Did Fake Steve Jobs break the law?

You may have read the recent Times story that says Apple, not AT&T, is to blame for users’ network woes. Fake Steve Jobs sure did, and he’s furious. In response, he invented a nefarious counterattack by Apple. Called “Operation Chokehold,” it was a plan to get iPhone users to all hop on the AT&T data network at the same time and start downloading lots of stuff, in the hopes of overwhelming the network and compromising its effectiveness. This initially fictional DDOS seems to be gaining traction with iPhone users in the real world, and it seems conceivable that it will actually occur and actually interfere with AT&T service.

This sort of thing is sometimes treated as a crime. I think there have been prosecutions of people who used essentially similar techniques to bring down corporate websites. Since this could bring down an essential service — the phones — it seems like it might be even more legally serious. I don’t know anything about the laws that are usually applied in DDOS cases, but if I was Fake Steve I’d be a little worried that my game had got out of hand.

Note that this post is pure speculation and doesn’t constitute legal advice; I have no expertise in the relevant law and am posing these questions only as an interested commentator.

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