Quinn Norton

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Quinn Norton in 2007

Quinn Norton (born 1973) is an American journalist, photographer and blogger covering hacker culture, Anonymous, Occupy movement, intellectual property and copyright issues, and the Internet. Her work has appeared in Wired News, The Guardian, Maximum PC, and O'Reilly Media publications such as Make magazine. She has also been a long-time fixture at O'Reilly's Foo Camp.

Norton currently writes a regular column, Notes on a Strange World,[1] at Medium publishing.

Norton has given a number of talks at technology conferences on the topic of body augmentation, usually under the title "Body Hacking",[2][3] as well as taught a course at NYU titled "Laboratory of the Self".[4] As part of her research, she had a magnet implanted in the tip of her ring finger, enabling her to sense magnetic fields.[5][6] The magnet was later removed.

Norton has described a conceptual prank involving writing and executing a computer program that would output all possible melodies, theoretically providing the opportunity to claim copyright for all music.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Norton was married to Danny O'Brien.[8]

Norton dated Aaron Swartz for three years.[9] Articles in The Atlantic and in New York Magazine indicate that she was pressured by prosecutors to offer information or testimony that could be used against Swartz, but that she denied having information that supported prosecutors' claims of criminal intentions on Swartz's part. Prosecutors nevertheless attempted to use a public blog post on Swartz's blog that Norton mentioned, which may or may not have been co-authored by Swartz, as proof of a criminal intent.[9][10]


  1. ^ Notes on a Strange World, Medium Publishing. Described as "a writer’s attempt to understand a global society fast leaving behind the moniker “Modern.”"
  2. ^ We Make Money Not Art A summary of her "Body Hacking" talk at the 23rd Chaos Communication Congress
  3. ^ Presenter on body hacking at Cusp Conference 2008 Archived May 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ NYU ITP directory
  5. ^ NPR All Things Considered Radio Interview about the magnet in her finger and her body hacking story
  6. ^ A Sixth Sense for a Wired World Archived January 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Article and pictures about her magnetic implant
  7. ^ Guardian Unlimited Quinn's Symphonic Conundrum
  8. ^ Wesley Yang (February 8, 2013). "The Life and Afterlife of Aaron Swartz". New York. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Quinn Norton (March 3, 2013). "Life Inside the Aaron Swartz Investigation". The Atlantic. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ Larissa MacFarquhar (March 11, 2013). "Requiem for a Dream". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 

External links[edit]