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Analysis: the American Perspective on Hackers

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 50 
  • Words: 1651
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The issue of public information has always been a controversy in our world. One of our country’s founding arguments was based on the necessity of free speech and free information. Many now believe that our government is being overly restrictive on information, blocking and controlling some aspects of free speech that first amendment advocates feel are necessary to maintain our American society. These advocates of free information have been using the nickname “hackers” for over twenty years, but improper use by the media has stretched the word to slanderous levels. Hackers are now stereotyped as mindless vandals and miscreants, although the word “hacker” has been used as a term for computer programmers and technicians since the late 1970s. Modern-day hackers refer to themselves as intelligent socio-political activists who want to raise social awareness of threatening problems. Governments worldwide are trying to persecute hackers when vandals, not hackers, are most often the ones breaking laws and causing damage. The conflict between hackers and the American public is a deeply rooted standoff, caused by misinformation and sensationalism from the media and the government.

To evaluate and analyze this conflict objectively, both points of view must be put into proper perspective. This was a simple task for me, because I am a very technically oriented person who does not get lost in the “computer jargon” used by both the “hackers” and the political forces. I have worked as a security engineer for three Internet Service Providers. I am presently a security programmer at the second-largest private Internet Service Provider in Tampa. To do my job, I must to understand the thoughts and methods of the cyber-delinquents often misnamed as “hackers.” This experience has given me a strong perspective of both the intruder and victim’s side.

Firstly, take the view of the American people. This...


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