Op-Trump

Don’t mess with hackers, especially if your name is Trump

Wednesday, 16 March, 2016 — Albert Park
By Sam Volkering

hacktivists set their sights on Trump…this isn’t a one off, it’s a trend…a shift of power back to people…and more…
The US is heading toward absolute mayhem. That’s right, the circus that is the current Republican Party Primaries is in full swing. And the leading candidate is Donald J. Trump.
You should know about Trump by now. Even if you take away the farce of the current primaries, you will know the name.
Trump is after all a billionaire. Forbes has his net wealth listed at over US$4.5 billion. He made his money in property. Primarily hotels but also golf courses, personal investment, TV and, how can we forget…beauty pageants.
He’s a product of a real estate developer father, Fred Trump. So while Trump no doubt worked hard to make his fortune, he had a pretty handy head start. Here’s a guy that falls into the category of ‘uber-rich’, now possibly in the running for US president.
Here’s also a guy that once remarked that if Ivanka wasn’t his daughter, he’d probably date her. This is the guy that wants to be president. The guy that refers to Mexicans as rapists. The guy that wants to erect a big ol’ wall to keep ’em out.
Let’s not beat around the bush. Trump as president would be a bad outcome for the world. Chances are he will win the nomination. Chances are he’ll run against Hillary Clinton for president. Chances are she’ll demolish him at the vote. But if he’s there on the ballot paper he’s a chance. And that’s worrying.
Trump has many supporters and followers. A strong, robust popularity that only comes with a guy who owns a US$100 million Boeing 757 jet. A jet big enough to fly 43 people with gold plated seat belts. God bless America…
But there’s also a strong groundswell of opposition. And thanks to the powers of modern technology and computing, there are lots of people that are going to try put an end to this lunacy.
Hacktivists revenge
There’s an infamous hacking group, Anonymous. They are a global network of hackers and activists that set about using their skills to cause havoc. Another name for them is ‘hacktivists’.
They’re an incredibly powerful network of people. Their reach is global, their popularity is strong. But it’s their ability to cause havoc to the digital world that really gives them power. Previous Anonymous cyber attack targets include the church of Scientology, Sarah Palin, Iranian Elections, Visa, MasterCard and PayPal, Soy, Facebook, countries and governments all over the world, and the Klu Klux Klan.
Now they’ve got their sights set on Donald J. Trump.
In a video published online a week ago, there was a ‘call to arms’ for hacktivists around the world to fight back against Trump. But not physically fight back. No, the aim here is to take down all of Trumps digital assets. That means all the websites associated with him, and spreading of accessible information, ‘[Trump] doesn’t want the public to know.’
This is a targeted attack on a person who could be the next US president. It’s a serious game at play here. And Trump should have genuine concern. In the video Anonymous calls for anyone with access to a computer to be a part of the operation against Trump.
Of course the real target audience are those who can actually hack Trump. Already it looks like the action is underway. A couple of weeks ago personal voicemail messages were published by online media company, Gawker. These messages were hacked from one of Trump’s phone accounts.
While it’s believed that this was the work of other hackers, it’s evidence of the power of the cyber hacker. You see, this is all one big example of how society is regaining power the government has attempted to wrench from their hands.
The ability to influence, attack, and protest has entered the digital age. You don’t have to go to a street rally to have your voice heard anymore. If you’ve got a computer, certain skills and a penchant for trouble, you can be a hacktivist.
Have a say — in a legal way of course
Now I’m not suggesting you should. I’m not suggesting you should do anything that’s illegal in any shape or form. And hacking someone’s phone is certainly illegal. What I’m suggesting here is that ordinary people in today’s world have far greater power than governments are happy with.
This is the early part of a bigger trend of technologically capable citizens having greater power, greater say on how their country is run. Greater power to shape the future of the country they call home. This is becoming increasingly evident in the rise of hacktivists and hacker attacks on political events.
It’s also evident in the rising threat to the banking and finance industry from young, powerful tech companies and entrepreneurs. The two most archaic institutions in the world are the government and the banking industry. And both are under threat from a high-tech modern world.
You are seeing it being to play out with cyber attacks. You’re beginning to see it play out with digital companies that can influence and control conversation in the online world — like Gawker.
What it’s doing is swinging the balance of power back to society. Power back to individuals, communities, collectives, companies and people like you. No longer should you feel like your voice doesn’t count. In the digital age, with the technology available, everyone can have their say and have it heard.
Regards,
Sam

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