Hacktivism: The New Age of Protests

The Evolution of the Protestor, From The Street to the Internet

Steve Smith talks about Hacktivism, you will either like it, or hate it, but after you listen to me, and see all my sources, and the videos, I hope you understand why it is necessary.

Episode #6-35 released on May 14, 2016

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It is 2016, the world needs to reminded of a few cold hard facts about the Internet, and I want to talk about something important to life and modern society today, the Hacktivist. The Hacktivist is a protestor in the new digital millennia who pushes political agendas related to freedom of speech, human rights, freedom of information, etc. We are all used to the idea of protestors collecting in the street chanting, baring posters, blocking traffic, and occasionally ending in violence, defacement of public and private property, etc. Hacktivism is simply the evolution of protests and uses computers and the Internet to communicate their ideals through audio, video, DDOS attacks, web-site defacement, and occasionally worst.

Hacktivism is often confused with cyber warfare, which is different in so many ways. But, the easiest way to explain this is with real events. The United States war on Terror that led them to places like Afghanistan where soldiers shot and killed others, bombed buildings and their occupants, etc. is warfare. In the digital realm, this equates to deliberate attempts to catastrophically eliminate targets online so they can no longer function. Hacktivists usually attempts to deliver a message by publicity and making an example of something, not through the deliberate handicapping of Internet assets for ill gain, but for the promoting of ethical and moral ideals. This is much closer to the Egyptian protests that ended up with Mubarak stepping down. DDOSing services, a non-destructive means of making an example of someone online, is one of the primary vehicles used by hacktivists online.

The most notorious group of hacktivists online is Anonymous. If you don't know who Anonymous is, you must be new to the Internet. However, for your own benefit, they were formed on the web-site 4Chan. They are a group of likeminded people who work together, loosely, on projects that inspire them to want the best from the world, mostly. And, they don't have any traditional hierarchy, and many are there for only a project, or two, while some work on many. These, like other likeminded groups, are the new age of protestors. And, whether you like them, or not, they are important to many movements, and what do they do, does inspire a great majority of people.

Now, hacktivism is not limited to groups, we can have individuals who strive to allow the Internet to have free access of information, especially information that can benefit humanity, as a whole. Let's talk about a person who allows many of us to even be podcasters, who helped create many amazing projects like Reddit, RSS, etc., who believed in freedom of information, campaigned against SOPA, and because he downloaded too many academic journals from JSTOR to prove a point, was unfairly marked to be made an example of by the abusive system of prosecutors that eventually led to him committing suicide. An individual whose death had more impact than the majority of the individuals in Anonymous, and every podcaster on the planet, to whom each owes a debt of thanks to this day. Freedom of information is paramount in the ideology of hackers because of the meaning and the drive we all feel we need to follow in order to preserve this. Information seeks to be free for all, hackers simply facilitate the dreams of free distribution of information. This is why when protests in other countries against unfair rulers breaks out, and the Internet is cut off, hackers reconnect the world, invent new means of communication, and reuse old overlooked technologies to allow for information to flow freely again. And every time a government tightens it hold, the dams of free speech are chanted, and information and proof of oppression is released for the world to see freely, the way information is meant to be shared, which is in line with the betterment of society as a whole.

And, sometimes we have Patriots that sacrifice their own liberties so that others may know how their freedoms have been trampled upon. And while many may call him a traitor, even to this day, many will understand now, if not in the future how much of a patriot he truly is, Edward Snowden. Taking information, the public needed to know, and showing America, and the world, just how immoral various parts of the US Government, as well as, many other countries, including my own, Canada. Look no further than him to understand why all my web-sites are now encrypted, why I, and many others, willingly refuse under oath, even with a court order, and even if they had a warrant, to surrender any passwords to anything I, or they, own, and you should do the same. It is through the actions of those hacktivists who sacrificed they own civil liberties that we should not look at groups like Anonymous, and think they don't have a place in our society. For if you are a user of the Internet, and you share in the idea of being able to freely communicate your opinions, and share information, you are a netizen, a citizen of the Internet, a citizen of the World. And these are merely a few hacktivists, there are many more, and there will be others like Edward Snowden, and Aaron Swartz.

But, before I forget, WikiLeaks. This is one of the most important web-sites that shares leaked information with the world. Exposing many facets of how many militaries, governments, etc. have abused their powers, as well as, other immoral activities worldwide. WikiLeaks was founded by its publisher Julian Assange in 2006, and remains an important stop measure to keep governments in check by informing the world of immoral actions undertaken by governments, and groups around the world.

Now, me talking about this topic is not enough, you need to learn about each of the players, I invite you all to check my sources, few my links in the description, watch the movies, read the information, visit the projects. Learn why it is important for the existence of these new kinds of protesters, hacktivists, patriots and innovators.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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