So what´s a hacker, then?

Pretty stimulating introduction speech by Tim Pritlove this morning at the 22 Computer Chaos Congress. I´ll write it down for my mum and many many friends who think that hackers are smelly, dangerous and wear skull rings on every finger.


Here you go:

Let´s fight the distorted image of the hacker by listing what hackers are not:
– we are not criminals. Hacking is about freedom, understanding the –more and more filled with technologies– world outside,
– we are not all-mighty uber-geeks, we are people who explore, who are curious, want to go into things,
– we´re not there to fix your Windows box,
– we´re not to be ignored. Hackers have a voice.

What hackers are:
– we are concerned. Concerned about how the world works and try to see how to make it work in a better way,
– we are commited to do that,

The first congress was held 22 years ago by a small group of people who had the feeling that computers would have such a huge impact on our lives. It was in Hamburg in 1984. Yes, 1984, icon of surveillance and opression. Even in Germany today laws are voted that make these issues more present than ever. That´s a reason why the theme of this year is Private investigations.

Some pretty cool things available for everyone here:

POC: Phone Operation Centre, you can buy one of the handset here and also get a free phonebook so you can call any participants for free at any time. You can even listen to lectures live on the phone.
– CERT: Chaos Emergency Response Team (medical support),
– Art & Beauty (I still have to explore that one) with food, music, BlinkenArea, machatronics, lockpicking lounge, etc.
– Everyone´s favourite is the Hacker Ethics Hotline: just call and ask questions such as: is it morally justifiable to do this? How much trouble will i cause if this thing goes wrong? if i press this button? What´s the most efficient way to handle this?
Call 1042. It´s free!

Check their weblog for more.