Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

What House of Cards Got Right About Hackers

Fruzsina Eördögh, writing for Vice Motherboard:

Of all the things that should be celebrated about House of Cards, the accuracy of its hacker story arc should be high among them. This Netflix original series is one of those rare Hollywood-esque projects that bothers to portray the so-called hacker with some authenticity, even going as far as hiring the hacktivist Gregg Housh to consult on the show for months and changing the script based on his suggestions. The show’s hacker subplot is not perfect, but it’s better than most anything else out there right now. More importantly, the hacker character in the show, Gavin Orsay, could have easily been a despicable and scary villain, as the media is wont to portray them. But he’s none of these things.

As this whole hacker and computer culture thing becomes more mainstream, I think the behaviour of hackers, source code, and so forth will become more accurate. At least, that seems to be the case; many of the more ridiculous examples on the Movie Code Tumblr are older.

Another thing of note: David Fincher is an executive producer on House of Cards and, while I’m not certain that he reads every draft of every script of every episode, this attention to detail certainly fits his approach.

(As an aside, Motherboard recently redesigned their website and, in doing so, introduced a “feature” whereby highlighting a short selection will throw up a button to tweet that selection. In some ways, it’s even worse than Tynt: instead of appending a URL to the copied portion when pasted, copy and paste is completely broken — try highlighting a section on the page and copying it. Furthermore, Tynt is served from one domain — tynt.com — which I have blocked in my Javascript blacklist; this is served from Vice’s own servers and, somehow, cannot be blocked.)