A petition was posted on the White House's website by Anonymous, which is seeking to have DDoS attacks become a legal form of protest. Distributed denial-of-service attacks are not hacking, the group says, but are instead the equivalent of "hitting the refresh button on a webpage." In doing so, the protesters are occupying a digital space much like a protester outside of a physical business.
The petition can be found over at the White House's We the People page, where it currently has 775 signatures. Per the website's FAQ, the petition has to reach 25,000 signatures within 30 days in order to be reviewed by the White House. To meet this requirement, it currently needs a little over 24,000 signatures by February 6.
Says the petition: "With the advance in internet techonology [sic], comes new grounds for protesting. 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 then goes on to state that those who have been jailed for performing DDoS attacks should be released, and that any criminal record resulting from such legal situations should be cleared. Anonymous has performed its fair share of denial of service attacks over the years, often as a form of protest. Recently, McAfee Lab published a report in which it states that we'll see a decline in Anonymous attacks in 2013.
[via White House]