Fri 5 Aug @ 23:59

Watch a movie and write about it.

Watch one of the following films (or another one of your choosing!) that brings up ideas related to privacy, security or other key topics we’ve talked about in this course. Some movies you might consider (some of which are hacker classics) are:

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Figure 1. The 1956 and 1984 versions of 1984
  • 1984 (1956 or 1984 version)

    • if they’re either bit as depressing as the book, you’re in for a ride

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

    • a classic in every sense

    • makes you think about TCBs

  • Hot Millions (1968)

    • this one is also on my list to watch

    • amazing preduction of terrible cybersecurity vendors: "when this blue light is on, the computer is safe"

  • The Conversation (1974)

    • also on my list to watch

    • not hacking per se, but looks like an interesting consideration of the ethics of participating in systems of security (in this case, surveillance)

Tron poster
  • Tron (1982)

    • classic

    • not exactly a realistic portrayal of technology

    • brings up interesting issues

  • WarGames (1983)

    • classic, with one of the most memorable lines ever about nuclear weapons

    • as movies about hacking NORAD go, this one isn’t too bad realism-wise!

  • Sneakers (1992)

    • fun, though with a somewhat unrealistic premise (but it’s a movie!)

    • makes you think about biometrics and other real issues

  • The KGB, the Computer and Me (1990)

    • I haven’t seen this one, but it looks interesting

    • only 50 minutes

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  • Crimson Tide (1995)

    • we talked about this one in class

    • brings up interesting thoughts re: message authentication and responsibility

    • also one of the best musical scores ever!

    • also, what’s up with Gene Hackman being in all of the privacy/security movies?

  • Hackers (1995)

    • great examplar of the sterotypical "hacking means lots of 3D objects" genre

    • Hack the Gibson!

  • Enemy of the State (1998)

    • somewhat overblown / overvisual

    • perhaps the greatest movie of its era for thinking about how pervasive we want surveillance to be

    • also came out just at the end of the era when surveillance was mostly the exclusive domain of governments

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  • Office Space (1999)

    • somewhat crass comedy about people who work in a software company just before Y2K

    • the core of the plot is an insider threat

  • Takedown (2000) — the real-life story of Kevin Mitnick is a fascinating one

    • I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the film (it looks like they may have invented an antogonist for dramatic purposes), but you will probably still learn a lot about social engineering

  • Minority Report (2002)

    • the biometrics part, in particular, is thought-provoking

matrix screengrab
  • The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

    • features one of the more realistic hacking scenes in any movie

    • also features some of the least realistics computer technology scenes 🙂

  • Breach (2007)

    • a bit of a slow burn but powerful

  • The Social Network (2010)

    • not always super-accurate, but some who were there say it captures the ethos

tems and conditions orig
  • Terms and Conditions May Apply (2013)

    • looks interesting, if a bit preachy

  • The Imitation Game (2014)

    • about Alan Turing at Bletchley Park

    • sometimes criticised as de-emphasizing the role of the enormous team working at Bletchley Park, making it look like one man saved the world

mr. robot key art
  • Mr Robot (2015–2019) S1E1

    • the full series goes to some very dark places: viewer discretion advised

    • the first episode introduces characters but also includes hacking scenes that are more plausible than most TV/movie depictions