Below the surface of the Internet lies a new community that is testing its moral and ethical boundaries. The advent of the computer has brought about many new subcultures. Its technology has helped form the ethics and morals of this new underground. They have thus far developed, with a liberal 60's attitude of free speech and little government control. This report will hopefully give some insight on the views within the subculture, as opposed to what is generally depicted in the media. The opposing views generally come from the computer security industry and the public. Although some of the practices are clearly illegal, it will be the ones that fall into the gray areas that I will be discussing. The three subcultures in the computer underground that I studied are hacking, phreaking and warez. Each provides history and characters, that help form morals and ethics in this community.
Hacking is the unlawful entry of a computer system with the purpose of gaining knowledge about the system and how it works. A hacker generally possesses an ethic that he will not destroy anything on the computer he invades. If he does, he does not support the beliefs of the underground, and is a criminal. It is argued that obtaining information should not be illegal, but the way the person uses it should. One of the favorite hackers depicted in the media is Kevin Mitnick. He is one of the more controversial hackers sent to jail because he never destroyed any property, and because the media has played him out to be such a dark side hacker. Mitnick has received three years imprisonment without a trial. Mostly because much of what goes on with computers is scarcely understood, and not very well defined by law. Another group of hackers is the Milwaukee 414 club. These kids had learned how to control Pacific Bells huge computers through the use of their inferior modems and computer!
. It always impressed me that a kid could do such incredible things. Th…

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