Thirty Years of the Hacker's Manifesto

Thirty years ago today, the The Conscience of a Hacker (also known as The Hacker's Manifesto) was published in Phrack.

I remember when I first read it. It was years after it was was first published. I don't remember how I found it, but I remember it was on a green screen Commodore 64 at my hometown's library. The machine was on a dimly-lit back wall at the end of a wing of bookshelves. I would sit back there and connect to BBS's and play with BASIC.

I was deeply moved by its words, they resonated with me. They struck a chord that nothing else I had read matched. It describes the same liberation I felt playing with code; the beauty in what was possible; the impartial meritocracy that was available to me.

Both Hack-A-Day and CSOOnline have fantastic write-ups discussing the manifesto as well. And it's noteworthy enough to have a Wikipedia article.

Thirty years since it was written (and over twenty since I first read it), its words still ring true to me, and I'm sure to countless others.

"Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity."


  • Hacker


  • 1/8/2016 - Article written.