We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists

  • Brian Knappenberger
  • United States
  • 2012
  • 95 min
filmcollectie_01 Film


The members of Anonymous, the feared online hackers' collective labeled a "terrorist network" by irked governments, prefer to call themselves "hacktivists": idealistic defenders of freedom of expression, Internet neutrality and privacy. Their electronically distorted voices are familiar, but who are they? In We Are Legion, they introduce themselves. Director Brian Knappenberger interviews a number of active members, who appear uncensored before the camera. Using a combination of interviews, shots of demonstrations on the streets and explanations of the typical Internet jargon used by the members of Anonymous, Knappenberger creates a subtle, informative portrait of a generation of Internet pioneers. Although their actions are coordinated, no one seems to be in charge. Knappenberger discusses the ethical issues and takes us to the birthplace of this collective, which exists only on the worldwide web: the online forum 4Chan. Their call to protest against the Church of Scientology was hugely successful: not only did members of Anonymous take to the streets in America, but demonstrators appeared on the doorsteps of Scientology churches worldwide, all on the same day. Strengthened by this unity of purpose, they took new steps: Sony's susceptibility to leaks involving personal data was tested, and child pornography was tackled head-on. What started with anonymous but playful capers has grown into targeted online hacktivism with worldwide coverage.

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  • 95 min
  • color
  • video
Brian Knappenberger
Brian Knappenberger for Luminant Media
Lincoln Else, Dan Krauss, Scott Sinkler
Andy Robertson
Jim Choi, Bob Fazio, Tony Kremer, Matt Mason
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