cold fjord writes: ABC News reports, "Thirteen people have pleaded guilty to helping briefly disable online payment service provider Paypal as part of a protest that authorities say was organized by the hacking group Anonymous. Ten of the defendants pleaded guilty Thursday to felony and misdemeanor charges of intentionally damaging a protected computer. If they stay out of legal trouble, the U.S. Department of Justice plans to drop the felony charges, and the defendants will be sentenced to probation a year from now. Three other defendants pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in San Jose federal court and face similar sentences. Authorities say the 13 defendants acknowledged taking part in a protest organized by Anonymous in December 2010 after the eBay-owned Paypal cut ties to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks when it released more than 700,000 leaked government documents. Stanley Cohen, an attorney for one of the defendants, said the 13 were engaged in an act of civil disobedience that he believes is protected by First Amendment free speech guarantees.
... Four men were convicted last year in the United Kingdom for participating denial of service attacks in Operation Payback."