Thursday, March 29, 2018

Hacktivism as Civil Disobedience

A common interpretation is to see hacktivism as a form of civil disobedience. Civil disobedience has a varied history across the world. In the United States, some scholars have argued for the legality of this form of protest (Calabrese 2004 - Virtual Nonviolence?), while others, such as the Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom (Cluley 2011- British Police Issue Warning to Hacktivists), warn potential digital protesters of its illegality. Hacktivist civil disobedience is thus an example of liminality, occupying a position that is at both sides of a boundary or threshold. Jurgen Habermas argues that “the ‘right’ to civil disobedience remains suspended between legitimacy and legality for good reasons. But the constitutional state which prosecutes civil disobedience as a common crime falls under the spell of an authoritarian regime.” (1985:112 - Civil Disobedience: Litmus Test for the Democratic Constitutional State)

From After the Internet by Ramesh Srinivasan and Adam Fish

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