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  2. 2. FUTURE RADICALS: BEHIND THE FRONTLINES OF A CYBERWAR PAGE 2 OF 10 Overview Future Radicals is a half-hour documentary that tracks the history, growth and increasing surveillance of the global cyber activist movement known as Anonymous. Part futuristic fantasy, part civil rights activists, Anonymous are a group of masked vigilantes who’ve been waging a global war to defend freedom of information on the internet since 2003. The group employs the very same technology that it fights to protect – the internet, social media and whatever digital technology it can use as a weapon – illegal or not. Add their schmick multi-media, call-to-arms, propaganda campaign featuring the Guy Fawkes mask and the logo of the “suit without a head” and you have a powerful worldwide cyber activist community ready for action. The program tracks the movement’s unlikely beginnings as a bunch of obnoxious cyber pranksters on the website 4chan, to its evolution into a more organised and ethically motivated group that rallies in support of the Arab Spring and Wikileaks. The media has called them ‘hackers on steroids’, ‘domestic terrorists’, and ‘an internet hate machine’. But Anonymous protests typically include the blocking and defacement of websites and the leaking of hacked private information in order to bring public attention to a freedom of information or civil rights issue. Anonymous has targeted large corporations, religious groups, governments—and increasingly law enforcement and security firms. As a result, ASIO, Scotland Yard and the FBI are among the agencies that now have ‘Anonymous’ squarely in their sites. And ditto goes for Anonymous who, in retaliation, have turned their cyber ‘lasers’ back against the agents who hunt them. Future Radicals includes ‘insider’ details of protest Operations that include hilarious, humiliating and downright incriminating cyber stunts against its victims. An account of how the FBI ‘turn’ a high profile Anon member so as to bring about a counter sting against ‘Anonymous’ in an attempt to incriminate Wikileaks is compelling viewing. Interviews with cyber security experts, journalists and actual ‘Anons’ highlight the dual nature of the internet – that it’s not just the most liberating tool for humanity ever invented – it’s also the worst for surveillance. Learning that their online identities are not as ‘anonymous’ as they think is a sobering realisation for a movement whose denizens have been increasingly tracked, infiltrated and systematically arrested across the globe. Along with Anonymous’ propaganda videos, archival news footage and a series of revealing interviews, Future Radicals is a unique expose on the Anonymous movement and the activities that have made it some powerful enemies…
  3. 3. FUTURE RADICALS: BEHIND THE FRONTLINES OF A CYBERWAR PAGE 3 OF 10 CURRICULUM RELEVANCE Future Radicals runs for 30 minutes, and is a suitable resource for use at middle senior secondary levels. It can be used as a tool for enquiry in the following curriculum Areas: Science, English, Film & Media, Civics and Citizen- ship, Australian and Global Politics and Information Technology.
  4. 4. FUTURE RADICALS: BEHIND THE FRONTLINES OF A CYBERWAR PAGE 4 OF 10 Anonymous has no leader instead relying on the collective power of individuals. Anonymous is spread over many mediums and languages, with membership being achieved simply by wishing to join. A “loose coalition of internet denizens,” the group is banded together by the internet, IRC channels, and YouTube. Social networking services, such as Facebook, are used for the creation of groups, which reach out to people to mobilize in real-world protests. Many people affiliated with Anonymous associate with the Guy Fawkes mask, either at protests, or within images spread online. Anonymous have caught the attention of the media and the public internationally for attacking Paypal; Mastercard; Visa; Sony; Bank of America; (companies perceived to be enemies of the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks) and religious institutions such as the Church of Scientology. In fact any individual or group who Anonymous believe restrict access to information on the internet, in anyway, can rest assured they are next on the long and ever increasing list of targets. They have been called a “a puddle of pimple-faced nerds”; “supremely bored 15-year olds”; and “[an]…internet Hate Machine”. Their efficacy has been questioned and their perceived threat downplayed by security firms across the world. The Australian Government has been a target on several occasions, with operations against the Australian Government’s plans for ISP-level censorship of the internet. Despite these attacks, The Australian Government boldly claims: “[their attacks]…should not be considered cyber terrorism…” However, as always, actions speak louder than words, and Anonymous have launched successful strikes against the governments of Egypt, Tunisia, Iran and more recently Turkey proving they are definitely a force to be reckoned with. ABOUT ANONYMOUS The recent arrests of Anonymous members worldwide clearly indicate the authorities are taking the war they are waging more seriously. In June 2012, the Australian Federal Police knocked on the doors of six young hackers suspected of performing denial of service attacks. Parents in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth were told by AFP officers that their children had participated in various “cybercrime- related activities”. Each were handed copies of Commonwealth cybercrime legislation warned of the implications of their actions. The young hackers were told activities such as hacking, virus-writing and launching DDoS attacks could lead to convictions and at worst attract up to ten years in prison. The cautions were made under the ThinkUKnow initiative between the AFP and Microsoft. None of those warned were charged. Anonymous: Freedom Fighters? Or Criminals? You decide…
  5. 5. FUTURE RADICALS: BEHIND THE FRONTLINES OF A CYBERWAR PAGE 5 OF 10 Hacktivism Is a term that combines the terms ‘hacker’ and ‘activism’ and generally means the use of technical tools, including denial of service attacks, virtual sit-ins, web page defacement or redirects, to show- case a political message through either illegal or legally ambiguous methods. Citizen Journalist A public citizen who plays an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information. LOLZ: Lots of Laughs Text message shorthand, used primarily in texting, online chat, IM, email, blogs, and newsgroup postings, LOLZ is the plural form of LOL. Lulz Corruption of LOL, online shorthand for “laugh out loud”. Hivemind A group of people who act or think in unison as if they are all the same individual. Like a swarm of bees … DDoS: Distributed Denial-of-Service Attack is one in which a multitude of compromised systems attack a single target, thereby causing denial of service for users of the targeted system. The flood of incoming messages to the target system essentially forces it to shut down. D0xing Is the posting the personal information (usually in the form of digital documents, hence “D0x”) of the target as publicly and in as many places as possible. IRC: iRelay Chat Is a protocol for real-time internet text messaging (chat). It is mainly designed for group communication in discussion forums called channels, but also allows one-to-one communication via private message as well as chat and data transfer including file sharing. LOIC: Low Orbit Ion Cannon Is a network stress testing application that has been used by Anonymous to accomplish its DDOS attacks. Individuals download the LOIC and voluntarily contribute their computer to a bot net. Botnets Serve a command computer, carrying out automated functions at their master’s bidding. Common bot crimes include denial-of-service, extortion, identity theft, spam, and fraud. Multiple infected computers together form a botnet, with each individual computer also termed a zombie. Hacker Generally refers to any person who enjoys understanding, modifying, and exploring programmable systems, particularly computers and computer systems. Script Kiddie An inexperienced or juvenile hacker. Social Engineering Whereby a hacker uses clever manipulation of the natural human tendency to trust to obtain information that will allow unauthorized access to a valued system and its information. GLOSSARY OF TERMS
  6. 6. FUTURE RADICALS: BEHIND THE FRONTLINES OF A CYBERWAR PAGE 6 OF 10 AnonyOps Civil & Human Rights Activist. *Gov’t Corruption, be damned.* I don’t break into things, I break out of things. Oxblood Ruffin Is a member of the Cult of the Dead Cow hacking collective and Executive Director of Hacktivismo, an international group of technologists that counsels human rights organizations. Oxblood is a founding member of the Dharamsala Information Technology Group in Dharamsala, India, and has spoken at the University of Oregon, Yale, and Harvard law schools on cybercrime and free speech issues. He is currently writing a book on information warfare. Gabriella Coleman Gabriella (Biella) Coleman is the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy in the Art History and Communication Studies Department at McGill University. Trained as an anthropologist, Gabriella examines the ethics of online collaboration/institutions as well as the role of the law and digital media in sustaining various forms of political activism. As the most renowned international expert on the cyber activist network Anonymous, she has appeared in the media and as conference speaker worldwide. Barrett Brown Is an activist, author, and freelance writer specializing in “information age” issues, most usually associated in the press with net activism and his past advocacy of Anonymous. His work has appeared in the Guardian, Vanity Fair, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, Skeptic, Skeptical Inquirer, New York Press, American Atheist, and other outlets. In 2009, Brown began to recruit volunteers for a “distributed think tank” called Project PM which investigates the private intelligence sector and promotes effective opposition to surveillance, data mining, and advanced disinformation techniques by states and other institutions. Jody Melbourne Spent his teenage years back in the 90’s huddled in front of computers, trying to find ways to access things that other people really didn’t want him to access. A few years later at age 17, he was visited by the friendly federal police, which caused him to reconsider his illegal hobbies. A year later he was hired as a professional hacker by an IT security firm. Since then Jody has spent almost 15 years advising large corporations, banks and governments of flaws in their security systems. Nowadays Jody is a Senior Consultant with Hacklabs and specialises in Ethical Hacking. Patrick Gray Is an Australian journalist who’s been reporting on the information security discipline since 2001. These days he hosts the Risky Business security podcast; a weekly news and current affairs digest for information security professionals. Before the podcast launched in 2007 he wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, ACP Magazines,, ZDNet Australia,, Business Week and many, many more. Participant biographies
  7. 7. FUTURE RADICALS: BEHIND THE FRONTLINES OF A CYBERWAR PAGE 7 OF 10 06. Discuss how the internet might be used against its people. 07. What do you know about the Australian laws relating to the activities of cyberactivists? Are any of these activities illegal? 08. Are there cyberactivists who work within the Australian law (e.g. Citizen journalists, GetUp, Avaaz) 09. What do you know about freedom of information, surveillance and copyright on the internet? Is this issue relevant in Australia? What are the pros and cons of these? 10. Give three examples of other countries where this is also an important issue. Discuss why you have chosen these countries and explain why. 11. How might surveillance and freedom of information change how we use the internet in the next five years? Ten years? Pre VIEWING: THEMES & QUESTIONS: 01. Examine Anonymous’ visual iconography. What is the history of the Guy Fawkes mask? Why did the mask come to be used by followers of the Anonymous movement? 02. What does the Anonymous logo of the suit without a head symbolise? 03. What is hacking? Are there different types of hackers? What is a black hat hacker? What is a white hat hacker? What role can ethics play for hackers? 04. How does cyberactivism differ from more traditional acts of civil protest? 05. Discuss what role the internet can play in a healthy democracy.
  8. 8. FUTURE RADICALS: BEHIND THE FRONTLINES OF A CYBERWAR PAGE 8 OF 10 07. What illegal activities do Anonymous get involved in and what are the Australian penalties associated with these actions? 08. Are there other options, which are legal? Are they more, or less effective? 09. Discuss anonymity and the reason the movement’s followers wish to remain anonymous. 10. What are the key arguments for, and against cyber activism and hacktivism as portrayed in the film? 11. What ethical issues does the film raise about Anonymous’ activities? How do the different participants deal with these? Do you think they are resolved satisfactorily? 12. Discuss the ‘hivemind’ idea of the collective individual? Why do you think this type of structure appeals to Anonymous? 13. How successful is Anonymous at spreading their message; recruiting people to their causes, achieving their goals? 01. How did the Anonymous movement begin? How did it change over time? 02. What is the Anonymous movement fighting for? 03. What is freedom of information and why is Anonymous so concerned about it? 04. What modes of communication does the Anonymous movement employ and how do these differ from tradition forms of media? 05. What methods do they use to protest? Why? How successful do you think they are? Are some methods better than others? Why? 06. Can ‘hacktivism’ be compared to previous resistance movements such as the racial equality, anti war and the women’s rights movements of the 1960s/70s? 14. What do you think anonymous’ failures have been, if any? 15. Examine the way mainstream media relates to the actions of the Anonymous movement: how does it depict the movement? Is it balanced and fair? 16. What role has the media played in their evolution? How successful would Anonymous be without the media? 17. What do you think the future holds for Anonymous, and for hacktivism generally? 18. Examine Anonymous arrests worldwide and Australia-wide. What conclusion does the film offer? 19. What is the difference between a cyber activist and a cyber terrorist? 20. Anonymous: cyberactivists or criminals? You decide. Post VIEWING: THEMES & QUESTIONS:
  9. 9. FUTURE RADICALS: BEHIND THE FRONTLINES OF A CYBERWAR PAGE 9 OF 10 Website High Tech Crime Australian Federal Police Definition Crimes such as computer intrusions, unauthorised modification of data, including destruction of data, denial- of-service (DoS) attacks, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks using botnets and malicious software are often referred to as high tech crime Accessed Nov 2012 < policing/cybercrime/hightech-crime.aspx> Website Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc (Efa) EFA is a non-profit national organisation representing internet users concerned with on-line freedoms and rights. EFA’s major objectives are to protect and promote the civil liberties of users and operators of computer based communications systems such as the internet, to advocate the amendment of laws and regulations in Australia and elsewhere (both current and proposed) which restrict free speech and to educate the community at large about the social, political, and civil liberties issues involved in the use of computer based communications systems. Accessed Nov 2012 <> Article Our Weirdness Is Free Gabriella Coleman The logic of Anonymous – online army, agent of chaos, and seeker of justice Accessed Nov 2012 <www. weirdness_is_free> Article Am I Anonymous? Gabriella Coleman Learning how Anonymous works means learning to be one. Gabriella Coleman narrates her experience of being in between worlds. Accessed Nov 2012 < am-i-anonymous/> Article Why We Secretly Love Lulzsec Patrick Gray Elephant in room visible. Cans open. Worms everywhere... Accessed Nov 2012 <> Article The Man Who Fell To Earth Julian Assange’s Wikileaks John Birmingham, The Monthly Accessed Nov 2012 < au/julian-assange-s-wikileaks-man-who-fell- earth-john-birmingham-2789> Article Jacob Appelbaum Watches The Watchers Linux.Conf.Au Does internet censorship interest you? Ever worried about the state of surveillance on the internet - and just who has access to your private data? So does Jacob Appelbaum! Accessed Nov 2012 <www.lca2012.linux.> Book Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier, Suelette Dreyfus Reed Books Australia, 1997 A book published in 1997 by Suelette Dreyfus, researched by Julian Assange. It describes the exploits of a group of Australian, American, and British black hat hackers during the late 1980s and early 1990s, among them Assange himself. Accessed Nov 2012 < catalog/world/readfile?fk_files=2706754> Website Cult of The Dead Cow Based in Lubbock, Texas, CULT OF THE DEAD COW (cDc) is the most influential
computer underground group in the world. The cDc alumni list reads like a
Who’s Who of hacking and includes a former Presidential advisor on internet
security, among others. The group is further distinguished by publishing the
longest running e-zine on the internet [est. 1984], stretching the limits of
the First Amendment, and fighting anyone or any government that aspires to
limit free speech. Accessed Nov 2012 <> FURTHER READING & RELEVANT WEBSITES

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