Moving from Conflict to Symbiosis
This chapter follows and builds on the conclusions drawn from the previous chapters in finding a legitimacy deficit in the current rationales and actual responses to hacktivism. It highlights how responses that are based on conflict often prove counterproductive when applied to hacktivism, as an activity that itself flows from social conflict. The chapter then offers a theoretical and practical framework for responding to hacktivism that is based on more symbiotic rather than conflict-focused rationales and actions and suggests some ways symbiosis can be facilitated and promoted both from within, but also out with the criminal justice system. It attempts to highlight the need for better understanding and interplay between all stakeholders involved and the requirement for everyone to attempt to act in ways that could reduce conflict and backlash effects and thus manage to more fully achieve the goals of crime prevention, proportionality, and promotion of productive democratic deliberation. The chapter discusses responses relating to a reconsideration of the concepts of damage and loss and promoting technology-based, more relevant penalties when dealing with hacktivism. It also elaborates on the need for providing more inclusive processes and spaces for political deliberation and contestation to be realised in and the ways the negative effects of protests could be mitigated through technology. Finally, it discusses the role of hacktivists in promoting symbiotic solutions and their responsibility to provide well-thought-out arguments and strategies and to try to maintain the standards of ethical protesting within their spaces and communities.