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Kappa Sigma Letter Will Not End Hacking Zeal

Kappa Sigma Letter Will Not End Hacking Zeal

The recent letter from Joshua Bennett '96 and Kappa Sigma ["Students Should Stay Off The Green Building Roof," Jan. 17] makes me wonder why Kappa Sigma has decided to make this public service announcement for the entire MIT community, and to pass on a bit of wisdom to those at MIT who hack. Apparently, Bennett fails to realize that what makes hacking the thrill that it is is uncovering the secrets hidden deep within MIT. The fact that students are not allowed within the bowels of the Institute is an integral part of this. The more the Institute doesn't want you to be somewhere, the more of an accomplishment it is when you get there.

MIT's hackers have been taking a lot of heat recently, in large part due to inexperienced hackers who fail to take adequate precautions when hacking or who breach the hackers' code of ethics, bringing attention to both themselves and to the hacker community in general. The fundamental glue holding hacking together is that if the Institute never knew you were there, they won't try to stop you from coming back. What gives hacking a bad name is when you do get caught - they knew you were there, so they will try to stop you from coming back, whether by imposing fines, or by changing locks, or, as is the case with the Green Building, installing motion detectors in the machine rooms.

I can assure Bennett that neither the capture of some members of his fraternity nor his advice to hackers to "not hack at all," will have any impact whatsoever on MIT hackers' zeal or determination when hacking. While it is a shame that his friends were caught, it is their fault and theirs alone, and is most definitely not worthy of being branded "an extraordinarily serious problem plaguing undergraduate life at MIT." Perhaps if they had been properly prepared for their expedition, they would have known that it is possible to avoid the motion detectors entirely en route to the Green Building's roof.