[rumori] great media prank & "The Hactivists"

From: Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Date: Sun Apr 14 2002 - 09:55:05 PDT

here's a story from Australian Broadcasting Corp about a group of
media pranksters who fabricated a fake group of activists called
"The Dole Army", on welfare and living in the sewers of
Melbourne. They tricked 2 TV tabloid news shows into covering it,
to hilarious effect.

at one point they mention "a new form of protest sweeping the
world called 'culture jamming.'" heh.

here's the video:
and here's the transcript:

it's really funny.

I found this while trying to get information about an Australian
documentary called "The Hacktivists", by Ian Walker. Would love
to see this screened in the U.S. here's a synopsis:


In the "information war" of the new millenium, the first shots
have already been fired. And the "internet warriors" might be
just one click away from a virtual revolution.

So begins the story of THE HACKTIVISTS, a one-hour documentary
which provides a cutting edge snapshot of cultural subversion at
the dawn of the digital age. It explores the exponential growth
in anti-capitalist activism around the world and the new nodes of
protest available via computers and the internet. It^(1)s a
movement that^(1)s leaderless, global, anarchic and chaotic...the
internet come to life! And its coming soon to a website and a
city near you.

We meet the faces behind the groups behind the electronic
protests designed to take capitalism offline. Theirs is a world
where sit-ins have become "virtual" and where negative publicity
after an "online attack" can send a company^(1)s shareprice
plummeting or shatter the image of the target institution. We
hear the killer story of the legendary TOYWAR of 1999, where a
US$8 billion online toy corporation was crushed when tens of
thousands of internet activists joined in a massive online
"swarm" in order to cripple its website and stop it doing

THE HACKTIVISTS gets inside secret organisations like ELECTRONIC
ACTION. Their members go by avatars such as RE:no and
METAC0M...their "operations" have codenames like MAIL-O-MATIC or
DIGITAL ZAPATISMO. We unmask the key players in the
international world of internet activism. Can they save the
world...or are they "cyber terrorists" intent on breaking the
law...or maybe just naughty little geekboys intent on causing
some digital mischief from the comfort of their own homes?

The film plays out like a sly detective story. Across four
continents, the four main characters are revealed as planning an
online protest for A20, the next fixture in the ongoing "carnival
against capitalism"Sthe Summit of the Americas meeting in Quebec
City in April 2001. Prisons are being cleared and a second wall
built around the old walled city as Canada prepares for it^(1)s
biggest peacetime security operation. Canadian NART VILLENEUVE
is taking a bus from Toronto to be the "eyes and ears" of the
online protest. We see him retreating under teargas attack while
chatting live with his fellow hacktivists via his laptop and
cellphone. French codeslinger RENAUD COURVOISIER is offering up
the latest version of his protest "drawing tool" which sends a
message to the target website with every stroke of the mouse.
PAUL MOBBS and his ELECTROHIPPIES are masterminding the whole
operation from an old farmhouse in Wales which is without hot

But the "cybersleuth" is on their trail. With the upsurge in
web-based activism has come a promising new enterprise...internet
intelligence agencies employed by big name companies to keep tabs
on the hacktivists. BEN VENZKE is a man at the top of his
profession. "Now you can sit halfway around the world and shut
down a company^(1)s ability to operate on the other side of the
world by clicking a couple of buttons." Proving his point are
the Quebec police, who admit to shutting down their website
during the Summit in fear of Electrohippy attack. "The fact that
they were so easily intimidated by the potential of information
attack is a real augury of the future," says US defence analyst
JOHN ARQUILA. "Hacktivism works and it will work even better as
time goes by."


the (h)ac(k)tivists an australian/french coproduction for abc-tv
australia & arte france directed by ian walker produced by chris
hilton (aus), peter day (uk) & laurent bocahut(fr) edited by
chris johnson

Steev Hise, Recovering Jaded Hipster
steevATdetritus.net http://detritus.net/steev
*Recycled Culture: detritus.net
*Watching power flow: capitalletters.detritus.net
*Democratic sound collage generator: soundbakery.detritus.net
"The old groups, they're not concerned,
With what there is to be learned.
They sell 501s, and think its funny,
Turning rebellion into money."

Rumori, the Detritus.net Discussion List
to unsubscribe, send mail to majordomoATdetritus.net
with "unsubscribe rumori" in the message body.
Rumori list archives & other information are at

Home | Detrivores | Rhizome | Archive | Projects | Contact | Help | Text Index

[an error occurred while processing this directive] N© Detritus.net. Sharerights extended to all.