Word For Today: HACKER

TV, MOVIES and Corporate Media has Too Much Influence in Changing the Meanings of Words and Public Perception.
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“Hacker”

A hacker is someone who enjoys playful cleverness—not necessarily with computers.
The programmers in the old MIT free software community of the 1960s and 70s referred to themselves as “hackers”.
Around 1980, (clueless) journalists who discovered the hacker community mistakenly took the term to mean “security breaker.”

CIPHER and SECURITY:
Please don’t spread this mistake. People who break security are “crackers.”
As in CRACK that Safe’s Lock, and CRACK that secret intelligence agent’s encrypted cipher code-book.

.

Excerpt from:
http://www.catb.org/esr/writings/homesteading/hacker-history/ar01s02.html

The Early Hackers

The beginnings of the hacker culture as we know it today can be conveniently dated to 1961, the year MIT acquired the first PDP-1. The Signals and Power Committee of MIT’s Tech Model Railroad Club adopted the machine as their favorite tech-toy and invented programming tools, slang, and an entire surrounding culture that is still recognizably with us today. These early years have been examined in the first part of Steven Levy’s book Hackers http://www.catb.org/esr/writings/homesteading/hacker-history/ar01s08.html#Levy

MIT’s computer culture seems to have been the first to adopt the term `hacker’. The Tech Model Railroad Club’s hackers became the nucleus of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the world’s leading center of AI research into the early 1980s. Their influence was spread far wider after 1969, the first year of the ARPAnet.
ARPAnet’s electronic highways brought together hackers all over the U.S. in a critical mass; instead of remaining in isolated small groups each developing their own ephemeral local cultures, they discovered (or re-invented) themselves as a networked tribe.

The first intentional artifacts of the hacker culture—the first slang lists, the first satires, the first self-conscious discussions of the hacker ethic—all propagated on the ARPAnet in its early years. In particular, the first version of the Jargon File developed as a cross-net collaboration during 1973–1975. This slang dictionary became one of the culture’s defining documents. It was eventually published as “The Hacker’s Dictionary” in 1983; that first version is out of print, but a revised and expanded version is New Hacker’s Dictionary [Raymond].

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3 comments on “Word For Today: HACKER
  1. RonMamita says:

    Aug 7 2013

    US Government War On Hackers Backfires: Now Top Hackers Won’t Work With US Government
    from the what-did-they-expect? dept

    Techdirt has noted the increasing demonization of hackers (not to be confused with crackers that break into systems for criminal purposes), for example by trying to add an extra layer of punishment on other crimes if they were done “on a computer.” High-profile victims of this approach include Bradley Manning, Aaron Swartz, Jeremy Hammond, Barrett Brown and of course Edward Snowden.

    But as this Reuters story reports, that crass attempt to intimidate an entire community in case anyone there might use computers to embarrass the US government or reveal its wrongdoings is now starting to backfire:

    The U.S. government’s efforts to recruit talented hackers could suffer from the recent revelations about its vast domestic surveillance programs, as many private researchers express disillusionment with the National Security Agency.

    Though hackers tend to be anti-establishment by nature, the NSA and other intelligence agencies had made major inroads in recent years in hiring some of the best and brightest, and paying for information on software flaws that help them gain access to target computers and phones.

    Much of that goodwill has been erased after the NSA’s classified programs to monitor phone records and Internet activity were exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, according to prominent hackers and cyber experts.

    The article goes on:

    Closest to home for many hackers are the government’s aggressive prosecutions under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which has been used against Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide in January, and U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who leaked classified files to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

    A letter circulating at Def Con and signed by some of the most prominent academics in computer security said the law was chilling research in the public interest by allowing prosecutors and victim companies to argue that violations of electronic “terms of service” constitute unauthorized intrusions.

    This latest development also exposes a paradox at the heart of the NSA’s spying program. Such total surveillance — things like GCHQ’s “Tempora” that essentially downloads and stores all Internet traffic for a while — is only possible thanks to advances in digital technology. Much of the most innovative work there is being done by hackers — it’s significant that the NSA’s massive XKeyscore program runs on a Linux cluster. But as the NSA is now finding out, those same hackers are increasingly angry with the legal assault on both them and their basic freedoms. That may make it much harder to keep up the pace of technological development within the spying program in the future unless the US government takes steps to address hackers’ concerns — something that seems unlikely.

    VIA:
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130805/02354124062/us-government-war-hackers-backfires-now-hackers-wont-work-us-government.shtml

    Like

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