12. There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.
This is—right here—is why we can’t have nice things. Because there are no secrets. In a day where tech rules everything around me, hack get the money (yep, I just did that), secrets are impossible to keep.
On every side.
We have a society where hackers can infiltrate nearly any “firewall” (see Morozov’s The Net Delusion : The Dark Side of Internet Freedom for full reference of the irony of that term). Now of course we are told that this is scary, frightening even.
Frightening to the point of needing our government to bail us out of our fear of cyber terrorism by imposing wonderfully detailed and omniscient surveillance and censorship over everything we do.
To protect us from the hackers.
[insert rofl lulz] What most of us don’t know is that the governments use hackers to do this very thing. Hackers are not just geek boys in their rooms at their parents’ houses committing cyber crimes for no reason. Hackers are as multifaceted as any identity. Some work for themselves, pirating movies, music, and video games. Others may be fucking around inside corporate websites ready to strike with some healthy ddos or defacement when the company embodies an ethic to which the hackers wish to dissimulate. These hackers we can thank for a mighty good amount of trickstery and lol’ing if one was to pay attention.
And then there are the dangerous hackers.
Dangerous hackers currently come in two facets, both depending upon the definition, and from whence the appropriation came. Dangerous hackers disseminate information. They do their work based on an ideology. This ideology functions like any ideology: invisible (much of the time), and powerfully controlling.
The hackers of Stratfor emails set out with a purpose to release “private,” government information to the public. This is why I say dangerous. The government, and the private company of Stratfor that was “legally” connected in partnership with it, did not want the public to know their plans. So, in one way the hack of their email exchanges were dangerously revealing for them.
But to add a however here: the government knew of the hack the whole time. Enter Sabu, a formally recognized ‘snitch’ who was intercepted by the feds, and used as a rat to rat on his cohackers. So what was really dangerous after all? Good question.
My point stating all this is this: by no means is a dangerous hacker a good or bad guy. The lines aren’t that stark, but rather blurry as hell. Even gender doesn’t really matter, as we all know there are no girls in the Internet.
What makes for a sense of dangerous is that what hacking offers the world pushes the boundary of time. When the people know more about the corporations than the corporations are ready for them to know, hacking is sinister. When hackers d0x civilians or everyday citizens, hacking can be detrimental to an identity (note Steubenville for the problematic of right/wrong). When hackers work for corporations (the government, essentially), hacking becomes a speech act that is now causing lifetime incarceration for individuals.
Because what we don’t have is legal discussions about hacking. At least none that happen without a bit of help from hackers.