25 January 1945|
|Occupation||computer expert and comptroller general of the French Army|
René Carmille (born Trémolat, Dordogne, 1886; died Dachau, Bavaria, 25 January 1945) was a punched card computer expert and comptroller general of the French Army in the early 20th century. In World War II he was a double agent for the French Resistance and part of the Marco Polo Network. He ran the Demographics Department of Vichy and later INSEE, France's National Statistics Service. In this capacity, he sabotaged the Nazi census of France, saving untold numbers of Jewish people from death camps. The IEEE newspaper, The Institute, describes Carmille as being an early ethical hacker: "Over the course of two years, Carmille and his group purposely delayed the process by mishandling the punch cards. He also hacked his own machines, reprogramming them so that they’d never punch information from Column 11 [which indicated religion] onto any census card." He also used his department to help mobilize French resistance in Algeria.
Carmille was arrested in Lyon on 3 February 1944. He was interrogated for two days by Klaus Barbie but did not break under torture. He was caught by the Nazis and sent to Dachau where he died on 25 January 1945.
A short documentary was released about Carmille in 2010 called Interregnum which stars Nicole Stamp.
- Amanda Davis, "A History of Hacking." The Institute 06 March 2015. http://theinstitute.ieee.org/technology-focus/technology-history/a-history-of-hacking.
- Black 2001, pp. 320–332
- Interregenum: The First Hacker. Nick Fox-Gieg. 2011. Video on YouTube; http://design.yorku.ca/?p=627