The 1st Letter in the series Cyberactions

Cyber Activism includes political discussions, the gathering and distribution of data, the publication of ideas, the organisation of electronic petitions, the exercise of some pressure on decision makers and the co-ordination of actions that take place in the real world. In this way the net was used for the organisation of the anti-globalisation actions in Seattle.

Hacktivism disturbs the working of the net. Then the activists sometimes have to cross the boundaries of the laws. But when you want to achieve something you must not be limited in your actions by the boundaries which are drawn by those people you want to attack. Hacktivism includes virtual sit-ins and blockades, automated e-mail bombs, the destruction of web-sites, the invasion of computer systems and the use of computer viruses. It is used in the cyberwar between Israelis and Palestinians.

Cyberterrorism wants to wreck an electronic system. Even innocent people can be killed by this kind of action. When someone breaks into the computer of the air traffic controllers aeroplanes can collide with each other.

This last kind of action does not have my sympathy though I can imagine that desperate activists in certain hotspots in the Third World will sometimes use such drastic revenge actions.

All these actions are directed at institutions and responsible persons are hardly touched. They can continue their comfortable life while in the mean time they take important decisions that can be very harmful for third persons.

Joost van Steenis (January 13 2001)


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2. Hacktivism
To the index of Cyberactions