Summaries and Sources

Chapter 4
Hacktivism and State Autonomy:
The Transnational Politics of Policy Circumvention

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This chapter looks at political coders’ strategy of policy circumvention, which focuses on nullifying rather than changing a targeted law or policy. I argue that the success of this strategy depends on political entrepreneurs, low costs of failure, and high political costs of repression. This argument is tested against two cases: the distribution of DeCSS code (for decrypting DVDs on Linux machines) and Hacktivismo, a project aimed at challenging Internet censorship. These cases show that hacktivist policy circumvention poses a significant challenge to state autonomy, as anticipated by the literature on transnational social movements.

Sources

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