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The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier
     

The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier

4.8 6
by Bruce Sterling
 

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A searing probe into computer hacking--a cutting-edge nonfiction book by the bestselling co-author of The Difference Engine. Sterling looks at the issue of computer freedom vs. computer security from all sides: the telephone companies, who are the primary victims; the computer hackers; law enforcement officials; and the civil libertarians, who try to protect First

Overview

A searing probe into computer hacking--a cutting-edge nonfiction book by the bestselling co-author of The Difference Engine. Sterling looks at the issue of computer freedom vs. computer security from all sides: the telephone companies, who are the primary victims; the computer hackers; law enforcement officials; and the civil libertarians, who try to protect First Amendment rights.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cyberpunk novelist Sterling (Involution Ocean) has produced by far the most stylish report from the computer outlaw culture since Steven Levy's Hackers. In jazzy New Journalism proE;e, sounding like Tom Wolfe reporting on a gunfight at the Cybernetic Corral, Sterling makes readers feel at home with the hackers, marshals, rebels and bureaucrats of the electronic frontier. He opens with a social history of the telephone in order to explain how the Jan. 15, 1990, crash of AT&T's long-distance switching system led to a crackdown on high-tech outlaws suspected of using their knowledge of eyberspace to invade the phone company's and other corporations' supposedly secure networks. After explaining the nature of eyberspace forms like electronic bulletin boards in detail, Sterling makes the hackers-who live in the ether between terminals under noms de nets such as VaxCat-as vivid as Wyatt Earp and Doe Holliday. His book goes a long way towards explaining the emerging digital world and its ethos. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This well-written history of ``cyberspace'' and computer hackers begins with the failure of AT&T's long-distance telephone switching system in January 1990 (the subject of Leonard Lee's The Day the Phones Stopped , LJ 7/91). Subsequently, a number of hackers were accused of being responsible, although AT&T formally acknowledged otherwise. In detailing various formal efforts to prosecute the ``phone phreaks'' and hackers, cyberpunk sf author Sterling ( Islands in the Net , LJ 6/15/88) avoids attributing the near-mystical genius qualities that too many authors have bestowed upon the computer and telephone ``outlaws.'' Instead, he realistically describes their biases and philosophical shortcomings. Sterling's concern for the Steve Jackson Games prosecution, which occurred erroneously in conjunction with several legitimate raids in Austin, leads him to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and he concludes with a well-balanced look at this new group of civil libertarians. Written with humor and intelligence, this book is highly recommended. See also Katie Hafner and John Markoff's Cyperpunk , LJ 6/1/91.--Ed.-- Hilary D. Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Livermore, Cal.
Booknews
Father of "cyberpunk" science fiction and techno-journalist, Sterling writes in his popular style for this nonfiction book that looks at computer hacking from both sides of the law. He interviews outlaw hackers and phone phreaks, law enforcement personnel, and civil libertarians, and presents a look at the people involved in the world of cyberspace and the politics of the new technological world. No references. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781404306417
Publisher:
IndyPublish.com
Publication date:
05/28/2002
Pages:
292
Product dimensions:
6.18(w) x 9.04(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Bruce Sterling (1954) is an American science fiction author, journalist, and futurist. He is considered one of the founders of the cyberpunk movement along with William Gibson, John Shirley, and others. He is also included in the cyberpunk anthology Mirrorshades. Some of his most famous works of fiction include Swarm, Distraction, and Heavy Weather. Since 2003 he has blogged for Wired.

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Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bruce Sterling has accurately chronicled an exciting period of time in the development of computers and network communications. Mr. Sterling writes about the times of the early 1980s to the early 1990s where bulletin board systems (BBS) and similar forms on online communication were prominent until the early 1990s when Internet usage became more widespread. Bruce Sterling is an excellent writer who seems to accurately capture the perspective of individuals and groups. His work contains a social perspective that really makes the reader feel part of the story and can sense the emotions of the subjects. It is startling how well his skill at the writing of science fiction translates to recording the history of the real world, especially technological subjects. I personally would welcome further non-fiction from Mr. Sterling in the same manner I welcome new fiction titles. There are few authors that one can say that about. I think that the title is misleading to many out there because the public's perception of a computer 'hacker' is generally flawed. As a reader of this book and 'Hackers' by Steven Levy, one can gain a more accurate representation of what they are and how they impact society, for both good and bad. It is very interesting to see how the phone phreakers and computer hackers really were related and sometimes the same people. Again, I hope that Bruce Sterling will again reward us with further non-fictional views of our current technological reality!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Hacer Crackdown very accurately and throughly explaines varyous items. Including how the phone was invented, and the steps to a great invention. When you realy get down with this book, you get a much more accurate insight of the world happening around you. The 'Wire', as it is described in Sereal Experments: Lain, it talks about how it is all around us, it penetrates us, it flows thrugh our sillicon ships, it binds the Galaxy togeather. This book also includes personal insights from the author, and his experience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel is a fascinating piece of history. I downloaded it to a Palm 3 to read. I had never held this novel in my hands, and had no idea how long it was when I began reading. Speaking as a MTV teenager who has finished his first long novel, let me assure you, nothing but the best writing would hold my attention through all 336 pages of Technical, Emotional, and Dramatic history of the beginning world of Computer 'deviants'. This book takes an objective view of the war in cyber space beginning with the teenage boys fired from their jobs as the first switchboard operators and traveling through time to a period when 'boards', computers used to post information that can be accessed with a modem, were the technical frontier. Chronicling a time when communication technology was evolving from a technical oddity to a main stream staple, Bruce sterling interviews members of the 'Atlanta 3' (early cyberspace's most influential hackers) and the specialized secret service forces who arrested them and confiscated their every last modem, monitor, and floppy disk. Like a fine wine, this novel has gained meaning with age. It has remained relevant in the high-speed world of read-and-discard cyber thrillers due to the authors personal knowledge and human centered outlook on the original hackers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book describes the Great Hacker Crackdown of 1990-1992. It describes the technology and methods used by hackers in simple, non-technical terms that even most laymen can understand.