Swimming in Dark Waters article images.

One half of my final project is an article about the dangers of cyber crime and the importance data protection, entitled:

Swimming In Dark Waters.

For this article I wanted to create images and graphics that you would see in an article with a subject such as the internet. During research I found that most magazines and newspapers used standard images such as  close up of a persons hands on a keyboard, somebody wearing a balaclava whilst on a computer and so on.

I wanted to create something a little different in my images and used photoshop to create representations of a hacker with a hidden identity, and to symbolise the anonymity that the internet offers us.

Image 1 & 2

My first 2 images are visual representations of anonymous internet users or hackers. In this image I obscured the face with a motion blur and pixelated the edges of the face. I waned the ‘hacker’ in casual clothes in a home environment, a reference to the younger generation of people who are tech savvy and have a deep understanding of the internet world.

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With the second image I wanted involved a storm water texture I downloaded from Deviant Art. I did this because I wanted to reference the terms used in my article relating the internet to water. In the article I refer to the internet as a gigantic ocean, search engines are fishing trawlers, and who doesn’t like to dip their toes? I wanted to carry on with this water theme, I also used a code brush to add a digital aspect to the background. Again I obscured the face of the ‘hacker’ this is by using the clone brush in photoshop to remove the features of the face, to create a blank person, avoid of any kind of identity.

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 Image 3

I created a graphic to go with this article. I wanted to create a visual representation of decryption software, the blurred code in the background representing seemingly impossible to read and safe encrypted data, the magnifying glass acting as the decryption software and the clear text in the glass being the stolen data with the words ‘your data is not safe’ highlighted in yellow.

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Layout Design

As my final product will be a magazine suitable for iPad, I need to make sure that it is optimised and sized correctly so it looks like it belongs on a tablet screen and not printed in a magazine.

First I did some research on tablet newspapers and magazines and made notes of their layouts.

Empire

The first magazine I looked at what one that I have had on my own tablet for a couple of years, Empire Magazine. Although my magazine is not similar to Empire in content, I wanted to look at styles to see what I should be aiming for in my layout design, and what I should avoid.

  • The first thing I made note of was the ‘how to use’ page. As a real iPad magazine would have interactive elements, the audience must have a clear understanding of how to navigate and interact with elements inside the magazine.

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This would be something I would implement into my own magazine layout to make it look like an authentic tablet magazine.

  • I also liked the size of the images on the page. they were not small and in line with the text but most of them going right to the edge and taking up half of the screen.

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I want my images to make full use of the tablet screen. I shall create my layout so that my photographs are not just there as an add on to the text, but rather a focus point in themselves.

The Economist

Next I looked at The Economist. This is perhaps the furthest away from my own magazine so I wanted to look at what the differences would be between a newspaper layout and a magazine such as my own or Vice.

  • Unlike Empire Magazine which usually had one large column of text, The Economist has two for the majority of its pages. It suits the publication as this makes it look more formal. The content of The Economist is more serious and formal than that of Empire so it makes sense to have more formal layouts.

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I am also conscious of the fact that the iPad screen is smaller than the average page of a magazine or newspaper. So I would have to use a larger font than normal to account for the downsize in ‘page size’. But I do not want to make the font and columns so large that it no longer looks like an article. I think using two columns like The Economist would help keep my layouts looking like articles after I increased font size.

Vice

Vice Magazine is the closest published magazine to Online Matters, so I spent the most time looking at their layouts and taking notes of the various things they do throughout each issue.

  • Vice also use two columns of text, the text is large enough to be easily read on the iPad and leaves enough room for high quality photographs on the page without it all seeming squashed together.
  • As you can see in these screenshots, images are given plenty of space on each page.


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  • Vice also use illustrations in their articles, which is something I am wanting use in my own articles. In this article in particular they also match the colour of the drop cap to the image on the page.

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After I have created my layout I shall choose a colour that is most predominant in the image on that page and make the drop cap and pull quotes that Colour.

Online Matters

For my layout I shall stick to the following guidelines:

  • ‘how to’ navigation page to show audience how to interact with the articles.
  • Images that take up large sections of the screen and are a focus of the page.
  • Two columns of text on each page to show uniformity and seriousness and formality of subject matter.
  • Drop caps and pull quotes that match the colours of the photographs and illustrations on the article

Changes to my article

During the writing of my article, I began to notice that there were two different stories going on. One was that of data protection and ways to combat cyber crime, and the other was that of Anonymous, and similar internet groups. I was finding it difficult to link the two parts of the article together so I decided to split the article into two separate articles instead.

The first article will be titled Swimming In Dark Waters, and will contain an interview with Gary Hibbard about the dangers ofcyber crime and the deep web.

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The second article will focus on the rise of Anonymous and will contain the publics comments in form of reddit comments on a question I posted, it will also contains Gary Hibbard’s view on internet groups like Anonymous.

who is anonymous

I feel that splitting the article will stop my writing from jumping around too much, and will mean that I won’t have to force two different stories together into the same piece.

Interview transcription

Sent:  26 March 2014 15:27

Hello Gary,

I believe you talked to Julie Smith about a possible interview for the magazine article I am writing. 

I read the paper you sent and really found it interesting, I would love to have a talk with you.
The article I am writing is focused on matters including protection of data and internet groups such as Anonymous so it would be great to talk to somebody who has an expert opinion on this.
We can either talk via email or set up a face to face at a time and place suitable to you, whichever you would prefer.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to speaking soon.

Regards,
Jordan Smith


 

Sent: 31 March 2014 12:52

Hi Jordan

Apologies for the delay in responding.  I’ve been a little busy of late.

Why don’t we arrange a telephone interview rather than drag you to our offices?  Alternatively if you have a series of questions you need answering you can just email them over and I’ll answer as fully as I can.  Let me know your preference (it’s your paper after all 🙂 )

My details are below.

Kind regards
 
Gary
Gary Hibberd
Managing Director
Agenci Information Security  (AIS) Consultancy


 

Sent: 31st March 2014 13:30

Hi Gary

Thank you for your reply
Perhaps email would be the better option as I have studio photo shoots over the next few days during working hours and I don’t mean to make it an inconvenience for you.
What I am wanting to talk about is the internet that most people do not know about, the Deep web and the DarkNet you write about in your white paper. I have researched these areas but found it difficult to find an explanation in layman’s terms that I can transfer to my audience. One key area I am interested in is SilkRoad, something that I have read about never visited (not knowing if I should show caution).
The other main topic is Anonymous. I’ll list the questions I would like to ask below.
Questions:
  • What kind of impact can Anonymous have on our society? (are they the ‘digital Robin Hoods’ and ‘freedom fighters’ their supporters hail them to be, or the ‘cyber lynch mob’ and ‘terrorists’ their critics label them as?)
  • What does the future hold for digital security? Cyber crime is something most people know nothing about, what can the average person do to protect their data and privacy from hackers?
  • Is it feasible to combat cyber criminals in our current situation (budget issues and lack of public knowledge) 
  • What kind of legality surround sites like ‘SilkRoad’ and navigating the deep web using tools such as ‘TOR’?
Also, I would like to know your opinion on the matter of internet censorship. David Cameron has unveiled ‘opt in’ plan for adult content, some people argue that such censorship doesn’t just block harmful sites, but educational sexual health websites and even sites tailored for helping people cope with mental health and abuse. Do you think this is a step in the right direction or a step closer to restricting the public’s access to information. China famously has the firewall dubbed ‘The great Firewall of China’, this is obviously on the other end of the censorship scale to the laws in place in the UK but I would like to know your opinion on the ethics of having such a restrict information access.
Lastly would you have any objection to being named in my article? The article itself will not be published, it is being submitted for university marking only. 
Thank you for your time Gary and I greatly appreciate any help you can give me.
Kind regards,
Jordan Smith

Sent: 31st March 2014 13:42

Hi Jordan,

 These look like great questions! Wow… where do I start!! Lol..

 Do you have a deadline I need to hit?  I’ll put some thought into these questions and give you as full an answer to each so you can craft it into a suitable format for your paper.

 I have no problem in your using my name in your paper and to be honest, the answers may be quite detailed and may end up being published as a paper anyway! 

 Let me know about the deadline and I’ll set to work to hit it for you.

 Thanks,

Gary


Sent: 31st March 2014 13:54

Hi Gary,

As for a deadline I don’t mean to make it difficult but really the sooner the better, I am writing the article now and shall craft it in a way where I can add the interview at a later date. Any time within the next two weeks will give me enough time to write it up and tailor my article before my deadline. I hope this is okay with you, if you have any problems then let me know and we can sort something out.
Thank you
Jordan Smith

Sent: 1st April 15:44

Hi Jordan

 That should be fine. I’ll get on with it over the next couple of days and get it to you ASAP.

 Regards

 Gary


7th April 15:02

Hi Jordan

 Here you go… Hope this is ok.

 Let me know what you think.  If you need anything changing or expanding upon please feel free to let me know.

 Best of luck with it.  I would be interested in seeing the finished paper when you’re done with it.

 Kind regards

 Gary

Gary Hibberd


Sent: 8th April 2014 12:49

Hi Gary,

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer those questions, What you have written has definitely helped my understanding and will no doubt prove invaluable to my article.
As a thank you I would be happy to sponsor you and wish you luck on your challenge.
I’ll make sure to send you a copy of the article when I have finished it.
Kind regards
Jordan

Interview reflection

Today I received a reply from Gary Hibbard, my interview source. Over the last week he has been writing up answers to the following questions:

  • What kind of impact can Anonymous have on our society? (are they the ‘digital Robin Hoods’ and ‘freedom fighters’ their supporters hail them to be, or the ‘cyber lynch mob’ and ‘terrorists’ their critics label them as?)
  • What does the future hold for digital security? Cyber crime is something most people know nothing about, what can the average person do to protect their data and privacy from hackers?
  • Is it feasible to combat cyber criminals in our current situation (budget issues and lack of public knowledge)
  • What kind of legality surround sites like ‘SilkRoad’ and navigating the deep web using tools such as ‘TOR’?

What I received from Gary exceeded what I had expected. I was expecting 300 or 400 words, but received over 1,600 words. He has more than supplied me with the information I need to have an ‘insiders’ perspective on cyber crime and data protection and given me a much more in-depth article than it was previously.

I knew that the interview was key for the article to have its own journalistic merit, and now I am confident I can deliver a informative and entertaining article that will be of genuine interest.

Photoshoot reflection

Today I took the first images for my article, these images are the first in the ‘everybody is Anonymous’ shoot. My plan is to shoot various people wearing the mask, doing everyday things. For instance the first image is of a man gardening, and another is an elderly man on a mobility scooter. The reason I wanted everyday people to wear the mask is because of the nature of online anonymity, your next door neighbour, your friend, parent, child or partner could have a secretive online presence.

 

Below are the edited shots from my first shoot.

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Anonymous Mask Studio Shoot + Editing Reflecition

Shoot

Today I booked out the university studio to do my second photo shoot. What I wanted to achieve by the end of the shoot was to get some portraits of a suited figure wearing the mask. I wanted the model to wear a suit because I wanted these images to reflect the image Anonymous puts out about themselves, and that is usually formal and smart.

I asked my friend to help with the studio set up and light recordings to save time as I did not have long in the studio. The shoot itself went without any problems, I took some close up shots of the mask as well as a wider view of the entire figure.

I am happy with the shoot result, my plan is to use regular images for my Anonymous article as well as create some more abstract illustrations using photoshop such as these I found below.

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Editing Process 

Image 1

The first image I created is going to be the image that appears above the start of my Anonymous article. I wanted to create a glitch effect on the photo as if the image has suffered damage. I chose to do this because I wanted to reference the use of digital devices and the internet as well as make it a little more interesting. Magazines such as Vice that have a large focus on arts and culture often use different creative medias such as illustration as well as photographs. Such as this image taken from Vice Magazine below:

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I’m happy with the way it looks, I didn’t want to over do the glitch effect and make it hard to see. Here is the final image:

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Image 2

Another image I edited heavily was this one of a silhouette with a thumb print over the top of the face. The text in the background is the widely used tagline of Anonymous. The use of the silhouette with the thumb print is to represent the hidden identity that members of Anonymous have. I wanted to create something more abstract than a regular image to show this. Here is the final image:

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Image 3

The third image I edited heavily is the image of the mask with a text overlay. Again the use of the tagline ‘we are legion’ is used as this is featured heavily in Anonymous related posters and graphics. I found inspriation for this image after reading an article on clearingthefogradio.org which featured this image:

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And here is my final image:

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If I were to do the shoot again I would perhaps done some product type shots of the mask laying on a table next to a computer, or something other than it being worn. But this is something I can always do at a later date as I have enough time before deadline.