Blog on Blog: Hacktivism

aaronswartzWhile considering this week’s keyword search for Blog on Blog, I got thinking about the untimely death of Aaron Swartz and his method of protest, hacktivism.

While many may not agree with Swartz’s reasoning for releasing thousands of academic journals from JSTOR,  the co-founder of Reddit’s suicide was undoubtedly a terrible tragedy.

I’m not going to get into whether or not online activists should be tracked and persecuted to the full extent of the law or whether or not hacktivism should be a legal form of protest; that’s for you to decide.

However, I think readers should keep in mind the government’s roll in his death. Conspiracy theories aside, Aaron Swartz faced numerous legal threats and multiple years in prison for his hacktivism while not a single banker received jail time for the financial crash of 2008.

Currently the government of Canada does not consider hacktivism to be a legal form or protest. Hacktivists are viewed as a threat to businesses and national security. For instance, when Visa’s system was shut down on December 8th, 2010, by the hacktivist group Anonymous, they lost over a hundred and fifty million dollars. That’s one costly hack!

Whatever your opinion of them, hacktivists have undeniably become major players in the world of politics.

So here it is, my top 5 blogs from this week’s keyword search:

Wall Street Protest5. New York Times: What is Hacktivism?

Okay New York Times, once again you have taught me so much. Even though Noam Chomsky tells me not to trust you, I just can’t help myself. So, hacktivism is made up of two words: hacking + activism. But is there more to this word? According to this post, there’s an undercurrent lexical war between parties that want to blemish the neologism for political purposes, and those that want acceptance between online activism and the broader outdoor form of protest. So this is about recognition. Intriguing…




4. Village Voice: Where’s the justice?

Once again the Village Voice has hit the nail on the head with underlying issues of judicial imbalance between the federal government’s pursuit of hacktivism and their slap on the wrist approach with big banks. This post will make you very, very angry.

3. Radware: Mitigating attacks in 2013

On the other side of the coin are the businesses trying to protect their back-ends from cyber attacks. There are many, many sites dedicated to protecting businesses’ cyber integrity from “cyber criminals, terrorists.”

catputer According to Radware, these cyber terrorist must be stopped by all means and knowing how to protect yourself can save you from financial ruin.

Well, one man’s hacktivist is another man’s cyber-terrorist.

2. The 9 Ways Hacktivist Shocked the world in 2012

From hackers turning informants to federal agents having their phone conferences tapped, 2012 was a very busy year in the news for hacktivists. This is a must-read list of the audacity of hacktivists and how they have joined different political forces and now must be recognized as either friend or foe.

1. Anon News
anonymousAnon news is the main news and discussion group site of Anonymous, the biggest, most ominously anonymous group on the internet. What makes Anonymous so effective is it’s lack of leadership. It is non-centralized and delivers messages through hacking. Recently this message addressed to President Obama was posted on the site regarding his State of the Union address, which was to be directed at cyber security and security in general. The message told Obama to refrain from trying to regulate the internet…or else!

Anonymous’ focus is to keep a free and open internet. Aaron Swartz would be proud!


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