These were the words tweeted by a group of hackers through the Twitter account of NDTV journalist Barkha Dutt.
When contacted by some journalists, the members of Legion identified themselves as cyber experts and anarchists more interested in drugs and music than Indian politics. What seemed to drive them, though, was the desire for power and to put out as much classified information in the public domain as possible.
This desire for power and transparency is what often motivates hackers or hacktivists to keep their work going – to be able to dismantle the working of government and corporate entities, if their freedoms are perceived to be threatened.
A 2012 BBC documentary, We are Legion: The Story of Hacktivists, traces the growth of hacker network Anonymous from a group of pranksters to a global movement against government control and classified information. Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger delves into the origins of the group to understand what drives them and also looks at early self-styled hacker-activist groups such as Cult of the Dead Cow, Electronic Disturbance Theater and the website 4Chan, from which Anonymous was born.
The documentary shows us how they attacked child pornographers and big corporates and shut down Mastercard, Visa and Paypal who had frozen financial transactions to Wikileaks. Anonymous became a household name after it assisted people’s uprisings against the government in Tunisia and Egypt in 2011, known as the Arab Spring, by fighting back against government attempts to monitor and clamp down on internet use and carrying out cyber attacks on the establishment.
This documentary also shows how digital spaces can be used to assert an alternative power against the established institutions, primarily the State.