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Anonymous says its members should be free to DDOS websites as they please.  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Anonymous calls Paypal "corrupt" for refusing to support Wikileaks and cooperating with the FBI in arresting members associated with the attacks.  (Source: Furious Fanboys)

Anonymous takes credit for an eBay stock drop, failing to recognize that the drop was due to a poor earnings report.   (Source: Crescent State Bank)
Group claims drop was due to its boycott of "corrupt" Paypal, says DDOS attacks are not illegal

The hacker group Anonymous has yet again struck out at eBay Inc. (EBAY) subsidiary Paypal.  

I. "It's My Party, and I Can DDOS if I Want to"

The large group of international hackers [1][2][3]  and internet enthusiasts has been at odds with the e-payment service ever since last year, when it severed funding to Wikileaks citing violations of the terms of service, which forbid funding to be used in support of criminal activity.  

Anonymous responded with distributed denial of service attacks.  Its thousands of members directed their Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) programs to spam Paypal's servers with requests, which succeeded in temporarily slowing or crashing Paypal's services.

Following those attacks, fourteen alleged Anonymous members were arrested by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Among those includes Mercedes Haefer, a 20 year old female Las Vegas, Nevada college student who ensorcelled internet observers.

Now Anonymous and its daughter organization LulzSec [1][2][3][4][5][6][7] [8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] are calling jointly for a boycott of all Paypal services in response to the arrests.  The organization writes:
Many of the already-apprehended Anons are being charged with taking part in DDoS attacks against corrupt and greedy organizations, such as PayPal.

What the FBI needs to learn is that there is a vast difference between adding one's voice to a chorus and digital sit-in with Low Orbit Ion Cannon, and controlling a large botnet of infected computers. And yet both of these are punishable with exactly the same fine and sentence.
Quite simply, we, the people, are disgusted with these injustices. We will not sit down and let ourselves be trampled upon by any corporation or government. We are not scared of you, and that is something for you to be scared of. We are not the terrorists here: you are.
In short, Anonymous is arguing that distributed denial of service (DDOS) using the LOIC is a protest, not a cyber attack, and people should be free to DDOS with LOIC as they please (even if it disrupts businesses).  Of course they'd likely feel a bit different about the superior DDOS application XerXes, which was employed by a hactivist calling himself th3j35t3r ("The Jester") to take down Anonymous's beloved Wikileaks last year.

Anonymous warns Paypal via Twitter, "Our most dangerous weapons is (sic) neither ddos nor hacks.  It's angry citizens who feel naturally allied with us.  Expect us. #AntiSec #OpPayPal"

II. Stock Drop -- Not the Work of Anonymous

Yesterday eBay stock took 3 percent nose dive and Anonymous tried to take credit for it, cheering, "Final Standing: 33.36 -1.06 (-3.08%) That's about lost in share value | Thanks, Mateys! | Who won?"

The group suggested that they could drop the stock to as low as $20 per share -- a fall of almost a third.  

However, such claims seem opportunistic and unrealistic, given that eBay just reported disappointing earnings.  While the earnings showed strong growth, earnings per share fell a cent short of the average analyst prediction, leading to the stock decline.

As of yesterday Anonymous was crowing about "tens of thousands" of Paypal accounts being deactivated.  If this is accurate, Paypal should hardly be concerned -- it has over 100 million accounts.  Of course, thanks to the convenient timing of the stock right after an earnings report, Anonymous can claim credit for the drop.

Surprisingly some news sites, such as NeoWin even believed the rhetoric.  The site, apparently oblivious of the earnings disappointment, wrote:
The boycott can be linked with a stock crash of their parent company Ebay which has already dropped ~3%. It’s expected that it will fall even more as more and more people follow the actions of others and deactivate their accounts.
If there's one thing Anonymous may have legitimately done, it's overloading Paypal's account deactivation page.  As of yesterday the page was down, though deactivations were proceeding via the service's phone line -- +1-888-221-1161.  

This is understandable, though, as the service likely only experiences a small number of deactivations on any given day.

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RE: civil disobedience
By MrBlastman on 7/28/2011 1:47:15 PM , Rating: 2
As usual, I will get rated down for this reply--but, alas, logic is true and accurate, fine to the point and despite the raucious dismay, the following distinction still stands veritable. Let the miscreants, trolls, closet revolutionaries and militant bums weigh in, I beseech them.

What you say, Uncle, has merit, however you forget to provide an important distinction. That distinction lies between civility and criminality.

Thus, we have the terms Civil Disobedience and Criminal Disobedience. They are both real, measurable and distinctly different terms.

Civil disobedience has historically been used throughout time and, as you mention, was endorsed by Gandhi through more "peaceful" means. Civil disobedience can be either peaceful or in some more extreme cases, loud, semi-disorderly and staged to raise quite a ruckuss. All of these outlets though, still would fall within legal boundaries and remain outside the focus of the rule of law.

Criminal disobedience, on the other hand, squarely targets its protest in a fashion that causes harm to others in ways that the rule of law considers taboo--and thusly punishable under such rule. People who protest in this fashion do so with reckless disregard for the rights of others.

Many of these protests have started off as forms of Civil Disobedience. Unfortunately, some of them have transgressed into Criminal Disobedience and protests of such a degree should lead to repercussions--unless of course they win in the end.

In the past, Criminal Disobedience was typically done to the extreme, such as Castro seizing control of Cuba through the hands of Che Guevarra and other thugs. The groups such as Lulz and Anonymous, though, when crossing this line should take note. Do they have an end-plan--a plan for victory that would ensure them freedom against prosecution due to their inevitable rule? If not, they should think of a new strategy. It is hard to wage war when you have all your weapons taken from you and forced to live among swine and be treated as such.

RE: civil disobedience
By Solandri on 7/28/2011 3:40:23 PM , Rating: 5
tl;dr version:

Civil disobedience = protesting in a way that the negative consequences for violating laws/norms fall upon yourself.

Criminal disobedience = protesting in a way that the negative consequences for violating laws/norms fall upon someone else.

If you decide on criminal disobedience to protest something which could be (should be) addressed with civil disobedience, don't be surprised (nor upset) when the powers that be give you a huge smack-down.

RE: civil disobedience
By Bostlabs on 7/28/2011 5:59:11 PM , Rating: 2
Damn, no more points or I'd rate that up.

Well said sir!

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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