The world goes on about its business for the most part while battles, massive battles, rage in cyberspace. It’s like an alternative universe, only the battles can spill over into the regular world at any moment.
Since 2008, activists around the world have rallied around the name ‘Anonymous’ to take collective action and voice political discontent. The last two years in particular have been a watershed moment in the history of hacktivism: Never before have so many geeks and hackers wielded their keyboards for the sake of political expression, dissent, and direct action.
Even though some Anonymous participants did engage in actions that were illegal, the ensemble itself poses no threat to national security. The GCHQ has no business infecting activists’ systems with malware and thwarting their communications. And if we’re going to prosecute activists and put them in jail for large amounts of time for making a website unavailable for 10 minutes, then that same limitation should apply to anyone who breaks the law — be they a hacker, our next door neighbor, or the GCHQ.