Abstract Drawing on fieldwork among Free and Open Source software hackers and the Anonymous protest movement, I will discuss some attributes of hacker and geek activism that set their actions apart from other modalities of dissent and contextualize their actions in light of broader historical trends concerning censorship, intellectual property law and surveillance.
Gabriella (Biella) Coleman is the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy in the Art History and Communication Studies Department at McGill University. Trained as an anthropologist, teaches, researches, and writes on computer hackers. Her work examines the ethics of online collaboration/institutions as well as the role of the law and digital media in sustaining various forms of political activism. Her first book, "Coding Freedom: The Aesthetics and the Ethics of Hacking" is forthcoming with Princeton University Press and she is currently working on a new book on Anonymous and digital activism.