In Insurgency Online, Michael Dartnell focuses on a new form of conflict made possible by global communications. The Internet, Dartnell argues, is affecting extensive changes to the way politics are carried out, by inserting a range of non-state actors onto the global political stage. He demonstrates that Web activism raises issues about the organization of societies and the distribution of power and contends that the development of online activism has far-reaching social and political implications, with parallels to the influence of the invention of the printing press, the telegraph, and the radio.
Dartnell concentrates on Web activists who use the Net as a media tool, distinguishing this use from information terrorism, which threatens or harasses through 'hacking' or electronic sabotage. Using the examples of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), which opposed the Taliban, the Peruvian Movimento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (MRTA) and its campaign against the Fujimori government, and the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM), Dartnell evaluates the political implications and general character of Web activism among non-state actors. Insurgency Online shows that online activism is a ripe, new territory for non-governmental actors to raise awareness and develop support around the world.