The multiple meanings of hacktivism/S. Wray/990827

From Stefan Wray <>
Date Fri, 27 Aug 1999 22:43:18 -0500

[: hacktivism :]

The multiple meanings of hacktivism
S. Wray

The term, hacktivism, joins words with many meanings. Combined, the
meanings multiply. As there are many brands, colors, and sizes of activism,
there are many types of hacking. Hacking comprises more than breaking into
computers. It includes the simplicity of lock picking and the complexities
of social engineering and perception management. 

The spectrums of hacking and activism, an axis, form an overaching array, a
typology. When we address hacktivism we need to examine the subject broadly
within this matrix. Civil disobedience is only one species of activism.
Electronic civil disobedience, the mutant. And FloodNet, its spawn. As CD
is only one activist variant, ECD and FloodNet are just one hacktivist form. 

While important, temporarily, to fixate on and review the first theatrical
experiments, it serves our long-term interests to concentrate on the
matrix, the wider meaning, the multiple definitions. FloodNet was a test by
one small group. Many small groups exist, and so will many more experiments
producing more variants, more strains, more mutants, more cousins, and more


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