Surveillant Architectures

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

Cryptoparty


Our 4th Cryptoparty went really well. A full house and everyone involved learnt a lot. For notes and some quick links for an intro to digital self defence see https://tinyurl.com/cryptokhm

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Yes Men – Anti-terrorism “personal security” Hoax


This week, in the European Parliament in Brussels, a “defense and security consultant” from a group called “Global Security Response” presented a new kind of solution to terrorism. Showing in a very clever way how the military approach to terrorism is failing.

I love the look of those spheres.

Here’s the entire presentation including slides. Some photos and the press release. More photos. The fake company website.

 


Guest speaker on Nov 11 : Tobias Flessenkemper


Wednesday, 11 November 2015, 10h30-12h00

“The European border regime in South Eastern Europe – between collapse and resurrection”

Tobias Flessenkemper, Senior Associate Researcher
Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE) – European Institute, Nice/Berlin/Istanbul

Tobias Flessenkemper is working on the issue of external and internal security policies of the European Union with a focus on South Eastern Europe and the European neighbourhood. He holds a M.A. of the University of Cologne in Political Science and a European Master in International Humanitarian Assistance of the Ruhr-University Bochum. Since 1996 he worked for international organisations in Brussels and South Eastern Europe and currently manages elbarlament.org an independent organisation working in the field of democratic governance.

www.cife.eu


Surveillance Self-Defense for LGBTQ kids


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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.


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.

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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


let’s Cryptoparty again


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Mittwoch, 30. April 2014
ab 18.00 Uhr bis ca. 21.00 Uhr Workshops und freies Rumhängen

Cryptopartys sind eine globale DIY-Initiative zur Emanzipation aus der technologischen Unmündigkeit.

Wir meinen, das Thema der digitalen Rundum-Überwachung sollte gerade auch an der Kunsthochschule für Medien kritisch beleuchtet werden. Deshalb freuen wir uns besonders, bereits die zweite Cryptoparty zu veranstalten.

Wieder geht es um die Rückeroberung der Datenhoheit. In entspannter Atmosphäre wird konkretes Wissen rund um Verschlüsselungstechniken und die digitale Selbstverteidigung vermittelt. Bitte Laptop, Notebook oder Vergleichbares mitbringen, um gleich vor Ort loslegen zu können.

Eine Initiative des Surveillant Architectures Seminars mit Jürgen Fricke.

GLASMOOG, Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln

p.s.
wer sich vorbereiten will oder morgen keine Zeit hat:
(auf deutsch): https://digitalcourage.de/support/digitale-selbstverteidigung
(English): Eff’s Surveillance Self-Defense site: https://ssd.eff.org/

Ich bringe diese hier mit

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how to destroy your computer according to the secret service


What is this, a symbolic action? A ritual? Will it catch on?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/jan/31/snowden-files-computer-destroyed-guardian-gchq-basement-video

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Privacy and Surveillance Conference, UC Berkeley


The conference is hosted by the Data and Democracy Initiative at University of California at Berkeley.  Do let me know if you would like your work included as part of the dialogue.

Event: Pan Optics: Perspectives on Digital Privacy & Surveillance
March 6, 2014 11am-4:30pm
Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall

Presented by CITRIS, CITRIS Data & Democracy Initiative, UC Davis Research Initiative in Digital Cultures

“Recent disclosures about the NSA’s international and domestic surveillance activities have stimulated overdue policy discussions among politicians and outrage among activists. The revelations have also suggested a need to address issues of privacy and surveillance on a broader level across a range of disciplines.

As a pervasive practice employed by governments, corporations, and individuals, routine data collection and ubiquitous camera technology are shifting boundaries and cultural expectations about what should and should not be shared. This symposium will bring together scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines to discuss privacy protections, surveillance methods, and modes of resistance in a digital age.”

http://democracy.citris-uc.org/