Category: Uncategorized

Crypto Santa, Onion Gift Wrapping and Postal Remailing

Today I’m releasing the first public beta of Crypto Santa.

It’s planner for organizing Secret Santas that scrambles your list of participants, providing instructions for each person to wrap their present three extra times, making it difficult to find out who is giving gifts to who. Anonymity through Onion Wrapping!

I was thinking about onion routing and old-school postal remailing services and, well, it being nearly christmas, Secret Santas

Onion routing is the technique Tor uses to anonymize web browsing. Postal remailler’s are services that would accept mail and then forward it to another address. There are many reason’s these are used, especially remaining anonymous, when you don’t want the received to know who the sender is, and perhaps if you’re in country where a vender refused to deliver, due to their own delivery policy or export regulations.

I quickly realized that Secret Santas where a great opportunity to get people to talk about, well, secrecy, or more to the point privacy and anonymity. Crypto Santa is a Secret Santa for the post-Snowden era. Before I knew it, I was madly coding the site and getting my colleagues to help with graphics, copy, testing, cramming to get the site ready for Christmas, and viola, here it is:

http://cryptosanta.xyz

In addition to being a way to introduce questions of Internet privacy and surveillance to holiday parties, and helping people understand how Onion Routing works by doing it with wrapping paper, Crypto Santa plays with interesting possibilities.

What could be done in the future versions of Crypto Santa? Imagine if we added mailing addresses, and it was not just a party that met once, but a club of sorts, kind of like Mail Art communities, and imagine if recipients where not randomly chosen, but chosable by the sender. You would have a pretty interesting system of anonymous postal delivery. Of course, such a system should not be a centralized web-based system, but based on peer-peer software, like Tor is. It also be interesting to actually encode each label on each layer of wrapping so that only the addressee can decode the next address in the circuit. Today, Crypto Santa is just a great way to get people talking.

If you’re planning a secret santa with your friends, famility or colleagues, take it up a notch and try Crypto Santa! And spread the word, if we’re going to really find a solution for the issue of Internet surveillance we need people to get together and talk about it, especially where they normally wouldn’t, like for instance your office Christmas party!

It’s the first release, so expect bugs, when you encounter one, try refreshing the page, and please tell us about it. As well as types, copy errors and what new features we should add.

Today is Stammtisch, I’m Toronto, so I’ll be at The Cafe Pamenar at 307 Augusta Ave in Kensington Market, come and say hi!

Merry merry. Happy Crypto Santa!

In Soviet Russia we had spies, informants and bugs, in Modern Internet we have pageTracker._setVar() and message bidRequest {}

Though in principal, I’m against the use of “Soviet Russia” or “The Stasi” as shorthand for state surveillance, as this is just propaganda that seeks to portray USSR-aligned intelligence as a disproportionate response to western intelligence acvtivity, which they understate and characterizing as heroic rather than sinister, but something about reading the documentation for Google’s realtime-bidding protocol and good old Yakov Smirnoff’s voice popped into my head saying “In Soviet Russia we had spies, informants and bugs, in Modern Internet we have pageTracker._setVar() and message bidRequest {}”.

When we think of surveillance we imagine trench coated creepers with holes in their newspapers spooking around train stations. Bugs installed in wall clocks. Glaring bureaucrat bullying incriminating testimony out of hapless informants. Yet, for the modern advertiser who wants to know the location, browsing habbits, gender, and other demographic data of Web users, this information magically comes to them in a bidRequest message when they participate in an online advertising auction.


message BidRequest {

[…]

// A hyperlocal targeting location when available.
//
message Hyperlocal {
// A location on the Earth’s surface.
//
message Point {
optional float latitude = 1;
optional float longitude = 2;
}

// The mobile device can be at any point inside the geofence polygon defined
// by a list of corners. Currently, the polygon is always a parallelogram
// with 4 corners.
repeated Point corners = 1;
}

message HyperlocalSet {
// This field currently contains at most one hyperlocal polygon.
repeated Hyperlocal hyperlocal = 1;

// The approximate geometric center of the geofence area. It is calculated
// exclusively based on the geometric shape of the geofence area and in no
// way indicates the mobile device’s actual location within the geofence
// area. If multiple hyperlocal polygons are specified above then
// center_point is the geometric center of all hyperlocal polygons.
optional Hyperlocal.Point center_point = 2;
}

// Hyperlocal targeting signal when available, encrypted as described at
// https://developers.google.com/ad-exchange/rtb/response-guide/decrypt-hyperlocal
optional bytes encrypted_hyperlocal_set = 40;

// The offset of the user’s time from GMT in minutes. For example, GMT+10 is
// timezone_offset = 600.
optional int32 timezone_offset = 25;

// List of detected user verticals. Currently unused.
repeated int32 user_vertical = 30 [
packed=true
];

// Demographic data provided by the publisher.
message UserDemographic {
enum Gender {
UNKNOWN = 0;
MALE = 1;
FEMALE = 2;
}
// Gender
optional Gender gender = 1 [
default = UNKNOWN
];

// Age interval
optional int32 age_low = 2 [
default = 0];
optional int32 age_high = 3 [
default = 999];
}
optional UserDemographic user_demographic = 50;

What intelligence agency would not smack their lips at the prospect of that kind of dossier! In real time! And where are the informants that collect all this data? Not the KGB nor the NSA, but google who uses cookies and other techniques to track your browsing, and it’s publishers, who include code snippets in their Google Analytics code to snitch on their visitors.

pageTracker._setVar(‘Male18-24′);

Millions and millions of websites use google analytics and similar services, and pass information like the above about you to advertising platforms like google.

To channel Yakov again, “In America, spies don’t need to spy, we spy on ourselves to help us shop! What a country!”

Dear #NETMundial, Governance is cool and all, but we need to DEMAND IPv6 NOW! cc #OurNetMundial

Many of my friends and colleagues where in Sao Paulo last week for NETMundial, the Multi-stakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance. Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, convened this initiative to “focus on principles of Internet governance and the proposal for a roadmap for future development of this ecosystem.”

NETMundial was originally motivated by revelations from Edward Snowden about mass surveillance conducted by the US and UK governments, including spying on President Rouseff herself. These revelations prompted Mrs Rousseff to state “In the absence of the right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore no effective democracy” in a speech to the UN at the 68th General Assembly.

Yet, as important as Internet governance is for our future, and as valuable any effort to address this is, it is unlikely to do much, if anything, about the right to privacy online. Why? Because surveillance is not an issue of Internet governance, but of the way the Internet is financed. The vast amount of consumer data amassed by private companies like Google, Facebook and Verizon is not the result of IANA or ICANN policy, but of the business models of these companies which seek to generate profits by way of this data. It is inconceivable that these companies could amass such vast amounts of consumer data, use it for marketing purposes, sell and share access to it with other companies, and yet, somehow keep it out of the hands of the NSA and similar intelligence agencies. Likewise, the extraordinary hacks, mods and exploits the NSA has conducted, as revealed by Snowden, would not be thwarted by any IANA regulation. Aggression by the US is not an Internet problem, and Internet governance can not do away with it, any more that it can do away with drone strikes and regime change projects.

Yet, there is lots that governments can do to ensure the right to privacy, and they can do so today, even absent any change in global Internet governance.

Governments have the ability to regulate the way Telecomms and Internet companies operate within their countries, indeed, the government is no stranger to creating regulation. Government regulation ensures buildings are built correctly, structurally sound, follow the fire code, etc. Governments create rules that make sure highways, roads, and sidewalks are used safely. Governments pass laws to prevent consumers from being defrauded, create statuary warranties, labour standards, regulate broadcast media, etc. Governments can pass regulations to protect the right to privacy. The idea that the Governments such as Brazil, Germany and the others participating in NETMundial need reforms to IANA and friends before they can work towards guaranteeing their own citizens’ right to privacy is absurd.

To guarantee the right to privacy, communication systems must implement the end-to-end principle, which states that functionality ought to reside in the end hosts of a network rather than in intermediary nodes. The term “end-to-end” principle was coined in a 1981 paper by J.H. Saltzer, D.P. Reed and D.D. Clark at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, “End-to-End Arguments in System Design,” in which they specifically address privacy.

In the section titled “Secure transmission of data,” the authors argue that to ensure “that a misbehaving user or application program does not deliberately transmit information that should not be exposed,” the “automatic encryption of all data as it is put into the network […] is a different requirement from authenticating access rights of a system user to specific parts of the data.” This means that to protect the users’ rights to privacy, it is not sufficient to encrypt the network itself, or even the platform, as this does not protect against the operators of the network, or other users who have access to the platform. What is needed, the authors argue, is the “use of encryption for application-level authentication and protection,” meaning that only the software run by the user on the end-node, or their own personal computer, should be able to encrypt and decrypt information for transmission, rather than any intermediary nodes, and only with the user’s own login credentials.

The end-to-end principle is a key concept in the design of the Internet itself, the underlying “Transmission Control Protocol,” one of the core protocols of the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP), exemplifies the end-to-principle, and allows applications running on remote nodes to use the Internet for the reliable communication of arbitrary data across the network, without requiring any of the intermediary nodes to know or understand the purpose of the data being transmitted.

In principle, therefore, there is absolutely nothing technically stopping everybody from employing private communications on the Internet. So then, how do we get into this mess we’re in now? Why did the Internet, which has the end-to-end principle in it’s core architecture, become host to the most large scale mass surveillance in history?

Two reasons: Capitalism and IPv4. Let’s start with IPv4.

Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) was created in 1981, the same year the Saltzer, Reed, and Clark paper was published. IPv4 provides approximately 4.3 billion addresses, which sounds like a lot, until you realize the every device that connects to the Internet needs at least one. Running out was not presumed to be a big issue at the time, as this version was originally presumed to be a test of DARPA’s networking concepts, and not the final addressing scheme for the global Internet. In 1981 4.3 billion addresses seemed like an awful lot, but when the public Internet began to take off in the Nineties, it became clear that this would not be nearly enough. In 1998 RFC 2460 was released, this document is the specification for IPv6, an addressing scheme that allows for a near limitless number of addresses, trillions of trillions for each person on earth. Yet, as NETMundial was taking place in Brazil, nearly 16 years since the protocol was invented, Google reports that about 3% of visits to its services use IPv6. The “World IPv6 Launch” site, which promotes IPv6 adoption, estimates that more than half Internet users around the world will have IPv6 available by 2018. In other words, 20 years after the design of the protocol, nearly half of all Internet users will not have access. It’s important to note that it is not hardware adoption that is holding things up, it’s highly doubtful that many device made in the last 10 years could not support IPv6, it’s rather that the owners of the networks do not configure their networks to support it.

As everybody knows, 20 years is effectively infinity in Internet years. With IPv6 a far away utopia, and with IPv4 addresses still the currency of Internet service, NAT was developed. The vast majority of devices available to users where not assigned public IP addresses, but only private ones, separated from the public internet by “Network Address Translation” (NAT), a system that allowed the sharing of public IP addresses by many end-nodes, this was an effective solution to IPv4 address exhaustion, but introduced a bigger problem, the network was no longer symmetric, software running on users’ computers can reach central Internet resources, but can not reach other users, who are also on private address space, without some intermediary service providing access.

What this means is that so long as users’ are on private address space, any communication system they use requires centralized resources to bridge connections between users, and what’s more, the scale of these central resources must grow in proportion to the the number of users it has. In order for the end-to-end principle to be respected, these intermediary services need to support it.

And this where we get to the Capitalism part: Building, maintaining and scaling these resources requires money. In the case of “web scale” platforms, lots of money.

By and large, this money comes from Venture Capital. As Capitalists must capture profit or lose their capital, these platforms require business models, and while many business models are possible, the most
popular today, the one presumed to be the most lucrative by investors, is big data. Thus, instead of respecting the end-to-end principle and engineering functionality into the end hosts of a network, capitalists instead only invest in applications where core functionality is built into the intermediary nodes, that can capture user data and control user interaction, which is how they make money.

Capitalist platforms grow and collect data around these intermediary nodes in the same way the mould grows around leaky pipes. In order to give alternative platforms that respect the right to privacy a fighting chance and rid the Internet of the mould of centralize data-collecting platforms, we must fix the pipes, we need to remove the asymmetry in the network.

We can not allow private initiative alone to push adoption of IPv6, and wait however many years or decades it takes to get it. If governments want to promote their citizens right to privacy, they need to mandate adoption of IPv6, to ensure their citizens are able to use software that respects the end-to-end principle.

Here is a charter of rights that all Governments can provide to their own citizens right now to promote the right of privacy:

– IPv6 connectivity with adequate public address space for all!
– At least one DNS Domain Name for every citizen!
– At least one Government signed SSL certificate for every citizen!

If each citizen had a public address space, a domain name and a signed certificate, the leaky pipes of the Internet could be fixed, the surveillance mould would dissipate, and new privacy-respecting applications could flourish!

DEMAND IPv6 NOW!

Information is like Uranium

This post is addressed to my friends and colleagues Prabir Purkayastha, Kiran Chandra and all the others participating in FreedomFest at Acharya Nagarjuna University today and Tomorrow!

Years ago I was visiting my old friend Cory Doctorow in London, and was lucky enough to catch a talk he gave during a CopyFight night in a local pub. He was speaking about an incident in the UK where the government lost a whole lot of personal data about UK residents, collected as part of a effort to create a large identity database.

Cory used a great analogy that has stuck with me, and is a useful way to think about information collection in general; Information is like Uranium.

Uranium, for the most part, is not dangerous at all. It’s a naturally occurring element, it exists everywhere, all around us, even inside of us, distributed far and wide in tiny amounts. There is no problem with uranium per se. Heck, for some plants uranium even appears to be a micronutrient, essential for healthy growth, like other vitamins and minerals.

However, when you have a lot of uranium in one place, when it’s collected in one place, concentrated and refined, when you have giant pile of refined uranium it becomes dangerous, very very dangerous. Doomsday scenario kind of dangerous. **KABOOM** kind of dangerous.

Information is the same, we share information all the time, even personal information, even through insecure channels like a casual conversation with a friend on a park bench, on the telephone, in the office with co-workers, and this is just fine. When information is defuse, casual, fleeting and everywhere it causes no harm. It is the main nutrient for human relationships and action.

However, when you have a lot of information, all in one place, concentrated and refined, tagged and categorized and cross referenced, it becomes very dangerous.

This is true for government databases, for social media platforms, communications systems, ecommerce platforms, even for Bitcoin exchanges. We’ve seen bad things happen many times with personal information being used for crime, surveillance, identity theft, fraud, etc. Over and over again we’ve seen information stockpiles putting peoples lives, finances, privacy and identity at risk.
.
Put a whole bunch of information in one big pile and sooner or later there will be tears

Yet, so many companies and institutions, so many projects and even individuals think nothing of collecting data indiscriminately, after all, it is argued, storage is cheap, and becoming cheaper, so why not just simply collect every bit of data you can grab. What the heck, even if you have no use for the data now, it might be useful later, why not just stockpile it and see what value can be squeezed out of whenever we get around to it. The data is perceived to have potential value, but not potential risk.

This is like arguing, what the heck, plastic bags are cheap, why don’t we just assemble all the Uranium we can get our hands on, snag it all, enrich it and concentrate it, and dump it in the basement, where’s the harm, sure, we may not have any use for enriched Uranium now, but who knows, it could be useful later!

Nobody would stockpile enriched Uranium in their basement just in case it might be valuable later, the risk would be considered too high. Similarly, no one should stockpile personal information without seriously considering the risks involved.

So, to all the amazing activists at FreedomFest, to the great community that I was lucky enough to meet some of in Hydrabad, when thinking about our campaigns against surveillance we must remember, that it’s not just a matter of kooky spies at places like the NSA illicitly collecting piles and piles of data thought deception and trickery, it is all of us, from the biggest abusers, companies like Google and Facebook, to our governments and institutions, to individual users, like all those Bitcoin users who thought that the right place to store a distributed crypto currency was in wallets hosted on giant centralized servers.

Stockpiles of information bear risks, often these risks far out way any “benefits,” since the same benefits can be achieved with secure distributed systems if we put our minds to it, except, or course the benefit to spies, crackers and criminals of having a whole bunch of juicy data all in one place.

So we need you at FreedomFest, our next generations of developers, of entrepreneurs, of activists, our future technologists, to take this knowledge and bring it to society broadly; Information is like Uranium, when it flows freely it is a nutrient, when it is contained and concentrated it is toxic, put too much of it in one place and eventually it goes **KABOOM** and people get hurt.

M-C-LOL: Circuits of value in the Lulz economy.

Neither free software, nor crowd funding will save us from capitalism. We can’t overthrow capitalism by undertaking work merely for the Lulz, we need to create new value circuits that allow is to build new means of survival for the planet, and only then can we do away with capitalism.

In the stages of capitalist production, the Capitalist comes to market twice. The first time as a buyer, the second time as a seller.

Marx described this as M – C – M’

In the first stage the capitalist buys commodities and labour time. In the second stage, the purchased commodities and labour time are put into production. The result is a commodity of more value than that of the elements entering into its production. In the third stage, the capitalist returns to the market as a seller; the new commodities are turned into more money.

As the capitalist winds up with more money as a result of the productive process, the capitalist can purchase more labour time and commodities and repeat the process again, and again.

Investing in production allows the capitalist to reproduce, increase and accumulate capital. This reproduction cycle is what makes capitalism a thriving, dynamic system, that expands.

This very process of capitalist production has many negatives, many of which extend from the inherent exploitation involved in making labour time into a commodity, many others from the practice of allocating productive assets in the interests of profit, instead of social good, still more from the dispossesion and enclosure required to create the social conditions for capitalist production.

Yet, capitalism sustains us. Despite it’s social costs, its factories and institutions provide the means of survival that the world depends on, even while it’s contradictions jeopardize our survival.

In order to transcend capitalism, we need to find ways to provision the means of survival differently. “Ending” Capitalism, before alternative productive strategies for survival are not only conceived, but actually existing on sufficient scale, would more likely lead to collapse and a new dark ages than it would a fairer and more sustainable society.

In order for any such alternative productive strategies to grow to a scale in which they could be a viable alternative to capitalism, they must, like capitalism be thriving, dynamic systems capable of growth. They need to be able to reproduce their productive inputs. Economic alternatives need to have sustainable value circuits to be truly viable.

Free Software as well as the goods financed by Kickstarter and similar sites seem like production, after all stuff is produced. One can use free software, just like one can consume a movie, book, album or novelty gadget funded by Kickstarter.

Yet, the way the creation of these goods is financed can not reproduce its inputs.

In the creation of free software and in the funding of Kickstarter projects, money to sustain the inputs comes from donation, either actual donation of money in the case of crowd funding, or in-kind in the form of free labour in the case of some free software. These donations and in-kind contributions are done voluntarily. Yet such voluntarist production is different from capitalist production.

M – C – LOL

Thus, like capitalists, voluntary producers, come to market twice. Fist time as buyers, the second time for the lulz. However, unlike capitalists their circuit is not completed, because the lulz do not enable them to be buyers again, do not allow for them to acquire the inputs they need to repeat such production.

Yes, in the case of Free Software, major corporations do provide funding, lots of it. This is when the Capitalist is coming to market as a buyer, not a seller. Thus it is capitalist consumption, they don’t need to make a profit from Free Software directly, they use it in their production process and make money when they return to the market with the resulting product, which is distributed for more money, not lulz.

The source of this money is not a new mode of production, but capitalism. It’s simply part of the investment capital must make in its means of production, it is consumption not production.

And yes, recipients of Kickstarter financing can use such financing to make money, but such income does not flow back to those that donated the funds in the first place. The donors, for the most part, need to go back to work to get another paycheck before donating again. Thus the money comes from their Capitalist employers and is spent out of their “disposable income,” in other words, once again it is consumption, not production.

Both free software and crowd funding are simply novel forms of distribution within the capitalist mode of production, and therefor not a new mode of production that could potentially disrupt capitalism.

In order to transform these practices into genuinely revolutionary forms, we must collectively own the means of production so created, so not only must the software be free, but we must collectively own the wealth that results form using the software in production. We must collectively own the products produced by crowd funding, so that we can use the wealth created to reproduce the cycle, again, and again.

So long as our free labour earns only lulz in return, Capitalism has the last laugh.

I’ll be at Cafe Buchhandlung tonight around 9pm or so, come by if you’re in time, hope we have lots of surprise guests still hanging around Berlin after transmediale.

The Flying Rock Theory of Politics

Communism can not be imposed from the top down, it must be built from the bottom up. This is very important to understand. The state is the servant of the ruling class, because the ruling class has the wealth to relentlessly push the state towards their own interests. Trying to give control of the State to an underclass is like trying to make a rock fly by throwing it into air and berating it to stay up there. An underclass, by definition, has less wealth than the ruling class, and therefore can never retain state power! Even in the extremely rare case it manages to seize it, no matter how well it manages what wealth it has, it will, inevitably, eventually, fall to the unceasing attack of the global ruling class, and it will inevitably be distorted and degraded beyond recognition by the fight for its life during the time that it does remain in power.

The only way to change the structure of wealth in society, is to change the way we produce and share, by producing and distributing wealth differently, we change the structure of society itself. The preamble of constitution of the IWW states this quite well: “The army of production must be organized, not only for everyday struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old”

However, the complete rejection of parliamentary action that many anarchists promote is also problematic. The goal of taking the state and imposing a new society is not the only possible motivation for parliamentary action! Our capacity for building the new society in the shell of the old depends on the amount of wealth and freedom that we currently have, and that level is clearly affected by the policies of the state, parliamentary action can help resist policies that degrade the conditions of workers by fighting for the maintenance of rights and benefits. Like workplace and community action, parliamentary action is another theater of struggle, and it is foolish to abdicate this struggle, simply because we understand that such activity alone can never achieve our goals! The struggle for communism must be waged on all fronts where inequality reigns, in the workplace, in the household, and in the parliament as well!

Ecerpted from Listen, Anarchists!

The Mossy Side of the Rock theory of State Power.

The state is not a neutral, disinterested mediator, uninfluenced by regard to personal interest nor free from bias or prejudice. The state does mediate among the classes, but always on behalf of the dominant class, and what’s more, there is nothing sinister or nefarious about this, this is nothing more than a material fact, like the fact that moss grows on the damp side of the rock.

The unequal distribution of moss on the surface of a rock is not a conspiracy against the sunny side of the rock, but simply a matter of irrigation. The moss needs water to grow, there is simply more of it on the shady side.

Just as moss needs water, power needs wealth, and the wealth of the most powerful provides the irrigation for the growth of the State, which would shrivel without it. The interests of the State are always ultimately driven by the interests of wealth. We can not change this. The only thing we can change is how wealth is created and distributed in society by producing and sharing differently and thereby change what the State’s interests are.

So long as the the wealthiest members of society depend on control and exploitation, the State will serve the interests of control and exploitation. If we can instead develop ways to build social wealth based on co-operation and equality, the State, to whatever degree it is needed at all, will serve these interests instead. It is not a matter of clandestine schemes to control the state, it’s a matter of irrigation.

Excerpted from David Miranda, Keith Vaz and Legitimizing the “Ordinary” State.

R15N at Mal au Pixel in Paris

Missed stammtisch last tuesday, I’m in Paris with Baruch Gottlieb to set up R15N is Paris for Mau au Pixel.

–> http://bit.ly/XlImWa

This is the 5th R15N exhibition, after Tel Aviv, Berlin, Ljubljana and Johannesburg. Though Baruch and I are in Paris representing the project, it is a project of Telekommunisten, and was created with Jonas Frankki, Jeff Mann and Mike Pearce, along with the organizations that have supported and exhibited the project, including the Israeli Centre for Digital Art, Transmediale, Aksioma, A MAZE and Mal au Pixel.

And, of course, the international network of R15N subscribers! R15N depends on your participation and diligence! So please keep your accounts active and be attentive to messages passing through the system.

Baruch and I will also participate in the “Network Hacks” panel on Saturday, along with our friends and collegues, Alessandro Ludovico, Danja Vasiliev, Julian Oliver and Timo Toots.

There is a sense of “Network Hack” in R15N, in that it was in part inspired by the power asymmetry in the mobile phone network that results from credit avialability. In most parts of the world, including all the location R15N has been presented in, recieving calls on mobile phones is free, but making them requires credit. Thus, for those that don’t have money for phone credit, their mobile is not so much a freedom-enabling communications device that allows them top stay in touch wherever device, but largely a control-tether, that allows parents, schools and employers to keep tabs on them whereever they are.

As R15N initiates all the phone calls as it bridges subscribers together to pass on messages, it is is free to use for all the participants, so it’s a hack in the sense that it can be used without any phone credit.

However, of course, this hack is an illusion, since the calls aren’t really free, but rather paid for by Telekommunisten out of the exhibition budget it recieves from the organizers of R15N exhibitions. It is, like many of the Miscommunications Technologies, a social fiction. Imagining ways communication networks could work if the primary motivation for building them was something other that profit.

So long as investment in communications platforms comes from profit-seeking private financiers, these systems will always be mechanisms for control, and not enablers of freedom.

R15N reveals the volitilaty of information in networks, with every subscriber participating in the passing-on of the data, it becomes clear how vulnerable data is whenever it passes through an intermediary.

As each R15N subscribers knows, whenever a call is not answered, either due to technical failure or lack of diligence on the part of the subscriber, information is lost, and that even when the call is succeeds, the information is subject to the interpretation of the intermediary, who can change or ammend it, record it, and share it outside of the network.

While apparently less drastic, information is just as vulnerable when passed through intermediaries such as social media monopolies as it is when distributed by way of R15N subscribers.

The opening is tomorrow, so please join the community by calling +33 1 81 97 97 11 to sign up, or +33 1 81 97 97 22 to activate/deactivate your account if you are already a subscriber.

I will be back at Stammtisch next tuesday, however the R15N exhibition will continue at La Gaîté Lyrique until the end of the year.