back to article Online anonymity fueled 'Web War' on Estonia

The attacks that paralyzed Estonian internet traffic for three days in 2007 were fueled by online anonymity and a phenomenon known as contagion, according to a report by three academics. The paper, titled Storming the Servers: A Social Psychological Analysis of the First Internet War, is among the first to study the social and …


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  1. heyrick Silver badge

    "The resulting lack of accountability may have spurred on people who were already angry at Estonia."

    Oh come on, their Eurovision entries aren't THAT bad!

  2. Ed Deckard

    Listen, Professor

    People are likely to act like jerks if they think they can get away with it.

    This is universally acknowledged and trivial.

    People are likely to act like jerks if their country/sports team/favorite band/OS of choice is put down.

    This is universally acknowledged and trivial.

    People are susceptible to peer pressure.

    This is universally acknowledged and trivial.

    The Great Estonian Internet Kerfuffle has everything to do with the tulip mania.

    This is univ - no, wait, what? The tulip mania was a speculative bubble, doubtlessly complete with early pundits babbling in Dutch about the New Economy and the Historical Fact that tulip prices have never, ever gone down!

    This has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the tulip mania.

  3. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Bears and Woods!

    So people can behave like utter bastards when they know, that no one else knows who they are or can find them? Well duh!

    Typical car driver behaviour. We get in our cars and as soon as someone cuts us up, it's all flashing lights, middle digits and C-words! You don't do that when someone cuts you up in a supermarket, you apologise and mutter "Utter prat!", under your breath.

    Sorry academics, you spend an afternoon driving through city traffic in a car you would soon learn all about this sort of "anonymous/cocoon" behaviour!

  4. n3td3v

    There has been no cyber war yet.

    There has been no cyber war yet.

    Estonia was not a cyber war.

    You've got it fundamentally wrong on the world stage infront of everyone.


  5. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Also, Russians are all ******s anyway.

    It would appear.

    A lot of it is "We Used To Be Your Imperial Overlords Syndrome". So, yes, the British are like that as well to quite a lot of the rest of the world - where we used to be their imperial overlords (literally, give or take a generation). In fact we are ******s pretty much anywhere, but wa!e particularly are ******s in places where at length we graciously permitted them their freedom and they don't seem to be particularly grateful. Well, Russians feel the same way. And ****** IInternational Brotherhood and the horse it rode in on.

    And my god we were ******s -while- we were ruling our Empire. We had a brilliant economic strategy for our motherland. "Buy British or Die". I'm thinking in particular of India and salt, which is a medical necessity of human life, and which it was illegal to obtain in British India other than from the British government. Upon pain of vicious beating and lengthy imprisonment. You thought we were ******s with the thing with tea in America? You ain't seen nothing. Mother**.

    And that's why today it sucks to be East European and not Russian. Because your neighbours - internationally or next-door-ally - are the ******s who used as a ******-**** for decades and never went very far away. And now they also have organised crime.

  6. Doshu

    Interesting if true, but........

    The bottom line is that it comes down to a person's character. Forcing people to sport full real-life IDs on the net may or may not help to curb some jerks and trolls, but those willing to do actual criminal damage as in the case of the attacks on Estonia will always find a way to do so under the cover of a certain anonymity.

    Just because you feel man enough to anonymously tell off some soccer mom on the food tv forums, doesn't mean you'll be game to participate in the electronic throttling of an entire nation.

  7. Chronos

    OT, but... I the only one who read the title as "Web War on Elbonia"?

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