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2 definitions found
 for hacker ethic
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  hacker ethic
   n.
  
      1. The belief that information-sharing is a powerful positive good, and
      that it is an ethical duty of hackers to share their expertise by writing
      open-source code and facilitating access to information and to computing
      resources wherever possible.
  
      2. The belief that system-cracking for fun and exploration is ethically OK
      as long as the cracker commits no theft, vandalism, or breach of
      confidentiality.
  
      Both of these normative ethical principles are widely, but by no means
      universally, accepted among hackers. Most hackers subscribe to the hacker
      ethic in sense 1, and many act on it by writing and giving away open-source
      software. A few go further and assert that all information should be free
      and any proprietary control of it is bad; this is the philosophy behind the
      GNU project.
  
      Sense 2 is more controversial: some people consider the act of cracking
      itself to be unethical, like breaking and entering. But the belief that
      ?ethical? cracking excludes destruction at least moderates the behavior of
      people who see themselves as ?benign? crackers (see also samurai, gray
      hat). On this view, it may be one of the highest forms of hackerly
      courtesy to (a) break into a system, and then (b) explain to the sysop,
      preferably by email from a superuser account, exactly how it was done and
      how the hole can be plugged ? acting as an unpaid (and unsolicited) tiger
      team.
  
      The most reliable manifestation of either version of the hacker ethic is
      that almost all hackers are actively willing to share technical tricks,
      software, and (where possible) computing resources with other hackers. Huge
      cooperative networks such as Usenet, FidoNet and the Internet itself
      can function without central control because of this trait; they both rely
      on and reinforce a sense of community that may be hackerdom's most valuable
      intangible asset.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  hacker ethic
  
      1. The belief that information-sharing is a
     powerful positive good, and that it is an ethical duty of
     hackers to share their expertise by writing free software and
     facilitating access to information and to computing resources
     wherever possible.
  
     2. The belief that system-cracking for fun and exploration is
     ethically OK as long as the cracker commits no theft,
     vandalism, or breach of confidentiality.
  
     Both of these normative ethical principles are widely, but by
     no means universally, accepted among hackers. Most hackers
     subscribe to the hacker ethic in sense 1, and many act on it
     by writing and giving away free software.  A few go further
     and assert that *all* information should be free and *any*
     proprietary control of it is bad; this is the philosophy
     behind the GNU project.
  
     Sense 2 is more controversial: some people consider the act of
     cracking itself to be unethical, like breaking and entering.
     But the belief that "ethical" cracking excludes destruction at
     least moderates the behaviour of people who see themselves as
     "benign" crackers (see also samurai).  On this view, it may
     be one of the highest forms of hackerly courtesy to (a) break
     into a system, and then (b) explain to the sysop, preferably
     by e-mail from a superuser account, exactly how it was done
     and how the hole can be plugged - acting as an unpaid (and
     unsolicited) tiger team.
  
     The most reliable manifestation of either version of the
     hacker ethic is that almost all hackers are actively willing
     to share technical tricks, software, and (where possible)
     computing resources with other hackers.  Huge cooperative
     networks such as Usenet, FidoNet and Internet (see
     Internet address) can function without central control
     because of this trait; they both rely on and reinforce a sense
     of community that may be hackerdom's most valuable intangible
     asset.
  
     (1995-12-18)
  

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