Magazine article USA TODAY

Hacktivist Groups Can Provide Accountability

Magazine article USA TODAY

Hacktivist Groups Can Provide Accountability

Article excerpt

One citizen's hacktivist is another's cyber terrorist, or so the new adage goes. Today, an undecided verdict hangs over groups like Anonymous, which harness the power of technology to help ignite revolutions, fight oppression, and dismantle dictatorships, while pursuing targeted cyberattacks against individuals and groups, sometimes for purely malicious purposes. A survey commissioned by Canada's Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Waterloo, Ontario, and conducted by global research company Ipsos, Paris, France, across 24 countries finds that 66% of global citizens believe hacktivist groups are breaking the law and should be stopped, while 52% also feel that hacktivist groups should step in when no one else will hold somebody accountable.

If these groups operate outside of the bounds of the law and mercilessly pursue cyberattacks against individuals and groups, then why is it that global citizens also believe that these groups are credible, last-ditch defenders of accountability? The answer may lie in the enigmatic and unpredictable nature of these actors.

"Internet users around the world are conflicted on the role of hacktivist groups like Anonymous. …

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