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A Ninja Ant
United State
·Time Warner Cable

Can Hackers Be Heroes? | Off Book | PBS


"Many people think of hackers as cyber criminals, breaking into computer systems with ill-intent. Though there are plenty of destructive hackers in the world, there have always been people who hack with a different purpose. Some define hacking as "finding creative solutions to technical problems." To them, hacking means having an exploratory mindset about technology, and a willingness to "get under the hood" to tinker and see what happens. Other groups, like Anonymous, employ more subversive hacking practices to forward social and political causes, embedding a social consciousness into the traditionally murky dark-side of security hacking. Looking beyond the media hype and scare tactics, it is clear that "hacking" is a term whose meaning should be up for debate, and that some hackers could in fact be heroes, and not just villains..."
Ant @ AQFL.net and AntFarm.ma.cx. Please do not IM/e-mail me for technical support. Use this forum or better, »community.norton.com ! Disclaimer: The views expressed in this posting are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.


Sacramento, CA

Back in the '90s I remember trying to get the whole "hackers" thing differentiated from "crackers" so people could draw the distinction from white-hat and black-hat people. Of course that went no where, the press and really mainstream media in general loves a hacker

4 Ever Young
Scottsdale, AZ
·Cox HSI
reply to antdude

It took me a long time to value the difference between the white and the black hat intent. And, indeed, there is one...a big one. I now use the example of Frank Abagnale of Catch Me If You Can fame. Without his help, having hindered/attempted to be something other than he was, we, the public wouldn't have learned so much about what crooks do and ways to protect ourselves when possible. By his starting as a black hat and then becoming a white hat, but not in tech speak, his role could have taught much of the public between the 2. I firmly believe that this comparison is the one thing that has offered me the ability to easily explain the difference to totally non-technical public.

Age is a very high price to pay for my maturity. If I can't stay young, I can at least stay immature!


Tavistock NJ
reply to antdude

Sorry, but the term hacker, to the general public, is now entirely negative. White hat hackers need to come up with a new word to describe their activities.


Sacramento, CA

said by FFH:

Sorry, but the term hacker, to the general public, is now entirely negative. White hat hackers need to come up with a new word to describe their activities.

Yep, hence the attempt (in vain) to get baddies described as "crackers" back in the late '90s. So I agree it's time to rechristen what the good guys do since "hacking" has become synonymous with bad guys in the mainstream. Of course what that would be I have no idea...