The Debate Over "Ethical Hacking"

The Debate Over "Ethical Hacking"

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, is a hacker.

In an interview of 60 Minutes he openly distinguished between “criminal” hacking and hacking that is used to exposed a network’s or website’s security flaws. The first, he confirms, is most certainly a crime, generally involving the accessing and exploitation of a victim’s information without permission. His kind of hacking, on the other hand, is useful and helpful in the name, ultimately, of security.

Following the untimely death of young hacker Aaron Swartz, the internet has been abuzz about the idea that there are different kinds of hacking and that some are justifiable, even if others aren’t. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or CFAA, was put in place in the 1980s, and many are arguing that it is in need of amending.

Dorsey is not the only big name in tech who got his start as a kid hacker. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg and Bill Gates are three of the most recognizable names in technology and have all admitted, if not celebrated, the fact that they come from hacker roots.

What do you think? Are there different kinds of hacking? Are some justifiable? At the end of the day, the internet needs to be a safe place for everyone. What’s the best way to ensure that is the case?