smartphones, back even before the Internet and personal computer, a
misfit group of technophiles, blind teenagers, hippies, and outlaws
figured out how to hack the world’s largest machine: the
telephone system. Starting with Alexander Graham Bell’s
revolutionary “harmonic telegraph,” by the middle
of the twentieth century the phone system had grown into something
extraordinary, a web of cutting-edge switching machines and human
operators that linked together millions of people like never before.
But the network had a billion-dollar flaw, and once people discovered
it, things would never be the same.
the Phone tells this story in
full for the first time.
traces the birth of long-distance communication and the telephone, the
rise of AT&T’s monopoly, the creation of the
sophisticated machines that made it all work, and the discovery of Ma
Bell’s Achilles’ heel.
Phil Lapsley expertly weaves
together the clandestine underground of “phone
phreaks” who turned the network into their electronic
playground, the mobsters who exploited its flaws to avoid the feds, the
explosion of telephone hacking in the counterculture, and the war
between the phreaks, the phone company, and the FBI.
Exploding the Phone
The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws who Hacked Ma Bell
by Phil Lapsley
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