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Author, activist Cory Doctorow joins ASU to talk 'hacktivism'

February 05, 2013

ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination is presenting two events this month with science fiction author, activist and journalist Cory Doctorow.

On Monday, Feb. 11 at 10:30 a.m., the center is teaming up with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication to present “Hackers + Activism: Aaron Swartz, Anonymous and the Ethics of Digital Community,” a conversation between Doctorow and a panel of experts including Dawn Gilpin of the Cronkite School and Jade Meskill, co-founder of the collaborative workspace Gangplank.

To RSVP to the event at the Cronkite School, click here.

To include the broader ASU community in this important conversation, the event will also be livestreamed at You can also watch the event through ASUtv and follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #DoctorowASU.

“The recent prosecution and suicide of digital innovator and activist Aaron Swartz and the increasingly public actions of the hacker collective Anonymous have raised profound questions about the role of activism, protest and good citizenship online,” says Ed Finn, director of the Center for Science and the Imagination. “This conversation is an opportunity to consider the ethical questions around hacktivism and digital protest as well as the underlying challenges of privacy, community and justice in a networked world.”

Dawn Gilpin, assistant professor at the Cronkite School, adds: “The clashes we’re seeing between traditional institutions and networks of activists pushing for transparency and freedom of information affect everyone. These aren’t battles over abstract ideas, but involve policies and social norms with profound ramifications for real institutions, real communities, and the individual lives of real people.”

On Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m., the Center for Science and the Imagination is co-sponsoring Doctorow’s reading and book signing at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Ariz. Doctorow will be discussing and reading from his new novel "Homeland," and signing copies of the book. "Homeland," a sequel to the award-winning "Little Brother," follows young hacker prodigy Marcus Yallow as he navigates a web of political corruption, technological change and ethical ambiguity. The book features a poignant afterward written by Aaron Swartz celebrating grassroots activism and the power of the Internet as a tool for government accountability.

To learn more about the Changing Hands event, click here.