The changing face of protests in the digital age: On occupying cyberspace and Distributed-Denial-of-Services (DDoS) attacks
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Authors: Karanasiou, A.P.
Journal: International Review of Law, Computers and Technology
On 7th January 2013 the Anonymous hacking collective launched a White House petition asking the Obama administration to recognize DDoS1 attacks as a valid form of protest, similar to the Occupy protests. The 'Occupy' movement against financial inequality has become an international protest phenomenon stirring up the debate on the legal responses to acts of civil disobedience. At the same time, online attacks in the form of DDoS are considered by many as the digital counterparts of protesting. While the law generally acknowledges a certain level of protection for protesting as a manifestation of the rights to free speech and free assembly, it is still unclear whether DDoS attacks could qualify as free speech. This paper examines the analogies between offline protests and DDoS attacks, discusses legal responses in both cases and seeks to explore the scope for free speech protection. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.