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8. Re: Morning Legal Briefs Jan 10, 2013, 22:20 jdreyer
Lots of protest is illegal, like the occupy protest camping out in various parks across the nation. They have ordinances that the parks close after dark, but the protesters are still camped there. Also, when protesters chain themselves to the gates to nuclear power facilities, that's also illegal.

And I agree it should stay that way. But maybe this will result in punishments that aren't as draconian? When you lock yourself in protest to a gate to prevent entry to Walmart or a nuke plant for a few hours you will be arrested, and maybe fined a few hundred dollars, but jail time for such a protest is extremely rare (breaking into a nuke plant is another story, however). When protesters do a DDOS attack on a company the result is almost the same as locking yourself to a brick and mortar: shoppers can't access the site for a few hours. But the punishments are much more severe: up to 5 years in jail and a fine of $250K.

Most of the targets of Anon have been legitimately controversial entities: Scientology, the Australian gov't after it tried to censor the internet, the Tea Party, Master Card & Paypal for refusing to honor donations to Wikileaks, gov'ts of Tunisia and Iran during the Arab Spring, etc. Illegal? Sure, but so is speeding, but you don't expect to get fined $10,000K and spend 3 months in jail for doing so. A DDOS is inconvenient, and it can cost companies money, and it should carry a penalty, but they make a good argument that it's a legitimate form of protest and the current penalties seem too steep.
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