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The Computer Underground The beginning of the electronic communication revolution that started with the public use of telephones to the emergence of home computers has been accompanied by corresponding social problems involving the activities of so-called computer hackers or better referred to as the computer underground CU The CU is composed of computer aficionados who stay on the fringes of legality The CU is composed of relatively intelligent people in contrast to the medias description of the ultra intelligent and sophisticated teenage hacker The majority have in common the belief that information should be free and that they have a right to know They often have some amount of dislike for the government and the industries who try to control and commercialize information of any sort This paper attempts to expose what the CU truly is and dispel some of the myths propagated by the media and other organizations This paper also tries to show the processes and reasons behind the criminalization of the CU and how the CU is viewed by different organizations as well as some of the processes by which it came into being What the CU is has been addressed by the media criminologists secuity firms and the CU themselves they all have a different understanding or levels of comprehention this paper attempts to show the differences between the views as well as attempt to correct misunderstandings that may have been propagated by misinformed sources The differences between the parties of the CU such as hackers crackers phreaks pirates and virus writers have rarely been recognized and some deny that there are differences thus this paper attempts to give a somewhat clearer view and define exactly what each party is and does as well as how they relate to one another Every individual in the CU has a different level of sophistication when it comes to computers from the height of the advanced virus writer and network hacker to the pirate
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