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[liberationtech] ethical/legal issues around Reclaim UCSD "virtual sit-in" ?

Brian Conley brianc at
Thu Mar 1 11:01:54 PST 2012

Hi all,

So I was informed about this site:

March 1st-5th Virtual Sit-In

via a friend on Facebook. While this site does not use the words "DDOS" it
certainly seems to me that they are encouraging humans (rather than bots)
to reload a series of pages repeatedly as an attempt to cause a DDOS. (It
has also been confirmed to me that this is the goal)

So that leaves me to ask the group:

1. Is this legal? I *believe* encouraging/participating/causing a DDOS to
be illegal, but I'm not certain? I'm sure some of our EFF colleagues or
others can answer this.

2. Assuming that it is illegal, what are the ethical issues in play? The
site does not provide a visitor any information about the legality or even
the practicality of the action they are encouraged to engage in. It simply

"Once this browser window is open, you can * just sit back and relax, or
open a new browser window and do anything else you need to do, BUT LEAVE

You can also click the SPAWN link to open multiple windows and make the
sit-in more effective.

NOTE: While you may be apprehensive about downloading anything, the folder
only has 4 simple HTML pages, and only the index.html page needs to be
copied and pasted into the browser."

Without making a judgement on the action or goal itself, I'd love to hear
thoughts on the issues I've noted or other comments!




Brian Conley

Director, Small World News

m: 646.285.2046

Skype: brianjoelconley

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