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The image of a computer hacker tends toward the antisocial, the apolitical; the quiet guy with thick glasses and stutter, who has the technical genius to break into the Pentagon’s website and the political consciousness to post pornographic pictures.

Recently, hacking has grown up and gone political. It’s called hacktivism, and its web warriors are staking out a new frontier in a virtual democracy. Software called FloodNet enables virtual sit-ins. “Peekabooty” allows web-surfers in China to evade government censors.

Hacktivism is far from a unified front. Debates that arose back in the ‘We Shall Overcome” era are popping up again in digital format. Hacktivism – electronic vandalism or wired democracy?
(Hosted by Eddie Mair)


Tim Jordan, sociologist at the Open University

Oxblood Ruffin, “foreign minister” of the Cult of the Dead Cow

and Carmin Karasic of the Electronic Disturbance Theater