Josephine Bosma on 13 Mar 2001 12:43:28 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Hackers: the political heroes of cyberspace + URL target

Patrice Riemens wrote:

>  The problem with you people (and that applies in equal measure to Paul
>  Mobbs & the 'Electrohippies' EDT/Floodnet epigonism) is that you were for
>  media attention from the very start. 

I would like to say something in defence of this particular aspect of
Floodnet etc. Activism is something people get into to change something
or provoke change of something. We all know media attention is a vital
part of this. I think it is wrong to accuse Dominguez of wanting some
kind of stardom out of this purely for the sake of stardom. It would
have been almost impossible to get so much media attention and stay
anonymous. Not because media attention creates stars, but because the
psychological impact of a struggle or battle is much bigger when the
person(s) behind it has/have a face. Vulnerability is as vital to good
activism as are technical abilities because nothing shows the human need
behind it better. 

What also bothers me about the criticism of hackers on hacktivism is
this hammering on the lack of technical abilities of hacktivists. I
think hackers tend to mystify the net rather then demystify it. I also
think hackers tend to romanticize anonymous their own 'activism', which
-can- come down to plain anonymous interference, which then can easily
be perceived as terrorism or crime. There is no control of what happens
and who does what and why, no or little openness of actions. Is that
what you want? Is that really an ideal situation? At the Infowar conf of
Ars electronica, where this whole floodnet/hackers dispute started, I
did an interview with a hacker who told me in plain language that in a
case he would hack a 'bad corporation' or something and alter something
there, it would be his decision alone whether this corporation was to be
attacked. He admitted this was a weak part of this kind of activity.
This happens all too easily when people act anonymously. I am glad I
know who is behind floodnet and why.



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