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Re: <nettime> the architecture of survival
Andreas Broeckmann on Fri, 5 Oct 2001 20:56:45 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> the architecture of survival


jon, help me:

>Thank you for pointing out that we shouldn't put all "terrorists" in the
>same camp, as the media is wont to do. And of course you're right that
>Serbia's technological infrastructure--not to mention its cultural
>mores--are millennia more advanced

is this your understanding of history? stinger-equipped talebans coming in
from the stone age? this is our technological present and possibly future,
if our countries continue to develop and trade the respective weapons.

>than the situation in Afghanistan today. But if the reports are correct
>that bin Laden had a Bosnian passport as early as 1993, then maybe these
>two repressive parts of the world are not as disconnected as we might
>think.
>

how would this fact support anything that you argued??

>Even if encryption won't help a burka'd Hazara in Kabul, in more developed
>neighboring countries it could help turn the tide of public sentiment
>against harboring fundamentalist terrorists--yes, perhaps even those
>sponsored by the United States. Desperate people tend to look to
>extremists to help them out, and information is one of the only tools
>available to discredit those extremists. Maybe bin Laden did use
>encryption--but if PGP or Peekabooty helps a Bosnian or Lebanese or Saudi
>view a RAWA video clip, then I think the tradeoff is well worth it.
>

i would argue that it was hardly encryption but the bravery to broadcast
and the milosevic government's persistent claim to 'civility' that helped
b92 to be one of the main players in the serbian resistance movement. i
still think that your easy conflation of those different situations
(afghanistan, bosnia, lebanon, saudi) is completely flawed.

i realise that this might descend into a 'you are right and i am wrong'
type of argument and i certainly don't think that it can be tackled on an
either-or basis; my point is that (a) we need an astute political and
historical analysis and a clear sense of distinction. what do you mean when
you say 'Bosnia'? and (b) that we need a critical discussion of the
effectiveness and the meaning of encryption and privacy - sean cubitt's
mail from june remained, as far as i can see, uncommented - is that a sign
that he is pointing at a sore spot? there can be no doubt that encrypted
communication can be vital on a tactical level; yet, the kinds of conflicts
and struggles that jon is pointing to are, i would maintain, not won
through encrypted messages, but on market squares, blaring bill-boards,
radios and TV screens.

greetings,
-a



From: Sean Cubitt <seanc {AT} waikato.ac.nz>
To: nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net
Subject: <nettime> Echelon, privacy and property
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 14:33:48 +1200

<...>

Who wants to retain privacy?. Mainly wife-beaters, child-abusers and
tax-evaders. Most of us have nothing to lose but our privacy -- the
compulsory hoarding of data in the form of private property and private
thoughts. But a private thought is no thought at all, like a poem left in a
drawer is no poem.

The ironic tone of my little post was  nonetheless serious:  we *should*
pursue Echelon's logic to its logical outcome -- privacy is a previous
phase of the global process, and we need not to slow down or arrest but
speed up the globalisation of data -- not least so that no more regions
have to go through the hell of the smokestack era. There is no going back.

Richard Barbrook said: I don't mind them spying on me as long as I can spy
on them too... property is theft. And vice versa: data theft is property.
property and theft are inseparable.

People are media too. As a first step I advocate an international agreement
at WTO level to permit the free flow of people. Perhaps then there will be
an incentive to stop hoarding dataflows in the metroplis.

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