We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by The Wrong Guy, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. Anonymous Member

    We Are Legion: The Story of The Hacktivists If Nina Conti restores the dubious image of ventriloquists in Her Master’s Voice, director Brian Knappenberger does the same for computer hackers. This is not a portrait of Wiki Leaks and Julian Assange, although they figure in it. It’s the coming-of-age tale of the worldwide underground collective known as Anonymous, which morphed from an outlaw quirk of pop culture into a significant political force—”the Internet’s first army.” The film shows how a bunch of basement geeks first got a sense of their own power by making gleeful, indiscriminate mischief on the Internet, and how they evolved into a movement with a mission. Their first significant target was the Church of Scientology. With their anonymity, they found the naive nerve to criticize and harass the Church, which had intimated more visible opponents into silent submission—though the hacktivists later realized they were not immune to harsh legal consequences. The movement truly comes into its own in demolishing firewalls put up by censors in Tunisia and Egypt—playing a crucial role in the Arab Spring.
  2. Anonymous Member

  3. Anonymous Member

    Ashland Independent Film Festival panel:

  4. Anonymous Member

    Digital Journal review:

    You've heard of those hacktivists wearing Guy Fawkes masks and taking down Scientology websites and going to cyber-war with PayPal. But with the documentary We Are Legion, you finally learn about the motives and missions at the heart of Anonymous.

    In a compelling and insightful documentary, a profile of the powerful Anonymous hacking collective shows a different side of the global force known for battling the Church of Scientology and opponents of WikiLeaks. Some may see Anonymous members as skilled but criminal hackers living in their parents' basements, but We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists peels back the curtain to reveal a more human story: these are angry and passionate coders taking to their virtual street corner to protest for free speech and Internet freedom.

    Brian Knappenberger's 90-minute film, debuting at Toronto's Hot Docs Film Festival, traces the history of hacktivism and online forums, telling us in great detail how pulling pranks online has long been a steadfast tradition that eventually evolved into a more serious form of dissidence. Born out of the 4chan community, Anonymous members first started trying to silence Neo-Nazi radio hosts and Church of Scientology groups. The latter fight gave Anonymous worldwide attention, partially thanks to their real-life protests at almost every Scientology building across the world. This was the hacker getting into the sunlight to finally meet colleagues they've known online for years.

    A parade of experts and insiders layer the doc with insight into what motivates Anonymous hackers to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Mastercard or the Australian government: they want to combat Net censorship. Getting Anonymous members to discuss why they do what they do was a real coup for the filmmakers, because these hackers don't often speak so freely to media.

    We learn a lot about their core beliefs: They believe in the right to spread information freely (WikiLeaks) and they help other groups spread the word about their own protests (Occupy Wall Street). They oppose governments such as Egypt who bar citizens from accessing the Web. But their hacking work comes with a price, We Are Legion tells us: 14 Anonymous members have been arrested for their alleged crimes, which include lobbing massive DDoS attacks against websites for Scientology, PayPal, MasterCard and more.

    The film leaves us with an important question: As more protests are being organized and carried out online, should governments grant these netizens the right to conduct virtual sit-ins? If Occupy protesters can legally block a city intersection, why can't Anonymous members do the same online, shutting down the traffic of their targeted sites?

    Whatever you think about hackers fighting for their voices to heard, We Are Legion is a newsworthy film documenting the Internet's first army, who will continue to be relevant in our wired world.
  5. Anonymous Member

    Knappenberger talked to Dork Shelf briefly and almost in passing just before the premiere of his film at the Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival about the difficulties one faces when trying to take an objective look at something as anomalous as the internet.

    Dork Shelf: How daunting does it seem at first when throwing yourself into this wide open, yet oddly hermitic world of the internet? Because you aren’t only making a film about online activism, but also about the history of the net.

    Brian Knappenberger: (laughs) “Don’t worry, the internet’s here.” Or like the classic meme “Oh fuck, the internet’s here.” You know, I’ve been fascinated by the internet and internet culture for a while now. I’m an independent documentary filmmaker and journalist, and I did a lot of tech stories before this, and I was really fascinated specifically with Anonymous before we started making the film. The first time I had ever heard of them was the origin of that particular meme and when they attacked the Church of Scientology. I think it’s something to really look back on and find out exactly what it was that happened there. That was something that was really innovative in that it was one of the first times that any group on the internet was ever able to actually mobilize human beings to stand up for something they didn’t think was right and to do it all over the world. I think all internet activism after that point really started to follow that model.

    DS: Well, there’s that and in the film you also show how something as simple as Twitter can be used as an object for change.

    BK: Absolutely!

    DS: But at the same time when you go to look back at the beginnings of this cultural shift, you start to go down this sort of rabbit hole that can point you in different directions. We’re you ever surprised at how far reaching the historical context for the film was despite taking place mostly over a couple of decades?

    BK: Yeah. I didn’t know how far down that hole I was going to go, Yes, it’s really amazing because everything gets out into the open so quickly that it builds exponentially. You can look at any of the Anonymous Twitter accounts for evidence of that and just how quickly that message can be brought out now. And watching the evolution of memes and protests, you can really see that. Take, for instance, the SOPA blackout. A certain chapter of Anonymous was beating the drum on that for a really long time, including even Google and all of their lobbyists in Washington even jumped on that bandwagon. Anonymous was relentless in pushing this, and suddenly it kind of got roped into the mainstream.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see how that message really gets out there by any means other than that and through something like Anonymous. Then it broadens out to other tech people and it becomes inevitable, but it’s an unbelievable prescedent.

    DS: Were you surprised that you were able to get a lot of these previously anonymous activists to come forward and talk to you for the film? I mean, many of these people aren’t hard to find if you know them in real life, but it’s another issue entirely to go on camera and on the record to talk about it.

    BK: I don’t know. For us it was interesting, because on the one hand, it’s actually not that hard to be in contact with members of Anonymous because you can very easily and freely engage in online chats and absorb the dialogue and participate, and sometimes you have to dodge some bullets, but it’s almost always a passionate discussion. But there is a kind of level – particularly with people who have a huge respect for their own anonymity – there is a level where you have to gain their trust to go on camera and describe some things that are sometimes illegal. We’re careful not to be cavalier about that.

    DS: It’s part of what makes the internet sometimes a scary place for everyone because even those who are proud of their activism might still fear reprisal or that big brother will somehow find a way to them.

    BK: That’s exactly right. We’re living in this post-9/11, post-Patriot Act culture with increasing surveillance moving into our lives. Anonymous just sort of serves as that axis that such protesting can revolve around.

    DS: Were you ever personally afraid as a filmmaker as to how the internet would react to your film?

    BK: Sort of, but I think that kind of criticism is fine. If you look at the comment section in our trailer – which has almost 500,000 hits in a short amount of time, which is huge for a documentary – there are people who think that the idea of using Anonymous as a force for good is ridiculous, and we do touch on that a lot in the film. “We are not good. We are not trying to do something worthwhile. You guys are idiots.” And I mean, the name of my film has the word “Hacktivist” in the title, and for some people that’s just a patently wrong or ridiculous idea.
  6. Anonymous Member

    4 out of 4 from Go,See,Talk:

    Brian Knappenberger’s We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists is a lot of things, but first and foremost it’s an outstanding example of documentary filmmaking done perfectly; it’s exciting, it’s propulsive, it’s entertaining, and it’s insightful. Documentaries should be educational and thorough as a rule, and We Are Legion doesn’t disappoint in that respect, but Knappenberger’s film– despite all of its historical and academic value– regardless manages to carry out its purpose with tongue firmly in cheek.

    And maybe there’s a point to that. After all, there’s something intrinsically bizarre about the idea that Knappenberger’s subject, the online, multi-faceted group of prankster-activists, Anonymous, actually has become a genuine catalyst for change in the modern world of social networking and global unrest. Who would have thought something provably good would ever have come out of 4chan?

    You may be raising your hand to ask questions at this point. Anonymous? 4chan? There’s a good chance you’re more aware of the former over the latter, especially if you ever made a point to tune into media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement or the 2008 worldwide protests against the Church of Scientology. 4chan has attained its own level of infamy, though, as one of the most sordid corners of the Internet, particularly its /b/ board, the contents of which have the power to addle and dissolve the grey matter of even the most hardened veterans of web debauchery and vulgarity.

    Ultimately your familiarity level with either doesn’t really matter; Knappenberger has researched his subjects so extensively that We Are Legion can almost be guaranteed to teach you something you didn’t know. There are numerous takeaways to this film; notably, it’s hard to get around the idea that Anonymous is comprised of people who at one time considered virtually gathering in an online game and organizing countless virtual avatars into the shape of a Swastika to be utterly hilarious. How do people get from the /b/ board to the global stage? How do the peddlers of every single Internet meme you’ve ever encountered, from lolcats to Chocolate Rain, wind up on the front lines of conflicts between oppressed and dissatisfied populaces and their brutish governments (just one battlefield among many others)? Where do the Anons fit into the Arab Spring and why?

    I think I prefer to leave the particulars to the film itself, but the answers are unfailingly compelling. What makes We Are Legion work so well as a media document and as a narrative about contemporary world events lies in how effectively and energetically Knappenberger realizes the genesis of Anonymous from Internet tricksters and ne’er-do-wells to bona fide revolutionaries. Not content with merely serving us a point-by-point lesson on how Anonymous came to take part in social and political kerfuffles the world over, he makes their joint story feel alive. We’re not talking about bleeding heart do-gooders here; even when Anonymous intervenes in, say, the events of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution (right up to when Hosni Mubarak stepped down), their involvement just resembles the trolling for which they were previously known. The character of their activities doesn’t change, but the spirit and scale do.

    Or maybe it’s some other variation of the three. It’s hard to pin down the motivations of the Anons because they’re so varied; of the actual members interviewed in the documentary (who allowed themselves to be filmed since they’ve already either been confronted by the FBI or had their identities outed by private investigators hired by the Church of Scientology), several take pride in how Anonymous has come to the aid of civilian protests from Iran to Tunisia. And while We Are Legion very specifically notes that members of Anonymous exist who do not approve of the group’s activities, it’s equally clear that Knappenberger does. He’s not simply trying to highlight and praise the tactics of Anonymous in the affairs of other countries, he’s celebrating them. He believes in them.


    And that’s because for everything else Anonymous and its members may represent, their actions in the late aughts and the first years of this new fledgling decade are undeniably inspiring. Whether we choose to take the roots of the Anons into consideration or not, We Are Legion is invariably about the power people have when they act and speak as one; it’s a film that demonstrates how anyone can affect change in the world and from anywhere in the world. (Prerequisites of course include computer access and knowledge, but the point nonetheless remains intact.) Maybe more than anything, the film may be saying that if a collective of Internet wiseguys and jesters can impel change in countries that aren’t necessarily their own, why can’t the rest of us?
  7. Anonymous Member
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. Anonymous Member

    ‘We Are Legion’: Movie Director Talks Inspiration and Hacktivism

    Anonymous agents of change drop the veil in new documentary.

    Stephen Saito
    May 30, 2012

    Brian Knappenberger has already walked the red carpets of the Slamdance and SXSW Film Festivals this year on behalf of his latest documentary We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, but he still isn’t finished tinkering with the final film, which focuses primarily on the rise of online collective Anonymous.

    Still, with this week’s debut at the Seattle Film Festival, you’d think We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists might be close to ready to go.

    “It’s got to be soon,” laughs Knappenberger, a documentarian used to being caught in the thick of things, as his 2009 short forTakePart’s campaign against Congo conflict minerals attests. “The story keeps evolving and changing; so we’re trying to keep up with it.”

    Knappenberger had envisioned his latest production as a brief history of activism in the digital age. During the year-long process, We Are Legiongrew to include the Arab Spring uprising and the ongoing Occupy movement. But while his movie explores the technological frontiers of social action, the filmmaker discovered that what drives people to demand change hasn’t changed itself much over time.

    “Civil disobedience has a long and celebrated history in our culture and in the world,” Knappenberger tells TakePart. “So now that we’ve all moved online, it’s not surprising that some of those kinds of protests, those ways of trying to preserve freedom of speech [and] to protest activity that people think is wrong, moves online too.”

    We Are Legion charts the origins of hacktivism to the very start of the personal computer revolution. According to the movie’s grasp of history, companies such as Apple and Microsoft were born from the desks of hackers, as were groups such as Cult of the Dead Cow that harnessed their skills to effect change, albeit in at times frivolous ways.

    The operations of Anonymous might have been dismissed as vandal banditry when Knappenberger started tracking it around 2008. The Church of Scientology had just attempted to scrub an unflattering Tom Cruise video from the Internet, sparking Anonymous online users around the world to flood Scientology’s Web site and effectively shut it down.

    “Here’s this church created by a science-fiction author being protested by people wearing masks created by a science-fiction author,” says Knappenberger, alluding to Anonymous’s trademark Guy Fawkes masks from Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta.

    However, Anonymous’s stand against Scientology was rooted in the serious objective of preserving a free flow of online information, even at the expense of embarrassing a Mission: Impossible star. That dedication to principal was a sign of things to come.

    Through interviews with former and current members, We Are Legionexplores the group’s growing sophistication and ability to mobilize in the real world, which has made it emblematic of the times.

    “I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like Anonymous,” Knappenberger says, and that’s what he’d like audiences to take away from the film. “We’ve seen different elements before. Hacking and activism and all this stuff, but with the numbers of people online, this is something new…. You get this sense that people are taking action. There’s something pretty great about that.”
  9. Anonymous Member

  10. Anonymous Member

    i watched the hyped up introduction to this flick, and i have to say that i'm just not impressed.
    i suppose it is the maker's own interpretation of anonymous, but it is not the same anonymous that i know.
    like poserfags who want to get the mask at Hot Topic in the mall to go with their chain link keychain and gothicfag clothes. it is your interpretation, and whatever, but another story will be told one day which will make this look terribly amateurish.
    carry on.
  11. Anonymous Member

    Also, what do the makers of this flick intend to do with the revenue it will generate? Surely, you realise that you are merely borrowing original content.
  12. Anonymous Member

    Seattle Weekly

  13. Anonymous Member

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  14. Anonymous Member

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  15. Anonymous Member


    To the news-consuming public, “Anonymous” is a dangerous group of Internet hotheads who unleash online attacks against any company or government that pisses them off. Back in 2010, the loose-knit group made headlines for disabling the websites of PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa in retaliation for the companies’ decision to stop processing donations to WikiLeaks. But in Brian Knappenberger’s fascinating new documentary, We are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, members of Anonymous aren’t cyber bullies; they’re heroes.

    Through interviews with Anonymous members and observers, Knappenberger—who previously worked for Discovery, National Geographic, and PBS/Frontline—plots the group’s unlikely ascent from an obscure Internet chat room to the lead story on the evening news. Along the way, Knappenberger explores the divisions that form within the community: Some members of Anonymous are just in it for the laughs, while others see a higher-minded calling—like going to war with the Church of Scientology after it tried to prevent a video of Tom Cruise discussing Scientology from being widely disseminated on the Internet.

    Knappenberger presents a much more flattering portrait of Anonymous than you’d find in the mainstream media. In the film, Anonymous members are garden-variety Internet jokesters who only learn to harness and detonate their power when governments and other institutions—like the Church of Scientology—take steps to limit the freedom of the Internet. In We Are Legion, Anonymous members aren’t the ones bullying; they’re sick and tired of being bullied themselves.

    It’s a fascinating approach to the subject. And even viewers who rage when they can’t log into their credit card accounts may find themselves pulling for Knappenberger’s hackers as they unleash denial-of-service attacks and leak personal information onto the Internet. To be sure, Knappenberger does explore the dangers of a having a group of fearless computer hackers roaming around the Internet, but his heart is clearly with Anonymous.

    Still, it’s just that perspective—which is largely absent from the popular media—that makes the film so compelling. Anonymous is far too decentralized and complex to be understood in a sound bite. And although some may take issue with Knappenberger’s often one-sided portrayal, We Are Legion does a great deal to further our understanding of Anonymous. The film is a must see for anyone interested in Internet technology or current events, or simply struggling to figure out what Anonymous is all about.
  16. Anonymous Member

    I Love Film interview:

  17. Anonymous Member

    IndiePix Films Blog:

    Silverdocs Recap: “We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists”

    With such close proximity to Washington D.C., the epicenter of all things politics in the United States, it’s only fitting that my first screening of We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists was at Silverdocs Film Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland. In the small but quaint Discovery Theater located in the Discovery Communications headquarters the film played with all ages, genders, and social scenes in attendance for what proved a polarizing Q&A following.

    The film opens questioning what I feel represents the beginning of the so-called hacktivist movement and the fuel for so many of the actions of Anonymous and other individual net-savvy pranksters: what the **** is going on? The world is changing in a crazy way, that much we can all agree on. But, the manner in which our country specifically identifies growing ‘threats’ to society is changing in a way that raises eyebrows.

    Some would call breaking down the door of a young 17 year old girl sitting behind a computer and dragging her off for questioning justified on the basis of National Security. And why? Well, even though the world IS changing it does so while having ALREADY changed. Today even computer nerds can wind up on a wanted list, and that’s what makes We Are Legion not only topical but a fantastic doc peering into a world only some understand well. The result is a film that lives up to the hype, and here’s why.

    The film gives you what you want and a lot of it: members of Anonymous and those affiliated with their cause telling the story of the hacktivism revolution that has swept the nation and been focused on the faceless group Anonymous. Identified by the Guy Fawkes mask only, this group is finally given a human face and a name and an audience who wants to know who they are and how they think. Fascinatingly, each and every member interviewed from those under litigation to those successfully living their eyes has a personal account of the complicated history of Anonymous and hacktivists.

    The website 4chan is at the center of the story, it’s the birthplace of the Anonymous handle and the virtual community that showcases the true origins of hacktivism: pranking. Simple pranks, designed by people with not so simple ways of thinking turned fun into focus where nerds were the focal point (much to their inexperience) and the nation couldn’t stop talking about them. When the activities of this group became more organized, much like in the case of Scientology, Mastercard & Visa, and Egypt, is when Anonymous gained legs and soared this issue straight to the top.

    We Are Legion chose its genre well: the documentary lens is perfect for dissecting exactly what changed the hacktivism movement into such a politically aware vehicle that drove its way into the center of a movement as large as a regime change in Egypt. Brian Knappenberger hit the jackpot with his happenstance of covering events preluding events like the uprising of the Egyptian people like the DDoSing of Paypal, and he capitalized on the advantage by having his film featured in Sundance earlier this year when the hacktivist movement was on fire in the public eye.

    For me, the film was a little more than a good doc about righteous nerds: it was a look into what could have been. To understand that the enjoyment of chatting on IRC and Ventrillo, from ridiculous memes and phrases to time-consuming video gaming could have led to political unrest is something of a dream you never want to wake up from. Needless to say, We Are Legion is a well-edited documentary. The voices of those supposedly hold-up in their mom’s basement has long since needed to heard, good on Knappenberger for charging this film’s power level to OVER 9000!!!
  18. Anonymous Member

  19. el conocimiento es poder, el poder controlar ese conocimiento es fatal, el mundo cambiara y de eso no hay duda evisto el futuro y sera muy duro pero se como terminara todos se daran cuenta y sabran de mi
  20. Anonymous Member

    Oh joy. That fcuking What Is The Plan video intro...

    Some anonymous person claims that he was kidnapped by anonymous agents and held for a week and then dumped. No dox.

    Black helicopters BLACK helicopters black HELICOPTERS Black helicopters BLACK helicopters black HELICOPTERS Black helicopters BLACK helicopters black HELICOPTERS Black helicopters BLACK helicopters black HELICOPTERS Black helicopters BLACK helicopters black HELICOPTERS Black helicopters BLACK helicopters black HELICOPTERS Black helicopters BLACK helicopters black HELICOPTERS Black helicopters BLACK helicopters black HELICOPTERS Black helicopters BLACK helicopters black HELICOPTERS Black helicopters BLACK helicopters black HELICOPTERS Black helicopters BLACK helicopters black HELICOPTER
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  21. raboon Member

    waiting for the porno spoof
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  22. Anonymous Member

    i haet all of this. posers.

    the porno spoof version is the only one i might watch.
  23. HTTPS Member

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  24. Anonymous Member

    I was going to say something, but i won't.
  25. Anonymous Member

  26. Anonymous Member

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  27. ZORRO Member

    you can join us on the paris mega raid
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  28. Anonymous Member

    • Agree Agree x 1
  29. Anonymous Member

    DEF CON panel:

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  30. Anonymous Member

    derail, but hate the new avatar
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  31. tigeratbay Member

    Boy, is that fun or what? Join you, yes, wish!
  32. Anonymous Member

    Brian Knappenberger’s film is a thoroughly entertaining profile of a band of hackers with a conscience who, from humble beginnings, have managed to have a staggering impact on society through viral campaigns that raise consciousness against injustice and repression in America and abroad. From modest beginnings, the Hacktivists, in various guises, have achieved global recognition, reaching out to tens of thousands of like-minded individuals.

    We are Legion certainly covers wide terrain, including the many splinter groups that have formed from the original source. Though Knappenberger may not assemble everything into a cohesive whole, the engaging, fast-paced style and emphasis on humourous juxtapositions keep the momentum going; there’s hardly a moment to pontificate on the rapid evolvement of communication’s global profile as we sleep innocently and obliviously in our beds at night.

    There’s a mostly controlled anarchy about the various groups’ modus operandi, which both confuses and entertains, such as when their concerted campaign against common enemies like the Church of Scientology are put under the microscope. Both glib and informative, We are Legion (2012) entertains at every step whilst wisely highlighting its sometimes erotic array of colourful characters - from the eccentric to the obnoxious to the geeky types who confirm our most ludicrously caricaturised visions of nerdy outsiders surely set to hold sway when the ultimate battle for technological might is finally decided.
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  33. tigeratbay Member

    loved the review :)
  34. Anonymous Member

  35. Anonymous Member

    I didn’t have high hopes when I went down to Frontline Club to see Brian Knappenberger’s We Are Legion, a documentary that promises to take the audience ‘inside the complex culture and history of Anonymous’. Films about politicised computer hackers are usually:

    a) Boring, ridiculous propaganda in which hackers are presented as terrorists tearing down society.
    b) Boring, ridiculous propaganda in which hackers are presented as heroes protecting society.
    c) Boring, with a lot of information about programming languages and operating systems.

    So I was delighted to find that We Are Legion is actually pretty good. Wearing its moderate bias on its sleeve, the documentary positions itself in the camp of ‘mainstream’ Anonymous members and distances itself from the more extreme factions. It’s a good call – it is easier to sympathise with a group taking on goliaths like The Church of Scientology and holocaust deniers like Hal Turner than with people who spend their spare time fucking with epileptics for kicks. The film offers a potted history of Anonymous’ roots and activities and then focuses on interviews with a selection of ‘former operatives’ including Mercedes Renee Haefer, the 20 year-old currently facing up to 15 years in jail for taking part in a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on Paypal (as a response to the company withdrawing its financial services from WikiLeaks). Haefer comes across as sweet, funny and smart, as do most of the spokespeople who show their faces in the film.

    What Knappenberger really manages to convey is the playfulness of many Anonymous operatives (“like Freemasons with a sense of humour”according to one interviewee) and the decentralised system. One member compares the group to a flock of birds, explaining that you’re always free to fly in a new direction, and the flock – or some of the flock – might follow you. The diversity of the group’s motivations and characters also comes through very strongly in the film. From fiercely ethical, politicised activists to reactionary bullies and surreal comedians, Anonymous is presented as a loose affiliation of individuals rather than a structured group labouring under a shared set of well-defined beliefs. At times, it even seems to function as a dating service – one Anonymous member interviewed in the film gleefully recalls the young male virgins who finally got laid as a result of the Chanology protests (“There were a lot of hot girls there! You’d be surprised!”).

    In a Q&A after the screening Knappenberger – speaking over Skype from the hospital where he’d just witnessed the birth of his first child – discussed his experience with Anonymous. He described the organisation as “a wide ranging group with wide ranging interests; geeks, hackers, punks and pranksters who have found themselves in the middle of one of the most important battles of our time – intrusion and surveillance in our lives”. The absurdity of much of the activity isn’t lost on Knappenberger. He points out that Project Chanology (Anonymous’ attack on Scientology) was ”a weird and bizarre situation in which you have a church created by a science fiction author being protested by people wearing masks created by a science fiction author.” However he sees the significance of the group as much greater than the sum of its parts. Activities like DDoS are creating new legal and ethical questions faster than anyone can answer them. “The Anonymous 16 defendants are facing 15 years in prison and $250k fine for what they would say is a virtual sit in which should a protected US First Amendment activity – maybe $250 fine and a night in prison. But no one knows where those lines are drawn, because it’s new” says Knappenberger. He points out that DDoS shouldn’t be straightforwardly condoned – the same methods that Anonymous used to protest Paypal and Scientology have been used by governments to shut down NGOs they don’t like.

    One thing is certain. Theatrics aside, the battles for and with the Internet are on. Obama has described cyber attacks as America’s “most serious economic and national security” challenge while the discovery of Stuxnet and similar weapons indicate that cyber war is well underway on a global scale, though largely invisible.

    Conflicts driven by ideology above geography pose complex threats to governments, as America’s War on Terror continues to prove. Similarly, ideological battles and affiliations online are fluid and prone to fluctuation, which can make them difficult to define, discredit or shut down. “The internet is insecure by design so there’s always going to be a certain amount of chaos to it” says Knappenberger.

    In terms of Anonymous, Knappenberger sees “numbers gaining exponentially and changing and altering in really interesting ways”. He predicts the future will see the group focusing on issues of privacy and government / corporate surveillance, issues which make them “rise up most powerfully and forcefully”. Whether Anonymous will find a unified voice or continue as a raggle-taggle swarm is unknown. Perhaps their power is in the very lack of unity which makes them so difficult to define, to reduce and to destroy.
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  36. Anonymous Member

    Press TV interview:

    The relevant part starts at 14:43.
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  37. The Wrong Guy Member

    Press TV is a 24-hour English language news network owned by the state-owned media corporation Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran.

    The station has been criticised for its uncritical embrace of provocative stances. For British journalist Nick Cohen the station is "a platform for the full fascist conspiracy theory of supernatural Jewish power" and for commentator Douglas Murray it is the "Iranian government’s propaganda channel".

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  38. Anonymous Member

    Watch the film here:

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  40. Anonymous Member

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