Tag Archives: crackers

Which Hackers Are We Talking About?

By Brett Lunceford

When I received Coleman’s book, the first thing that I did was check the bibliography to find out exactly what kind of hackers we were talking about. Turning to the back, I was surprised to see some seemingly missing entries. Paul Taylor’s amazing ethnography of hackers, Hackers: Crime and the Digital Sublime, was oddly missing. Tim Jordan’s Hacking: Digital Media and Technological Determinism gets a nod, but none of his other books that talk about political activism and hacking are mentioned. What this told me was that we were dealing with socially acceptable (for the most part) hackers rather than the shadowy hackers that concern the rest of the world. A cursory glance at the table of contents suggests that this book focuses heavily on the free / open source software (F/OSS) movement (which it does), but this also illustrates the differences among groups of hackers. This distinction will serve as the focal point for my remark as I consider the question “Hackers: Freedom Fighters or Danger to Society?” Continue reading

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