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Title: The regulation of hacktivism in contemporary society : problems and solutions
Author: Karagiannopoulos, Vasileios
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis focuses on the issue of regulating legally ambiguous political activities online, what is more specifically characterised as hacktivism or electronic civil disobedience. This work aims to discuss whether these political activities, despite their prima facie illegal nature, also constitute an important aspect of democratic political expression online that can be moral and entail politically useful elements that eventually make it distinct from purely criminal acts and thus deserving of a different regulatory approach. After identifying and assessing the special characteristics of hacktivism as a potentially moral political activity, the thesis attempts to show how the current regulatory approach, which mainly employs cybercrime legislation and criminal justice processes in order to regulate hacktivist actions can often produce not only unjust, but also inefficacious results. Essentially, the analysis highlights the ways that the currently adopted approach compromises, not only the civil liberties and rights of activists and generally users, but also, the promotion of online security and even leads to the radicalisation of politically active users. Based on these arguments, the ultimate goal of the thesis is to develop alternative ways that the current regulatory approach can be improved and further supplemented in order to gradually shift towards a more deliberative and collaborative mode. The suggested improvements and ultimate shift of regulatory rationales entails the more active engagement of new regulatory agents and also the use of additional, new tools and processes. Through this analysis, this work finally aims to show how the synergy of all the existing and additional regulatory factors can eventually produce more legitimate regulatory solutions for hacktivism through the adoption of a symbiotic and cooperative, rather than conflict-based regulating rationale.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available