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Hacking ethics

A Sydney Morning Herald commentator looks at the ethical questions around 17-year-old George Hotz’s iPhone hack. There’s no question it’s a great story: “In a quest for a car that will win all the girls, some no-name kid in the US devotes his last summer before college to unlocking the seemingly impenetrable iPhone. Corporate giants Apple and AT&T watch helplessly as this kid kills their monopoly with a soldering iron and a pile of energy drinks, then pours the know-how out over the Internet.” Here’s my post on the news story. This is great material for a discussion with any hackers in your house or classroom involving questions like, “Could you have done this hack?” “Would you have, should he have?” “Why/why not?” “Even if it was legal, should it have been?” There are no black ‘n’ white answers, but this is the kind of discussion that develops the “filter” between kids’ ears, the kind that can handle any and all change and growth the user-driven Internet throws at our youth and us.

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