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First emerging in the mid-90s, hacktivism is a concept introduced by Jason Sack and later made mainstream by Omega, a Cult of the Dead Cow (cDc) affiliate. This term, a fusion of “hacking” and “activism[1],” encapsulates the utilization of coding and programming prowess to propel societal transformation. Its interpretation differs, with some incorporating cyberterrorism, while others emphasize its function as an instrument for societal evolution. Hacktivists, typically operating under anonymity, adopt various tactics such as Doxing, DoS onslaughts, and website vandalism. The ramifications of hacktivism are substantial, with the capacity to reshape political terrains and impact businesses. Renowned instances of hacktivism encompass networks like Anonymous and WikiLeaks, and resources like PGP encryption software. Despite being a contentious issue, hacktivism epitomizes a contemporary form of activism in the digital epoch.

Terms definitions
1. activism. The practice of activism, defined as the vigorous campaigning utilized to effect political or social change, encompasses a broad spectrum. This includes various forms such as human rights, environmental, animal rights, and conservative activism, each with a distinct focus yet united by the shared objective of instigating change. Activists employ a diverse range of tactics to attain their goals, from nonviolent methods and political campaigning to internet and economic activism. Other specific forms of activism include consumer, art, science, and shareholder activism. The repercussions and sway of activism extend far and wide, influencing everything from social, political, and economic structures to public dialogue and corporate conduct.
Hacktivism (Wikipedia)

Internet activism, hacktivism, or hactivism (a portmanteau of hack and activism), is the use of computer-based techniques such as hacking as a form of civil disobedience to promote a political agenda or social change. With roots in hacker culture and hacker ethics, its ends are often related to free speech, human rights, or freedom of information movements.

Anarchist hackers

Hacktivist activities span many political ideals and issues. Freenet, a peer-to-peer platform for censorship-resistant communication, is a prime example of translating political thought and freedom of speech into code. Hacking as a form of activism can be carried out through a network of activists, such as Anonymous and WikiLeaks, or through a singular activist, working in collaboration toward common goals without an overarching authority figure.

"Hacktivism" is a controversial term with several meanings. The word was coined to characterize electronic direct action as working toward social change by combining programming skills with critical thinking. But just as hack can sometimes mean cyber crime, hacktivism can be used to mean activism that is malicious, destructive, and undermining the security of the Internet as a technical, economic, and political platform. In comparison to previous forms of social activism, hacktivism has had unprecedented success, bringing in more participants, using more tools, and having more influence in that it has the ability to alter elections, begin conflicts, and take down businesses.

According to the United States 2020-2022 Counterintelligence Strategy, in addition to state adversaries and transnational criminal organizations, "ideologically motivated entities such as hacktivists, leaktivists, and public disclosure organizations, also pose significant threats".

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