Hacktivism's Global Reach, From Targeting Scientology to Backing Wikileaks and the Arab Spring

In recent years, online hackers who identified as being part of Anonymous and other groups have carried out dozens of high-profile online operations. When Mastercard and Visa suspended payments to WikiLeaks last December, hackers with Anonymous briefly took down the websites of both credit card giants. Other targets have included Sony, PayPal, Amazon, Bank of America, The Church of Scientology and the governments of Egypt, Tunisia and Syria. Now law enforcement agencies across the world have begun cracking down on the hackers. In July, 16 suspected members of Anonymous were arrested in the United States. We take an inside look at how online hacker activist groups operate with three guests: Peter Fein, an activist who works with the group Telecomix, a volunteer organization that has supported free speech and an open Internet in the Middle East. He also sometimes acts as a liaison to Anonymous and was one of several moderators on the Internet Relay Chat for OpBart–the latest Anonymous campaign targeting the San Francisco subway system. We’re also joined by Gabriella Coleman, an Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Her first book, "Coding Freedom: The Aesthetics and the Ethics of Hacking" is forthcoming and she is currently working on a new book about Anonymous and digital activism. And we’re also joined on the phone by a member of the hacktivist group Anonymous, going by the pseudonym "X."


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