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While reading Walter Issacson’s book ‘The Innovators’, I read the incident of Bill Gates and Paul Allen using their college PDP-10 machine to create the version of BASIC that they sold to Altair. When this ‘hack’ / breach was discovered, Bill Gates got out with a reprimand and was forced to release a version of BASIC into public domain.

If such an activity takes place today, in most likelyhood, the child involved will be facing a prison sentence.

There are many cases that we read about, where students have pointed out ‘flaws’ in computer applications in their schools. In return, they have been branded ‘hackers’ (criminals, as the new meaning of hackers translates into), shown the threat of prison sentences, dismissals from school as well as suspension.

With time, what was a pardonable, is now considered to be a serious crime.

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