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Formed by combining "hack" with "activism," hacktivism is the act of hacking into a Web site or computer system in order to communicate a politically or socially motivated message. Unlike a malicious hacker, who may disrupt a system for financial gain or out of a desire to cause harm, the hacktivist performs the same kinds of disruptive actions (such as a DoS attack) in order to draw attention to a cause. For the hacktivist, it is an Internet-enabled way to practice civil disobedience and protest.

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