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Petition asks White House to make DDoS attacks a form of protest

By Meghan Kelly |,

People are reaching out to the President this week, asking for the White House to recognize distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks not as a punishable offense, but rather, as a form of protest.

DDoS attacks are launched with the intent of knocking a website offline. This is accomplished by using a tool, such as a low-orbit-ion-cannon, to send lots of traffic to a website’s server, effectively overloading it, knocking the website offline. The method is often used by “hactivist groups” such as Anonymous, who focus their hacking efforts not on financial gain, but rather on political protest.

The petition states that:

“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.”

Undoubtedly not everyone will agree, however. While picket lines and sit-ins discourage people from entering a retailer or business, it doesn’t deny them access wholesale. If a website is knocked offline, then any potential revenue is completely lost, not just scared away.

At the time of writing this post, the petition has 1,438 signatures, and needs 23, 562 more in order to reach the necessary 25,000 signature limit to be considered by the White House.

The petition also requests that anyone who has been punished or jailed for DDoS attacks should be “immediately released” and furthermore have their records wiped clean of the related offenses.

via Ars Technica

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