Lawyer for Hacktivists: U.S. Law Criminalizing Cyberattacks Should Be Modified
BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, October 8 2012
Jay Leiderman, the California based attorney who represents notorious hacktivists like Anonymous, spoke to the Atlantic about why he represents some of his clients pro bono, why he thinks the law criminalizing DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service Attacks) should be modified and why he once described certain variations of this type of "cyberattack" as "the equivalent of occupying the Woolworth's lunch counter during the civil rights movement."
Anonymous famously launched a DDoS attack against PayPal in 2010, after the e-payment site stopped processing donations to Wikileaks. That is how Leiderman first heard of hacktivism and Anonymous, who became his client. It was then that Leiderman made the civil rights analogy.
Here's what we conceived in terms of the DDoS. The government and people who write about tech tend to call it a "DDoS attack" but in certain circumstances it's not a DDoS attack, but a DDoS protest. So the law should be narrowly drawn and what needs to be excised from that are the legitimate protests. It's really easy to tell legitimate protests, I think, and we should be broadly defining legitimate protests. The example you gave of the rival law firms, that's not protest activities or traditional free speech activities.
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