The devil in the detail

First contact – Nadira Sinulingga

We all were contacted by one of our members through E-mail and Twitter and he gathered us all in a group. We first struggled to contact each other through Twitter because of the words limitation (Oh well Twitter! Haha) and we decided to make a Google Hangouts after couple of days. In the Google Hangouts, we discussed the possibilities of what topic we should cover in our video. Then one of our members had this idea of creating a hacker story adapting from a real life situation back in the US. We agreed after some discussion and other possible topics. The story revolves around a hacker which hacks a US Government website and took the contact details of 100 LA Police Officers and then he uploaded to his website and let his followers on Twitter know about that. Also adding, how the FBI tracked the Hacker which is through the Hacker’s Girlfriend Geo tag which is quite popular right now. That is just a brief story from the real life situation. After we discussed about the story and how it’s going to work, we divided the part to every member in our group. The story got two FBIs, a hacker, and the hacker’s girlfriend. We got to choose our own role which is very helpful for everybody because we can make it according to our preference. In brief we got Brett and Supun as the first and second FBI, we got Nadira as the Hacker, and we got Isabella as the Girlfriend.

Preparation – Isabella Mandie

There were different options pre planning the video of what role would be under taken by which individual. Our group came up with different scenarios which included either filming yourself, getting someone to film you to make it look surreal and doing voice overs. The process that was undertaken was using Google hangouts, Facebook and emails to communicate our ideas and make sure that our parts didn’t overlap with each other to enable us to demonstrate our different perspectives of the story.

The forums that our group mainly used was Google hangouts as we found it was an efficient forum to communicate what ideas we had.

Personally, I found Google hangouts very reliable as it allowed every member to contribute. Throughout the process of making the video in figure four you can see I’ve tweeted in regards to our group. I found there were no problems in our group and if there were concerns we would address them straight away, if it was through personally chatting to one individual group member or creating a Google hangout or a group message to make sure that we were all on track.  The digital technologies I used throughout my video were iMovie and my iPhone. I personally found that iMovie was an easy forum to be able to create the video.

Personally, I found that developing and creating the video through the girlfriend perspective extremely interesting. However personally I found myself very attentive towards my group and always was asking questions and making sure I was at every Google hangouts. For future improvement I think I need to learn more on making videos and editing them as I found that difficult. However overall I found that my performance was always contributing and trying to help out wherever I could.

Creativity – Supun Hasthimuni

My depiction of the hacker’s living space which was hastily yet subtly abandoned when the detective (me) gets there is comprised of footage shot in my room. The camera makes a couple of swoops between the computers keyboards lit up in blue through which I hope to convey the technology centric atmosphere of the living space. The focus shifts to seemingly random artifacts and books that occupy the shelves, this is a break away from the computer heavy atmosphere of the room while adding what I feel is a level of complexity to the character, through the interest in literature and theatrics.

The video consistently shifts back and forth between the “dwelling” and a time-lapse of an open sky. Shot from my roof with an egg timer the time lapse is meant to juxtapose the environment of the quite serene suburb within which our notorious hacker chooses to reside. The video makes frequent transitions to and from the time lapse in sighting the idea that despite all things life goes on in this quite south eastern suburb.

The music used in the video acquired through creative commons was chosen for its ability to resonate with an urban setting without sounding too dark and dystopian.

The ending of the scene is by far my favourite. After inspecting the hackers room to no avail the detective finds a note attached to the door saying “kiss my ass”  this not only shows that the individual successfully outsmarted the lawmen but also has a sense of humour.

Meaning – Brett Barfoot

The investigation carried out by the authorities following the hacking, exemplifies the level of surveillance and the abilities of surveillance agencies today. Internet surveillance has undergone a rapid expansion since the early days of drop boxes like Carnivore left at Internet Service Providers and “secret” rooms installed in an attempt to capture or monitor traffic. The digital revolution has provided authorities a raft of new tools and access points to conduct surveillance.

It could be argued that the video shot from four different perspectives highlights sousveillance and that somewhere in the distance, we are being looked down upon and monitored. Perhaps it argues that technology has reinforced and bolstered the abilities of authorities to monitor us. That the actions of the hacker and the girlfriend were naive given the considerable powers that internet surveillance now has to offer. Or they were naïve to the possibility of being identified. The devil is now in the detail and a splinter of metadata was all it took to track a few criminals on the other side of the globe.

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Dark violet sky by Tobias Weber (CC by 2.0)