If you’ve ever wondered about activist hackers the documentary “We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists” is the place to find out what’s up. Be prepared to hear a lot of the F-word and see a lot of Guy Fawke’s masks, as in the movie V for Vendetta. There is anger, certainly, against the “establishment,” similar to the anger my generation felt toward authority in the Viet Nam war era. The tool that the activists of the 60’s lacked was the Internet. The Internet enables a whole new dimension in protest, presence, and power. One Guy Fawkes-masked speaker says that the Internet is like a living thing. I can see that.

The arc of the movie goes from innocent pranksterism to something less innocent and more confrontational. The prankster stage was taken more seriously by the Authorities than the hackers had expected. At least a few jail terms were doled out to some surprised young people, and some equally surprised not-so-young people.

We visit the Cult of the Dead Cow, virtual sit-ins, 4chan (conceived by Christopher “Moot” Poole when he was 15), the /b/-board, a site where half of the posts are intended to repel viewers rather than encourage them.

Somewhere in here the concept of Anonymous was born, and since Anonymous is anonymous any way you can think about it, it’s not easy to define it at all. Structure seems to grow around a given objective. A leader isn’t apparent anywhere. This might be an example of democracy in its rawest (or purist?) form.

The Chanology movement grew from Anonymous with the objective of attacking the Church of Scientology. This might have been a turning point from the funster mode into something more serious and sombre. Of course, there isn’t necessarily mass agreement in this hacker realm.

Anonymous took on the government and corporations. A network architecture was born, and Wikileaks was formed in May, 2010, by Julian Assange.

Lulzsec became another face of the multi-dimensional hacktivist movement, a chaos generator with no purpose other than disruption.

It’s a challenge to sort out the different factions, the different values, but one thing for sure, there is a lot to be learned from this fascinating documentary.