The New York Times published a major story Saturday, “Hunting for Syrian Hackers’ Chain of Command,” about the cyberwar in Syria. Seeing the focus of our film on the front page of the Business Section is a morale boost and confidence builder.
In a previous post we wrote, “Little has been said about the more serious damage the S.E.A. (Syrian Electronic Army) and its compatriots in the Assad regime are doing online… Too bad the mainstream press chooses to ignore those more deadly aspects of the story.”
Recent S.E.A. hacks on the Associates Press, The Onion, The Guardian and the Financial Times are shout-outs for media attention. And they worked.
The NYT story makes a breakthrough connection tying the Assad regime with online intrusions and attacks done by the S.E.A. Instead of simply being a rogue hacking group of pro-regime supporters it now seems certain that the S.E.A. is working in cahoots with the regime, as many human rights and Internet activist assumed.
Just as compelling, for us, is how three of our principal characters are sources, on-the record, in the story. Dlshad Othman, Morgan Marquis-Boire and John Scott-Railton figure prominently in the article. We also filmed with reporter Nicole Perlroth in San Francisco as she worked on this piece. The elements for a dramatic, timely, character-driven sequence are in the can. We are excited about how this is going to play in the finished film.
There’s still more to be filmed as this subplot film plays out. So stay tuned.