And now, full of gratitude and coffee, covered in dirt and happiness, still at camp and not ready to leave—a brief dialogue with Keith Downy:
VW: You know all about encryption tools like VPNs and Tor, but didn’t use them when engaging in a direct denial of service (DDOS) attack on PayPal in response to their blockade of WikiLeaks as a journalistic organization engaging in free speech. Why?
KD: It was an act of civil disobedience and I saw no need in hiding.
VW: You were convicted of one misdemeanor count of damaging a protected computer without authorization, and sentenced to the lowest possible crime under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CAA). What can people do to support you now?
KD: They can help by donating to our restitution fundraiser.
VW: There were efforts to legalize DDOS as a form of free speech and peaceful civil disobedience following your prosecution. What reform would you like to see in the legal regime surrounding DDOS and why?
KD: I wouldn’t say DDOS in general should be legalized. A good example being people that use it for extortion or other form of personal gain. However, I think it should be legalized as protected as political speech when used by people to address their grievances.