The White Hat HackerÂ’s Ethic appeared in Steven LevyÂ’s 1984 Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. The Ethic
has two tenets that were formed in the 1960s and 1970s at MIT: (1) That access
to computers and anything that might teach someone something about the way the
wired (and now wireless) world works should be free; and (2) that all
information should be free.
In the context in which these two tenets were formed,
computers were actually research machines, and Â“informationÂ” was software and
information systems. The warning at the foundation of the White Hat Ethic is that information hoarding by businesses and
governments alike is inefficient and slows down the critical evolution of
technology as well as information-dependent economies.
Levy, Steven Books; White Hat Ethic.
Schell, B.H., Dodge, J.L., with S.S. Moutsatsos. The
Hacking of America: WhoÂ’s Doing It, Why, and How. Westport, CT: Quorum