Tuesday, July 13, 2004

End of Good Ol' Hacker Days

Have been reading this Wired Article ...

Its a commentary on the recent Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) convention with speakers including Steve Wozniak and Kevin Mitnick. Hacker community is facing significant change with the US govt crackdown in the form of the Patriot Act and recent corporate litigation. Good Ol' hackers seem to feel that the days of free hacking - when one could take apart a system just to show its flaws and get away - stuff that has brought computer science and the internet to what it is now - is over.

People no longer seem to view hacking/exposing product flaws as technical wizardry - it is more associated now with crime. Maybe it is because of the influence of cracking on hacking. Hacking (as a term and as a concept) originated from the labs of AI MIT as a means for the wizards to show their talent - by exposing flaws in the existing system. Somewhere, over the course of time, the boundaries between hacking for fun and hacking with malintent (read cracking) became fuzzy. Today, the meaning of the word 'hack' is more associated with the later. Sad but True :-/
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