An online petition to make distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks a legalised form of free speech has been created on the whitehouse.gov website.
The creator of the petition believes DDoS is “not any form of hacking in any way” and is a legitimate form of protest with the advance of the Internet.
“It is the equivalent of repeatedly hitting the refresh button on a webpage. It is, in that way, no different than any 'occupy' protest,” the petition reads.
“Instead of a group of people standing outside a building to occupy the area, they are having their computer occupy a website to slow (or deny) service of that particular website for a short time.”
The creator of the petition is also requesting the US government to immediately release those gaoled for DDoS attacks and have these crimes removed from their records.
Hackivist group Anonymous has shown support for the petition. The @YourAnonNews Twitter account posted: “It’s legal in Germany so why not here? Sign this petition to declare DDoS a form of 1st Amendment-protected speech.”
Anonymous has used DDoS for political protests, such as its DDoS attacks in 2010 against Swiss payment transaction firm PostFinance's website in retaliation for freezing an account set up by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assanage.
The petition has to reach 25,000 signatures by 6 February to receive a White House response. So far 1441 signatures have been made in support of making DDoS attacks legal.
Follow Rebecca Merrett on Twitter: @Rebecca_Merrett