The word "hacker" carries weight. People strongly disagree as to what a hacker is. Hacking may be defined as legal or illegal, ethical or unethical. The media’s portrayal of hacking has boosted one version of discourse. The conflict between discourses is important for our understanding of computer hacking subculture. Also, the outcome of the conflict may prove critical in deciding whether or not our society and institutions remain in the control of a small elite or we move towards a radical democracy (a.k.a. socialism). It is my hope that the hackers of the future will move beyond their limitations (through inclusion of women, a deeper politicization, and more concern for recruitment and teaching) and become hacktivists. They need to work with non-technologically based and technology-borrowing social movements (like most modern social movements who use technology to do their task more easily) in the struggle for global justice. Otherwise the non-technologically based social movements may face difficulty continuing to resist as their power base is eroded while that of the new technopower elite is growing – and the fictionesque cyberpunk-1984 world may become real.
What is Hacking?
Juvenile Discourse, Black Hats, and White Hats
Juvenility and Carding
Problems with the White Hat Hacking Discourse
Problems with the Nostalgic Discourse
Law Enforcement and Computer Security Discourse
The Legal Discourse
Problems with the Law Enforcement Discourse
Hackers as Resistance (illegal and legal)
Limitations to Resistance