Storyville: How Hackers Changed the World

“We are Anonymous. We are legion.”


I’m not convinced Storyville is in fact the best name for BBC4’s series of documentaries, on the simple basis that it makes the programme sound like a children’s storytelling show. Be that as it may, this installment – How Hackers Changed the World – is very interesting.

The episode features many talking heads, from university professors to members of hacking group Anonymous (suitably disguised, of course) discussing the history of hacking, from an organisation allegedly called the Dead Cow Cult (no, I don’t know why either) to the revolution in Egypt, via the brilliant film V for Vendetta and Wikileaks. The disparity of the hacking community is demonstrated by the contradictions between statements; one person says that the wearing of masks removes individuality and symbolises that the wearers speak with one voice, whereas another says that the organisation opposes groupthink. If there’s one thing I learned from this it’s that the internet is uncontrolled and leaderless. Oh, and hackers swear a lot.


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