I still haven’t gotten over a country hip enough to even have a Minister of Culture, much less one as totally cool as Gilberto Gil:
Minister Gilberto Gil, a renowned musician who accepted President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s invitation three years ago to join his cabinet, commented at the opening of the Global Internet Congress here. Participants in the four-day conclave are discussing current tendencies in cyberspace and challenges facing the World Wide Web.
“I, Gilberto Gil, as minister of culture of Brazil and as a musician, work every day with the impulse of the ethics of hackers,” he said.
Though hacking – or unauthorized access to Web sites or other Internet-borne information – is a criminal activity in most nations, he said hackers should be distinguished from those he called “crackers,” or pirates intent on stealing or otherwise doing harm while overcoming Web security barriers.
Gil, 63, called hackers “counter-cultural militants who see in the computer a fantastic tool for communication.”
He said the Internet allows good hackers “to create permanent spaces of equality” that give them, as they pursue universal free software, strength against “the reactionary orthodoxy” controlling much of the sector.
“Hackers create, innovate, solve problems and voluntarily exercise a mutual help organization,” which he said meshes with the founding principles of the Internet.