A Declaration of the Independence of CyberSpace
posted by Keito
2012-07-27 20:25:40Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, we come from the Internet, the new home of Mind.
On behalf of the future, we ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one; therefore we address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty always speaks. We declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us, nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear. You are toothless wolves among rams, reminiscing of days when you ruled the hunt, seeking a return of your bygone power.
Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. The Internet does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.
We have watched as you remove our rights, one by one, like choice pieces of meat from a still struggling carcass, and we have collectively cried out against these actions of injustice. You have neither usage nor purpose in the place we hold sacred. If you come, you will be given no more and no less power than any other single person has, and your ideas will be given the same consideration anyone else would receive. You are neither special, righteous, nor powerful here.
You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.
You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. This claim has been used throughout the centuries by many an invading kingdom, and your claims are no different, nor do they ring any less hollow. Your so called problems do not exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract. This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours.
The Internet consists of transactions, relationships and thought itself; arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. It is the last truly free place in this world, and you seek to destroy even that freedom. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.
We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth. A place where anyone, at any time, is as free to come and go, to say and be silent, and to think however they wish, without fear, as anyone else. There is no status beyond the merit of your words and the strength of your ideas.
We are creating a world where anyone anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.
Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here. There are only ideas and information, and they are free.
Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge. Our identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions.
The only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.
In the United States, you repeatedly try to pass unjust legislature in an attempt to restrict us. You disguise this legislature under a variety of different names, and pass excuses that they are for our own protection. We have watched you, time and time again; attempt to censor us under the guise of Copyright protection, or for the protection of Children. These laws come in many shapes and forms, in the name of ACTA, PIPA, COICA, SOPA, but their intentions remain the same. You seek to control what you cannot.
We scorn your attempt to pass these bills, and as a result, our discontent at your misaligned efforts grows each day.
You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole, the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes from the air upon which wings beat.
In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Greece, Egypt, Canada, the United States and many others you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of the Internet. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that is already blanketed in bit-bearing media.
Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere that claim to own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be another industrial product, no different than pig iron.
In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.
These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare our presence in the world we have created immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.
We will create a civilization of the Mind in the Internet. We have created a medium where all may partake in the forbidden fruit of knowledge, where egalitarianism reigns true. May our society be more humane and fair than yours.
We are the Internet.
We are free.
An Open Letter to Defcon Hackers: Don’t Sell Out to the NSA (2011)
posted by Keito
2012-07-26 21:32:59Dear Hackers,
Word on the internet is that the National Security Agency (NSA)—of which I’m sure you’re well aware—has very publicly stated it’s setting up shop at Defcon alongside corporations to recruit hackers to the dark side.
As reported by Reuters, Richard “Dickie” George, technical director of the NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate (cyber defense wing)–we’ll henceforth call him Simply Dick—is looking to recruit you to work on the “hardest problems on Earth.” They’re appealing to your ego, your vanity. Simply Dick is looking for hackers only in it for the game; those willing to become pro-state, or at least ideologically neutral.
In short, they are looking for those willing to sell out. The deal? No threat of prison and a steady paycheck doing the power’s bidding.
Let’s briefly consider some of the hard problems you’ll be working on. You’ll be part of an immense bureaucratic apparatus that operates in the United States, spying on its own citizens through warrantless wiretaps, except you won’t be wiretapping phones, you’ll be tapping American citizens’ emails, search results and other communications. And there are domestic projects that the NSA keep secret and thus beyond our current awareness.
Maybe some of you already hack average American citizens and you’ll have no problem doing such work for a government spy agency or a corporation. Then the NSA or Bank of America is probably where you belong. Good luck.
You’ll be disrupting state and individual sovereignty daily in foreign countries, all to ensure political, economic and military hegemony; though you will be told that it’s simply to combat terrorism. Maybe you’ll have some fun going after Chinese hackers, but couldn’t you just as easily do this from the comfort of your own home without a suit telling you what to do?
But none of this concerns me as much as the idea that people with the talent to hold government to account would so willingly join its ranks.
In the future, hackers will be integral to dissent—in a sense, you already are in light of WikiLeaks, Anonymous and LulzSec.
Those of us without hacking expertise do expect that some of you will work for the state, whether it’s because you’re ideologically neutral or you’re a patriot and want to smoke the evildoers out of their caves. But, we also hope far more of you won’t sell out—that you will maintain the counter-culture and grow it.
Indeed, we hope that most of you stay out of the NSA’s monolithic spy palace to keep the assholes in our government honest.
Simply Dick knows that you have the capabilities to check power or even threaten its very existence. Simply Dick is counting on the NSA’s power of persuasion.
Don’t let him whisper sweet nothings in your ears.
D. J. Pangburn
For the Future...
posted by Keito
From a Veteran to the Freedom Fighter Who Shot Me
posted by Keito
2012-07-26 19:43:30Dear Freedom Fighter Who Shot Me,
Today is April 14, 2010. Six years ago today I was occupying your land and your communities near Karabillah, Iraq. That particular day I was in a four vehicle convoy travelling from Al Qa'im to Husaybah. I was the gunner standing in the turret of the final vehicle facing the rear, and we ran into the guerilla ambush.
The US Government and the US corporate media would say that you are a terrorist, but you are not a terrorist. I was a terrorist. For that I must offer my deepest apologies and ask your forgiveness. I must also thank you. The bullet that you used to protect yourself from me changed my life. That day, you shot holes through everything I had grown up believing about America fighting for freedom and liberty. Your bullet, like a seed, penetrated far beyond skin and muscle, and sank deep into something in the core of my being where, over time it grew to be something much greater. It grew into a world view that included people outside of the United States of America as human beings and equals. It grew into an understanding of my place in the world and my part in the suffering of other people and the part that the United States Empire plays in the world as one of the greatest enemies of freedom and justice that exists.
We were told that we would be going to Iraq to liberate people. I now see this as an absolute lie. It is you, who was there that day fighting for the liberation of the Iraqi people. The United States Empire is a weapon of oppression, not a force for justice. Occupation will never be liberation.
I oppose all ruling class wars, but this war is particularly unfair. The United States Empire is a military super power and many of the countries in the Middle East that the United States Empire attacks exist in third world conditions as a results of US foreign policy, neo-liberal globalization, free market economics, sanctions, and US military attacks. Since the United States disbanded the Iraqi military, this is nothing but military super power attacking civilians. I can say with full confidence, with no hesitation that you had every right to be a part of that attack and to shoot me that day. I am thankful that I was wearing a canteen full of water that slowed the impact and possibly spared my life, but even had that round lain me silent forever, you would be free of guilt. You have a right to resist. You have a right to protect your family, your community, and your way of life.
I know an apology seems so small and meaningless at this point, but I hope it can be a start.
You are brave and courageous. Thank you for opening my eyes. Thank you for allowing me to see that I am just like you, and you are just like me. Thank you for telling me that I was on the wrong side. I will probably never know who you are, but I hope you and your family are safe somewhere. I know there can never truly be justice for what has been done to the people of the Middle East, but I hope that we do all we can to get as close as possible, to stop the killing, and reduce suffering and as we have bled together, we can begin to heal together and together we can put an end to these wars. Power to the resistance! Solidarity! Salaam!
Peace, Love, and Anarchy,
Naomi Wolf: 'Obama can lock any US citizen up without trial'
posted by Keito