I’m not going to comment on this, because… the wheel’s still in spin and I still haven’t really thought about it.
I think this is the 2nd Gutenberg Shift’s Thesis-on-the-Cathedral-Door moment, and Julian Assange is in the neighbourhood of being Martin Luther.
Martin Luther was 2 things – 1) a person who could articulate the groundswell of popular feeling, and 2) someone who forced the issue…. and Julian is definitely the latter. Not sure if he’s the former. 3) an arsehole. I think Julian’s ok actually, but then I would.
He is articulate enough, and is (once he’s had time to think about things) almost always totally right… but… I don’t think that what’s he’s articulating is the Grand Perspective Change. I don’t think we have it yet (though Douglas Rushkoff is coming close, and Umair Haque is having a go, but the harder he tries, the more he sounds like Bill and Ted). It probably won’t be one person… but it will be one idea.
I think that 500 years ago, it would have been similarly difficult to articulate… the Grand Perspective Change. People entirely embedded within a certain model of Christianity would have had a hell of a time seeing beyond it – but the bombshell… “that God is personal”…. well, we haven’t had the equivalent insight yet. And maybe there isn’t one, but if there is, it’s probably do to with money. And information. Somewhere between those two things.
So anyway… various pathetic, soon to by boycotted cunts have attempted to attack wikileak’s website, namely
EveryDNS – entirely reasonable response here
who can all fuck-off and die. Companies too cowardly to stick up for freedom of speech in the societies that host them.
A couple of weeks ago, one of the pirate-bay dudes talked about a distributed P2P dns system… for which a website has been set up… though later he said that “he was one of the people interested in it, not the one behind it”. It came about the same time as the US Homeland Security took it upon themselves to block a number of websites that were (sortof) violating copyright
because there really isn’t that much else for them to do, because the trouble with the war on terror is that there really aren’t enough terrorists to warrant the head-space (or expense), so “The Authorities” have to make them up. Still P2P DNS. I’ve long said that the web needs to be decentralised away from corporate control… P2P DNS. DNS is the thing that connects the domain name to the IP address btw.
The conversation on Slashdot is reasonably illuminating… but the basic gist is “P2P-DNS is a community project that will free internet users from imperial control of DNS by ICANN. In order to prevent unjust prosecution or denial of service, P2P-DNS will operate as a distributed and less centralized service hosted by the users of DNS. Temporary substitutes, (as Alpha and Beta developments), are being made ready for deployment. A network with no centralized points of failure, (per the original design of the internet), remains our goal. P2P-DNS is developing rapidly.”
Which seems like a nice idea… ICAAN did promise (I seem to recall) to be independent from the increasingly authoritarian govt hovering nearby… so that was clearly a lie.
And then then Wikileaks turns up again.. and they’ve just lost their domain name (Wikileaks.org is gone, http://220.127.116.11/ is not. Neither is the 500,000 strong group on Facebook. ) – so when I said Jualian Assange was someone who forces the issue – there it is. The issue is forced. This is war.
And it boils down to this… (rewind, rewind, rewind…)
Operation Payback… an Anonymous (aka 4chan) driven DDOS attack on copyright cartel sites was recently asked to cease and desist by none other than The Pirate Party… who (possibly correctly) pointed out that this sort of aggression “hinders attempts at copyright reform by legal means“, as a landlord might have once said to Gandhi. Anonymous responded with (among other things)
“This operation is not about legality, but about legitimacy. Although we started with payback against one company, we will continue payback for lawsuits and restrictions of our freedom to create and recreate. We continue to develop and adopt new methods to raise public awareness. As part of Operation: Payback, we share values and goals. We value freedom of information, expression and sharing. But we hate censorship, limitations and corporations that make their money off our backs. We will go on with our activities, despite the Pirate Party’s wishes. We will not stop until the subject is discussed by equal forces. We have explicitly announced, and will continue to announce, that our movement was not only targeted at The Pirate Bay’s enemies, but all enemies of free speech, particularly Internet neutrality, and we shall stay true to this cause.
We recognize and respect the work of all the Pirate Parties and wish them luck. We hope that they all continue their fight as they think is right. And so will we fight, as we think is right. Come to irc://irc.anonops.net/operationpayback and join our discussion. Help us fight against the corporate and political machinery, or prove our methods wrong by finding alternate successful ways.”
And it boils down to: “This is not about legality, but about legitimacy”.
All authority is inherently illegitimate, and must justify itself to the governed. This means that no authority can interfere with the mechanism by which its legitimacy can be measured. This means no authority can legitimately touch the internet. Period.
And therein lies the rub I think… people’s relationship to authority is changing… right at the time that authority everywhere seems to be over-reaching. We’re talking among ourselves, we people… on a vast global scale… and we’re deciding among ourselves that we don’t like a lot of what “The Authorities” are doing – especially as we’re paying for it – something that said Authorities seem to be particularly inept at handling. It’s like their DNA is too fucked to actually engage with people. They “can’t” engage. They can only issue statements – which are usually lies, the credibility of which bursts (soap-bubble like) about 4 seconds after it’s stated.
Our governments are on probation – until the transparency that they talk about, then fight tooth-and-nail to avoid is actually achieved. Until then, they are on probation, and they do not have permission to interfere with the web.
Legality can only flow from legitimacy, if it doesn’t, then we are morally obliged break the law.
Or at the very least, tweet about it a lot.
So tweet – cos the stakes are rising.