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There still exist many illegitimate child porn sites on the web.

Some vigilantes organized and DDoS those child porn sites, typically because they think the government is inadequate to seize the child porn site owners, are these vigilantes themselves committing a crime?

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    Self-appointed guardians of the law are called 'vigilantes' and yes, if they break the law they are criminals regardless of motive. – Tim Lymington supports Monica Nov 13 at 15:47
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This would be illegal in Australia (Criminal Code Act 1995 part 10.7: any unauthorised impairment of electronic communication to or from a computer), the US (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) and any other jurisdiction that I can think of. There is no exception allowing vigilante action in case a person has a reasonable belief that the material on a website is offensive or illegal. In general, the law does not allow immunization against criminal prosecution in case the victim of an attack is himself a criminal. Only the government has the right to punish criminals.

  • One upvote to you for explaining the thing clear, but You generally speak that "attacking a criminal is illegal", But this DDoS is not aimed at attacking the criminal, it is aimed at taking down a cybercrime service. – Duckduckgaga Nov 14 at 3:05
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    @AkutaHinako thats semantics and nothing more - also, by conducting a DDoS, you are not just magically reaching out and directly striking your target, you are also attacking every step in the network infrastructure between your distributed attack sources and the targets server(s), which includes many innocent parties (upstream connectivity providers, backbone providers, proxy services etc and many of these parties might have legal safe harbour protection, so are not complicit in the running of the target). – Moo Nov 14 at 3:53
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    You may wish to add the UK (Computer Misuse Act 1990 - legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/contents specifically section 3.) – Martin Bonner supports Monica Nov 14 at 8:54
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    "Only the government has the right to punish criminals" - I was about to correct this, but I think you are using "government" in the US-English sense of "the State", rather than the British English sense of "the executive". – Martin Bonner supports Monica Nov 14 at 8:56
  • @user6726 "Only the government has the right to punish criminals." I know what you mean, but I don't think this is true. I have a right to punish criminals in all sorts of ways. I can shun, I can gossip, I can refuse to hire, I can refuse to do business with, I can...well, you get the point. Maybe you should follow the political theorists, who say the state/government has a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence in society. That slogan has problems, but it seems cleaner than what you have. – Just a guy Nov 14 at 9:18

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