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

Jacob Appelbaum jacob at appelbaum.net
Sat Dec 11 02:20:16 CET 2010

On 12/10/2010 04:13 PM, Matt Joyce wrote:
> To the "revolutionaries" and "activists" of the world.   If you are going to
> revolt... bloody revolt already.  Stop threatening to do it and just get it
> over with already.
> Standing around with a sign, and ddosing mastercard is not a revolt.  A
> revolt is a group of guys with assault weapons siezing territory and
> shooting otherwise would be authority figures.  Unless you are willing to go
> kill people, and probably yourself in the process.... by all means stop
> pretending anything done is somehow analogous to revolt.
> It's not.  Until you have rendered the application of law a functional
> impossibility, all that you are is either a worthless protestor or a
> criminal.  That's reality.  Cold and hard.
> Sorry if you delusional belief in your revolutionary hat is challenged by
> that.

Hi Matt,

We generally disagree but I feel like someone on the list should make a
reasonable reply to your unreasonable sentiment. I might be the only
person on the list that feels this way and so I speak only for myself.

I'm not too shocked by what seems to be a total lack of understanding of
global or even localized political history. Your desire for violence is
disgusting and shows a complete lack of understanding that there is a
viable alternative.

Non-violent protest has changed quite a lot in the world; it has brought
women the right to vote, it has ended wars, it has allowed elected
representatives to block votes that would otherwise pass.

If you believe that non-violent protest hasn't changed anything, you
clearly didn't hear that the Berlin wall fell in the late 80s, nor did
you notice that Gandhi helped to free India, nor did you pay credit to
MLK who helped desegregate and bring equality to a racist United States.

The list of positive non-violent change goes on and on. A lack of
understanding on this topic does not invalidate the merit of non-violent

While DDOS is pretty lame, it has a measurable economic impact. One can
quantify scientifically the impact that these protests have on the
systems and companies being targeted. To suggest it has no impact is to
deny the facts at hand. Many of those targeted entities have
specifically claimed availability problems and that translates directly
into fiscal impact. So by the targeted companies own admissions, it is
an impactful, even if limited economic protest. This isn't so different
from protests that blocked entry to buildings in terms of impact. The
emotional considerations may be different but that isn't the sole way to
judge the impact of a protest.

Additionally, it has the entire world talking. That isn't to be discounted.

The events happening now are politically on par with the Berlin Wall
falling and if you don't see it, it's probably because you're not really
paying attention. Or you don't understand how the rest of the world
views the United States. I'm guessing both by your generally rageful,
vitriolic and uninformed nature.

But perhaps I'm mistake and you actually acknowledge all of that stuff
but just think violence is better. If that's the case, I guess we'll
have to agree to disagree.

All the best,

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