TORONTO. Johnny ‘I hack stuff’ Long is by his own admission a hacker. Does that mean he’s a bad dude? No – not even close.
Long is in Toronto at the SecTor conference giving a keynote on No Tech Hacking. Before he started his keynote he began with a pitch, not a product pitch, but a pitch for hackers to do good.
Long runs an effort called Hackers for Charity (http://www.hackersforcharity.org/) that pairs hackers with charitable efforts.
“We’re helping to shatter the cycle of poverty through empowering people and not charity,” Long said.
Hackers for Charity makes use of hackers skills to build websites and computer installations for those less fortunate in East Africa and other places. Long also donates the profits from his book No Tech Hacking and he also sells T-shirts (sold out at this show) and solicits donations for the effort. For $9 a month Long claims he can feed a child in Africa.
So next time you equate hacking with being evil – think again. Not all hackers are evil and some (like Long) are actually forces for good.