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    EditorialIs hacking moral?

    Is hacking moral?


    Is hacking moral?

    Twitter accounts of Rahul Gandhi, Vijay Mallya and 2 NDTV anchors were hacked and the responsibility of the exploit was claimed by a group called Legion. The incident was followed by comments from all over the .

    Washington Post reported an interview of one of the hackers of the group claiming to have piles of data concerning all sorts of interest and information, but he said that his interest lies in drugs and electronic music. The true identity of the hacker or hackers however, is still unknown and the generous claims may be garnished.

    This episode shows how vulnerable is social media to hacks and exploits. Hacking social media accounts is a fairly easy task as is evident from the incident. Complicated are the implications and moralities.

    It is a primary purpose of journalism to analyze and expose the misdeeds of the powerful and therefore the unscrupulous. Nice fact-finding stories round the world, from Watergate in the America to Bofors in Bharat, are remembered for having effectively done this.

    In an era before the electronics were introduced a totally different skill set was required to pull an investigative story off at such magnitude. Now that the information is electronically available on the servers which are online, process of extracting that information requires different technique.

    Hacking to reveal secrets is probably an aid to whistleblowers and investigatory journalists. that's what Edward Snowden did along with his revelations on snooping by the United States Security Agency, and what Wikileaks did with its large information dumps. It can, however, be misused, to rob or blackmail people, or incorrectly smear their reputations. Such things are known to have happened.

    The same can be said of less technically sophisticated methods as well. For instance, there is a division of opinion on the Right to Information Act, because some people say that it is misused by spies and blackmailers.

    The question therefore is not whether hacking is “good” or “bad”. Hacking is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end. The morality of the act depends on the ultimate goal. If the hack is unquestionably for the greater public good, it is arguably a morally good act. The legality, though, is a different matter.


    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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