I’m questioning whether organizing a group DDoS specifically for the purpose of protest should be treated as a crime. Does it merit the extreme penalties participants of DDoS activism are potentially subject to? Could such activism be organized in a more acceptable, democratic fashion? How would you feel about guidelines being established for DDoS demonstrations?
Here is an alternative scenario to contemplate. Suppose individuals connecting directly in a DDoS are distinguished from individuals using a bot net. A protest should is carried out only by as many people as care enough to protest, but no more. Participants sign their name rather than acting anonymously. This is announced to the target and public along with a concise description of the cause.
Should some measures be taken to demonstrate the intent of the DDoS activists so they are not treated the same as an individual using DDoS solely for malicious intent?
Not all murderers are treated the same. Someone who accidentally kills a person is likely to see less penalties than a person who plans and then commits murder. A person acting in self-defense to protect their family against an intruder in his home may not even receive any form of punishment. My point, of course, is to show and example of how something ordinarily considered a heinous crime is not always treated the same. All scenarios lead to the same result, a life lost, yet not all people responsible for the lost life are treated the same.
So should every case of DDoS be so black and white? Convince me why a kid standing up for a cause with peers who share those views should be treated the same as the disgruntled employee with a bot net of over 9000, whose sole intent is to spite a former employer?
I think the issue of DDoS activism is a little too new to society to make any firm conviction one way or the other as to how they should be dealt with. I wonder how many people are even familiar with the term DDoS at this point. Probably far from a majority.
Right now, there exists no established “right” way or, at the least, better way of doing such things. Everyone is just making it up as they go, but I think that could be more civil approaches are available to be taken by both the DDoS participants, as well as the authorities who would deal with them.
A traditional, AFK protest may be more ideal, but DDoS offers the advantage of presenting the opportunity to join a demonstration to those who can’t physically travel and stand outside the headquarters of the entity being protested. If bot nets aren’t used, it is DDoS activism may even be more democratic than traditional protests in that it opens the protest to a wider group of people who support the cause.
If not enough people care to act for the cause, then the DDoS isn’t going to be successful in disrupting a site. If the cause does not rally enough support, then it goes unnoticed, like any other cause that nobody cares abotu. Which is really quite a contrast to one angry little internet dwarf with a huge bot net who is taking it upon himself to decide that his own beliefs are important enough to disrupt a service.
I think this is the biggest issue that those of us in democratic societies take with the current methods of DDoS activism. We simply do not want one or a few people deciding for the rest of us, regardless of whether we share those views to begin with. It’s only natural that acting this way will piss people off. If you believe your cause is reasonably or morally justified, then give me the opportunity to decide the same for myself and whether I wish to act to support it. Do not act for me.
All that said, if a prior display of intent is given to demonstrate that an individual is acting with the intent to improve society, should they be prosecuted the same as an individual acting solely only upon malicious intent? Is it time to look for a better organized approach if we would like to see DDoS used as a legitimate form of activism?