Linux based operating systems, albeit unsurprisingly, appear to be playing a major role in hacktivism which is at wikipedia described as: ""the nonviolent use of illegal or legally ambiguous digital tools in pursuit of political ends. These tools include web site defacements, redirects, denial-of-service attacks, information theft, web site parodies, virtual sit-ins, virtual sabotage, and software development.""
This sounds pretty ugly when put that way. However it is exactly hacktivism which is now playing a major role in the ongoing Iranian Revolution (attempting to overthrow a repressive, violent and apparently dictatorial regime). The regime has essentially cut off all outside media and is using their own media to target peaceful protesters. They have also shown little restraint in shooting, beating and even slaughtering the protesters. I've just seen that one of their clerics is in fact calling for the "execution of the rioters", despite the fact that these people are not rioters, but peaceful protesters. I guess this policy of "execution" gives them all the justification they need to randomly shoot people.
There are MANY accounts of this all over youtube, twitter, facebook etc. which have become the only real source of news even for big media, after Iranian media black out. This is where hacktivists come into play. Iranian regime has blocked youtube, twitter, facebook and is actively trying to prevent the free flow of communication. They have even blocked some instant messaging networks. What hacktivists are doing, then, is setting up proxies to allow iranian protesters to communicate via twitter and facebook and get the word out via sites like youtube.
Hacktivists are also doing slow kind of DDOS attacks in order to try and keep Iran regime sites down. The reason is simply the fact that these sites are posting images with protester's faces circled. They are then targeted, I suppose, for executions (or just outright shooting) or arrests. I think that's enough to justify a defacement or attacks on such a site. Though I have to relay a warning: If anyone who reads this ever feels he should now "help" by shooting a DDOS at these Iranian sites (albeit I'm not identifying them here), do not do that the classical way (sending huge amounts of hits in short time), because this could overwhelm, slow down or even choke off the same lines which protesters are using to communicate so you'd be making things worse. The only DDOS acceptable is a slow type which you can find more info at the Iran Anonymous site.
What do you think about hacktivism in general and this particular use of it?
Btw, if you want to help go to nedanet.org. Though there are risks involved.