Sample Essay

After the publication of Levy’s book in 1984, numerous technological changes in computers and other hardware devices as well as in hacking practices led to a radical shift from the old hacker ethic, however, the core principles of the hacker ethics, that are access to computers, sharing and community remained the same. These new ethics were documented by Steven Mizrach, a student of Cyber Antropolist studies, in his essay which was titled ” Is there Hacker Ethics for 90s Hackers?”. This essay highlights the following principles which the hackers now abide by.

Do No Harm

This principle emphasizes the point that a hacker must not damage any computer or data if possible at all. It is against the ethics of hackers to change any data apart from the logs that are required to clean their tracks. A hackers should have no desire to destroy data, rather should proceed with the intent of exploring the system and learning. A hacker should have an unlimited thirst for knowledge which intensifies as the hacker makes progress (Mizrach 2010).

Privacy Protection

This principle highlights the people’s right to privacy. It acknowledges that people have a right to control their personal information. Therefore, the concept of privacy should be very important for a hacker. It is important for a hacker to encourage people to protect their personal data, encrypt their emails and do whatever possible to minimize the leak of their information. A practical implementation of this was seen in 1984, when a group of hackers was able to show how TRW maintained credit files for millions of American, and revealed to the world the concept of credit files which was unheard before. Before, this event, electronic security such as password protection was not taken seriously as well. In fact, the credit reports revealed by the hackers had their password printed on them (Dhillon 2003).

Don’t No Waste Resources

It is crucial for a hacker to realize that computer resource should not lie idle and wasted and it is ethically wrong to keep people out of the system which they could have benefited from it during its idle time. For example, a hacker after finding out that he or she can do something useful with the immense processing power available through the Internet, can go ahead even if he or she is denied a permission but should take extreme care to not to damage any system (Mizrach 2010).

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