Recordings

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.

Clay Shirky - Salant Lecture on Freedom of the Press 2011

Clay Shirky, Alex S. Jones

In October 2011, the well-known internet expert Clay Shirky, a professor of New Media at New York University, has given a remarkable lecture on the state of Freedom of the Press in Western democracy. He makes a comparison between the technical, territorial, political and legal implications of the Watergate scandal, the recent publications of Collateral Murder and the documents of Cablegate that were published online by Wikileaks. He concludes that they are inherently different and builds his argument on an analysis of incidents long after the Gutenberg revolution in the 17th century where publications outside of a national territory could not be controlled by its legislation. The future implications for the protection of Freedom of Speech are, however, in no way encouraging in Shirky´s view, he holds that national regulation of Free Speech in democratic countries is at stake. ” (…)  this is a dangerous moment for free speech. Not because we know how nation...

A Xmas Concert - Artists speak out at Occupy London

Thom Yorke, Robert del Naja (3D), Occupy Movement, Occupy London

In a rare interview scenario for internationally acclaimed artists, Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Robert de Naja (3D) of Massive Attack are talking about their views on the recent, global phenomenon of the Occupy Movement. They have been playing a Thank-You-concert for the Protagonists of Occupy London on December 6th, 2011, at a newly squatted venue called “Bank of Ideas” that had been used by the bank UBS before. Thom Yorke speaks of the documentary “Inside Job” to have opened his eyes about the conceptual architecture of complexity that the finance systems has construed for itself and believes that most politicians do not understand more than he and are merely told to “mop up” the...

Occupy Cal - Daniel Ellsberg in Berkeley, November 2011

Daniel Ellsberg, John Hamilton

Daniel Ellsberg is a well known figure in the United States of America as he leaked the so-called Pentagon Papers to the press which lead to the Watergate affair later and forced President Nixon to resign. 

He joins students that have just been re-occupying the Sprowl Plaza at the University of California Berkeley, a significant place in the history of the country as the protests against the Vietnam War started exactly there.

Ellsbeg comments might be surprising for most listeners: he confesses that he had lost hope in a betterment of the over-all political situation, but when he say the group decision making of the students who voted for which decisions to take in a democratic manner, he says to have regained hope.

He recalls the recent chain reaction of events that lead to the very situation he is interviewed in: Bradley Manning, the man accused of leaking the Cablegate files, being in detention, the documents themselves inspiring the changes in Tunesia and Egypt. These, in turn, gave rise to the Occupy Movement which spread to Berkeley, where the generational change started in the 1960ies. Ellsberg assertains that a contemporary youth...