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Culture

Reporters' Roundtable: Anonymous, LulzSec, and hacktivism

There's a fundamental social shift occurring in the hacker culture and in media. Activists are disrupting major corporate and government Web sites, stealing and leaking sensitive data, and changing how we all use the Web. Join me, Elinor Mills, and Jennifer Granick as we discuss.

Today we are talking about what I believe is a fundamental social shift occurring right now in the hacker culture and in media. Online activists--or vandals, or terrorists, or just "those darn kids," depending on your point of view--are disrupting major corporate and government Web sites, stealing and leaking sensitive data, and changing how people look at the Internet.

I want to get into the effects that Anonymous and LulzSec are having on our culture, where they came from, and who or what is going to follow in their footsteps. And I've got two great, smart people to talk about this with.

First, from CNET News, Elinor Mills, our security reporter. She's been covering these developments for us from the beginning.

And from the Internet-focused law firm of ZwillGen, Jennifer Granick. Jennifer until recently was civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and before that worked at Stanford Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic. She also had written for Wired.

Now Playing: Watch this: Ep. 82: Anonymous and Lulzsec
31:50

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Some of our discussion points

History of Anonymous. What is its mission? How does one become an "enemy" and incur its wrath?

LulzSec: How is it different? Is it more dangerous?

Discuss the relationship between Anonymous, LulzSec. Relationship of Anonymous to WikiLeaks?

News update: Investigation and arrests?

Legal discussion of hacktivism. Global vs. U.S. differences.

What are the weapons of hacktivists? Discuss the DDoS attack and how that has evolved.

Is it over?

Talk about how governments are responding.

Is the existence of these groups changing how people view the Internet?

What's next?

Listener question: Agilis: Is it really smart to allow Anonymous and LulSec to use social media to communicate to their followers or would it be better to shut them down?

Related reading

Wrap-up
Follow me on Twitter for more news on Reporters' Roundtable. E-mail roundtable@cnet.com with your ideas for shows!