Hackers are thieves who fail to comprehend and respect the rights of intellectual property owners and corporations. Argue for or against this statement.

Essay by sukhvalhallaUniversity, Bachelor'sB-, April 2008

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Today's technology has brought about untold possibilities in our daily lives with the culmination of the Internet. The Internet has enabled everybody with a computer and modem to link up to the World Wide Web. Interaction with people from all the way across the globe has never been easier. Unfortunately, this ever-growing ease of connectivity to one another has given rise to a whole new problem; that of the hacker. Hackers have long been an almost mythical entity, with some worshipping them for their technical prowess, while others have demonised them as common thieves. But what are these hackers really after? Are they, as they have purported, acting as a modern-day Robin Hood, ‘robbing’ from informational-rich companies and educating ignorant consumers? Or are they devious predators who want no more than to pave their way through life by robbing society blind? This essay will attempt to prove that hackers are not necessarily the vermins of society, but they need to be properly analysed as a very real threat.

Before any real discourse can be had, a clear understanding of what a ‘hacker’ really is must be established. For the purpose of discussion, a hacker will be defined as any person who uses a computing device to circumvent the limits of a system, and by doing so, gains unauthorised access to a system. With this definition in mind, it becomes much simpler to comprehend the significance of the issue at hand.

Hacking became a credible threat in the mid-1990’s, when technology reached new levels with the widespread use of the Internet. Today, hacking and cybercrime as a whole has reached astounding proportions, with the FBI estimating the costs to US businesses and the government to be about $11 billion per year (Grose, 2005). Considering that this figure relates only to the...