Hacktivism its importance and impact on the democracy, it

is an emerging trend, which is commonly defined as the marriage of political
activism and computer hacking skills which are used against governments, powerful
commercials institutions, and other targets. 1It
is basically a nonviolent use of “illegal or legally ambiguous digital tools”
like website defacements, website parodies, information theft, virtual sit-ins,
and virtual sabotage2 are
some of such tools which are used by the hacktivists to reach out of the
cyberspace utilizing the virtual powers to mould the outside life. Post 2010,
the year in which Wikileaks released around hundreds of thousands of  classified documents of the U.S. government,
the cyber attacks boomed from all sides and this paved the way for rise of
hacktivism. Many researchers have opined that there are certain factors which have
facilitated the increase of hacktivism and shift of activism to digital world,
these factors include, expansion of information technology, the increasing
political  awareness in the hacker
communities and the context of global crisis, state suppression of traditional
protests, the corporate and state control on copyright and the internet.3 However
it is pertinent to note that hactivists are different from  other hackers, as these hackers have different
motivations behind hacking, they are driven by the pursuit of social change.  This paper aims to provide an insight n the
emergence of hacktivism, its importance and impact on the democracy, it will also
deliberate upon the question of legality of this hacktivism, further it will
also discuss the laws and legal provision to govern such activities of hackers
and will also discuss certain scandals and cases on hacktivism.


1 Alexandra
Whitney Samuel, Hacktivism and the
Future of Political Participation, – A thesis presented to the
Department of Government in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the subject of Political Science, Harvard
University Cambridge, 2004

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2 ibid

3  Galina
Mikhaylova, The “Anonymous” Movement: Hacktivism as an Emerging Form of Political
Participation- A thesis submitted to the Graduate Council of Texas State
University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master
of Arts with a Major in Sociology, 2014