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Path: utzoo!linus!decvax!tektronix!tekecs!davidl
From: davidl@tekecs.UUCP (David Levine)
Newsgroups: net.misc,net.nlang
Subject: Changing meaning of term "hacker"
Message-ID: <2084@tekecs.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 13-Sep-83 13:14:43 EDT
Article-I.D.: tekecs.2084
Posted: Tue Sep 13 13:14:43 1983
Date-Received: Wed, 14-Sep-83 04:27:50 EDT
References: houxa.242
Lines: 31

In an article recently submitted to net.misc and by
houxa!9212osd, reporter Bob De Sando of the Asbury Park (NJ) Press was
quoted as saying:

       A 'hacker' is a person who uses a personal home computer	to
       decipher	the access codes of another, usually for the 'fun'
       of the challenge.  Once the code	is broken, a hacker can
       gain access to confidential information and even	alter the
       computer's programming.


Mr. De Sando's definition is the first real evidence I've seen of a
trend which bothers me no end: the use of 'hacker' to refer to computer
break-in artists.  This casts a severe shadow on those of us who are
hackers (in the older sense of the term: people who enjoy fooling
around with computers) and have used the term to refer to ourselves in
the past.

What can we do to prevent our friends and neighbors from treating us
with suspicion, now that they know what hackers 'really' are?  Is there
any way to fight this abuse of one of our most treasured buzzwords?
Could we perhaps invent a new word for these petty computer criminals,
or a new word for true hackers?

(I think that any discussion on this issue belongs in net.nlang, not
net.misc, but I'm posting to net.misc because that's where I saw the
original article.)

  -- David D. Levine   (...decvax!tektronix!tekecs!davidl)      [UUCP]
                       (...tekecs!davidl.tektronix@rand-relay)  [ARPA]