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

5 thoughts on “Hacktivists

  1. I like how you have focused on one activist group and used their movements and actions to draw on this weeks topic. Hactivism holds a high amount of grey area in terms of if it is right or wrong. Can the workings of anonymous be classed as a criminal offence, by putting peoples lives in danger or be seen as a form of protest and free speech? There is a huge debate over the worth of hacktivism as seen in this source I found, stating that hacktivism does more harm than good (http://www.debate.org/debates/Hacktivism-does-more-good-than-harm/1/). However, there are many points that hacktivism has that a physical attack does not, one of which is there is no physical destruction. Hacktivism does bring together a group of voices tackling the same cause of political of social distress, and have had many success stories. But does it make hacktivism good or evil (http://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/Hacktivism-Good-or-Evil). What are your thoughts on the debate?


  2. Hey there, your post was good though I would have been more engaged if you linked some research to the points you were making. Anonymous is always an interesting group to look at when discussing the notion of Hacktivism, offering an easy and inexpensive means to make a statement and impacting digital and physical environments. I found this article regarding Anonymous to be quite a good read, you might similarly find it interesting (http://www.wired.com/2012/07/ff_anonymous/). Thanks for sharing!

    – Sonny


  3. I see how you have mentioned that political campaigners are trying to use social media to make counter movements toward the government, but do you wonder if that a hacktivist’s only intention? I found an interesting article that touches on the other reasons that hacking for social welfare may be done. http://resources.infosecinstitute.com/hacktivism-means-and-motivations-what-else/ I like how easily you have explained your understanding of what the group does – it is easy to read!


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