After our recent class discussion on hackers, I stumbled across an article online about the vigilante efforts of hacker groups combating the trafficking of child pornography. So far, I have brainstormed two ways to approach the topic.
The first would be to examine the negative portrayal of hackers in the media who tend to take the stance that they are brilliant, yet ultimately dangerous people who have the ability to wreck havoc on government systems and the like, and contrast that against the multiple instances of ‘good’ acts that hackers over the years have done for the benefit of society. In doing so, I would in a sense be analysing the hacker ‘code of ethics’ or morality.
The second approach might be to discuss the legality of the hackers’ actions. For example, Brad Willman was a young hacker who created a Trojan program that helped send roughly 70 people to jail for paedophilia and the distribution of child pornography. Yet, the police threatened to arrest him because though Willman’s actions were good, the ways in which he received his information from was ultimately illegal. For this, I would possibly look at to what extent the end justifies the means.
At the moment, I’m still in the initial research stage. I’m trying to accumulate as much information as I can before I make a decision of which route to take.