This overlooks the undemocratic and illiberal character of the WTO itself, whose meetings were held behind closed doors one of the major rhetorical points of the protest , and it implies that the varieties of direct action that successfully blockaded meetings could be morally compromised. These kinds of actions, bereft of an easy classification as forms of speech or communication, are the forms of antagonistic political action Dean argues cannot be found in online space.
In this light, it is worth returning to some of the earlier theorizations of DDoS actions. Yet Raley rejects a theorization of online political interventions strictly in terms of their communicative value.
Instead, EDT took on the prerogatives of conceptual art — to use creative practice to pose questions and provoke response — in order to probe the contours of the emerging digital terrain and determine who would control it and how. While Sauter repeatedly criticizes treating DDoS actions as criminal, rather than political, acts, the EDT saw its work as both, and even analogous to terrorism.
Indeed, civil disobedience is premised on exploiting the ambiguities of activities that can be considered both crime and politics. Rather than attempt to fix distinctions after the fact, EDT recognized the power of such actions precisely in collapsing these distinctions. This tip of the hat to theorists of participatory media once again reveals the notion of a democratic public sphere as a regulative ideal for the text.
Expanding political participation is a laudable goal, but not at the expense of losing the content of politics. Furthermore, good activism requires training: several novice Anons were caught and prosecuted for participating in DDoS actions due to insufficient operational security measures.
The Coming Swarm: DDOS Actions, Hacktivism, and Civil Disobedience on the Internet by Molly Sauter
What would it mean to take seriously the idea that the internet is not, in fact, a public sphere, and that, furthermore, the liberal notion of discursive and communicative activities impacting the decisions of rational individuals does not, in fact, adequately describe contemporary politics? Sauter ends up in a compelling place, one akin to the earlier theorists of DDoS: war. It also recalls the radical political work of ultraleft formations such as Tiqqun I had anticipated that The Coming Swarm was a reference to The Coming Insurrection though this does not seem to be the case , for whom war, specifically civil war, becomes the governing metaphor for antagonistic political practice under Empire.
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This would mean that the future of DDoS actions and other disruptive online activism would not be in its mobilization of speech, but in its building of capacities and organization of larger politicized formations. This could potentially be an opportunity to consider the varieties of DDoS so often bracketed away, which often rely on botnets and operate in undeniably criminal ways. Current hacker formations use these practices in political ways Ghost Squad has recently targeted the U.
If DDoS has a future as a political tactic, it may be in the zones beyond what liberal political theory can touch.
The Coming Swarm: DDOS Actions, Hacktivism, and Civil Disobedience on the Internet 
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