CSCD303 Essential Computer Security
Hacker Documentary Assignment

30 Points

Due Date: Friday January 24 2014

The purpose of this assignment is to give you an opportunity to watch a documentary on hackers and then investigate some questions relating to hacking, their role in our society and your opinion about hackers and cyber crime

Watch the Documentary

You can find a link to the Documentary Hackers, Outlaws and Angels here, Hackers, Outlaws and Angels
Watch the movie and make some notes about it as you watch it. Answer a couple of questions,
1. The movie was made a few years ago, does the movie do a good job of characterizing the hackers? Explain.
2. How has the role of hacking changed since the movie was made, or has it changed much?
3. Has the penalty for hacking changed, (harsher, more tolerant, or the same) since the movie? Provide an example to support your opinion. Do you believe the current attitude towards hacking is justified by the government?
4. The next few questions are related to hacktivism.
a. Anonymous sees themselves as agents of social change and generally creating positive change in the world. Do you see them as doing that? Give examples to support your opinion.
b. Are the hacktivists of today serving more as whistleblowers since they seem to want to liberate information (in their words) that is currently hidden? Do you agree or disagree with their stance on exposing the "crimes" of government and the corporate world?
c. In a democracy such as the USA, there been a traditional role for the press (investigative journalism) and other sincere citizens in our society in exposing governments, police, military and others engaged in misconduct and environmental misdeeds.
In fact, a free press was one of the tenets of a free society according to Thomas Jefferson,
" No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free no one ever will."
Thomas Jefferson
Do you feel the press is currently free in our society? Are they doing a good job of exposing corruption and injustice? Can you site some examples to support your views.


  1. Hard copy of answers to the questions
  2. We will discuss them in class on Wed., January 22 and you will have the chance to change or add to your answers.