Protestor plans DDoS attack against Trump's inauguration

Plans are circulating to bring down the Whitehouse website in a huge traffic overload

Protesters may be about to take down the official Whitehouse.gov website during President elect Trump's inauguration on Friday.

Adversary Juan Soberanis has recruited Americans who don't agree Trump should be given the keys to the Whitehouse, asking them to visit the website and bombard it with traffic, overloading it and causing it to crash in a classic DDoS attack.

However, Soberanis says his collective isn't doing anything wrong by triggering a digital attack. In fact, he doesn't see any difference between taking a website down and protesting outside the Whitehouse in person.

"It's the equivalent of someone marching on Washington, DC," Soberanis said. "Civil disobedience has been part of the American democratic process. There's nothing illegal. We are just a large group of people, making a GET request."

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"Instead of a group of people standing outside a building to occupy the area, they are having their computer occupy a website."

Aside from obviously worrying US authorities, the issue brings up an important argument: should it be illegal to use DDoS attacks as a form of protest? At present, sending a command to a protected computer with intent to cause damage is against the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, making it a crime punishable by federal law.

The plans have unsurprisingly received a mixed reaction from freedom of speech advocates and lawyers. Although some see it as a way of exercising human rights, others don't think it should be allowed because DDoS attacks are usually used to take down companies as part of organised crime.

Soberanis' website is now showing as unavailable, but it's not clear whether the authorities have taken it offline or Soberanis has decided to step back from his digital protest.

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