Dutch Police Arrest 16-Year Old for Pro-WikiLeaks Attack
A 16-year-old has been arrested in connection with pro-WikiLeaks denial-of-service attacks on Visa and Mastercard. He'll appear in court in Rotterdam on Friday, according to a Dutch media report. Police said they were investigating a much larger group and that more arrests could be on the way.
The group Anonymous has been coordinating denial-of-service attacks through Internet Relay Chat and other online gathering places. As described in an article in The Economist, the group operates by rough consensus, using a simple piece of software to coordinate the technical side of the attacks themselves.
Anonymous has targeted companies that bowed to U.S. pressure to cut off WikiLeaks. When they hit a site like PayPal, Visa, or Mastercard, they temporarily disable the company's websites.
Some like Evgeny Morozov see the use of denial-of-service attacks as a high-tech form of civil disobedience, but others, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have condemned the attacks. WikiLeaks, itself, put out a statement saying they neither "condemn nor applaud these attacks."
Regardless, the infowar has heightened the rhetoric on all sides, much like the disputed arrest of Julian Assange.