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Computer hackers are being portrayed as the newest brand of terrorists. This is a story of a hacker named Kevin Mitnick, imprisoned without bail for nearly five years. Freedom Downtime tries to uncover the reasons why the authorities are so scared of Mitnick as well as define what exactly he did. Surprisingly, no real evidence is ever presented by the authorities to back up the sensationalist claims in mass media. But when a Hollywood studio decides to make a movie about Mitnick's life through the eyes of one of his accusers, hackers turn to activism to get their message out. Through interviews with relatives, friends, lawyers, and experts in the computer and civil liberties arena, a picture of a great injustice becomes apparent. A cross-country journey uncovers some realities of the hacker culture as well as the sobering fact that so many technically young adept people are being imprisoned. Written by
Editing was done on a 333MHz Macintosh G3 with about 500GB of disk space running EditDV, which was serious power at the time. See more »
...We knew it wouldn't work. We always knew it wouldn't work. But that's what hacking has always been about since the beginning - doing things you knew wouldn't just because you had to.
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Freedom Downtime is basically a personal video record of the "Free Kevin" campaign to free notorious hacker Kevin Mitnick. It's not really about hacking at all and the comparisons to Michael Moore are only appropriate in that the filmmaker confronts those who have been deemed as bad guys. Other than that, Freedom Downtime shares nothing in common with Michael Moore films and is an interesting, albeit scary, look at the justice system in the USA.
It should be an interesting film for anyone who remembers the "Free Kevin" campaign that was once so prevalent on the internet. It's full of that dry humor so appreciated by hacker culture, which adds a little hacker flavor to an otherwise serious subject. Those not familiar with Mitnick may not appreciate the film as much, but they'll still come away with an inside glimpse into serious problems with the justice system and the corporate media's willingness to ignore the truth when it wishes to do so. Of course, this won't come as a big surprise today, when trust in the corporate media is at an all-time low and people have turned to the internet as a result.
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