We are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists – Brian Knappenberger

In News, Social Media by kat18f0 Comments

This documentary by Brian Knappenberger is “an informative film that begins to unravel the mystery of Anonymous” (JustCuriosity, 2012). It explains the philosophy of Anonymous, what they believe and why members risk their own freedom to speak out against governments, religious groups and other public figures that they believe are suppressing free speech.

There are interviews with Anonymous members who share their experiences with the lash backs from the FBI and how they served jail time for their part in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on websites. This documentary also explains what members of Anonymous would do in a target attack, ranging from phone pranks to protests, like the attack on Church of Scientology where all around the world members of Anonymous would disguise their identity with masks and face coverings, turn up to the Church of Scientology offices and protest against the religions beliefs (Knappenberger, 2012). What makes this protest unique is that it was organised online and no one knew who anyone else was.

Knappenberger has created an interesting overview on the life of a hacktivist and members of Anonymous. He has shown how targeted attacks happen, the results both good and bad from these attacks and what the legal ramifications can be if you take part in illegal DDoS attacks and are identified by the FBI. Mercedes Haefer, who was arrested for participating in DDoS attacks against PayPal, says the average jail time for a paedophile is 11 years, for a computer hacker you can face 15 years (Knappenberger, 2012).

Knappenberger shows hacktivists in both good and bad light and has given me a better understanding on what Anonymous stands for. It crossed over with many of the articles I found on Twitter and Political Protest as Anonymous use Twitter to organise and expose plans for attacks to recruit people to join their fight. I would recommend anyone who is researching Anonymous to watch this documentary.

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