Radical media, politics and culture.


Anton now looks like Rasputin. Somebody explain to me what is happening please, or else just stop it, please!

Propaghandi: 'how to clean everything' Ska Sucks... Fuck Religon!

This is another piece I ought to have cast to the ether months ago. From now on, I'm going to use the journal as a place to put up articles that aren't quite complete but which could bear external scrutiny.

Interview with Horst Fanatazzini, a life in prison: sentence completion date 2022

What is currently your legal situation and when do you foressee yourself being able to get out of jail, at least into semiliberty?

At the moment, my release should occur, more or less, in 2022. In terms of typologocalical classification, I think I've been filed in the category "dinosaurs and tortoises". I think that beyond the freedom committees of the anarchist milieu, the World Wildlife Fund section on 'endangered species' should also take an interest in me..... This absurd situation came about by means of the application, in a restrictive manner, of the so-called 'consecutive judgment', which functions as follows: all the convictions are calculated and added together and if the result exceeds 30 years, which is considered to be the maximal punishment, the overall sentence is set at 30 years. In my case, already starting from preceding consecuitives, the thirty years came to have effect from the date of the last crime committed. This was the case also for my last consecutive, occurring after my last arrest in 1991. The thirty years started to elapse from 1990 and my release set for 2020. The repeated application of "continuation of crimes', asked for by my lawyer, will marginally improve the sitaution. Then, some other trials have become final (for robbery, possession of weapons, false documents etc.) and the siutation, today, should be exactly that of a hypothesized release around 2022-2024. As soon as the trial in Rome against the 'bad anarchists' has concluded, in which I appear as a defendant (soon there will be the last hearings), the lawyer plans to ask for the application of an overall redefinition of the continuation of all my sentences. The result will depend on the humour of the judge, on his good or bad digestion, on the behaviour of his mother, on the astral conjunction and other uncontrollable factors. Rationality and good sense are peremptorily excluded from the places where the guard-weasels (trans. in the italian the word is ermellini da guardia, which also refers to the fabric of the judicial office) congregate to decide upon the life and future of mine. As regards semiliberty or other 'benefits', theoretically I could take advantage of them from April 3rd this year, that is when my final period of 'treatment observation' will conclude.

Many comrades have asked us if you thought of yourself as an anarchist prior to your arrest?

That's a fine querstion. You were a friend of Libero, my father, and you met me about eleven years ago. There is no doubt that I have always defined myself as anarchist and claim and have claimed myself as such in judicial process. But this is not enough. The anarchist being entails the capacity of reconciling one's ideal with one's own life, and this has not always been so in my case, especially when I was very young. I define myself an individualist anarchist, a conscious rebel that has often acted unconsciously. At the age of fourteen years of age I was already signed up to the USI (trans. an anarchist organisation), which I don't know still exists (trans. yes, it does!). In 1965, I was present at the preparatory meeting of the Congress which unrolled in Bologna and amongst the participants was Armando Borghi who was expelled from the board of 'Umanita Nova' after tiring polemics. In thyis period, with other youngsters, I was bringing to life an Anarchist Youth Federation, but then my life became almost entirely caught up in prison. In approximately thirty years of jail, I believe to have always conducted myself coherently with a way of being and to feel myself existentially anarchist. My firendships and my loves have anarchist DNA. My correspondents are almsot entirely anarchists and range from a near mythic 80 year old Mantuan to an eighteen year old anarchist6 skinhead girl from bergamo (that I treat with fratenal affection). I am irremediably and proudly anarchist.

Could you talk about your struggles during this long imprisonment. In the film this aspect is eluded.

To speak of struggles in prison today is like digging up sweet memories from a sarcophagus, so much is the change confirmed, in the last fifteen years in the place and its desperate inhapitants. From the sarcophagus emerge portraits of men who were alive and proud but who have been bent, broken and dispersed. Men who claimed with passion their dignity and sought without mediation their freedom. Men who died on the roof-tops during revolts and who nobody remembers any more. Men that in meeting with the first jailed comrades had discovered that life and struggle can have meanings higher than their little desires and selfishness. The end of the '60s and the whole of the '70s were seasons of struggle that will never repeat themselves again. Prisons destroyed tunnels to freedom. Personally I participated in scores of struggles, big and small. I saw the destruction of the special section of Asinara, that of Nuoro and that of Trani and these struggles cost me a 'bonus' of more than twenty further years. Today the prison is 'pacified' and the air which one breatehes is that of heavy resignation. The 'population' has changed radically and almsot the entirety made up of drug addicts and samll and medium level drug dealers. Their primordial promblem is that of continuing to obtain or continuing to deal their daily dose. There are hardly any comrades at all. In Alessandria I left three. Here there is no-one. The mafiosi are under the rubric of 41/bis, a rewriting of that which for us, years ago, was article 90, that is an restrictive interanl regulation inside a system of rules which are in themselves already strict. Today they are almost all young or really young and the prison is nothing other than an enormous container of a social unrest that no-one knows or wants to resolve. I have never felt myself such a 'stranger' in jail. I resist by seeking to extract myself from all that surrounds me, taking refuge in my books and speaking with my computer. My relations with the outside and the love I draw from them give me strength....... said dear Eduardo. There it is, dear comrades, I cannot do anything other than try to resist, waiting fro Godot to decide to arrive.

During these struggles you have had to clash not only with the prison administration but also with the 'counterpower'. Do tyou want tot tell us how that happened?

Between the end of the '70s and the middle of the '80s, the jails were full of comrades. There were ten special prisons: Cuneo, Novara, Fossombrone, Trani, Termini Imerese, Favignana, Pianosa, 'l'Asinara and Nuoro. Then there were specials ections in almost all of the other jails. For a decade, we 'differentiated' deatinees did not have contact with the other inmates. It was normal procedure to hold us in prisons as far away from our homes as possible, so as to make visits extremely difficult, which took place in any case behind glass partitions and through intercoms. Correspondence was subjected to censorship. We weren't allowed to receive packets of food supplies from outside, only books and clothing were allowed. not all the prisons were 'specialized' in the same manner: some, like Fossombrone and Cuneo, were softer than Asinara or Novara. I believe that at that time we were treated like guinea pigs, upon which was studied behaviour and reaction with respect to the gradualness of the 'tratment', which ranged from the hours of sociality (space and activities to share during several hours of the day) to the pure hard isolation of Asinara (two or three to a cell, always the same ones, with periodic rotation at the discretion of the monarch of the period, director Cardullo). Obviously, fictitous 'comrades' and rebel 'sell-outs' were living amongst us, for more effective control, a fact about which we became certain later. belushi said that when the game gets tough, the tough start to play. And it's true. It's incredible the creativity that man manages to unleash in difficult moments. The hard treatment cemented the group and expanded solidarity. We were all united against 'them' end we invented incredible channels of communication to break the physical isolation. In Asinara, for moths, the occupants of one cell did not managae to see the the occupants of adjacent cells, but every cell communicated with the others. you could write a book on all tricks invented by us to overcome the isolation to which we were subjected, but the argument, now, is another. To prepare struggles and eventual escapes it was necessary to have a rigid compartmentalization, and thus were born the CUC (Unified Camp Committees). in Asinara, the brigatisti (trans. from the Red Brigades) were in a majority, and thus the committees, initially an expression of necessity and the situation of us all, would become a political organism stamped with 'democratic centralism' , that lexical pun so dear to uncle lenin. I said the brigatisti that I had nothing against compartmentalized and restricted organizational forms provided that they were purely provisional and functional to the obtaining of a rersult, but if these CUCs became permanent political organisms , I didn't want to have any part of them. I had participated in every struggle but not to their political management. The first fight (destruction of the intercoms at visits and refusal of all the prisoners to return to their cells) finished with the massacre of seventy of us. I ended up in a coma and was brought by helicopter to the hospital in Sassari. My recovery was kept secret and after two days I was brought back to Asinara. My partner at that time managed to find out and revealed the news and the third day bounced through the whole media. A delegation of parliamentarians came who could verify the massacre. An inquiry was opened and the management of Asinara found itself in great difficulty. A week later we destroyed the two special wings without the guards even daring to interfene. The wings rendered unusable, we were provisionally posted in varios 'normal' sections of the island, awaiting transfer elsewhere. A few days after this struggle, I managed to pass to my partner an account that was opportunely published in a pamphlet by "Anarchismo" editions. This sent the brigatitis into a raging fury end the most pissed off amused themselves by reminding us anarchists of Kronstadt and Barcelona. My "Open Letter to Comrades on the Outside" was published in all the movement's journals, which then, in 1978, were still alive and thriving. The polemic ricocheted theroughout all the special prisons where, overall, the brigatisti were in a minority and the majority of the prisoners took my side. This polemic, amounted to an otherwise obvious political weakness of the brigatisti (do you remember the slogan of the movement "With Neither the Red Brigades Nor the State!"?) and ratified the end of the CUC in whose place was born the CUB (United Committees of the Base) an 'open' organization which for a bit represented all prisoners. Also " A Anarchist review" published my letter together with an naswer from Curcio under the title "Anarchists and Stalinists". I was contacted by various political parties and also by state organs because, derived from the polemic in which I had been involved, some intended to use me to create further divisions between the prisoners. I did not lend myself to this game. Asinara had hardly been rebuilt, and I alone amongst those who had participated in the revolt, was sent back there from Palmi. Then, after some bust ups with the guards there, I finished up at Nuoro, participating in the revolt that destroyed the special wings there as well. But this was an epilogue. The external weakness of the comrades was reflected inside the prisons. The time of the 'penitents' (trans. informers) and mass 'disassociation' began. The intellectuals who had played at war, new prodigal sons, woul;d return to their elite Habitat. Always distrust professional intellectuals! They weave webs heavy as chains on the dreams of free men. And since the times of the ancient egyptian scribe, from deflowering to deflowering, they always succeed in rebuilding their virginity. Fifteen years ago, I wrote this epitaph for them:

The existential misery of the intellectual is his being torn apart by the contradiction between the universality of his knowledge and the particularism of the dominant class of which he is the product. And thus he wrestles, embodying the Hegelian 'unhappy consciousness', between referents to abandon and to conquer (win over)... And with this bad conscience, source of his disquiet, he aligns himself first with the proletariat, then with the marginalized, then with the third world, searching for strongholds on which to rebuild his own ruins (to pull himself together again), proposing himself again as the active subject, as an intelligence that, with respect to the phenomena analysed and dissected with the microscope of knowledge, self declare himself as the external avant garde from the heights of that knowledge robbed from his ancient forefathers. Among the ups and downs of life he wrestles in the desperation of being an eternal orphan. Orphan of the bosses abandoned without refusing its privileges. Orphan of the proletariat whom he had always instinctively rejected as a foreign body. Orphan of the third world that doesn't have the time to tune in his intelligent analysis having to resolve, day after day, his urgent problems of survival. From exclusion to exclusion, from elision to elision, from erosion to erosion, he found himself with others in the one ghetto. Then, frightened and implicated by the various craziness produced by their theorizing, they began to negotiate the surrender on the backs of all: to recover their initial position of intelligentsia. Misery in misery, plagiarist plagiarised, but privileged that always found the warm nest of the prodigal son who returns to his origins.... .....

These peoople, by repenting or through disassociation or therough 'benefits' fromj the state that they meant to fight 'without respite!', now are almost all out. A handful remain in jail. Less than ten of these, in jail for decades, have closed themselves off in a dignified silence. They ask for nothing, they reject 'benefits' from the state that if asked, would bring about their immediate release. Others, refugees abroad, await an 'amnesty' or a 'political solution' to come back. And the jails, now governed with the carrot and the baton are more thriving than ever and are bursting with the desperate. Well, I think that's enough.

While not wanting to be invasive; it has been noticed several times the transparency and serenity in recounting what was your relationship before and after your arrest. Would you like to talk about it?

With the last question you throw me into crisis. A few days ago a journalist interviewed me on behalf of the progam 'Frontier' on Rai 2 (trans. Italian state broadcaster). Amongst other questions, at a certain point he asked me if I felt regret. Focussing on the word 'regret', I answered him that I didn't feel contrite for the banks robbed nor the rest, but that if I had the chance to relive my life I wouldn't do the same things. Not because I consider them immoral in this society to rob a bank, but because I think it stupide to throw away one's life like that. Then I told him that my current situation for better of worse, is the fruit of an initial choice, this finished by involving other people as well that didn't share this choice, but who have gotten suffering from it for sole reason of their goodwill towards me.My parents, my wife, my children and comrades who wished and still wish me well. This is a weight that I carry and it is the heaviest of all. Anna is the person that I have loved most in my life. Even today, when I think of her, I feel myself invaded by an infinite tenderness and sadness. And the person who has given me the most, received in exchange only pain and humiliation. She was close to me in the most difficult moments, then in the special prisons the situiation became heaviest, and we decided by common agreement to leave one another. Rationally, without resentment nor rancour, remaining friends.Today, after a life given to others, she is a serene woman. I hope one day to be able to see her again, to together caress Jacopo, the newest Fantazzini who has recently made us both grandparents.

interview by tiziana Originally published in Umanita Nova No.3, 2000."

Should have released this months agao but Blicero and I never managed to find the time to do the corrections. Once everyone has 'Given Up Activism' or at least condùsidered the argument then I'll put it up on the site.

A Space of Construction and Deconstruction Interview with blicero about the experience of the LOA Hacklab in Milan

Q.What is a hacklab? And more specifically, what is the LOA Hacklab in Milan?

A Hacklab is a place where we try to combine the hacker attitude, that is to say the fact of understanding the functioning of complex machines in order to deconstruct them and reconstruct them in a non conventional manner, with the ambition of analysing the real. A place of relations where people, brought by a marked interest in the new forms of electronic communication, by the digital and the telematic, can meet to construct a different way of understanding things and intervene in the processes that determine reality. A Hacklab is in some way a meeting place for the various entities and determinations of digital antagonism.

The LOA Hacklab (Mi) specifically is the Hacklab of Milan, born after the hackmeeting 99 which took place at the social center . Last year we were involved in different campaigns run principally, but not only, by all the "realities" (1) of the Italian telematic antagonism: open and free access to knowledge and immaterial goods, freedom of expression, courses and seminars, construction of a new server which will be presented during the next hackmeeting, and very many other things. Currently, our internal coordination mailing list numbers 70 subscribers, and we continue to expand our collaborative projects.

Q. Could you present fairly quickly the route that propelled the establishment of the hacklabs in several Italian cities, and particularly the relationship between this dynamic and the occupied social centers?

A. In the beginning there was the hackmeeting. During these self organized moments (occasions) telematic activists and hacker from all over Italy (and elsewhere as well) exchanged ideas, opinions, tips, and took advantage of the opportunity to meet physically after having gotten to know one another through the intermediary of the flux of bytes. The first of these meetings was organised in 1998 at the CPA FI-SUD, one of Florence’s social centers and it was a success. The second was in Milan in '99, and many people began to wonder why not give some continuity to these moments of exchange and relationships between each hackmeeting. Thus were born the Hacklabs in Florence and Milan, not to forget the Freaknet Medialab that had already been operational for some time. In a period of two years, other hacklabs were created and even today others are being born. Presently there are ten and the desire to hack and to change the current context seems not to diminish, but rather the opposite.

The relationship with the social centers has without doubt a historical component; the hackmeetings were born and took place in the social centers of Florence, Milan and Rome, and it was natural that structures having as fundamental objectives, amongst others, to give continuity to the activities taken up by the hackers, started off and found their own space inside structures such as the social centers.

There exist also deeper reasons, tied specifically to the hacker attitude and to its origins, fully convergent with those which inspire the subjects of self-organisation. Two fundamental characteristics of the hacker ethic meet in the wish to give knowledge the widest possible circulation and the desire to understand the functioning of complex mechanisms so as to be able, as a result, to detourn them for one's own pleasure and desires. If we transpose these characteristics into the 'non technical' milieu, it is easy to identify the occupied social centers and the self-managed spaces as clear and obvious attempts at reality hacking. The convergence of these two characteristics (historic and 'behavioural') brought the hacklabs and the realities of self-organisation to share spaces and trajectories.

Q. A particularly interesting aspect of the experience of the LOA is in the fact of organising regular 'courses' where you try to transmit expertise on the subject of use of UNIX type systems and computer science languages (Perl, HTML, C etc.) to 'normal users'?

A. Not only to ‘normal users’. The courses, in theory, are of differentiated standards for those that already have some knowledge and feel motivated enough to pursue them.

Q. How does that work?

A. We built a class room with i486 PCs and screens recovered from the dumpsters of banks and other offices. We have sixteen work-stations which provide everything necessary to take the course and get hands on the machines. We strove and have succeeded in creating a didactic space which leaves nothing to envy the commercial courses in computer science that presently flourish everywhere, thanks to recovered material, a little reflection and our will to demonstrate that the headlong rush towards a technology which is ever more sophisticated, and always the 'last word' is purely and simply a reflex of the capitalist process; the latter necessitating the constant creation of markets to survive. Besides the physical structure, several of us got together to produce didactic material, to put together curriculum for the courses and seminars, transparencies, hand-outs, CDs and so many other things. Lastly, it even occurred to us to produce courses on video, but that seemed a little bit too much...

Q. Who comes to the seminar courses of the LOA?

A. The crowd is rather varied and runs from students to professionals, passing by the hackers as far as some immigrants who through these courses manage to find a job. The courses and seminars are not only instances of apprenticeship and sharing of knowledge, they are above and especially moments of relationship. During the classes, our everyday activities find themselves confronted by the presence and ideas of those who come to take the courses and seminars. From a certain point of view, the courses and seminars represent for us what sociality represented for the self-managed experiences of preceding decades.

Q. Do you think that the transmission of knowledge, of expertise in the use of software tools are a matter of high stakes?

A. In this phase, it is for sure a key element in the construction of other perspectives of digital rights and beyond. The digital universe is one of the rare universes where it is really possible to put in everyone’s hands the means of (immaterial) production and the sharing of this know-how is one of the fundamental elements for allowing everyone to participate in the struggle. Changing reality takes place also through the sharing of the tools to change it, and in the computer science-telematic universe, that is exactly what we are trying to do. It's no accident if the concepts of 'private property' and the 'limitation on the freedom of circulation' of knowledge, but also of goods and people, are the elements upon which late capitalism is based. The sharing of knowledge and the availability of immaterial knowledge for the most vulnerable levels of society constitute an important threshold so that the latter can participate in the transformation of the present.

As can be seen in the area of biotechnology, closed Knowledge - with high costs of production but also of accessibility - is the game of those who want globalization to increase their own profits and power even more. Horizontal sharing has been a 'rebel' practice since its very origins, which are diametrically opposed to the origins of capital.

Q. The LOA also do software projects. Interesting and surprising things such as “OBOE” which aim to give the blind access to computer technologies and digital cultures. Where does this type of initiative come from?

A. Acts of 'intervention' in software are an innate aspect of the hacker culture, in which the hacklabs trace their roots. In the course of this year and a half of experience, we have touched on different questions - each one of which necessitated a detailed treatment - and each time we tried to confront them with the same seriousness: on the one hand, to construct a critical and analytical discourse of the situation (such as the accessibility of electronic texts and the interests of the large publishers in the “Cavazza-Galiano” case last autumn) and on the other hand, to provide solutions and hacks to offer alternatives. It is one of the fundamental characteristics of the hacklab, in my view: to try to combine practice and theoretical political analysis. The work of software production (as well as the courses) are the ideal reflection of this will.

Q. What are your projects in progress and those now completed?

A. Numerous things are in progress, few are fully completed. On the one hand, because it is difficult to put the word 'end' to a project and on the other because we lack a fundamental resource: time. In progress, we have OBOE, a search engine for eboobs, a project for an encrypted IRC client and especially the completion of an independent server which will allow free rein to our madness... Amongst the things that we have completed (or contributed to their completion) there are the courses and seminars - henceforth active for more than a year - , the previous editions of the hackmeeting, and initiatives on the GNU economy at the level of software and editorial. The “copydown” (a system for the electronic exchange of texts which has the future possibility of becoming a sort of Napster for text and which is based upon Gnutella) and many other little things.

Q. You organised a meeting at Bulk on the theme 'Free Software and No Copyright' in November 1999, which stressed the right of reproduction and opposition to the European project on software patents. It seems to us that No Copyright - by insisting on the right to copy - is on the side of copyleft put forward by the GNU project and which insists on the right to copy and to modify, based, exactly, on a reversal of 'copyright'. Don't you think that it is necessary today to go beyond No Copyright?

A. Yes, in fact! Besides the series of initiatives that we led on the GNU economy was driven by a very complex reasoning and practice on the question of copyright. It is obvious that the model to which we refer is that of copyleft, which has already shown its success in the fields of software and documentation. Likewise, it is clear that a final perspective where everything would be copyleft would be more than desirable, but it is true also that the battle to force the times and the powerful interests relative to the achievement of a free sharing of knowledge passes through the abolition of the laws of copyright and the voluntary withdrawal from the laws that one does not share and wishes to eliminate.

A. Thus the phrase 'No Copyright'. It is certain that to think of a future world in which the spirit of the community renders useless the very concept of copyright is a beautiful reference to dream of, but it remains no less true that our pragmatic tendency makes us choose to make the effort first on the most feasible routes, to as a result pile on the pressure to go beyond. With different times and means: in the first phase, we fight for something that changes the mechanisms, not depending on relationships and people, but that is effectively compatible with the currently predominant market mechanisms; the second phase, is a much bigger wager but that we fight for every day, as much with words as with concrete actions: seeking to transform the logic of domination into a logic of community, the free market into free sharing, alienation into participation, the fact of delegating into the fact of acting. We are really only at the very beginning, but we live turned towards the future....

1. In Italy, the term ‘realities’ is often used to indicate the heterogeneity of the occupied social centers and other spaces linked to the social movement. Each space has its own character and often a local specificity.

Occasionally I blab on about wireless networks, high-speed liks, freeing the physical layer of the communications infrastructure from the forces of evil etc. This wandering discours may even be confusing at times. For eaxample, are bluetooth and 802.11b the same thing? Or what on earth is spread spectrum frequency hopping Nokia Wirelss Rooftop Routing and why should you give a shit?

Demystification is at hand.Click here for enlightenment

And here to read The Rebirth of Radio.

Another wee article on 802.11b.

Although much attached to the book as container and conduit of knowledge, the primacy of audio-visual communication as a mass-form appears to me undeniable. Over the last thirty years numerous groups have attempted to make independent critical television a reality using every means available, from hacking the cable system, to mobile pirate transmission stations, the movement for community cable access etc.

The proliferation of satellite broadcasters in recent years has produced its own new efforts such as Free Speech TV and WorldLink TV. The possibility to virtualise resources howver opens new vistas to the fulfilment of this modern chimera, without the high expense satellite broadcasting still enatils.

A broadstrokes outline of such a system would be the following. Video files would be inserted into the system following the edonkey/freenet model. A portal would provide information on the latest releases with links to the public keys or cryptographic hash required to source the necessary packet blocks on the network. All portal entries would be stored in a searchable database environment. This is basically the way in which the sharereactor and filedonkey portals currently function anyway, so there's little of novelty here. Users could search for content that interests them, download it either to their own hard disk or to a collectively controlled larger disk (for later distribution over 802.11b for example, check out some its transfer benchmarks), which would probably be a more 'efficient' manner to do it, if the collective action problems can be overcome.

The portal would also ensure that file was available off a minimum number of sources, a task at which the indepndent and critical community should be most adept, being already networked to a very high degree. A system of co-operative and reciprocal infrstructure sharing in fact sits easily with the culture of independent film prodiuction and political action particularyy, both of which cultures have an extraordinary reliance on intra community protocols orf reciprocity and voluntarism. As unused bandwidth and memory are effectively dead and wasted resources, which are paid for whether exploited or not, this should be the easy part.

Thereafter it's just a matter of configuring some scheduling software to set up a playlist for yourself, presuming that is that you want to retain some aspect of the TV model (which might be useful for regularised news etc). Check out my friends Adam and Honor's scheduling software for radioaquila.

All this ranting may make me appear some type of techno-messianist, but it's really just the fact that space has opened up in this area whilst other technologies have remianed closed. Nonetheless, one can easily envisage such a system working in conjunction with community access cable, local terrestrial trnasmission and the distribution of content over DVD through a traditional magazine network.

Many of the independent producers and directors that we have discussed this with have reacted positively, as this ssytem offers them the cchance to leverage peer network popularity towards the ultimate commercial licensing of their materials to a traditional big-buck broadcaster.

Ironically, the current machinations of the MPAA in their crackdown on moviesharing may backfire in favour of the independent sector. Now that a sector of the population has accustomed itself to sharing, and acquired the necessary knowledge to do so, the ground has been seeded for such a use of resources in a more general manner. If it becomes truely difficult to swao commercial releases, users could be enticed to turn their attention to non-studio works.

Two recent events have underlined the importance of the basic distribution methodiology implemented by freenet and e-donkey.

Firstly the confirmation of what many of us suspected, namely that the music companies are now employing external parties to sabotrage filesharing networks by floodiing them with dud files that masquerade as the works of 'popular artists'.

Quite simply systems employing cryptographic hasjoing are not susceptible this type of attack, as the hash keys are unique, so that as long as you receive the pointer to the key from a trusted source there need be no concern about wasted downloads.

Secondly, the news that Ranger are being employed to scan network traffic by the MPAA to identify peers sharing movie files, connect their IP to an ISP and then send threatening letters to force compliance indicates that industry has now begun to identify the weak points of second generation networks. The freenet/edonkey model is robust to such detection attempts because of both the lack of an intuitive naming protocol and the modular assembly of the file's components where a full download never takes plave from one peer to another.

Decentralised databases using encryption or hasjing is the way to go. We just need some nicer user interfaces and more GPL's code.

So the MPAA are hunting those sharing movies over the web using a system developed by a compabny called tracker. The crux of the system is to scan for file names and then track the IP addresses of the offending users, and then contact their ISPs with a takedown order. Smart, as they apply the pressure to entities more vulnerable to litigation than your 13 year old pr0n-loving neighbour. The company running the op is called ranger and there is an explanation of how it works at the following lovely hotlink.

There was aslo a discussion at the increasingly reactionary slashdot on the topic, bloggers are advised to move to kuro5hin where the company is more pleasant and the discussion less macho.You might also give them a fraction of the cash you know save obn intellectual property as a permanent outlaw, they have just gone non-profit after all and are really rather irreplacable.

"Quit fucking apologizing for filesharing. Intellectual property is evil, filesharing is freedom fighting, and the sooner Jack Valenti is bumming quarters for a living, the better. The question is not how to protect artists, it is how to muster enough force to protect the right to hack."

Nelson Denoon

Not a Republic, as in France, where a capitalist monarchy with an elective head parodies the constitutional abortions of England, and in open alliance with the Muscovite despotism brazenly flaunts its apostasy to the traditions of the Revolution.

Not a Republic as in the United States, where the power of the purse has established a new tyranny under the forms of freedom; where, one hundred years after the feet of the last British red-coat polluted the streets of Boston, British landlords and financiers impose upon American citizens a servitude compared with which the tax of pre-Revolution days was a mere trifle.

No! the Republic I would wish our fellow-countrymen to set before them as their ideal should be of such a character that the mere mention of its name would at all times serve as a beacon-light to the oppressed of every land, at all times holding forth promise of freedom and plenteousness as the reward of their efforts on its behalf.

James Connolly, 1897


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