Hacking is not a crime – and the media should stop using 'hacker' as a pejorative

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Welcome to the latest Register Debate in which writers discuss technology topics, and you – the reader – choose the winning argument.

The format is simple: a motion is proposed, for and against arguments are published over the course of a week, during which you can cast your vote here, choosing whether you're in favor or against the motion. The final totals will be announced on Tuesday, March 9. It's up to our writers to convince you to vote for their side.

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The motion tackles the use of the word 'hacker' in the media: although its roots are in the unorthodox application of technology, today the term is most associated in news coverage, books, and movies with criminal activity. Is this fair? Should the word be taken back by the community? Should we accept the meaning has changed? Follow the debate, share your views, and vote.

Phase 1
Read Wednesday's opening argument in favor
Phase 2
Read Friday's closing argument against
Voting closes on Monday night and results announced Tuesday
Arguments Against
Arguments For

Debate Result


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