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The Conscience of a Hacker (also known as The Hacker Manifesto) is a small essay written January 8, 1986 by a hacker who went by the handle (or pseudonym) of The Mentor (born Loyd Blankenship). It was written after the author's arrest, and first published in the underground hacker ezine Phrack in Volume One, Issue 7, Phile 3 of 10. Today it can be found on many websites, as well as on t-shirts and in films.
It is considered a cornerstone of hacker culture, and it gives some insight into the psychology of early hackers. It is said to have shaped the hacker community's view of itself and its motivations. The Manifesto states that hackers choose to hack because it is a way for them to learn, and because they are often frustrated and bored by the limitations of standard society. It also expresses the satori of a hacker realizing his potential in the realm of computers.
To this day, the Manifesto acts as a guideline to hackers across the globe, especially those new to the field. It serves as an ethical foundation for hacking, and asserts that there is a point to hacking that supersedes selfish desires to exploit or harm other people, and that technology should be used to expand our horizons and try to keep the world free.
The article is quoted in the 1995 movie Hackers, although in the movie it is being read from an issue of the hacker magazine 2600, not the historically accurate Phrack. Mentor receives attribution in the credits of the movie. It is also reproduced inside the CD case of the computer game Uplink.
It is also an item in the game Culpa Innata.
"A Hacker Manifesto" is also the name of a book written by media studies professor McKenzie Wark.
The Mentor gave a reading of The Hacker Manifesto and offered additional insight at H2K2.
- The original article The Conscience of a Hacker on phrack.org archive
- The original article The Conscience of a Hacker on TextFiles.com Usenet Archive
- ElfQrin interview with The Mentor (July 31, 2000)
- The Mentor at H2K2
- McKenzie Wark - A Hacker Manifesto
- A Cyberpunk Manifestoar:بيان الهاكر
az:Hakerin manifesti cs:Hackerův manifest de:Hackermanifest fr:Manifeste du hacker it:Manifesto hacker pt:Manifesto Hacker ru:Манифест хакера sk:The Conscience of a Hacker sv:Hacker Manifesto tr:Hacker manifestosu uk:Маніфест хакера