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Фантастика. Фэнтези
   Зарубежная фантастика
      Bruce Sterling. The hacker crackdown -
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tatus among one's peers. When you are a hacker, it is your own inner conviction of your elite status that enables you to break, or let us say "transcend," the rules. It is not that *all* rules go by the board. The rules habitually broken by hackers are *unimportant* rules -- the rules of dopey greedhead telco bureaucrats and pig-ignorant government pests. Hackers have their *own* rules, which separate behavior which is cool and elite, from behavior which is rodentlike, stupid and losing. These "rules," however, are mostly unwritten and enforced by peer pressure and tribal feeling. Like all rules that depend on the unspoken conviction that everybody else is a good old boy, these rules are ripe for abuse. The mechanisms of hacker peer- pressure, "teletrials" and ostracism, are rarely used and rarely work. Back-stabbing slander, threats, and electronic harassment are also freely employed in down- and-dirty intrahacker feuds, but this rarely forces a rival out of the scene entirely. The only real solution for the problem of an utterly losing, treacherous and rodentlike hacker is to *turn him in to the police.* Unlike the Mafia or Medellin Cartel, the hacker elite cannot simply execute the bigmouths, creeps and troublemakers among their ranks, so they turn one another in with astonishing frequency. There is no tradition of silence or *omerta* in the hacker underworld. Hackers can be shy, even reclusive, but when they do talk, hackers tend to brag, boast and strut. Almost everything hackers do is *invisible;* if they don't brag, boast, and strut about it, then *nobody will ever know.* If you don't have something to brag, boast, and strut about, then nobody in the underground will recognize you and favor you with vital cooperation and respect. The way to win a solid reputation in the underground is by telling other hackers things that could only have been learned by exceptional cunning and stealth. Forbidden knowledge, therefore, is the basic currency of the digital underground, like seashells among Trobriand Islanders. Hackers hoard this knowledge, and dwell upon it obsessively, and refine it, and bargain with it, and talk and talk about it. Many hackers even suffer from a strange obsession to *teach* -- to spread the ethos and the knowledge of the digital underground. They'll do this even when it gains them no particular advantage and presents a grave personal risk. And when that risk catches up with them, they will go right on teaching and preaching -- to a new audience this time, their interrogators from law enforcement. Almost every hacker arrested tells everything he knows -- all about his friends, his mentors, his disciples -- legends, threats, horror stories, dire rumors, gossip, hallucinations. This is, of course, convenient for law enforcement -- except when law enforcement begins to believe hacker legendry. Phone phreaks are unique among criminals in their willingness to call up law enforcement officials -- in the office, at their homes -- and give them an extended piece of their mind. It is hard not to interpret this as *begging for arrest,* and in fact it is an act of incredible foolhardiness. Police are naturally nettled by these acts of chutzpah and will go well out of their way to bust these flaunting idiots. But it can also be interpreted as a product of a world-view so elitist, so closed and hermetic, that electronic police are simply not perceived as "police," but rather as *enemy phone phreaks* who should be scolded into behaving "decently." Hackers at their most grandiloquent perceive themselves as the elite pioneers of a new electronic world. Attempts to make them obey the democratically established laws of contemporary American society are seen as repression and persecution. After all, they argue, if Alexander Graham Bell had gone along with the rules of the Western Union telegraph company, there would have been no telephones. If Jobs and Wozniak had believed that IBM was the be-all and end-all, there would have been no personal computers. If Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson had tried to "work within the system" there would have been no United States. Not only do hackers privately believe this as an article of faith, but they have been known to write ardent manifestos about it. Here are some revealing excerpts from an especially vivid hacker manifesto: "The Techno- ъevolution" by "Dr. Crash," which appeared in electronic form in *Phrack* Volume 1, Issue 6, Phile 3. "To fully explain the true motives behind hacking, we must first take a quick look into the past. In the 1960s, a group of MIT students built the first modern computer system. This wild, rebellious group of young men were the first to bear the name 'hackers.' The systems that they developed were intended to be used to solve world problems and to benefit all of mankind. "As we can see, this has not been the case. The computer system has been solely in the hands of big businesses and the government. The wonderful device meant to enrich life has become a weapon which dehumanizes people. To the government and large businesses, people are no more than disk space, and the government doesn't use computers to arrange aid for the poor, but to control nuclear death weapons. The average American can only have access to a small microcomputer which is worth only a fraction of what they pay for it. The businesses keep the true state-of-the-art equipment away from the people behind a steel wall of incredibly high prices and bureaucracy. It is because of this state of affairs that hacking was born.(...) "Of course, the government doesn't want the monopoly of technology broken, so they have outlawed hacking and arrest anyone who is caught.(...) The phone company is another example of technology abused and kept from people with high prices.(...) "Hackers often find that their existing equipment, due to the monopoly tactics of computer companies, is inefficient for their purposes. Due to the exorbitantly high prices, it is impossible to legally purchase the necessary equipment. This need has given still another segment of the fight: Credit Carding. Carding is a way of obtaining the necessary goods without paying for them. It is again due to the companies' stupidity that Carding is so easy, and shows that the world's businesses are in the hands of those with considerably less technical know-how than we, the hackers. (...) "Hacking must continue. We must train newcomers to the art of hacking.(....) And whatever you do, continue the fight. Whether you know it or not, if you are a hacker, you are a revolutionary. Don't worry, you're on the right side." The defense of "carding" is rare. Most hackers regard credit-card theft as "poison" to the underground, a sleazy and immoral effort that, worse yet, is hard to get away with. Nevertheless, manifestos advocating credit- card theft, the deliberate crashing of computer systems, and even acts of violent physical destruction such as vandalism and arson do exist in the underground. These boasts and threats are taken quite seriously by the police. And not every hacker is an abstract, Platonic computer- nerd. Some few are quite experienced at picking locks, robbing phone-trucks, and breaking and entering buildings. Hackers vary in their degree of hatred for authority and the violence of their rhetoric. But, at a bottom line, they are scofflaws. They don't regard the current rules of electronic behavior as respectable efforts to preserve law and order and protect public safety. They regard these laws as immoral efforts by soulless corporations to protect their profit margins and to crush dissidents. "Stupid" people, including police, businessmen, politicians, and journalists, simply have no right to judge the actions of those possessed of genius, techno-revolutionary intentions, and technical expertise. # Hackers are generally teenagers and college kids not engaged in earning a living. They often come from fairly well-to-do middle-class backgrounds, and are markedly anti-materialistic (except, that is, when it comes to computer equipment). Anyone motivated by greed for mere money (as opposed to the greed for power, knowledge and status) is swiftly written-off as a narrow- minded breadhead whose interests can only be corrupt and contemptible. Having grown up in the 1970s and 1980s, the young Bohemians of the digital underground regard straight society as awash in plutocratic corruption, where everyone from the President down is for sale and whoever has the gold makes the rules. Interestingly, there's a funhouse-mirror image of this attitude on the other side of the conflict. The police are also one of the most markedly anti-materialistic groups in American society, motivated not by mere money but by ideals of service, justice, esprit-de-corps, and, of course, their own brand of specialized knowledge and power. ъemarkably, the propaganda war between cops and hackers has always involved angry allegations that the other side is trying to make a sleazy buck. Hackers consistently sneer that anti-phreak prosecutors are angling for cushy jobs as telco lawyers and that computer- crime police are aiming to cash in later as well-paid computer-security consultants in the private sector. For their part, police publicly conflate all hacking crimes with robbing payphones with crowbars. Allegations of "monetary losses" from computer intrusion are notoriously inflated. The act of illicitly copying a document from a computer is morally equated with directly robbing a company of, say, half a million dollars. The teenage computer intruder in possession of this "proprietary" document has certainly not sold it for such a sum, would likely have little idea how to sell it at all, and quite probably doesn't even understand what he has. He has not made a cent in profit from his felony but is still morally equated with a thief who has robbed the church poorbox and lit out for Brazil. Police want to believe that all hackers are thieves. It is a tortuous and almost unbearable act for the American justice system to put people in jail because they want to learn things which are forbidden for them to know. In an American context, almost any pretext for punishment is better than jailing people to protect certain restricted kinds of information. Nevertheless, *policing information* is part and parcel of the struggle against hackers. This dilemma is well exemplified by the remarkable activities of "Emmanuel Goldstein," editor and publisher of a print magazine known as *2600: The Hacker Quarterly.* Goldstein was an English major at Long Island's State University of New York in the '70s, when he became involved with the local college radio station. His growing interest in electronics caused him to drift into Yippie *TAP* circles and thus into the digital underground, where he became a self-described techno- rat. His magazine publishes techniques of computer intrusion and telephone "exploration" as well as gloating exposes of telco misdeeds and governmental failings. Goldstein lives quietly and very privately in a large, crumbling Victorian mansion in Setauket, New York. The seaside house is decorated with telco decals, chunks of driftwood, and the basic bric-a-brac of a hippie crash-pad. He is unmarried, mildly unkempt, and survives mostly on TV dinners and turkey-stuffing eaten straight out of the bag. Goldstein is a man of considerable charm and fluency, with a brief, disarming smile and the kind of pitiless, stubborn, thoroughly recidivist integrity that America's electronic police find genuinely alarming. Goldstein took his nom-de-plume, or "handle," from a character in Orwell's *1984,* which may be taken, correctly, as a symptom of the gravity of his sociopolitical worldview. He is not himself a practicing computer intruder, though he vigorously abets these actions, especially when they are pursued against large corporations or governmental agencies. Nor is he a thief, for he loudly scorns mere theft of phone service, in favor of 'exploring and manipulating the system.' He is probably best described and understood as a *dissident.* Weirdly, Goldstein is living in modern America under conditions very similar to those of former East European intellectual dissidents. In other words, he flagrantly espouses a value-system that is deeply and irrevocably opposed to the system of those in power and the police. The values in *2600* are generally expressed in terms that are ironic, sarcastic, paradoxical, or just downright confused. But there's no mistaking their radically anti-authoritarian tenor. *2600* holds that technical power and specialized knowledge, of any kind obtainable, belong by right in the hands of those individuals brave and bold enough to discover them -- by whatever means necessary. Devices, laws, or systems that forbid access, and the free spread of knowledge, are provocations that any free and self-respecting hacker should relentlessly attack. The "privacy" of governments, corporations and other soulless technocratic organizations should never be protected at the expense of the liberty and free initiative of the individual techno-rat. However, in our contemporary workaday world, both governments and corporations are very anxious indeed to police information which is secret, proprietary, restricted, confidential, copyrighted, patented, hazardous, illegal, unethical, embarrassing, or otherwise sensitive. This makes Goldstein persona non grata, and his philosophy a threat. Very little about the conditions of Goldstein's daily life would astonish, say, Vaclav Havel. (We may note in passing that President Havel once had his word-processor confiscated by the Czechoslovak police.) Goldstein lives by *samizdat,* acting semi-openly as a data-center for the underground, while challenging the powers-that-be to abide by their own stated rules: freedom of speech and the First Amendment. Goldstein thoroughly looks and acts the part of techno-rat, with shoulder-length ringlets and a piratical black fisherman's-cap set at a rakish angle. He often shows up like Banquo's ghost at meetings of computer professionals, where he listens quietly, half-smiling and taking thorough notes. Computer professionals generally meet publicly, and find it very difficult to rid themselves of Goldstein and his ilk without extralegal and unconstitutional actions. Sympathizers, many of them quite respectable people with responsible jobs, admire Goldstein's attitude and surreptitiously pass him information. An unknown but presumably large proportion of Goldstein's 2,000-plus readership are telco security personnel and police, who are forced to subscribe to *2600* to stay abreast of new developments in hacking. They thus find themselves *paying this guy's rent* while grinding their teeth in anguish, a situation that would have delighted Abbie Hoffman (one of Goldstein's few idols). Goldstein is probably the best-known public representative of the hacker underground today, and certainly the best-hated. Police regard him as a Fagin, a corrupter of youth, and speak of him with untempered loathing. He is quite an accomplished gadfly. After the Martin Luther King Day Crash of 1990, Goldstein, for instance, adeptly rubbed salt into the wound in the pages of *2600.* "Yeah, it was fun for the phone phreaks as we watched the network crumble," he admitted cheerfully. "But it was also an ominous sign of what's to come... Some AT&T people, aided by well-meaning but ignorant media, were spreading the notion that many companies had the same software and therefore could face the same problem someday. Wrong. This was entirely an AT&T software deficiency. Of course, other companies could face entirely *different* software problems. But then, so too could AT&T." After a technical discussion of the system's failings, the Long Island techno-rat went on to offer thoughtful criticism to the gigantic multinational's hundreds of professionally qualified engineers. "What we don't know is how a major force in communications like AT&T could be so sloppy. What happened to backups? Sure, computer systems go down all the time, but people making phone calls are not the same as people logging on to computers. We must make that distinction. It's not acceptable for the phone system or any other essential service to 'go down.' If we continue to trust technology without understanding it, we can look forward to many variations on this theme. "AT&T owes it to its customers to be prepared to *instantly* switch to another network if something strange and unpredictable starts occurring. The news here isn't so much the failure of a computer program, but the failure of AT&T's entire structure." The very idea of this.... this *person*.... offering "advice" about "AT&T's entire structure" is more than some people can easily bear. How dare this near-criminal dictate what is or isn't "acceptable" behavior from AT&T? Especially when he's publishing, in the very same issue, detailed schematic diagrams for creating various switching-network signalling tones unavailable to the public. "See what happens when you drop a 'silver box' tone or two down your local exchange or through different long distance service carriers," advises *2600* contributor "Mr. Upsetter" in "How To Build a Signal Box." "If you experiment systematically and keep good records, you will surely discover something interesting." This is, of course, the scientific method, generally regarded as a praiseworthy activity and one of the flowers of modern civilization. One can indeed learn a great deal with this sort of structured intellectual activity. Telco employees regard this mode of "exploration" as akin to flinging sticks of dynamite into their pond to see what lives on the bottom. *2600* has been published consistently since 1984. It has also run a bulletin board computer system, printed *2600* T-shirts, taken fax calls... The Spring 1991 issue has an interesting announcement on page 45: "We just discovered an extra set of wires attached to our fax line and heading up the pole. (They've since been clipped.) Your faxes to us and to anyone else could be monitored." In the worldview of *2600,* the tiny band of techno- rat brothers (rarely, sisters) are a beseiged vanguard of the truly free and honest. The rest of the world is a maelstrom of corporate crime and high-level governmental corruption, occasionally tempered with well-meaning ignorance. To read a few issues in a row is to enter a nightmare akin to Solzhenitsyn's, somewhat tempered by the fact that *2600* is often extremely funny. Goldstein did not become a target of the Hacker Crackdown, though he protested loudly, eloquently, and publicly about it, and it added considerably to his fame. It was not that he is not regarded as dangerous, because he is so regarded. Goldstein has had brushes with the law in the past: in 1985, a *2600* bulletin board computer was seized by the FBI, and some software on it was formally declared "a burglary tool in the form of a computer program." But Goldstein escaped direct repression in 1990, because his magazine is printed on paper, and recognized as subject to

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