Practitioners of “Hacktivism,” or “Electronic Civil Disobedience,” use technology to accomplish a political or social goal. The latest targets for
this online activism are the web sites associated with the Republican National Convention which is scheduled to kick off August 29th in New York
Hackers Take Aim at GOP
Online protests targeting GOP websites could turn out to be more than symbolic during this month's Republican National Convention, possibly blocking
a critical communications tool for the party.
In the past, activists have been able to shut down the website of, say, the World Economic Forum for a few hours. But the impact of such a takedown
was nebulous at best: It's hard to argue the organization really suffered from a few-hour lag in posting its press releases online. Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Along with the protests expected to occur on the streets of New York, another type of protest is shaping up. This one is in cyberspace, with the
ultimate goal of lessening the effectiveness of Republican campaigning and fundraising at the convention
With the increasing popularity of the internet to raise funds and get the party’s message out, the threat against web servers takes on a more serious
tone than it has in the past. The actual impact of such attacks it not fully appreciated, but will, at the very least, re-direct time and money into
hardening the party’s internet presence against intrusions and denial-of-service.
Several hacking organization have been recruiting individuals and distributing software with the aim of flooding Republican websites with enough
traffic as to render them inaccessible. At least one group is not limiting the targets to computers. They will attempt to disrupt the convention by
jamming email servers as well as phone and fax lines.
Groups and individuals opposed to this action consider it to be little more than online vandalism. Many technically savvy computer users object to the
use of the term “hacker” in association with the effort because many of the participants will be largely unskilled in programming and networking,
merely using pre-written software for the attacks, and because the act of preventing access to websites is in opposition to the free exchange of ideas
and free speech that are inherent to the “hacker” philosophy.
The disruptions are intended to continue through the end of the convention, September 2nd.
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[edit on 17-8-2004 by Spectre]