Light falls through the only window of the room. Without it you wouldn’t be able to see anything. Not as if there is anything one wishes to see. There’s just this huge Box back in one of the room’s edges. And a table with a throne-like chair. “Nice machine you have there”, Jack states, trying to start some kind of talk. “Oh, you ain’t seen nothing yet” said Leech, going straight to the table. And he walks fast. Maybe the only way he can walk quite good on his own, Jack recognises.
Leech is a hacker by profession. Once he worked like the others in a big office tower. He was part of the big security network established by the insurance companies.
But than something terrible must have happened and Leech lost the ability to see.
“You know, when the great fusioning started back in the 40’s, many little IT companies became part of big mega corporations or simply vanished and their employees with them. That’s when many hackers decided that their work with computers was much more than that. Some kind of a new way of life. And that it gave more to their life than just purpose, which is still one of the fundamental gains. But it also gave them spirituality. Hackers not only work with machines, they live with them and they live through them. They interact with their environment and spread their feelings with and through a man-built combination of hard- and software, superior human technology combined with superior human thinking. That’s why they founded CSB.”
“I only heard some stories about them. Our teachers said that most people believe they don’t exist any more.”
“Yes, most people really do. That’s what they want.”
“They want people to think they don’t exist? Why’s that?”
“It’s much easier this way to keep secrets…”
“So they do exist?”
“Oh yes, they…, well, let’s say they sponsored my equipment and in exchange I do jobs for them.”
“Oh, so that’s a CHAOS-Machine?”
“Not entirely. It is based on one, but there are many improvements, you wouldn’t expect in such a computer. Some of them are just things to help me see… to help me get a kind of visual impression of things. There is no screen, but a special sender projects pictures directly into my brain so I can somehow see a virtual screen and use it as if it was real.
Others are home-made upgrades. Special firewalls and masquerading techniques, many of them created or at least drastically improved by me. It’s unique.”
Jack recognises that Leech’s voice fills with joy while he brags about his computer, obviously it’s one of the subjects he really enjoys talking about. And although he doesn’t really understand what he’s talking about he decides to let him go on and not to ask any questions.
“You see, I’m connected to the public net through a variety of other servers. Some are part of CHAOS network, some are public domain and others belong to the big companies which don’t recognise one little hacker invading there huge networks… When I try to attack a certain computer, the source (myself) is totally shadowed and it takes hours to follow the few traces that are left after I stopped an attack.”
Leech introduced me to Hacking. He showed me how to make my way into secured networks. And he explained to me what is usually called the hacker’s code of ethics:
1. Information is the ultimate key to power. You are able to get any information you want and you have indeed the right to retrieve any information you might need to get the power necessary to do whatever you want to do. No law can ever touch this right. All the information you get needs to be distributed freely
2. Your hacking may not be discovered. You have the ability to work without being recognised. DO SO! If you don’t have the ability, DON’T HACK!
3. Though you’re allowed to get any information possible there are rules for what to do with those informations. Those rules are made up through a democratic system among hackers (which they may freely organize as they wish). Because of the omni-existent danger connected to our profession, disobedience to the rules must be punished consequently.
4. Do not trust authorities – encourage decentralism!
5. Hackers have always been a closed group strictly separated from the environment to protect ourselves from being invaded by strangers. This is a vital behaviour and must not be changed unless laws do no longer hinder our work and society accepts what we do.
6. Do not judge a hacker by his look, age, race, sex or his position inside the society. Instead you should rate what he does and his contribution to the community!
7. To get the tools necessary to do our work hackers always relied on open source software and independent hardware distributors. We are for that reason responsible for the continuing existence of those two resources and should help to keep them alive. Support is always needed. Ignorance is self-destroying.
Leech also explained to me that those rules (or at least parts of them) were first put up in the late 20th century, when more and more people learned to use computers and information became more and more important. The first hackers believed that apart from what computers used to do at that time people would be able to create art and beautiful things with them and that computers in general could improve everybody’s life if they were used in the right way. So it became clearer during the following years that it was not only important that you were able to use a computer in a sophisticated way but also what you were doing with that knowledge. A real breakthrough was the development of global networks which made it possible to get any information on nearly any place on earth without greater efforts. That’s when information became more and more powerful and those who had the possibility to get any information used these powers – but not necessarily for good. That’s why hackers established a kind of code that would describe their motivation and intention. Though not all hackers necessarily kept to that code it was the common base to judge a hacker’s behaviour inside the community. They altered and extended the code a few times but hackers never meant to create a new kind of religion though they had a special philosophy.
Leech somehow realised that I was not so much into historical facts and so he tried to make it short but I clearly perceived that he enjoyed telling about these old times since it had been a time he experienced on his own and a time that must have had been more thrilling to him than his actual life could ever be.
, Father Tecks
scenes: Der Anfang
, Inside a rotten building
, Es hat geregnet
, Leech auf der Flucht
, Leech in "Matrix Corner"