Gabriella Coleman: Anonymous and the Politics of Leaking

Oct 20, 2016

The next Wall Exchange will take place at the Vogue Theatre on October 20, 2016 with Dr. Gabriella Coleman, Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy, Professor at McGill University, and author of Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous.

Anonymous and the Politics of Leaking

Outlaw tactics. Vigilante justice. Website defacement. Data dumps. In this golden age of whistleblowing and leaking, Anonymous has displayed a knack for fomenting controversy and drawing attention to its actions due to their reliance on these unconventional forms of Internet-based political dissent. In her Wall Exchange lecture, Dr. Gabriella Coleman will provide a history of Anonymous’ crucial role in establishing a novel style of hacking-for-leaking: public disclosure hacks. This tactic begins not with an insider whistle-blower but rather with what might be deemed the ‘hacker-explorer’ (or a group of explorers). This outsider gains unauthorized access to an organization via computer intrusion. Once inside, the hacker acquires, exfiltrates and distributes documents. If and when the documents grab the attention of the media or activists who harvest and disseminate the information, it becomes a leak in the public interest. In this public talk, Dr. Coleman will also explore notable cases occurring outside of the orbit of Anonymous and consider the ethical implications of this type of public disclosure hack.

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