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Can a DDoS attack on Whitehouse.gov be a valid protest?

Michael Kan | Jan. 19, 2017
A software engineer wants to take down the Whitehouse.gov site to oppose Trump's inauguration

Laws like the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act are “over broad” and “chilling” political speech, said Molly Sauter, author of The Coming Swarm, a book that examines DDoS attacks used in activism.

A DDoS attack on Whitehouse.gov -- a site designed more for public relations than for operations – also wouldn’t disrupt any major government activities, Sauter said. Taking it down could be seen as “more or less like protesting outside on the street,” she said.

“Now, is that going to be successful?” she asked. “Frankly, it’s not likely that the Whitehouse.gov site wouldn’t have DDoS protection.”

But others think a DDoS attack on the Whitehouse.gov is still a crime. Making it legal would open a can of worms, they say.  

“If they can do this to Whitehouse.gov with impunity now, can they also do it to Exxon without worry of legal troubles?” said Mark Sauter (no relation to Molly Sauter), a former U.S. Army officer who consults security and tech companies. 

He questions why protestors like Soberanis are resorting to DDoS attacks when they can publish their own websites or speech against Trump.

 

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