Trying to work out why some people think Kevin Mitnick is a hero

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Free Kevin bumper sticker, advocating release ...

Free Kevin bumper sticker, advocating release of Kevin Mitnick (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the last six months I have been spending a fair bit of time in the gym – I am getting older and I need to lose weight and increase fitness.

In truth, I quite enjoy it in general, but there are moments when I want to stop just because running on the same spot on a treadmill is essentially not that exciting. And recently I have been upping my endurance and pace (from walking to slow running, that is), and the biggest challenge to keeping that up and extending it can feel like beating the boredom, not passing through any physical barrier.

So, I thought I’d try an audio book as a way of overcoming the running-in-one-spot-blues. The one I wanted –The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation – exists but I am banned from buying in the UK (so much for the free market), so I decided to try Ghost In The WiresKevin Mitnick‘s (ghost written) autobiography.

Now, I have listened to about an hour of this and I am really struggling to understand why so many people see Mitnick as a hero. So far he’s only 17 but has already described his engagement in sexual harassment, behaviour which got his mother’s phone cut off and general all-round anti-social unpleasantness.

I am not into lcoking people up and throwing away the key, especially for crimes against property which have minimal impact (after all if you steal a piece of software source code you don’t automatically diminish the utility of the code to the original user). But I think I would find it hard to be angry on Mitnick’s behalf. Perhaps greater injustice will be revealed as the book goes on, but so far Mitnick just sounds like a poorly socialised boor.

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