Contemporary Norms and Law and Hacktivism

  • Vasileios Karagiannopoulos
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Cybercrime and Cybersecurity book series (PSCYBER)


This chapter focuses on the socio-political norms and the legislation that relate to cybercrime and hacktivism more particularly and dictate how hacktivism is dealt with currently in the USA and the UK. This chapter discusses the predominance of command and control policies that prioritise security and risk minimisation norms. Furthermore, it assesses how recent socio-political developments, media influences, and cybersecurity experts maintain and exacerbate such a framework and how this impacts on hacktivism as a cybercrime-related, contestational political practice. The discussion then moves to analyse the current legislative framework regarding cybercrime and cyberterrorism in the USA and the UK. It offers examples of how such legislation applies and has been applied to hacktivist actions and highlights the concerns that legislative broadness, vagueness, and punitiveness can entail for hacktivists. This chapter essentially provides a first-level critique of the current responses to hacktivist incidents in order to prepare the ground for offering an alternative rationale that moves away from the conflict-based model that currently is predominant into a more symbiotic framework of action.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasileios Karagiannopoulos
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Criminal Justice StudiesUniversity of PortsmouthPortsmouthUK

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