The Hacker Crackdown, law and disorder on the electronic frontier

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This is a PRELIMINARY Project Gutenberg Etext of Hacker Crackdown. You may NOT repost this book until midnight, December 31, 1993. That is the deal we made with Bruce Sterling. This PRELIMINARY copy is for editing, comments, suggestions, corrections, etc. Please note the official release date is not even until January 31, 1994, and you should be sure to get a new copy after then, to insure you are getting all the corrections you all send in.

Literary Freeware: Not for Commercial Use


Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier

by Bruce Sterling


Preface to the Electronic Release of The Hacker Crackdown

Chronology of the Hacker Crackdown


Part 1: CRASHING THE SYSTEM A Brief History of Telephony Bell's Golden Vaporware Universal Service Wild Boys and Wire Women The Electronic Communities The Ungentle Giant The Breakup In Defense of the System The Crash Post-Mortem Landslides in Cyberspace

Part 2: THE DIGITAL UNDERGROUND Steal This Phone Phreaking and Hacking The View From Under the Floorboards Boards: Core of the Underground Phile Phun The Rake's Progress Strongholds of the Elite Sting Boards Hot Potatoes War on the Legion Terminus Phile 9-1-1 War Games Real Cyberpunk

Part 3: LAW AND ORDER Crooked Boards The World's Biggest Hacker Bust Teach Them a Lesson The U.S. Secret Service The Secret Service Battles the Boodlers A Walk Downtown FCIC: The Cutting-Edge Mess Cyberspace Rangers FLETC: Training the Hacker-Trackers

Part 4: THE CIVIL LIBERTARIANS NuPrometheus + FBI = Grateful Dead Whole Earth + Computer Revolution = WELL Phiber Runs Underground and Acid Spikes the Well The Trial of Knight Lightning Shadowhawk Plummets to Earth Kyrie in the Confessional $79,499 A Scholar Investigates Computers, Freedom, and Privacy

Electronic Afterword to The Hacker Crackdown, Halloween 1993


Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier

by Bruce Sterling

Preface to the Electronic Release of The Hacker Crackdown

January 1, 1994--Austin, Texas

Hi, I'm Bruce Sterling, the author of this electronic book.

Out in the traditional world of print, The Hacker Crackdown is ISBN 0-553-08058-X, and is formally catalogued by the Library of Congress as "1. Computer crimes--United States. 2. Telephone--United States--Corrupt practices. 3. Programming (Electronic computers)--United States--Corrupt practices."

'Corrupt practices,' I always get a kick out of that description. Librarians are very ingenious people.

The paperback is ISBN 0-553-56370-X. If you go and buy a print version of The Hacker Crackdown, an action I encourage heartily, you may notice that in the front of the book, beneath the copyright notice-- "Copyright (C) 1992 by Bruce Sterling"-- it has this little block of printed legal boilerplate from the publisher. It says, and I quote:

"No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. For information address: Bantam Books."

This is a pretty good disclaimer, as such disclaimers go. I collect intellectual-property disclaimers, and I've seen dozens of them, and this one is at least pretty straightforward. In this narrow and particular case, however, it isn't quite accurate. Bantam Books puts that disclaimer on every book they publish, but Bantam Books does not, in fact, own the electronic rights to this book. I do, because of certain extensive contract maneuverings my agent and I went through before this book was written. I want to give those electronic publishing rights away through certain not-for-profit channels, and I've convinced Bantam that this is a good idea.

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