operation payback (..is a bitch)

Pirates session
Burcu Bakioglu, Operation Payback (…is a Bitch): Hacktivism at the dawn of Copyright Controversies
Bodo Balasz, Informal Media Economies – What Can We Learn from the Pirates of Yesteryear?
Martin Fredriksson, The Ideology of Piracy and the Public Spheres of Modernity
Jinying Li, Piracy, Circulation, and Cultural Control in Cyber-Age China
moderator: Marcienne Martin

Unfortunately I was able to attend only the talk by Bakioglu.

  • culture of piracy is what they call copypasta [or copy paste]. It is a subversive culture. Response to it was to extend regulation and limitation of piracy.
  • The ‘culture’ perceived any copyright issues as a threat to creativity, to corruption exposure, privacy, an act of criminalization of society, surveillance.
  • They were a true networked society that was lateral: hoizontal modes of communication presenting alternative strategies of resistance.
  • Sites of struggle: The Pirate Bay. This alternative form of protest took the form of hacktivism. It is non-violent civil disobedience [DDOS attacks, site defacements etc.]
  • It used to be a sub-culture but now it is becoming mainstream.
  • Wikileaks and Assange are a model. Nodes that exchange information and give power. One therefore needs to intercept flow of information and leak it out.
  • Op Payback began when an Indian company was contracted and announced it would take down Pirate Bay [co. called aiplex.com].
  • Case of ACS Law solicitors whose site was taken down and in effort to remedy problem hurriedly put their site back up and inadvertently published secret information that stayed online for two hours and the info proved it was damaging enough to the company because it exposed its illegal dealings.

technologies of dissent – a2k4 – human rigths usa and EFF

Theresa Harris, Human Rights USA

Filtering is the best example of censorship. Eg. in Saudi Arabia or taking down videos of police brutality in Egypt. This software is provided by US companies.  How can you provide facebook to Iranians without it being used to arrest protestsors? should we provide this software or shouldn’t we?

Many have been dealing with this dilemma and the comapnies have not been held accountable. Comapnies claim that it is ‘business as usual’, and that they are not responsible for what those countries do with them.

We tend to focus on the technology and not the govt abuse of it. That is why the human rights framework is important. How is it different? It is a using a universal standard and not putting one country’s interest over another. Tying technology to progressive issues – eg. freedom of speech etc..

What are the steps to implement that? There could be voluntary codes of conduct for corporations. We could have domestic regulations. Putting this on an international treaty.

Eddan Katz, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Hilary Clinton’s speech was important bec it was well articulated. The freedom to connect helps transform society and that is described in Clinton’s speech. The US engages in practices of surveillance and the echelon system is also maintained. How do we then talk of the disruption of networks?

Censorship: gvt. providing money to develop technologies to express themselves.

Reservations about the speech: absence of freedom of speech framework and anonymity because of terrorism issues. EFF stands firm on the side of anonymity.

The issue of the protection of IP: technologies of surveillance are in place and being developed to apply copyright infringements.

Many companies are building the surveillance infra-structure. EFF proposes an instrumental approach: a direct action with the person causing harm; the capabilities approach; the ethics approach is not enough but we need the socio-technical impact. We can create an interesting balance between the human rights discourse and the technological infrastructure.

Read white paper called Surveillance Self-Defense International.

technologies of dissent – a2k4 – anupam chander

Anupam Chander, UC Davis School of Law

We might see the perfection of surveillance. Because dissidents use the internet to identify dissent. Coffee shops were considered places where dissent plots occurred and were shut down in the 1700s. There is a narrowness of the pre-internet discourse. Traditional media failed and continues to fail in providing voices for the masses. Nowhere is this more apparent than in undemocratic societies.

Technologies of dissent cannot be undermined. The internet is helping develop a critical public sphere. The internet offers a means to express dissatisfaction. Bloggers and twitterers have a big impact – videos of incidents [such as that in Iran] are prevalent.

What should citizens of developed countries do? they should resist surveillance and providing surveillance to autocratic and non-democratic countries. New media can either give voice to dissent or quite the contrary.

– technologies of dissent – a2k – mapping dissent

DSC00289Laura DeNardis, Yale Information Society Project

The dissolution of boundaries between the virtual and the physical in activism. How does it require a re-conceptualization of social action. What are our responsibilities towards dissent?

Interested in DOS attacks as was used example during the Iranian protests. We have seen the use of social media in protest. We have examples of other forms of activism that have an impact on real life events.

Using mapping technology to depict for example same-sex couples in CA. An anonymous website creator created prop 8 maps that depicted donors to prop 8. How is this info available? they collected the info from state websites.

Commonalities of technologies of dissent: in the case of maps, it has privacy implications and the creator has remained anonymous and there is assymmetry here because he protected his privacy but revealed info about others.  Tech of dissent amplify and remix publicly known information but presents it in a way that amplifies it. It also emphasizes the role of private organizations – eg. Google is the one that enabled those maps.

Finally, the impact that these technologies have has to be only accompanied by social change.

beijing yiprenping center

Lu Jun
Lu Jun

Sitting next to me at A2k4 is Lu Jun, Chief Coordinator of the Beijing Yipenping Center in China. He is here on a three-year fellowship at Yale’s Law School. The Center works on   public health and right to education. It also works on policy advocacy and the legal protection against discrimination in employment.

Jun tells me both Facebook and Twitter are banned in China.  At Yale, he is visiting NGOs, scholars and activists and attending these type of conferences and events in the area and around campus. He dissemintate information about issues in China with other scholars interested in Chinese issues and activism.