A Duty to Hack

Adrian Lamo, the 22-year-old "homeless hacker" famous for raiding New York Times computers, pursues his vision of public service by cracking another major corporate network. It's a crime, of course. It's also what he was born to do.

Only then do I understand: In his mind, Lamo's life is a new kind of story for the Information Age, the quasi-mythic saga of a traveler, perhaps not so different from Dune's, whose adventures are neither wholly corporal nor wholly virtual. If Lamo spends too much time considering his actions, he steps too boldly out of the character he's created. And more than anything, I think, Lamo wants to know how his story will end.

"Some days I have time to do things," says Lamo. 
"Other days are just a series of efforts to find out 
where I'm going to sleep that night."
Paolo Vescia
"Some days I have time to do things," says Lamo. "Other days are just a series of efforts to find out where I'm going to sleep that night."
Standing outside a Greyhound terminal with his Palm 
Top, Lamo says he always drifts back to San 
Francisco because the city is "big enough to wander in 
but small enough to not be impersonal."
Paolo Vescia
Standing outside a Greyhound terminal with his Palm Top, Lamo says he always drifts back to San Francisco because the city is "big enough to wander in but small enough to not be impersonal."

In that respect, at least, he's not so different from the rest of us.

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