Internet Activism & Hacktivism


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Internet Activism & Hacktivism

  1. 1. Political Communication In CMC (Internet Activism & Hacktivism) Alexander Katzmaier
  2. 2. Internet activism <ul><li>Internet activism is the use of communication technologies such as e-mail, web sites, and podcasts for various forms of activism to enable faster communications by citizen movements and deliver a message to a large audience </li></ul>
  3. 3. Cyberactivists <ul><li>Internet activists are also called Cyberactivists </li></ul><ul><li>They use CMC to promote human rights, animal rights, environmental issues and the rights of marginalized communities </li></ul><ul><li>Goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>organize people around these issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>try to create social change </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Key resource <ul><li>The Internet is a key resource for independent activists or e-activists </li></ul><ul><li>Especially when a serious violation of human rights occurs, the Internet is essential in reporting this to the outside world </li></ul><ul><li>Listservs like BurmaNet and China News Digest help distribute news that would otherwise be inaccessible in these countries </li></ul>
  5. 5. Usage of Internet Activism 1/3 <ul><li>Fundraising </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups like MoveOn and Care2 have successfully used the Internet to raise funds and push their causes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>E-petitions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet activists also pass on e-petitions to be emailed to the government and organizations to protest against many issues from the arms trade to animal testing </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Usage of Internet Activism 2/3 <ul><li>Lobbying </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lobbying is also made easier via the internet, thanks to mass e-mail and the ability to broadcast a message widely at little cost </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Volunteering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Activists themselves may not realize that they are “volunteering,” even though they are contacting voters for a candidate, or acting with encouragement from a campaign </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Usage of Internet Activism 3/3 <ul><li>Community building </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community building is the creation of a group of individuals within a regional area (such as a neighbourhood) or with a common interest </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organizing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To organize activities which take place solely online, solely offline but organized online or a combination of online and offline </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Example of early activism <ul><li>Lotus MarketPlace: Households (April 10, 1990) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software which contains name, address, and spending habit information on 120 million individual US citizens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mass e-mail compaign was started </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 30 thousand people contacted Lotus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lotus issued a press release stating that it had cancelled MarketPlace </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Hacktivism <ul><li>Hacktivism is the combination of the words hack and activism </li></ul><ul><li>Definition: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hacktivism is &quot;the nonviolent use of illegal or legally ambiguous digital tools in pursuit of political ends.” </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Techniques 1/2 <ul><li>Defacements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An attack on a website that changes the visual appearance of the site </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Redirects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To send in a new direction or course </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Denial-of-service attacks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information theft </li></ul>
  11. 11. Techniques 2/2 <ul><li>Web site parodies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A work created to mock, comment on or poke fun at an original work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtual sit-ins </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consists of continuous access to one specific website by many different users at the same time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtual sabotage </li></ul><ul><li>Software development </li></ul>
  12. 12. Hacker vs. Hacktivist <ul><li>Similarities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A hacktivist uses the same tools and techniques as a hacker </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Differences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A hacktivist disrupts services and bring attention to a political or social cause but he or she doesn’t want to destroy something </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Examples of Hacktivism <ul><li>General </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One might leave a highly visible message on the home page of a Web site that gets a lot of traffic or which contains a point-of-view that is being opposed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A computer hacker leaks the personal data of 6 million Chileans (including ID card numbers, addresses, telephone numbers and academic records) from government and military servers to the internet, to protest Chile's poor data protection </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Criticism <ul><li>Internet activism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Activism faces the same challenges as other aspects of the digital divide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Especially relevant in developing countries, where many people still lack even the basic literacy needed to access written materials on the Internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>„ Cyberbalkanization“: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The same medium that lets people access a large number of news sources also lets them pinpoint the ones they agree with and ignore the rest </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Criticism <ul><li>Hacktivism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hacktivists are defacing government websites as well as web sites of groups who oppose their ideology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DoS: attack on free speech </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depending on who is using the term, hacktivism can be a politically constructive form of anarchist civil disobedience or an undefined anti-systemical gesture </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Bibliography <ul><li>Emerson, J. (2005). An Introduction to Activism on the Internet. (accessed 09/02/2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Arquilla, J. (2002). Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy. RAND Corporation. Chapter Eight </li></ul><ul><li> (accessed 11/03/2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Jordan, T. (2002). Activism!: direct action, hacktivism and the future of society. Reaktion Books </li></ul>
  17. 17. Bibliography <ul><li>McCaughey, M., Ayers, M. (2003). Cyberactivism: Online Activism in Theory and Practice. Routledge; 1 edition </li></ul><ul><li> (accessed 11/03/2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Delio, M. (2004) Hacktivism and How It Got Here. (accessed 09/02/2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Samuel, A. (2004). Hacktivism and the Future of Political Participation. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts </li></ul>