by Molly Sauter
Hollywood and the international news media delight in presenting us with depictions of hackers and hacktivists as subterranean Ohmian "Super Users," capable of hacking *all* the ISPs with a few keystrokes in between shots of Red Bull. How do these depictions, both in fiction and news coverage of hacktivist actions, affect the development and implementation of Internet policy and regulations? In this talk, I'll be examining how media coverage and depictions of hackers and hacktivists has changed as the hacktivist movement has developed since the 1980s. I'll be describing how such coverage, from "Sneakers" to photo galleries of Fawkes-masked Anonymous protests, influences policy on subjects from intellectual property and communications regulations to information security and cyberwar. I'll be questioning what these trends of laws, regulations, and apparent media biases mean for the future of hacktivism and digital activism.
9th–13th March 2012