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dan mcquillan's List: social media campaigning IS71055A - lecture 7 - hacktivism

    • Himanen (2001) argues that hacking should be understood as a new philosophy of business. He believes hackers have created a new way of working appropriate to the twenty–first century that can be captured in seven values: passion, freedom, social worth, openness, activity, caring and, the highest value, creativity.

      “… creativity — that is, the imaginative use of one’s own abilities, the surprising continuous surpassing of oneself and the giving to the world of a genuinely valuable contribution.” [1]
    • In opposition to this business orientation, Wark (2004) believes hackers are the new radicals of the twenty–first century. Hackers in their pursuit of free creativity turn out to be, for Wark, the revolutionary class of the twenty–first century.

      “To hack is to differ … . Hackers create the possibility of new things entering the world. Not always great things, or even good things, but new things. In art, in science, in philosophy and culture, in any production of knowledge where data can be gathered, where information can be extracted from it, and where in that information new possibilities for the world produced, there are hackers hacking the new out of the old.” [2]

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    • FloodNet. This applet repeatedly tried to open nonexistent Web pages at targeted sites, such as those of former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the Mexican Stock Exchange, and Chase Manhattan Bank. Participants in EDT's actions were asked to select words for use in constructing "bad URLs" (Web addresses of pages that don't exist on the targeted server). For example, participants were asked to input the names of Zapatistas killed by the Mexican Army in military attacks on the autonomous village of Acteal, forcing targeted servers to return an error message each time one of these "bad" URLs was requested. In a deft conceptual gesture, this process inscribed the "bad" URL in the server's error log as a way of symbolically returning the dead to those responsible for their murders. If enough people had run the applet simultaneously, they would have overloaded the server, so that when a regular visitor tried to access the site, pages would have loaded slowly or not at all.
    • This disabling of a site in this way is known as a "denial of service attack." EDT's actions are analogous to sit-in demonstrations in which protestors block the entrance to a public building. Taking the civil disobedience actions of the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s as a model, EDT's members avoid destroying data and use their real names rather than hiding behind aliases. "The idea," according to Dominguez, "is not to destroy or disrupt these Web sites. It's to disturb, in the same way that paper airplanes coming through your window are going to annoy you." Dominguez alludes here to the symbolic Zapatista air force, composed entirely of paper planes.

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    • The more WikiLeaks has enjoyed mass media attention, the less it has been actually functioning as an organisation and as the service it is there to provide. At the time of writing, WikiLeaks no longer has a working infrastructure for submitting leaked documents. Curiously enough, except the tech community, nobody seems to have noticed that WikiLeaks isn't operational anymore.
    • The reasons for the dysfunctionality of WikiLeaks are not simply governmental and corporate pressures, but first of all the schisms inside WikiLeaks in which the main actors are now fighting each other with lawyers. By turning itself into a personality show, WikiLeaks has become its own worst enemy and seems to have destroyed itself more efficiently than any outside operation could have accomplished.

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    • Also this year, Anons released documents on, or d0xed, several police organizations and one prominent police vendor in retaliation for heavy-handed law enforcement reaction to occupations associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
    • NYU Professor and Anonymous researcher Biella Coleman compares Anonymous to the trickster god archetype.

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    • commentators struggled to describe its ethics, sociology, and history using traditional analytical categories.
    • Anonymous functions as what Marco Deseriis defines as an improper name: “The adoption of the same alias by organized collectives, affinity groups, and individual authors.
      • luther blisset

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