Hacktavism!

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Hacktavism is the new and improved online form of activism. People who have a grudge against a person(s), organisation or company actively seek out their personal information in order to use it against them or, in the case of those using the Ashley Madison website (which I very briefly touched on in my previous blog) the information is used to name and shame people who are actively doing something that is considered morally wrong. My personal opinion on the entire Ashley Madison case is that it was profoundly wrong, despite the fact that the site itself was created for people to seek out other people willing to have an affair with them. Yes, I do believe that cheating is very wrong, and the reason the site exists is certainly questionable in its clear lack of morals, but it doesn’t make it ok to out the people for their own personal discretions. Hacking is certainly not a new thing, but with a fairly significant increase in the amount of people utilising online sources in their various day to day activities from online banking to making new friends and socialising it is no wonder that hacking is becoming a far more common way that people are choosing to attack those they disagree with and certainly a far simpler, effective method of attack compared to picketing out the front of a building or rioting in the streets but with a far greater reach and, in some cases, far more damaging. Unfortunately it is because of how easy it is that this type of activism is so dangerous as there is no way of knowing exactly how big an impact it could have on not only the company, but the individuals that might be directly involved with that company.

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7 thoughts on “Hacktavism!

  1. Very interesting post!
    I admire your obvious passion for the subject, it is clearly reflected in the tone of your writing and makes for interesting reading.
    While you’ve obviously focused on the one negative case of hacktivism, I think it would have been worth mentioning the good that can be done by hacktivism against evil. While personally I believe hacktivist should be criticised on a case-by-case scenario which you have obviously done and is certainly fine.

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  2. Interesting post Nyssa, i really like the contrast of hacktivism and Ashley Maddison; especially using the latter as a good case study of both a moral and social issue. Ashley Maddison in itself is extremely troublesome as it promotes anonymous yet lucrative contracts for consenting adults to enter, with many however already in committed relationships. The issue with hacking Ashley Madison is an interesting one as the moral issue of privacy yet the moral issue of commitment and cheating comes into effect. Nice job.

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  3. Good compelling post! Would have been better if you linked further information on the Ashley Madison case or just linking your previous blog, which would have been a good promotional method. Other then that, great job. It was a very good case scenario of the negative aspects of hacking!

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    • The links to Ashley Madison aren’t there?? Damn, thanks! I didn’t realise that, that had happened. And good idea about linking the other blog, I will do just that 🙂 thank you for the feedback and making me aware of the error in the blog

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  4. I love that you brought up the Ashley Madison example for this topic. I definitely agree with you, the hacking was unnecessary and ended up with many people being hurt or humiliated. This article is interesting as it talks about how this example shows us that online sites that were previously viewed as safe havens, such as forums and chats for victims of domestic abuse or mental illnesses, are now regarded as vulnerable. https://cdt.org/blog/chilling-effects-of-the-ashley-madison-scarlet-letter/
    I think this brings up many issues when it comes to hacking such as who should be responsible in deciding what information needs to be public or not? Did the Ashley Madison hackers really have the right to let spouses and partners know that their significant other was cheating?

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  5. It is very interesting to see you express your opinion regarding the Ashley Madison hack, as being wrong. This is part of an important discussion that we need to be having about our moral compass and where we draw our lines. Good post!

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