Hacking comes in many forms, from thieves trying to steal personal information to online gamers using hacks to make their characters virtually invincible. But there’s a form of hacking which claims to have a moral basis called ‘Hacktivism‘, or using hacking for social activist causes.
‘Anonymous‘ is possibly the most well-known example of a hacktivist group. They have hacked several major-profile organisations such as Sony in 2011, after the group accused them of attacking freedom of information for trying to punish some users who obtained jailbreak software on their Playstation devices. Other reasons for hacking include disagreements with government policies, moral disagreements, and revenge attacks. It is clear that Anonymous sees itself as doing social good by tackling websites which they don’t believe are helping the general populace or projecting a fair message.
So can hacking be used for good, as Anonymous claims? The debate is very heated on the matter, and my research came up with many people on either side arguing along the lines that this debate site brought up. There seems to be a lot of confusion about where to draw the line between ‘good’ hacking and ‘bad’ hacking and everything in between (also known as ‘white hat’, ‘black hat’ and ‘grey hat’), and I suspect the debate will continue for quite some time. I decided to try something new and outlined some of these debates in a Prezi presentation – unfortunately I couldn’t embed the presentation, so you have to click on the link below. If anyone knows how to embed Prezis in WordPress, please let me know!