MARCUS HOLLOWAY moved to Oakland at a young age when his activist parents were forced to leave their San Francisco home because of gentrification. Oakland was a tough experience on them all, and Marcus grew to hate the system. He was enrolled in a community program to keep him safe from the streets, and started to learn how to work with computers there, but everything changed in the summers of 2013 when public unrest was at an all-time high and the city of Oakland proceeded with Phase 2 of their Home Domain Center to “protect people through mass surveillance.”
The Home Domain Center was initially designed to monitor Oakland Port but quickly became an initiative to link all public and private cameras and sensors across all of Oakland into one mass surveillance tool being subsidized by Homeland Security. Nobody knew how much private data they were planning on keeping and for how long, but the program would use licence plate recognition, thermal imaging, body movement and facial recognition to analyze and scan all the data it received.
Unfortunately, the HDC systems wrongly accused Marcus of being the prime suspect in a local high-tech burglary and he was arrested based solely on digital evidence. His computer skills were also used against him because of the nature of the robbery, and he was almost jailed. The Judge in the case took Marcus’s background into account, however, and Marcus was released to perform community service. He went from being a member of the community program to teaching kids about computers. Still, his greatest teacher was the Internet, and he learned from it the way a straight A student was supposed to learn in class.
Regardless, Marcus was rightfully angry and he had his first cause to take down the HDC. He hacked the offices of City Councillors and released private correspondences showing how the councillors planned to hold midnight hearings to keep outcry to a minimum, and how they were keeping certain details about the program hidden including adding more and more surveillance tools to HDC after it’d been officially ratified. He uncovered information about the private military contractor designing the HDC system and how they’d helped the FBI previously in using Stingray cell towers and malicious software to gather data off private computers. Marcus data-mined enough information to undermine HDC, feeding that data to various watch dog groups fighting its implementation in Oakland and giving them the data and tools they needed to beat it back. It’s this action that put him on DedSec’s radar, but sadly, he was still listed as a potential threat and when the HDC died, all that data went to Blume.
Unfortunately, the false accusations against Marcus marked him as a future criminal and threat according to ctOS. He was incensed, and while Silicon Valley might overlook his past, Marcus was angry at the whole system that prejudiced his future and that of his friends. Instead of working shoulder to shoulder with the greatest programmers in Silicon Valley, Marcus looked for a way to even the odds for everyone.
Marcus heard about DedSec through the chat rooms he frequented and they’d heard of him in return. He was impressed with their willingness to embrace diversity and gender, and when he started seeing their operations in action, it hit him like lightning. He’d finally found people that talk the same language as him, have the same passion has him, have the same humor has him. Now all he needed to do was prove he belonged…