Hacker ethics

Essay by DavidNscoUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2006

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The issue whether computer hackers are technological innovators who push the boundaries of development or just reckless criminals who endanger companies and individuals is very controversial. Computer hacking is prohibited by law. But this fact does not lead to the conclusion that computer hackers are criminals. A good starting point while elaborating this issue would be to try to answer the following question: what motivates computer hackers and what are the consequences of their actions?

Computer hacking has its own history. It has its own heroes and black sheep, which the society of hackers has named them "crackers". The word "crackers" derives from the word criminal hacker. Those are computer hackers, whose actions leads to no higher good; instead they cause damages to various companies and individuals. For example when someone through his work violates the copyright law.

Lately there has been reported in media about a group of "pirates" who have stolen movies from other companies and they sold them on a black market.

By doing so, they have caused damage to the affected companies and the only thing that motivated them to break the security systems of the companies was to find a way to profit for themselves. These were groups of people who actually worked within the IT community in different states, and then joined there "forces" to a common interest: their own individual profit. So they did have a goal and a plan. In one way, also these group of people did alert the movie companies that their system is not secure enough and that it needs to be improved, which is my argument why even computer crackers do have an important role on a further technology development, but in their case, their knowledge and skills were not used to a higher good for the...