Guardian columnist and blogger Glenn Greenwald’s tweet links to what is essentially a straight news story summarizing the Department of Justice’s case against Matthew Keys. That’s a shame, because we’re curious why Keys, Reuters’ deputy social media editor, is lumped in with “online activists.” Unless there’s a lot more to the story, that designation seems to be overkill in itself.

Andy Carvin, senior strategist at NPR, was another journalist lamenting the news.

  • Spatial Awareness

    “online activist” = hacker

    • Smitty 

      The Hacker Manifesto

      +++The Mentor+++
      Written January 8, 1986

      Another one got caught today, it’s all over the papers. “Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal”, “Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering”…

      Damn kids. They’re all alike.

      But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950’s technobrain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?

      I am a hacker, enter my world…

      Mine is a world that begins with school… I’m smarter than most of the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me…

      Damn underachiever. They’re all alike.

      I’m in junior high or high school. I’ve listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. “No, Ms. Smith, I didn’t show my work. I did it in my head…”

      Damn kid. Probably copied it. They’re all alike.

      I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it’s because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn’t like me… Or feels threatened by me.. Or thinks I’m a smart ass.. Or doesn’t like teaching and shouldn’t be here…

      Damn kid. All he does is play games. They’re all alike.

      And then it happened… a door opened to a world… rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict’s veins, an electronic pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought… a board is found. “This is it… this is where I belong…” I know everyone here… even if I’ve never met them, never talked to them, may never hear from them again… I know you all…

      Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They’re all alike…

      You bet your ass we’re all alike… we’ve been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak… the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We’ve been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

      This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore… and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge… and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias… and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals.

      Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

      I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can’t stop us all… after all, we’re all alike.

      • John (it true me am)

        I’ve always found the line of thought espoused in the manifesto to be amusingly hypocritical. It boils down to “I wasn’t the cool kid in school so instead of petty vandalism in real life because I wasn’t invited I choose to commit vandalism on the computer”.

        A hacker, by the modern usage, is destructive. There is no excuse for that simply because an individual is tech savvy or smart. Hell, those bits about school and life? I suffered through every last one and then some. But it doesn’t mean I turned around and passed on injustices done to me unto others.

        Hackers, tools like the so-called Anonymous(which I’ve rallied against numerous times here and other sites as a laughably self-unaware corruption of the original meme), are no different than the idiots who knock over mailboxes with baseball bats or throw bricks through windows. Just because you are technically competent doesn’t mean you aren’t a jackass, it just means you have even less of an excuse for being a jackass.

        • Smitty 

          no. a group of people, who steal passwords and use well known flaws aren’t hackers. they are vandals.

          • John (it true me am)

            If someone leaves their door wide open and you walk in their house, it’s still trespassing at the very least. You can’t pretty it up because of some arbitrary notion of “they are just looking around”.

      • NRPax

        That was the long way to take towards the path of saying nothing at all.

      • Spatial Awareness


      • Billie Slash

        Study the case of Leopold & Loeb. Intellect without conscience only leads to personal destruction.

  • americandavey

    I like Carvin’s last tweet. “I Believe in Innocence until proven guilty. ” Maybe he should tell the rest of NPR and so called “real journalists” out there that. Because they sure as hell do not believe it, when it comes to George Zimmerman.