Keywords:digital technology, surveillance, dispute, hackers, Internet, assemblage
With the rise of ‘Internet behemoths’ and the surveillance of increasingly personal domains there is a trend toward questioning life online. This paper draws attention to hacking practices that engage with the diverse faces of online veillance. Current debates about hacking surveillance are introduced. Instead of portraying hacking as a digital counterculture, the article complicates dichotomies of power vs. resistance, online vs. off-line, and technological system vs. social practice. Based on qualitative interviews, it introduces the diverse, dialogical and ambiguous hacking practices that answer online surveillance. The article suggests using the concept of dispute to capture these multiplicities and to understand the ‘orders of worth’ at stake in online environments. The small, continuous and constitutive dynamics of disputing online surveillance not only create political momentum, but call for a re-thinking of the totality of surveillance metaphors used today.
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