In Internet activism, hacktivism or hactivism is the subversive use of computers and computer networks to promote a political agenda or a social change. With roots in hacker culture and hacker ethics, its ends are often related to the free speech, human rights, or freedom of information movements.


What is ‘Hacktivism’

A social or political activist plan that is carried out by breaking into and wreaking havoc on a secure computer system. Hacktivism is usually directed at corporate or government targets.

Explaining ‘Hacktivism’

Hacktivism’s goals include circumventing government censorship by helping citizens get around national firewalls or helping protestors to organize online; using social media platforms to promote human rights or help censored citizens of oppressive regimes communicate with the outside world; and taking down government websites that pose a danger to politically active citizens. Additional goals include protecting free speech online; promoting access to information; supporting citizen uprisings; helping computer users to protect their privacy and avoid surveillance through secure and anonymous networks such as Tor and the Signal messaging app; disrupting corporate or government power; helping illegal immigrants cross borders safely; supporting democracy; protesting globalization and capitalism; protesting acts of war; and halting the financing of terrorism.

Further Reading