szczys writes: "Hackers" — people who non-maliciously test the limits of technology — have a very different societal standing depending on the country they live in. To illustrate the concept, consider the history of hackers in the United States versus those in Germany. Both communities have their genesis with the telecom systems of the 1980's, when hackers were called Phone Phreakers and traded secrets on telephone system exploits. These groups were the earliest to test the security and vulnerability of the burgeoning Internet, but their paths diverged. Hackers in Germany formed political parties while in the US they were targeted by law enforcement. The result is two very different communities filled with highly skilled individuals, but one must fly under the radar while the other enjoys much wider open acceptance.
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