Anonymous has set up a WhiteHouse.gov online petition to try and make distributed denial of service attacks a protected form of free speech. The group of hacktivists argues that the practise is akin to the "occupy" protests, with online participators disrupting access to a website in the same way that protesters would disrupt access to a building. Anonymous also asks that anyone jailed for performing DDoS attacks be released and have the charge expunged from their record.

The logic is a little flimsy: the occupy protests are annoying to some, but it's rare for participants to prohibit access to buildings. Those that have tried have subsequently been arrested. DDoS attacks, on the other hand, tend to have much more devastating effects, often crippling websites or taking them offline altogether for hours even days on end. Still, there’s plenty of time for the group to try and convince people to gather the required 25,000 signatures, as the petition is set to finish on February 6th.