Anonymous Hackers Seek Recognition of DDoS Attacks as Legitimate Form of Protest

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Anonymous recently set up a petition on the White House's We the People Web site asking the Obama administration to make distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks a "legal form of protesting," similar to the Occupy protests.

"With the advance in internet techonology, comes new grounds for protesting," the petition states. "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."

"The petition goes on to demand that anyone who has been jailed for participating in a DDoS attack should be immediately released -- a nice touch -- and that anything related to the attack should be expunged from their criminal records," writes The Register's Neil McAllister. "DDoS attacks are indeed one of the go-to methods used when Anonymous wants to make a point. The group used the technique to take down UK government websites in August in protest of the treatment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and again in November in retaliation for Israel's bombing of sites in Gaza."

The petition, which was posted on January 7, has thus far only received just over 1,000 signatures. If the petition gets more than 25,000 signatures by February 7, it will receive an official response from the White House.