Another Computer Essay

The Computer Underground.


The beginning of the electronic communication revolution
that started with the public use of telephones to the emergence
of home computers has been accompanied by corresponding social
problems involving the activities of so-called “computer
hackers,” or better referred to as the computer underground (CU).
The CU is composed of computer aficionados who stay on the
fringes of legality. The CU is composed of relatively intelligent
people, in contrast to the media’s description of the ultra
intelligent and sophisticated teenage “hacker.” The majority have
in common the belief that information should be free and that
they have “a right to know.” They often have some amount of
dislike for the government and the industries who try to
control and commercialize information of any sort. This paper
attempts to expose what the CU truly is and dispel some of the
myths propagated by the media and other organizations. This paper
also tries to show the processes and reasons behind the
criminalization of the CU and how the CU is viewed by different
organizations, as well as some of the processes by which it came
into being. What the CU is has been addressed by the media,
criminologists, secuity firms, and the CU themselves, they all
have a different understanding or levels of comprehention, this
paper attempts to show the differences between the views as well
as attempt to correct misunderstandings that may have been
propagated by misinformed sources. The differences between the
parties of the CU such as, “hackers,” “crackers,” “phreaks,”
“pirates,” and virus writers have rarely been recognized and some
deny that there are differences thus this paper attempts to give
a somewhat clearer view and define exactly what each party is
and does as well as how they relate to one another.

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