Can Hackers Be Heroes?

Can Hackers Be Heroes? | Off Book | PBS

Many people think of hackers as cyber criminals, breaking into computer systems with ill-intent. Though there are plenty of destructive hackers in the world, there have always been people who hack with a different purpose. Some define hacking as “finding creative solutions to technical problems.” To them, hacking means having an exploratory mindset about technology, and a willingness to “get under the hood” to tinker and see what happens. Other groups, like Anonymous, employ more subversive hacking practices to forward social and political causes, embedding a social consciousness into the traditionally murky dark-side of security hacking. Looking beyond the media hype and scare tactics, it is clear that “hacking” is a term whose meaning should be up for debate, and that some hackers could in fact be heroes, and not just villains.
 

 
Hacking Art & Culture with F.A.T. Lab | Off Book | PBS
 
As we become more and more engaged with the internet in every aspect of our lives, powerful questions have arisen regarding the ownership of digital media and information, the relationship between corporations, governments, and individuals online, the power of pop culture influence, and the dissolving border between the digital and physical worlds. Taking these issues head-on is The Free Art & Technology (F.A.T.) Lab. An international group of 21 artists, hackers, thinkers, designers, developers, and entrepreneurs, F.A.T. Lab employs art, activism, pop culture, and a wealth of knowledge about how the internet works to create projects that challenge people and institutions to think a little deeper about this new world we all live in.