Hacking, Hackers, and Hacktivism
Spend five minutes with anyone who studies “hackers” and you will quickly learn that the term is used to define a wide array of discrete subcultures, from homebrew computer programmers all the way through to military-industrial network vulnerability experts. If there is one unifying characteristic amongst all of these cultures (and there may not be), it is most likely the acknowledgement between these groups that the limitations imposed by code as a mode of regulating behavior can, and should, be subverted. Today we look to hackers, who they are, what they do, and what rules and norms govern those who do not recognize code as a governing influence.
Our guest speaker this week will be Molly Sauter, a student at MIT's Comparative Media Studies program and researcher at MIT's Center for Civic Media, who has written and spoken extensively about cultural perception of hackers.
- Gabriella Coleman, Phreaks, Hackers, and Trolls: The Politics of Transgression and Spectacle (from The Social Media Reader)
- Molly Sauter, Activist DDOS Campaigns: When Similes and Metaphors Fail (video, watch from to 1:56 to 21:44)
- Sauter uses the term "DDoS" throughout. This is an abbreviation for a specific form of attack to a web server described in more detail here.
- United States Department of Justice, Prosecuting Computer Crimes (read pages 1-11: Introduction to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Key Definitions)
- Intelligence Squared Debate: "The Cyberwar Threat Has Been Grossly Exaggerated" (an Oxford-style debate with Marc Rotenberg, Bruce Schneier, Mike McConnell, and Jonathan Zittrain; watch the video of the debate)
- Benjamen Walker, Doing it for the LULZ (from Too Much Information) (11:00 to 22:45 only, language at times is NSFW)