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Hacking And Ethics Essay

1202 words - 5 pages

Hacking should not be considered a crime, but rather, a pursuit of knowledge. Computers and microprocessors have given rise to new types of crime. Computer hacking is, seemingly, one of these crimes. People hack for various reasons, but to say they all intend to steal or purposefully cause disruption would be unjust.A hacker is an individual who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming limitations, namely in the fields of programming and/or electrical engineering. A common misconception is that anyone considered a hacker is undertaking in an illegal practice. It is a dissapointing observation on the standing of societies where when someone who is primarily seeking knowledge ...view middle of the document...

Most hackers are only interested in the actual art of hacking rather than causing havoc for an innocent PC owner. Once they hack into a computer they will use it as a spring board to get into other computers. The latter are not interested in trade secrets, even though most have been in positions to gain access to them. It seems as if it is generally the intellectual challenge which drives hackers towards these practices which are wrongfully considered a crime. Emmanuel Goldstein (Q&A with Emmanuel Goldstein of 2600: The Hacker's Quarterly) asserts that "Hacking isn't really about success, it's more the process of discovery. Even if real security is implemented, there will always be new systems, new developments, new vulnerabilities. Hackers are always going to be necessary to the process and we're not easily bored."If a group of hackers breaking into a computer system was to be compared with a group of teenagers hot-wiring a car for a joyride. The majority would probably argue, honestly, that they were doing no harm because the owner of the car recovered his property afterward. The teenagers did not keep or sell the car. It was simply a mischievous prank to borrow someone's property in that way, but it wasn't really serious.The group of teenagers lacked the sensitivity needed to acknowledge the car owners emotions towards such a random attack. This would be a similiar situation concerning the group of hackers. They also lack the sensitivity needed to acknowledge the emotions of the owners of the computer systems they break into. Even if this is the outcome everytime a computer is hacked into, temporary feelings of a loss of order and safety, and manipulation are not reasonable grounds to label hacking as a crime.Like all cultures, hackers have ethics. They are not a set of rules that one has to follow nor are they enforced. Though most hackers know and abide by them. The hacker ethic in its simplest form is that -The belief that information-sharing is a powerful positive good, and that it is an ethical duty of hackers to share their expertise by writing open source code and facilitating access to information and to computing resources wherever possible.andThe belief that system-hacking for fun and exploration is ethically OK as long as the hacker commits no theft, vandalism, or breach of confidentiality.Unfortunately, there will always be unethical...

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