I have already blogged about the democratization of cyber-attacks and how it is posing a major risk to the freedom of expression online. To sum up my argument: when attacks are easy to organize and botnets are cheap to rent, anyone with an even mildly provocative agenda is fair game and should start getting worried about ways to ensure that their (critical) content is available on the Internet (for it would surely be attacked at some point).
Here's another proof: Pirate Bay supporters seem to be organizing DDOS attacks on the site of IPFI, the music industry lobby group. There is an entire site offering detailed insructions and how-to manuals on launching DDOS attacks (curiously enough, the attacks are part of the "Operation Baylout" - what a suiting name!)
TorrentFreaK has more:
The website of the music industry lobby group IFPI is suffering from an organized DDoS attack and has been unresponsive for the past few hours. The attack was organized by Pirate Bay supporters who don’t agree with the sentences handed out to the four defendants.
The attacks are part of Operation Baylout which also encourages people to send black faxes to the MPAA’s anti-piracy office and movie industry lawyer Monique Wadsted. Thus far, we have no confirmation that any fax machines have been taken down.
A hashmob is a virtual mob that exists entirely within the Twitter realtime stream. It derives its name not from any kind of illicit pipeweed but from the "hashtags" that are commonly used to categorize tweets. Hashtags take the form of a hash sign, ie, #, in front of a word or word-portmanteau, eg, #obama or #obamadog. The members of a hashmob gather, virtually, around a particular hashtag by labeling each of their tweets with said hashtag and then following the resulting hashtag tweet stream. Hashmobbers don't have to subject themselves to the weather, and they don't actually have to be in proximity to any other physical being. A hashmob is a purely avatarian mob, though it is every bit as prone to the rapid cultivation of mass hysteria as a nonavatarian mob.
Evgeny Morozov, originally from Belarus, is a visiting scholar at Stanford and a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation.