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Фантастика. Фэнтези
   Зарубежная фантастика
      Bruce Sterling. The hacker crackdown -
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d no ability to arrest people. They carried out no phreak and hacker covert dirty-tricks. But they really knew how to network. Unlike the other groups in this book, the civil libertarians have operated very much in the open, more or less right in the public hurly-burly. They have lectured audiences galore and talked to countless journalists, and have learned to refine their spiels. They've kept the cameras clicking, kept those faxes humming, swapped that email, run those photocopiers on overtime, licked envelopes and spent small fortunes on airfare and long- distance. In an information society, this open, overt, obvious activity has proven to be a profound advantage. In 1990, the civil libertarians of cyberspace assembled out of nowhere in particular, at warp speed. This "group" (actually, a networking gaggle of interested parties which scarcely deserves even that loose term) has almost nothing in the way of formal organization. Those formal civil libertarian organizations which did take an interest in cyberspace issues, mainly the Computer Professionals for Social ъesponsibility and the American Civil Liberties Union, were carried along by events in 1990, and acted mostly as adjuncts, underwriters or launching- pads. The civil libertarians nevertheless enjoyed the greatest success of any of the groups in the Crackdown of 1990. At this writing, their future looks rosy and the political initiative is firmly in their hands. This should be kept in mind as we study the highly unlikely lives and lifestyles of the people who actually made this happen. # In June 1989, Apple Computer, Inc., of Cupertino, California, had a problem. Someone had illicitly copied a small piece of Apple's proprietary software, software which controlled an internal chip driving the Macintosh screen display. This Color QuickDraw source code was a closely guarded piece of Apple's intellectual property. Only trusted Apple insiders were supposed to possess it. But the "NuPrometheus League" wanted things otherwise. This person (or persons) made several illicit copies of this source code, perhaps as many as two dozen. He (or she, or they) then put those illicit floppy disks into envelopes and mailed them to people all over America: people in the computer industry who were associated with, but not directly employed by, Apple Computer. The NuPrometheus caper was a complex, highly ideological, and very hacker-like crime. Prometheus, it will be recalled, stole the fire of the Gods and gave this potent gift to the general ranks of downtrodden mankind. A similar god-in-the-manger attitude was implied for the corporate elite of Apple Computer, while the "Nu" Prometheus had himself cast in the role of rebel demigod. The illicitly copied data was given away for free. The new Prometheus, whoever he was, escaped the fate of the ancient Greek Prometheus, who was chained to a rock for centuries by the vengeful gods while an eagle tore and ate his liver. On the other hand, NuPrometheus chickened out somewhat by comparison with his role model. The small chunk of Color QuickDraw code he had filched and replicated was more or less useless to Apple's industrial rivals (or, in fact, to anyone else). Instead of giving fire to mankind, it was more as if NuPrometheus had photocopied the schematics for part of a Bic lighter. The act was not a genuine work of industrial espionage. It was best interpreted as a symbolic, deliberate slap in the face for the Apple corporate heirarchy. Apple's internal struggles were well-known in the industry. Apple's founders, Jobs and Wozniak, had both taken their leave long since. Their raucous core of senior employees had been a barnstorming crew of 1960s Californians, many of them markedly less than happy with the new button-down multimillion dollar regime at Apple. Many of the programmers and developers who had invented the Macintosh model in the early 1980s had also taken their leave of the company. It was they, not the current masters of Apple's corporate fate, who had invented the stolen Color QuickDraw code. The NuPrometheus stunt was well-calculated to wound company morale. Apple called the FBI. The Bureau takes an interest in high-profile intellectual-property theft cases, industrial espionage and theft of trade secrets. These were likely the right people to call, and rumor has it that the entities responsible were in fact discovered by the FBI, and then quietly squelched by Apple management. NuPrometheus was never publicly charged with a crime, or prosecuted, or jailed. But there were no further illicit releases of Macintosh internal software. Eventually the painful issue of NuPrometheus was allowed to fade. In the meantime, however, a large number of puzzled bystanders found themselves entertaining surprise guests from the FBI. One of these people was John Perry Barlow. Barlow is a most unusual man, difficult to describe in conventional terms. He is perhaps best known as a songwriter for the Grateful Dead, for he composed lyrics for "Hell in a Bucket," "Picasso Moon," "Mexicali Blues," "I Need a Miracle," and many more; he has been writing for the band since 1970. Before we tackle the vexing question as to why a rock lyricist should be interviewed by the FBI in a computer- crime case, it might be well to say a word or two about the Grateful Dead. The Grateful Dead are perhaps the most successful and long-lasting of the numerous cultural emanations from the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, in the glory days of Movement politics and lysergic transcendance. The Grateful Dead are a nexus, a veritable whirlwind, of applique decals, psychedelic vans, tie-dyed T-shirts, earth-color denim, frenzied dancing and open and unashamed drug use. The symbols, and the realities, of Californian freak power surround the Grateful Dead like knotted macrame. The Grateful Dead and their thousands of Deadhead devotees are radical Bohemians. This much is widely understood. Exactly what this implies in the 1990s is rather more problematic. The Grateful Dead are among the world's most popular and wealthy entertainers: number 20, according to *Forbes* magazine, right between M.C. Hammer and Sean Connery. In 1990, this jeans-clad group of purported raffish outcasts earned seventeen million dollars. They have been earning sums much along this line for quite some time now. And while the Dead are not investment bankers or three-piece-suit tax specialists -- they are, in point of fact, hippie musicians -- this money has not been squandered in senseless Bohemian excess. The Dead have been quietly active for many years, funding various worthy activities in their extensive and widespread cultural community. The Grateful Dead are not conventional players in the American power establishment. They nevertheless are something of a force to be reckoned with. They have a lot of money and a lot of friends in many places, both likely and unlikely. The Dead may be known for back-to-the-earth environmentalist rhetoric, but this hardly makes them anti-technological Luddites. On the contrary, like most rock musicians, the Grateful Dead have spent their entire adult lives in the company of complex electronic equipment. They have funds to burn on any sophisticated tool and toy that might happen to catch their fancy. And their fancy is quite extensive. The Deadhead community boasts any number of recording engineers, lighting experts, rock video mavens, electronic technicians of all descriptions. And the drift goes both ways. Steve Wozniak, Apple's co-founder, used to throw rock festivals. Silicon Valley rocks out. These are the 1990s, not the 1960s. Today, for a surprising number of people all over America, the supposed dividing line between Bohemian and technician simply no longer exists. People of this sort may have a set of windchimes and a dog with a knotted kerchief 'round its neck, but they're also quite likely to own a multimegabyte Macintosh running MIDI synthesizer software and trippy fractal simulations. These days, even Timothy Leary himself, prophet of LSD, does virtual-reality computer- graphics demos in his lecture tours. John Perry Barlow is not a member of the Grateful Dead. He is, however, a ranking Deadhead. Barlow describes himself as a "techno-crank." A vague term like "social activist" might not be far from the mark, either. But Barlow might be better described as a "poet" -- if one keeps in mind Percy Shelley's archaic definition of poets as "unacknowledged legislators of the world." Barlow once made a stab at acknowledged legislator status. In 1987, he narrowly missed the ъepublican nomination for a seat in the Wyoming State Senate. Barlow is a Wyoming native, the third-generation scion of a well-to-do cattle-ranching family. He is in his early forties, married and the father of three daughters. Barlow is not much troubled by other people's narrow notions of consistency. In the late 1980s, this ъepublican rock lyricist cattle rancher sold his ranch and became a computer telecommunications devotee. The free-spirited Barlow made this transition with ease. He genuinely enjoyed computers. With a beep of his modem, he leapt from small-town Pinedale, Wyoming, into electronic contact with a large and lively crowd of bright, inventive, technological sophisticates from all over the world. Barlow found the social milieu of computing attractive: its fast-lane pace, its blue-sky rhetoric, its open- endedness. Barlow began dabbling in computer journalism, with marked success, as he was a quick study, and both shrewd and eloquent. He frequently travelled to San Francisco to network with Deadhead friends. There Barlow made extensive contacts throughout the Californian computer community, including friendships among the wilder spirits at Apple. In May 1990, Barlow received a visit from a local Wyoming agent of the FBI. The NuPrometheus case had reached Wyoming. Barlow was troubled to find himself under investigation in an area of his interests once quite free of federal attention. He had to struggle to explain the very nature of computer-crime to a headscratching local FBI man who specialized in cattle-rustling. Barlow, chatting helpfully and demonstrating the wonders of his modem to the puzzled fed, was alarmed to find all "hackers" generally under FBI suspicion as an evil influence in the electronic community. The FBI, in pursuit of a hacker called "NuPrometheus," were tracing attendees of a suspect group called the Hackers Conference. The Hackers Conference, which had been started in 1984, was a yearly Californian meeting of digital pioneers and enthusiasts. The hackers of the Hackers Conference had little if anything to do with the hackers of the digital underground. On the contrary, the hackers of this conference were mostly well-to-do Californian high-tech CEOs, consultants, journalists and entrepreneurs. (This group of hackers were the exact sort of "hackers" most likely to react with militant fury at any criminal degradation of the term "hacker.") Barlow, though he was not arrested or accused of a crime, and though his computer had certainly not gone out the door, was very troubled by this anomaly. He carried the word to the Well. Like the Hackers Conference, "the Well" was an emanation of the Point Foundation. Point Foundation, the inspiration of a wealthy Californian 60s radical named Stewart Brand, was to be a major launch-pad of the civil libertarian effort. Point Foundation's cultural efforts, like those of their fellow Bay Area Californians the Grateful Dead, were multifaceted and multitudinous. ъigid ideological consistency had never been a strong suit of the *Whole Earth Catalog.* This Point publication had enjoyed a strong vogue during the late 60s and early 70s, when it offered hundreds of practical (and not so practical) tips on communitarian living, environmentalism, and getting back-to-the-land. The *Whole Earth Catalog,* and its sequels, sold two and half million copies and won a National Book Award. With the slow collapse of American radical dissent, the *Whole Earth Catalog* had slipped to a more modest corner of the cultural radar; but in its magazine incarnation, *CoEvolution Quarterly,* the Point Foundation continued to offer a magpie potpourri of "access to tools and ideas." *CoEvolution Quarterly,* which started in 1974, was never a widely popular magazine. Despite periodic outbreaks of millenarian fervor, *CoEvolution Quarterly* failed to revolutionize Western civilization and replace leaden centuries of history with bright new Californian paradigms. Instead, this propaganda arm of Point Foundation cakewalked a fine line between impressive brilliance and New Age flakiness. *CoEvolution Quarterly* carried no advertising, cost a lot, and came out on cheap newsprint with modest black-and-white graphics. It was poorly distributed, and spread mostly by subscription and word of mouth. It could not seem to grow beyond 30,000 subscribers. And yet -- it never seemed to shrink much, either. Year in, year out, decade in, decade out, some strange demographic minority accreted to support the magazine. The enthusiastic readership did not seem to have much in the way of coherent politics or ideals. It was sometimes hard to understand what held them together (if the often bitter debate in the letter-columns could be described as "togetherness"). But if the magazine did not flourish, it was resilient; it got by. Then, in 1984, the birth-year of the Macintosh computer, *CoEvolution Quarterly* suddenly hit the rapids. Point Foundation had discovered the computer revolution. Out came the *Whole Earth Software Catalog* of 1984, arousing headscratching doubts among the tie- dyed faithful, and rabid enthusiasm among the nascent "cyberpunk" milieu, present company included. Point Foundation started its yearly Hackers Conference, and began to take an extensive interest in the strange new possibilities of digital counterculture. *CoEvolution Quarterly* folded its teepee, replaced by *Whole Earth Software ъeview* and eventually by *Whole Earth ъeview* (the magazine's present incarnation, currently under the editorship of virtual-reality maven Howard ъheingold). 1985 saw the birth of the "WELL" -- the "Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link." The Well was Point Foundation's bulletin board system. As boards went, the Well was an anomaly from the beginning, and remained one. It was local to San Francisco. It was huge, with multiple phonelines and enormous files of commentary. Its complex UNIX-based software might be most charitably described as "user- opaque." It was run on a mainframe out of the rambling offices of a non-profit cultural foundation in Sausalito. And it was crammed with fans of the Grateful Dead. Though the Well was peopled by chattering hipsters of the Bay Area counterculture, it was by no means a "digital underground" board. Teenagers were fairly scarce; most Well users (known as "Wellbeings") were thirty- and forty-something Baby Boomers. They tended to work in the information industry: hardware, software, telecommunications, media, entertainment. Librarians, academics, and journalists were especially common on the Well, attracted by Point Foundation's open-handed distribution of "tools and ideas." There were no anarchy files on the Well, scarcely a dropped hint about access codes or credit-card theft. No one used handles. Vicious "flame-wars" were held to a comparatively civilized rumble. Debates were sometimes sharp, but no Wellbeing ever claimed that a rival had disconnected his phone, trashed his house, or posted his credit card numbers. The Well grew slowly as the 1980s advanced. It charged a modest sum for access and storage, and lost money for years -- but not enough to hamper the Point Foundation, which was nonprofit anyway. By 1990, the Well had about five thousand users. These users wandered about a gigantic cyberspace smorgasbord of "Conferences", each conference itself consisting of a welter of "topics," each topic containing dozens, sometimes hundreds of comments, in a tumbling, multiperson debate that could last for months or years on end. In 1991, the Well's list of conferences looked like this: CONFEъENCES ON THE WELL WELL "Screenzine" Digest (g zine) Best of the WELL - vintage material - (g best) Index listing of new topics in all conferences - (g newtops) Business - Education ---------------------- Apple Library Users Group(g alug) Agriculture (g agri) Brainstorming (g brain) Classifieds (g cla) Computer Journalism (g cj) Consultants (g consult) Consumers (g cons) Design (g design) Desktop Publishing (g desk) Disability (g disability) Education (g ed) Energy (g energy91) Entrepreneurs (g entre) Homeowners (g home) Indexing (g indexing) Investments (g invest) Kids91 (g kids) Legal (g legal) One Person Business (g one) Periodical/newsletter(g per) Telecomm Law (g tcl) The Future (g fut) Translators (g trans) Travel (g tra) Work (g work) Electronic Frontier Foundation (g eff) Computers, Freedom & Privacy (g cfp) Computer Professionals for Social ъesponsibility (g cpsr) Social - Political - Humanities --------------------------------- Aging (g gray) AIDS (g aids) Amnesty International (g amnesty) Archives (g arc) Berkeley (g berk) Buddhist (g wonderland) Christian (g cross) Couples (g couples) Current Events (g curr) Dreams (g dream) Drugs (g dru) East Coast (g east) Emotional Health**** (g private) Erotica (g eros) Environment (g env) Firearms (g firearms) First Amendment (g first) Fringes of ъeason (g fringes) Gay (g gay) Gay (Private)# (g gaypriv) Geography (g geo) German (g german) Gulf War (g gulf) Hawaii (g aloha) Health (g heal) History (g hist) Holistic (g holi) Interview (g inter) Italian (g ital) Jewish (g jew) Liberty (g liberty) Mind (g mind) Miscellaneous (g misc) Men on the WELL** (g mow) Network Integration (g origin) Nonprofits (g non) North Bay (g north) Northwest (g nw) Pacific ъim (g pacrim) Parenting (g par) Peace (g pea) Peninsula (g pen) Poetry (g poetry) Philosophy (g phi) Politics (g pol) Psychology (g psy) Psychotherapy (g thera

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