NPR Interviews Professor on Electronic Civil Disobedience

December 13, 2010

The news is abuzz with the cyber attacks on Amazon, PayPal and major credit card companies. The method of attack is distributed denial of service (DoS), but the army is made up of willing participants, rather than the typical zombie machines that have been hacked without users' knowing.

In an interview with NPR, Professor Nicolas Christin, Associate Director of the INI, faculty member and CyLab system scientist, comments on the new recent twist of DoS attacks, mentioning social media as part of the formula making it "easier than before to have protests of such massive scale."

An excerpt from the interview follows:

I think that what we're seeing right now is the convergence between technological availability and civil disobedience. There's always been protests of people being unhappy about something. But what we realize now is that with the technological means that we have at our disposal, and in particular the social media on the one hand, the easy network access that most people have, participating in acts of electronic civil disobedience is actually relatively easy.

Access the full interview on NPR.

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