Activism, Hacktivism, and Cyberterrorism: the Internet As a Tool for Influencing Foreign Policy


Work data:

ISBN: 0-8330-3030-2

Type of work: Book Chapter






Netwar is not mainly about technology—but good information technology sure makes a difference. In this chapter, Denning (Georgetown University) examines how activists, hacktivists, and cyberterrorists use the Internet, and what influence they have been able to exert on policymakers. Social activists seem the most effective of these netwar actors. Hacktivists and cyberterrorists have not posed much of a real threat to date—but this could change if they acquire better tools, techniques, and methods of organization, and if cyberdefenses do not keep pace. In this swiftly evolving area, today’s tools and techniques are often soon outdated; yet Denning’s analytic approach should prove conceptually sound for years to come. The original version of this paper was sponsored by the Nautilus Institute and presented at a conference on “The Internet and International Systems: Information Technology and American Foreign Policy Decision Making,” The World Affairs Council, San Francisco, December 10, 1999 ( Reprinted by permission.