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Coding Democracy

How Hackers Are Disrupting Power, Surveillance, and Authoritarianism

by Maureen Webb
foreword by Cory Doctorow

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democracy, security, science & technology policy
list price: $23.95
also available: Hardcover
published: 2021
publisher: MIT Press
imprint: The MIT Press

Hackers as vital disruptors, inspiring a new wave of activism in which ordinary citizens take back democracy.

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.

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Contributor notes

Maureen Webb is a labor lawyer and human rights activist. She is 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.

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