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Best Documentaries about Hacking and Hackers You Should Watch

Love the idea of seeing the crazier side of the net? Watch these epic documentaries about hacking, and enjoy feeling 1337.

By Riley Raul ReesePublished 6 years ago 4 min read

Back when I was in college, I had befriended a number of hackers who ended up teaching me tons of neat tricks about computers. Truth be told, I learned a lot from them. Hacker culture is definitely interesting to see in action, and there's a huge amount of power that can come with having the right technical knowledge in your hands.

Documentary makers noticed that hacking and hacker culture is fascinating. That's why they made so many documentaries and movies involving them. Here are some of the best documentaries about hacking and hackers you can grab, if you want to see how far the rabbit hole goes.

The Pirate Bay is one of the biggest video, music, and software pirating hubs in the world—and they're known for raising the ire of corporations, the US government, and even Interpol.

TPB AFK is a real-time look at what the founders of the Pirate Bay are like when they aren't running massive BitTorrent sites. Can these three individuals go up against the media industry and win? Probably not.

However, TPB AFK will have you cheering them on and getting a great look into why they are heroes in their own right. That's why it's one of the best documentaries about hacking the system known to man.

We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists is one of the most in-depth looks at the cultural movement of hactivism currently made, and as such, it's one of the best documentaries about hacking and hackers you can grab.

This movie follows the stories of members of Anonymous, 4Chan's radical hacktivist crew that changed the way we see civil disobedience. It's empowering, covers a lot of Anon's work, and also shows that hackers have a wicked sense of humor.

Aaron Swartz was a technology prodigy who was behind some of the biggest names in tech, including Reddit and Creative Commons. He was a man who literally lived on the net and took a deep pride in his hacktivism.

However, he had his enemies—and they got him. In 2011, he was arrested by MIT police for breaking and entering. Police then threw the book at him for his computer crimes. He was found dead via "suicide" in jail shortly after.

Part true crime film and part memorial, this is one of the best documentaries about hacking, Silicon Valley culture, and the price some pay for it.

Once again, Anonymous ends up striking with another epic documentary about hacking. This time around, How Anonymous Hackers Changed The World shows some of the more impressive ways hackers have caused serious (much-needed) social change throughout the world.

This documentary makes you realize that Anonymous is a force to be reckoned with—and also goes into the history of prior hacktivist groups, such as the Cult of the Dead Cow.

A troll, a brilliant hacker, and a journalist all end up together in one of the best documentaries about hacking in recent years—and that's no joke. This entire documentary shows how hackers work to spark social change, and what really happens when the FBI ends up clashing with them.

Admittedly, Vice called this hacker movie a documentary "that does no favors" for hacktivists, but it's still a great watch with a lot of accuracy most people won't expect.

Hackers Wanted follows the crazy life and times of Adrian Limo, a hacker. The true documentary shows the ways he's made money, the struggles he deals with then it comes to philosophical issues, and just how life is when your entire life revolves around hacking.

It's honest, realistic, and at times thought-provoking. That's why it's one of the best documentaries about hacking you'll see.

Yes, a lot of the best documentaries about hacking involve Anoymous. In this one, interviewers get a sitdown with a highly active member of the Anonymous group—among other scenes.

This particular documentary delves into the stories of people who are involved, why they're doing it, and what makes them believe that they are doing right.

Capt'n Crunch, Kevin Mitnick, and Steve Wozniak are names that most people in hacker culture will recognize. They were the founders of the hacking movement, back when the Golden Age of Hacking was going on.

Prior to hacking computers, hackers were known for messing with phone systems—and they were called phreakers. This is one of the best documentaries about hacking history, and how hackers became known as outlaws rather than the heroes they were.

If you're tired of watching movies talking about technology hacking morality, then why not watch In the Realm of the Hackers? In this documentary, you get to hear about how two hackers were able to break into some of the world's most highly classified security systems—before they were even 20 years old.

It will scare you, and it will surprise you. But, most of all, this documentary will have you wondering how safe cybersecurity really is up at the top of the food chain.

When you think of "hacker culture," it's easy to think that they are all basement-dwelling troglodytes. But they're not. Surprise, they can actually be human, too—and that's precisely what makes this one of the best documentaries about hacking out there.

Rather than make them sound like criminal masterminds, Hackers Are People Too shows the honest and human side of big names in the game.


About the Creator

Riley Raul Reese

Riley Reese is comic book fanatic who loves anything that has to do with science-fiction, anime, action movies, and Monster Energy drink.

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