Radical media, politics and culture.


Net Warfare Comes To America

Lawrence Davidson, CounterPunch, 9.24.2002

A new front in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been
opened in the United States. This has not been done by
Islamic fundamentalists, or radical Palestinians. It has
been done by American and Israeli computer hackers. Action
on this new front has taken the form of identity theft,
harassment, incitement to harassment, defamation of
character, and malicious misrepresentation through the
misuse and misappropriation of computer e-mail facilities
and lists. In the process, the reliability of the web based
system of communication has been undercut, the integrity of
some very prestigious universities have been called into
question, and the judgment of law enforcement authorities
made to look tainted with bias. Let me give a number of

hydrarchist writes: The next episode in the peer to peer wars is underway. This breaking story is taken from the excellent Infoanarchy site.

" In an unprecedented move, the Danish police has shut down at least six servers on the eDonkey2000 network on Monday (Heise has a German summary). eDonkey-servers are similar to Napster servers -- they do not host any actual files (and unlike Napster, eDonkey indexes much more than just music). Apparently, Danish police acted under pressure from the anti-piracy group, Antipiratgruppen. One of their representatives even accompanied the police raid on one eDonkey server operator's home.

The operator of that server, Siffan, has contacted an attorney and has gained access to a friend's computer. He is blogging the events as they unfold, currently in Danish, but English translations will follow soon. According to people on the #SiffansPlace IRC channel, 11 more eDonkey client users were "busted", but only 2 persons were charged. More details as they emerge.

Read more at Infoanarchy"

hydrarchist writes:

"Towards an ‘Army of Ideas’—

Oppositional Intellect & The Bad Frontier

J. J. King

[...] you strive to take away my livelihood, and the liberty of this poor weak frame of my body of flesh, which is my house I dwell in for a time; but I strive to cast down your kingdom of darkness, and to open hell gates, and to break the devil’s bonds asunder wherewith you are tied, that you my enemies may live in peace; and that is all the harm I would have you to have.

Gerrard Winstanley[1]

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

William Shakespeare


To commence anecdotally: I recently ecountered, uncoincidentally in a part of London that has over the last five to seven years been gentrified beyond anything but the barest degree of recognition, in a cafe that has got itself up in some sort of impression of a souk, and in which coiffed quasi-bohos lounge with lattes and smouldering joints, a young ‘cracker’ who had until recently been part of a pirate community which took part both in the ‘chipping’ of mobile phones (releasing a user’s hardware from indenture to a particular service provider), the copying of DVDs, modification of gaming consoles, so on. The person in question had been engaging in such activities for years, he explained, until realising that, far from challenging traditional market structures, his group was actually performing a form of underground marketing that had already been recognised by certain corporations – he named Sony specifically. Increasingly those corporations were using underground ‘cracker’ communities to distribute early versions of their products which, with their readymade illict halo, had an instant appeal to the youth market at which they were largely targeted. Disgusted, the young activist immediately ceased his activities.[2]

September Deadline: Can the ICANN Model Be Revised?

On September 30, 2002, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the US Department of Commerce (DOC) and ICANN, the corporation created to private the infrastructure of the Internet, will expire. As the deadline
is soon approaching, a burning question remains: Can a private entity and
a public treasure be mixed?" (The public treasure is the Internet.)

circle id

Anonymous Comrade writes:

Baghdad's Think-Tank Bomb

By John Chuckman, September 13, 2002

(YellowTimes.org) – An independent think-tank in Britain, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, has published a report on Iraq's nuclear capabilities. The report, which the Prime Minister's office termed "highly significant," was produced without access to the files of Britain's intelligence services. It made headlines in many Western papers. The BBC's Internet site made it top story.

The essence of the report is the sensational-sounding claim that Iraq could produce a nuclear weapon within months if it were to find a supply of fissile material. The report also says that Iraq has "probably" managed to conceal stocks of chemical and biological weapons and a small number of missiles.

KOP: "Kingdom of Piracy"

KOP is an online open workspace that explores piracy as the net's ultimate art form. The project includes links, objects, ideas, software, commissioned artists' projects, critical writing and online streaming media events. It is intended as an open-ended online exhibition; artists and authors will remain sole copyright owners of their works.

Co-Curators: Shu Lea Cheang, Armin Medosch, Yukiko Shikata

Project producer: Ray Wang; Project coordinator: Mia Chen

hydrarchist writes

"Perhaps one of the biggest evils that government-sponsored capitalism produces is artificial scarcity. Effective drugs for treating AIDS and other deadly diseases can be produced and distributed cheaply, but they aren't. Instead, scarcity is maintained by enforcing patents internationally. Similarly, scientific and cultural information could be easily archived and distributed for free to everyone, everywhere. Instead, the "content industry", from music to movie to book publishers, is trying to maintain (and increase) scarcity by lobbying for mandatory copy prevention mechanisms, flooding the market with incompatible storage devices, and demanding harsh punishment for the millions who violate its idea of "intellectual property".

The war on (some) drugs, primarily fought by the United States, is currently the biggest motor of the booming prison industry, and has led to more death and suffering than the drugs it pretends to fight. But if the billion-dollar-heavy oligarchy of content producers has its way, the ongoing war on sharing may well put thousands of "pirates" of all ages behind bars. The coming information economy with its lack of scarcity is shaking the very foundation of capitalism (or at least perceived that way), and the old industries aren't willing to adapt -- they'd rather keep us all in chains to preserve their empires. They seek power and control, not progress.

In this article, I will discuss some recent developments, and try to outline strategies for peer-to-peer developers and individuals to counteract the maneuvers of the content industry. But I do not agree entirely with Declan McCullagh who recently argued that "geeks" should stay out of the political process and spend their time coding innovative world-changing software instead.

Read the resto of this story at Infoanarchy"

hydrarchist writes For a backgrounder on Hacklabs, please see the this earlier interview with LOA Hacklab Milan.

El Primero de Enero "Escuela Secondaria Rebelde Autonomo Zapatista" (ESRAZ www.escuelaparachiapas.org, www.schoolforchiapas.org) is the first autonomous secondary school in Chiapas. It is located in the educational and cultural center of the Zapatista movement in Oventic, the second Aguascalientes.

150 students and 25 promoters are studying and working there. Although there are no telephones nor connection to the Internet, the school has some computers stocked, and this will be our starting point..

A Contrarian View of Open Source

Bruce Sterling

(A Speech at the O'Reilly Conference in San Diego, California, July 26, 2002)

Thanks for showing up to see the obligatory novelist at this gig.

It's very touching of you to take the trouble to watch me get some emotional issues off my chest.

You know, I don't write code. I don't think I'm ever going to write any code. It just amazes me how often people who know absolutely nothing about code want to tell software people their business. "Why don't they just," that's the standard phraseology. "Why don't they just" code-up something-or-other. Whenever I hear that, frankly, I just want to slap the living shit out of those people.

hydrarchist writes "Information Feudalism in the Information Society *

Peter Drahos,

Faculty of law, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia


"Information revolution", "information society", "information age" and "information explosion" are popular terms to describe social transformations that are linked to technologies which have changed the way that we work, live, and communicate with others. Increasingly the shape of these social transformations is affected by the work of global regulatory institutions like, for example, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) (1), the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. This paper tells the story of how these institutions propelled information societies into a global feudal order.

One can tell optimistic or pessimistic stories about the social consequences of technology. Pessimistic stories have as their themes the loss of our capacity to control our technological creations, as in the case of Frankenstein's monster, or the increased capacity which technology gives to some powerful group to control the consciousness and lives of others, as in the case of Orwell's 1984. Optimistic stories have as their principal theme liberation; technologies of automation and robotics will free us from jobs that are dangerous or simply full of drudgery; communications technologies will enable us to work with others anywhere in the world; information technology will enable us to time shift our consumption of services and information; these same technologies will enable us to space shift, because, amongst other things, places of work can be accessed from home.

This paper tells a pessimistic story. It tells it in the form of a historical sketch about how the information age reinforced old inequalities and invented some new ones. It tells the story of what is possible, not what will happen. There is no desire here to lend the story a Hobbesian certainty or confidence about the plot. Rather the purpose is to use the scenario to stimulate some critical thought about important global policy initiatives in relation to information and its distribution. This is an issue worth exploring, because if it is not, if there is no lively debate about the options, the information society may turn out to be a more unequal place than we might have hoped.


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