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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 16, Issue 1, Spring 2002

Brian J. Huschle
Pages 69-83

Cyber Disobedience
When is Hacktivism Civil Disobedience?

In this paper I focus on the role that cyberspace should play in social or political protest, and, in particular, in acts of civil disobedience. I have two main purposes in doing so. First, I want to address the question, “When is hacktivism civil disobedience?” I answer the question by including a more complete and explicit analysis of civil disobedience, as it is affected by information technology, than is currently done in the literature on hacktivism. This allows a clearer answer to the question posed here than currently provided in the relevant literature. Second, I analyze James Moor’s claim that information technology transforms old processes, as this claim applies to the context of civil disobedience. As we will see, while information technology may exacerbate certain issues, little transformation seems required in this case.