The Internet has certainly changed the landscape of the world we live in. If you ask people what they love about the Internet you will get many different answers: e-mail, web-surfing, entertainment, education, shopping, music, T.V, travel, online banking, chat. The list is endless.
Deeper within the Internet culture though are Hackers, they are a complex, diverse group and even more complex in their varying end goals. In the age of the Internet, battles can be fought with words and ideas rather than violence and power. Add to this a thin veil of anonymity and you have all the makings of a powerful weapon. The question is what will the weapon be used for?
Lately we have seen many revolutions forming across the world. Mainly in the Middle East region, some are protests in the streets that may or may not be violent. While others are being fought by people that never meet face to face.
The next generation of revolutionaries are using their weapon of choice the Internet to sabotage website's completely shutting down their enemies most useful means of communication, source of propaganda and means for collecting donations to promote their agenda. While at the same time using the internet to organize more and more people behind their own cause. This has manifested itself in the middle east as "Uprisings" and "Revolutions". The reasons behind the change were often based in brutal old world regimes being overthrown by modern thinking and technology.
In most modern countries the intentions behind such attacks seem to take on a different life all together. They are often targeted at lifting the secrecy in which their governments operate and thrive in. After all. Those that have the secrets, have the power. So many groups in these countries often target the most powerful companies as well as the government itself.
Hacking in this manner is often seeking to create a greater understanding of how our world really works. While also trying to level the playing field against large rich and powerful corporations and companies.
While none of these "attacks" have amounted to anything other than notoriety to a certain cause or perhaps making a company back down off its stance a little. There is no doubt that with the proper organization and a united cause behind a target whether it be a Government or a Company. That this weapon the masses possess can indeed be a very powerful tool that can upset the balance of the modern world's establishment.
The idea of a "hacker ethic" is perhaps best formulated in Steven Levy's 1984 book, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. Levy came up with six tenets:
1) Access to computers - and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works - should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-On imperative!
2) All information should be free.
3) Mistrust authority - promote decentralization.
4) Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degress, age, race, or position.
5) You can create art and beauty on a computer.
6) Computers can change your life for the better.
So with that fresh in your mind. Again ask the question, What do you love about the Internet?