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  • - [Voiceover] Anonymous, you've probably heard of them.

  • They're the group of online activists that carry out cyber ops

  • to advance social and political change.

  • And sometimes, they need a lawyer,

  • a really good lawyer.

  • At first glance, Jay Leiderman seems like a regular guy.

  • He lives in the suburbs, drives a fast car,

  • and is a self-professed Deadhead.

  • Oh, and he loves whisky.

  • But there's more to Jay's story

  • than immediately meets the eye.

  • When Jay sits down at the computer,

  • he's anything but average.

  • - I represent accused cyber criminals,

  • many of whom are either affiliated with Anonymous

  • or closely related groups.

  • - [Voiceover] And it all started with a tweet.

  • - [Jay] I sent out a couple tweets

  • giving attention to the fact

  • that I would take a pro bono case.

  • The next morning,

  • there was an email in my inbox from Commander X.

  • - [Voiceover] Commander X, a prominent member

  • of the hacktivist group Anonymous.

  • - Commander X was the first hacktivist I represented.

  • Once he felt that I was his lawyer,

  • he determined unilaterally

  • that I was the lawyer for Anonymous.

  • There are a number of encrypted chat-type programs

  • that I would prefer to use.

  • I like to keep the NSA guessing

  • with which method of communication I'm going to use

  • with the idea that perhaps

  • they can't monitor them all at once.

  • When someone contacts me, and I do not know who they are,

  • it's the most beautiful, purest form of conversation,

  • because there is absolutely no judgement on anything.

  • Over the computer, everyone is equal.

  • - [Voiceover] One of the hardest things

  • about representing Anonymous

  • is working around digital laws

  • that were written decades ago.

  • His main gripe is with the CFAA,

  • the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

  • - The penalties are outrageous.

  • It's a bad law. It's a broken law.

  • It's not something that fits with today's technology.

  • Sharing your Netflix password with your friends,

  • that could be a federal crime.

  • I hope that by helping hacktivists,

  • by pursuing these cases in the courts,

  • by continuing to keep the issues alive in the media,

  • that we can enact some degree of change.

  • I hope it's not just a few of us crazies

  • running through the wilderness.

  • (soft music)

- [Voiceover] Anonymous, you've probably heard of them.

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Meet the Lawyer Who Defends Anonymous

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    Mahiro Kitauchi posted on 2020/08/04
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