We Are Legion

The Story of Hacktivists

96 minutes 9.1/10 based on 25 votes

Anonymous, a “hacktivist” collective, assert themselves as the rulers of the Internet and protectors of free speech; they represent a certain type of chaotic freedom. They claim to have no leader and instead work together as a singular voice. That’s the reason why they refuse to show their faces or give their names. They have been called a wide range of offensive terms, including ‘criminals’ and ‘hackers on steroids’, but they continue to define themselves as a serious political movement that fight for many difference causes. Anonymous believes that it’s a noble thing to be able to stand against censorship and against oppressive governments both at home and abroad. Their tools of preference include disruption and spectacle and have become the face of dissent for human rights groups.

“Hacktivism” is a name that was coined by one of the members of a group called The Cult of the Dead Cow, who were one of the first hacktivist groups along with Electronic Disturbance Theatre. What they did was to design software that people in other countries could use in order to communicate securely with each other even if their government was spying on them.

Hacking originated as humorous pranks at MIT and continues to be a tradition they uphold even today. These pranks then inevitably migrated into engineering and the computer community. Nowadays, hackers make a statement about how information should be treated.

Whether they’re going after powerful organizations like The Church of Scientology, attacking websites like Mastercard, Visa, and Paypal, or stirring up the Egyptians to fight their oppressive government, for Anonymous, at the very core the goal is always to fight for the freedom of expression.

Many of these young hacktivists have been followed, threatened, harassed and even imprisoned and indicted but they continue to hold stubbornly to their beliefs. Through many interviews with some of the current members as well as a number of writers and major players, this documentary traces the amazing evolution and complex history of Anonymous. What started as a group of merry pranksters has turned into a full-blown global movement that is armed with new weapons that are able to provoke civil disobedience in an online world.

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  • awful_truth

    There is no doubt that good and bad occurs from any action, regardless of intent. (for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction – also – the road to hell is paved with good intentions) With that said, it is all about choice, and the desire of empathy for all must be paramount. Any corruption you accuse an organization, corporation or government for, (same crap, different pile) you will find the same thing is occurring all around the world, regardless of political, or religious ideology.
    The only thing I know for certain is choices that can you live with. On this singular point, you will find a large spectrum of response. Being complicit with that which is unpalatable leads to regret. This concept does not reside in the mind of the psychopath, who is driven by power, or greed. Exposing their insanity, and causing them a little inconvenience is well worth the price, assuming you care about your children, the future of the world, and your soul!

    • tim

      so many big words to say nothing at all…

      • awful_truth

        Nothing at all to the simpletons perhaps!

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