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Legalize DDoS, says Dutch opposition party

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks should be viewed as online public demonstrations, and as such should be regulated in the same basic manner as street demonstrations, says D66 campaign manager Kees Verhoeven.

Democrats 66 (a party formed by young intellectuals in 1966) currently has ten seats in the Dutch House of Representatives, five in the Senate and three in the European Parliament. It is in opposition to the Rutte-Verhagen coalition in The Netherlands. It describes itself, somewhat reluctantly, as "a progressive liberal party."

D66 believes that online hacktivism is similar to on-street demonstrations and should be controlled in a similar manner: regulated, not banned. Under the proposals, hacktivists would need to give prior warning of their action to allow companies to take whatever defensive measures they choose. At the moment this often happens in general if not in detail: hacktivists will often pre-announce their targets if not necessarily the precise time of the attack.

The move would make a formal distinction between disrupting the online service of a company, and breaking into the servers of that company – a distinction that is not generally held in most jurisdictions. 

D66 is also calling for greater privacy and consumer protection online. The collection and re-use of personal data by websites should be strictly on an informed opt-in basis, while the privacy of emails should be guaranteed. Website blocking should be allowed solely via a court order, and then only for serious offenses such as terrorism or inciting violence. The recent blocking of The Pirate Bay (TBP) website by both the Dutch and UK courts would thus not have happened.

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