Australian Computer Society

ACS on ABC TV Hot Chips on Hacking

Tom Worthington on Hot Chips

Transcript of comments on hacking by Tom Worthington, Director of the ACS Communtiy Affairs Board, ABC TV Hot Chips, 8pm 12 July 1995:

Well, originally hacking was a term to describe a person who was a good computer programmer. A free wheeling spirit who could whip up a program at a moment's notice.

Its only recently with media portrayals, that its come to mean somebody who is doing something illegal on a computer network.

There are many people who are trying it, because they think its clever. The problem its something like joy riding in cars: it can be dangerous and it can lead to these people getting into trouble and to worse situations.

Hackers by and large aren't a threat to the network. Because there are few of them doing serious damage and that they can be dealt with through normal means: they can be discouraged by things like university computer courses warning the students that this unacceptable behaviour.

With a well run computer system its very hard to break in and its ALso very hard to try and break in without being noticed.

Regulation of the network to avoid illegal activities and illicit material is extremely difficult, because the network was designed without facilities for doing that and the people who use the network and designed it largely didn't want that included.

Note: Permission was not sought for quoting other speakers on the program and so they have not been included in this transcript.

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