From Hacktivism to Cyberwar
Bruce Sterling in his Hacker Crackdown lists the historical landmarks on what we could call the darker side of Internet:
- 1865. U.S. Secret Service (USSS) founded.
- 1876. Alexander Graham Bell invents telephone.
- 1878. First teenage males flung off phone system by enraged authorities.
- 1939. "Futurian" science-fiction group raided by Secret Service.
- 1971. Yippie phone phreaks start YIPL/TAP magazine.
- 1972. Ramparts magazine seized in blue-box rip-off scandal.
- 1978. Ward Christenson and Randy Suess create first personal computer bulletin board system.
- 1982. William Gibson coins term "cyberspace." "414 Gang" raided.
- 1983. AT&T dismantled in divestiture.
- 1984. Congress passes Comprehensive Crime Control Act giving USSS jurisdiction over credit card fraud and computer fraud.
Moschovitis et al in their History of the Internet quote a possible origin of the word 'hacker', citing its use for the early radio enthusiasts that messed with the Army radio communication (causing the 1927 Radio Act as a legal measure to regulate radio more effectively). As seen from the list above, telephone cracking or 'phreaking' started also much earlier than the age of Internet. And with the emergence of Internet, the trend just continued. Moschovitis writes: "Little did the Congress know that it was funding the backbone of a system that would link the nation's young people, faclitating communication between the hotbeds of social unrest in the midst of anti-Vietnam War protests - that a system designed as a strategic military tool would ultimately help hippies to find each other."
- Law and Disorder
- Moschovitis, C. et al. History of the Internet: A Chronology, 1843 to the Present. ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara 1999.
- Sterling, Bruce. The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier