Representation in network news
However, network news usage of the word consistently pertained primarily to the criminal activities, regardless of the attempt by the technical community to preserve and distinguish the initial meaning, so today the mainstream media and public continue steadily to describe computer criminals, with all degrees of technical sophistication, as “hackers” and don’t generally utilize the word in virtually any of its noncriminal connotations. Members of the media sometimes seem unacquainted with the distinction, grouping legitimate “hackers” such as for example Linus Torvalds and Steve Wozniak along with criminal “crackers”.
Source: Looking for a hacker online
As a result, this is still the main topic of heated controversy. The wider dominance of the pejorative connotation is usually resented by many who object to the word being extracted from their cultural jargon and used negatively, including anyone who has historically preferred to self-identify as hackers. Many advocate using the newer and nuanced alternate terms when describing criminals and other people who negatively make the most of security flaws in software and hardware. Others choose to check out common popular usage, arguing that the positive form is confusing and unlikely to be widespread in everyone. A minority still utilize the term in both senses regardless of the controversy, departing context to clarify (or leave ambiguous) which meaning is supposed.
However, as the positive definition of hacker was trusted as the predominant form for several years prior to the negative definition was popularized, “hacker” can consequently be observed as a shibboleth, identifying those that utilize the technically-oriented sense (instead of the exclusively intrusion-oriented sense) as members of the computing community. However, due to the selection of industries software designers could find themselves in, many prefer never to be known as hackers as the word holds a poor denotation in many of these industries.
A possible middle ground position has been suggested, predicated on the observation that “hacking” describes an assortment of skills and tools which are utilized by hackers of both descriptions for differing factors. The analogy was created to locksmithing, specifically picking locks, which really is a skill which may be used once and for all or evil. The principal weakness of the analogy may be the inclusion of script kiddies in the favorite using “hacker,” despite their insufficient an underlying skill and knowledge base.
Sometimes, “hacker” is merely used synonymously with “geek”: “A genuine hacker is not an organization person. He’s someone who wants to stay up forever, he and the device in a love-hate relationship… They’re kids who tended to be brilliant however, not very thinking about conventional goals It’s a term of derision as well as the ultimate compliment.”
Fred Shapiro thinks that “the normal theory that ‘hacker’ originally was a benign term and the malicious connotations of the term had been a later perversion is untrue.” He discovered that the malicious connotations had been already present at MIT in 1963 (quoting The Tech, an MIT student newspaper), and in those days described unauthorized users of calling network, that’s, the phreaker movement that progressed into the computer security hacker subculture of today.