Re: [ISN] 'Hacker' is too cutesy a word to describe what's really going on

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Oct 08 2002 - 00:01:13 PDT

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    Forwarded from: Robert G. Ferrell <rferrellat_private>
    At 03:37 AM 10/7/02 -0500, InfoSec News wrote:
    > A "hacker" isn't a cute character; he is a felon. Perpetrators often
    > justify their actions by saying something to the effect that, "If
    > someone can get into the computer it isn't secure. If the companies
    > made their systems secure, I wouldn't be able to get in. I can get
    > in, so it's the company's fault for not making it secure."
    What worries me about this article is that even though this person
    advocates clarity of expression, he never actually comes right out and
    says that the word "hacker" is inappropriate in the contexts he is
    examining.  Instead, he includes the above paragraph, which seems to
    equate all hacking with felonious behavior.  This is, of course, utter
    nonsense, and perpetuates exactly the sort of misinformation the
    author seems to be decrying.
    And as for the statements that the term "hacker" is "frivolous" and
    "light-hearted," it can be argued that whoever killed Lizzie Borden's
    parents was a "hacker," and there was nothing frivolous or
    light-hearted about those grisly actions.
    Finally, let us not forget that the term "hacker" was applied to
    sloppy journalists and authors of the trite long before the digital
    computer age came along.
    Context is everything, isn't it?
    Robert G. Ferrell
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