Denial-of-service attacks are just another form of civil disobedience
A DDoS attack organized by hacktivists is a symbolic action a form of civil disobedience often politicaly motivated. Sometimes a botnet might be used for this purpose or a large group of online hacktivists launch an coordinated attack from their own connections using a small java script.
The question remains if these kind of actions and use of DDoS attacks are legally a form of protest.
There is a legal precedent for such comparisons. In May 2006, a court in Germany, was asked if a DDoS blockade of Lufthansa for allowing its planes to be used in the deportation of asylum-seekers was in fact a demonstration. The Frankfurt appeals court ruled that the 2001 DDoS attack against Lufthansa that was also accompanied by a sit-in at the company’s headquarters, did not violate German law.
Another form of civil disobedience was the DDoS action after January 31, 2012 launched against the Dutch site of www.anti-piracy.nl when the anti-piracy BREIN foundation used a court order to enforce the Dutch providers Ziggo and XS4ALL to censor all the known sites and ip ranges of The PirateBay within their networks.
In fact the proliferation of DDoS like these may lead to a crackdown on Internet freedom, as governments seek to establish tighter control over cyberspace.
We already see this happening in the Netherlands where 7 Internet providers including Ziggo & XS4ALL (the first providers to censor The PirateBay in the Netherlands by courtorder) just recently started a new initiative called “Abuse IX” financed by the Dutch Government itself to bring a halt to botnets and mitigate any DDoS-ers in their networks.
This is not just being done to mitigate the botnets, but it also will bring a halt to Anonymous operations within the Netherlands.
Even though that XS4ALL was founded by hackers like Rop Gonggrijp it was quite obvious they would end up participating in a government program to destroy Anonymous Hacktivist operations in the Netherlands. The lost courtcase against the anti-piracy BREIN foundation was just the beginning of the end.
XS4ALL is no longer the group of Internet freedom fighters it used to be, it is just an empty yellow brand. Meaning nothing else but good quality censored Internet, where your connection will most likely be filtered if you participate in any hacktivist action.
Next thing in the Netherlands might be Dutch government endorsed censorship actions on the core routers in Amsterdam (AMS-IX) where most European Internet traffic is routed over.