The idea of distributed information networks is the backbone and key architecture to the internet. However, the majority population of the World Wide Web that sits on top of the internet exists within walled gardens, such as the various social media platforms we commonly use in our everyday lives (Mitew 2017).
This means that the huge amounts of data produced within these channels, are controlled by the highly centralised databases of these networks. The recent discussions of Social Network Revolutions and Hacktivism on my blog show other ways this data can be used through the art of hacking. Although, these discussions of the practice have focused on more positive elements such as cyber-libertarianism and the playful curiosity of systems.
The act of hacking also has negative connotations, particularly with the rise of cyber criminals. These are known as ‘black hat‘ hackers who use a range of sophisticated tools and software exploits to gain control of targeted computer systems. This has caused a phenomenon of digital black markets where hacker obtained data is sold.
What could be considered more sinister is the idea of governments deploying the same techniques used by black hat hackers to engage in what’s known as cyber warfare. The endeavors of whistleblowers such as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden has shed instances of this into the public eye (Mitew 2018).
Mitew, T 2018, ‘Digital Resistance: Hacktivists, whistleblowers, #AfterSnowden’, Prezi, 23 August, viewed 14 October, <https://prezi.com/hotqlxztvxdb/digital-resistance/>.
Mitew, T 2017, ‘Dark Fiber: hackers, botnets, cyberwar’, Prezi, 21 July, viewed 14 October 2018, <https://prezi.com/iiied2_aa8tc/dark-fiber-hackers-botnets-cyberwar/>.