Posted on | October 3, 2012 | 12 Comments
At what point do those in the legal community who defend criminals — guaranteeing them their due-process rights, giving them “their day in court” — cross a line into advocating, endorsing or excusing the crimes committed by their clients?
Not a moot question, given how Jay Leiderman speaks of the actions of the “Anonymous” hackers he represents:
Take PayPal for example, just like Woolworth’s, people went to PayPal and said, I want to give a donation to WikiLeaks. In Woolworth’s they said, all I want to do is buy lunch, pay for my lunch, and then I’ll leave. People said I want to give a donation to WikiLeaks, I’ll take up my bandwidth to do that, then I’ll leave, you’ll make money, I’ll feel fulfilled, everyone’s fulfilled. PayPal will take donations for the Ku Klux Klan, other racists and questionable organizations, but they won’t process donations for WikiLeaks. All the PayPal protesters did was take up some bandwidth. In that sense, DDoS is absolutely speech, it should absolutely be recognized as such, protected as such, and the law should be changed. . . .
The government and people who write about tech tend to call it a “DDoS attack” but in certain circumstances it’s not a DDoS attack, but a DDoS protest. So the law should be narrowly drawn and what needs to be excised from that are the legitimate protests.
Let’s be clear about this: What “Anonymous” was engaged in was extortion and thuggery, not “protest.”
You can’t just say to a business, “Here, I’m holding up this hoop — jump through it, immediately, or I’ll shut down your business.”
Let’s also be clear about something else: It’s the Left who believes these thug tactics are legitimate, just like when they sent mobs to camp out in the front yards of bank executives, or to harass people attending last year’s AFP summit.
You will probably not be surprised to learn that Jay Leiderman has a highly selective sensibility as regards free speech. Leiderman is defending former “Anonymous” spokesman Barrett Brown — asserting, we suppose, Brown’s constitutional right to threaten FBI agents – and also representing Nadia Naffe against Patterico, who evidently doesn’t have a constitutional right to reproduce court documents relating to Naffe’s lawsuit against the Republican Party.
This is a legal manifestation 0f Herbert Marcuse’s “repressive tolerance” — only the Left has any “rights” worth defending.
UPDATE: Guess this is as good a place as any to quote an article Taylor Amerding wrote about Barrett Brown’s arrest:
Very few in the security community would comment on the arrest for the record, most saying they did not want the headache of becoming a target of Anonymous.
One of the few who did was Robert Stacy McCain, who wrote on his website, The Other McCain, that “a lot of the Anonymous people never trusted Barrett Brown, regarding him as an untrustworthy egomaniacal fame-seeker trying to cash in.”
“He did a TV interview with Michael Isikoff of NBC and announced a book deal with Gregg Housh, and did all of this while promoting himself as the official spokesman for Anonymous, whose members are … well, anonymous, and with good reason, because the cops would very much like to put a lot of them in prison,” McCain wrote.
McCain wrote that after the FBI raided Brown in March, but did not arrest him, other members of Anonymous suspected he might be cooperating with the agency. Of the latest video, he wrote: “Being a paranoid conspiracy theorist is not illegal, and Brown’s tinfoil-hat rantings about (various enemies) were just so much noise. But his threats to ‘destroy’ FBI agent Robert Smith? Yeah, the feds don’t take that kind of talk lightly.”
What stuns me is the timidity of “the security community” Amerding alleges here. Are people really afraid to comment on Brown’s arrest for fear of “becoming a target of Anonymous”?
This assumes that the members of Anonymous are so stupid they can’t see Barrett Brown for the reckless fool he is. Brown’s laughable foolishness is sufficiently self-evident that I have a hard time believing anyone could ever take him seriously, and I’ve never had any fear of reprisal for pointing it out.
Meanwhile, by way of playing catch-up with the Barrett Brown saga, his friends have published Brown’s letter from prison in which he vehemently denies having ever been a “spokesman” or “leader” of Anonymous, while continuing to rant about HB Gary, Aaron Barr, Jennifer Emick, and other such persons whom he accuses of involvement in a sinister conspiracy.