In the X-men films, professor X uses a machine known as Cerebro, a device used to track and connect to all mutants telepathically anywhere around the world. Professor X is able to talk, read the minds and control the minds of not only mutants, but every human as shown throughout the films. Imagine a device like this that exists in the world.
While no minds are being directly controlled or read, the closest thing to this device is the internet. The internet connects to all of us, able to understand us through how we use the internet, able to control our activity by reading our cookies and able to influence our opinions. Another thing that is apparent is that the internet is connecting to not only humans, but can somehow connect to anything.
If Cerebro is the internet, who is Professor X? unfortunately it can be anyone, with any intention.
This means use of the internet could literally connect to anything, such as air conditions, fridges, cameras, watches, Antennaes, Television, hell I wouldn’t be surprised if it connected to chairs. Think about that, and then think about internet users who are capable of hacking and surveilling your every movement.
The Internet of Things, is a scary idea.
Last week the idea of social activism or Hacktivism was delved into, and this week we further explore the darker depths of this presence through the cases of cybercrime such as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.
Assange is the editor-in-chief of the site wiki-leaks which has revealed millions of the most persecutive documents, including a video of soldiers shooting innocent civilians. Snowden is a former CIA employee for the US government who in 2013 exposed classified information from the NSA in 2013 which revealed different surveillance programs.
A common question which was apparent in many blog posts last week, was if hacktivism was either good or bad? many argued neutral where there is good and bad to social activism. Personally I am neutral on the topic, but when observing the impact of Edward Snowden, and realising many people view him as some kind of hero, it made me think maybe for society this could be good. Through these cybercrime acts that people are willing to take part, the public are able to be exposed to the dirty secrets within the government that they don’t want us to know.
In a world where Knowledge is power, these acts of social activism are able to inform the public of things that higher powers don’t want the public to know….and through this, whilst I still believe there is still a lot of bad in cybercrime which could be lethal such as hacking private information, I believe there is good that comes out of this.
With last week’s topic bringing in the idea of social media sparking protest movements and riots, this week delves further into that idea and introduces online movements such as hackers or “Hacktivists”, whistle blowers and political campaigners who utilise social media to progress in making counter movements towards the government.
The presence of hackers bypassing security limitations within the internet has been around for a long time, but the focus of this week is it’s presence in affecting the world to a higher degree through hacking into private government documents which expose corruption and cause outcry.
One of the most well known online activist groups at this moment is a group called Anonymous. They have engaged in a series of publicised publicity stunts and attacks on government, religions and corporate websites. Pretty much, any high level events which occur in the world, Anonymous are sure to react such as the recent Paris attacks, ISIS, reclaim Australia movements and more. After all these events, days later a new video would be released by Anonymous
They operate to aid “the people”, whether it’s against the government or terrorist groups. They do this by using hacking to expose private documents to the public which as a result, causes movements in the public sphere, allowing the reality to come to light. They have no strictly defined philosophy however, but they are defined as “an Internet gathering” with “a very loose and decentralised command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives”.
Anonymous are one of many examples of online activists who have impacted the public sphere through using the internet and hacking methods to cause movements and discussions which influence revolution