View the step-by-step solution to:


Why does the author believe that certain laws used to punish hacktivists should be modified and should hacktivism

be protected by the U.S. Constitution? (Article 1)

According to these articles, how do governments feel about their citizens engaging in hacking and how do the hackers view themselves? Should such individuals be treated as enemy combatants? Should such attacks, even if committed by a rogue hacker without a government connection, be treated as an act of war? (Article 2 and link)

Electronic copy available at: Electronic copy available at: Decriminalizing Hacktivism: Finding Space for Free Speech Protests on the Internet Joshua Adams National Security and U.S. Foreign Relations Law LL.M. Candidate May 2014 The George Washington University Law School Fall 2013
Background image of page 01
Electronic copy available at: Electronic copy available at: 1 Introduction One of the biggest challenges national governments must face in the 21 st Century is how to deal with the ever growing number of cyber attacks. Cyber attacks started out as merely an occasional nuisance in the early days of the internet, but have increased dramatically over the last decade in both number and severity of harm caused and will continue this trend for some time to come. Many of these attacks are caused by cyber criminals and cyber terrorists who are out to cause harm for personal gain. However, hactivists have emerged as a distinct subset of all hackers and are likely to become a permanent fixture of cyberspace. Policymakers must recognize hacktivists as a distinct subgroup with different goals and tactics than other hackers if they are to effectively craft rules that address the harms caused by cyber attacks while still preserving the internet’s democratizing influence. A recent report has concluded that hacking activities cost the U.S. economy $100 billion dollars in economic damages and 500,000 lost jobs every year. 1 U.S. policymakers often use these big figures to scare the public into supporting comprehensive cybersecurity legislation. However as many hacktivist activities are currently criminalized the smaller number of political protest oriented cyber attacks are not distinguished in any way from the larger and more serious cyber espionage and terrorism threats in these reports and are instead all lumped together as if they all represent the same level of threat to cyber infrastructure. National policymakers need to understand that not all cyber attacks are the same and need to be treated differently by the law. There are potentially as many motivations for cyber attacks as attackers. Some attacks are classified as cyber crimes and are generally motivated by greed and the profit motive. These attackers are primarily looking to make easy money and are not generally interested in causing damage to the targeted site or making political statements. Another motivation for cyber attacks is espionage. For these attackers the primary purpose is stealing information, whether 1 See: The Economic Impact of Cybercrime and Cyber Espionage , joint report of McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (July 2013); available at cost_0713_ph4_0.pdf.
Background image of page 02
Show entire document
Hacking for the Homeland: Patriotic Hackers Versus Hacktivists Michael Dahan Departments of Public Policy and Public Administration and Communication, Sapir College, Israel [email protected] Abstract : This paper discusses the phenomenon of "patriotic" hacking, i.e. cyber attacks that are mounted by hackers against states with which there is a prolonged national conflict such as: India Pakistan, China Taiwan, Russia Chechnya and of course Israel Muslim countries. The paper does not look at hacking perpetrated by countries themselves (or their proxies) in the form of cyber warfare but rather by individual hackers and hacker groups. These hackers are then compared to cosmopolitan hackers or Hacktivists, active in global and national arenas. Political motivations and ideology of both groups are explored. Case studies for comparison are drawn primarily from the Israeli Muslim cyber conflict, with an emphasis on the November 2012 (“Operation Pillar of Cloud”) conflict in Gaza, and its parallel arena in cyberspace. The Gaza case is unique in that patriotic hackers are joined by hacktivist groups such as Anonymous and LulzSec in mounting cyber attacks against Israeli institutions and individuals. Keywords : patriotic hacking, hacktivism, cyberwar, Israel, Palestine, Middle East 1. Introduction The recent and ongoing conflict in Gaza (November 2012) provides a portentous backdrop for the discussion of patriotic hacking as well hacktivism. A number of days into the conflict and Israeli Minister of Finance 1 , Yuval Steinitz, reports that over 44 million cyber attacks have been mounted against government institutions, the financial sector and the public sector 2 . In effect, cyberspace has become an additional front in armed conflict, a front where hackers, self styled or otherwise, replace or supplement combatants. Over the last decade there have been numerous salvos of hacker attacks between patriotically motivated hackers in Israel and the Muslim world, particularly at times of armed conflict (most notably the second Intifada, the Second Lebanon war, tensions between Israel and Iran). For example, this past year a Saudi based hacker broke into a number of Israeli web sites and released credit card information of almost half a million Israelis. Israeli hackers retaliated in kind by hacking Saudi web sites and releasing credit card and personal information. This minor hacking war ended with the suspicious death of the Saudi hacker. 3 While both groups are politically motivated, cosmopolitan hackers and hacktivists seek to advance political/social agendas that do not necessarily touch upon their country of citizenship or residence; rather they conduct attacks in order to promote, among other issues, freedom, free speech, human rights and information ethics. Hacktivism as such is the political extension of the original hacker credo. It is the new “new politics” 4 of the digital age, similar to traditional political activism (demonstrations, sit ins, civil disobedience, etc). Indeed Hacktivism is one of the tools used by some civil society organizations in order to advance their cause(s), and is often seen as synonymous with “direct action”. Patriotic or nationalist hackers have a different agenda and a different politics. They see themselves as irregular soldiers, or conscripts fighting a war for their country, a form of cyber militia. Rather than cosmopolitan in nature their world view tends to be narrow, nationalistic and parochial. Patriotic hackers always self identify themselves in nationalistic terms – Israeli, Palestinian, Iranian, etc. Attacks are motivated by strong feelings of patriotism and nationalism, reflected in the language and rhetoric used. Targets very often differ from those of political activism, and the actions of the patriotic hacker may result in serious damage to targeted systems. Many of these hackers note that they are representing and salvaging national pride in mounting these attacks or reprisals. In some cases patriotic hackers portray themselves as extensions of the state, acting where the state will not or cannot. 1 In Israel, the Ministry of Finance is responsible for the implementation of electronic government, and responsible for overseeing government websites. 2 (Hebrew). Retrieved 18/11/12. 3 “Saudi Hacker Dies of Asthma Attack”, Retrieved 18/11/12 4 “New politics” refers here to the strategies and tactics adopted by public interest groups and civil society organizations in the US and Europe in during the Vietnam war. These groups pioneered the use of sit ins, direct action and political mobilization of groups outside the political parties . 51
Background image of page 1
Michael Dahan 2. Hackers and the hacker ethic In 1974, Theodor (Ted) Nelson expressed many of the ideas and ideals that were to become part of the hacker ethic and would later feed ideas of hacktivism in his book Computer Lib/Dream Machines . Nelson believed that people should make use of computers in order to gain greater access and control over society. The term “hacker ethic”, is attributed to author Steven Levy (1984) and his seminal book, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution . Levy provides insight into the development of the hacker ethic in an almost ethnographic fashion. The ethic itself places an emphasis on access (broadly defined and not limited to data and computer networks), freedom of information, (a derivative of access), freedom/liberty, as well as improvement to quality of life (also broadly defined). Levy sums up the key points of the hacker ethic thus: ± Access to computers—and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works— should be unlimited and total. ± Always yield to the Hands on Imperative! ± All information should be free. ± Mistrust authority — promote decentralization. ± Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race or position. ± You can create art and beauty on a computer. ± Computers can change your life for the better. While Levy focuses on primarily North American hackers similar expressions are found among their European counterparts. The second edition of the New Hacker Dictionary (1993 218 219), compiled by Eric Raymond, defines the hacker ethic as “1. the belief that information sharing is a powerful positive good and that it is the ethical duty of the hacker to share their expertise by writing free software and facilitating access to information and to computing resources wherever possible and 2. The belief that system cracking for fun and exploration are ethically OK as long as no theft, vandalism, or breaches of confidentiality are committed”. In 1986 the hacker known as “The Mentor” (Lloyd Blankenship) published a text following his arrest for hacking entitled The Conscience of a Hacker, popularly known as Manifesto of a Hacker . The text eventually came to serve as a guideline and moral compass for hackers. He writes that: …This is our world now. .. the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore. .. and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge. .. and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias. .. and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals. Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for. I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can't stop us all. .. after all, we're all alike. 5 Finnish philosopher P. Himanen (2001) in his work emphasizes the communal aspect of the hacker ethic, juxtaposing his ideas with those of Weber and the protestant work ethic. It is worth noting here that within hacker communities status is accorded via a form of meritocracy where status is conferred based on hacking prowess. Himanen notes four components of the hacker ethic (2001 140 142): First, the hacker work ethic is defined as melding passion with freedom; 2. The motivation of money is replaced by the motivation of creating with and for the community; 3. The hacker network ethic, what Himanen calls “nethic”, is defined in terms of community and the desire for all to participate; finally, there is an emphasis on creativity in the hacker’s work. Closely related and linked to these ethics are those of the open source software movement, perhaps best personified by Richard Stallman, often called the last true hacker, head of the Free Software Foundation, (FSF). 5 Retrieved 18/11/12. 52
Background image of page 2
Show entire document
Sign up to view the entire interaction

Top Answer

View the full answer
Punish Hacktivists.docx

Running head: PUNISH HACKTIVISTS 1 Punish Hacktivists
Student Name
Course Name
October 20, 2016 PUNISH HACKTIVISTS 2 Punish Hacktivists
Laws use to Punish Hacktivists
Policymakers must perceive...

Sign up to view the full answer

Why Join Course Hero?

Course Hero has all the homework and study help you need to succeed! We’ve got course-specific notes, study guides, and practice tests along with expert tutors.


Educational Resources
  • -

    Study Documents

    Find the best study resources around, tagged to your specific courses. Share your own to gain free Course Hero access.

    Browse Documents
  • -

    Question & Answers

    Get one-on-one homework help from our expert tutors—available online 24/7. Ask your own questions or browse existing Q&A threads. Satisfaction guaranteed!

    Ask a Question
Ask a homework question - tutors are online