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Hacker Culture
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Librairie Eyrolles - Paris 5e

Hacker Culture

Hacker Culture

Douglas Thomas

266 pages, parution le 29/09/2003


A provocative look at the subculture that has shaped our changing attitudes toward the digital age.

Demonized by governments and the media as criminals, glorified within their own subculture as outlaws, hackers have played a major role in the short history of computers and digital culture-and have continually defied our assumptions about technology and secrecy through both legal and illicit means. In Hacker Culture, Douglas Thomas provides an in-depth history of this important and fascinating subculture, contrasting mainstream images of hackers with a detailed firsthand account of the computer underground.

Programmers in the 1950s and '60s-"old school" hackers-challenged existing paradigms of computer science. In the 1960s and '70s, hacker subcultures flourished at computer labs on university campuses, making possible the technological revolution of the next decade. Meanwhile, on the streets, computer enthusiasts devised ingenious ways to penetrate AT&T, the Department of Defense, and other corporate entities in order to play pranks (and make free long-distance telephone calls). In the 1980s and '90s, some hackers organized to fight for such causes as open source coding while others wreaked havoc with corporate Web sites.

Even as novels and films (Neuromancer, WarGames, Hackers, and The Matrix) mythologized these "new school" hackers, destructive computer viruses like "Melissa" prompted the passage of stringent antihacking laws around the world. Addressing such issues as the commodification of the hacker ethos by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, the high-profile arrests of prominent hackers, and conflicting self-images among hackers themselves, Thomas finds that popular hacker stereotypes reflect the public's anxieties about the information age far more than they do the reality of hacking.

“Hackers may be feared for all they know about computers, but their real power lies in how well they understand the average user. In Hacker Culture, Douglas Thomas provides an unusually balanced history of the computer underground and its sensational representation in movies and newspapers. His account starkly shows what hackers have realized all along: our unease with Kevin Mitnick and his sort actually reflects our discomfort with technology itself.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Thomas gives the reader a thorough and accurate picture of who hackers are, how they interact, and what their motivations are. . . . A strong and important read.”
Computer User Magazine

“Hacker Culture is thankfully not a stylized look at subculture, as an embryonic cult aspriring to become culture, but rather a much broader view of the increasingly computerized networks that comprise society. It is an intelligent exploration beyond, but not excluding, the package-design of software, providing our documents, and the product-design of computers, housing our institutions. Seen from from an autonomous, skilled perspective on the command line, Hacker Culture provides an indispensable insight into a history of computing that it has become increasingly important to understand.”

“Hacker Culture provides an indispensable insight into a history of computing that it has become increasingly important to understand for computer users of all levels.”


  • Introduction
  • Part I: The Evolution of the Hacker
    • Hacking Culture
    • Hacking as the Performance of Technology: Reading the "Hacker Manifesto"
    • Hacking in the 1990s
  • Part II: Hacking Representation
    • Representing Hacker Culture: Reading Phrack
    • (Not) Hackers: Subculture, Style, and Media Incorporation
  • Part III: Hacking Law
    • Technology and Punishment: The Juridicial Construction of the Hacker
    • Epilogue: Kevin Mitnick and Chris Lamprecht

L'auteur - Douglas Thomas

is associate professor in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. He is coeditor (with Brian D. Loader) of Cybercrime: Law Enforcement, Security, and Surveillance in the Information Age (2000).

Caractéristiques techniques

Éditeur(s) Univeristy of Minesota Press
Auteur(s) Douglas Thomas
Parution 29/09/2003
Nb. de pages 266
Format 15 x 22,5
Couverture Broché
Poids 400g
Intérieur Noir et Blanc
EAN13 9780816633463
ISBN13 978-0-8166-3346-3


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