[ISN] First Monday February 2005

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Feb 9 07:02:31 EST 2005

The February 2005 issue of First Monday (volume 10, number 2) is now
available at http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue10_2/


Table of Contents

Volume 10, Number 2 - February 7th 2005

The media's portrayal of hacking, hackers, and hacktivism before and
after September 11
by Sandor Vegh


This paper provides a thorough analysis of the mainstream media
representation of hackers, hacking, hacktivism, and cyberterrorism.
The intensified U.S. debate on the security of cyberspace after
September 11, 2001, has negatively influenced the movement of online
political activism, which is now forced to defend itself against being
labeled by the authorities as a form of cyberterrorism. However, these
socially or politically progressive activities often remain unknown to
the public, or if reported, they are presented in a negative light in
the mass media.

In support of that claim, I analyze five major U.S. newspapers in a
one-year period with 9-11 in the middle. I argue that certain online
activities are appropriated for the goals of the political and
corporate elite with the help of the mass media under their control to
serve as pretext for interventions to preserve the status quo. Thus,
the media portrayal of hacking becomes part of the elite's hegemony to
form a popular consensus in a way that supports the elite's crusade
under different pretexts to eradicate hacking, an activity that may
potentially threaten the dominant order.



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