Radical media, politics and culture.



Description of (1) Content Distribution Networks Peer networks can be used to deliver the services known as Content Distribution Networks (CDNs), essentially comprising the storage, retrieval and dissemination of information. Companies such as Akamai and Digital Harbour have already achieved significant success through installing their own proprietary mdels of this function on a global network level, yet the same functions can be delivered by networks of users even where they have only a dial-up connection. Napster constituted the first instantiation of this potential and subsequent generations of file-sharing technology have delivered important advances in terms of incrasing the robustness and efficiency of such networks. In order to understand the role that peers can be play in this context we must first examine the factors which determine data flow rates in the network in general.

(2) Content Storage Systems add

(3) Wireless community networks add

Summary of essential similarity between them.

1(a) Breakdown of congestion points on networks. The slow roll-out of broadband connections to home users has concentrated much attention on the problem of the so-called 'last mile' in terms of connectivity. Yet, the connection between the user and their ISP is but ne of four crucial variables deciding the rate at which we access the data sought. Problems of capacity exist at multiple other points in the network, and as the penetration of high speed lines into the 'consumer' population increases these other bottlenecks will becme more apparent. If the desired information is stored at a central server the first shackle on speed is the nature of the connection between that server and the internet backbone. Inadequate bandwidth or attempts to access by an unexpected number of clients making simultaneous requests will handicap transfer rates. This factor is known as the 'first mile' problem and is highlighted by instances such as the difficulty in accessing documentation released during the clinton impeachment hearings and more frequently by the 'slash-dot effect'. In order to reach its destination the data must flow across several networks which are connected on the basis of what is known as 'peering' arrangements between the netwrks and faciltated by routers which serve as the interface. Link capacity tends to be underprovided relative to traffic leading to router queuing delays. As the number of ISPs continues to grow this problem is anticipated to remain as whether links are established is essentially an economic question. The third point of congestion is located at the level of the internet backbone through which almost all traffic currently passes at some point. The backbones capacity is a function of its cables and more problematically its routers. A mismatch in the growth of traffic and the pace of technological advance in the area of router hardware and software package forwarding. As more data intensive trasfers proliferate this discrepancy between demand and capacity is further exacerbated leading to delays. Only after negotiating these three congestion points do we arrive at delay imposed at the last mile.

Assessing Quality of Service What are the benchmarks to evaluate Quality of Service ("Typically, QoS is characterized by packet loss, packet delay, time to first packet (time elapsed between a subscribe request send and the start of stream), and jitter. Jitter is effectively eliminated by a huge client side buffer [SJ95]."Deshpande, Hrishikesh; Bawa, Mayank; Garcia-Molina, Hector, Streaming Live Media over a Peer-to-Peer Network) jm For those who can deliver satisfactio of such benchmarks the rewards can be substantioal as Akamai demonstrates: 13,000 network provider data centers locations edge servers click thru - 20%- [10 - 15% abdonment rates] [15% + order completion]

Although unable to inusre the presence of any sepcific peer in the network at a given time, virtualised CDNs function by possessing a necessary level of redundancy, so that the absence or departure of a given peer does not undermine the functioning of the network as a whole. In brief, individual hosts are unreliable and thus must be made subject to easy substitution. From a techniucal vantage point the challenge then becomes how to polish the transfer to replacement nodes (sometimes reffered to as the problem of the 'transient web').

To facilitate this switching between peers, the distribution level applications must be able to identify alternative sources for the same content, which requires a consistent indentification mechanism, so as to generate a 'content addressable web', currently absorbing the efforts of commercial and standard setting initiatoives [Bitzi, Magnet, OpenContentNetwork].

Techniques used for managing network congestion: (b) - load balancing/routing algorithms "Load balancing is a technique used to scale an Internet or other service by spreading the load of multiple requests over a large number of servers. Often load balancing is done transparently, using a so-called layer 4 router?." [wikipedia] Lb Appliances LB Software LB Intelligent Switches Traffic Distributors - Cisco (DistributedDirector), GTE Internetworking (which acquired BBN and with it Genuity's Hopscotch), and Resonate (Central Dispatch) have been selling such solutions as installable software or hardware. Digex and GTE Internetworking (Web Advantage) offer hosting that uses intelligent load balancing and routing within a single ISP. These work like Akamai's and Sandpiper's services, but with a narrower focus. - wired

- NAT (Network Address Translation) Destination NAT can be used to redirect connections pointed at some server to randomly chosen servers to do load balancing. Transparent proxying: NAT can be used to redirect HTTP connections targeted at Internet to a special HTTP proxy which will be able to cache content and filter requests. This technique is used by some ISPs to reduce bandwidth usage without requiring their clients to configure their browser for proxy support using a [wikipedia] layer 4 router.

- caching

- Akamai Akamai freeflow hardware software mix: algorithms plus machines mapping server (fast to check hops to region) and content server http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.08/akamai_pr. html sandpiper applications Data providers concerned to provide optimal delivey to end users are increasingly opting to use specialist services such as Akamai to overcome these problems. Akamai delivers faster content through a combination of propritary load balancing and distribution algorithms combined with a network of machines installed across hundreds of networks where popularily requested data will be cached. (11,689 servers across 821 networks in 62 countries). This spead of servers allows the obviation of much congestion as the data is provided from the server cache either on the network itself (bypassing the peering and backbone router problems and mitigating that of the first mile) or the most efficient available network given load balancing requirements.

(c) Historical Evolution of filesharing netwoks

Popular filesharing utilities arose to satisfy a more worldly demand than the need to ameliorate infrastructural shortfalls.

- Napster When Shaun Rhyder released his Napster client the intention was to allow end-users to share MP3 files through providing a centralised index of all songs available on the network at a given moment and the ability for users to connect to one another directly to receive the desired file. Thus Napster controlled the gate to the inventory but was not burdened with execution of the actual file transfer that occurred over HTTP (insert note on the speculative valuation of the system provided by financial analysts, with qualification). Essentially popular file sharing utilities enable content pooling. As is well known, the centralised directory look-up made Napster the subject of legal action, injunction and ultimately decline.

Nonetheless, Napser's legal woes generated the necessary publicity to encourage user adoption and for new competitors to enter the market and to innovate further. In the following section I describe some of the later generations of file sharing software and chart their innovations which have brought them into a space of competition with Akamai et al.

- Gnutella Original implementation has been credited to [Justin Frankel]? and [Tom Pepper]? from a programming division of AOL (then-recently purchased Nullsoft Inc.) in 2000. On March 14th, the program was made available for download on Nullsoft's servers. The source code was to be relased later, supposedly under the GPL license. The event was announced on Slashdot, and thousands downloaded the program that day. The next day, AOL stopped the availability of the program over legal concerns and restrained the Nullsoft division from doing any further work on the project. This did not stop Gnutella; after a few days the protocol had been reverse engineered and compatible open source clones started showing up. (from Wikipedia) The Gnutella network (Bearshare/Limewire) represents the first, which is decentralized client server application. This allows a much more robust network in the sense that connectivity is not dependent on the legal health of a single operator. A trade-off with this is inefficiency in the locating of files and the problem of free riding users, which actually impede the functionality of the system beyond simply failing to contribute material. Limewire addresses this problem to some degree by providing the option to refuse to download files to users who do not share a threshold number of files. Unfortunately this cannot attenuate the problem of inefficient searches per se, merely offering a disciplinary instrument to force users to contribute. In order to sharpen search capacities in the context of a problematic network design, these networks have taken recourse to nominating certain nodes as super-peers, by virtue of the large number of files they are serving themselves. While essentially efficacious, the consequence is to undermine the legal robustness of the network. The threat is made clear in a paper published last year by researchers at PARC Xerox that analyzed traffic patterns over the Gnutella network and found that one per cent of nodes were supplying over ninety per cent of the files. These users are vulnerable to criminal prosecution under the no electronic theft act and the digital millennium copyright act. The music industry has been reluctant to invoke this form of action thusfar, principally because of their confidence that the scaling problem of the Gnutella community reduces the potential commercial harm it can inflict. As super-peering etc. becomes more effective this may change

- Fast Track/Kazaa Similar systems are now been offered by these companies to commercial media distributors such as Cloudcast (Fasttrack) and Swarmcast, using technical devices to allow distributed downloads that automate transfer from other notes when one user logs off. The intention here is clearly the development of software based alternatives to the hardware offered by Akamai, the principle player in delivering accelerated downloads and used by CNN, Apple and ABC amongst others.

- Edonkey/Overnet, Freenet Edonkey and Freenet distinguish themselves fro the other utilities by their use of hashing so as to identify and authenticate files. As data blocks are entered into a shared directory a hash block is generated (on which more below). Freenet introduced the idea of power-law searches into the p2p landscape, partially inspired by the speculation that the gnutella network would not scale due to a combination of its use of broadcast search model, the large number of users on low speed data connections, and the failure of many users to share. Edonkey became the first to poularise p2p weblinks and to employ the Multicast file Transfer Protocol so as to maximise downlaod speed by exploiting multiple sources simultaneously and allowing each user to become a source of data blocks as they were downloaded. (ii) Search methods Broacast. Power/ law. Centralised look up. Milligram, Hess, Edonkey bots, (iii) KeyTerms - Supernodes In the Gnutella networks searches are carried out owhat is called a broadcast model. Practically this means that the request is passed by the node to all the nodes to which it is connected, which in turn is forwarded to other nodes etc. The respinses of each node consume bandwidth and thus must be minimised, particluarly where many nodes are (a) operating on a low bandwidth connection and of limited utility for provisioning and (b) not sharing significant amounts of data. To overcome this problem, gnutella clients know limit their requests to 'superpeers' that have enough network respources to function efficiently and a c as a ephmeral archives for smaller nodes in their vicinity.

- Cloudcast/Swarmcast

- Multicast/Swarmed Downloads (Bearshare, Limewire, Sharereaza) File transfer between two peers fails to maximise bandwidth efficiency due to the congestion problems outlined at the beginning of the chapter. Thus where the file is available from multiple sources it will be different components will be downloaded simulatneously so as to minimise the total time of completion. Under the MFTP prootcol which forms the basis for Edonkey/Overnet this also allows other clients to initiate downloading from a partial download on the disk of another peer. [Chck whether this is the case for the others too]. - Hashing In June 2002 the media reported that music companies were now employing a company called 'Overnet' to introduce fake files into the file sharing webs, something which many users had suspected for some time. Fortunately a solution lay close at hand and in the case of one network had already been implemented: unique cryptographic hashes based upon the size of the file which ultimately constituted a reliable identifier. Edonkey users had already established portals for what became known as 'P2P web links', where independent parties would verify the authenticity of the files and then make their description and hash available through a site dedicated to highlighting new releases combined with a searchable database. These sites (sharereactor, filenexus, filedonkey) did not actually store any of the actual content files themselves, merely serving as a clearing house for metadata. Need for content verification arose first on edonkey due to the proclivity of is users to share very large files - often in excess of 600 mb - whose transfer could often require several days, and hence implied a significant waste of machine resources and human efforts should the data turn out to be corrupted in anyway. - Metadata Given the enormous and constantly expanding volume of information, it is plain that in order to access and manage it efficintly something broadly equivalent to the Dewey system for library organisation is required. Where metadata protocols are collectively accepted they can signifcantly increase the efficency of searches through the removal of ambiguities about the data's nature. Absence of standardised metadata has meant that search engines are incapable of reflecting the depth of the web's contents and cover it only in a partial manner. Fruitful searches require a semantically rich metadata structure producing descriptive conventions but pointing to unique resource identifiers (e.g. URLs). Apart from the failure to agree collective standards however, the constant threat of liigation also discourages the use of accurate metadata so that content can be serceted, made available only to those privy to a certain naming protocol, and reaching its acme in programs such as 'pig latin'.

(d) Comparison of Akamai with software based alternative.

(e) Deviations for pure p2p model

(f) Problems - Appropriation by proprietary technologies Napster was a copyrighted work, so that once it become subject to legal action no further conduits to the music-pool were available. Gnutella is an open network shared by multiple applications some of which have opted for GPL development (such as Limewire (out of enlightened self-interest) and Gnucleus (out of far-sightedness and commitment to the free software model)) whereas others have remained proprietary. By and large however, Gnutella developers appear to have tended towards co-operation as evidenced by the Gnutella developers list. Their coherence is likely galvanised by the fact they are effectively in competition more with the fasttrack network (Kazaa, Grokster) operating on a strictly proprietary basis. The hazards entailed with reliancy on a proprietary technology even in the context of a decentralised network were manifested in March 2002 when the changes to the protocol were made and the owners refused to provide an updated version top the most popular client, Morpheus, whose users were consequently excluded from the network. One reason suggested at the time was that the elimination of morpheus was brought on by the fact that it was the most popular client largely due to the fact that it did not integrate spyware monitoring users activity; their elimination effectively provided the opportunity for their two rivals to divide up their users between them.

Ironically, Morpheus was able to relaunch within three days by taking recourse to the Gnutella network and bu appropriating the code behind the Gnucleus client with only minor, largely cosmetic, alterations. Nonetheless, the incident highlights the weaknesses introduced into networks where one plaayer has the capacity to sabotage the other and lock their users (along with their shared content) out of the network.

- Free riding Freeriding and Gnutella: The Return of the Tragedy of the Commons: Bandwidth, crisis of P2P, tragedy of the commons, Napster's coming difficulty with a business plan and Mojo Karma. Doing things the freenet way. Eyton Adar & Bernardo Huberman (2000) Hypothesis 1: A significant portion of Gnutella peers are free riders. Hypothesis 2: Free riders are distributed evenly across different domains (and by speed of their network connections). Hypothesis 3: Peers that provide files for download are not necessarily those from which files are downloaded. " In a general social dilemma, a group of people attempts to utilize a common good in the absence of central authority. In the case of a system like Gnutella, one common good is the provision of a very large library of files, music and other documents to the user community. Another might be the shared bandwidth in the system. The dilemma for each individual is then to either contribute to the common good, or to shirk and free ride on the work of others. Since files on Gnutella are treated like a public good and the users are not charged in proportion to their use, it appears rational for people to download music files without contributing by making their own files accessible to other users. Because every individual can reason this way and free ride on the efforts of others, the whole system's performance can degrade considerably, which makes everyone worse off - the tragedy of the digital commons ." Figure 1 illustrates the number of files shared by each of the 33,335 peers we counted in our measurement. The sites are rank ordered (i.e. sorted by the number of files they offer) from left to right. These results indicate that 22,084, or approximately 66%, of the peers share no files, and that 24,347 or 73% share ten or less files. The top Share As percent of the whole 333 hosts (1%) 1,142,645 37% 1,667 hosts (5%)2,182,08770%3,334 hosts (10%) 2,692,082 87% 5,000 hosts (15%)2,928,90594%6,667 hosts (20%)3,037,23298%8,333 hosts (25%)3,082,57299%Table 1 And providing files actually downloaded? Again, we measured a considerable amount of free riding on the Gnutella network. Out of the sample set, 7,349 peers, or approximately 63%, never provided a query response. These were hosts that in theory had files to share but never responded to queries (most likely because they didn't provide "desirable" files). Figure 2 illustrates the data by depicting the rank ordering of these sites versus the number of query responses each host provided. We again see a rapid decline in the responses as a function of the rank, indicating that very few sites do the bulk of the work. Of the 11,585 sharing hosts the top 1 percent of sites provides nearly 47% of all answers, and the top 25 percent provide 98%. Quality? We found the degree to which queries are concentrated through a separate set of experiments in which we recorded a set of 202,509 Gnutella queries. The top 1 percent of those queries accounted for 37% of the total queries on the Gnutella network. The top 25 percent account for over 75% of the total queries. In reality these values are even higher due to the equivalence of queries ("britney spears" vs. "spears britney"). Tragedy? First, peers that provide files are set to only handle some limited number of connections for file download. This limit can essentially be considered a bandwidth limitation of the hosts. Now imagine that there are only a few hosts that provide responses to most file requests (as was illustrated in the results section). As the connections to these peers is limited they will rapidly become saturated and remain so, thus preventing the bulk of the population from retrieving content from them. A second way in which quality of service degrades is through the impact of additional hosts on the search horizon. The search horizon is the farthest set of hosts reachable by a search request. For example, with a time-to-live of five, search messages will reach at most peers that are five hops away. Any host that is six hops away is unreachable and therefore outside the horizon. As the number of peers in Gnutella increases more and more hosts are pushed outside the search horizon and files held by those hosts become beyond reach.

- Trust/security Security and privacy threats constitute other elements deterring participation both for reasons relating to users normative beliefs opposed to surveillance and fear of system penetration by untrustworthy daemons. The security question has recently been scrutinised in light of the revelation that the popular application Kazaa had been packaging a utility for distributed processing known as Brilliant Digital in their installer package. Although unused thusfar it emerged that there was the potential for it to be activated in the future without the knowledge of the end-user.

- Viruses .vbs and .exe files can be excluded from searches. MP3s etc are data not executables. Virus spreads via Kazaa (but the article wrongly identifies it as a worm): http://www.bitdefender.com/press/ref2706.php Audio Galaxy: Contains really ugly webHancer spyware that may make your Internet connection unusable.

- Content Integrity Commercial operations such as Akamai can guarantee the integrity of the content that they deliver through their control and ownership of their distributed network of caching servers. Peer to Peer networks on the other hand cannot guarantee the security of the machines they icorporate and must take recourse to means of integrity verification inherent in the data being transported, as is the case with hash sums derived from the size and other charcteristics of the file (so-called 'self-verifiable URIs'). [http://open-content.net/specs/draft-jchapweske-caw-03.html] CAW lets you assemble an ad-hoc network of "proxies" that you need not trust to behave properly, because you can neutralize any attempts to misbehave. [Gordon Mohr ocn-dev@open-content.net Tue, 18 Jun 2002 11:11:28 -0700 ] Make it so he can search out the media by the hash and you reduce the trust requirements necessary -- all you need to trust is the hash source, which can come easily over a slower link. Fundamentally this factor reintroduces the problem of trust into network communications in a practical way. Whilst the threat of virus proliferation may be low, other nuisances or threats arte much more realistic. In June it was confirmed that a company named Overnet had been employed by record labels to introduce fake and/or corrupted files into shared networks in the hope of frustrating usrs and driving them back inside the licit market. This had been suspected by many users and observers for some time and in the fatermath of their confirmation arose the news that at least two other entities - the french company 'Retpan' and 'p2poverflow' - were engaged in the same activity. Where relatively small files are concerned - and the 3.5 to 5.0 megabyte size typical of a music track at 128 bitrate encoding constitutes small by today's standards - such antics, whilst inconvenient, are unlikey to prove an efficient deterrent. Given that most files have been made available by multiple users there will aways be plenty of authentic copies in circulation. The situation is quite different however relating to the sharing of cinematographic works and television programs, whose exchange has grown rapidly in thelast years principally due to the penetration of broadband and the emrgence of the DivX compression format which has made it simple to burn downloads onto single CDRs thus obviating limited hard diosk space as an impediment to the assembling of a collection. A typical studio release takes up in excess of 600 megabytes when compressed into DivX and can take anything from a day to a week to download in its entirety depending on the transfer mechansm used, speed of connection, number of nodes seving the file etc. Obviously, having waited a week one would be rather irritated to discover that instead of Operation Takedown the 600 megabyte file in fact contained a lengthy denunciation of movie piracy courtesy of the MPAA. In order exactly to counter that possibility portals have emerged on the edonkey nework (the principal filesharing type network for files of this size) whose function is to authenticate the content of hash identified files that are brough to their attention. They initiate a download, ensure the integrity of the content, and verify that the file is available on an adequate number of nodes so as to be feasibly downloaded. provided that the aforesaid criteria are satisfied, the the publish a description of the 'release' together with the necessary hash identifier on their site, this phenomenon is accelerating rapidly but the classical examples remain www.sharereactor.com, www.filenexus.com and www.filedonkey. Similar functionality can be derived from the efforts underway as part of the Bitzi metadat project mentioned above and these initiatives could stymy the efforts by the music companies to render the network cirucits useless by increasin the dead noise ration.

- Prosecution/ISP Account Termination and other Woes At the prompting of the mnusic industry the No Electronic Theft Act was intorduced in 1997 making the copying of more than ten copies of a work or works having a value in excess of a thousand dollars a federal crime even in the absence of a motibation of 'financial gain'. In august of 1999 a 22 year old student from Orgegon, jeffrey gerard Levy, became the first person indicted under the act. Subsequently there have been no prosecutions under that title. In July and August 2002 however the Recording industry Association of America publicly enlisted the support of other copyright owners and allied elected representatives in calling on John Ashcroft to commence prosecutions. As mentioned above in relation to free riding on the Gnutella network, the small number of nodes serving a high percentage of files means that such users could be attractive targets for individual prosecution.

In addition at least two companies have boasted that they are currently engaged in identifying and tracing the IP numbers of file shares (Retpan (again) and a company called 'Ranger') so as to individualise the culprits. Such a draconian option is not a wager without risks for the plaintive music companies, indeed arguably this is why they have forbeared from such a course up until now. Currently this IP data is being used howver to pressure a more realistic and less sympathetic target, namely the user's Internet Service Provider. ISPs, having financial resources, are more sensitive to the threat of litigation and positioned to take immediate unilateral action against users they feel place them in jeopardy. This has already led to the closure of many accounts, and indeed this is not a novel phenomenon, having commenced in the aftermath of the Npaster closure with moves against those running 'OpenNap'.

Hacking More recently, and with great puiblic brouhaha, the RIAA and their allies have begun pushing for legislation to allow copyright owners to hack the machines of those they have a reasonable belief are sharing files. Copyright ownbers argue that this will 'even the playing field' in their battle against music 'pirates', and legislation to this effect was introduced by representative Howard Berman (California) at the end of July 2002. As of this writing the function of this initiative is unclear as a real attempt to pursue this course to its logical conclusion will involve the protagonists in a level of conflict with users which would certainly backfire. The likelihood is that this is another salvo in the content industry's drive to force the univrsal adoption o a draw technology on hardware manufacturers.

(g) Economic Aspects - Cost structure of broadband Whilst it is obvious why users utilise these tools to extract material, it is not so plain why they should also use them to provide material in turn to others and avoid a tragedy of the commons. Key to the willingness to provide bandwidth has been the availability of cable and DSL lines which provide capacity in excess of most individuals needs at a flat rate cost. There is thus no correlation between the amount of bandwidth used and the price paid, so in brief there is no obvious financial cost to the provider. In areas where there are total transfer caps or use is on a strictly metered basis participation is lower for the same reason.

- Lost CPU cycles/Throttling bandwidth leakage Kazaa supernode will use a max of 10% of total CPU resources. Allows an opt-out. All file sharing clients allow the user ultimate contral over the amount of bandwidth to be dedicated to file transfer, but they diverge in terms of the consequences on the user's own capacity. Thus Edonkey limits download speed by a ration related to one's maximum upload. Limewire on the other hand has a default of 50% bandwidth usage but the user can alter this without any significant effects (so long as the number of transfer slots is modulated accordingly). Gnucleus offers an alternative method in its scheduling option, facilitating connction to the network during defined periods of the day, so that bandwidth is dedicated is to file-sharing outside of houyrs that it is required for other tasks.

- Access to goods The motivation atttracting participation in these networks remains that which inspired Napster's inventor: the opportunity to acquire practically unlimited content. Early in the growth of Napster's popularity users realised that other types of files could be exchanged apart from music, as all that was required was a straightforward alteration of the naming protocal such that the file appeared to be an MP3 (Unwrapper). Later applications were explicitly intended to facilitate the sharing of other media such that that today huge numbers of films, television programs, books, animations, pornography of every description, games and software are available. The promise of such goodies is obvuiously an adequate incentive for users to search, select and install a client server application and to acquire the knowledge necessary to its operation. Inuitive Graphical User Interfaces enable a fairly rapid learning curve in addition to which a myriad of users discussion forums, weblogs and news groups provide all that the curious or perplexed could demand.

- Collective Action Mechanisms Solutions? i. In the "old days" of the modem-based bulletin board services (BBS), users were required to upload files to the bulletin board before they were able to download. ii. FreeNet, for example, forces caching of downloaded files in various hosts. This allows for replication of data in the network forcing those who are on the network to provide shared files. iii. Another possible solution to this problem is the transformation of what is effectively a public good into a private one. This can be accomplished by setting up a market-based architecture that allows peers to buy and sell computer processing resources, very much in the spirit in which Spawn was created

Conclusion (h) Commercial operations at work in the area. interesting comparisan of acquisition times in TCC at p. 28 http://www.badblue.com/w020408.htmhttp://www.gnumarkets.com/ commerical implementations swarmcast, cloudcast, upriser mojo nation's market in distributed CDN.

II Content Storage Systems (a) Commodity business Describe current market. Analaogise process. Assess scale of resources available. Costs of memory versus cost of bandwidth.

III Wireless Community Networks (a) Basic description The physical layer i) 802.11b ii) Blue tooth iii) Nokia Mesh Networking

Breaking the 250 feet footstep DIY www.consume.net

b)Public provisioning

c) Security Issues

d) Economics

Naples revealed a side of Italy hitherto cloaked from my gaze; some of the people were actually shady, dodgy, suspect. Indeed I'm surprised your credit cards' autonomous foray through metropolitan Europe never happened upon that harbout city.Since the '50s the city's burgeoning population of unemployed youth have sought to emulate the Camorra (as the Neoploitan mafia is named), and it's amazing what a recent inovation organised crime turns out to be, as newspaper anthropology would have it an ancient genetically inhrent charcateristic of everyone raised in the Mezzogiorno. Lads would throw shit at us as we were going about our own business quietly! And I thought that Dublin was unique in this. Another fella, initially conversed with in good faith made serial attempts to part me from my cash, first by sub-standard cunning and thereafter by outright menaces! Diplomatic skills were leaned upon until the arrival of his frineds, who disiplined his poor behaviour and sat us down to smoke high quality hash and drink until 5.00 am. They were most excited by our knowledge of Masianello, a 17th century Neopolitan fisherman and leader of what is widely regarded as the first modern urban insurrection, where the city was seized for ten days, before dusk fell over utopia and said Masianello was decapitated on the Piazza del Mercato. Exhausted we were deposited a the hotel and numbers were swapped with the promise of further meetings.

The streets are narrow like the carrugine of Genoa, and peppered with the most extravagant shrines to the Madonna. Tranny prostitutes carry out their trade around one of the most splendid, fluorescent-blue-haloed Mary presiding, with a pond of water which reflected the water beautifully underneath. But beyond all this rough and tumble the people were really caliente and kind, without that weariness which typifies the Romans, their curiousity and enthusiasm remians intact. If euphoric resignation describes Italy, then Naples must be the home of cheerful desperation.

Insurgent City

Who were th terrible black block that constituted, at least for the media, the other side of the police violence, if no its improbable justification? The considerations on the secret services and infiltrators are of little use just as has sense to try to push beyond ritual taking of distance from the maddened or extreme fringe of the movement. For sure on the 20th there were groups bent of finding confrontation. This was widely foreseen, there were differences in the degree of confrontation, different the orientations of the protagonist groups of what had been the first day to propose again the question of violnce that was not mimed, not ritualised, but haked and crude. An enormous question that is unsolvable in the abstract, which only the future developments of the movement will be able o give a sensible response, according o the scenarios which present themselves. But the split inside the groups that pressed upo the walled city was more apparent than real, and their action was shared/divided on more levels, that wewre however involuntarily intercommunicating. he violation of the red zone, symbolic or real, the practices of the squares peaceful or less, spke of forces nonetheless with common objectives.

What interests me more however is that which happened the day after, the 21st, on a day in which the representations and the self-representations of the differing positions on the square had already happened, and some of the protagonists, for the better and worse, of that day had already, to a large degree, gone home. The incidents and the riots of the 21 revealed another face of the events. often SOTTACIUTA, but that will be weighed up/evaluated for what it is. The desire to avenge the death of Carlo in combination with the mediated fascination of the day before made it so hat the spirit of the riots was not the exotic black-clad fighters, as much as a significant slice of Genovese marginal youth. A day of revolt furious and partially ou of place, certianly ill-timed, even if understandable, that saw among the players the youth of the defeated districts, the younger brothers of the generation that died silently on heroin. Genoa is no novice to these impromptu summer explosions, it is a city accustomed to cloaking its own illness and to await, sometimes for years the occaion of a day of fire. A small riot of the losers, a parenthesis to the football stadium guerilla, inside a violnce distinct and differently organised.

The placing of the emphsis as in the main did the media and local politicaians on that violence coming from outside is only a means of exorcising the internal violence, that which has grown for almost twenty years amongst the long-term unemployed, in the suburbs of permanent exclusion, in te "worlds apart", as urbanists have defined the "social housing cities" buiòlt out of the popular construction, in which smoulders a rage that found, perhaps already on the 20th, but especially on the 21st an occasion to express itself fully. But with difficulty will one try to underdstand this violenc or prevent it... we will probably have to expect further manifestations, to await the wriing of other heavy chapters in this "cold civil war".

p.36 Agostino Petrillo Genova la settimana della meraviglie Derive Approdi 21, March 2002

“La différence la plus frappante entre les sophistes antiques et les sophistes modernes est que les anciens se contentaient d’une victoire fugitive dans la discussion, aux dépens de la vérité, tandis que les modernes veulent une victoire plus durable, aux dépens de la réalité. En d’autres termes, les premiers détruisaient la dignité de la pensée humaine, tandis que les seconds détruisent la dignité de l’action humaine. Dans l’Antiquité, les manipulateurs de la logique embarrassaient le philosophe, tandis que les manipulateurs de faits, à notre époque, gênent l’historien.” Hannah Arendt, in Les origines du totalitarisme

Ce qui c’est passé à Gêne c’est que la logique de l’offensive et de l’autonomie de classe a entraîné une fraction non négligeable des prolétaires présents et que pendant que les chefaillons magouillent avec les Bové, les Aguiton et les Chevènement, ceux de la base se radicalisent et tissent des liens sans eux et contre eux. C’est ça qui leur est insupportable, c’est contre ça qu’ils inventent la fiction de la manipulation qui occulte tout le reste... L’action violente ne peut être que le fait de l’Etat ou du Parti, ne pas suivre un chef c’est se faire manipuler, comme les staliniens l’ont dit systématiquement avant eux. Le plus étonnant c’est qu’après Orwell, il se trouve encore des nigauds pour croire à de telles balivernes. (A ce propos, une petite anecdote : lorsqu’à la fête de l’Huma 2001, le sieur Agnoletto c’était vu prendre à parti par plus de la moitié de l’assistance, exigeant de lui qu’il exhibe au moins une preuve de la manipulation, il ne s’était vu défendre que par une poignée de vieux stalinien, citant l’exemple “historiquement prouvé” des “gauchistes Marcelin” en mai 68).

hi roberto by bah 1:17pm Mon Aug 12 '02

The unwillingness to believe your claims about the scale of infiltration might derive from the fact that for substantiation, you used an article from the XIX Secolo stating not only that there were going to be hundreds of fascists but '500 british members of the black block(!)' on their way to Genoa as well. The apparent falsehood of the latter makes me doubt the veracity of the former.

Anyway, it's too easy to reduce what went wrong at the G8 to a simple problem of infiltration.

What about....? by Wu Ming 1 3:19pm Mon Aug 12 '02

Of course infiltration (but I'd rather use the term "imitation") of the BB and other radical fringes of Genoa demonstrators is only one of the issues which deserve further investigation, and I never said I agreed with any of the things printed in that Secolo XIX article, and yet the piece was interesting and worth translating, I wouldn't dismiss it this way, because there are some matters of facts: - in the past twelve months nobody has been able to disavow the things former chief-of-police Colucci admitted in his hearings: about 600 far-right activists appeared to be on the scene in Genoa. - about 40 of the rioters whose names are going to be in the list of defendants are reported to be Genoa-based petty criminals and far-right football supporters. - there have been several eye-witness accounts of strange "talks" between rioters and carabinieri. - The trashing in Genoa was indiscriminated, it didn't destroyed just banks and corporation seats, but anything that stood in the way, including working class cars, small shops etc. Some German Black Blockers were interviewed by Dutch weekly magazine Vrij Nederlaand and kept their distance from indiscriminated trashing. Would it hurt too much to know the truth? >:-) - a 25-year-old British nazi called Liam "Doggy" Stevens (from Birmingham, if I remember well) was among the rioters in via Canaregis on July 20th 2002. His name came out immediately and was posted on this very newswire the day after. How come the people who immediately dismissed any allegation on infiltrators haven't made an investigation to see whether this guy exists or not, instead of complaining about "reformists" who slander anarchists?

at http://www.newbrainframes.org or http://www.informationguerrilla.org http://uk.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=10553

"Vengo da Birmingham e sono un nazi mi hanno invitato i fratelli italiani"

GENOVA - "Sono qui per spaccare tutto. Non m'interessano né il G8 né le cazzate dell'antiglobalizzazione. I fratelli italiani mi hanno invitato, mi hanno garantito che non avremmo avuto noie dalla polizia e che ci avrebbero lasciato fare tutto quel che volevamo". E' felice Liam "Doggy" Stevens, 26 anni, di Birmingham. "Sono un nazi, non un anarchico." E' seduto per terra in via Casaregis, mentre a pochi passi infuria la guerriglia, sul viso una bandiera inglese e addosso una felpa con un cane inferocito. "E' il simbolo del gruppo, i Black Dogs". La sua ragazza lo chiama: "Doggy, non parlare con i giornalisti"; lui s'allontana tra i fumogeni."


GENOVA - "I'm here to destroy everything. I don't care about the G8 or anti-globalization bullshit. The Italian brothers invited me, they told me we wouldn't have troubles with the police, that they would allow us to do all we wanted". Liam "Doggy" Stevens, a 26-year-old from Birmingham, is happy. "I'm a Nazi, not an anarchist". He sits on the ground in via Casaregis, riots go on a few metres away. His face is covered by a Union Jack, he has a foaming dog on the sweatshirt. "It is the symbol of my group, the Black Dogs." His girlfriend calls him: "Doggy, don't talk to journalists!". He gets up and vanishes in the tear gas.

Thinking a bit more about Hoxton etc., reminded me of a prank that was executed in Pris some years ago, during the period that Belleville was restructured. If you're not familiar with the district it would be one of the few truely popular quarters remaining in the city. Opponents of the plan sabotaged the consultation session pretty systematically, but it was their sub rosa activiy that really caused a scandal.

Posing as interested local citizens, enthusiastic at the plan, they wrote a letter to the mayor [nominally in charge of the business] congratulating him on his efforts, underlining the danger of disorder and antisocial activity inherent in free public space, the necessity of doing away with same, the need to have absolute protection from the street, etc. The mayor responded warmly. A second letter was then penned, which proffered some other suggestions to be taken into account during the 'restructuring process'. The epistle concluded by asking the Mayor if he would be willing to preface a volume on architecture and urbanism which they would shortly be publishing. By return, he thanked them for their suggestions and indicated that he would be favourabley disposed towards their request.

What he didn't know was that several sectyions of the second letter were in fact verbatim citations from Mein Kampf. And he ought to have guessed, seeing as the first note contained sections such as 'A Eulogy to Petrification' and signed off with 'Let us be the makers of our own straightjackets'! The correspondence was then published and distributed, leading to legal action for libel, the seizure of the book from newspaper stands in Belleville where it was available for sale etc. Needless to say, the papers rather liked the staory and Bariani (the Mayor) suffered considerable ridicule.

'Everything that lives, does so under the categorical condition of decisively interfering in the life of someone else... Freedom itself, the freedom of every man, is the ever-renewed effect of the great mass of physical. intellectual, and moral influonces to which this man is subjected by the people surrounding him and the environment in which he was born and in which he passed his whole life.

To wish to escape this influence in the name of some . . . self- sufficient and absolutely egoistical freedom. is to aim toward non- being.

To do away with this reciprocal influence is tantamount to death. And in demanding the freedom of the masses we do not intend to do away with natural influences to which man is subjected by individuals and groups. All we want is to do away with is factitious. legitimized influences. to do away with the privileges in exerting influence."

a postfacé Trieste de Roberto Bazlen, paru aux éditions Allia en 2000.

Shots in the Paris night. There is a point on the endless adventure where events unfold unexpectedly. Actions reap their own consequences, planning counts for little, moments uncertain between fantasy and reality lose all their seperations. When the movement against the state plan to enslave young unemployed to petty bosses at a cut price rate, fate was already on our minds. In the next months there was some of the most intense looting and rioting in France in the recent history. With a government capitulation the establkishment sought to refind the consensuas and easy social management. The confrontations had demonstrated that there was a new force to be reckoned with: a youth disabused of the illusions of career, who saw their only place in the dominant order was to be miserable- but life was for the living. Of course the effort to devclare a return to normality in the aftermath was just a deception of governmental art, for who could believe that those who repossessed the city in a carnival of broken glass and fire coulld care less for the society which had built toytown. Florence and Audrey were two two such revoltes. Children of the suburbs - wretched grey blocks of the poverty of economy, boredom and despair - they had made their deciosion announced themselves against this world. Working with radical groups such as SCALP (an autonomist network) and the CNT ( anarchist militants) they fought hard during those months of March and April 1994 when the movements offensive was at a peak. From the cs gas filled streets of Paris to the university of Nanterre on the fringe of the Peripherique they tended the flowers of the revolution. As the crisis passed (apparently) and the drift back to surface obedience and cynical despair gathered pace, Florence and Audrey wanted to go on. Witnessing the savagery that the state held waiting as a response to its enenmies, seeing the blood on the batons of the CRS and knowing that the rulers cannot give up their realm with resort to war, they began to argue for a radical violence. Over the next months they left the halls of organised activists and moved in the world of the squatted houses of revolutionary hedonism where talk turns often to the armed bandits who have repudiated the morality of humanism and the social consensus. They read of the Red Brigades, Action Directe and also the story of Jacques Mesrine. Hated by the police and government, Mesrine was an armed robber with conviction, a prison rebel,a philosopher of desire who believed that the only way to be free, was not to be a slave...... So it was that one night in October they made their way across Paris to Nation in the east where the police depot was the target of their interest. Gassing several cops they stole some weaopns and then made their escape. Quickly they hijacked a taxi and headed further east towards the forest at Vincennes. The taxi driver panicking, crashed the car into a police patrol to alert them that something was at foot. In the ensuing shoot-out, three policemen, the taxi-driver and Audrey were all killed. Florence was arrested at the scene. As the news emerged, the pornographers who practice journalism turned all eyes on the polidce photo of Florence, defiant and silent in the face of their questions. After fouty eight hours she finally told the her name, Then she said, "it's destiny". Of course the media needed other falsifdications to render the story suitable for sensatiuonalisation. There was no mention connection allowed between the gesture fo that october night and their hate for this dying society and their lust for one made anew. Repackaged in the bizarre costume of the media and its ideological supermarket, they became Natural Born Killers!!! on the evidence of a programme for the film found in their squatted house in a run down part of Nanterre. It was painful to see them stripped of their dignity. Meanwhile the subversive community in Paris held its breath, knowing that the arrest of Florence would not be sufficent to satisfy the appetites of the flics , reeling from the death of three of their number. Paranoia torched the thermometers, the heat was on. And in the city it's hard to live if you want to isolate yourself, which is the only safety paranoia can ever consider. The modern world splits us up into atoms, living alone or in small distant flats, caught between the divisions of gender, race and age, the individual the collective....... the radiacl community dissolved itself. People stopped visiting one another, ceased to speak openly about anything which could implicate them in the crime of even understanding what Florence and Audry had done but the secret is to tell all, All mentions of this affair were greeted wn attitude of we can't talk about it; sub judice...... One week, two weeks, three weeks and Florence is in jail, 19, her lover dead, and they want to make her pay, and fear forces even her friends to disavow her.In the months that followed no thought of a public display pf support for her was ever brought, no posters, no collections, no stickers. The anarchist press distanced themselves from their actions, the FA (anarchist federation) even going so far as to advise their regional sections to play down the link with radical libertarian politics and practice. Twomi was an algerian radical who had been around the fringe of the autonomist milieu and squats of the city, and close to the apocalyptic cult of the end whichmade him a specialist of radical aestheticism in his writings on Algeria. One of the guns found at the soot out of Vincennes had been bought by Tuomi who had been close to Florence and Audrey, although he was disliked by many. Arrested by the police, Twomi revealed lies as truth so as to help him save his own skin. Claiming that he did not buy the gun for them but for another, Philippe, he said that he was in fact working for the Algerian sate to entrap Islamic radicals and autonomists, providing a justification fopr repression. Philippe had been active within autonomy in the 1980s and had also already done five years for armed robbery ( convicted when he also was 19) and made the perfect target for a police framing and manipulation. On the basis of Twomi's information he was held for four months whilst the police attempted to fabricate evidence to link him with the shoot-out; the state wanted a conspiracy. Eventually, in the utter impossibility of him being involved he was freed. Meanwhile a map of the prison with the positions of the prison guards marked was found in Florence's cell, we smiled with reilef that she thinks still of escape and hope despite all the state's need for vengeance which circles around her.

My neighbours passions frighten me infinitely less than do the law's injustices, for my neighbours passions are contained by mine, whilst nothing constrains, nothing checks the injustices of the law.

Vandalism; an exciting game played in three adventures.

I began spraypainting a long time ago. In and out oif it over the years it took a new significance when I realised that it could express the way that I ferlt personally, aesthetically and politically. So when I returned o this city in the summer I was intent on criminal damage. It was after all not only an intervention into the visual environment of the cityscape, an area dominated by commerce with their advertising and neon, but also a concrete assault which cost my 'vitims' money to erase. I found a car supplies shop with an unscrupulous governor who must have known exactly what was going on as over the weeks, I and my compagneros visited regularly to pick up cans of paint . He never blinked an eyelid as he gave us discounts due to our regular custom, despite the fact that we clearly didn't have a car but had spray paint on our fingers in an area recently covered by our daubings. I tried to combine as many aspects of my personality into these dawn jhouneys around the city, running down alleyways and sidestreets; there were stencils in a sequence: stop, power, pause, play, each accompanied by their respective technical symbol. They were ambivalent, vague. The urbanity of the industrial design was technological and sterilised , reeked of a purge of humanity, these were the signifiers of the functional. On the other hand the commands themselves lost all sense of the imperative and utilitarian, sprayed on grey walls they stood out defiantly, appealiing to the spirit, words that could raise a thousand different questions. STOP, POWER, PAUSE, PLAY a demand to others to reflect on why it is that so often we are mechanical than any machine in accepting a role as cogs in the slow death of the murderous work-leisure- money routine. Then there was the tag. This was my individual act, territorial but anonymous , it's quick to paint and allows you to inflict the maximum of material damage in the minimum of time. It's also an agent of communication to the other sprayers in the city who may not immediately identify themselves with my other work. The tag is our morse code, our beacon to the others fighting on the visual battlefield, whom I respect for their relentlessness and the risks they take. The tag is important to our fragmented community as it is our acknowledgement of one another in recognition and respect. I wanted these people to know that I existed and that I felt solidarity with them. There is something almost tender when you tag a fresh street or becoming wall and return the next week to find ten or twelve others have signed onm as well, without spraying over one another's emblems these become companions and in their anonymity they are like kisses blown in the air. Often I will leave a stencil and a tag beside onme another so that the others will begin to build up the associations and hopefully be inspired to diversify themselves. Lastly there are the slogans of more explicit political or cultural content. As a child I carved, painted and biroed IRA all over the place. It seemed as natural then as now that grafitti be a weapon in politixcal confrontation. More recently, inspired by the Zapatista rebellion which began on New Years eve 1994 and their message to the world that demanding the impossible was not without hope, I chose to try and raise awareness or at least curiousity about their story. EZLN, DESTROY ALL PRISONS, VIVA ZAPATA, SUPPORT THE REVOLT IN MEXICO, these were the most simple gestures I could make to arouse interest. Of course it is impossible to convey any of their ideas in this way but the purpose was not to persuade ideologically, rather it was to encourage the curious weho felt an affinity with echoes of resistance to investigate the everyda heroes fighting the state from the mountains of the Mexican South-East. This was in the context of a series of meetings and the diffusion of litterature which we undertook at the same time and it was a pleasure to see that we had some impact. It first became clear that it was not simply a matter of arty gallavanting around town on a cool summer's night when a friend and I went out to put up some stencils and spray around the south side of the city centre. It was down on the Ranelagh road near Charlemont Bridge where we were initally noticed by the cops. I had sprayed Viva Zapa when Day spotted the car and we picked up our things to walk down the road as though we were just going about our businness. They purred across the road as we passed Norhtbrook Avenue and the window peeled down. Excuse I said top them as we walked around the car, by our composure and accent they were appeased and we made our way off. We switched track and decorated the smaller streets around Mount Pleasant and Rathmines where there is not so much traffic and more alleys to escape wouldbe -pursuers. A short time later the same cop car rolled by, they checked us out again. Why were we still around the area? Wearing bomber Jackets and hats we made ourselves stand out, ill-advisedly. We had more pretensions to make up for not being the dangerous substance we wished to be. But the hours went by and we were tiring, Day's watch said three o'clock so we decided to hit home. By the canal T recalled my unfinished job which had begun the intrigue. I had to complete Zapa..ta so that there would be no misunderstanding! Passing the stencils to Day we agrreed to rendez-vous back at the house for a celebratory joint. As I approached the bridge the car cruised by again, slowly, they wanted me this time but they were on a one way street on the wrong side of the canal. Allowing a few moments for them to advance enough to create a little distance, thus compelling them to cross a different path, I reckoned that there was just enough time to speed over and finish the task. I began to run. Beside McGovern's metals and its alleyway, I did the deed. Relieved .....then in the same instant I felt thwe beam of the lights 9on my ass and turned to find the squad car centred on me. Break. Up the alley at fifty miles an hour; the car mounted the pavement and pursued. Mount pleasant is a difficulkt little estate with many bollards but just as many short cul de sacs, it would have been easy to be cornered. At the end of the alley I had about thirty yards on them, I swung right my head spinning, but remained intent on escape; this was an easier rod for them and there were almost on me when I darted to right again and they were late missing the turn, precious metres. Back down to the Ranelagh Rd and they were on my course again. Straight over the road, quick right, quick left, spray can ejected into a front garden, Northbrook Rd. I see a wall and realise I am momentarily out of their sight, over wall, I bounce on my toes back against the concrete, the cold eases the hot sweat all over my body, quiet.... A car purrs upslowly somewhere on the other side of my hideout. I recognise that engine. Silent now. A door opens,and two heavy shoes echo on the pavement. No breathing. A moment. The door slams shut, my eyes close and my head rings, snowballing adrenalin and areosol fumes. The car fucks off.

Who's Afraid of who?

As nasty kids From dark back streets We opened our eyes And all was filthy and old. Hardly taken my first steps And I went there ; In the castle square It was different, There was green and shops Coaches and tourists. A copper nicked me, Called me a delinquent, Put me in a boarding school Where there were nuns Who learned us to pray, Thrashing us for nothing. We rejected The culture of the bourgeoisie And they wanted to re-educate us In the reformatories. Between blows and hunger We learned to hate. Over 18 now But still not ready To enter society, Then they condemned us And put us In dark rooms With bars and closed doors, Piss pots under the beds And the empty mess tin Which for us is like famine in India. Woking for peanuts Or staying banged up, We saw what explotation is. They beat the shit out of us And threw us in solitary - We saw the smiles And filthy looks On the marshals and the brigadiers - They too the slaves of the system.

But we cried out It will be a hot summer, We captured the prison Smashed the walls Tore off the gates Set fire to the mattresses And beat up the filthy guards. Then thousands of cops Stuck Tear gas bombs On our roofs. The struggle will go on we cried. But we were still small. We lost the battle, But it will be a long war. Then they chained us up And sent us far away. A pig bastard said Don't be afraid you robbing ScumÓ But the comrade with the raised fist Shouted Who's afraid of who? This is already war With many wounded - All we have left is our struggle The struggle will go on we cried. Sergo Romeo 25 October 1973


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