Conservative Website Offers Gun As Bounty for Porn Hacker

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Aug. 1 2012 9:44 AM

Conservative Website Offers Gun As Bounty for Porn Hacker

Daily Caller gun giveaway

On Monday, Tucker Carlson’s conservative politics website, the Daily Caller, was hacked, its front-page ads replaced with porn. Not one to miss an opportunity for additional publicity, the site has responded by making the hack the subject of a contest. The first person to track down the hacker responsible wins a free 9mm handgun.

The gun giveaway isn’t new—this is actually the 11th weekly installment of the D.C.-based website’s Second Amendment-celebrating stunt, which is slated to continue until the Nov. 6 presidential election. What’s new is that the Daily Caller is actually requiring readers to work for their weapon this week. Catching hackers isn’t always a simple task.

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And the contest raises a question: Are the type of people who possess the skills to track down a hacker also the type of people who would be motivated by a free gun? Intuition suggests that most cybersecurity geeks prefer to use zeros and ones as weapons. For that matter, how many skilled hackers are reading the Daily Caller at all?

The guess here is that the site will have more luck with its other hacker-related gun giveaway—an essay contest that asks readers to describe what the Daily Caller should do with the hacker once it finds him (the site apparently assumes the culprit is male). Revenge fantasies—now that’s something at which I can well imagine the site’s readers will excel.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

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