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THE CALLISTI MANIFESTO by Chandra Batra
I Have No Voice But I Must Scream

Commentary by J.D.Abolins, who forwarded to infowar.com and secured permission to post. Thank you J.D.

One of the ongoing debates is over the definition of "hackers", often in comparison with "crackers." Once in a while, there are some really striking texts that encapsulate one perspective or another in the debate. I consider the "Hacker Ethic" listed in Steve Levy's _Hackers_ to be such a good encapsulation.

Below is an interesting "hacker vs. cracker culture" note from the Beyondhope maillist. (For more info about the list and a good conference in NYC this August, check www.hope.net.) I am posting the item in different places with the permission of the author. (I thank her for one of the most interesting postings on the maillist.) The Callisti Manifesto quoted there is a good encapsulation of a viewpoint of the "hacker or cracker" debates.

This item reminds me of Winn Schwartau's mention of inner city hackers in_Information Warfare_. Now, I do not know where Chandra Batra is from but her opening comments is a good reminder that hackers and crackers encompass diverse groups of people. The popular stereotype of hackers/crackers as young white males is misleading.

[I removed several lines from the header to save space -JDA]

From: "Chandra Batra"
To:
Subject: [beyondhope] I have no voice but I must scream
Date: Mon, 26 May 1997 13:53:32 -0400

Enough already, I am so very tired of reading so many off topic postings that I have finally decided to write a few words to clarify my position on what being a 26 year old black, female cracker means and how I define my life. After all, how many of you were around in NYC in the early 80's to learn from the legends anyway.

Callisti Manifesto I.

I do hope this helps to influence others who are mature enough to understand and accept that to change the world sometimes it is vitally important to do commit illegal acts of passion and to not regret them. After all, you are responsible for your own actions.

The Callisti Manifesto

[or how I remember it, by Jon Callisti please e-mail me Jon if this is wrong!]

To be a hacker or a cracker-as we stand on the edge of the new aeon peering into the void of forever this question will either define us or destroy us as people in search of a higher truth through technology. To answer this question we must first examine what is actually legal and what are the laws that govern computers and computer law as these laws are constantly being redefined by people who would not know a baud from their bed and who certainly are either not very technologically savvy or even interested in the technology they are seeking to write laws for or define. It seems silly for me or anyone else to adhere to such nonsensical copyright and intellectual property laws set forth by one singly inferior aging industrial country that is now beyond a doubt ill -equipped and inept to provide a clear sense or vision for our new Information age. Hence, if the laws that govern computer law today is absolutely without merit why should I be inclined to obey them? After all, one would not leave a succulent apple pie in front of a doghouse and criminally charge the dog for eatingit. So to if one leaves one's network open they should expect the Digital Coyotes to do no less than their four legged brothers.

Additionally, does walking through an obviously open door and cleaning up, washing and ironing rumpled clothes and then leaving make one a criminal. So why would doing the same on a network be considered a felony? So in the end what is criminal and what is legal are by no means a cut and dry propositions. So the whole issue of hacking or cracking becomes vague and muddled. This is why these distinctions are absolutely silly. In the end it is up to each of us as members of an elite and growing number of digerati outlaws to question exactly why we identify with each of these words.

To be a hacker is to identify with a proud past of research scientist and late night all night hacking parties at universities like MIT and UCBerkley. However, to be a cracker is to identify with the cold hard street and street level back alley technology. So choose carefully wether your identity is that of the dangerou innovative reseach scientist or the cold hearted street level tech outlaw making phone calls to Hong Kong on the unaccounted for phones in Alphabet City. Do you choose to be in a lab or on the street .It is your choice. In closing, words are power and should be chosen wisely.

I myself am and always will be a cracker.

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