Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Break the law by doing good

In game terms I'm a Lawful Good person. Meaning I value the law highly and think it should be used for the good. I am reluctant to jaywalk, I want nothing to do with illegal practices and when fined for something I did wrong I do not get mad but chastise myself for breaking the law in the first place. A law abiding citizen is how you could describe me.

Then why, every time hackers do something illegal, do I cheer them on and hope the governments never find them? I don't understand myself in this matter. It's important that everyone follows the law, this will help a country thrive and keep people safe. But when Anonymous bombards another company website because they support a - in Anonymous view - wrong cause, I cheer. When someone is suspected of being a major hacker and arrested, I mourn.
Hacking and messing with companies, throwing personal information on the public web for everyone to see is wrong and bad. Yet still I feel like they are fighting the good cause and are doing good. Is it that I think our own governments can't be fully trusted to listen to the people? That it needs drastic action to put things to light?

Just think of WikiLeaks and Snowden. They are supposedly criminals, but I can't help but think they did the right thing. But then again, by their actions peoples lives have been ruined, people have been hurt. For someone who respects laws highly and abides by them, why do I condone this behaviour? I can't figure myself out. I'm being a hypocrite and I don't know why.

Mainly my condoning of wrong behaviour has to do with keeping the internet a free place. I don't want it to be controlled and patrolled. For example, I caught myself approving of the FBI struggle to seize the personal BitCoins of Ross Ulbricht. Drugs are bad, corruptive and a danger to the world, I'm happy the website Silk Road got brought down. That Ross guy is a person who deserves to be in jail if all the accusations against him are true. But when I read that the FBI couldn't get all his money because it was encrypted through the internet, I cheered.

It puzzles me. The only thing I can come up with to describe my approval of some "criminal acts" is that I do not trust the governments in the world. I may feel like they have too much power, and they themselves do not abide by the law. Simply changing it as they go along to be able to do whatever they want. Misuse of laws happens too often, or unfair punishment compared to the crime. When a hacker can gets a sentence that is heavier than a murderer, I lose faith in my justice system.

By keeping the internet a free place it works like a last and final "check" to the happenings in the world. Kind of like our Dutch First Chamber and the American Senate but then for the world. The government can't shut you out and control the information.

Does this make my a chaotic good person (some who is good at heart, but doesn't believe in following the laws)? I don't know. I still follow the laws diligently, but I have to say I'm happy that there are people who test the boundaries and look out for what they think is the greater good. But then again I'm also happy that the governments try to contain these "criminal acts" because I wouldn't want those people to have too much power either.

Life isn't black and white, and sometimes that's confusing. 

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