[hackerspaces] revspace and randomdata in the news re wikileaks ddos story

Koen Martens gmc at har2009.org
Fri Dec 10 22:20:21 CET 2010


On Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 08:18:57PM +0100, Yves Quemener wrote:
> You mention DDoS in the present case but from what I understood, I
> thought that these attacks were carried more by a big number of
> people voluntarily giving their bandwidth through applications like
> L.O.I.C rather than through an illegal botnet. Wasn't that the case
> ?

So that's distributed, and it's denial of service. So yes, that is
DDoS, isn't it? :)

> WARNING : possibly trollish material ahead. But it has been long
> since the last one on this list, hasn't it ?

Hah, let's have a good old-fashioned flamewar! 

> If so, I have a very hard time calling the "Avenge Assange"
> operation unethical. I know that DoS are usually consider like a
> lowly technical act, like some act of random and stupid vandalism.
> However, consider a physical world protest : it blocks streets, it
> causes problems, sometimes injuries, it is not a democratic process.
> However, if tomorrow there was a protest blocking the streets of
> your city to support Assange would you consider it unethical ?

I would not like it when people block the streets in support to Assange,
for one it is totally irrelevant. And mostly, it constricts me in my
movements and incurs cost for society. If it is just about getting
attention, than no, I would condone blocking the streets.

> Consider also what mastercard, paypal and amazon did to Wikileaks :
> it is a plain "denial of service" in its first meaning. They denied
> their services in the hope of censuring wikileaks out of the net. I
> understand that responding with DoS attacks is not the ideal way of
> making ourselves heard, but I unfortunately see no better one,
> especially when you see the media coverage that was given to these.
> And in that specific case, I find it very hard to call them unfair.

There are way better actions one could take. I liken ddos to slapping
someone in the face because you've run out of arguments. Sure, you'll
make the news, but will it help your cause? Besides that, it is breaking
the law (at least in .nl, which is the relevant country in this case
I guess). Breaking the law perse is not something I would never
ever do. I see that sometimes civil disobedience is needed to change
things or make a point. But it should always be a last resort. We
are far from having to fall into last resort lashing out imho. It 
also doesn't really help wikileaks' case imho. So it perpetuates the
stereotype of hackers being crooks, and it doesn't even help in any

By the way, I think it is odd that the ddos-ers of mastercard are
persecuted, but those of wikileaks are not. I guess you don't mind
wikileaks being brought down by someone who didn't want their
voice to be heard, and see that as a legitimate protest? I don't,
not in that case and not in this case. Breaking stuff is just not
a good way to make your case in general.

> Technically not-impressive ? Indeed. Not hackerish ? Arguably not
> (though the fact that it might be legal to do that the way they do
> in some countries is worth some cred). Unethical ? I disagree
> completely.

I never said it was unethical btw. But there is something seriously
wrong with the ethics op Anonymous imho. Consider this, first they lash
out to mastercard and paypal, because they condemn wikileaks without
due process. Then one of their members is arrested, and they ddos
the sites of the police and the public defense. How does that rhyme
with allowing a due process to take place? That's just childish.

Mind you, his arrest has been extended with 13 days. I don't think
that is reasonable at all. I'm sure that if the boy was released,
his parents would keep an eye on him and prevent recidive (one of
the three reasons in nl why an arrest can be extended, and the only
one that remotely makes sense in this case).

I'm sure politics is involed. At least, they're probably afraid the
us will not see them as being forceful enough in fighting against
these 'cyber terrorists'. I think it's unethical to fight political
wars over the backs of teenagers, but that is a whole other


More information about the Discuss mailing list