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dc.contributor.authorTaylor, Paul Anthonyen
dc.date.accessioned2018-05-22T12:48:52Z
dc.date.available2018-05-22T12:48:52Z
dc.date.issued1998
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1842/30821
dc.description.abstracten
dc.description.abstractThe study is an examination of hacking, placing the act in the context of theories of technological change. The account of hacking is used to substantiate those theories that emphasise the societal shaping of technology over the notion of technological determinism. The evolution of hacking is traced, showing how it reflects changing trends in the nature of information: the most vivid of these is the conceptualisation of information known as 'cyberspace'. Instead of simply cataloguing the impact of technical changes within computing, and the effects they have had upon information, the study shows how technical change takes place in a process of negotiation and conflict between groups.en
dc.description.abstractThe two main groups analysed are those of the Computer Underground (CU) and the Computer Security Industry (CSI). The experiences and views of both groups are recounted in what constitute internalist and externalist accounts of hacking and its significance. The internalist account is the evidence provided by hackers themselves. It addresses such issues as what motivates the act of hacking; whether there is an identifiable hacking culture; and why it is almost an exclusively male activity. The externalist account contains the perceptions of hacking held by those outside the activity.en
dc.description.abstractThe state of computing's security measures and its vulnerability to hacking is described, and evidence is provided of the extent to which hacking gives rise to technical knowledge that could be of potential use in the fixing of security weaknesses. The division within the CSI between those broadly cooperative with hackers and those largely hostile to them is examined, and the reasons why hacking knowledge is not generally utilised are explored. Hackers are prevented from gaining legitimacy within computing in a process referred to as 'closure'. Examples include hackers being stigmatised through the use of analogies that compare their computing activities to conventional crimes such as burglary and tresspass.en
dc.description.abstractStigmatisation is carried out by the CSI who use it in a process of professional boundary formation to distinguish themselves from hackers. It is also used by other authority figures such as Members of Parliament whose involvement in the process of closure takes the form of the anti-hacking legislation they have passed, an analysis of which concludes this study.en
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.relation.ispartofAnnexe Thesis Digitisation Project 2018 Block 19en
dc.relation.isreferencedbyAlready catalogueden
dc.titleHackers: a case-study of the social shaping of computingen
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen


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