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Re: DC 2600 mtg
> Date: Fri, 13 Nov 92 10:39:23 EST
> From: [email protected] (Perry E. Metzger)
> In-Reply-To: Bob Stratton's message of Thu, 12 Nov 1992 14:25:32 -0500 <
> [email protected]> Subject: DC 2600 mtg
> Pardon, but isn't 2600 magazine a magazine by crackers for crackers?
> 2600 is named after frequency of the disconnect tone used in blue
> boxes, isn't it? What I'm afraid of is that I will get confused with one
> of them -- I'm not sure they are necessarily being misrepresented.
In the case of the recent Washington Post article, I know for a fact that
they're being misrepresented. I am one of the original attendees of that
gathering, and I've been a professional in the computer industry for the past
9 years, not some rodent cracker downloading /etc/passwd files.
Most of the people regularly attending that gathering are not involved in
illicit acticity, but rather are computer and radio hobbyists, and in many
cases are employed in those fields. I can personally attest to the fact that
most of the discussions involve new hardware (announcements and purchases),
and people's social lives.
I'll grant you that 2600 frequently publishes items from miscreants, but the
publisher's consistent goal has been to raise public awareness of the risks
of various technologies, and their social side-effects. Unfortunately, the
media environment in the country seems more oriented to hysteria and glossing
> The tragedies come when idiots raid Steve Jackson Games and sieze
> copies of "Cyberpunk" instead of shutting down the infants breaking into
> TRW. Blurring the distinction between hackers and crackers is the last
> thing we need.
That's my point exactly - the media has all but abolished the distinction.
They'd rather incite fear of the technically knowledgeable than educate the
populace and the legislatures. The upshot of this are things like the "all
hackers break into computers" definitions we frequently read, as well as the
blatant misrepresentations on the part of cellular service providers that
"your calls are private because it's illegal to listen to them". The papers
and TV stations don't want to hear the fact that I can take an old TV set and
listen to cellular phone calls without modifying it.
I spend a lot of time with younger aspiring hackers in the hopes that I can
help them establish productive goals, especially as regards careers. I do
this for three reasons:
1) It's more personally satisfying to be paid for a job, than to have to look
over your shoulder for law enforcement types.
2) The world's a little bit safer for every cracker who gets steered into a
3) My personal experience is that many of the college graduates with CS
degrees these days are code grinders with no understanding or enthusiasm for
an aesthetic engineering solution. I'd much rather see people who love what
they do designing the things I use every day.
I don't want to get too far afield of the topic of this list, so I'll stop
here, but I really do believe, based on the precedents with firearms, radio
receivers (scanning and paging), and recent law enforcement proposals, that
cryptographic technology will be the next example vilified in the press of
"things only evil people use".
Bob Stratton Engineer, InterCon Systems Corp. [email protected]
+1 703 709 5525 (W)