Freedom Downtime

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Kevin Mitnick in custody Freedom Downtime is a documentary from 2001 by Emmanuel Goldstein (of 2600 fame) about the mistreatment of Kevin Mitnick by the US legal system. If you don't know who Kevin Mitnick is (and are willing to admit it), he is arguably the most famous computer hacker of all time. Described as a master of the telecommunications system and expert in social engineering, the government held him without bail for almost five years in maximum security prisons with questionable claims of his exploits causing over $80 million in damages.

The documentary itself is nothing earth-shattering. Lots of shaky shots of the road through the front window of their rented car as they drive all over the US while a narrator explains the next piece of the story. Unlike Michael Moore, Emmanuel never actually gets past the lobby of any corporate buildings to ask the tough questions. I suggest he bring a large fake cheque next time.

The documentary concentrates more on the injustice of how Kevin is treated rather than trying to explain any specific action. In fact the movie doesn't really tell you anything about what Kevin may or may not have done. At one point, a girl they are interviewing asks "And why is he in jail? Oh.. right.. 'hacking'." She looks as confused as I felt, and maybe that was the point.

John Markoff, a reported for the New York Times, capitalized a fair bit on Kevin Mitnick with some low-fact, high-speculation front page stories, as well as a book that was then made into a movie. The documentary has an interview with Markoff that, in my opinion, makes him look pretty foolish, but the interview segment is composed of about 20 short clips making you wonder what we're not seeing. He comes across as really knowing very little about Mitnick and the damage he is causing with his NYT clout. At the time of the documentary, he had written numerous articles, a book detailing Mitnick's capture, been involved in the movie based on the book, and yet had never actually met Kevin Mitnick.

You can buy the movie from the 2600 Store for $20, but it is also (legally?) available for download through this torrent or this torrent. Definitely worth a viewing.

1 Comments

those links i think are bad, anyone know any better torrents for this baby?

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This page contains a single entry by Dylan published on April 12, 2004 12:19 AM.

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