Hacker originally referred to someone who “hacked through” difficult coding thickets to arrive at a working piece of software
Other meanings include:
Someone interested in defeating or strengthening computer security measures (see also “cracker”)
A person who supports the free and open software movement
A hacktivist is a person who engages in “the nonviolent use of illegal or legally ambiguous digital tools in the pursuit of political ends” (Wikipedia)
Hacktivists and Hacktivist Techniques
Distributed denial of service attacks (DDS)
Malicious code or malware attacks
Example: WikiLeaks and Anonymous
Purpose of Wikipedia is to provide a platform for “whistle blowers” of all sorts
Big controversy over Collateral Murder video followed by massive release of U.S. Department of State diplomatic cables
When the U.S. government went after organizations that channeled contributions to Wikileaks and Julian Assange in 2010, Anonymous launched denial of service attacks against Amazon, PayPal, Mastercard and Visa
The Yes Men are a group of culture jamming activists who practice what they call "identity correction" by pretending to be powerful people and spokespersons for prominent organizations. They create and maintain fake websites similar to ones they want to spoof, and then they accept invitations received on their websites to appear at conferences, symposia, and TV shows.
Their web site .
Web sites inspired by hactivist James Baumgartner that allow voters to auction their votes (illegal)
Steve Yoder’s Voteexchange.org worked on the principle that since you would help Bush if you voted for Nader in a close state, you could contact a Gore voter in another state where Gore was ahead who would agree to vote for Nader.
Vote trading in the UK
Designed to help “progressive” voters defeat the Conservative Party candidates by allowing Liberal Party supporters to vote Labour and vice versa.
Key Claims about Impact of the Internet on Political Parties
Party Competition (possible lower cost to start a new party)
Power Diffusion (increased grassroots control over candidates)
Institutional Adaptation (parties adapt to the Internet by using it to buttress their advantages, party competition will not increase)
The Howard Dean Campaign
Joe Trippi in charge of Internet strategy
Early alliance with meetup.com
Early support from the Daily Kos
Dean won in New Hampshire but ultimately lost to Kerry
The 2008 Obama Campaign
Extensive use of the Internet to solicit small campaign contributions and to build a network of campaign workers/volunteers
Extensive use of YouTube to spread awareness of the campaign by repurposing campaign ads
More limited use of interactivity to gather ideas from supporters and to vet ideas from campaign headquarters
David Plouffe video
The 2008 Presidential Election
What the Pew Internet and American Life Project has to say about it ( report ).
More got politic al info from the Internet, espec. online political videos
Increased use of social networking sites (MySpace and Facebook)
Increase in online contributors from 2 percent in 2004 to 6 percent in 2008
Some self-reports of voter empowerment but also of worries about extremism and misinformation
Discussion Points (Chadwick, ch. 7)
Has the early potential of the Internet been realized in the area of election campaigning?
Why has the United States witnessed greater levels of online campaigning than the United Kingdom?
Assess the long-term significance of the Dean campaign of 2003-2004.
Is online interaction too risky for politicians?
Have parties successfully adapted to the Internet?
Evaluate the claim that the Internet will combat voter apathy.
“… e-government initiatives usually involve several types of electronic and information systems, including database, networking, discussion support, multimedia, automation, tracking and tracing, and personal identification technologies.”
Can be used at all levels of government from local to national.
Goals for use are diverse.
May be useful to distinguish among G2G, G2B, and G2C communications.
Historical Developments in US
U.S. National Performance Review (1993 supervised by VP Al Gore)
Creation of government portal, Firstgov (now called USA.gov)
Clinton memorandum to accelerate e-government
Government Paperwork Elimination Act of 1998
E-Government Act of 2002
More history of initiatives can be found on the OMB Office of E-Government and Information Technology web site
Work of Darrell West
IU Political Science PhD
Until recently he taught at Brown University
Currently head of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution
Check out his web site, Inside Politics , for data on e-government at the state and federal government levels and also for international comparisons
Work of Stuart Shulman
Univ. of Oregon PhD
Taught at Univ. of Pittsburgh, 1999-2008
Currently at U. Mass, Amherst
Main research: federal agency rule-making
Founder of the Journal of Information Technology and Politics
Discussion Points (Chadwick, ch. 8)
What are the policy origins of e-government?
Is e-government about better government, better democracy, or both?
How is e-government different from previous government computerization initiatives?
Doe e-government change power relations with public bureaucracies?
Does e-government redistribute power within the political system?