Why Do We Hack? #opPakistan

Hacktivism is defined as the use of digital tools which to break censorship controls from seeing and knowing certain information (Vamosi, 2011). The hackers- a group of online anonymous attacking one’s website by exposing names, addresses and contact information of officers, releasing data of someone’s else or from national security including names, statistics, passwords and releasing one’s bank records from political departments or politicians (KP&FATA, 2014). In fact, hacktivism has been an increase against the multinational organizations on sites as leaking confidential information and documents.

Thanks to the effort of Edward Snowden’s, the role of hacktivism has been praised worldwide. However, hacktivism has been applied to against on governmental organizations and laws enforcement agencies whose attacks can actually affect millions of people. Nevertheless, online attacks are illegal but the kids do not seem to care while social media has been  great tools for revolutions. For example, Arab Spring is a good example of hacktivism which a group of anonymous created the environment from Wikileaks and a decentralized organization by posting secret information of government online (Vamosi, 2011).

A group of hackers calling themselves “Anonymous Op Pakistan” brought down numerous governmental portals in the wake of protest in Islamabad. The hackers actually attacked more than two dozen of governmental websites overnight and yet they successfully leaked the zip documents of 23,000 bank records (Dawn.com, 2014).

This anti-government protesters said that it was done for political reasons which in reply of :

“We are cataloging the atrocities being committed in Pakistan. We will begin at once assisting the peaceful protesters in Pakistan with every tool and tactic at our disposal. And we will initiate the process of removing every vestige of the Pakistan government from the Internet and shutting down their communications network. And the Pakistani people will then remove this criminal regime from power and lock them in prison where they belong. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you are hereby dismissed. You will leave power immediately. For the safety and security of your family we suggest that you depart Pakistan at once. This is your only warning.”

Not only the group sent out the message to the Prime Minister but also to the polices whose action is against the protesters as a warning message on YouTube and Twitter.

However, the effort of hacktivists cannot be ignored which can obviously be a threat for the government and this case must be taken serious for public good.


9 thoughts on “Why Do We Hack? #opPakistan

  1. hey interesting post, the use of “Anonymous Op Pakistan” as an example of hacktivism was a good touch i thought. As the world is shifting to a more online domain, the power to hack and manipulate that space is becoming more and more useful. However I would like to mention that not all hackers are out there for the good of the people or have public interest at heart. There are many hackers out there who use there skills for personal gain, which raises questions about the almost absolute power in which hacker can obtain and how can we combat this, do we need hackers to fight other hackers. Just some thoughts on the matter but all in all great post


  2. Not all hackers are activists. Even some who claim to be members of Anonymous do not act in the best interest of the public but for their own personal gain. I am not denying that hacktivism has the potential to be a great tool for championing and educating the public but it can also be misdirected, take the misidentification of a Ferguson civilian as the officer who shot Michael Brown. Hacktivism is a great tool for promoting transparency in governments and corporations, I can only hope that it continues to be used for good.


  3. I really liked your introduction into the text and your inclusion of last weeks topic in this post, it linked our subject matter nicely. Your case study of #opPakistan was well delineated and tied in well with the topic, although i would have liked to see an argument on both sides of hacking, as it is not always a positive movement and some people exercise it for personal gain. Overall, great post.


  4. Hey April, a well written and informative post. The impacts and role of hacktivism was explained clearly and is put into context together with great examples such as the Arab Spring and Anonymous Op Pakistan group. Although we’ve seen the many positive prospects of political hacktivists and whistle-blowers, we can’t be sure that they all have the best of intentions. Hackers promoting acts like cyber-terrorism give the online hacking sphere a bad name and reputation. An engaging post and topic choice, good job.


  5. Do you think it is ethical for the online anonymous group to break censorship controls and hack into the government’s website to obtain all the private and confidential information and expose it to the public?


  6. April, I sincerely enjoyed this post. It was a detailed account of a lesser-known world event and was a thorough explanation, which I appreciated. Although hacktivism gets a bad reputation, what your post brought to my attention is that hackers themselves view their actions very differently. Obviously, the ability to have this kind of skill (bringing down entire sectors of the government) is significant and honed in a way in which the hacker believes to be a service or skill for their country. I appreciate the quote you included, which I feel added that element to the piece; however, I would have maybe liked to see some expansion into your opinions of the hacker’s side. Were their governmental breaches justified or not?


  7. Hi April, excellent work! Your blog is well laid out, and clearly defines Hacktivism, with excellent referencing. By outlining both Snowden and Anonymous in this article you have outlined two of the most recognised groups/individuals that are synonymous with hacktivism. The idea that individuals have the sort of power to bring down a government in power is kind’ve terrifying. I know that these hacktivists see their actions as heroic, and it really comes down to a matter of perspective on whether you agree with that or not.


  8. Very informative post on Hacktivism. Similar phenomena happened to Hong Kong too. Hong Kong has been under the spotlight of international media and the online community with its Umbrella movement recently. The Anonymous group showed their support to Hong Kong’s democracy by leaking Chinese Government data and shut down websites that support the Hong Kong government. They even formed an international Anonymous’s Facebook group, #ophongkong, to join forces with Anynymous from different part of the world to plot an attack into the government’s system and threatened to release sensitive information when the Hong Kong government becomes more aggressive. You can refer to the link here>> https://www.facebook.com/events/337675269734564/.


  9. I strongly agree that the effort of hacktivists cannot be ignored which can obviously be a threat for the government hence, the act of hacktivism is eventually an unethical activism.


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