Re: Defacing as a tool

From Hal <>
Date Fri, 21 Jan 2000 00:40:05 -0800

[: hacktivism :]

Obviously this is a very difficult question, one that all of us have
agonized over at one point or the other.  These messages show a bit of
agonizing themselves.

Coming from a decades-long print background, perhaps there is no one
more tenacious in guarding freedom of speech no matter how distasteful
it may be to me personally.  In fact, there are some minor areas where
there are limitations now (school, e.g.) that I feel take a first step
into infringement.

However, the internet fuzzes definitions unlike anything in history.  Is
the internet merely an instrument of free speech or is it also an
instrument of action?  Obviously it is both.

Action and Free Speech.

To me causing any defacement, interruption or even major irritation to a
website depends on whether the website is simply a speech (even
propaganda or hate speech) device or whether it is serving as a vehicle
for violence. If a speech device, I have no problem with countersites,
floods of email, even obtaining a membership list (of course, we would
do it legally) then bombarding the individuals with email that flickers
from one originator to another to keep it from being easily filtered. 
there's absolutely nothing about free speech that says we can't outyell
some hate group, stand near someone's ear and rattle off, or maybe even
accidentally get in people's way.  Also, there's absolutely nothing
against free speech that restricts us from gaining email addresses or
even names and furnish them to appropriate officials.  The government
gathers them for themselves all the time.

*IF* a group is using the internet in a way to directly incite violence,
to plan violence or to coordinate it in progress, that becomes an
entirely different thing.  That is action.  And, in spite of some local
regulations, it is difficult for me to see the "wrongness" in disrupting
those efforts.  If one saw the first penetration of a foreign army or
other attack by fringe groups, who would call in to the authorities,
then sit back and wait for them to respond, all the while your or
others' lives were in danger?

So what's our first step in all this?  In my mind it is to research and
observe: to discover whether a group such as this is simply a discourse
between nuts.  If not, and something more nefarious is going on, then we
should put the appropriate authorities on notice and respond to our own
call to arms. As you can see, the authorities option is almost void in
this case. If the authorities, as may well happen, decline, once again I
see no problem in trying to thwart destructive actions against ourselves
and others.


jjf wrote:
> [: hacktivism :]
> I can see the merits in both sides of the argument on website defacement. But while it is all very well to state that website defacement 'is censorship pure and simple', in this case it is important to keep in mind the reality off-line: Bulgarian neo-nazis are attacking and killing people (Gypsies, Turks etc. but not Jews because there aren't many there anymore) and very little is being done about it. We are not simply talking about individuals spreading their ideological message. I would strongly suspect that some Tangra Warriors are linked to these violent acts. And they are gaining political recognition. So while it would be good to set up a counter-site or one on behalf of minorities in Bulgaria, people should look at what wheighs heavier on the scale, murder or website defacement.
>  In a free country with good education etc it is important to uphold the right to free speech and perhaps websites should not be defaced (not really my opinion though). In the Bulgarian case, there is still a big battle to be fought before minorities are protected and anything that gets people's attention (ideally the Bulgarian people's attention) should be contemplated.
> So, to hack or not to hack? I guess it depends on whether you think the ends justify the means and whether hacks are an effective instrument for political activity, not whether such high ideals as free speech must be upheld.
> jjf
> > [: hacktivism :]
> > I think that everyone is right in the arguement that action should
> > not be taken toward the group...but the question remains: what do
> > we do?
> > The answer is clear. Spead the word that hate is still rampant.
> > Become active in the fight against antisemitism. If these people
> > are indeed guilty of the things you say that are (and of that I
> > have little doubt) then letters to the judicial system, petitions
> > and other information decimination will do more damage than any
> > defacing ever would.
> > Other suggestions: Put up your own site counterpoint to it. The
> > way to silence someone without censoring them is to simply shout
> > louder and drown them out. Let education fight the battles here
> > that protesters would on the street.
> > cate
> > cry havoc
> > *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
> > cate morrison
> >
> >
> > america stop pushing I know what I'm doing
> >             --allen ginsberg, america
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