||Of all the major players in the Hacker Crackdown: the phone companies, law enforcement, the civil libertarians, and the "hackers" themselves -- the "hackers" are by far the most mysterious, by far the hardest to understand, by far the weirdest.
Not only are "hackers" novel in their activities, but they come in a variety of odd subcultures, with a variety of languages, motives and values.
The earliest proto-hackers were probably those unsung mischievous telegraph boys who were summarily fired by the Bell Company in 1878.
Legitimate "hackers," those computer enthusiasts who are independent-minded but law-abiding, generally trace their spiritual ancestry to elite technical universities, especially M.I.T. and Stanford, in the 1960s.
But the genuine roots of the modern hacker *underground* can probably be traced most successfully to a now much-obscured hippie anarchist movement known as the Yippies. The Yippies, who took their name from the largely fictional "Youth International Party," carried out a loud and lively policy of surrealistic subversion and outrageous political mischief. Their basic tenets were flagrant sexual promiscuity, open and copious drug use, the political overthrow of any powermonger over thirty years of age, and an immediate end to the war in Vietnam, by any means necessary, including the psychic levitation of the Pentagon.
Bruce Sterling, The Hacker Crackdown
Bruce Sterling, author, journalist, editor, critic, was born in 1954. He is
the author of five science fiction novels: Involution Ocean
(1977), The Artificial Kid (1980), Schismatrix
(1985), Islands in the Net (1988) and Heavy Weather (1994). His short stories appeared in the collection
Crystal Express (1990) and Globalhead (1992) and
in the Japanese collection Semi no Jo-o. He edited the collection Mirrorshades, the definitive document of the cyberpunk movement, and co-authored the novel The Difference Engine (1990) with William Gibson. He writes a critical column for
Science Fiction Eye and a popular-science column for
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
His book 1992 book
The Hacker Crackdown is non-fiction, describing the law enforcement and computer-crime activities that led to the start of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1990.
He also appeared in ABC's Nightline, BBS's The Late Show, CBC's Morningside, on MTV, and in Newsday, Omni, Whole Earth Review,
Drugs Society & Behaviour 1991,
Mondo2000, WiReD and other equally improbable venues. He does public speaking as a hobby, and has addressed academics, market experts, experimental media groups, phone regulators, state bureaucrats, and architects among others. He lives in Austin, the Silicon Valley of Texas, with his wife and daugther. There he is an active board-member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation - Austin which has a close relative in the south-east, the
Electronic Frontiers Houston.
Copyright © 1996 by Molly Cumming (firstname.lastname@example.org).