Moral Complexity Of Hackers Essay

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Moral Complexity of Hackers Before taking this course, there was a simple understanding of the terms “black hats”, “grey hats”, and “black hats”; white hackers are good, grey hackers are a mix of good and bad, and black hats are evil. However I learned that these terms are more complicated; white hats work to sure up computer systems, grey hats shows system vulnerabilities, and black hats go after systems for personal gain (Conran 42). In addition, I had only heard of the term hacktivist once, much less was I able to define it and categorize it within the label, black hat. Yet, both these views and understanding have changed during this course. Contrary to my previous belief, the label does not mean that these sub-groups are always morally …show more content…
For instance, hacktivists have released bystander’s personal information as a means to punish and call attention to an issue. (Vamosi, “How Hacktivism Affects Us All”) Furthermore, they have attacked those who have not diminished their free speech, but simply oppose their personal views (Vamosi, “How Hacktivism Affects Us All”). Yet, the amount of damage which hacktivists create can vary with the types of attacks; as Dahan states, the attack could be web defacing or crashing the site, entirely (Dahan, “Hacking for the Homeland”). This becomes problematic for everyone when the damage, which the hacktivists cause, overshadows a positive objective. Unfortunately, different hackers see different moral boundaries in the attempt to achieve the end goal. Furthermore, this hacktivist stereotype is further fed if the hackers hold the view that Pierluigi mentions, “Those members [certain Anonymous members] that act just to refuse any social rules… profess themselves anarchists, they operate to destroy and create chaos” (“Anonymous Ethical code. Back to the origins”). No one can deny the immorality of certain actions done by activists, but some appear to be ignorant of the positive …show more content…
An important principle that applies to this issue is the belief that “…the purpose of morality is to make life better by increasing the amount of good things… and decreasing the amount of bad things” (Nathanson “Act and Rule Utilitarianism”). Through this, one can see how hacktivists are capable of both good and bad. When considering Anonymous’ attacks on ISIS (Anonymous attacks ISIS supporters online”, it could be justified in Utilitarianism since it is, as Mill states, “…to prevent harm to others” (qtd. in Hansson, 735). Action is not allowed simply because of the terrorists lack of morality however; it is only done because of the effect it has on others. Yet, the law also has a right to imprison certain hacktivists because of their effect on others. One could us the release of bystanders’ personal information (Vamosi, “How Hacktivism Affects Us All”) as a reason to go after similar hacktivists, due to the damage that they caused to other people. Unfortunately, some hacktivists infringe on others right of politics (Vamosi, “How Hactivisism Affects Us All”) when they seek to have a voice and encourage human rights and politics (Dahan, “Hacking for the Homeland”). Not only is this hypocritical, it also goes against Utilitarianism since Mill states that free speech is a right as long as it is not “…a positive instigation to some mischievous act” (Hansson

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