Behind the Political Scandal in Iceland: Hacktivism as tool for social raise against power

Source: The New York Times

The political scandal in Iceland

Wildly known as peaceful but also as financially unstable country, Iceland is currently passing through similar national distress as in 2008. Last week, great political scandal have enforced nearly 6 000 Icelanders to protest and insist on immediate elections in Reykjavik after it was made public that the Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and his wife have been involved in illegal offshore financial activities, registered in the Panama Papers .

The Panama Papers — a cache of millions of leaked confidential documents have been collected in the form of emails, financial spreadsheets, passports and corporate records and provide information about politicians, business leaders and celebrities who have been using offshore bank accounts and shell companies in order to avoid taxes. The papers initially come from the records of Mossack Fonseca Law Company in Panama. According to the records, the company have been taking part as participant in the webs of irregular financial transactions.

Despite the fact that the Panama Papers financial disclosures have leaded to the official resignation of the Icelandic Prime Minister and local investigation of Mossack Fonseca Law Company the public distrust in the future political and economic stability of the Icelandic country remains persistent.

Hacktivism as tool for social raise against power

The advance of new media and communication technologies including Internet has introduced new opportunities for public expression and civil participation into the national-state affairs. Within the aspect of social activism, the modern digital inventions have enabled the protesters to spread freely their messages, to encourage public action worldwide and to display hacking tools as part of cyber demonstration performances similar to the street protests.

Since its appearance in 1980s hacktivism has expanded quickly by becoming sizable opponent of the global power initiatives. Currently, hacktivist organisations such as Anonymous systematically attack the computer networks of the world elite groups in order to obtain, leak and spread confidential information of political matter. Still, the cyber initiatives cannot be completely stated as proponents of the public interests due to their mainly sponsored financing which in the case of Iceland leave the public with ambiguous thoughts.

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