Cyber Thugs or Cyber Hippies? Hactivism as Legitimate Protest

Working Premise: Hactivism (using computers and coding to promote a social issue, cause or agenda) is increasing as a form of protest.

Working Thesis: Hactivism on college campuses will increase, and IT departments and administrations are not prepared to deal with the impact or consequences of this form of protest.

NOTE: I add to the list below AFTER I have read it; if you don't see something here it is likely that I have not yet read it but intend to read it. I welcome suggestions for additional readings at

Literature Review:


Adam, A. E. (2003). Hacking Into Hacking: Gender And The Hacker Phenomenon. ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society, 33(4), 3.
Anderson, J. (2004). Activism! Direct Action, Hactivism And The Future Of Society. Area, 36(1), 86-87.
Applegate, S. (2011). Cybermilitias And Political Hackers: Use Of Irregular Forces In Cyberwarfare. IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine, 9(5), 16-22.
Best, K. (2006). Visceral Hacking Or Packet Wanking? The Ethics Of Digital Code. Culture, Theory & Critique, 47(2), 213-235.
Coleman, G. (2008-2013).
  1. Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking. Princeton University Press, November 2012 (link)
  2. Anonymous and the Politics of Leaking. In Beyond WikiLeaks: Implications for the Future of Communications, Journalism & Society, Brevini, B., Hintz, A., and McCurdy, P., eds. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. (link)
  3. Am I Anonymous? Limn, 2012 (link)
  4. Our Weirdness Is Free, The logic of Anonymous—online army, agent of chaos, and seeker of justice. Triple Canopy, January 2012 (link)
  5. Hacker Politics and Publics. Public Culture. Vol 23, No. 3, 511-516 (2011) (view)
  6. Phreaks, Hackers, and Trolls and the Politics of Transgression and Spectacle. In The Social Media Reader, ed. Michael Mandiberg. New York: NYU Press (2012) (view)
  7. Ethnographic Approaches to Digital Media. Annual Review of Anthropology. 39: 1-16, (2010) (link)
  8. Hacking In-Person: The Ritual Character of Conferences and the Distillation of a Life-World. Anthropological Quarterly, Winter (2010) (view)
  9. Code is Speech: Legal Tinkering, Expertise, and Protest among Free and Open Source Software Developers. Cultural Anthropology. 24(3): 420-454 (2009) (view)
  10. Hacker Practice: Moral Genres and the Cultural Articulation of Liberalism. Anthropological Theory, Vol. 8, No. 3, 255-277 (2008) (with Alex Golub) (view)

Furnell, S. (1999). Computer Hacking And Cyber Terrorism: The Real Threats In The New Millennium?. Computers & Security, 18(1), 28-34.
Kirk, D. (2011). The Glorious Summer of 2011: Leaking, Tweeting, Blogging, Hacking and Rioting. The Journal of Criminal Law, 75, 441–444. Retrieved July 19, 2013, from the EBSCO database.
Lindup, K. (1994). Is There A Role For Hackers In Polite Society?. Network Security, 1994(6), 19.
Nikitina, S. (2012). Hackers as Tricksters of the Digital Age: Creativity in Hacker Culture. The Journal of Popular Culture, 45(1), 133-152. Retrieved July 19, 2013, from the EBSCO database.
O'Connor, TJ (2012). The Jester Dynamic: A Lesson in Asymmetric Unmanaged Cyber Warfare. The SANS Institute. Retrieved July 19, 2013 from the SANS Institute Reading Room site.
Ollmann, G. (2008). Hacking As A Service. Computer Fraud & Security, 2008(12), 12-15.
Sokoloff, W. W. (2006). Review Essay: Tourists And Hackers: Citizens Of The Future?. Political Theory, 34(1), 136-140.


United Nations
US Government: The Patriot Act


Hactivism: From Here to There (Cult of the Dead Cow)
Ten Hacktivists that Shook the Web, Dazed Digital
Hactivism: A Short Story, Ty McCormick, Foreign
A History of Hactivism (Infographic)
Jester's Loadout: The Laptop
Jester's Loadout: OSINT Tools
Facebook as an Intelligence Collection Tool
Jihadist Webmaster Tactic: Play Dead
Flashback: Libyan Psyops Campaign
Holiday Recipe: Spiced Cupcakes
Project Looking Glass
Shark in the Water
Remember, Remember the 6th of November
In Response to a Valid Question (What is Terrorism?)
Weird but Wired: Korea's Not So Internet
The Jester
Robin Sage
White Hat Hacking
Black Hat Briefings
Getting in Bed with Robin Sage (Tom Ryan)
Fictitious Femme Fatale Fooled Cybersecurity (Washington Times)
The Robin Sage Experiment (Network World)
Inside the hacking of Stratfor: the FBI’s case against Antisec member Anarchaos
16 Suspected 'Anonymous' Hackers Arrested in Nationwide Sweep (Fox News)
National Security Agency calls hacktivist group 'Anonymous' a threat to national security (Public Radio International)
2013 Threats Prediction (McAfee)
Cyberattacks account for up to 1 trillion in global losses (CNet)
Am I Anonymous? Interview with Gabriella Coleman (LIMN)
The White Hat Dilemma by Alex Stamos (DEFCON 2013)
The Verge: Hacking People is Easy
REVEALED: Hundreds of words to avoid using online (UK)
Exploring a ‘Deep Web’ That Google Can’t Grasp
The Deep Web: Surfacing Hidden Value
Red Team Versus Blue Team: How to Run an Effective Simulation
Security Simulations: This is Only a Test
The Jester's Court Exposed

Specific Hacking Groups/Identities

The Jester (th3j35t3r)
Meet a Cyber Spec Ops Warrior
The Jester Dynamic: A Lesson in Asymmetric Unmanaged Cyber Warfare (SANS Reading Room)
Jester's Court (Blog)
Your Being Hacked (Newsweek)
Unredacted Interview (et al)
Never Attend a Party (et al)
Boston Marathon Bombing: Just a Hunch
So, About This Snowden Affair
Peeking Behind the Curtain at Anonymous (Gabriella Coleman, TED Global 2012)
Freedom Fighters or Vandals? No Consensus on Anonymous
Cloak and Swagger: The Internet Jihadi Hunters

Kevin Mitnik
General Information
SlashDot Interview

Anonymous: From Lulz to Collective Action (Gabriella Coleman)
What it's like to participate in Anonymous' Actions
Anonymous: Behind the Masks of the Cyber Insurgents (UK Guardian)
Parmy Olson Interview
Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4Chan's Army Conquered the Web (Cole Stryker)
Anonymous 101 Part Deux: Morals Triumph over Lulz (Wired)
Anonymous Attacks Suspected Pedophiles Again (NBC)
Anonymous 101: Introduction to the Lulz (Wired)
Gabriella Coleman on Anonymous
Anonymous Takes on Scientology

Interview with the PBS Hackers: 'We Did it for Luz and Justice' (Forbes)
CIA Website Hacked; LulzSec Takes Credit (Again) (Consumer Reports)
Notorious Hacking Group LulzSec Just Announced that it's Finished (Business Insider)
Leading Member of LulzSec Hacking Squad Arrested in London (Fox News)
Infamous International Hacking Group LulzSec Brought Down by its own Leader (Fox News)

Cult of the Dead Cow