When it comes to digital issues like piracy and file-sharing, the Netherlands is a pretty forward thinking country (as it has been for the last 500 years or so), but an opposition party wants to take that a step further by legalizing DDoS attacks.
The liberal D66 party is leading a campaign to bring what it calls the 'fundamental right' of demonstration to the internet by making it legal to overwhelm a site's servers and render it unaccessible, which is a favorite method of hacktivists like Annonymous. And while supporters characterize it as a digital version of picketing or sit-ins, opponents see it as a form of hacking and as a serious cybercrime.
Kees Verhoeven, the campaign's leader, says that hacktivism is only going to become more and more common in the coming years, and that the time is right to draw a reasonable line on when protest becomes crime. Verhoeven wants to make sure that hacktivists can get their point across without turning the attack into a form of extortion, which would mean that the attacks would have to publicized events. No more surprises means that the website that's going to be attacked would have time to prepare, just like a 'real' business or office that's going to be picketed.
Even if DDoS attacks do end up legalized in the Netherlands, the protection wouldn't extend into actual breaches of data or 'spying.' If anything, it could bolster protection against those crimes. And obviously, hell would have to freeze over before any similar legislation showed up in the US or UK, which both have specific laws prohibiting anything remotely resembling a DDoS attack.