The loosely organized Internet philosophizers of Anonymous have decided to take a brief break from hassling Steubenville, the Westboro Baptist Church and Hunter Moore for a bit of good, old-fashioned soapboxery. The Daily Dot reports that the group has just launched a petition on WhiteHouse.gov titled “Make, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), a legal form of protesting.”
In short, they want DDoS attacks considered free speech, and they want anyone arrested for DDoS attacks released immediately. A provocative idea!
The petition contends:
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.
They make a pretty decent case, once you get past the fact that this sounds a little like a 17-year-old would-be master debater arguing through his bangs with his Republican grandma about weed. DDoS attacks are a pain in the ass, but nothing’s stolen–just disrupted. Those inflatable rats the labor unions like to park outside New York businesses are pretty distracting, but there’s nothing illegal about them.
Then again, it’s not like Occupy didn’t have its fair share of tangles with the law. And not to be pedantic, but the Supreme Court probably has more power to designate something free speech than the White House.
So far, the group is at 427 signatures, out of the 25,000 that would require the president to take a look and issue a response. Maybe there’s some way to hack the petition platform?