Surveillant Architectures

Developing paradigms in media culture. This blog is collaboratively edited by the Surveillant Architectures Group.

Surveillance Self-Defense for LGBTQ kids


lbqt ssd

More timely than ever, now that Germany again wants to retain everyone’s data.
Forward this to anyone who might need it…

The latest addition to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Surveillance Self-Defense series is a set of tools and instructions aimed specifically at LGBTQ kids, who have unique threat models (being outed) and adversaries (homophobic friends, parents, pastors).

EFF’s guide gives already marginalized and threatened kids the ability to explore information related to LGBTQ issues with a much lower risk of censorship (by parental or school censorware, which typically blocks information related to sexuality) and discovery by snoops.

Tips and tools to help you more safely access LGBTQ resources, navigate social networks, and avoid snoopers.
If you lack proper support and access to LGBTQ resources, this guide teaches you how to explore such resources online in a safer way to help avoid accidental outing to your peers, family, or online advertisers as a result of online tracking or nosy snoopers.

* An Introduction to Threat Modeling

* Choosing Your Tools

* Creating Strong Passwords

* How to: Circumvent Online Censorship

* How to: Encrypt Your iPhone

* How to: Use Signal – Private Messenger

* Protecting Yourself on Social Networks

* Communicating with Others

(via BoingBoing)


forecast the future by looking at what the rich have today


Sounds convincing. Liberty is losing out against security and comfort. Basically, people want what rich people have, and rich people have no personal privacy. They are surrounded by servants who know everything about them.

Two Thoughtful Essays on the Future of Privacy

Paul Krugman argues that we’ll give up our privacy because we want to emulate the rich, who are surrounded by servants who know everything about them:

Consider the Varian rule, which says that you can forecast the future by looking at what the rich have today — that is, that what affluent people will want in the future is, in general, something like what only the truly rich can afford right now. Well, one thing that’s very clear if you spend any time around the rich — and one of the very few things that I, who by and large never worry about money, sometimes envy — is that rich people don’t wait in line. They have minions who ensure that there’s a car waiting at the curb, that the maitre-d escorts them straight to their table, that there’s a staff member to hand them their keys and their bags are already in the room.

And it’s fairly obvious how smart wristbands could replicate some of that for the merely affluent. Your reservation app provides the restaurant with the data it needs to recognize your wristband, and maybe causes your table to flash up on your watch, so you don’t mill around at the entrance, you just walk in and sit down (which already happens in Disney World.) You walk straight into the concert or movie you’ve bought tickets for, no need even to have your phone scanned. And I’m sure there’s much more — all kinds of context-specific services that you won’t even have to ask for, because systems that track you know what you’re up to and what you’re about to need.

Another essay that argues that we have entered recursive hall of mirrors of seeing and being seen, and what that means to how we will develop in future. Reminds me of the analogy between privacy and undeveloped film – you need a part of yourself that’s not exposed to light (yet), if you want to be able to retain your integrity as a person:

Daniel C. Dennett and Deb Roy look at our loss of privacy in evolutionary terms, and see all sorts of adaptations coming:

The tremendous change in our world triggered by this media inundation can be summed up in a word: transparency. We can now see further, faster, and more cheaply and easily than ever before — and we can be seen. And you and I can see that everyone can see what we see, in a recursive hall of mirrors of mutual knowledge that both enables and hobbles. The age-old game of hide-and-seek that has shaped all life on the planet has suddenly shifted its playing field, its equipment and its rules. The players who cannot adjust will not last long.

The impact on our organizations and institutions will be profound. Governments, armies, churches, universities, banks and companies all evolved to thrive in a relatively murky epistemological environment, in which most knowledge was local, secrets were easily kept, and individuals were, if not blind, myopic. When these organizations suddenly find themselves exposed to daylight, they quickly discover that they can no longer rely on old methods; they must respond to the new transparency or go extinct. Just as a living cell needs an effective membrane to protect its internal machinery from the vicissitudes of the outside world, so human organizations need a protective interface between their internal affairs and the public world, and the old interfaces are losing their effectiveness.


Transmediale: real life and media art, as seen by the press


Und dann waren da die Medienkünstler, ihrerseits verblüffend unerschütterlich in ihrem Glauben, dass es menschenfreundlichere Algorithmen schon richten werden, ein bisschen Open-Source-Software, etwas Netz-Dezentralisierung und ein paar ganz clevere technologische Subversiongesten. Sie nennen es “Gaming the System”. Warum nicht mal das Smartphone mit all den fiesen Tracking- und Fitness-Apps ein paar Tage lang auf eine Spielzeug-Drohne kleben oder an der Hauskatze festschnallen und so die Daten verzerren? Und warum nicht mal, wie die Künstlerin Jennifer Lynn Morone, sich selbst als Firma eintragen und so zum Gründer, CEO und Produkt seiner eigenen Daten machen, um sich aus der Ohnmacht gegenüber den Datensammlern zu befreien? Smarte Gesten waren das, und in ihrer kritischen Zuversichtlichkeit doch so erschreckend wie symptomatisch hilflos.

Und das ist noch eine wohlmeinende Kritik.


Around the World Conference 2014 on Privacy and Surveillance in the Digital Age


http://aroundtheworld.ualberta.ca/the-archives/

2014 Privacy and Surveillance in the Digital Age

The Around the World Conference is an experiment that brings together a research dialogue without the environmental cost of traditional conferences. Institutes and researchers are invited to participate either through presenting or by joining in the discussion. The conference is live-streamed world-wide and archived after the event.

aroundtheworld_background_001


Gendered surveillance


Main-Spying

When teacher Catharine Higginson, 45, discovered by accident that her husband James, 42, had installed an app on her phone which allows him to track her movements, read her texts and even listen to her conversations she didn’t plan to divorce him as her friends urged, for being creepy and intrusive.
Instead, the mum of three from Dorking, Surrey, says it makes her feel loved and safe

This is beyond creepy (via) . Make sure you get the undertones about the power structures at play here. It reads like an advert for personal tracking apps.

It also completely ignores the huge problem of women being utterly exposed to stalkers through spyware just like the one celebrated in that article. Women (it’s always women) seeking shelter from stalkers now routinely have to go through a digital quarantine, to make sure they’re really safe. See Surveillance Begins at Home and Digital Detox At The Shelter.

Another example why the NSA’s undermining of security standards is so harmful. Everyone’s mobile phones are unsafe by design. All of them have backdoors for law enforcement built in, but it’s impossible to restrict the use of those to only the ‘good guys’. As a result, creeps and criminals exploit them, too. This isn’t just about privacy, it’s about being safe from physical harm. People get killed because of this.


Drug-Buying Robot Artwork Seized By Swiss Authorities


http://animalnewyork.com/2015/drug-buying-robot-artwork-seized-swiss-authorities/

random_darknet_shopper_lead

 

We’re hoping to welcome the artists of this piece, !Mediengruppe Bitnik, as speakers at our upcoming Chaos Cologne conference in May.


Learn crypto while it’s still legal


The 1990s crypto-wars seem to get started again. Under the new proposed measures it will be illegal to use secure end-to-end crypto like GPG, or even iMessage and Whatsapp. It’s even more important to learn how to use it then. We’re going to have another Cryptoparty at the upcoming Chaos.Cologne conference here at the KHM in May. Or just talk to us and we’ll show you how. It’s not hard to get started.

The news:
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/digital/fnord-1.2314768

http://boingboing.net/2015/01/13/what-david-cameron-just-propos.html

What you can do:
Surveillance Self-Defense (in English) https://ssd.eff.org/
Digitale Selbstverteidigung (auf deutsch) https://digitalcourage.de/support/digitale-selbstverteidigung


A Cultural History of Surveillance – updated


A historical overview of landmark events and developments in art and architecture, society and technology.

~60 AD (Roman Period). Early manifestations of panoptic labor camps in the Negev desert. An even older but similar site nearby dates from  Early Bronze Age II–III periods (3000–2400 BC).

1608 The earliest known working telescopes appear, credited to Hans Lippershey and Zacharias Janssen, spectacle-makers in Middelburg, and Jacob Metius.

1609 Galileo uses a refracting telescope as an instrument to observe stars, planets or moons. The name telescope is coined for Galileo’s instrument by a mathematician, Giovanni Demisiani, in 1611. The name derives from the Greek tele = ‘far’ and skopein = ‘to look or see’.

1673 In his book ‘Phonurgia Nova’, Athanasius Kircher proposes a system of amplifying horns and camera obscura projections by which a monarch can surveil the noblemen at his court and thereby strengthen his rule. athanasius kircher phonurgia nova 1

1785 Plan for Hotel-Dieu, drawing by Bernard Poyet

Bernard Poyet


1791
General Idea of a Penitentiary Panopticon, drawing by Willey Reveley after Jeremy Bentham

1791 Reveley after Bentham

A model of the Panopticon, Museum für Kommunikation, Frankfurt, 2013panopticon-model,-museum-fuer-kommunikation,-frankfurt,-2013

1837 Charles Babbage designs a fully programmable mechanical computer called The Analytical Engine

1837 1st telegraph by Samuel F. B. Morse

1840 Projet de pénitencier, Drawing by Harou Romain

1840 Romain


1889
Herman Hollerith develops and patents a punched card data processing technology for 1890 US Census and establishes the Tabulating Machine Company,  one of the three companies that later merged to form the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation, subsequently renamed IBM.

1900 Reginald Fessenden successfully transmits his speech over a distance of about one mile. This appears to have been the 1st audio radio transmission.

1911 George E. Kelly recognizes military potential of aerial photography.

1927 Russian inventor Léon Theremin develops a mirror drum-based television system which uses interlacing to achieve an image resolution of 100 lines.

1927 Herbert E. Ives of Bell Labs transmits moving images from a 50-aperture disk producing 16 frames per minute over a cable from Washington, DC to New York City. Ives uses viewing screens as large as 24 by 30 inches.

1927 Fritz Lang directs Metropolis (screenplay written 1924)

1929 Dziga Vertov edits the movie Man with a Movie Camera

1929 Vertov


1932
Aldous Huxley publishes Brave New World

1930s onwards: Science Fiction authors imagine future surveillance technologies. Many of them a reality now.

1935-1944 On air period of the German TV Station Paul Nipkow. Its headquarters were in Berlin. It was named after the inventor of the Nipkow disk.

1936 Walter Benjamin publishes The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

1939 John Cage composes Imaginary Landscape No. 1

1941 Konrad Zuse developes Z3, the first working machine featuring binary arithmetic, including floating point arithmetic and a measure of programmability. In 1998 the Z3 was proved to be Turing complete, therefore being the world’s first operational computer.

1942 Siemens installs first CCTV for the monitoring the launch of V2 rockets

1945 Vannevar Bush publishes the article  As We May Think in The Atlantic Monthly Journal. He is proposing a system called Memex (for Memory Extender) as an electronic exstention of human memory and knowledge. A prototype both of PC and hypertext.

1946 Life Magazine photographer Yalo Joel uses a one-way mirror to trick people into posing for him

1946 Peter Goldmark (CBS) demonstrates his color television system. His system produces color pictures by having a red-blue-green wheel spin in front of a cathode ray tube.

1948 George Orwell: 1984

1949 This mechanical means of producing a color picture (by Peter Goldmark) is used to broadcast medical procedures from Pennsylvania and Atlantic City hospitals. In Atlantic City, viewers can come to the convention center to see broadcasts of operations. Reports from the time note that the realism of seeing surgery in color caused more than a few viewers to faint.

1951 The first video tape recorder (VTR) captures live images from television cameras by converting the information into electrical impulses and saving the information onto magnetic tape

1952 US President Truman formally establishes the NSA, which plays an instrumental part in the rise of the computer age. (Here’s a 1986 article by Friedrich Kittler about this, in German)

1956 Ampex sold the first VTR for $50,000

1957 Sputnik launch, 1st artificial satellite

1958 First use of stationary cameras to monitor traffic flow in Munich.

1958-1980 Development and activity of SAGE, Semi-Automatic Ground Environment. This image is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made during the course of the person’s official duties.

1950-80ies US SAGE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:SAGE_control_room.png


1961
first meteorological satellites launched by the USA

1963 Philips presents first audio cassette recorder

1963 Nam June Paik exhibits 13 TV monitors at Exposition of Music – Electronic Television, Galerie Parnass, Wuppertal.

1963-65 Ted Nelson (Projekt Xanadu) coins the term hypertext.

1964 Marshall McLuhan publishes Understanding Media.

1965 Andy Warhol gets to use one of the very first Norelco video tape recorders.

1967 Guy Debord publishes The Society of the Spectacle.  “All that was once directly lived has become mere representation.”

1969 Vito Acconci makes Following Piece in New York

1969 Following Piece


1969
John Lennon/Yoko Ono make Film No 6. Rape. The relentles, continuous and brutal harassment of a girl by a male camera crew.

Lennon/Ono Film No. 6 Rape


1969
 Bruce Nauman: First CCTV installation Video Corridor for San Francisco“ (Come Piece)

1969 Andy Warhol plans to broadcast a 6 hour stretch of continuous surveillance footage on the New York TV network; ‘Nothing Special’ was proposed to consist of footage of people walking by on the street at night, it never got made.

1969 US Defence and its Advanced Research Project Agency develop ARPANET.

1969 Sony introduces a prototype for the first widespread video cassette, the 3/4″ composite U-matic system. Sony later refine it to Broadcast Video U-matic or BVU.

1969-70 Bruce Nauman: Live-Taped Video Corridor

1969-70 Bruce Nauman: Video Surveillance Piece / Public Room, Private Room

1969-70 Bruce Nauman’s Video Surveillance Piece


1970
William S. Burroughs publishes The Electronic Revolution (In both The Electronic Revolution and The Job (1970), Burroughs maps strategies for the use of tape recorders as instruments of psychic terrorism); (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Electronic_Revolution)

1970 Dan Graham stages TV Camera / Monitor Performance at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax.

1971 Jochen Gerz presents IBM Colour Ribbon: Unlike the videotape, the typewriter ribbon directly and visibly shows the information transferred to it. As a waste product, it embodies mechanical text production as a process in time (http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/ibm-farbband/)

1971 Gerz

1972
Jürgen Klauke starts work on Antlitze (Faces) 

1973 Peter Weibel installs Observation of the Observation: Uncertainty

1973 Global Positioning System (GPS) developed

1974 The British Armyin Northern Ireland introduces first automatised vehicle number plates recognition system.

1974 Installation of 145 CCTV cameras to control traffic on major arterial roads in London. Their usage is soon expanded to include crime prevention and social control. The ongoing conflict with the IRA in Northern Ireland turns mainland UK into the most densely controlled state on earth. Today there are an estimated 4,5 million surveillance cameras in the UK, both publicly and privately run.

1974 Francis Ford Coppola: The Conversation

1974 Coppola


1974
Dan Graham: Time Delay Room

1975 Michel Foucault publishes Surveiller et punir

1976 Hannover  follows the London model and installs 25 remotely controlled, movable and zoomable traffic cameras. A few years later there is blanket CCTV coverage of ‘problematic’ city areas nationwide across Germany.

1976 Dara Birnbaum edits Technology / Transformation: Wonder Woman

1976 Wonder Woman


1976
VHS video format introduced by JVC

1977 Dan Graham stages Performer/Audience/Mirror

1978 1st GPS satellite launched

1978 Antonio Muntadas produces the video On Subjectivity (About TV)

1978 Antonio Muntadas


1979
Sony and Philips jointly develop  the Compact Disk (CD)

1979 first edition of ars electronica Festival, Linz, Austria

1980 Steve Mann begins work on wearables

600px-wearcompevolution.jpg


1981
Sophie Calle produces The Shadow : «In April 1981, at my request, my mother went to a detetctive agency. She hired them to follow me, to report my daily activities, and to proviede photographic evidence of my existence.» In The Shadow she sets the detective’s photographic account against her own observations: the observer becomes the observed. The viewer is the third witness. This search for her own identity fails to reveal a clear picture here, too. Sophie Calle’s face does not appear in any of the pictures: her figure emerges like a shadow throughout the detective’s photographs

1981 Sophie Calle’s The Shadow


1982
Ridley Scott directs Blade Runner

1982 David Rokeby starts to develop Very Nervous System, his first major interactive work using video cameras, image processors, computers, synthesizers and a sound system to create a space in which the movements of one’s body create sound and/or music.

1983 Michael Klier directs/edits the movie Der Riese, an unconventionally constructed essay video on video surveillance in public space

1983 Der Riese


1984
1st Macintosh 128k presented

1985 Julia Scher‘s 1st reference to surveillance Hardley Feel It Going In (painting with surveillance system)

1986 Julia Scher‘s 1st Bubble Memory device by Hitachi Softly Tapping The Wires (interactive installation)

1991 Julia Scher presents DDD (Danger Dirty Data)

early 1990s London installs its Ring of Steel in response to a spate of IRA attacks. The infrastructure is still in use today and has since been upgraded and expanded several times.

mid 1990s Privacy activists battle government officials for the right to use strong crypto in the Crypto Wars.

1998 Shizuka Yokomizo takes photos of people standing in their front rooms from the street for her ‘Dear Stranger’ project.

1998 The Surveillance Camera Players stage George Orwell’s 1984, in Art Toad’s adaptation of George Orwell’s famous anti-utopian play 1984. It takes place on the platform of a New York subway station in November 1998. http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/george-orwells-1984/

1998 Surveillance Camera Players


2001 CTRL [SPACE]
opens at ZKM Karlsruhe. The first comprehensive overview of surveillance-related art works. The artist pages of the out-of-print and now precious catalogue can be browsed online. It’s the essays that are still worth reading, 14 years later. We have a copy in the office if you want to borrow it. the library has it, too.

2002 US Information Awareness Office established; allegedly abandoned in 2003 because of  human rights and privacy concerns. 2013 Edward Snowden leaks reveal core projects were continued and up and running a few years later. One of the most ambitious / publicly known mass surveillance projects.

250px-iao-logo.png


2003
Harun FarockiErkennen und verfolgen (War at a Distance). Just one of many of his works concerned with observational politics.
farocki-war_distance2.jpg


2004
Jill Magid: Evidence Locker
Multimedia Installation including  Police CCTV footage, Sound piece, novella, website (www.evidencelocker.net)
Jill Magid


2004
Miroslav Tichý‘s work is shown for the first time, encompassing photos from the 1960’s to the present.

end 2000s New York installs its own Ring of Steel, one of the most integrated “full spectrum, military grade” surveillance networks.

2010 Exposed. Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera. A major exhibition at Tate Modern, London.

2010 Adam Harvey designs CV Dazzle: Open-Source Camouflage From Computer Vision. (“…a program of design of hairstyles and makeup to trick face detection software, to change the human face in ways that is still aesthetically pleasing to human eyes but rules out the attention of computers. This is interesting, because most of our ways of tricking computers are violently unfriendly ways.” James Bridle) See also.

2010 Timo Toots: Memopol-1 An interactive installation that independently gathers and visualizes personal data. works.timo.ee/memopol/

2011 The Chaos Computer Club discovers and dissects the Staatstrojaner. Mass surveillance of Internet users makes it into the public consciousness.

2011 Wikileaks targets companies that export surveillance and control software from the West to countries that rape, torture and murder, and is used e.g. by Syria to suppress dissent.

2011 Drones find their way from the military to general police use, not just in the US but in Europe e.g. in Niedersachsen during Castor protests, to the protesters themselves, documenting their protest. The KHM’s lab3 got their first drone in 2012.

2012 There are an estimated 1 billion smart phones in use worldwide. They are also a perfect surveillance bug that people are happy to wear. (For a possible solution see also)

2012 Julian Oliver: Transparency Grenade. An open source device that automatically hacks into locally available wireless networks, sniffs traffic to extract confidential data and uploads all results to a publicly available web server.

2012 James Bridle draws Drone Shadows.

2013 Google Glass released to developers, available to the public from 2014
A_Google_Glass_wearer photo Loic Le Meur

2013 The Internet of Things is looming on the horizon. In addition, our tools and gadgets are increasingly locked down, and we cannot verify what processes are running on them. In effect, we are on our way to perfect and inescapable monitoring. The movement for free and open source software and hardware is gaining ground.

2013-14 Edward Snowden leaks. It turns out mass surveillance is not a conspiracy theory, but reality. Ongoing revelations at the time of writing, including the drive for a ‘full take’ of the world’s network traffic (“Why can’t we collect all the signals all the time?”), systematic weakening of security protocols, state-sponsored hacking into friends’ and foe’s infrastructure, etc etc.  Worldwide repercussions, though no large scale outcry. Security researcher Bruce Schneier argues that the Internet has been commandeered by the NSA. In an unprecedented move, a range of privacy-oriented shops shut down and destroy their hardware, rather than cooperating with what they see as intolerable conditions.

prism_logo

2015 Google glass project discontinued, too many people opposed to ‘Glassholes’. Apple watch goes on sale, self-surveillance doesn’t cause the same moral dilemma.

 

*timeline compiled by arte-e-parte, 2008 and CS 2015


in the words of our video analysis provider,


7fda3d86-b4bf-4aed-a3fb-c958f446ba9e


All Cameras Are Police Cameras


All Cameras Are Police Cameras
Great essay by James Bridle, about the advances in locking down public space.

Surveillance images are all “before” images, in the sense of “before and after”. The “after” might be anything: an earthquake, a riot, a protest, a war. Any system reliant on flow, which is all networks from vehicle traffic to commercial supply to video feeds to the internet itself, view disruptions within the same negative moral context. Surveillance images attain the status of evidence for unknown crimes the moment they are created, and merely await the identification of the moment they were created for. Automated imagery criminalises its subject.

Read on for what happened just walking down the streets of London documenting security cameras.

http://shorttermmemoryloss.com/nor/

I wonder what happened to the imagery here? Strangely drained of colour and, presumably, all meta data.