Dutch party moves to legalize DDoS attacks

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.

Source: RT

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texasghost said,
Cool. And the first course of action will be to DDoS the D66 party's website.
If you feel a protest of that nature is in order, announce it and as long as there is no injunction from a court of law you should be able to do so without repercussions.

That is what the whole thing is about, and I agree with it. Funny thing is the kids from Anonymous would probably use a DDoS just for the heck of it which also proves the point.

As so often happens this has been taken out of context and possibly misinterpreted. Here's what it actually says (synopsis);

It is strange that while protesting is a generally accepted basic right, in the digital realm this is not the case. While physical protest is often regulated and procedures/organization for such action can even be laid out in Law, actions like DDoS are often seen as a form of hacking and as a result judged and/or punished as such.

Provided regulation like a pre-announcement of such action and the option for the Judicial system to prohibit such action from taking place these forms of protest should not be different from physical protest.

The remarks do not address DDos as such but talk about (protest) actions in the digital realm in general.

This is quite different from what many non Dutch reports are saying. It would have been nice if NeoWin would research these things before creating a storm with basically wrong information. and blindly copying the information.

At least we now know where a lot of the computer hackers come from now.......Holland !
If they made it legal to do Ddos I would suggest cutting Holland out of the internet and then they can protest all they like......internally !

So, should it also be legal to physically prevent customers from entering a store (commerce server)? How about physically preventing them from entering their own home (personal server)?

This is absolute stupidity.

AtriusNY said,
I guess you haven't read the article fully. You can in the Netherlands legally prevent customers accessing a busines.
I had not, but that does not satisfy the second question.

Furthermore, I just read the article and disagree with your interpretation. Holding a rally next to a building, and likely making it awkward for incoming customers, is far different from preventing people from entering.

After all, you can protest a store in the US as well.

Sorry, but no. This would not only set a dangerous precedent it would leave the lines between what really is a legitimate protest and what is just destructive vandalism blurred.

This is obstruction of commerce, not any kind of human right that I'm aware of. These leftists really want the law not to apply to them. They are so filled with self-righteousness!

currently its too easy for websites to ignore people so i think this is an interesting idea. They make the attack legal by registration and give a weeks notice, it can then only last for 24 hours at any time at 1 week intervals.

That way people can hurt the company's revenue until what ever problem is sorted. Just like in real life.

exotoxic said,

That way people can hurt the company's revenue until what ever problem is sorted. Just like in real life.

They could also just decide to not visit the website and/or not buy their products. But where's the fun in that?

Personally I think it's OK if a group of people decide to visit a web site at the same time as a gesture of protest. However, that's not the same as 14 year old Joe directing anonymous fire of infected computers.

When it comes to digital issues like piracy and file-sharing, the Netherlands is a pretty forward thinking country

Funny. We have the TPB officially blocked for EVERY consumer ISP in the country

altho legally. Downloading music and video is free, due to it falling under book copyright laws.. which comes from our past where books equal information, and everyone has right to the information. If that book was bought, you can share it, keep it, burn it, or resell it. or make a copy by writing one (yeye, long long ago). Software is legal to download, cracking it or using it without a valid license, is illegal.

getting copyrighted material is free, no matter what form, way or type. uploading (sharing) copyrighted material is illegal.

our laws are funny. similar to our weed laws

its allowed but its not allowed, so we dont know what to do, deside or think.

I don't think this will ever pass, the number of anonymous 'idiots' is by far in the minority.
Plus it means large online-only sites can basically legally completely destroy smaller companies causing competition but having them DDoS'd into extinction.
Utter morons

Edited by ~Johnny, Jun 25 2012, 9:41pm :

Voice of Buddy Christ said,
In the U.S., that's called "inhibiting commerce", which is constitutionally forbidden.

here protesting can also be blopcking the entrance to a store, building or something similar. as long as your not on private property (even that doesnt matter much sometimes, i.e. the shell demonstration in the hague a few days ago )

Voice of Buddy Christ said,
In the U.S., that's called "inhibiting commerce", which is constitutionally forbidden.

In Australia its called a "picket line" and can be legal.

.Neo said,

One relatively small party ≠ Netherlands.

That relatively small party (and they were not always small) made or help make changes in the Netherlands. Legalization of same sex marriage, decriminilization of light drugs, euthanasia are some of those changes.

.Neo said,

One relatively small party ≠ Netherlands.

I wrote 2 words and you still misunderstood. The internet never fails to amaze!

That would just be stupid..

When you protest, you can't block access or shut down a store/company.. DDoS does just that..

Exactly. The online equivalent would be a protest page that you have to click-through in order to access the main site. Taking down a website is not appropriate and should not be legalised.

Ryoken said,
That would just be stupid..

When you protest, you can't block access or shut down a store/company.. DDoS does just that..

Of course you can block access to a store or company. What do you think a picket line is?

I've always thought that outlawing DDoS attacks infringed on civil liberties and it's good to see that others agree with me.

Ryoken said,
That would just be stupid..

When you protest, you can't block access or shut down a store/company.. DDoS does just that..

euh ... actually you wont end up in jail for more than a day or 2 for blocking a road or access to a building. The police may (or may not) arrest you for civil disobedience (or whatever it's called in your country). If they do you'll be able to get out from jail really quickly by just paying some money.

I don't really agree with legalising DDoS but in the other hand putting people in jail for that is somewhat stupid and actually anti-constitutional in many countries.