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Archive for April, 2010

Mexikansk datalagring gone wrong

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När riksdagsvalet närmar sig och datalagringsdirektivet (förhoppningsvis) kommer att bli en het fråga kan det vara värt att bli påmind om hur jävla illa det kan gå med datalagringar. För att få ett färskt exempel på det kan vi vända oss till Mexico och deras regerings senaste hastigt införda lag.

Lagen RENAUT, som är ett led i kriget mot droghandeln, föreskriver att alla som har ett mobilnummer, kontaktkort eller abonnemang, ska registrera sig på det med (häng med nu); namn, adress, personnummer, fingeravtryck och retinascan. Gör man inte det kommer mobilnumret att stängas av. Tanken var att komma åt narcos som gör affärer via mobiltelefonerna, men allvarligt talat, i ett land där narkotikakungarna är rikare än staten och hälften lever under fattigdomsgränsen måste man vara korkad för att inte förstå att de kan betala någon hungrig stackare för att registera sig på deras kontaktkort. Mycket riktigt gick det att köpa falskregistrerade kontantkort i piratmarknaden Tepito redan innan dealinen på registeringen var klar. Så gick det med den lagen.

Men vänta. Det blir ännu bättre…

30 miljoner (!) mobilinnehavare registerade sig inte. Deras telefoner stängdes av i ett svep. Mobiltelefoner som framförallt för den fattiga delen av befolkningen är den enda formen av konnektivitet som existerar. En förutsättning för att kunna sköta vardagen och affärer. Men här protesterade telekombolaget och drog lagen inför domstol. Det återstår ännu att se vad som händer med den. Så vitt jag förstår det är de påkopplade igen.

Databasen då? Den som ändå lyckades samla 50 miljoner namn, personnummer och fingeravtryck. Jo, den gick att köpa i Tepito en vecka efter lagen trätt i kraft. (UPPDATERING: Den länkade artikeln handlar om andra myndighetsdatabaser till salu. Se kommentar nedan). För 12000 dollar. Hela databasen. På tre externa hårddiskar á 160 gb. Vilka som köpte den? Den här artikeln berättar den otroliga historien om att ett antal polisdistrikt gått ihop och skramlat fram pengar till att själva köpa regeringens databas.
- Det blir så mycket enklare att kolla uppgifter om man inte måste gå via den officiella byråkratin, kommenterade en anonm polisman. Man storknar!

Kritik som vi har mot datalagring här i Sverige har redan hänt i Mexico på ett sätt som verkligen tydliggör vilka skador de kan göra. Det som exponeras tydligt hela tiden i en misslyckad stat som Mexico riskerar att dyka upp även inom Sverige om så bara som undantag. Databaser som läcker är dock en irreversibel handling. Det går inte att stoppa tillbaka dem sen.

Kritiken mot datalagring består inte bara av hypotetiska scenarion utan verklighet i andra länder!

Nog för att vi inte har en piratmarknad av det här slaget i Sverige, men samma händelser som sker i Mexico kan hända här fast på ett annat sätt. Att målvakter och andra sätt att kringå datalagringen används av de som den verkligen är till för att sätta dit är ju inte svårt att tänka sig. Och hur osannolokt är det egentligen att uppgifter från databaser med personuppgifter slinker ut genom personliga kontakter till någon som egentligen inte skulle ha tillgång till dem snarare än den officiella vägen med insyn?

Det händer mycket med Mexikos informationsinfrastruktur just nu. Det är monopol som bryts och förstärks, ACTA-samtal som blivit heta politiska potatisar och allting hamnar mitt i det fruktansvärda kriget mot droger som skördar dödsoffer varje dag (fler dör i det än i kriget i irak). Jag åker själv till Mexico imorgon och hoppas kunna rapportera vidare, bland annat från besöket i Tepito.

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April 29th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

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Svarar brittiskt galleri

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Visst, jag är en kass bloggare som återanvänder intervjusvar och inte skriver kontinuerligt. Jag känner skammen! Här kommer i varje fall ett svar till ett brittiskt galleri som undrar om piratbyrån är oroliga för att våra idéer ska kuppas av “the mainstream” och urholkas. Det kommer nog med i en antologi.

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We have always followed the way of Kopimi, the will to be copied, which flips the question of recuperation around. It is “we” that recuperate “them”. If you think like a hacker, the more advanced the media industry makes things, the better the hacks will be. The iPhone is super advanced, which means a jailbreak of the iPhone gives you a great device. Same thing with Despotify, the software that made it possible to save tracks from Spotify, the music industry straming service.

Really, I dont think recuperation is such a big problem. It’s good if it happens, because then you can advance one more step. The worst that can happen is if you are stuck in the same problem, repeating the same conflicts. And given that the innovation happen at the edges of the network, the more the complex hierarchical organisations of the industry tries to move in the direction of the network, the better it is. Because the internet will always be faster and further than what they do. If they try to recuperate what we do it only means that we have a better plattform to work on and that the problem becomes more advanced, that is filled with more potentiality.

I am also simplyfiying things here by talking about us and them, systems and mainstreams. Lately we have instead been thinking in terms of tunnels. Large and small, temporary or reinforced, with connections to each other. This is what the internet is, a system of tunnels, there is no surface or center. And you can extend this logic to things outside the net as well. For example the last years we stopped consider the EU to be a system which sends out laws and instead a system of bureucratic, legal, communication systems and discursive tunnels that is suprisingly open. Sometimes you have to dig a bit, but it is completely possible to enter into these processes and start working on them instead of seeing it as an abstraction that you can only be for or against. By whoever has the means and time, this should be done with the cultural industries as well to discover that they are in fact assembled as societies with different parts that can be disconnected and modulated. In relation to what we do, some amplfy the effect of it, some neutralize it, some straight try to attack it, but they can also be turned against one another.

We don’t feel that we have to protect our ideas and activities from recuperation because the essence of what we are is not a position but a movement. A way of moving and transversing different political issues. All projects are events and movement. So the question is how these event interact with different parts of activist, capitalist and cultural logics. This can only be answered by experimentation.


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April 20th, 2010 at 7:55 pm

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Svar på italienska frågor

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Ska till florens om en månad och svara på frågor till bloggen för tillställningen:

1) Why the problem of intellectual property is a problem of democracy and not only a legal matter?

This is evident because intellectual property is not just a law but an entire system of production, of desire and of organizing social and networked spaces. If you go down the path of intellectual property, and of stricter and tougher intellectual property laws, there is a whole system that also needs to follow on that. The copyright industry needs the copyright law, but along with this they need networks that work in their favour, people that desire their products, controlled urban spaces for entertainment, certain kind of communication technology and devices, cities to be arranged a certain way, databases that store data on network users, certain enforcment procedures, international trade treaties and so on. They need to assemble all of these entities around the law because the law can’t sustain itself. The further network technology evolve, the more of these support structures needs to be put in place to make intellectual property work and they bring enormous damage to society and create a kind of inelasticity that prevent new social dynamics to evolve. 2)But besides trials, what do you think about corporations or

neoliberal discourse which are trying to use the network culture for businness oriented purposes.

I’m not too afraid of the resources of the web being used for business purposes. Users attention is like a natural resource that can be used for business, art or activism. It’s just about learning how to use it and since we can be in a much deeper contact with the network culture than most companies I think we have all the opportunity to engage with the network in a deeper sense that the pr-departments of the companies. Networks can’t be controled by corporations, only modulated and that also means there is a possibility of contesting their use of them and turn their services or campaigns into other directions. As long as the network remain open and neutral I dont have a problem with the media industry or other actors trying to get a piece of it. Im confident enough that there are better alternatives than their so called professional content. But I say as long as they remain open and neutral because this is not necessarily the case in the future. The copyright industry can’t compete on a fair basis but always need laws and infrstructure that put them in a monopoly situation. This is what they will try to get and frankly I’m sick of them. There was a time when I kind of felt it would be nice if they learned to adapt to the ways of the internets, but ACTA is just the latest example of how they completely refuse, or rather are incapable, of transforming their complex hierarchical organizations into something different and therefor will continue to rather change the legal and infrastructural environment they operate in than change themselves. So there it’s them or the internet now…

3) What is the future of TPB and how would you explane, in a few words, the success of the swedish pirate archipelago (the bay, the party, the embassy, etc).

3) In sweden we are in a time now where the first-generation entities such as Piratbyrån and Pirate Bay occupy less space (this has mostly moved abroad) in favour of new names for entities, such as telecomix, the julia group and in a certain arena, the pirate party. This is because new areas have been opened up by the former. Looking at TPB you will see some familiar names popping up elsewhere as well (check the credits of the WikiLeaks video of the helicopter attack in Iraq…). So let’s just say that the ecosystem of swedish pirate related activity is doing very well. And I think this broad ecosystem with fuzzy borders between organizations is the key. New ideas can get support easily and new problems gets discovered and tackled immediately. Around the pirate archipelago there is also a vast ocean of swedish internet life, from programmers to journalist who thanks to the web2.0 services like twitter are now in immediate contact with each other.


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April 19th, 2010 at 7:50 pm

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