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The Mentor's Review of the Conscience of a True Hacker

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I spend a lot of time on the internet and I am not ashamed to admit it.

And the question that I get asked the most by people is “Are you a hacker?” Well, that question has been bugging me ever since. Just what exactly is a hacker? A REAL hacker? For those who don’t know better, the news and media have blown it way out of proportion… A hacker, by wrong-definition, can be anything from a computer-user to someone who destroys everything they can get their evil terminals into.

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The idiotic schmucks of the world who get a brand new computer for Christmas then discover that they can download games and copy CD´s haven’t helped hackers’ reputations a damn bit.

They somehow get access to a really cool system or find a website with some files on hacking… Or maybe a friendly but not-too-cautious hacker helps the loser out, gives him a few ideas, etc. The schmuck gets onto a system somewhere, lucks up and gets in to some really cool information or programs, and deletes them. Or some of the more greedy ones capture it, delete it, and try to sell it.

Who gets the blame? The true hackers…that’s who. So what is a true hacker? Firstly, some people may not think I am entirely qualified to say, mainly because I don’t consider myself a hacker yet. I’m still learning the ropes about it, but I think I have a pretty damn good idea of what a true hacker is. If I’m wrong, them someone please correct me…

True hackers are intelligent – they have to be. Either they do really great in school because they have nothing better to do, or they don’t do so good because school is terribly boring.

And the ones who are bored aren’t that way because they don’t give a shit about learning anything. A true hacker wants to know everything. They’re bored because schools teach the same dull things over and over and over, nothing new, nothing challenging.

True hackers are curious and patient. If you aren’t, how can you work so very hard hacking away at a single system for even one small PEEK at what may be on it? A true hacker DOESN’T get into the system to kill everything or to sell what he gets to someone else.

True hackers want to learn, or want to satisfy their curiosity, that’s why they get into the system.

To search around inside of a place they’ve never been, to explore all the little nooks and crannies of a world so unlike the boring cess-pool we live in. Why destroy something and take away the pleasure you had from someone else? Why bring down the whole world on the few true hackers who aren’t cruising the phone lines with malicious intent? True hackers are disgusted at the way things are in this world. All the wonderful technology of the world costs so much get these days. It costs a fortune to access decent services to use high class software So why pay for it? To borrow something from a file I will read out later, why pay for what could be “dirt cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons”? Why be forced, due to lack of cash flow required to use all the great places, to talk to a bunch of idiots in teenchat.net?

True hackers are quiet

They keep their mouths shut and don’t brag.

The number one killer of those the media would have us call hackers is bragging. You tell a friend, or you run your mouth on a board, and sooner or later people in power will find out what you did, who you are, and you’re gone…

I honestly don’t know what purpose this talk will serve, maybe one of you will hear it, and know the truth about hackers. And if I do not, then I at least am saying what I think a true hacker should be.

And to those wanna-be’s out there who like the label of “HACKER” being tacked onto them, please, please grow up

I will now read the file I quoted from it is called The Conscience of a Hacker and is absolutely the best thing ever written on the subject of hackers. It could change your life.

The Conscience of a Hacker By +++The Mentor+++

Written on January 8, 1986 Another one got caught today, it’s all over the papers. “Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal”, “Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering”… Damn kids. They’re all alike. But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950’s technobrain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him? I am a hacker, enter my world… Mine is a world that begins with school… I’m smarter than most of the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me… Damn underachiever. They’re all alike. I’m in junior high or high school. I’ve listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. “No, Ms. Smith, I didn’t show my work. I did it in my head…” Damn kid. Probably copied it. They’re all alike. I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is cool.

It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it’s because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn’t like me… Or feels threatened by me… Or thinks I’m a smart ass…

Or doesn’t like teaching and shouldn’t be here… Damn kid. All he does is play games. They’re all alike.

And then it happened… a door opened to a world… rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict’s veins, an electronic pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought… a board is found.

“This is it… this is where I belong…”

I know everyone here… even if I’ve never met them, never talked to them,

may never hear from them again… I know you all… Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They’re all alike… You bet your ass we’re all alike… we’ve been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak… the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We’ve been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert. This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore… and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge… and you call us criminals. We exist without skin colour, without nationality, without religious bias… and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals. Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can’t stop us all… after all, we’re all alike. +++The Mentor+++

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