Who’s behind the “hacktivist” network Anonymous? | DW Documentary
In 2020, the “hacktivist” network Anonymous surfaced again, after years of relative quiet. “We will expose your many crimes to the world,” said a masked Minneapolis police messenger in a clip that went viral on the Internet.
The documentary is a journey into the world of Commander X, one of the most famous, feisty and outspoken figures in the history of the international online movement. Commander X is ready to tell his own remarkable story — and reveal what lies behind not only the ‘how’, but also the ‘why’ of Anonymous’ modus operandi.
Christopher Mark Doyon, a.k.a. Commander X, embodies the journey of American activism “from the streets to the Internet and then back to the streets,” says journalist and author David Kushner, one of many observers, comrades-in-arms and adversaries who provide Commander X’s raucous and contentious odyssey with some context — and, sometimes, a reality check.
We learn that Doyon is an old-school revolutionary. As a computer-loving teenager, he fled a troubled childhood in rural Maine, moved through various activist hotspots and began hacking long before most of us were familiar with the term. He considers himself a freedom fighter who helped shape the 21st century.
When PayPal, Mastercard and VISA blocked the use of their services to support Wikileaks, Commander X led the attack on their websites. It was a move that cost these companies millions and alerted the FBI to the power of Anonymous. When the Egyptian government shut down the Internet during the Arab Spring, Commander X was one of the leading hackers to get it back up and running.
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