Wednesday, December 15, 2010

DDoS - a legitimate form of protest?

The cyber attacks against supporters and opponents of Wikileaks have generated a fair bit of debate about whether or not DDoS can be a legitimate form of protest. I tend to side with the "nays" on this one.

Sure, DDoS could be compared to a sit in, but with infinitely lower entry threshold. One does not need to travel anywhere, or actually waste their time "sitting", and very often does not risk dealing with law enforcement - the computer can protest on their behalf all night long. It's more like throwing nails on a freeway and going home.

But my main argument against protest DDoS is that it can then be used for any cause. Attacks against Radio Free Europe? It's cool, they just protestin'! As can be seen from the Wikileaks affair, both sides in there are using cyber attacks to get their message across. Is this truly what we want? I dont like you, so I have the right to DDoS you? I have the right for free speech and the right for making stupid people shut up?