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article imageOp-Ed: Hackers & 21st Century Activism

By RobotGod     Aug 12, 2007 in World
The official website of the United Nations was hacked early Sunday, and was displaying a message that was protesting US and Israeli policies in the Middle East. Is this where protesting is headed?
Breitbart reports that it was in a part of the site that is for statements by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The page showed a message that was repeated several times.
"Hacked By kerem125 M0sted and Gsy That is CyberProtest Hey Ysrail and Usa dont kill children and other people Peace for ever No war."
The message also appeared on other UN web pages that normally display quotes and speeches from the secretary general.
Protests used to be handmade signs and people picketing outside of building, but in the 21st century, the face of protest has begun to change. The new protest in this modern world is a matter of hacking into secure systems and displaying your "sign" in their face.
The new method, whether more effective or not, certainly gains the target's attention.
More and more, we see this 21st century activism.
Even way back in 1999, hackers with the know-how were using this method to make their voice heard as evidenced in a ZDNet story at the time.
Chinese hackers did it in 2001 to protest India's support of U.S. national missile defense plans.
And of course, it has been happening ever since with more frequency.
But what does it mean? Is it simply the new way for protesters to be more effective and pro-active? Or is it simply that more hackers are becoming protesters?
The answer to both questions is YES. The technology and know-how allows someone to be much more effective and even side-step the law to be heard. It has become easier to gain that know-how as technology has progressed. As for more hackers becoming protesters, we should remember that hackers have the ability to see a world that we do not see. They not only have their own political and social views, but just imagine the injustices that they must often uncover during their "escapades". Governments as well as Business love to cover things up. Hackers have the ability to see a lot of what goes on behind the scenes, so yes I am sure that the number of hackers turned activist continue to rise.
It will be interesting to see where this type of activism leads. We may not even recognize it in the future. Painted signs get fewer and fewer, as information is instead hurled in the intended direction.
More about Hackers, United Nations, Website