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"Tim Jordan gives us the most thoughtful, reasoned and thoroughanalysis of hacking to date. His focus on the meaning of hacking isa refreshing change from the typically celebratory and polemicaltreatises that seem intended more to leave the reader breathlessthan informed. Jordan′s analysis surveys the entire range ofhacking, from free and open source software to hacktivism andcyberterror. He puts hacking in perspective and in context byexamining the social, political, cultural and economic dimensionsof hacking. Hacking will be as useful a guide to the worldof nerds and geeks for a newcomer as it will be to a veteranhacker, a student or a scholar."
Steve Jones, University of Illinois at Chicago
On the one hand, hackers infect the computers of the world,entering where they are not invited, taking over not justindividual workstations but whole networks. On the other, hackerswrite the software that fuels the Internet, from the most popularweb programmes to software fundamental to the Internet′s existence.Beginning from an analysis of these two main types of hackers,categorised as crackers and Free Software/Open Source respectively,Tim Jordan gives the reader insight into the varied identities ofhackers, including:
Hacktivism; hackers and populist politics
Cyberwar; hackers and the nation–state
Digital Proletariat; hacking for the man
Viruses; virtual life on the Internet
Digital Commons; hacking without software
Cypherpunks; encryption and digital security
Nerds and Geeks; hacking cultures or hacking without thehack
Cybercrime; blackest of black hat hacking
Hackers end debates over the meaning of technologicaldeterminism while recognising that at any one moment we are allalways determined by technology. Hackers work constantly withindeterminations of their actions created by technologies as theyalso alter software to enable entirely new possibilities for andlimits to action in the virtual world. Through this fascinatingintroduction to the people who create and recreate the digitalmedia of the Internet, students, scholars and general readers willgain new insight into the meaning of technology and society whendigital media are hacked.