Recordings

Mistrust authority, promote decentralization

Alec Empire

Alec Empire, one of the founders of music collective Atari Teenage Riot, gave the keynote speech at the annual event of Chaos Computer Club 2014. The artist, who uses an old Atari 1040 ST for his compositions, talks about a variety of topics ranging from the beauty found in machine code and sheet music to the connections between the fight for privacy and the promotion of authors’ rights.

Drawing upon his personal experiences with streaming services and censorship in the music industry, he speaks out against passive consumerism and for an alliance between hackers, musicians and other artists to shape the digital culture of the future.

Keywords: Alec Empire

An obligation to report

Laura Poitras

Laura Poitras talks about “Citizenfour”, her documentary about Edward Snowden, the NSA, and surveillance that won the `Academy Award´. Yes, this is what professionals also call the Oscar - it is now official that the arts have, after many years of activists risking their sanity, freedom and their families, joined the new clash of cultures on the sensitive and progressive side. During a Q&A at the 52nd New York Film Festival, she recalls her transformation from a documentary journalist into an activist during the production of the film that narrates her stay with Glenn Greenwald and Snowden in a hotel in Hong Kong.

Citizenfour won the 2014 Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Documentary and the International Documentary Association award for best documentary feature. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for 2015. (our first update from February, 2015: “It has won the Oscar in this...

Keywords: Laura Poitras

Inside the Dark Web - The Hackers and Scientists whoseTechnology is fighting against Internet Surveillance

Reem al Assil; Julia Angwin; Jacob Applebaum; Julian Assange; Tim Berners-Lee; David Chaum; Steve Crocker; Alex Hawkinson; Jon Iadonisi; Eugene Kaspersky; Rick Lamb; Troels Oerting; Thomas Olofson; Bruce Schneier; Paul Syverson; Peter Todd;Joss Wright

Twenty-five years after the World Wide Web was created, the issue of surveillance has become the greatest shame upon its existence. With many concerned that governments and corporations monitor people’s every move, this programme meets hackers and scientists who are using technology to fight back, and some law enforcement officers who believe it’s leading to opportunities for risk-free crimes. With contributors including World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange. 

The documentary features statements, in alphabetical order, by: Syrian human rights activist Reem al Asim, journalist Julia Angwin, Tor representative Jacob Applebaum, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, World Wide Web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee, cryptographer David Chaum, ICANN chair Steve Crocker, SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson, internet security expert Jon Iadonisi, Kaspersky Lab founder Eugene Kaspersky, ICANN Senior Program Manager Rick Lamb, the Head of the European Cybercrime Centre Troels Oerting, information security specialist Thomas Olofson, cryptographers Bruce...

We are in jeopardy of losing our democracies

William Binney

This is a special keynote the whistleblower and former NSA intelligence official Bill Binney gave in Munich in January 2014 on the occasion of the annual Handelsblatt-Tagung “Strategisches IT-Management”.

During his speech, he outlined the procedures he helped to develop to manage the enormous amount of data gathered via automated analysis of electronic communication, ways to analyze metadata to generate profiles of suspicious groups, and how to use this information to predict potential dangers.

In the second part of his presentation, Binney emphasized that NSA operations (as well as the use of their data by other agencies) are fundamentally unconstitutional, as the US constitution does not only prohibit intelligence agencies from gathering information on domestic matters, but also from using or dispersing it for other purposes, such as criminal investigations.

With reference to the technical specifics of the fiber optic network...

Keywords: William Binney

Mass surveillance is setting fire to the future of the internet

Edward Snowden; Ben Wizner; Chris Saghoian

At the SXSW conference 2014 in Austin (Texas), Edward Snowden addressed the tech community, encouraging them to play the role of ‘firefighters’ who have the ability to craft solutions and make society safer. Answering questions submitted via twitter, he reflects on differences between data mining done by companies and governmental surveillance, the role of private contractors to the development of policies, and steps everyone can take to counter mass surveillance.

PRISM et la democratie - PRISM and democracy

Jérémie Zimmermann

A l’occasion de la Nuit de Hack 2013, le fondateur du groupe La Quadrature du Net parlait des implications de la collection d’information par les giants de l’industrie de communication comme skype et facebook, l’importance des whistleblowers, et sur les valeurs fondamentales de son investissement dans les droits des citoyens et la partage libre de la connaissance.

On the occasion of the 2013 Nuit de Hack, the founder of the French citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net spoke about the implications of data mining by telecommunication giants like skype and facebook, the importance of whistleblowers and about the fundamental values behind his dedication to citizens’ rights and freedom of information.

On Trust and Feudal Security in the Computer Age

Bruce Schneier

Part 1 of our Series: “Recovering the Web after Snowden”

“Surveillance is the business model of the internet.” In the beginning oAf June 2013, Edward Snowden´s disclosures on the ubiquitous spying system of the NSA make global headlines. Two weeks later, Bruce Schneier, an internationally renowned security technologist and author, is giving this outstanding talk to Google engineers. They listen closely as Google is described as one of the “feudal security giants” of our time. They are not aware that Schneier was also one of the few citizens of the United States to be entrusted with the entire trove of Snowden´s documents. Glenn Greenwald had asked him to help out on technological details and secret service jargon.

Human society runs on trust. We all trust millions of people, organizations, and systems every day — and we do it so easily that we barely notice. But in any system of trust, there is an alternative, parasitic, strategy that involves abusing that trust. Making sure those defectors don’t destroy the cooperative systems they’re abusing is...

Keywords: Bruce Schneier

Power Balancing in the next Decade

Bruce Schneier

In 2013, blog author and security expert Bruce Schneier was invited by google to give a talk as part of the “Authors at Google” series. Under the title “Liars and Outliers”, Schneier compared our use of technology and our relationship to tech companies to medieval feudalism, where the weak give up their rights for the promise to be protected by the powerful. He links this concept to the average user’s inability to control their own devices, and to the power amassed by almost monopolist corporations and service providers.

Keywords: Bruce Schneier

Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age

Manuel Castells

Sociologist Manuel Castells examines the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street and other social movements that have emerged in the Internet Age. He shares his observations on the recurring patterns in these movements: their origins, their use of new media, and their goal of transforming politics in the interest of the people. Castells presents what he sees to be the shape of the social movements of the Internet age, and discusses the implications of these movements for social and political change.

Keywords: Manuel Castells

Jérémie Zimmermann - An Overview on ACTA and Issues in 2012

Jérémie Zimmermann, Markus Beckedahl

In a lengthy and dense, yet very understandable interview, two young European intellectuals from Paris and Berlin are dealing with one issue of endangered digital freedom after the other. They count amoung the most knowledgable and experienced analysts of the interplay between political, technical, artistic and private engagement, a crucial quality in these kinds of cultural conflicts. Their ongoing work can be visited at laquadrature.net and netzpolitik.org (in German language). The prolific information video about ACTA that is mentioned can be watched here.