Technology: In Search of Hackers

In a society where information has always been tightly controlled, the electronic revolution moves slowly

In the lobby of Moscow's Hotel Ukraina, a dingy Stalin-era landmark, clerks who used to book reservations with paper chits now check guests in with a pair of Soviet-made computer terminals. Specialty stores that once tallied purchases on wooden abacuses have bypassed cash registers and gone directly to computers. And computers can now be found at the TASS news-wire service, at the offices of Aeroflot and at the government planning agency Gosplan.

In almost any other country, the sight of a few computers would hardly seem worth noting. But in a society predicated on the control of information -- and, perhaps...

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