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It shouldn't really matter if you are with this groups actions or not because it's about understanding their motivations and how groups like it can and will impact our shared future; sometimes with government crushing impact and sometimes for a cruel laugh at someones expense.
I came away feeling both uplifted and slightly scared, but whatever you feel it will make you think and to me that is always a good thing.
The slow, drawn out pranking, hacking, cracking and inability of authority to overwhelm the vast numbers of the ad-hoc "Anonymous" ideal and group that came to act in representation is chronicled. The range of interviews covers not just self declared geniuses and opportunist writers who claim to publish books attempting understand or explain the world. There are also all kinds of average, or even below average skill and intelligence who found a home and created as much of the culture as the so called elite hacker. So there is a transcendence and assumption that we know the internet and forum culture enough that ethics and the vast range of different motivations can be opened up to the audience.
Its way more general and relevant to all internet forum users and connected to global events, revolutionaries than it is to simple acts of system cracking and website hacking. So many people will find it educational but most likely will react more to the not so magnetic nerd culture by identifying with or against it.
There are many interviews here which apparently succeed in chronicling the much longer story of legal suppression of activism through hacking. Milestones of change such as the public criticism and public mobilization against the Church of Scientology and it's extreme litigation and counter-offensive efforts to harm anyone who publicly embarrasses or criticizes it.
The main story is that this documentary seeks to recruit people by opening their eyes to the power of even small acts of defiance in the face of abuse of power. Abuse such as in the case of governments closing down lines of communication and concerned freedom groups re-enabling information flow such as in the Egypt massacres of demonstrators who eventually embarrassed their dictator into quitting government.
This type of documentary is rare - so spread the word
There is no need for expectations to be lowered for We are Legion: The Story of Hacktivists, a documentary that concerns the newfound "hacktivist" movement and the notorious band of cyber-protesters that call themselves "Anonymous." It's a spectacular, groundbreaking documentary that centers on the group, its formation, its goals and self-proclaimed "operations," and its surge of popularity on the internet and open-forum websites such as 4chan and Reddit. It provides one of the best pro/con debates, as well as some of the slickest arguments for why groups like this need to exist. I would say gangs like these are almost necessary to protect the rights of the people.
The film cherrypicks several different operations conducted by Anonymous - a group that is known not just for their controversial, highly-technical actions but ominous videos and Guy Fawkes masks - to allow the viewer the insight not so much if they're good or bad but how impacting they are. Their first major operation was attacking the Church of Scientology after they demanded the website Gawker to remove a video of Tom Cruise praising the religion. Anonymous saw this as an attack on free speech and staged elaborate server attacks on the church's site as well as protests at their churches around the world. But how did Anonymous form and how did these attacks come to fruition? Through the same tool the group uses to get their ideology across; the internet. Through sites like 4chan and Reddit that predicate off of the anonymity of their users and commit. Through the use of different sections for users to share their interests and talk about their ideas and even stage meetups around the world. That's how.
Another operation the group conducted were the protests against the famous internet bills called the "Protect IP Act" and the "Stop Online Piracy Act," which threatened a more government-regulated web. Others include questionable things such as hacking Sarah Palin's email, the websites of major credit cards for denying donations to WikiLeaks amid controversy, and even shutting down the PlayStation Network when a young man was handed a lawsuit for tampering with the network.
One of the many issues that has brewed with Anonymous is how disorganized it really is. Anyone from anyone where in the world can call themselves Anonymous and no stratification exists in the group. It's a global, leaderless group of people who are each advocating for what seems to be different things. While they can seem helpful and germane to the idea of democracy (WikiLeaks and the Church of Scientology), they also can appear just as harmful with immature little publicity stunts likely staged by a whole different group of people trying to call themselves a larger group of people. It's a messy set of circumstances.
Do I personally support Anonymous? It depends. When they're advocating for civil liberties and preservation of freedom, most definitely do I see them as helpful and necessary. It's when I see them staging childish attacks on political figures and public ordinance do I wince. Their powers are ones that can easily be taken for granted and perhaps we the people should protect them while we can.
I recently gave a thirty-five minute presentation on the rise, history, and crucial points on "hacktivism" - promoting political/social issues using technology - in my sociology class and used this film as the basis of my argument and format. One of my points was that no matter who is doing the hacking or what their justification may be, it will always be viewed as a deviant practice. You could say the group Anonymous is breaking the law and should be severely punished, but it that a fair thing to do fro someone who's allegedly protecting your rights? The answer, as always, is left up to you, dear reader.
The full film, We are Legion: The Story of Hacktivists, can be viewed on Youtube free of charge. It is something of your American right to do so, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arQRSjlDzDc
Directed by: Brian Knappenberger.
Thanks to online anonymity you can now let your friends know that they're fat sluts without having to lose their friendship.
However, fat shaming is far from the mandate of the faceless hackers in this documentary.
From its early inception on image-based message boards to its impact on the occupy movement, the polemic collective of online hackers known as Anonymous has always put freedom of speech first on their list of demands.
Claiming to have hacked numerous email accounts and websites belonging to governments, politicians and movie executives, the faceless rabble reinforce their rule when civil liberties are threatened.
Speaking in-depth with masked/unmasked members (Anon2World, Gregg Housh) as well as curators of online media outlets that tout its exploits, We Are Legion may be biased but it does divulged incredible insight into this unorganized organization.
Furthermore, it's nice to know that those masks they wear don't mean they're all Juggalos.
About a century ago Marxism has risen. Your whole factory could stop working because of syndicates. People who could not read or write, whose only merit was to get up when the siren sounded now were somehow entitled to a say in how the business was going. And they will kill and maim anyone who would want to take the working place. And these revolutionaries had nothing to do with the bills. Rent, storage, raw materials were all for the owner to bother, yet the profit was somehow their right.
Now there is Anonymous. Some moment your computer might stop responding. Or start attacking some site you don't even know it exists. You pay the computer, they are ready to make it work. The power and Internet bill are yours. The usage is somehow shared.
And all these happen because of activists. People whose only business is to decide for others. And they get angry too and throw tantrums if it does not get in their way.
What is worse, like the ISIS guys, these are rich kids who believe they work for a higher purpose. The Messiah has called them, each one, and they have to do this and that to the system. And of course, they are not rich. Usually all their assets are owned by their parents, so they can freely develop the delusion of being a hippie or a gypsy.
Nothing new. So they rape the words to make it look cool. Not activists. Hacktivists. And the laptop so expensive someone in India could by a house and a car? Cover it with cutesy stickers to show how anti consumerism you are.
Contact me with Questions, Comments or Suggestions ryitfork @ bitmail.ch
If you wish to truly understand the Collective this documentary is very revealing and does not turn away from the worse parts. This is the Emperor without his clothes.
This is Anonymous pockmarks and all.
Knappenberger's film chronicles the rise of Anonymous from a disparate group hanging out in the forums of notorious website 4chan to the day recently when members of the Polish parliament, in protest of a vote they said would restrict Web freedom, donned their own Guy Fawkes masks in solidarity with the group.