August 1st, 2011


In which I am alternately thinky and shallow

TIME article on the latest DDoSing of LiveJournal. Kind of puts it into perspective for those of going "Oh noes! Can't get mah crack!" Also makes me more determined to stick with LJ because while I have loads of options for voicing my uncensored opinion, I appreciate that not everyone does and I would like to continue supporting a site that's putting in the effort to make sure the service remains available despite being given so much shit for it.

The other day I was reading about the Cult of the Dead Cow and the origins of the term 'hacktivism'. One of the things that popped out at me is that back in the 90s when the term was first thrown around, attempts were made to pin a meaning to it that encompassed the ethos of those who were engaging in it at the time. What they came up with was based on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which was intended to have binding power (unlike the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Article 19 reads thus:

"Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice."

This is relevant to my study and also to my interests. It's kind of ironic that DDoS, which is almost the opposite of freedom of speech, can be seen as either censorship or legitimate direct action depending on who's doing it and what for. I've seen it described as a type of sit-in, and I've seen it described as silencing. Certainly if the Russian government really is DDoSing LJ, I'd count that as censorship. But what about DDoSing Visa? What's the difference between these?

And in my mind as I consider these things, I remind myself I only have 4,000 words and I'll only be able to touch on the philosophical questions around DDoS and the activities of Anonymous. *sigh*

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Meanwhile, the laser is fixed. Germany came through and my appointment is tomorrow, after which I may stop posting for a few days - or I may not but you'll have to decipher it since I won't be very onto the editing and even on a good day I'm Typo Central. I also have non-vision-necessary tasks lined up to entertain myself with, because otherwise I'd go stir crazy with four whole days off and no reading allowed. As it is I'm a bit nervous about what I'll do.

But but BUT! Non-defective eyes OMGOMGOMG!!11?!