In Kashmir or other conflicts of world like Palestine, rulers have been brutal on the freedom of expression. Bans, arrests, threat continue in such a situation where people are resisting against the rule and want to register their protest. This leads to the formation of other mediums of expression, which are called “illegal or destructive”, but they find it the only way to express. One such medium is hacking groups. They hack a website and put out a message which they want world to know. A group calling itself Z Company Hacking Crew (ZHC) is an international group of hacktivists which has been hacking websites throughout the world and puts messages about Kashmir and Palestine issue. In an interview with The Kashmir Walla Editor, Fahad Shah, the ZHC group says their reason to deface websites is to raise awareness of the issues in the world with main focus on Kashmir and Palestine.
What does your name ‘ZHC’ mean?
“Z” being the last alphabet has been chosen for “Z Company Hacking Crew (ZHC)” as it is an end to injustice, extremism, Racism, Zionism, lies, illegal occupations and all such evils. We Hack/Deface for a reason. Our reason for defacing is to raise awareness of the issues in the world with main focus on Kashmir and Palestine. ZHC is about principles and being true to you.
How did you start hacking? What was the purpose?
At first we were a community on Orkut where we hacked many big communities of Hindu Extremists. You can check about it at our YouTube channel too (http://youtube.com/ZCompanyHackingCrew). Every one of us had a different reason to hack but we came on this single platform to raise the suppressed voices of the people after we came to know about the life of our Muslim brothers and sisters in occupied territories like Kashmir and Palestine. Our purpose has always been to raise awareness about what is going on with the people living in Muslim territories.
Was there anything which inspired you people to do this?
For a group of hacktivists, there is always a different story to say but, when we collectively observe the things we see, we have brothers and sisters here in the crew who are deeply touched by the pain and agony of our brothers and sisters living in different occupational territories, be it Palestine or Kashmir.
What is the aim of this group?
Of course, our aim is to raise the voice of the voiceless. Particularly, the people who are living under occupation and are being terrorised by so called peace makers of the world. We have seen young kids being brutally murdered be it by bombarding or trampling under feet in Palestine or Kashmir. We are also against those people who choke the freedom of religious liberty and expression in world be it EDL (English Defence League), Israel, US, France, Greece or any other country. We have targeted France and Greece, for its ban on Islamic veil, NATO countries for unjustified air strikes on Pakistan. In future also, we will uphold the values of truth and Justice.
What are the issues you highlight when you hack any website?
First of all, it depends on the country the website belongs to and the reason we hack it. For instance our deface page recently on 29 May 2012 was showing the following text which is in brief as:
“On 29th May, 2009 two girls Aasiya and Neelofar were reportedly raped and murdered by Indian soldiers in Shopian. The government almost shelved the case after their concocted inquiry report stated that Aasiya slipped and fell in the ravine and Neelofar tried to save her, but both drowned in the ravine.”
This hack was different from other hacks which we usually do on Indian Cyber Space. This was done as a part of showing support to our sisters in Kashmir, in Shopian (a district in Kashmir) who were first raped and then murdered by Indian occupational forces on 29 May 2009. So you see we always try to highlight different issues with each different hack.
Are there any particular websites which you will hack in future or wish to hack?
Well for hacktivist the target is not only one. We keep on modifying our targets and change our strategies, so we cannot tell you when and what we will hack in the future. But we don’t plan on stopping just yet.
Did you ever have any problems?
We have had many problems in the past because of hacking. We have also faced couple of hard times, our allies were caught. But we never stop and Inshallah, and never will.
How many people are in this group? Do you get paid or this is voluntarily?
We do it voluntarily. We are doing neither for money nor for fame. Our group consists of people from all over globe, of different ages groups. We have people who share common ideology and who have the some reason to hack, a reason to raise the voice of the oppressed.
Are you based in Kashmir?
As we mentioned earlier, our group consists of people all over globe, of different age groups but a common ideology.
Do you think hacking serves any purpose- what is that?
We have dedicated our skills for the cause. We are not mere hackers we are hacktivists. When we hack we post different messages on their website so that people visiting the website might know what we are talking about .When you cover a story you have the purpose in mind to target to a particular audience, same is with us. We target a website and post them with messages so that the particular audience visiting the website must get familiar with the things we talk about. And also we get attention of people living in their comfortable and luxurious life, who don’t know anything about the people living in occupied territories.
How many websites of India have you hacked so far?
Well, there is not a certain count that we remember. We have hacked more than millions of sites up until now.