The Hacker Community Essay

The Hacker Community Essay

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Hackers are typically defined as individuals that gain unauthorized access to another person’s computer. Although that definition is rather specific it can be broadened to include other illegal activities such as “phishing”, which can be done on its own and may be separate from hacking. The hacker community is what is contended to be an “imagined community” meaning they occupy no singular geographic location, like members of a community like Rosedale, nor have they have any set guidelines for becoming a computer hacker. The hacker community is highly fluid, with members leaving and others taking their places all the time. Most hackers tend to either form close connections with just a few other community members or formalize groups and break off into subsets. Although the hacker community is criminogenic by virtue of being rallied around an illegal activity there is very little discourse about them threatening society, and when there is, it is often not highly regarded. This process becomes even more apparent when looking at the moral panic that surrounds young, black men. Racism is certainly a factor here as popular belief is that majority of the hacker community are young, white males but that does not go far enough in explaining the disparity. Either does simply arguing that hackers pose no real threat. A recent example is that of a hacker that gained control of the life support system of an Antarctic research facility which housed 56 scientists. Although the hacker was cut off before any damage could be done, it is easy to see how that scenario could have ended in tragedy. Furthermore, hackers have gained access to high level American government agencies, like the Pentagon, before so it is easy to see why this commun...


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...ones with the required knowledge to do so are other scientists. In general, experts are the ones that set policy and practice in their field and are the ones to disseminate information to the general population. A real world example of this process is name guy. Name guy is an editor for the popular technology related magazine `Wired” and a former computer hacker. At the age of fifteen he hacked into the Pentagons computer system and was caught. He ended up jumping bail and fleeing across the country, even being profiled on “Unsolved Mysteries” as a fugitive, and now he is in charge of disseminating information about technology via an influence magazine. The point to be taken here is that members of the hacker community have become so engrained in mainstream technology that there is unlikely to be much flashlight shining on hackers because of it.

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