In The Coming Swarm, rising star Molly Sauter examines the history, development, theory, and practice of distributed denial of service actions as a tactic of political activism. The internet is a vital arena of communication, self expression, and interpersonal organizing. When there is a message to convey, words to get out, or people to unify, many will turn to the internet as a theater for that activity. As familiar and widely accepted activist tools-petitions, fundraisers, mass letter-writing, call-in campaigns and others-find equivalent practices in the online space, is there also room for the tactics of disruption and civil disobedience that are equally familiar from the realm of street marches, occupations, and sit-ins? With a historically grounded analysis, and a focus on early deployments of activist DDOS as well as modern instances to trace its development over time, The Coming Swarm uses activist DDOS actions as the foundation of a larger analysis of the practice of disruptive civil disobedience on the internet.
About the Author
Molly Sauter is a doctoral student at McGill University in Montreal in the department of Art History and Communication Studies. She holds a masters degree in Comparative Media Studies from MIT, and is an affiliate researcher at the Center for Civic Media at the Media Lab and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Her research is situated in socio-political analyses of technology and technological culture, and is broadly focused on hacker culture, transgressive digital activism, and depictions of technology in the media. Her work has been published in The Atlantic, HiLow Brow, io9, The American Behavioral Scientist, and the MIT Technology Review. Her research has been featured by Popular Mechanics, BoingBoing, the BBC, NPR, the CBC, Der Spiegel, and the Christian Science Monitor. She resides in Montreal, Quebec, and lives on the internet, blogging at oddletters.com and tweeting @oddletters.