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Paper Topic:

Benefits Of Computer Hacking


Hackers were not always portrayed as computer criminals . During the "Golden Age " before personal computers and the development of a computer industry , when there were minimal proprietary interests in computer software , hacking was relatively non problematic . The word hack was first used at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to refer to a feat "imbued with innovation , style , and technical virtuosity " As early as 1958 , computers were influencing young minds . Students would stay up all night to get time on the big university mainframes . These people were fascinated with computers and

spent hours writing programs to see what could be accomplished . Golden Age hackers were interested in the "pure hack " not the monetary value of their work . During the mid- 1980s , computer technology became available on a mass scale and movies such as War Games romanticized hacking . Many young adults realized that computers were empowering tools . As awareness of similarities between hackers emerged , hacking developed its own ethical guidelines . Hacker ethics are based on the bedrock of freedom of information . As Gareth Branwyn said "As every reality hacker knows 'Information wants to be free ' and "plagiarism saves time " The lifeblood of the hacker ethic is freedom of information .Steven Levy outlined the hacker ethic as follows :Access to computers -- and anything that might teach you something about the way the world works -- should be unlimited and to the hands-on imperative

All information should be free

Mistrust authority -- promote decentralization

Hackers should be judged by their hacking , not bogus criteria such as degrees , age , race , or position

You can create art and beauty on a computer (Dan Diaper , page 56-57

These criteria put hackers in opposition to mainstream economics . As Anne Wells Branscomb noted , scientists and computer hackers "are frustrated to discover that their electronic playgrounds have been invaded by avaricious and enterprising entrepreneurs who prefer dollars to the joy of the 'great hack ' or the reward of the Nobel Prize (Rebecca Green , page 273

The belief in freedom of information makes certain behaviors conceivable that are defined as theft in the mainstream legal discourse . As Emmanuel Goldstein , editor and publisher of 2600 , a hacker journal , stated "If I want to access a credit tracking company like TRW and access my credit , is that an invasion of TRW 's privacy ? What about my privacy-all that information they 've gathered on me (Bakewell , Eric J . page 481 Hackers prioritize freedom of information and are suspicious of centralized control . Private ownership of information is considered illegitimate . Hackers question why a few corporations can own information about others and control information that might be helpful to the public at large . This view puts hackers on a collision course with the more powerful conglomerate of technology owners and the government itself . Hackers ' willingness and ability to go anywhere does not sit well with corporate America

Generally speaking , hackers tend to emphasize the positive aspects of their subculture , whereas the mainstream media emphasizes the negative It is important to look at...

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