‘We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists’ is an in-depth profile and behind-the-scenes look at the hacker group (or army), Anonymous.
Anonymous gained international attention in recent years, “hacking” or breaking into major networks in a demonstration of power and defiance. But who are they and why have they taken it upon themselves to avenge their so-called victims? We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists attempts to answer these questions by speaking with a number of people who consider themselves members of the vigilante cyber collective.
Through interviews with self-proclaimed key players and minor followers, filmmaker Brian Knappenberger plots the beginnings of Anonymous and traces its history to its current situation. What began as childish pranks to flex their virtual muscles evolved into a loose knit group of political activists. Though as the discussion progresses, it becomes clear not everyone is in agreement on the follow through.
Watching this documentary is like going behind the curtain of a secret organization. But not everyone shares the same level of comfort around this open dialogue - many hide their identities behind masks and voice disguisers. Nonetheless, many of them still sound like the guys who used to get bullied in high school and have finally found a means by which to deliver their revenge.
While they all agree in exposing the weaknesses of corporate conglomerates and punishing those attempting to monopolize what they believe should be readily available, not everyone agrees on releasing the information they steal as evidence. It’s a matter of not mixing in the Davids with the Goliaths. But it does raise the question: if there is enough dissension within the group, could they fracture and form a splinter group?
The future of Anonymous is unknown and they’re next target could be anyone, but one thing is certain: their number is growing and their power is immeasurable.
We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists screens as a part of Toronto’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival on May 1 at 6:15 p.m. at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, May 3 at 3 p.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox, and May 5 at 7 p.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox.