"A small anarchic community of wireheads and hackers made the mistake of giving fire to the masses. Nobody is going to give it back. It is paradise lost. This wonderful community is not a community anymore. It's a society. It is a city on the Net, and in the back alleys of this electronic city, people are getting rolled. It is no different than being in New York. Let me be a couch potato if this is what Internet activity is about."
JOHN MARKOFF covers the computer industry and technology for The New York Times. He is the coauthor of The High Cost of High Tech(with Lennie Siegel); Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier (with Katie Hafner); and Takedown: The Pursuit and Capture of America's Most Wanted Computer Outlaw (with Tsutomu Shimomura).