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Computer crimes -> cyberterrorism, hacking

    Defined broadly, the term "computer crime" could reasonably  include  a
wide variety of criminal offenses,  activities,  or  issues.  The  potential
scope is even larger when using the frequent companion  or  substitute  term
"computer-related crime." Given the pervasiveness of computers  in  everyday
life, even in the lives of those who have never operated a  computer,  there
is almost always some nontrivial nexus between crime and computers.
    By the FBI's definition, cyberterrorism is well  beyond  the  scope  of
this paper. With increasing frequency this term is being used  by  the  mass
media. Absent any evidence of activity, we'll leave it in the  "eye  of  the
beholder" to determine whether cyberterrorism is currently  being  deterred,
is a phantom menace…or somewhere in between.
    A key distinction between electronic civil disobedience and politicized
hacking is anonymity.  The  motive  for  remaining  secret  is  simple:  the
majority  of  politically  motivated  hacks  are   clearly   illegal.   Most
institutions  recognize  that  breaking  into  an  opponent's  computer  and
adding, changing or deleting (HTML) code, even if it is  juvenile  graffiti,
violates some other’s  rights.  Attitudes  and  opinions  begin  to  diverge
markedly around this point  however.  One  person’s  activist  is  another’s
    "A lot of groups are claiming that they're hacking  into  sites  for  a
higher moral purpose, but they're hiding beyond anonymity  or  pseudonymity.
Taking responsibility is not something we see happening."
    At the heart of this discussion is the  question  of  motive.  Opinions
differ just as  much  within  the  hacker  community  as  outside  over  the
efficacy of certain actions. The spate  of  (zombie)  DDoS  attacks  against
prominent e-commerce sites that occurred in February 2000 sparked  a  debate
between two prominent  hacker  collectives.  The  Electrohippies  Collective
claims the Internet as a public space  liable  to  be  used  by  groups  and
individuals as a means of protest. As activists,  they  admit  no  practical
difference between how cyberspace and the street are used by society.
    Recent actions on the Internet against  e-commerce  sites  represent  a
fundamental disagreement  about  the  purposes  of  the  Internet,  and  the
increasing emphasis on the use of the  ‘Net  as  a  vehicle  for  profitable
trade rather than of knowledge and discussion.
    The cDc,  says,  the  targeted  sites  were  selected  for  their  name
recognition and prestige value,  not  for  their  commercial  attributes  or
    You may make yourself feel good and get a lot of  attention,  but  when
you crack a Web site, you are violating another person's rights. …what  does
that mean? CRIME!


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