hacktivist for human rights, a dangerous profession
cyberhug.me - A cry for hacktivist help.
Bureaucratic bullies want to snuff human rights. They can't crack our code, so they're going medieval."Why must I tell them Hacker School is about to be physically violated. It's time to run. Is that enough, how much more do they need?" Billy shakes his head, they need to know how to survive, there is no time for that course now.
"On my birthday my world changes;" Billy grins to himself, "this takes the cake, my birthday cake. Some birthday present, speaking to hacker's grad class." He starts whistling again, a birthday song.
Grad school students legally became adults when they graduated open-learning at age twelve. Now they are professor's assistants and specialists; already professionals. Even with part time freelance incomes, they do not realize how protected they are within Hacker School. Their final preparation is about to be canceled.
Billy's tradecraft: repairing damage to systems when students are let loose to enhance or subvert network security. Repairing, crafting, and laying traps for students, that is enough. He puts up with fighting bureaucracies trying to defeat his network security; privacy is part of his job. He is a "just busy enough," happy guy.
Billy is on contract as a freelance hacker, a contract that allows severance by either party without notice. Hacker School knows they can't replace Billy's deft touch, so they avoid asking for indulgences. But this class is special. One three person team, as a graduate class project, is hacking and cracking a real opponent. The dictatorship of General Johnstone, actively engaging in genocide, is striking back at this annoying gnat of hackish determination. With excessive force. This is no game, the grad student hacker team needs Billy's help to survive.
The last few thousand years have been called a preamble to history. All before was overextended tribal rituals; emotional nonsense manipulating instinctual responses. Acting like all knowing witch doctors, pseudo village elders controlled bewitched mobs numbering in hundreds of millions. All owners of property were either killed for it, had it stolen, or had protection rackets use it for extortion. Such atavistic gangs still exist, but enclaves of freedom and reason are expanding -- history has begun. Emancipation from gang rule started with empowerment of individuals by technology.
But darkness still rules. Where regulation backed by violence controls individuals human rights are crushed. Cloaks of respect, covering decaying nightmares of bureaucracy, define target zones for ethical hackers. Inspired crackers and privacy techs willingly engage duplicitous specters in surreal technological battles. A shadowy bureaucrat's favored response is initiating physical assaults by entranced minions. That's why they carry deadly arms.
For every revolution that kills thousands, there are bureaucratic gangs killing and enslaving ten of millions of their neighbors. It does not matter if you call them neighbors; citizens, voters, or subjects -- if they are firmly controlled and provided sustenance, they are slaves. Laws, regulations, high taxes; feudal fiefdoms of departments and agencies; unifying war and repression schemes -- these keep many societies poor and dependent: politically manacled serfs.
Ethical hacking is not a slowly escalating social contest for bragging rights. When evil resists a push, it doesn't push back, it immediately seeks to destroy.
During the prior dark bureaucratic ages, little would have happened to the likes of General Johnstone or his government. There would have been sound bites tossed about, a few "strongly worded letters" sent, and perhaps an easily bypassed goods embargo imposed by competing gangs. Yet tens of millions died as human rights within nations were crushed -- their screams ignored. In the twenty fifth century, with large nations gone, smaller nations failing and falling, not a whimper of official protest is heard. There is much said about the sanctity of nationhood instead. Pahhh. Nations are fictional constructs just like too big, regulation empowered corporations: safe and convenient for ruling elites, a bane to all others.
General Johnstone faces revolutionaries, but there is no guarantee his opposition will be better if they can step into his power. Bureaucrats still comprise the largest criminal organization in the world. Remove a leader and bureaucrats will build yet another monument to themselves.
To quote The Wallace: "Bureaucracies are inherently unjust. But bureaucrats are like weeds, pull one and tomorrow there will be two. Leave them alone and there will soon be a walled compound with administrative tower buildings and perimeter signs proclaiming that this invaluable sanctuary is off limits - except to more weeds."
Billy is worried. Over the last week he's used redirection to nullify expanding netbot and autonobot attacks, and school security has discovered and defeated scattered physical probes. The members of the student hacking troika may not yet be in direct danger, their privacy still overtly intact.
Billy will teach the grad course as asked, and appraise the value of taking the team off property for training. The whole school going underground for the duration. Everyone disappearing. Billy and a departing team will be lost in the confusion, free to start hacking. Hacker School administration did not ask him to consider directing and intensifying the hacking grad student's efforts. The Dean told him to disband the hack crew if risks to students are too high. If he does not want to work with them, admin will separate them and shut the project down. Billy can pull out.
Billy doesn't want to stop the hacker's project. He didn't tell Hacker School directors, but he hopes to augment the student hacker's success. There are hundreds of thousands of lives to be saved. Mass murders by Johnstone's gang are real.
The Hacker School team efforts must have value. The grad students have made someone important angry, they are being effective. Billy thinks he can tilt their results toward replacing Johnstone with individualistic stability.
But first, the graduate hacker course:
Billy is blunt: "I've dealt with your efforts while you've pursued hacking careers. You are good, but not yet excellent. What you have learned of hacking is brute force to counter brute force. Your subtlety in social engineering has improved, but it is still just pencil sketches. You were all accepted into Hacker School because of your potential to become transformative artists. The essence of transformation is creativity. One of the beauties of pursuing excellence in hacking; there is always another challenge, a surprising sunrise to capture in a new way. You're mastering many hacking skills, but you are not yet artists."
A hand is raised, Billy looks at the seating chart. "Jan?"
"If what you are saying is true, we have little to gain by remaining in Hacker School. Art is not what we are being taught. Why not give us a handshake and kick us out?"
"That's a good idea. In fact if anyone wants to walk out now before I'm done, go get to work. I'll see you are refunded the unused balance of your tuition." Billy stops talking, looks over the class. No one moves.
"Billy, with that as a challenge, I think what you say today is going to be worth the entire balance of my hacker school tuition."
Take things apart. Understand them. Build something better.