Earlier this month the second season of Mr. Robot premiered.
The TV-show, which portrays and appeals to a subculture of nerds, hacktivists, hackers and technology insiders, has become an instant cult hit.
Aside from classic hacker groups, the makers of the show were inspired by The Pirate Bay founders. Last year Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail admitted that the main character Elliot is in part modeled after the illustrious trio.
In addition, Mr. Robot also includes various nods and easter eggs for the technology inclined. For example, the first episode of the second season included an online trail for people to follow in the real world.
In the most recent episode, pirates were saluted during a short scene. Without giving away any spoilers, the main character Elliot was shown playing a pirated movie via his PLEX media server.
The movie in question, The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie, is “fake” but that’s not true for the other pirate references displayed.
As the screenshot above shows, Elliot uses a recent version of the popular BitTorrent client uTorrent, showing a house ad for an upgrade to uTorrent Plus.
In the “movies” folder, which is also shown, we can see various other movies complete with release group tags such as YIFY, PRiSTiNE, DiPSHiT, RARBG and CRiTERiON.
It is safe to say that these were not included by accident but as a nod towards the pirates in the audience. The same can be said for the iconic FBI warning that’s shown when the movie starts playing.
The mention didn’t go unnoticed by the pirate groups in question. We reached out to YIFY, who quit after running into legal trouble last year, and he appreciates the mention.
“Makes me feel like a little bit of a ‘bad ass’, even though it’s a pretty minor thing in the show still a cheeky smile came about,” YIFY told TF.
“I do like the fact that the producers of Mr Robot specifically do try to get an accurate reflection of today’s real world online.”
While the names of the pirate groups are indeed accurate, there may be room for improvement. A member of another release group pictured in the episode, who commented on condition of anonymity, questioned Elliot’s BitTorrent client preference.
“I find it hard to believe that the main character in the show – a pro hacker – is using a non-open source software to download or stream his torrents,” the group member said.