Black Code (2016) Script

[clock ticking]

[typing]

[man] We are going through the most profound change in communication technologies in all of human history right now.

[chattering]

Printing press, radio, telegraph, television. All very important.

But I believe we're going through the most transformative, purely on the basis of three technologies.

Mobile, social media and cloud computing.

They share one very important characteristic.

And that's the amount of private information.

Information that used to be in our desktops or filing cabinets, even in our heads, that we now entrust to third parties.

[whirring]

Data that we are conscious of, and deliberate about, like the e-mails we send and the tweets we post.

But it also includes a lot of information that we're completely, or mostly, unconscious about.

So if you take my mobile phone, even when I'm not using it, it's emitting a pulse, trying to locate the nearest Wi-Fi router or cell phone exchange, and within that beacon is the make and model of the phone, the fact that it's my phone, because my name is attached to the operating system, and most importantly, the geolocation of the phone.

[drone humming]

[man speaking Portuguese]

[Deibert continues] We are leaving this digital exhaust that contains extraordinarily precise information about our lives, our social relationships reduced to trillions of data points that form now this new ethereal layer around the planet that's only growing in all directions.

[ticking]

Capabilities are being put in the hands of policy makers, five years ago, they'd never imagine that they would have.

This is where big data meets Big Brother.

[ticking]

[buzzing]

[folk music] [chuckles]

[man with accent] Should be here.

[American man] It is kind of in a rock, I think.

[American man #2] Yeah, the entrance is in a rock.

[speaking over each other] Or a bunker.

Oh, yeah, the bunker. It is down there!

[driver] There is a bunker under here.

[man] Yeah. It is between 33 and 39.

[Deibert] Right there. Look at that door.

[driver] Yeah. [Deibert] Yeah, this is it.

Bahnhof. [driver] Okay.

[beeps]

[door squeaks] Hey, I guess we just go in.

[electronica music]

[servers whirring]

[electronica continues]

[loud whirring]


Many people believe that you have this cloud services that are floating around.

People think, "Okay, it's a cloud server."

But this is the actual physical location of the Internet.

[whirring, clicking]

[Karlung continues] It's a constant struggle to protect data.

[voices echo]

The Swedish Security Police wanted to install tools to automatically log in to our data and get out the information.

So I invited them to our facility, and then I had a microphone which I was provided by the Swedish Public Service, national radio.

[speaking Swedish]

I taped this conversation, and they were so angry.

And they also wanted us to sign a paper where they said that we could not say anything about it.

It should be total secrecy.

They said, "If a terrorist attack happens, it's your fault."

[click, buzz]

[man speaks Swedish]

[Karlung] It's, like, a creepy feeling.

Nobody can say that any facility is safe.

There are always possibilities to go in and find data and take it out.

People say that, "Oh, I don't have anything to hide.

They can read my mail. I don't have anything."

But it's not that which is this problem.

The problem is, without secrecy, there can be no democracy.

Without secrecy, there can be no market economy.

Right.

There is an obvious candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Really? And that is Edward Snowden.

I mean, yeah.

Does the public enjoy the same right to privacy that we have in the past?

Are we still private citizens, and then public officials, where the government knows very little about us, but we know everything about them?

Why are we, the public, becoming disempowered at the same time that governments around the world, corporations around the world, institutions around the world, are gaining greater and greater leverage over the range of our activities, their knowledge of what we do?

[Deibert] The Citizen Lab is an unusual place.

[cell phones ringing]

We're a research unit at the University of Toronto.

We combine the skills of engineers, computer scientists with social scientists.

We collaborate with people from all over the world to do the field research that we do.

And we do this to advance research on global security, cyberspace and human rights.

The world is a very dangerous place as we saw recently in... in tragic incidents in Paris, and you want to have security agencies be well adept at discerning what those threats are over our horizon.

But is it okay that the government sets up a giant digital X-ray machine over everything that we do?

Because that's effectively where we're headed right now.

[typing]

[continues] We've been a kind of digital early warning system, scanning the horizon.

And what we've seen, frankly, has been really disturbing.

[digital chirping]

[typing]

[praying, chanting]

[chanting in Tibetan]

[man, in Tibetan]


[chimes playing]

[Golog, in Tibetan]


[vibrates]

[shouts] [blows landing]

[Golog]

[shouting in Tibetan] [blows landing]

[beating continues]

[stops]

[Golog]

[vehicle horns honking]

[woman, in English] Tibetans are watched from every angle and from every corner.

It's in their homes, it's in their offices, it's in the streets.

In Tibet, certainly in central Tibet and around the capital city of Lhasa, Chinese authorities, together with Chinese corporations, telecommunications companies, they've integrated the ability to spy on people via their mobile phone, via the last communications they may have had over the Internet.

Down to the closed circuit television camera on the streets.

The Chinese so strictly control access to Tibet, it's just like a black hole for media, for independent observers, for international agencies, for anything.

[Golog, in Tibetan]

[woman speaks in Tibetan]

[Golog] How I escaped is a secret.

[light music]

[Tethong] People are incredibly courageous.

People inside Tibet will send out news and information.

And they'll say, "I want this story to be told."

They could be imprisoned.

They could be tortured.

Their family could pay the price.

[music continues]

We on the outside have to decide how to walk this very, sort of, fine line between protecting people's security and honoring their wishes about getting news and information out.

And we know for a fact, thanks to Citizen Lab's report, that we are being successfully targeted.

[music stops]

A new report has been released from a group of digital detectives.

From their computers in Toronto, they've tracked a high-tech spy ring that reaches around the world.

[typewriter clicks]

[reporter] For the past ten months, these computer experts have been working as cyber sleuths hot on the trail of a massive electronic spy network.

They say it has taken control of nearly 1,300 high-level computers in more than 100 countries.

A discovery that could have major political implications.

They can extract any document they wanted.

They could turn on web cameras, turn on audio devices, so that they could, in effect, use the computers as a listening device in the offices.

[reporter] The web of intrigue started with the Dalai Lama who thought his computer had been hacked.

Up until about 2007 or 2008, I'd never really heard of malware.

You know, I'd heard of viruses, obviously, but I hadn't really heard about targeted malware attacks affecting the human rights community.

[clicking]

First time I heard about it was in the context of the Tibetans.

Gradually we started piecing together, they are under surveillance.

The surveillance comes from groups within China.

They're using malicious software and socially-engineered e-mails.

E-mails that are crafted to get them to open it up to get inside their devices.

[reporter] Nart Villeneuve, a computer wiz, figured out how the operation worked by getting the attackers to hack into his computer.

We're monitoring these groups for long periods of time, and you're essentially waiting for them to screw up, right?

And when they do, you take advantage of that.

Sometimes it takes a long time.

You could be monitoring a group for a year and get nothing.

Then one day, they just use a server that they don't lock down and all the data's just sitting there.

I was at home. It was pretty late.

[typing]


[Deibert] Nart was scouring through it, trying to figure out what actor is responsible for getting inside the Dalai Lama's office.

And there was a 22 or 24 character string that kept coming up that he couldn't figure out, "What is the meaning of this?"

So on a whim, he just copied and pasted it into Google.

One website came up, and it was Chinese characters.

So he clicked on it.

[mouse clicks]

To my surprise, what came back was the actual page that the attackers used to interface with the compromised systems.

So they set up a website where they could monitor their victims.

But they didn't password protect it!

So it was like a window into everything they were doing.

[electronic music]

[Nart] This wasn't just targeted at Tibetan organizations or human rights organizations.

This was global, a pretty wide range of institutions that showed that these attackers were... were quite busy.

There was huge pickup in the media. It was all over the world.

And it put us on a different kind of footing in terms of our credibility.

In the cyber security community, we were novices at that time.

We were kind of outsiders.

[no audible dialogue]

So we were kind of calling it on the fly.

Like, what do we do? What's the right thing to do?

Who do we notify?

I knew that publishing it was important.

We had to redact a lot of the information to protect people.

Should we notify the government?

Should we notify the Canadian government?

How do we notify other governments that are being victimized?

At the time, you know, we didn't want to completely disclose everything that we had done, because we wanted to do it again.

[Deibert] In some of the communities I mentioned, they loved it.

But I got the feeling from, certainly inside my own government, there was a lot of weirdness.

[interviewer] Are we allowed to speculate? Well, I think now we know because there's a Snowden disclosure that explicitly references the fact that the Canadians and the Americans, our signals intelligence agencies, were piggybacking off the GhostNet network.

So, in publishing the report, we basically broke up their party.

From our initial samples from the office of the Dalai Lama, they were actually compromised by two distinct groups.

The GhostNet group obviously got the most attention.

But there was another group that was also active.

The GhostNet group shut down their operations, but the other group, um, they're still going.

[birds tweeting]

[Tibetan horns]

[chattering]


[horns continue]

[gong rings]

[chanting in Tibetan through megaphone]

[woman speaking Tibetan]

[Golog, in Tibetan]


In our research, what we see are acts of war that take place against citizens, using these very technologies.

Getting inside the computers of Tibetans and then arresting them, and possibly executing them, is a kind of act of war.

[speaking Tibetan]

[Deibert] We see this sort of thing every week, right?

Minor to major versions of it.

Everything on the site is correct except this.

So this... The last log-in on the C panel was from Korea.

Mm-hmm. Do you guys have any work in Korea?

Is there any... No, no...

So who actually accesses the website to update it and all that sort of thing?

It must be somebody unauthorized. Yeah.

[bell ringing]

[ringing rapidly]

[stops]

[chanting]

[man, in Tibetan]


[in English] One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

[in Tibetan]


[Tibetan horn]

[horn continues]

[horn resumes]

[man continues, in Tibetan]

[screaming]

[shout] [gunshot]

[screaming continues]

[man shouts]

[screaming continues]

[stops]

[indistinct] Hmm.


[typing]


[talking, quiet]

Not that long ago, the government of Pakistan put out this tender for proposals for a nationwide Internet filtering system.

They wanted to solicit proposals from companies to build, effectively, the Great Firewall of Pakistan.

Today if you visit Pakistan and you get online and you try to access YouTube, this is what you'll see, a blocked page like this.

I'm in Islamabad, putting in a SIM card.

First and foremost, I'm really excited to see Shahzad.

I first met Shahzad and the organization Bytes for All, eight years ago, I think?

And he's been involved, in one way or another, in Citizen Lab research ever since.

[mouse clicks]

[chattering]

Hi, Shahzad. Hello!

So great to see you. Here we are. Here we are.

[both chuckling]

[Deibert] Bytes for All does what they do, fight for Internet rights and advocacy-based approach to Internet freedom under extreme duress.

So they're operating in a country that, specifically around media and free expression, has got to be one of the worst places in the world.

Uh, journalists are routinely kidnapped, murdered, uh, offices firebombed, et cetera, and they've experienced all of that.

Death threats, staff members kidnapped, his own son beat up and thrown to the side of the road as a warning to Shahzad not to do what he's doing.

In my opinion, Internet has opened up so many opportunities... for the people to express, and that is the sole reason that we are fighting for open Internet.

They lost their public spaces.

They lost their ability to go out freely.

So, as they are putting controls and curbs on physical spaces, they are doing exactly the same in online spaces as well.

So precisely the reason we are standing out there to reclaim those spaces.

And we have to at some point, and we'll continue to do that.

Oh, my God. [sighs]

The government has the ability to ban specific pages.

[speaking foreign language]

[in English] You ban all of Facebook, businesses are suffering, people communicate.

I mean, you can laugh and joke and say, "For a few days people won't play FarmVille," but it's not about that.

It's about your fundamental rights being snatched from you and no government, in my opinion, should have the ability to do that.

[woman] Right.

Not only that, they banned Wikipedia for a little while.

Yes, mm-hmm. YouTube.

Uh, about several thousand websites were affected.

I think the Internet is this vast, unregulated, wonderful, democratizing space and no matter what anyone does, people will find a way.

[sitar music]

[typing]

[music continues]


Hi, I'm Sabeen Mahmud, and I'm the director of Peace Nation, a nonprofit organization.

I've always believed that technology is always the driver of change, not business, not governments, but technology.

And gender-based violence has always existed but with the advent of the Internet and the number of social networking tools, I think it's a great mobilization platform.

[mouse clicks]

[sitar music]

[anchor] Sabeen Mahmud was leaving a Karachi restaurant when the gunman attacked her in her car.

Her mother who was also accompanying her was wounded and now is in a critical condition.

Mahmud was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

[sitar music continues]

[inaudible]

When she spoke in physical spaces, nothing happened.

When she was carrying on her campaign, she was not targeted.

People were amused or they ignored her, or they just walked past.

But when this whole, sort of, campaign hit the Internet and the social media, that's when the lynch mobs gathered.

And one of the reasons I find is, that speech in a physical space lasts only as long as you're speaking.

But once it is uploaded onto the Internet on any platform, it is there forever.

And then your attackers or, you know, whoever opposes you, they gather, and then they spread it further and more and more people join that group of people who are attacking and it takes on a life of its own.

[chattering]

[Deibert] We're going through a demographic revolution.

The center of gravity of cyberspace is shifting right before our eyes.

From the north and the west of the planet, where it was invented, to the South and the East.

The vast majority of Internet users today and into the future are coming from the developing world, for whom these technologies are empowering.

What should we expect then from these next billion digital users as they come online in the post-Snowden era?

[inaudible]

[cheering] [horns blowing]

[siren wails]

[shouting in Portuguese]

[screaming]

[cheering]

[man on PA]

[shouting in Portuguese]

[in Portuguese]


[shouting]


[in Portuguese]

[speaking Portuguese]

[in English] Once we started with Midia Ninja, and we went to the streets and tried to do live streaming.

There was a mobile station with an electric generator using gasoline, you know, a 4G modem, a laptop, a camera, a video switcher and...

[imitating vibrating machine] [synthesized music]

[in Portuguese]

[Silva] It was good in the first two or three times in more calm demonstrations.

I remember there was a discussion, and then Carioca said, "No, I found an app.

Its name is TwitCasting and maybe we can try it."

[electropop]

It was a Japanese free app used by teenagers to hang out, you know.

[in Portuguese]

[chanting] [speaks Portuguese]

[singing in Portuguese] [indistinct]

Looking at Brazil, this is one of those cases where you have a sporting event, in this case, which triggers all sorts of extra concern around security and the control of information, much of it legitimate.

But what often happens is that the layering of surveillance, extra-legal measures that happens leading up to and during these events doesn't just disappear.

It becomes part of the permanent architecture.

[chanting in Portuguese]

[in Portuguese]

[chanting in Portuguese]

[Deibert] Mobile phones are prevalent. Everyone has one in their hands.

And the police now use a technique where they set up fake cell phone towers that captures everyone within the vicinity and gathers up identifying information that's emitted by the cell phones, which they then use to track people and associate them with each other and being at specific physical events like a protest and the government can go back in time and re-create every facet of your life on that particular day and hour.

With whom you were communicating.

Not only what you're broadcasting but what you're saying privately and use this to incriminate you down the road.

[in Portuguese]


[in Portuguese]


[in Portuguese]

[in Portuguese]

People realize there's some hidden mechanism of power going on through surveillance.

And you begin to suspect, maybe, this device you can't trust.

Maybe the state's in here or it's in my mobile phone or...

And as that kind of seeps out there, people become much more unwilling to take risks.

You know, even in our own work, we're much more cautious about what we say over e-mail, worried that somebody's listening and so on.

It's like sand in the machinery. It kind of slows things down and everything becomes much more complicated, just to communicate basic instructions.

You're like, "Oh, first I have to encrypt it."

All these technologies too, cryptography things, they might be getting cheap, but if we consider in terms of time, they are expensive.

You know, people are being murdered every day in the favelas.

The military police are still running.

So it's complicated now to stop the machines and adapt our system to a more safe mode.

[crowd booing]

[in Portuguese]

[Bentes, in Portuguese]

? Oh, my, oh I'll go for what you know ?

? Who I owe Why own when you can just ?

? Sell it ?

[in Portuguese]


[man] ? Those gloves Just take 'em off ?

? Move before The city moves to us ?

? To us, to us ?

[explosion]

[horns playing] [helicopter flying over]

[shouting]

[shouting in Portuguese, indistinct]


[crowd applauding]

[Deibert] So at the same time that you have so many people able to communicate to a global audience at an instant, governments, in ways that they weren't 20 years ago, are really ramping up information controls because they see...

And when we say "governments," we're really talking about entrenched powers, institutionalized, uh, you know, forms of capitalism in the state that see, you know, this type of unpredictable citizen activism as a threat to their interests and are developing ways to counter it.

[announcer] You have new challenges today.

Sensitive data is transmitted over encrypted channels.

You need more.

You want to look through your target's eyes.

You have to hack your target.

You have to overcome encryption and capture relevant data.

Being stealth and untraceable.

Exactly what we do.

The vendors of these products and services market them to governments, usually at trade shows that are only open to accredited law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Actually, I've got a big binder that I can...

So, if you ignore the bag, actually which...

[chuckling] someone, uh, deposited these in as a gift to me, but I think was hoping to disguise it in the kindergarten bag.

These are brochures from the type of trade shows that we're talking about, products and services that allow cell phone detection, uh, insertion of malware...

tracking, social media monitoring.

In many ways, the way to think about this market is that it's the commercialization of cyber crime.

You trick somebody into installing a software program that contains malicious code that exploits some vulnerability in the system, which then allows the attacker to do anything they want.

Turn on the webcam, listen in on the microphone, record keystrokes, record the location, the movement.

It operates without much accountability, certainly no corporate social responsibility, ripe for abuse in a place like Sudan or Ethiopia.

We've seen in one case after another, how this ends up being used to target civil society.

Aha.

Gamma Group.

Maker of the notorious FinFisher spyware.

[cars honking]


The attacker has to socially engineer or convince the target to open a file or to, you know, click through some security warning, um, in order to become infected.

We had found a document that had pictures of Ethiopian opposition leaders in it, and it looked like it was targeted and designed to appeal to members of the Ethiopian diaspora.

Uh, but in fact, the file was cleverly disguised to look like a document that's actually a computer program, an executable file.

So when you run this, it will install software on your computer even though, you know, they changed the icon and everything to make it look like this is a document or a picture.

This is actually a program.


I was able to look at the memory of an infected computer.

In other words, what's going on inside the computer when it's infected.

And I was able to identify several interesting artifacts in the memory, including a bunch of strings that said "FinFisher," "FinSpy," very clearly attributing this to the company.


You don't have to be the NSA to get inside somebody's computer.

Um, instead you can exploit their curiosity, their, um, need to communicate.

And of course, journalists, at the very heart of what they do, is engage in communication with a lot of people and a lot of people that they don't know and trust necessarily.

Because they're engaged in outreach and communicating constantly with sources.

[crowd shouting]

[cheering, whistling]

Fifty years ago, nobody would have known what happened in Syria.

But in 2011, when it started, everybody had Facebook.

Everybody has e-mails and everybody has WhatsApp and Viber.

So you just can't stop people from telling what is happening to them.

So when they besieged Daraa at the beginning, they shut down communication, Internet, land lines and even electricity.

But they did not know that in the 21st century, people have their ways.

People were charging their mobiles from their cars or generators, hand generators, um, manual generators.

And people were using satellite connections.

You don't need to use the country, uh, Internet to be connected to the Internet.

You can use anything.

And they were able to tell what was happening to them.

Um, so the story got around.

[man speaking foreign language]

[sirens blaring]

A few years ago many of us celebrated the Arab Spring as the paradigm of what these technologies could do.

Remember we called it at the time "liberation technologies."

They would bring about the end of authoritarian rule.

[man speaking Arabic]

Unfortunately, Syria has become the Arab Spring's dark aftermath.

[explosion]

[boy shouting in Arabic]

As groups sympathetic to the Assad regime have employed off-the-shelf malware crime kits to infiltrate social networks, arrest, torture and murder opposition groups and even target their air strikes.

[rifles cocking]

[shouting]

[gunshot]

[man] From the beginning, we believed that the camera is the most powerful weapon, and it was actually the only weapon we have to deliver our own message to the whole world.

This is interesting.

Baraa?

[speaking Arabic]

It's a pleasure for me to introduce one of my best friends, Mr. Baraa, he's one of the most activist people inside Syria.

He came a few days ago 'cause he has...

He has... many broken bones on his body.

[gunfire]

He was there and covered the battle in Daraa City.

And in the afternoon, they get a tank shell.

[explosion]

He was with his friend, whom has this camera.

And that good guy, you know, he gets killed by one tank shell from the regime's side.

[gunfire]

This video, you will see now, a remote control car and it exploded, a huge explosion.

It was filmed by this camera.

[explosion]

After that, the rocket launchers started to hit the place from the regime's side.

So our activist, this media guy, he gets killed in here in this exact... this place.

Now here. He was standing here.

And people found the camera with him.

We took out the memory card, and we post this... as, you know, in memory of Hussain.

[wreckage clattering]

So now, Mr. Baraa here, just a few days just to heal.

He paid a visit to some hospitals to check out himself, then he will go back into Syria to keep working.

There is a war on Facebook.

Uh, every side is using Facebook to promote themselves.

[in Arabic]

The other way around, the regime will say, "We will occupy this area. We will take over this area."

Then the FSA would leave because they're afraid of bombardment.

It's just a game.

Facebook is a game.

[Wjd] It was just a silly joke I made.

I didn't hurt anybody. I didn't insult anyone.

It was not political. It was not racist.

There is nothing that they could hold against me with a thing that I wrote on Facebook.

But still, at a time of war...

people get crazy.

They did not drag me in the street or kidnap me.

They just asked me to come to ask me a few questions.

This is what they said, so I signed the paper that I'm coming.

I went the next morning at 11:30, to the detention center.

The security guy came to me.

He's like... He's like half of my height.

He blindfolded me, and I was like, I was okay with that because I thought, it's some... it's confidential secrets of the country that they don't want me to see.

And then I was presented to the detective or the interrogator.

I never saw him.

He told me, "You're a computer engineer. Please be seated."

And I sat next to him and he started reading all my Facebook posts.

I was like, "Oh."

One of the posts that I wrote was, "No praying, no fasting until the regime falls," which was actually making fun of both sides.

And I laughed and he's like, "I'm not kidding with you. I'm not joking with you."

He kicked me on my chest and then he requested the same short guy, because he was there in the room, to bring something called the "flying carpet," which is a torturing machine.

It's a wooden board, like the door, but it has joints in the middle that can flip.

And I had to lay on it.

They tied my wrists and they tied me from the middle, they tied my legs.

And they just closed it so my knees touched my chest.

He took off my shoes and my socks and started beating me with a metal, uh, with a metal whip.

The pain is unbelievable.

You just can't take it anymore.

You just can't endure this amount of agony.

What we saw in Syria was a lot of use of, say, off-the-shelf remote access tools.

So this is sort of software that you can get from underground message boards or maybe purchase for not so much money.

Maybe $200-300 that give you the ability to record someone's keystrokes, read their e-mails, even look at them through their webcam.

Record via the computer's microphone, conversations that are being had around the target's computer.

Frequently what you would see is it would be bundled with some type of lured document which showed a deep understanding of the psychology of the people they were trying to target.

For instance, one of the documents that was sent out that I keenly recall was a list.

A purported list of insurgents identified by the Syrian government.

So of course what happened was that this was promptly passed around to all sorts of very interesting groups in Syria because everyone wanted to know if they were on this list or not.

So the actual spyware payload itself wasn't particularly sophisticated, but the social... the social and social engineering side of that operation, um, was quite smart.

Internet entered almost all countries in the region before it entered Syria.

Yes.

Government in Syria, we are not as developed as Canada, for example, or not as developed as United States.

In Canada they can monitor people and control people and spy people in a very intelligent way.

And even they don't feel that they are...

spied on.

But in Syria, of course you go to old ways.

They untie me and then I was... and then he asked me to sit next to him, and he said, "Let's start talking."

And I told him, "I don't want to talk to you anymore."

He said, "I want you to admit you work with the Free Syrian Electronic Army."

I was like, "I don't know what that is."

He said, "You like their page. You like their page on Facebook."

I told him, "I like their page on Facebook, but there are too many pages on Facebook that you can like.

I also like Assad's page on Facebook."

Well, that did not convince him.

So his boss came and he told him, "What is going on?"

He told him, "This is the Facebook guy, and he's not cooperating."

So then his boss told him to, "Send him down to the basement, peel his skin off and just remind me of him after a month."

And I was like, "Can we go back to the flying carpet?"

[chuckles]

I stayed there for almost a month, and then I was released with a presidential amnesty.

So I went in a taxi, covered with dust, dirt, shit and blood, all over my face, my clothes.

And then the taxi driver felt pity for me, and he gave me a cigarette.

I remember that was the first time I cried.

And I went to my flat in Latakia where I used to study, and my roommates were shocked to see me alive.

And then, like, two weeks after that I fled the country.

I came to Jordan.

I am a journalist now.

[man] With Syria, a lot of the bad things that are happening are happening to people who don't look like Westerners.

The bad things happening to these people through technology, through the risks inherent in technology, are not different than the kinds of risks that we may face, um, although they look different.

We see in the news almost every day, a report of a breach, some kind of a large hack.

Data being exploited somewhere.

It's the same problem, but in Syria, it looks very different and because there are dark-skinned people, uh, and there are guns and a foreign language, it feels, I think to many, exotic and different, and it couldn't happen here.

And I think, in fact, what you're seeing in Syria is this is what happens when the risks get higher but the technology is the same.

They're using the same Facebook that we are.

[chattering]

[in Portuguese]

[man beatboxing]


[chattering]

[Teles, in Portuguese]

[woman shouting in Portuguese]

[singing in foreign language]

[shouting on microphone]

[man shouting in Portuguese]

[in Portuguese]

[upbeat intro]

? Satisfied ?

? Satisfied ?

? Satisfied ?

[gunshot]

[man singing]

[glass shattering]

[all shouting]

[screaming]

[sirens chirping]

[Teles, in Portuguese]

[woman speaking Portuguese] What is this? This is surreal.

[singing continues]

[clapping rhythmically]

[singing continues, indistinct]

? Satisfied ?

[shouting]

[shouting in Portuguese]

[shouting] [shutters clicking]

[news intro]

[in Portuguese]

[man, in Portuguese]

[police officer] [reporter]

[shouting]

[sirens wailing]

[shouting]

Lots of people were there, by 7:00 in the night, and we were live.

[Carioca, in Portuguese]

[Silva] Suddenly a man came to Carioca, and he asked to interview him.

[Carioca, in Portuguese]

[Silva] And then the military police came to Carioca, searched his bag.

And then they said he should be taken to jail as a preventive arrestment, to be searched and inquired.

[Carioca, in Portuguese]

How this information was being virilized was really amazing.

Like sharing, sharing, sharing, tweets, tweets, tweets, mention, mention, mention.

"The Ninja is being arrested."

And suddenly there was, like, a small crowd.

Like 5,000 people.

And all of them was screaming together, [in Portuguese]

[chanting in Portuguese]

[in Portuguese]

[man speaking in Portuguese]

[woman speaking Portuguese]

[Teles, in Portuguese]

[in Portuguese]

[in Portuguese]

[shouting]

[in Portuguese]

[Silva, in English] Then we posted this video from the mobile, like, real time, and it virilized very fast.

[Carioca, in Portuguese]


[glass shattering]

[vocalizing]

[video sound distorted]

[vocalizing continues]

[glass shattering]


[woman speaking Portuguese]

[woman vocalizing]

[vocalizing]

[shouting]

[music distorting]

[gunshot muffled]

[electrical crackling]

[crackling continues]

The video was just getting bigger in the social media.

Bruno Teles became a character.

[crowd shouting]

[in Portuguese]


[Silva] They said that Bruno was innocent, and they used Midia Ninja image.

And they credited Midia Ninja.

It was the first time that we were seeing Globo recognizing a free media collective as a legitimate player in the communication game.

It was a next step.

[crowd shouting]

[gunshot]

[explosion]

[glass shattering]

[woman] Oh, he's changing his shirt.

[shouting]

[woman vocalizing]

[Orlando, in Portuguese]

[explosion]

[Bentes, in Portuguese]


[crowd chanting in Portuguese]

[shouting continues]

[crowd booing]

[in Portuguese]

[woman]

[woman crying]

[Orlando]

[shouting]

[crowd chanting] Ninja! Ninja! Ninja!

[in Portuguese]

[crowd repeating]

[crowd repeating]

[cheering]

[crowd] Ninja!

[crowd chanting]

[digital pop music playing]

I've always been a fan of the terms "hacking" and "hacktivism."

Especially "hacktivism" which is the combination of hacking and political activism.

And those combined are pretty powerful to me.

It's about encouraging people not to accept technology at face value.

We need to encourage people to think about what it is that surrounds them, to question authority in a sense of the authority being the technological environment around them and to realize that when you start pulling back the layers of all of this, that's where the exercise of power is.

So if we want liberal democracy to flourish, we need people to start lifting back the layers and understanding what's going on.

[clicking]

[Snowden] I think ultimately it comes down to understanding what your values are, because how do you develop your thoughts, right?

How do you determine what it is that you truly believe?

How do you determine what it is you really want to say, if you can't even keep notes safely?

If you can't have some private space, some space for thought, some space to enjoy the product of your own intellect, to share that with people close to you who you trust.

Whether they're family, whether they're colleagues, whether they're compatriots.

[Deibert] One thing that I see a lot is, this idea of technology as a solution.

It's a natural thing. Okay, technology is under threat.

Let's find a technological solution.

There are so many projects now around secure communications, platforms, chats, instant messaging.

But it's only one component of a solution set.

And I think often overlooked are the legal and political dimensions.

If we're talking about protecting and preserving all of this, as a secure and open communication space, that means holding governments accountable.

It means holding companies accountable.

Putting in place rules and laws that ensures they can't do things that infringe on our freedoms and rights.

That to me is, uh, such a critical foundation of a digital democracy today.