Cyberactivism

Also tracking on http://cyberwar.posterous.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_activism
Internet activism (also known as e-activism, electronic advocacy, cyberactivism, e-campaigning and online organizing) is the use of communication technologies such as e-mail, web sites, and podcasts for various forms of activism to enable faster communications by citizen movements and deliver a message to a large audience. These Internet technologies are used for cause-related fundraising, lobbying, volunteering, community building, and organizing. Author Sandor Vegh divides online activism into three main categories: Awareness/advocacy, organization/mobilization, and action/reaction.


http://wiki.media-culture.org.au/index.php/Internet_activism
While political activism has been around for some time, the networking of computers has established a world-wide communication sphere which attempts to provoke social, cultural, or political change within the real world (Meikle, 2002, p.4). There are several important issues that are currently surrounding Internet Activism. The network society has given birth to the theory of digital democracy, which is the use of new media technologies for purposes of enhancing political democracy, such as encouraging participation of citizens in democratic communication (Hacker and Van Dijk, 2000, p.1). This could be in the form of online discussion forums, blogging and virtual communities which allow for a wide range views to be heard and debated and thus creating active political participation in the sense of an informed public sphere (Tsagarousianou, 1998, p.167).


An Introduction to Activism on the Internet: Campaigns Around the World
http://backspace.com/action/campaigns_around_the_world.php
Conditions for Internet campaigning vary widely. This is not just a matter of connectivity, but of preexisting social relations. Why, for instance, has organization like MoveOn not emerged in South Korea? Or an institution like OhMyNews not emerged in the U.S.? A deeper analysis of this is outside the scope of this document, but below are a few examples of how organizations are using the Internet around the world. It is worth noting that when these campaign has successfully crossed national borders they have been taken up, translated and reinterpreted by independent individuals and groups taking their own initiative — i.e. not organized from a central source. See sections on openess and blogs for more on this.


Introduction: Into the world of hacktivism
http://www.alexandrasamuel.com/dissertation/chapter1.html
The introduction to the dissertation defines hacktivism as the nonviolent use of illegal or legally ambiguous digital tools in pursuit of political ends. This definition separates hacktivism from a number of other online and offline forms of political action:
  • online activism, like moveon.org, does not take the legal risks involved in hacktivism
  • cyberterrrorism, which remains purely hypothetical, would not adhere to hacktivism's nonviolence
  • civil disobedience, like the civil rights movement, is the offline equivalent of hacktivism
  • hacking, which is called "cracking" if it is destructive, uses similar tools but without political goals
This chapter also introduces the different forms of hacktivism: web site defacements, redirects, denial-of-service attacks, information theft, site parodies, virtual sit-ins, virtual sabotage and software development. It also provides an overview of the small academic literature on hacktivism.


Activism, Hacktivism, and Cyberterrorism: The Internet as a Tool for Influencing Foreign Policy
by Dorothy E. Denning, Georgetown University
http://www.iwar.org.uk/cyberterror/resources/denning.htm
The purpose of this paper is to explore how the Internet is altering the landscape of political discourse and advocacy, with particular emphasis on how it is used by those wishing to influence foreign policy. Emphasis is on actions taken by nonstate actors, including both individuals and organizations, but state actions are discussed where they reflect foreign policy decisions triggered by the Internet. The primary sources used in the analysis are news reports of incidents and events. These are augmented with interviews and survey data where available. A more scientific study would be useful. The paper is organized around three broad classes of activity: activism, hacktivism, and cyberterrorism.


http://www.citizenlab.org
The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada focusing on advanced research and development at the intersection of digital media and world politics.


Zapatista Army of National Liberation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapatista_Army_of_National_Liberation
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) is an armed revolutionary group (VNSA) based in Chiapas, one of the poorest states of Mexico. Since 1994, they have been in a declared war "against the Mexican state." Their social base is mostly indigenous but they have some supporters in urban areas as well as an international web of support. Their main spokesperson is Subcomandante Marcos (currently a.k.a. Delegate Zero in relation to the "Other Campaign"). Unlike other Zapatista spokespeople, Marcos is not an indigenous Mayan.


ZAPATISTAS IN CYBERSPACE, A Guide to Analysis & Information
http://www.eco.utexas.edu/faculty/Cleaver/zapsincyber.html
The international circulation through the Net of the struggles of the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico has become one of the most successful examples of the use of computer communications by grassroots social movements. That circulation has not only brought support to the Zapatistas from throughout Mexico and the rest of the World, but it has sparked a world wide discussion of the meaning and implications of the Zapatista rebellion for many other confrontations with contemporary capitalist economic and political policies.


The Zapatista “Social Netwar” in Mexico
http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR994/MR994.sum.pdf


Protests in Moldova Explode, With Help of Twitter, by Ellen Barry of NY Times (April 7, 2009)
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/world/europe/08moldova.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=all
A crowd of more than 10,000 young Moldovans materialized seemingly out of nowhere on Tuesday to protest against Moldova’s Communist leadership, ransacking government buildings and clashing with the police. The sea of young people reflected the deep generation gap that has developed in Moldova, and the protesters used their generation’s tools, gathering the crowd by enlisting text-messaging, Facebook and Twitter, the social messaging network.
The protesters created their own searchable tag on Twitter, rallying Moldovans to join and propelling events in this small former Soviet state onto a Twitter list of newly popular topics, so people around the world could keep track. By Tuesday night, the seat of government had been badly battered and scores of people had been injured. But riot police had regained control of the president’s offices and Parliament Wednesday.


Activists beyond Virtual Borders: Internet-Mediated Networks and Informational Politics in China, by Guobin Yang (25th Aug 2006)
http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1609/1524
This article analyzes the main features and political functions of Chinese Internet–mediated networks that inhabit and traverse online and offline realms and that derive strength from their amphibious character whether they are primarily based online or offline. Internet–mediated networks in China shape the rules, practices, and institutions of Chinese politics by engaging in information politics, symbolic politics, leverage politics, and accountability politics. They influence the governance of Chinese cyberspace and Chinese society most visibly by contributing to the rise of an informational politics. The article identifies prominent features of this informational politics and discusses how new norms about information and information technologies are articulated and contested and what implications they have for democratic struggles in China. The case studies explored here involve environmental protection and those involving physical harm to vulnerable individuals.


The Internet in China: breakneck growth and activism: jell-o, push ups, alpaca sheep, and human flesh search engines, by Trebor Scholz (April 2009)


Internet Activism working timeline
http://www.xtimeline.com/evt/event_bulk.aspx?id=97575


http://www.ushahidi.com
Ushahidi, which means “testimony” in Swahili, is an open-source platform that crowdsources crisis information. Allowing anyone to submit crisis information through text messaging using a mobile phone, email or web form.