The Internet has altered the landscape of political discourse and advocacy since the 1990s, particularly for those wishing to have a more universal means of influencing national and foreign policies. With the Internet’s availability to mainstream society came a growth in the political fever among both the White Hats and the Black Hats—a fever known as “hacker activism” or “hacktivism.” Those who engage in hacktivism are known as the hacktivists—individuals pairing their needs for activism with their hacking skills to advance free speech worldwide—if they are White Hats—or to carry off some political mission that may have damaging effects to the Websites targeted—if they are Black Hats.
The operations commonly used in hacktivism include browsing the Web for information; constructing Websites and posting information on them; transmitting electronic publications and letters through email; and using the Internet to discuss issues, form coalitions, and plan and coordinate activities.
Schell, B.H., Dodge, J.L., with S.S. Moutsatsos. The Hacking of America: Who’s Doing It, Why, and How. Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 2002.