The tech world has produced some brilliant people capable of harnessing computer technology for all kinds of purposes.
They create interesting products, further political interests, or just get bored and cause trouble.
Much to the chagrin of many a music executive, Shawn Fanning created Napster and caused the music industry to drastically change how it operates.
Anonymous, a loosely-associated group of pseudonymous computer hackers, successfully hacked targets like the Church of Scientology, Sarah Palin, and the CIA.
Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak raised his share of hell as a younger man. The era of the technological troublemaker hasn’t just now arrived – it’s been here the whole time.
The Pirate Bay Founders: Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij started the popular peer-to-peer sharing site back in 2001, which quickly grew into one of the world's largest torrenting sites, allowing users to download and share both legal and copyrighted content. In 2010, both men were found guilty of facilitating the distribution of copyrighted material by a Swedish court.
Julian Assange of WikiLeaks: The world's number one advocate for information equality, Assange has made a name for himself befriending whistleblowers and leakers. With the distribution platform of WikiLinks, Assange has published classified documents and government secrets, all while staying out of the hands of those after him.
Aaron Swartz of Reddit and numerous other projects: Before he passed away earlier this year, Swartz was arrested for breaking and entering on the MIT campus while downloading academic articles from JSTOR, a collection of academic articles.
Edward Snowden: The NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower broke the news of government data surveillance program, PRISM, before fleeing the country. He has since been helped by Assange and WikiLinks, who has championed his decision.
Anonymous: The Internet hacktivist group's vigilante justice is either loved or hated, but there's no doubting their knack for breaking websites with efficiency. With personal vendettas against the Westboro Baptist Church, Scientology, and various credit card companies, the group aims to be a persistent thorn in the side of its enemies. Anonymous has also utilized its long reach to come to the aid of those bullied, acting as an Internet Robin Hood.
Father of the pop-up ads, John Shiple: Remember when you couldn't visit a website without a few pop-up ads bombarding you? You can thank MIT grad John Shiple, inventor of the pop-up ad.
Shawn Fanning of Napster: While still in school at Northeastern University, Fanning began working on what would become Napster, the popular peer-to-peer file sharing website. After igniting an industry-wide war with music labels, Fanning was forced to shut down Napster. The music service was eventually re-born in the form of a paid, legal service that was sold to Rhapsody in 2011.
Joey Anuff and Carl Steadman of Suck.com: These guys launched a snarky news site in 1995 (one of the first ever to be ad-supported) and covertly operated it out of their offices while holding other jobs. Wired brilliantly described the site's content as 'a pomo, decon essay criticising some loser's ghastly foray onto the Web.' The site is now defunct.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak: While most of his light-hearted pranks happened offline, the tech icon often utilized technology in his various schemes. From building 'blue boxes' that enabled long-distance phone calls for free (which they used to call the Vatican), to creating a device that would cause people's TV's to go fuzzy, Woz was never above some tomfoolery.
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