hacking as troublemaking

For some time, I’ve been thinking about the ways in which hacking is a form of troublemaking. While I’m still not ready to explore what this might mean (I’m currently deeply immersed in a project with digital stories), I do want to make note of a brief all tech considered story that links my own understanding of troublemaking as asking questions and challenging authorities with hacking and, even more importantly, a hacking ethos: At this Camp, Kids Learn to Question Authority (and Hack It).

This camp isn’t just about learning how to hack, but about developing a larger ethos of challenging systems and questioning authority. Here’s what the founder of the camp says:

And unlike most technology camps that have sprung up around the country, DefCon Kids is as much about questioning authority as taking apart computers.

Hoff wants his own kids — all kids — to ask more questions.

“Every time you see an end-user license agreement on a screen, you just hit accept,” he says. “You don’t know what it means, what you are giving away, what you are doing.”

The camp’s goal is to teach kids how the technologies and systems that surround them work.

Hoff wants kids to think about it and figure out exactly what it means when they hit that button marked “accept.”