Radical media, politics and culture.


Bob Erler writes:

Luddites and Neo-Luddites

Chaos Day 2001 Lecture by Peter Lamborn Wilson

The December Anarchist Forum

On Tuesday, December 11, at 7:30pm, the Libertarian Book Club's Anarchist Forum welcomes Peter Lamborn Wilson giving his annual Chaos Day
presentation. Peter has been called by the "Village Voice" the Underground-anarcho-Sufi. Peter is well known both for his radio show "The Moorish Orthodox
Radio Crusade"â and his numerous books, including the recent Escape from the Nineteenth Century

Peter will speak on "Luddites and Neo-Luddites" ,
discussing the moral and ethical arguments against the excesses of new technology, from King Ludd to the Internet. When is resistance to change the right choice
and when the wrong? After his presentation, an open period of questions and discussion will follow. Peter will also be ready to sign copies of his books.

The event
will take place at the Brecht Forum on the 10th floor of 122 West 27th St. [between 6th and 7th Aves.], a short walk from the 28th St. 1, 2, N, and R stops,
the 34th St. B, D, and Q stop, and the 23rd St. F stop.
There is no set fee for the presentation, but a contribution to aid the LBC is requested. If you have questions, contact the LBC /Anarchist Forum,
212-979-8353, 339 Lafayette St., Room 202, NYC, NY 10012 or e-mail: roberterler@erols.com.

339 Lafayette Street, Room 202
New York City, New York 10012

onion writes: "The Guardian (London) Friday November 30, 2001
John Vidal
Mexico's GM corn shocks scientists

Researchers baffled as ancient variety of maize tests positive for
modified organisms in area where no engineered crops are grown

One of the world's oldest varieties of maize has been "contaminated" by
genetically modified organisms, say US researchers who have had their work
confirmed by the Mexican government.

Molly Maguire writes: Many who embrace social contestation still have not got the message about free software. As a result, political measures which hinder its growth do not receive the attention I believe they merit. The following interview is helpful not only in explaining what free software is, but also in offering a hopeful vision of what it may be a harbinger of on a wider social level.


Interview with Stefan Merten, Oekonux, Germany

by Joanne Richardson, November 2001

>> Q: Oekonux - an abbreviation of "OEKOnomie" and
"liNUX" - is a German mailing list discussing the
revolutionary possibilities of Free Software. Many
people speak of Free Software and Open Source Software
interchangeably - could you explain how you understand
the differences between them?

The term "Free Software" is older than "Open Source".
"Free Software" is used by the Free Software
Foundation [http://www.fsf.org/] founded by Richard
Stallman in 1985. The term "Open Source" has been
developed by Eric S. Raymond and others, who, in 1998,
founded the Open Source Initiative
[http://www.opensource.org/]. It's not so much a
question of definition as of the philosophy behind the
two parts of the movement - the differences between
the definition of Open Source Software and Free
Software are relatively few. But whereas Free Software
emphasizes the freedom Free Software gives the users,
Open Source does not care about freedom. The Open
Source Initiative (OSI) was founded exactly for the
reason to make Free Software compatible with business
people's thinking, and the word "freedom" has been
considered harmful for that purpose.

Geeks and Spooks

Bruce Sterling

A speech at "Global Challenges, Trends and Best Practices in
Cryptography," the Information System Security and
Education Center, Washington, DC

November 20, 2001

Hi, my name's Bruce Sterling, I'm a science fiction
writer. And a futurist. You might also call me an
industry observer. If you were kind.

The reason I showed up here is to listen to you guys,
because I'm rather interested in what comes next for
crypto, and you're standing a lot closer to that fire than
I am.

I myself don't do much 'best practice' for crypto,
because personally, I don't have a dog in that race. So,
having so little to offer, and being so humbled by your
technological brilliance and all, my feeling is that I
should at least be frank. Like, very frank. Like:
painfully frank.

So: flame on. Here's the story as I see it. The
big story about crypto is a power struggle between two
American tribes: geeks and spooks. Occasionally innocent
people blunder into this situation, but they get lost,
either because they don't understand the technology
(that's what geeks say) or they're not to pry any further
into stuff beyond the reach of mere civilians (that's what
the spooks say).

US Assumes Global Cyber-Police Authority

By Mark Rasch, theregister

Posted: 27/11/2001 at 10:32 GMT

Much has been written about the new anti-terrorism legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Bush, particularly as it respects the ability of the government to conduct surveillance on email, voice-mail, and other electronic communications. However, too little attention has been paid to other provisions of the legislation, particularly a significant change to the definition of the types of computers protected under federal law.

An amendment to the definition of a "protected computer" for the first time explicitly enables U.S. law enforcement to prosecute computer hackers outside the United States in cases where neither the hackers nor their victims are in the U.S., provided only that packets related to that activity traveled through U.S. computers or routers.

This remarkable amendment is to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which Congress enacted in 1984 to prohibit conduct that damages a "Federal interest computer," defined at the time as "a computer owned or used by the United States Government or a financial institution," or, "one of two or more computers used in committing the offense, not all of which are located in the same State."

Full article is at theregister


R.I.P. Cypherpunks

Once the online haunt of top cryptographers, the Cypherpunks list was
characterized by its mix of revolutionary politics and advanced
mathematics. This week, a founder pronounced it dead and buried

By Will Rodger
Nov 29 2001 10:15AM PT

The Cypherpunks list, an online forum that in many ways defined Internet
activism, was booted unceremoniously from its original home, toad.com,
earlier this week.

In an open posting to several mailing lists, Cypherpunks veteran John
Gilmore all but dismissed the computer-security and privacy forum he
co-founded in the early 1990s. It had, he wrote, "degenerated a long time
ago to the point where I have no idea why more than 500 people are still
receiving it every day."

Yet, for all the irrelevant comments, vicious infighting and radical
libertarian politics that flourish on the list, Cypherpunks has chronicled
every important event in the short history of modern cryptography, as well
as the cyber-rights movement that grew out of it.

.... this is an incomplete and inadeqaute rant, but I couldn't go to sleep withiout writing it. Night-night.


The decision has come down in the DMCA appeal in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. 2600 lost. Bad news for free thinkers, programmers, researchers, budding independent artists, media mavericks and the kids, who will soon (and some already do) get courses in respecting copyrights and how it's bad to share knowledge and culture.

The text of the decsion is available in PDF format here, and a much cleaner and intelligible HTML version at the 2600 website.

A synopsis of the court's main findings can be found below. First however it is important to set the scene for those who may not be familiar with the case. This is not arcane stuff and affects us all.

hydrarchist writes:

The Napsterisation of Everything:

A Review of John Alderman, Sonic Boom:

Napster, P2P and the Battle for the Future of Music,

Fourth Estate, London, 2001

by Richard Barbrook

"They just don't get it." During the dotcom boom of the late-1990s, this
catch phrase was a popular way of dismissing anyone who expressed doubts
about the world-historical significance of the Net. How could someone be so
out-of-touch as not to realise that this technology was transforming
everything: business, politics, culture and even personal relationships?
The future would belong to those did "get it." Yet, only a couple of years
later, such optimism about the potential of the Net already sounds dated.
How can anyone still believe that this technology will change anything
after the implosion of the NASDAQ share bubble and the collapse of so many
dotcom companies. Surely the wild times of the Net were only a temporary
aberration? As Microsoft, AOL-Time-Warner and the other big corporations
take over cyberspace, it will soon be back to business as usual. There is
no longer any necessity to "get it." The Net will change nothing.

hydrarchist writes: "

Freedom or Power?

by Bradley M. Kuhn and Richard M. Stallman

"The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves." -- William Hazlitt

In the Free Software Movement, we stand for freedom for the users of software. We formulated our views by looking at what freedoms are necessary for a good
way of life, and permit useful programs to foster a community of goodwill, cooperation, and collaboration. Our criteria for Free Software specify the freedoms that a
program's users need so that they can cooperate in a community.

We stand for freedom for programmers as well as for other users. Most of us are programmers, and we want freedom for ourselves as well as for you. But each of
us uses software written by others, and we want freedom when using that software, not just when using our own code. We stand for freedom for all users, whether
they program often, occasionally, or not at all.

However, one so-called freedom that we do not advocate is the "freedom to choose any license you want for software you write". We reject this because it is really
a form of power, not a freedom.

Read the rest of this story at openflows.org."

Anonymous Comrade writes: "http://www.stopcarnivore.org/threeproblems.htm

The Backdoor, the Rogue Agent, and the Mishap:

The Hidden Dangers of Carnivore


Most of the discussion about the F.B.I. spy tool
Carnivore has focused on the 4th Amendment. By its
nature, Carnivore violates the 4th Amendment, but many
people have seemed willing to overlook that,
especially in recent weeks, as long as it will make
them safer.

This paper is written for the people who believe the
"4th Amendment argument" is not sufficient to justify
prohibiting Carnivore. Make no mistake, we at
StopCarnivore.org still firmly hold that Carnivore is
in clear and disturbing violation of the 4th
Amendment, but there are clearly those who believe
that is not a good enough reason to prevent its use.
This paper is intended to provide convincing reasons,
beyond the 4th Amendment argument, why Carnivore is a
law enforcement tool that we all should reject.

This paper is also designed to provide a response to
those who say, "If you're not doing anything wrong,
you don't have anything to worry about." The following
are things that affect everyone, innocent people


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