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Hackers have a bad reputation, as shady deployers of bots and destroyers of infrastructure. In Coding Democracy, Maureen Webb offers another view: hackers, she argues, can be vital disruptors. Hacking is becoming a practice, an ethos, and a metaphor for a new wave of activism in which ordinary citizens are inventing new forms of distributed, decentralized democracy for a digital era. Confronted with concentrations of power, mass surveillance, and authoritarianism enabled by new technology, the hacking movement is trying to “build out” democracy into cyberspace.
Join Maureen as she discusses the role of hackers as a democratic force alongside our moderator Stephen Sackur, presenter of HARDtalk.
Maureen Webb is a labour lawyer and human rights activist. She is also the author of Illusions of Security: Global Surveillance and Democracy in the Post-9/11 World and has taught national security law as an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia.
Stephen Sackur is an English journalist who presents HARDtalk, a current affairs interview programme on BBC World News and the BBC News Channel. He is also the main Friday presenter of GMT on BBC World News. For fifteen years he was a BBC foreign correspondent and he is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4 and a number of newspapers and magazines.