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Hacktivism

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libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

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."[1]"

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.

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Joined: 2007-09-10
Re: Hacktivism
Quote:

"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."

Software development?! I suppose developing something like DVD decrypting tools or stuff like that. ^^

I find the idea of hacktivism interesting and wouldn't exclude the possibility of resorting to it some day if I feel it's necessary.
If general libre software development is hacktivism, then yes, I'm already a hacktivist. Smiling (Oh, and I did some homepage-jacking (direct link blocked by spam filter).)

However, in the case of the Iran, I don't know...
What if the election results were real? There have been so many involvements of foreign countries in other countries' politics (more specifically of the US in middle-east politics), that I sometimes don't know what is true anymore. The internet also tends to make some minorities seem more important than they are. Are the people making the most noise just foreigners in western countries or are they Iranians?

That being said, freedom of speech is essential, so it definitely looks like a valid cause to me, even if I am not yet convinced that the elections were rigged.
The killing of Neda Agha Soltan is a really sad story. I hadn't heard of it before.

Is there something similar to NedaNet for China?

P.S: I also agree with the following comment by JCB on http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=1096 :

Quote:

Eric,

As someone’s who has been monitoring and participating in #Irantech for the last couple of days, while I do appreciate you stepping up to be a public face for this, I do have one question to ask.

Did you really have to make such a bombastic statement?

“And for any jihadi interested in asking me questions face to face, I’ve got some bullets slathered in pork fat to make you feel extra special welcome.”

Seriously? Are such statements required here, especially given since such statements are also intrinsically offensive to those we’re trying to help?

In my opinion, such biased statements fly in the face of the quiet and dedicated organization of those who picked up this effort initially, and were hackers bent on a mission of keeping communications open into Iran. The goodwill this is helping generate between Iran and the rest of the world cannot be understated.

So I’m asking, is it worth being an Ugly American, just to show how prepared you are to defend yourself? While putting together a resources page on your highly visible website is a great thing, that page should be about resources, not about your willingness to cut down anyone willing to attack you, pork fat or no.

Please consider that your actions may end up harming efforts, not helping them.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Re: Hacktivism

Well, I wont say I am absolutely 100% sure it was rigged, but man evidence seems overwhelming. From what I've read there were hundreds of candidates in the elections and only few were selected. Then the few of the opposing candidates all unanimously accused of fraud. And biggest thing of all, if there is truly more than 60% majority where the hell are they? Blood is being shed in Iran and 60% of people are just sitting at home watching and saying nothing?

And even if we put all that aside the behavior of the current government isn't exactly endearing. They are killing peaceful protesters. At that point I don't even care if they had a majority vote. They are killing innocent people and it's not even just some isolated cases of police brutality. The government supports this, does arrests, sends overwhelming number of cops to the protesters... they are acting like an evil old fashioned fascistic Hitler like regime. They are storming homes, chasing people, pushing them out of the cars, beating with batons and axes, shooting with real bullets, arresting media, blocking free speech.. It can hardly get any more totalitarian than that.

Quote:

P.S: I also agree with the following comment by JCB on http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=1096

I agree.. First I thought to give him the benefit of the doubt, but then I've seen him advocate US involvement there (the dreadful US War on Iran, like it helped in Iraq) and I wonder what kind of a libertarian he is, completely unprincipled. http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=1105

Yes, people in Iran are calling for US help. It's a really sad story that this is where the world came to, that people now want the global bully to save them. US is seen as the savior of everyone, yet somehow nobody stops to think of all the suffering US has caused (if you didn't know.. US massacre of indian population far exceeded anything Hitler did to jews and US was involved probably in more wars, coups and incited rioting than any "nation" in existance). Yet it supposedly is a savior of all, promoter of freedom and "democracy" (as if mob rule equals to true freedom).. I don't know.. I think iranians calling for the heavy hand of the US military to crush their government do not realize this could only escalate the killings further. I don't want more killings. I just naively want it all to stop. :'(

I've never felt a war somewhere far away this real as what's happening in Iran, because of the internet. It is making every war a potentially world war in a sense, on the information level, where every internet user gets to pick a side (even if neutral) and protest, have his or her voice heard. I can only hope this heightened awareness will help end all wars.

Anyway I kinda got carried away..

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Joined: 2007-09-10
Re: Hacktivism
Quote:

And biggest thing of all, if there is truly more than 60% majority where the hell are they? Blood is being shed in Iran and 60% of people are just sitting at home watching and saying nothing?

Well, the explanation to this is pretty simple: winners have no reason to protest.
Although the killing of innocent people might lead some of those who voted for Ahmadinejad to turn against him.

Quote:

Anyway I kinda got carried away..

It's alright to get carried away when innocent people get killed.

P.S: The spam filter here is extremely effective. I almost always have to fill in a captcha. ^^

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Re: Hacktivism
KIAaze wrote:

P.S: The spam filter here is extremely effective. I almost always have to fill in a captcha. ^^

Oh.. sorry, I didn't realize. I checked access control and yeah they were enabled even for registered members. My bad, fixed now.

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