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“Three years ago, Mark Abene was a computer cowboy who roamed cyberspace when it was an unfenced frontier. A computer geek who was “wired” long before the term was coined, he considered the Internet too easy and looked for a bigger challenge. And he found it by breaking into the computer systems of some of the nation’s biggest corporations — a crime that landed him and three of his friends in Federal prison.”/NYT/

THE HACKER CRACKDOWN Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier by Bruce Sterling


Mark Abene, AKA Phiber Optik, is a self-taught computer systems expert, and self-described hacker. In 1994 he served a one-year sentence in federal prison, the result of his second conviction for breaking into computer and telephone systems. This interview took place a week before his sentencing, at Echo Communications, where he worked.”//nyc-interface//

“Mark was a member of the Legion of Doom hacker group, and then founded the hacker group Masters of Deception (MOD). “/livinginternet/

Abene, on the other hand, was renown for his unauthorized romps through telephone systems and packet-switched networks in the years before the Internet blossomed. Back then, he had a reputation as a non-destructive and mediagenic hacker who never concealed his actions; in the 1992 book “The Hacker Crackdown,” author Bruce Sterling wrote of Abene, “Even cops seemed to recognize that there was something peculiarly unworldly and uncriminal about this particular troublemaker.” His raid by the U.S. Secret Service was a focus of John Perry Barlow’s “Crime and Puzzlement,” the first manifesto of the electronic civil liberties movement.”/security focus/
” Phiber Optik has suffered enough for having become a symbol, and in any case his symbolic power will always be available to us, no matter where he is.”/Julian Dibbell/


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  1. […] Phiber Optik “Sie waren die ersten Datenreisenden. Abenteurer in einer geheimnisvollen Welt, die sich im Inneren von Telefonkabeln und Computern ausbreitete. Sie waren die Pioniere und Scouts des Internets, die den rechten Weg zu weisen versuchten. Die Bannerträger einer neuen, freien Welt. Wo sind sie geblieben?” Peter “Bleistift” Glaser in brand:eins […]

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