Another one got caught today, it’s all over the papers. “Teenager Arrested in
Computer Crime Scandal”, “Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering”… Damn
kids. They’re all alike.
But did you, in your three-piece psychology and
1950’s technobrain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did
you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have
I am a hacker, enter my world… Mine is a world that begins
with school… I’m smarter than most of the other kids, this crap they
teach us bores me… Damn underachiever. They’re all alike.
I’m in junior
high or high school. I’ve listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth
time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. “No, Ms. Smith, I didn’t
show my work. I did it in my head…” Damn kid. Probably copied it.
They’re all alike.
I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a
second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake,
it’s because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn’t like me… Or feels
threatened by me… Or thinks I’m a smart ass… Or doesn’t like teaching
and shouldn’t be here… Damn kid. All he does is play games. They’re all
And then it happened… a door opened to a world… rushing through
the phone line like heroin through an addict’s veins, an electronic pulse
is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought… a
board is found. “This is it… this is where I belong…” I know everyone
here… even if I’ve never met them, never talked to them, may never hear
from them again… I know you all… Damn kid. Tying up the phone line
again. They’re all alike…
You bet your ass we’re all alike… we’ve been
spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak… the bits of
meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We’ve
been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had
something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops
of water in the desert.
This is our world now… the world of the electron
and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already
existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by
profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore… and you
call us criminals. We seek after knowledge… and you call us criminals.
We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious
bias… and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars,
you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our
own good, yet we’re the criminals. Yes, I am a criminal.
My crime is that
of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and
think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you,
something that you will never forgive me for. I am a hacker, and this is
my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can’t stop us all…
after all, we’re all alike.