Anonymous, 18 Sep 2019
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The Digital Revolt: Resistance and Agency on the Net

The Digital Revolt: Resistance and Agency on the Net

On October 6, 2000, a group of Israeli hackers succeeded in shutting down the website of the Hizbollah, setting off an international cyber-conflict unprecedented in its scale and sophistication (iDefense 2001). Various transnational groups of hackers and “defacers” split along nationalistic, religious, and ethnic lines have joined the conflict in reaction to competing media accounts of the most recent uprising in the West Bank and Gaza, alternately known as the second or Al-Aqsa Intifada. These marginalized communities, “ghettoized” and set apart from the mainstream of an increasingly capitalistic Internet, are an interesting test for recent theoretical formulations of “imagined” translocal communities (Anderson 1983), postdiscursive colonies, and postnational formations (Appadurai 1996). The actors in this conflict - virtual scions of the digital ghetto - utilize their “primordial” taxonomic divisions (Foucault 1970) as a means to channel their disruptive and essentially anarchist impulses. Appeals to nationalistic, humanitarian, and religious ideologies, while important, serve primarily as alibis by which the actors may demonstrate their skill and continue to play the “game” of taunting their neighbors in the virtual ghetto, thereby accruing status in their shared, translocal communities - i.e., the digital undergrounds. Their actions are folkways, resistances.That the members of these communities are ghettoized “netizens” is perhaps not obvious at first glance. Website defacement connected with the Al-Aqsa Intifada is comparable to gang and hip-hop graffiti; they call into question the formation of relationships between art, artists, and resistance movements; and they lead us to question how we know and what we see on the web. How is our vision/discourse limited, and what is the role/agency of technology in this process?

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