I have been cheating on my Duolingo language app with something a little more adventurous, maybe even a little dangerous, and I like it. Becoming fluent in another language has always been a goal in my life, much like most people. I have chosen to master Spanish, and I still plan to, but lately, I have ventured into another language, 01100011 01101111 01100100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00001010 (that’s binary language for coding). I never considered myself to be any sort of computer geek, and I am far from achieving internet troll status. However, I do have something to accomplish with this new endeavor, I like to challenge the rules.

Authority and I have not always been friends. My first word was “no,” and I regularly got in trouble for being the kid that asked way too many questions in Sunday school. Questioning laws and social norms is as natural to me as breathing, and I identify unbelievable value in learning to code. Gaining the ability to become expertly versed in with symbols and targets along with truly understanding the makings of the internet (other than www.) is an opportunity to venture lands that have the potential to be truly ours, with lessened surveillance and more information made public. This is not my announcement that I will start to hack everything in sight, there is more to it. I believe that coding is a rare language of freedom.

The 1980s is seen as the dawn of a new kind of hacker era, and although some hackers sought to gain access to information for thievery, a lot of people decided to join together for a different purpose. While the 414's, KILOBAUD, and Legion of Doom were more well known for high level hacks that cost corporations a lot of money, coder crowd forming was also represented by the makers of Chaos Computer Club, a group that emphasized free speech and transparent governments. Now, Anonymous, the hacker group wearing a big, white mask, is one of the most famous hacker groups as they develop an international movement mostly comprised of smaller hacker bands. The enormous team of anarchists and activists regularly call out corrupt politicians and cultural figure heads while shedding much needed light to important intelligence that should be of public knowledge.

The sheer mass of people already involved with big league breaches have inspired momentum to coalesce in mass and in direction; action in order to elicit reaction to monumental extortion. It is easy to feel benched when considering pathways to make societal change, considering the money it takes to be a politician, privilege it takes to get your voice heard, and the level of commitment required to focus one’s “life’s work” on just one of the many world problems that exist. This is a way that people can interrupt politics as usual, and there is plenty of evidence to ensure that good can be done with this reclaimed wisdom.

To be warned, coding, computing, and hacking definitely still requires skill and time as I have come to discover; let this not scare you off. Starting your hacking journey can be pursued with places like CodeAcademy, by giving you a simple introductory lessons in understanding language. Be sure to watch a few youtube tutorials on beginner level hacking, penetration testing, wifi hacking, and web testing, and finding out system weaknesses. If your dabble into the world of hackers inspires you, leave behind any ideas that hacking is only in the hands of NSA guards or LulzSec himself and keep going! Hacking Tutorial and EvilZone Hacking Forums are good places to learn insider tips and further your lexicon of Lisp, or hacker lingo, once at least intermediate level hacking has commenced.

Internet allows for communication to bounce all over the world in a matter of seconds, and the invention has allowed for revolutionizing societal changes. In a concurrent fashion, this technological advance of the wireless world has given us drone strikes, unwanted governmental surveillance, and things like the black market. Hackers see these threats, and they counteract with illumination and, sometimes, intervention. They can bring light to the unjust, and much like any movement, their power grows in numbers. I would argue that it is in our human nature to “break into” something supposedly untouchable, breaching barriers that bring alternate and sometimes “elite” pathways to a reachable platform for every person, and I consider hacking, in this sense, an honorable trade.