Policy Press

The Ethics of Hacking

By Ross W. Bellaby

Published

Mar 24, 2023

Page count

162 pages

ISBN

978-1529231823

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Mar 24, 2023

Page count

162 pages

ISBN

978-1529231816

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Mar 24, 2023

Page count

162 pages

ISBN

978-1529231830

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Mar 24, 2023

Page count

162 pages

ISBN

978-1529231830

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
The Ethics of Hacking

Political hackers, like the infamous Anonymous collective, have demonstrated their willingness to use political violence to further their agendas. However, many of their causes – targeting terrorist groups, fighting for LGBTQ+ rights, and protecting people’s freedom of expression, autonomy and privacy – are intuitively good things to fight for.

This book will create a new framework that argues that when the state fails to protect people, hackers can intervene and evaluates the hacking based on the political or social circumstances. It highlights the space for hackers to operate as legitimate actors; guides hacker activity by detailing what actions are justified toward what end; outlines mechanisms to aid hackers in reaching ethically justified decisions; and directs the political community on how to react to these political hackers.

Applying this framework to the most pivotal hacking operations within the last two decades, including the Arab Spring, police brutality in the USA and the Nigerian and Ugandan governments’ announcements of homophobic legislation, it offers a unique contribution to conceptualising hacking as a contemporary political activity.

Ross W. Bellaby is Senior Lecturer in Security Studies in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield. His main research examines the application of ethics to violence and security, with specific attention to developing new ethical frameworks for hacking, state intelligence and surveillance, and military use of artificial intelligence in warfare.

Introduction

1. Hacks, Hackers and Political Hacking

2. An Ethical Framework for Hacking Operations

3. Political Autonomy, the Arab Spring and Anonymous

4. Leaks: From Whistleblowing to Doxxing

5. Correcting the Failure of the State

6. Looking Back, Moving Forward

Conclusion