Thus a dilemma, reminiscent of Machiavelli’s The Prince, arises in discussion involving the legality, or even the morality of hacktivism. The ultimate question really is – do the ends justify the means?
Supporters of hacktivism posit that it is an act of civil disobedience. To contextualize, civil disobedience is a form of protest wherein people purposefully disobey laws that are inherently unjust and are judged by the general public to be unreasonably oppressive. In this sense, it is a form of disobedience that is justified by the circumstances. As an offshoot of the individual right to protest, it would seem that hacktivists actually promote the progressivity of democratic ideals-fostering an environment conducive to free speech and the right to protest.
Thus, pro-hacktivists would draw a parallel between the acts of disobedience during the Civil Rights movement in the US and the exploits of groups such as Anonymous. They call the modern incarnation of such movements. Whereas before there were the traditional rallies and marches in the streets, now the arenas have changed drastically-shifting from the real to the ethereal (cyberspace)
The principal argument then while hacktivism, like civil disobedience, sometimes incidentally involves breaking the law, it is normally done in defense of a noble cause.
to be continued...
Nathan J. Marasigan, Entry No. 9