Re: clear and present danger

From Stefan Wray <>
Date Mon, 30 Aug 1999 20:36:00 -0500
In-reply-to <>

[: hacktivism :]

Comments on the stupid article by erik heinrich.
S. Wray

Heinrich says two things worth looking at. One, he uses the word
"terrorism" in very broad terms. And he uses the word "hacktivism" in very
narrow terms. Again, we see the problem resulting from a lack of consensus
around meaning. 

In "Inside Terrorism" by Bruce Hoffman - who incidentally is a former RAND
analyst - the author makes a point that the meanings of terrorism and
terrorist has changed immensely over time since the first use of the word
during the French Revolution. But, in his concluding summation of generally
agreed upon understandings of what terrorism means today, he says that
terrorism is violence. Here is his full list of what to look for when
defining terrorism:

- ineluctably political in aims and motives
- violent - or, equally important, threatens violence
- designed to have far-reaching psychological repercussions
- conducted by an organization with an identifiable change of command
- perpetuated by a subnational group or non-state entity

It is clear that hacktivists have political aims and that they are a
non-state entity. But it is difficult to see how hacktivism is violent. And
in my mind, of Hoffman's criteria, being violent is the most
distinguishable quality of terrorism.

So, more fundamental, perhaps, than the question of whether hacktivism and
hacktivists are in the same camp as terrism and terrorists, is to address
the question as to whether hacktivists or hacktivism is in any way violent.

If we can locate Heinrich, if that's the intention, the first question
would be: what violence results from hacktivism?

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