Activism / Activismo / Ativismo


Hacktivism: A Week of Electronic Disruption during the Republican National Convention.

Hacktivists have launched a campaign of electronic civil disobedience to coincide with the demonstrations against the Republican National Convention. Joining millions of protesters who took to the streets of New York to say no to the Bush agenda, hacktivists have taken to the net to explore a new medium of protest: the internet. Various tactics include staging financial disruption against major credit card corporations, disrupting various right-wing fascist groups, and an electronic sit- in against Republican websites. Credit card numbers stolen from major news corporations have been used by anti-RNC hacktivists to make $2600 in donations to various humanitarian and civil rights organizations. In a statement posted to the NYC Independent Media Center, the hacktivists declared "either the credit card corporations are going to have to spend tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer and investigation fees to track down and retrieve a mere few hundred dollars per account, or these humanitarian organizations are going to get their donations. We’ ll have to see whether Corporate America is heartless enough to take money away from hungry children, AIDS victims, and the homeless and give it straight to law enforcement, attorneys, and the banks". The hacktivists have claimed that they have hundreds of additional credit card numbers spread out over an underground network of hackers and will continue to make $2600 in donations a month until all military troops are pulled out of Iraq. A right-wing fascist organization known as ProtestWarrior was also hacked and defaced a week before the convention began. In a statement condemning the group's defense of the occupation of Iraq and support for the Bush agenda, the hacktivists spoke, "by infiltrating and crashing legal, peaceful assemblies, the ProtestWarriors are fighting against the democratic process while claiming to uphold the 'core values of this country'". The cell/home phone numbers, names, addresses, and passwords of the site's lead organizers along with the email addresses of all ProtestWarrior members were posted to the site and emailed out to every member. Major components of their website remained down for the remainder of the day.

The hacktivists have also staged a mainstream electronic sit-in on various Republican websites during the convention. In a document sent to thousands of hackers, activists, press people, and email lists, the group provided the means to disrupt: Republican webservers, email accounts, phone, and fax systems. These actions were joined by the Electronic Disturbance Theatre, who have launched similar successful actions against the World Economic Forum, the Mexican Surpeme Court, and more. The flood scripts allowed users to combine their bandwidth to overload RNC servers with so much traffic that it would be unable to serve any more requests. Although the RNC websites remained online for the majority of the convention, many users along with web monitoring company AlertSite have reported periods of slowdown and complete disruption on September 2nd as George W. Bush was nominated as the presidential candidate for the Republican Party. Hacktivists are defending the attacks on right-wing and corporate systems as a legitimate protest tactic. "When the machinery of law is working towards acts of injustice, then the people have not only the right but the duty to break the law to combat tyranny and oppression".

Following in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau, Thomas Jefferson, and other famous revolutionaries, these hacktivists are exploring the internet as a new medium of civil disobedience. "Electronic civil disobedience does not cause any physical damage to people or property: it is merely the shifting of data around in such a manner as to mock or disrupt the injustices of the corporate machine". Through the redistribution of wealth to charities, disruption of right-wing fascist groups, and flooding Republican websites and communication systems, this sort of non-violent electronic civil disobedience is setting new standards for online protests. ** distribute widely ** The campaign website and all email addresses have been knocked offline, but it will not erase the memories of what has happened.

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Killer Coke Campaign

Mexico Turismo



Mexican Hacker Mafia


Aleph Texto (Net Theory) in Spanish

Suggested Reading

Chris Hables Gray, Postmodern War (1997)
Michael Perelman, Class Warfare In The Information Age (1998), Read Me! Read Me! Read Me! (1999)
Dorothy E. Denning, Information Warfare and Security (1999)
Winn Schwartua, Cybershock (2000)
Tim Jordan, Activism!: Hacktivism and the Future of Society (2002)
Graham Meikle, Future Active (2002)
Benjamin Shepard, From ACT UP to the WTO (2002)
Adam Wishart and Regula Bochsler, Leaving Reality Behind (2002)
Martha McCaughey, Cyberactivism (2003)
Robert Latham, Bombs and Bandwidth (2003)
Tim Jordan, Paul A. Taylor, Hacktivism and Cyberwars: Rebels With a Cause (2004)

Suggested e-texts:

Is Hacktivism Civil Disobedience?

Information Warfare in Miami

The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest

Tactical Media Reader

Zapatista Social Netwar in Mexico

Emergence of Noopolitik

198 Methods of Nonviolent Action

TrickE-Business: Malcontents in the Matrix

Hate and peace in a connected world: Comparing MoveOn and Stormfront

The Digital Death Rattle of the American Middle Class

The Digital Outlaws: Hackers as Imagined Communities

Internet for political action by non-state dissident actors in the Middle East

Networks and Netwars: Notes on Ants and Steam Rollers

Illegal Knowledge: Strategies for New Media Activism





Anti-Republican Action Sites

No RNC Announcement Listserv

No RNC Discussion Listserv


For Creative Activism

Code Pink
Reverend Billy
Axis of Eve
Billionaires for Bush
Radical Cheerleaders
Babes Against Bush
Baring Witness
Downtown 4 Democracy
Refuse and Resist
United for Peace and Justice
Bad Babes
Concerts for Kerry

For Lie Exposure

For Accountability

Global Women's Issues

Center for Responsive Politics
Common Cause
Sinister Swing
Americans for Democratic Action
Left Turn
Campaign for America's Future
Emily's List

International Activist Sites

Zapatista site

Activist Center in Madrid