Hacker, Hero, Blogger, Spy

Posted by RazzaTazz (9478 posts) - - Show Bio

One thing which I have noticed about the new 52 is that the comics often make reference to contemporary issues.   For instance Voodoo looked at strip clubs but from the point of view of the women who are essentially being exploited and Firestorm touched on both race relations and gun violence in high schools.   Most interestingly for me Tim Drake was shown as at least in part a comic book version of Julian Assange, hacking into secure computers and leaking the information via blogs and wikis.   Is this a moral action for a superhero though?   In real life there is some debate on the subject, and equally here it does not seem as clear.   The characters shown in this issue are either reckless (Kid Flash) or criminals (Wonder Girl) so being included in that group sort of adds a bit of moral ambiguity to his actions.   Of course computer hacking is nothing new in comics, and there have been many famous ones.   The most famous is probably Oracle (who no longer really exists in the new continuity) but she never partook in such actions, primarily because it has only been a contemporary thing in the past couple of years.   The website Wikileaks has been one which is very much controversial, some claim that it endangers the lives of those in harm’s way, others claim that it saves many other by forcing more transparency on governments.   At one point in 2010, two thirds of Americans felt that Wikileaks had hurt the American public image, with some claiming that Assange should be tried for treason (despite the fact that he is not American.)    

 Where does this leave Tim Drake?   Well certainly his actions could very well make him unpopular with the voting public, but he is a superhero and thus isn’t really concerned what the public thinks.   Thus it is only his actual actions which can be judged in this context.   The idea behind Wikileaks is to force governments to act responsibly after informants refuse to be complicit in the government’s actions, but in doing so it is also quite possible that innocents will be in harm’s way as a result.   A leaked document which forces a government to reconsider its policies doesn’t compare in real time to for instance the backlash against American troops after the Abu Ghraib incident.    There are those who could argue greater good is done by potentially stopping future wars, but in terms of superheroes and especially the Bat family killing is not sanctioned or accepted thus this seems an unlikely course of action.   Thus what to assume what is being leaked is either the mundane or stuff intended specifically to advance Tim’s mission (which appears to be helping teen heroes against an unfolding plot).   In the event that Tim did not have qualms about potentially being responsible for deaths, there is no easy answer.   Suffice to say that he would not be popular but he might be doing some good, which is after all what a hero does.  

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#1 Posted by SC (12691 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Tim is aided by the fact that the guys trying to stop him, look and sound so evil. I bet that guy with the glasses use to be a politician who campaigned for family values before being discovered in a hotel room with 3 strippers, drugs and Arabian Oryx. Could be pretty cool, if one day an antagonist appealed to his morality and intelligence and suggested he was actually harming the greater good even with his pure intentions. Writing would get pretty complicated though and require apt skill, and the right balance. 

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#2 Posted by RainEffect (3240 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz: Did you enjoy Teen Titans #1? I love Tim Drake, so I'm unsure whether or not I want to get it.
#3 Posted by RazzaTazz (9478 posts) - - Show Bio
@RainEffect: It was good, one of the better ones I read this month.  They are going with a simplistic approach which works well for it
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#4 Posted by TheCrowbar (4286 posts) - - Show Bio

There's one marked difference between Assange and Drake. Drake is the right, 100%. While Wikileaks started as a good idea, it's more of a personality cult of Assange's now. None of what Drake is doing is ego driven.
 
Dumping information on the net existed before Assange and will exist after him. People need stop getting hung up on the person and look at the message.

#5 Posted by cdeoleo (138 posts) - - Show Bio

"At one point in 2010, two thirds of Americans felt that Wikileaks had hurt the American public image, with some claiming that Assange should be tried for treason (despite the fact that he is not American.)"

This just proves Americans are stupid more than anything else, before you get all patriotic me I was born in the Bronx and it was my city that was attacked on 9/11. Reality is Hackers realeasing information about various government agencies and officials just gives us the transparency we truly need to run an effective democracy. So Drake is still heroic in that sense and Asange is a weirdo who has forged a tool for people to have more say in what their government does because they will know more about what their government does.

#6 Posted by TheCrowbar (4286 posts) - - Show Bio
@cdeoleo said:

"At one point in 2010, two thirds of Americans felt that Wikileaks had hurt the American public image, with some claiming that Assange should be tried for treason (despite the fact that he is not American.)"

This just proves Americans are stupid more than anything else, before you get all patriotic me I was born in the Bronx and it was my city that was attacked on 9/11. Reality is Hackers realeasing information about various government agencies and officials just gives us the transparency we truly need to run an effective democracy. So Drake is still heroic in that sense and Asange is a weirdo who has forged a tool for people to have more say in what their government does because they will know more about what their government does.

Assange doesn't care about transparency. Seriously, there were other founders with Assange when wikileaks was made and they left because he was so absolutely stifling.  Wikileaks and sites like that are fine(within context, if you post the names of people in the field you're threatening their lives, you can still have transparency without naming a lowly field agent, so long as the field agent isn't acting inhuman), Assange used wikileaks to feed his ego, nothing more and nothing less.

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