As computer and internet technologies have advanced and become more easily accessible across the world, we are seeing an explosion of social activists, government agencies and terrorists using these technologies to further their efforts. Government and non-government entities use the internet to spread propaganda and information, recruit support and demonize opponents. The efforts of some radical groups, like ISIS, to shut down US infrastructure and thwart military activity can clearly be labeled as cyberterrorism. However, some groups, such as the loosely associated international network of self-proclaimed “hacktivists” identified as Anonymous, are blurring the lines between what constitutes terrorism and what is simply social activism. As technology continues to advance and further our capabilities, we are continuously presented with new and intriguing moral questions.
After reading the module notes and all of the supplemental materials, respond to the following:
- Briefly define cyberterrorism. Define hacktivism. Illustrate examples of each in current events within the last decade.
- What is the fundamental difference between these two?
- How has technology helped to advance these groups?
- How do you think our government’s response to such groups has changed our attitudes towards our own freedoms?
- In your opinion, do you think Hacktivism is justified or is it just a subset of cyberterrorism? Give some examples to support your stance.
Support your position using appropriate sources that are properly cited.