[hackerspaces] bring back the crime - "hacker" is starting to mean "creative entrepeneur"

webmind webmind at puscii.nl
Thu Sep 24 12:13:14 CEST 2015

If you define crime as someone who is convicted of breaking a law, and 
hacking should or shouldn't be criminal, the use of the term depends on 
whether someone gets convicted or not. Should someone be a hacker 
because she was convicted or because she wasn't convicted. While I think 
the better hacker is better in making sure she doesn't get caught, I 
don't there should be a dependence on conviction for the term.

If you define crime as in breaking laws and want to link being a hacker 
on whether you have broken a law or not, a hacker will need to be 
someone opposes the law or follows it, independent of what this law is. 
Can the hacker exist without the law is then the question (either 
because of a need to follow or oppose).

Hence I would not link the term hacker to 'criminal' in anyway, while I 
think with the current laws a hacker is more likely to break the law 
than to stay within it, I think the hacker is more than an activist 
against law and more than someone who is good or bad in not getting 

That said, to me a hacker is critical, more likely to oppose to conform. 
Be it just because a conformist doesn't create anything new, it 
follows/conforms to others. Does that make the typical 'entrepreneur' a 
hacker because they (seemingly) created something new? I would say (most 
likely) not, because it's hard to create actual new things within the 
existing system, to what extend is a 'new product' not just 'yet another 
product'. It's not black and white, but from my perspective, most of 
these 'entrepreneurs' are not really 'innovative'.

This last paragraph might suggest that hacker needs to create new 
things, but I'd like to emphasize that I said the hacker needs to be 
critical. Because it's not (just) about things. Finding a new way around 
any limitation to your life, is still creating. Finding new ways to 
break things down, is still creating. The hacker sets itself apart by 
it's ability to think outside of a system in staid of inside it. To 
analyze it, to break it and perhaps turn it into something else.

The hacker is not defined by the (legal) constructs that surrounds it, 
but by it's ability to look beyond such constructs.

In my humble opinion ;)


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