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Lufthansa online activist found guilty

€900 will be fine

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A German activist who launched a short attack against Lufthansa's website, in protest at the company allowing police to use its planes for forced deportations of asylum seekers, has been found guilty by a Frankfurt court.

Andreas-Thomas Vogel has been ordered to pay a fine of €900, or as the court put it "the equivalent of 90 days of detention". This essentially means the activist is slapped with a criminal record.

On 20 June, 2001 Vogel released software to automatically knock out the web site of Lufthansa as part of an online demonstration. Although technically speaking it wasn't a denial-of-service attack, where a downpour of incoming data to the web server essentially forces it to shut down, Lufthansa's lawyers filed a lawsuit claiming that 1.2 million hits caused unspecified economic damage.

After more than three years of investigation, a court in Frankfurt has ruled that Vogel indeed broke the law by releasing the software and that the two hour blockade did cause damage.

Vogel, who warned that the German state is trying to make mass protests on the internet illegal, said he will appeal the ruling. His lawyer added that the demonstration was registered with officials. ®

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