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Hacking might occupy a special position-that gray area between the darkness and the light-because it touches not only on ethical issues but also on the very nature of computing itself. Beyond the topics under discussion, all of which concerned how to exploit the flaws of commercial software, the conference strayed from its more conventional cousins in the exhibits room. The hacking community, for good or ill, is generally not perceived as inventors puttering in their workshops, individuals who accomplish their ends by working on the edge of society. Hackers do expose software vulnerabilities, but in doing so, they can put the public at risk. They have made vendors account for their actions, but they have also extorted unwarranted concessions from firms. They indeed serve as regulators, but as regulators they are accountable to no one but themselves.