The Two Eras of Hacktivism
This chapter provides an analysis of the various groups and individuals that have contributed to the birth and development of hacktivism. Although hacktivism can be seen as a continuum of action with varying groups and individuals being involved in it, this chapter will split the continuum into two eras. The first era discusses groups like the Critical Art Ensemble, the Electronic Disturbance Theater, and Hacktivismo, and provides information regarding their rationales, goals, and tactics. It then moves on to discuss the major contemporary hacktivism collective, Anonymous, with their diverse ideologies and tactics as well as specific individuals, such as Aaron Swartz and Andrew Auernheimer, the actions of which generated important debates for the future of hacktivism and the impact of contemporary legislation and law enforcement rationales on hacktivists. Although the book focuses on analysing the practices of hacktivists rather than particular groups, this chapter is important in providing a more holistic understanding of hacktivism as a movement, as well as a cluster of ideologies and practices before moving on to discuss its positive and negative aspects and assess the ways it has been dealt with so far.