Digital Sit-Ins?

by Patrick Appel

Evgeny Morozov debates the morality of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks:

What I find amusing about the present situation is that the same people who often lament the fact that the Iranian government denies freedom of assembly to the Green movement almost reveal themselves as crypto-conservatives when they are forced to think about the digital equivalent of protests and demonstrations in democratic societies.

He feels that common punishments for DDoS attacks are unjust:

I think that the current laws that criminalize DDoS in liberal democracies – some with up to 10 years in prison – are in for some major revision as well. No one blocking access to a physical building or even tinkering with some corporate infrastructure without causing it much damage would receive 10 years in jail. This doesn't mean we need to de-criminalize DDoS altogether but I think that we do need to think about proportionality here.