Real hacktivism is at least as old as October 1989 when DOE (US Deptartment of Energy) HEPNET and SPAN (NASA) connected VMS machines world wide were penetrated by the anti-nuclear WANK worm, which changed the system announcement banner to be:
W O R M S A G A I N S T N U C L E A R K I L L E R S
\__ ____________ _____ ________ ____ ____ __ _____/
\ \ \ /\ / / / /\ \ \ \ / / /
\ \ \ / \ / / / /__\ \ \ \ / / /
\ \ \/ /\ \/ / / ______ \ \ \ \ \ /
\_\ /__\ /____/ /______\ \____ __\ ____ _\ \_/
\ Your System Has Been Officically WANKed /
You talk of times of peace for all, and then prepare for war.
In our book, Suelette Dreyfus and I track the source of the worm to Melbourne, Australia. At the time there was considerable anti-nuclear sentiment in the country. Australia had (and still has) a number of US spy, early warning and nuclear submarine communications bases, most of which were first and second strike soviet targets (Australia would not otherwise be a nuclear target).
Additionally in 1984, New Zealand, a country with which Australians feel a special affinity, had under Labour pri-minister David Lange, made NZ a nuclear free territory, precluding the admission of nuclear armed or powered warships into NZ ports. The US in response rescinded its defence treaty obligations to NZ, cut intelligence ties (or at least pretended to, see Nicky Hager's excellent book "Secret Power" for futher details) and instigated a number of trade sanctions against the country.
But New Zealand's nuclear woes were not to end there. At 11:59pm on the night of July 10 1985 the Greenpeace flag-ship "Rainbow Warrior", docked in Auckland harbour preparing to sail in three days time to Mururoa Atoll to demonstrate against French nuclear tests, was blown up by amphibious DGSE (French Secret Service) agents, killing Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira. Within days, two DGSE agents Alain Mafart and Dominique Prieur were arrested, following an investigation by Australian journalist Chris Masters, plead guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced by the NZ high court to 10 years. The other DGSE agents escaped via a French Nuclear sub off the NZ coast. The French, a significant NZ trade partner, immediately instigated trade sanctions against the country. In June 1986, a political deal was struck; France would lift sanctions, pay a few million in blood money, and the two agents would be transferred to Hao Atoll, a French military base in the pacific, where they would supposably serve out the remainder of their sentences. However, by May 1988 both had been smuggled back to France.
Examination of the worm source code show specific instructions to avoid infecting New Zealand.
Policy has unintended consequences but it should be remembered that some are blessings. So, go boldly and change!