By Stephanie Ricker Schulte
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He also suggested that program savvy, computerese, and accompanying membership in the imagined community—imagined as dominated and/or run by hackers—was only for the young. In simultaneously (and paradoxically) dismantling and reinforcing the boundaries of access to computer networking technologies, news media, users, and computer industrialists continued a long history of power struggles. ”55 Thus, for example, Marvin demonstrates how electrical engineers deliberately constructed organizational institutions Regulating Teenagers and Teenaged Technology >> 33 and hoarded cultural capital in a power play to create technological knowledge monopolies.
Some of this engagement was overt. ABC recalled past NORAD errors to dispute their claims that the system was flawless. The network also quoted Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who acknowledged his concern over accidental nuclear war, and Senator John Warner, who called for modernization of communications systems along with weapons. Detailing President Reagan’s efforts to upgrade emergency communication links between the United States and the Soviet Union, ABC reported that Reagan had recently announced that he would upgrade the hotline in order to allow the transmission of photos and to facilitate emergency contact between the Pentagon and the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Defense.
These parents imagined computer networks as separate from real life, meaning that what occurred in cyberspace was less important than transgressions they imagined as involving the physical body. In sum, the release of the film WarGames helped merge Cold War anxieties with those involving teenaged rebellion. News media—regarded in the United States as observing conventions of truth and objectivity—lent the fictional film an air of scary credibility in the ways that they merged realworld hacking activities, fictional representations of hacking, Cold War popular culture representations, and coverage of actual Cold War conflict.