News, Updates, and Events

Sadness: Legendary phone phreak Bill Acker has passed away.

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Audio: Phil discusses Joybubbles, the famous blind whistling phone phreak, on NPR's award-winning show RadioLab.

Video: Watch Phone Phreak Confidential, Phil's talk at this year's Hackers on Planet Earth conference.

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About The Author

Phil Lapsley has spent the last several years documenting the history of phone phreaking through hundreds of interviews, document searches, and Freedom of Information Act requests. He has been interviewed by National Public Radio, Radio Lab, the BBC and quoted in multiple newspapers, including the New York Times, on the topic. He has also presented on phone phreaking history at the Vintage Computer Festival and at The Last HOPE, The Next HOPE, and HOPE #9 conferences.

When not researching phreaking Phil has worked hard to look like an upstanding member of society. He co-founded two high-technology companies in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to McKinsey & Company, a management consulting company that advises Fortune 100 companies on business strategy. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering and computer sciences from U.C. Berkeley and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is the coauthor of a book on digital signal processors, 19 patents, and numerous technical articles. He is also the co-creator of Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP), an Internet standard (RFC 977).

How to Contact Me

Interview requests should be directed to my publisher, Grove Atlantic, at

Other stuff should be directed to me. I'm always interested in hearing from former phone phreaks, Bell System or independent telephone company employees, law enforcement personnel, or anyone else who had dealings with phone phreaks in the 1960-1980 timeframe. I can be reached at:

contact (at) explodingthephone (dot) com

(Of course, substitute @ for (at) and . for (dot), but I needn't tell you that, need I?)

I look forward to hearing from you!

Phil Lapsley