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Archive for May, 2012

Civil disobedience

Civil disobedience, also called passive resistance,  is the refusal to obey the demands or commands of a government or occupying power, without resorting to violence or active measures of opposition; its usual purpose is to force concessions from the government or occupying power.

Civil disobedience – a phrase coined by Henry David Thoreau in his essay Civil Disobedience – has been a major tactic and philosophy of nationalist movements. This  can be witnessed in various civil acts ranging from the anti apartitie movement in South Africa, Egypt, Iraq and various other nations who were under oppression by governments.

The most recent example of this is the Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS). The OWS slogan, “We are the 99%”, addresses the growing income inequality and wealth distribution in the U.S. between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population. To achieve their goals protesters act on consensus-based decision made in general assemblies to effect direct action instead of petitioning authorities for redress. This movement was so strong it cause some of the richest ,most powerful students to walk out of class in protest from Harvard

The occupy movement even reached Ireland where there was an Occupy Dame Street (ODS) protest. The ODS movement was so powerful it was greeted with almost 7,000 Facebook friends.

Civil disobedience is a symbolic  violation of the law rather than a rejection of the system as a whole. The civil disobedient, finding legitimate avenues of change blocked or non-existent, feels obligated by a higher, extra-legal principle to break some specific law.

A variety of criticisms have been directed against the philosophy and practice of civil disobedience. “The radical critique of the philosophy of civil disobedience condemns its acceptance of the existing political structure -conservative schools of thought, on the other hand, see the logical extension of civil disobedience as anarchy and the right of the individual to break any law he chooses, at any time (link)”

Today there are two main groups in the provocation of online Civil disobedience and more important  online Civil awareness. They are known as Anonymous and Lulzsec.

This is the introduction from Anonymous’ website

“Anonymous is a decentralized network of individuals focused on promoting access to information, free speech, and transparency. The group has made international headlines by exposing The Church of Scientology, supporting anti-corruption movements in Zimbabwe and India, and providing secure platforms for Iranian citizens to criticize their government.”

Anonymous, perhaps the worlds most popular “hacktivists”, are for hacking as Banksy is for graffiti. They have chosen to leave the underworld of hacking and emerge into the bright lights of the social sphere. They have taken unique skill sets to “expose companies that practice poor corporate governance and are involved in large-scale fraudulent activity”

Sighting  motto’s like “the corrupt fear us and the honest support us” Anonymous in my opinion try to be the cyber equivalent of Robin Hood – by looking after the poor (the masses) and  attacking the rich (Major transnational companies and political groups)

Anonymous have also led an attack called “Operation Darknet” where it attacked child pornography sites that the world governments chose to “ignore” by displaying such vigilant acts, they crashed various wiki style sites and disposed of 100GB of child pornography.

Another group like anonymous is Lulz Security(lulzSec) – this group of white hat hackers  claimed responsibility for several high profile attacks, including the compromise of user accounts from Sony Pictures in 2011. The group also claimed resve commented that LulzSec has drawn attention to insecure systems and the dangers of password reuse rather than hacking for financial gain.

In my opinion both groups are a positive thing. they are standing up to TNC’s who are taking over the world – they are aiming to gain equality for all people world wide and looking to expose the evil of both organised religion and as stated above – child pornography  They seem to be taking measures that nations It security experts either cannot or will not access.

From my studies I have learned that during the industrial revolution there was a fundamental shift in the social structure. Peopel were thought to read and thus spanned the re-emergence of political parties and greater equalities for the proletariat.

Political hackers like LulziSec, in my opinion, are taking the power from these giant companies like Sony and publicising one of their greatest assets – peoples information, which seems to be the new currency of the cyber world.

Because of the stances of LuizSec and Anonymous I have joined their mailing lists, just like I did for the Zeitgeist movement.

This now begs a question to be answered….  if all the worlds money was shared equally – would greed be demolished? If the worlds populations information was made public would it render Facebook useless?