The above is a video advertising the hacktivist group Anonymous, behind the #occupy movement, and several other operations. As stated in the viedo, these hacktivists are like the bullied nerd of the world coming to realize their own strength.

When considering the idea of the medium as the message, hacktivism may appear less brave, because of a lessened consequence. However, the importance of it is that the message is still in fact being relayed. Not all who share oppositional opinions are able to drop their lives and commit to a campaign. Hacktivism allows for these people to participate when they may not have otherwise. It allows controversial issues to distributed at a wider and faster pace. Take for example, Lulz Sec, a group which satirizes operations and issues and takes on the ethos of the entertainer in activism. This group has popularized the idea of hacktivism, becoming an internet meme. (I prefer their twitter)!/LulzSec

Hacktivists legitimize themselves through the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. As quoted from the reading, “This group targets censorship of the internet by legitimating itself on the basis of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration asserts freedom of expression for all, including the freedom to receive as well as offer views.” (374) This allows for a certain air of logos in a more abstract and misunderstood means of protesting. Hacktivism is widely anti-authority and has therefore been publicized with negativity. However, the meat and potatoes of most hacktivism groups is a passion for truth, and the right to protest. Take, for example, Anonymous’ aid in the Egypt protests earlier this year:

“2011 Egypt protests:

The websites of Egypt’s Ministry of Information and President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party were knocked offline by Anonymous in support of protesters calling for Mubarak’s ouster during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.”

Though hacktivism may be controversial and have a potential for evil action, it seeks to promote the freedom of speech, the right to protest, and the mediation of truths kept secret.


1 Comment

  1. sophiapelka’s bringing attention to an area of hacker discourse that I don’t think I emphasized enough in class today. While, as we discussed, the term “hacker” is too wide to be able to anything definitive about all hackers, one of the key concepts of hacker literature is the belief that information shouldn’t be under any central, oppressive control. In that regard, at least, I think we can support, or at least understand, the positions of groups such as Anonymous.

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