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Anonymous wants DDoS recognised as a form of legal protest

Looks like everybody’s favourite hacker collective wants to go legit. Yup, Anonymous is petitioning the White House to declare distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks a legitimate form of protest.

The petition, which appears on the White House’s “We the People” site, argues that the attacks are a similar form of protest to those practised by the Occupy movement:

With the advance in internet techonology, 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.

DDoS is a favourite method of attack for Anonymous, with the group previously having used it against banking giants, Sony and online security companies.

The collective has also taken on government websites from around the world in the past using DDoS attacks. Interesting then that it’s using a government website to legitimise the method of attack as a form of protest.

It is, of course, unlikely that petition will be given any credence by the White House. For one, the lack of structure and well, anonymous, nature of Anonymous means that it would be difficult for anyone affected by a DDoS attack to mediate with the group, as they could with a conventional protest.

Then there’s the fact that the petition needs 25 000 signatures to even be considered. Right now, it only has 817.

The petition probably shouldn’t be taken as an indication that Anonymous has lost its teeth though. As Cnet notes, the collective has already announced that it has no plans of slowing down in 2013.

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart is the editor-in-chief of Engage Me Online. After pursuing an MA in South African literature, he spent five years reporting on the global technology scene. Intrigued by the intersection of technology and work, he joined Engage Me as the editor-in-chief. He is a passionate runner, and recently ran... More

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