We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, September 2, 2011

The ethics of digital direct action

Click here to access article by Gabriella Coleman from Al Jazeera. 

This academic has an ethical concern about the use of the internet for political purposes when such attacks interfere with internet services. She especially focuses on a hackers group called "Anonymous" which attacked banking sites in retaliation for their denial of services to people wanting to contribute to Wikileaks. 

She seems blithely unaware that the internet has already been used by numerous governments as a political weapon to surveil and attack activists. See this, this, and this. The ruling class will use every weapon at their disposal to maintain their rule, and so must we to save society from the catastrophes that await us if we do nothing. It's clear to me that we are presently witnessing the early stages of a worldwide class war.
The political movement known as Anonymous has managed to capture the attention of the media, the hearts of many supporters, and the ire of many spectators after an eight-month spree of political interventions, stretching from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) campaigns, to human rights technical assistance in Tunisia, to a more recent spate of hacks under the guise of Operation Antisec.