best of my knowledge, the laws that ban DDOS are not targeted against specific groups, or serve to protect only a subset of networks; they apply regardless of the attacker and the attacked, and are a logical outgrowth of laws regarding property and trespass. (You have a right to hold your protest in the public park across the street from my house; you can't hold it on my lawn, or act in such a way as to keep me from getting to my house, etc. Metaphorically, I don't actually live near a park.)

You can argue that DDOS is civil disobedience -- the equivalent of chaining yourself to a courthouse, for instance. The key thing to remember here is that civil disobedience is illegal -- that's what gives it moral authority. Someone engaging in such actions knowingly defies the law to make a point. It shows how serious they are, and forces people to listen to them. If it were legal, it would not be nearly as effective a tactic. ("OK, here's your permit. You get to chain yourself to the door from 12 noon to 5 PM. We'll issue an alert a week ahead of time so people can adjust their schedules.")

Re: Anonymous Seeks First Amendment Protection for DDoS ...

So, Anon is petitioning for a right to disrupt other people's lives and businesses?

Re: Anonymous Seeks First Amendment Protection for DDoS ...

If you protest outside a Wal Mart and blockade the door preventing people from entering, the police will be called and they'll remove you, if you sue for civil rights violations you will then lose. This is the point of "free speech zones." When an event is happening and protests are expected, they'll sometimes preempt the matter to prevent confrontations and obstruction of access.

Your civil rights never give you the right to violate the law or infringe the rights of others. In short, your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. This petition is beyond silly.


On the other hand, the 25,000 signatures is just what it takes for the President to issue a response. That response can be, "lol no," and probably would be to some of the things that grace that petition page, including but not limited to state secession from the Union, building a full scale functional model of the Starship Enterprise capable of interplanetary flight with a pricetag exceeding the global GDP, and "PLZ OBOMA CLOZ MY SKOOL 2DAY HALOH 4 COMS OWT."

Re: Anonymous Seeks First Amendment Protection for DDoS ...

This is so retarded, I'm not really sure where to start. There's the matter of scale, how easy it is to do compared to physically occupying a place, the fact that you're harming someone's business, the fact that even in the physical world, preventing people from accessing an area is a grey area...

 

Unrelated, the petition needs 25,000 signatures in total - the "signatures needed" counter is how many signatures are still needed to hit that threshold, not the total amount of signatures needed.

 
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