TECH
03/22/2013 09:16 am ET Updated 5 days ago

The Most Detailed, GIF-Based Map Of The Internet Was Made By Hacking 420,000 Computers

When, exactly, is hacking OK? Most people would agree that it's not OK for strangers to hack into people's computers and look at personal information. When the government threatens to look at people's online information in the name of safety, Internet users are unhappy to say the least. But what about groups that argue their hacking is for the greater good? Do they have the right to hack organizations for the betterment of the public? There's a blurry moral line when it comes to hacking, and it just got a little blurrier.

An unnamed group of hackers/researchers recently hacked into 420,000 computers across the world in order to create a detailed map of the entire, global Internet. The result is an incredible animated map of Internet use across the globe that is being called the most detailed map of the Internet ever created. Vice's Adam Clark Estes, a former HuffPost editor, describes in detail how it was made.

"World map of 24 hour relative average utilization of IPv4 addresses observed using ICMP ping requests."

What these people did to get the information necessary to create this map is highly illegal, but, assuming that they didn't take any more data than necessary to make the map, is that OK? The map really is a gorgeous intersection of science and art. It illustrates precisely when and where people logged onto the Internet over a 24-hour period all over the world. Are people willing to sacrifice their privacy for the greater good? And, if so, does this count?

[h/t Vice's Motherboard blog]

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:


CONVERSATIONS