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..........................:[www.thehacktivist.com]:.........................

    

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....................(_(_(_(The Hacktivist Magazine)_)_)_)...................

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                                                       (V. 1.0 January 2001)

                   

      Contents:

      ~~~~~~~~~
      [01] Introduction........................................metac0m
      [02] Media Watch.........................................metac0m
      [03] Interview with Oxblood Ruffin!cDc...................metac0m
      [04] Interview with Ricardo Dominguez ...............Coco Fusoco
      [05] Abstracts, comparisons & importance's.........Chris Brennan
      [06] Interview with m0r0n/nightman/m0sad.................metac0m
      [07] What is Hacktivism?...........................Erika Pearson
      [08] The DeCSS case and how to change a Big Business.......Dr. Z
      [09] The Debate on the Tactic of ECD................Gidget Digit
      [10] zapatista tribal port scan code.........................EDT
 

.::[01]-[Introduction]

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::[metac0m]

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

This is the first edition of The Hacktivist, a monthly e-zine covering and 

examining issues and events concerning hacktivism and electronic civil 

disobedience. The Hacktivist Magazine is a production of thehacktivist.com, 

a web site dedicated to examining the theory and practice of hacktivism and 

electronic civil disobedience while contributing to the evolution of hacktivism 

by promoting constructive debate, effective direct action, and creative 

solutions to complex problems in order to facilitate positive change. 



The Hacktivist Magazine is a determined effort to sustain both a continuing 

discussion of hacktivism and ECD as well as a dialogue between hackers and 

activists. 



The Hacktivist is a magazine and a forum and is therefore dependent upon 

reader input. Readers are encouraged to submit articles of their own for 

publication. Reviews and feedback on our articles and mass media articles 

is also encouraged.



Special thanks to all those who have contributed to and inspired the creation 

of  The Hacktivist. In particular thehacktivist.com would like to thank: 

Oxblood Ruffin and the CULT OF THE DEAD COW, Ricardo Dominguez/Stefan Wray 

and the EDT, Paul Mobbs and the electrohippies, The Critical Art Ensemble, 

Gidget Digit, attrition.org, hacktivism.tao.ca and all the contributors to 

The Hacktivist Vol 1. 

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.::[02]-[Media Watch]

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::[metac0m]

:::[http://thehacktivist.com/mediawatch.html]::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

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Net tightens around the hacktivists

Big corporations and governments want to curb the protests of the cyber hippies

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Computer activists - "hacktivists", as they have become known - are squaring up 

to governments and corporations who want to restrict their activities. They are 

not opposed to business, but their immediate political aims, which range from 

improvements in working conditions to political independence, are fuelled by 

anger at the commercial dominance of cyberspace. Their tactics range from sending 

straightforward emails of complaint to crashing websites or diverting visitors to 

different sites. Some have overwhelmed servers with email "bombs" of thousands of 

protest messages or launched computer viruses and worms."

http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/internetnews/story/0,7369,416954,00.html





Both Sides Hacked Over Kashmir

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"More than 40 Indian sites have been infiltrated this year by hackers like G Force 

Pakistan and Doctor Nuker, who have left poignant pro-Pakistan slogans and reasons 

why Kashmir belongs to that country."

http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,40789,00.html





2000 year-in-review: The Year in Computer Crime*

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Hacktivism and Web Vandalism

Breaking into Web sites and networks to expose vulnerabilities is no longer enough 

for some crackers and script-kiddies. Some are now using their skills to promote 

political causes or wage protest campaigns in cyberspace by posting messages on 

targeted Web sites."

http://www.infosecuritymag.com/dec00/yearincrime.htm





2000: A look back

eWEEK analyzes the year's 10 brightest and most challenging moments in IT

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"As the year wore on, more and more corporate hacks were being publicized, and 

experts were hinting at the great number that didn't get reported. Then, near 

the end of the year, hacktivists targeted OPEC and Israeli government sites and, 

of course, Microsoft, a corporate attack that demonstrated a new level of 

sophistication. Most ominous of all, not many people are predicting 2001 will be 

any better."

http://www.zdnet.com/eweek/stories/general/0,11011,2665428,00.html





Cyberattacks Raise U.S. Security Alarm

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"All in the Interpretation

The Pentagon's findings have raised awareness to the perils of cyberattacks, 

especially when combined with increased reports of "cracktivism" throughout both 

the private and public sectors."

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nf/20001218/tc/cyberattacks_raise_u_s_security_alarm_1.html





Turkish PM's Web Site Hacked in Protest at Economy

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Hackers claiming to be the children of underpaid civil servants penetrated the 

Turkish Prime Minister's Web site Sunday, leaving a message protesting against 

the government's economic policies."

http://news.excite.com/news/r/001203/08/net-turkey-hackers-dc





Secret plan to spy on all British phone calls

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Britain's intelligence services are seeking powers to seize all records of 

telephone calls, emails and internet connections made by every person living in 

this country.

http://www.observer.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,406191,00.html



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.::[03]-[Interview with Oxblood Ruffin! of the CULT OF THE DEAD COW]

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::[Interviewed by metac0m]

:::[http://www.cultdeadcow.com]::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

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   1)Described as the spot where hacking and activism meet, hacktivism has

   not yet developed into a unity between the two. The tactics and

   motivations of hackers and activists seem to be at odds when it comes to

   hacktivism. You've suggested that "One does not become a hacktivist

   merely by inserting an "h" in front of the word activist" is that just

   healthy democratic debate or an inherent barrier between the two points

   of view?



>>Oxblood Ruffin: 

We are dealing with homonyms. There are two separate words, and two separate 

fields of action, in my view.



[h]acktivists are traditional - and here i don't use the term traditional in

any negative sense - social justice types who use the internet and digital

technology as an extension of their protest palette. A good example might be

the WTO protests in Seattle in which the Internet played a seminal role as

an organizational and broadcast tool. Mailing lists were set up,

meetings/protests organized, information distributed across Web sites, etc.

Technology was used to orchestrate a real-world protest, something that

happened on the ground, and involves real people. That's fine, and there are

quite a few causes along these lines that excite my own sympathies. But this

is not "hacktivism".



Hacktivism takes place on-line, and remains on-line. It doesn't really have

anything to do with organizing a lot of bodies to execute a certain action

on the ground, à la the Electrohippies. It could involve one programmer

writing code that might have significant impact on the entire Internet. So,

hacktivism is about the Internet, and keeping it functioning and fresh. Our

primary concern, if this doesn't sound too presumptuous, is in maintaining

the good health of the Internet. Others might want to take some social

action that might get people from below the poverty line [for instance] onto

the Internet. So here you'd get involved in real-world economics to raise

living standards, or whatever it would take to make this happen. We on the

other hand would like to dedicate our work to making sure that when these

people actually do get onto the Net, that they find a healthy, vibrant,

open, and above all free [as in expression] Internet when they get there.



   2)Why has the cDc taken the lead on the hacktivist campaign despite the

   connotation hacktivism has accrued, that of web page defacement and

   denial service, while other notables in the hacker/computer security

   field seem to be standing back taking a wait and see approach?



>>Oxblood Ruffin:

The CULT OF THE DEAD COW has always taken a leadership postion, in

everything. Standing on the sidelines, playing it safe, this just isn't our

style or interest. And quite frankly, we intend to change the public

perception of what hacktivism really is. Web defacements are so jejune, so

completely sophmoric and unworthy. It takes little to no skill to execute

these defacements, and even if there were some purpose behind them, they

would still be an abridgement of free speech.



One of my favorite taglines that G. Ratte [cDc founder] came up with is

"Show and Prove". This really is what the cDc is all about. Let all the

nitwits make a grab for their fifteen minutes, and let all of the so-called

security experts play it safe and make superior noises from the sidelines.

We're in this to make a difference, and we won't stop till we do.

 

   3)In a report by Reporters Without Borders called "The Enemies of the

   Internet" 45 countries were identified as restricting access to the

   Internet, using content filtering "to protecting the public from

   'subversive ideas'". However, after detailing the abuses RWB simply

   "calls" on the violating governments to stop such behavior. Given your

   experience with the Hong Kong Blondes and the case of China (which was

   on the list) how can hacktivists effectively assist in this campaign?



>>Oxblood Ruffin:

RWB are quite effective in taking the lead and raising public awareness of

various issues. In this instance, they, and others, have gotten in front of

Net censorship. But there's only so much they can do. Who will take up the

challenge? The political classes? Don't hold your breath. They're much to

busy taking polls to find out what's safe to order for lunch tomorrow. We've

decided that there's something that we can do. The cDc has formed an

umbrella group of international hackers called "Hacktivismo" who will work

towards making Net censorship less of a done deal than it used to be.



We are engaged in our first project that will allow clients accessing the

Internet from behind [so-called] national firewalls to end-run blocking

software that sets limits on exactly what sites citizens can access. We're

looking to completing by late spring. For the time being, I'm not free to

get into technical details on this project.

 

   4)It has been argued that beyond issues of free speech and access to

   information there does not seem to a willingness or unity of purpose

   amongst hackers in regards to activism. Do you think this is accurate?



>>Oxblood Ruffin:

Yes. I've always said that hacktivism is a noun in search of a verb. It's a

word that is a marketer's or editor's wet dream, but it doesn't have much

associated with it other than public confusion, to the extent that the

public is even aware of the word. But things are changing, a little.



Increasingly I'm finding a lot of interest among younger hackers to actually

do things, as opposed to just offering moral support. Once there is a public

demonstration that hacktivism is not about Web defacement, or other such

efforts, I think we'll see

 

   5)There was a time when what nation-states did within their own backyard

   was seen as their sovereign right even when that behaviour extended to

   human rights violations, even genocide. You've worked for the UN and

   often highlight the Universal Declaration of Human rights. What role do

   you think that hacktivists can play on an international level in support

   of human rights?



>>Oxblood Ruffin:

The raison d'être of hacktivism is Article 19 of the Universal Declaration

on Human Rights. We take this very seriously, and to the extent that we can

do something about making this a reality, we'll try. As i mentioned [in

question three] we're working on a network application that will support

human rights on an international scale. It will be interesting to see how

governments react to this:-)

 

   6)You've suggested that "hackers have a lot of stamina for harsh bug

   fixes" and that hacktivism fuses this hacker ethic with a solution. How

   do you see hacktivism as it now stands and what might the future of

   hacktivism hold?



>>Oxblood Ruffin:

When I wrote that my thinking had not evolved to the point it's at now.



The Internet must remain essentially emancipated. This is most true at the

code level. Open-source code and "open standards" are far more favorable to

the good health of the Internet than proprietary and closed standards. I

once describe hacktivism as "an open-source implosion". The methodology is

as important as the motivation.

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.::[04]-[Interview with Ricardo Dominguez (EDT & CAE)]

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::[Interviewed by Coco Fusoco]

:::[http://www.thing.net/~rdom]::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

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Performance Art in a Digital Age: A Conversation with Ricardo Dominguez

Thursday 25 November 1999, Institute of International Visual Arts

By Coco Fusoco



CF: How did Electronic Disturbance Theatre come about?



RD: I will respond with a story from sub-comandante Marcos.  Hola.

Bienvenidos, hermanos y hermanas. Welcome sisters and brothers, I'm going to

tell you a little story, una pequeña historia: Pedrito (a Tojolabal, two and

a half years old, born during the first Intergalactic)  is playing with a

little car with no wheels or body.  In fact, it appears to me that what

Pedrito is playing with is a piece of that wood they call "cork", but he has

told me very decisively that it is a little car and that it is going to

Margaritas to pick up passengers. It is a gray and cold January morning and

we are passing through this village which is today electing the delegates

(one man and one woman) who will be sent to the March meeting. The village

is in assembly when a Commander-type plane, blue and yellow, from the Army

Rainbow Task Force and a pinto helicopter from the Mexican Air Force, begin

a series of low over flights above the community.  The assembly does not stop;

instead those who are speaking merely raise their voices. Pedrito is fed up

with having the artillery aircraft above him, and he goes, fiercely, in

search of a stick inside his hut. Pedrito comes out of his house with a piece

of wood, and he angrily declares that "I'm going to hit the airplane because

it's bothering me a lot."  I smile to myself at the child's ingenuousness.

The plane makes a pass over Pedrito's hut, and he raises the stick and waves

it furiously at the war plane.  The plane then changes its course and leaves

in the direction of its base. Pedrito says "There now" and starts playing

once more with his piece of cork, pardon, with his little car. The Sea and I

look at each other in silence.  We slowly move towards the stick which

Pedrito left behind, and we pick it up carefully.  We analyze it in great detail.



"It's a stick," I say.



"It is," the Sea says.



Without saying anything else, we take it with us.  We run into Tacho as we're

leaving.  "And that?" he asks, pointing to Pedrito's stick which we had taken.  

"Mayan technology," the Sea responds. Trying to remember what Pedrito did I swing 

at the air with the stick.



Suddenly the helicopter turned into a useless tin vulture, and the sky became

golden and the clouds floated by like marzipan. Muchas gracias, I hope you 

enjoyed the story.



This Mayan technology, this stick is a metaphor for what Electronic Disturbance 

Theatre has created as its performative matrix. The stick represents a third, or 

a fourth, or fifth alternative to the  apocalyptic or utopian sense of the Internet.

Those of us working in the virtual domain are constantly told to obey the utopian

dream of the wired world where there will be no class, sex and no issues of

identity. Alternatively we are fed the apocalyptic visions of viruses and

Y2K.  But, the Zapatistas, using this Mayan technology, advocate another

type of gesture which I would say is related to magical realism.



This realism involves having the knowledge of the dangers that doing such

simple acts such as getting water or going to the next town in Chiapas (a

space under the constant threat by the Mexican's low-intensity tactics), and

also, knowing that a story or a poetic gestures might be able to get you

around danger - more so than carrying a M-16 with you - the Zapatistas use

the politics of a magical realism that allows them to create these spaces of

invention, intervention, and to allow the world wide networks to witness the

struggle they face on daily. It was the acceptance of digital space by the

Zapatistas in 12 days that created the very heart of this magical realism as

information war. It was this extraordinary understanding of electronic

culture which allowed the Zapatistas on 1 January, 1994, one minute after

midnight just as (NAFTA) a Free Trade Agreement between Canada, U.S.A, and

Mexico went into effect - to jump into the electronic fabric, so to speak,

faster than the speed of light. Within minutes people around the world had

received emails from the first declaration from the Lacandona Jungle. The next 

day the autonomous Zapatista zones appeared all over the Internet. It was

considered by the New York Times as the first post-modern revolution. The

American intelligence community called it the first act of social net war.

Remember, that this social net war was based on the simple use of e-mail and

nothing more. Like Pedrito's "stick" gestures can be very simple and yet

create deep changes in the structures of the command and control societies

that neo-liberalism agenda, like NAFTA, represent.



But, back to your question. How did EDT come about? Digital Zapatismo is

and has been one of the most politically effective uses of the Internet that

we know of since January 1, 1994. EDT has created a counter-distribution

network of information with about 300 or more autonomous nodes of support.

This has enabled the EZLN (Zapatista National Liberation Army) to speak to

the world without having to pass through any dominant media filters. The

Zapatistas use of communication on the Internet, e-mail and webpages, created

a electronic force field around these communities in resistance. Which

literally stopped a massive force of men and the latest Drug War technologies

from annihilating the EZLN in a few days. The Zapatistas themselves really

did not expect to live very long after January 1.



When the communiqués signed by  Subcommandante Marcos were distributed

globally through the Net. They began to flow between pre-existing anti-NAFTA

and other newly formed activist listservs, newsgroups, and personal Cc:

lists, news, reports, analyses, announcements about demonstrations, and calls

for intercontinental gatherings spread throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia,

Africa, and Australia. By the  summer of 94 we began to hear the Zapatistas

use the terms "intercontinental networks of struggle" and "intercontinental

networks of resistance."



This movement of information through these various Zapatistas networks of

resistance can be said to have occurred via a strange chaos moving

horizontally, non-linearly, and over many sub-networks. Rather than operating

through a central command structure in which information filters down from

the top in a vertical and linear manner - the model of radio and television

broadcasting - information about the Zapatistas on the Internet has moved

laterally from node to node.



The primary use of the Internet by the global pro-Zapatista movement has been

as a communication tool. However particularly since the Acteal Massacre in

Chiapas at the end of 1997 in which 45 indigenous people were killed, the

Internet has increasingly been used not only as site or a channel for

communication, but also as a site for direct action and electronic civil

disobedience.



Beta actions of electronic civil disobedience occurred early in 1998.

Information about the Acteal Massacre, and announcements of Mexican consulate

and embassy protests, was transmitted rapidly over the Net. The largest

response was a street protest, drawing crowds of between 5,000 and 10,000 in

places such as Spain and Italy. But there were also calls for actions in

on-line communities. On the low end of digital activism people sent large

amounts of email protest to selected email targets of the Mexican government.



The Anonymous Digital Coalition, a group based in Italy, issued a plan for

virtual sit-ins on five web sites of Mexico City financial corporations.

They issued information about the time zones so people could act together when it

was 10:00 a.m. in Mexico City. They instructed people to use their Internet

browsers to repeatedly reload the web sites of these financial institutions.

The idea was that repeated reloading of the web sites would block those web

sites from so called legitimate use. This idea was the jump off point for the

Zapatista FloodNet which automated the reload function to happen every 3

seconds. Which was created by  the Electronic Disturbance Theater. The group

is composed of  myself and net artists, Carmin Karasic, Brett Stalbaum, and

Stefan Wray, an activist and media scholar.



CF: EDT's actions are passed through an artist-driven server called The

Thing.  You have characterized this server as a form of social sculpture.



RD: As a net performer I was interested in a matrix that would  articulate

social issues as well as performative issues with and within the parameters

of code. I was interested in the possibility of agit -prop theatre on-line.

But  I needed to have an infrastructure to stage and create virtual

performances. In the early 1990s artists did not have access to network

technology as readily as we do at the end of the nineties. I was in

Tallahassee, Florida, during the 80's where I was a member of Critical Art 

Ensemble (The group that developed the idea of Electronic Civil Disobedience), 

and I heard that in New York there were  artists who were trying to create 

online communities. So I came to New York and the main community I found was 

bbs.thing.net which was started in 1991 by Wolfgang Staehle.  



He saw the emergence of pre-web electronic communities called bulletin board 

systems (BBS) as a continuation of social sculpture. The BBS (http://bbs.thing.net) 

offered arts communities ways to establish themselves, to send information to one 

another and also to conceive of new artistic practices deriving from conceptualism 

and from performance.



When I arrived at The Thing in New York, Wolfgang Staehle said,  "Welcome to

The Thing. There are a bunch of machines here, go sit down, Ricardo, and

start learning and I'm not going to help you."  I spent two years gathering

information through these communities. This server became main platform for

the Electronic Disturbance Theatre's use of the Zapatista Floodnet

system, which creates a disturbance online that, for lack of a better term,

could be characterized as a virtual sit-in software.



CF: Can you explain a little bit about how you conceive of EDT work as

performance?



RD: Augusto Boal, who theorized and performed what he calls "invisible

theatre" once argued that middle class theatre was able to produce complete

images of the world because it existed within a totalized social mirror of

production.  Other sectors of society that wanted to create a different kind

of reflection could only produce incomplete performances that pointed towards

something beyond what already exists. There is a history of the theatre  of

this type of critical social performance; the theatre of Erwin Piscator who

just read newspapers on the street or recreated the stories on the streets

for people passing by;  Bertolt Brecht's  Epic Theatre, the Living Theatre,

and Teatro Campesino working with Cesar Chavez, etc.  Each of these groups

created gestures that worked to literally implode every-day street realities,

new theatrical modes of presentation and direct political manifestation.

These type of agit-prop groups pointed to the possibility  of new forms of

the performative matrix that could be translated onto the digital stage. That

the techniques to create social drama or civil drama could  be once again

developed in this new space. More recent groups such as Gran Fury created

what the government called riots. Nonetheless, they used very stylized type

of gestures and by developing a particular look, color of clothing, T-shirts,

gestures, like Die Ins, they created a new type of direct action theatre on

the street.



This is a history of performance that EDT continues. What I am interested in

are practices that break with traditional performance art or traditional

theatre, and that more importantly, reflect a critique and discontent by a

community. Now, activist, direct action performers, or more traditional forms

of agit-prop theatre, can chose to use the spectacle of collective action

that is visible such a street action, or they can chose to be invisible

performances of digital gestures, such as the uploading the names of the

victims of the Acteal massacre into Mexican government or Pentagon servers.



CF: I wouldn't call your Acteal action invisible, I would just call it

abstract. This is perhaps the biggest conceptual leap a viewer of your

work must make, if that viewer is conditioned by the conventional of theatre

from the flesh world. The performance language EDT uses doesn't look like

live theatre because it's not mimetic. We expect to see a play unfold before

our  eyes. Even most experiments with Internet theatre involving avatars

attempt at some level to reproduce the visual codes of theatre, cinema and

television while the role of the director and the actors gets splintered and

distributed among the participants. But, as you walk me through a FloodNet

Action -  all I'm seeing as a record of mass activities is are lines at the

bottom of  the screen. The moving lines to me resemble the cyphers of audio 

editing programs that visualize the length and depth of sound. What the lines 

in fact are is a record of virtual presence with actual repercussions.



I'd like to consider your work with EDT in relationship to a specifically

Latin America genealogy. There are several examples of performance art from

the 1970s and '80s that was designed to take place in the street to

reappropriate public space during political periods of extreme repression.

I am thinking here of the emergence of the Chilean avanzada during the

Pinochet dictatorship, and the street actions of carried out by several collectives;

the Grupos in Mexico during the same period that involved performances in

public places and that formed a delayed response to the massacre of

Tlatelolco, and work by The Border Art Workshop/El Taller de Arte Fronterizo.

In a sense, the objective of that work was to point to the absence of civic

life, to force awareness of that absence into the open to engender a dialogue

about how public life had been eviscerated by political power. Can you talk

about how you transposed that dynamic into the domain of the virtual with EDT?



RD: Well we do it through a simple gesture. The public space of

electronic culture as it exists now is through browsers, such as Netscape or

Internet Explorer. An intrinsic component of each of those public spaces or

browsers is the 'reload' button. This reload button allows individuals online

to make sure that the information they're getting on their web page is the

latest information. EDT sees the browser as the public base of the virtual

community. It is the space where communities gather, either to chat, to

exchange information or to put up representations of their cares or concerns

or, in the case of  e-commerce, what they're trying to sell you. What EDT has

done is to create an Applet. Brett Stalbaum, one of the members, took this

public function and just added another element. Instead of the user hitting

the reload button, the system  automatically turns and refreshes itself the

more people come to the site. The more people enter the  Zapatista Floodnet

the faster that refresh or reload button calls on the information the resides

on the government servers on which the Sit-In  is taking place over and

over. Each person who joins adds to the speed and number of request for 

information from the targeted server.



Through this means EDT creates a mass representation of the community.

This representation constitutes a disturbance on the site. The more hits

there are to President Zedillo's web site, the more our presence is felt,

and the less functional the government site becomes, until it is eventually

overwhelmed by the public. This disturbance points to the nature of what

public space means and who is allowed to be present in the public space of

the Internet. Our simple gestwhat's going to happen when you enter. We

request that you disable your Java script program. We have asked people to 

disable their Javascript programs because we have had long term Javascript 

wars with the Mexican government, in which they have tried to counter our 

Javascript by attacking it. Javascript is a type of object-oriented programming 

language, developed from the Java programming language, that is used in web 

browsers to control the processing of forms and other special functions. 

Javascript was devised by Netscape, and first appeared in its basic form 

(Javascript 1.0) in their Netscape Navigator 2 browser. Because of its versatility, 

it was soon adopted by Microsoft in their Internet Explorer 3 browser. The 

evolution of Javascript has had to keep pace with the increasing demands for 

greater versatility in page design.



In 1997, the various models of the language were standardized, which led to

the release of Javascript 1.2. There have always been compatibility problems

between Netscape and Microsoft versions of Javascript, and this can be a

problem if one tries to generate broad-based actions over the Internet.

The issue however is not so much the detail of the language itself - what

counts is how the incorporation of a programming language into web browsers

affects the ability of the web to be used as a campaign tool.



CF: How then does this relate to a Floodnet Swarm action?



RD: FloodNet performs automatic reloads of the site in the background,

slowing or halting access to the targeted server.  FloodNet also encourages

interaction on the part of individual protesters. Net surfers may voice their

political concerns on a targeted server via the "personal message" form which

sends the surfer's own statement to the server error log.  Additionally, a

mouse click on the applet image (containing a representation of the targeted

site), sends a predefined message to the server error log.



The Zapatista FloodNet system advises you that your IP will be

harvested by the government during any FloodNet action. When you click and

enter FloodNet, your name and political position will be

made known to the authorities. This is similar to having your picture

taken during a protest action on the street. There could be possible damage

to your machine that may occur because of your participation in FloodNet

action, just as in a street action the police may come to hurt you. But

during the past FloodNet actions only two individuals have reported their

machines crashing out of 80,000-plus that have participated, and the only

time this happened was when the Department of Defense, the Pentagon attacked

us on September 9th, 1998. The FloodNet also clogs bandwidth, it may make it

difficult for individuals using small pipelines around the world to get

information. FloodNet does not impact the targeted web sites specifically,

as much as it disrupts the traffic going to the targeted web site. Something

similar happens on the street, when individuals find themselves unable to get

to work or buy a newspaper because of an action out on the bridge. Once you enter 

FloodNet you see that targeted URL on the bottom three frames.



You begin to see President Zedillo's web site reloading, every

3 to 7 seconds on three different frames. The more people come, the faster

it reloads. This creates a disturbance, a symbolic gesture that is

non-violent. It doesn't break a server necessarily since many such as the

Pentagon are quite robust and expect millions of hits. But FloodNet does

create a sense of solidarity, what I would call 'community of drama' or a

community joined by the magic stick. It also creates a mirror, that brings

real criminal acts into view. This magical stick calls forth the most

aggressive tendencies of the information war community. Take for example the

Department of Defense. They attacked us during the September 9th, 1998 VR

Sit-In that we did during the Ars Electronica Festival, in Linz, Austria - the DOD used  a

counter-hostile Java applet against FloodNet, which is the first offensive

use of information war by a government against a civilian server that we know

of. We believe we should be protected from such actions, that the government

cannot attack civilians using any kind of software or hardware. What has

become apparent is the kind of violence that these information war systems

are now implementing against civilians to control whatever public space there is.



CF: How does Swarm work? I'm particularly interested in how the Internet

gestures end up on screen as a kind of abstract performance language.



RD: We're just dealing with a browser. In fact, the gesture of reloading

itself, as performance, doesn't really matter much. The real drama and the

real space of performance comes before and after the action, and follows the

structure of a three act play.  In the first act you announce what is going

to happen. The middle act is the actual action itself. The last act is a

gathering of dialogue about what happened - this is where the most

instructive drama occurs. A social drama among different communities - net

activist, net artist, and net hackers. The dot coms and  government sites

and also play their parts in this social drama.



The FloodNet gesture allows the social flow of command and control to be

seen directly - the communities themselves can see the flow of power in a

highly transparent manner. During the last act of every action we did, we

would see the endless flow of words come. I would receive e-mail not only

from EDT members, but from people around the world saying I am participating

- what exactly is happening or happened, what is going on in Chiapas. The

e-mail came from around the world. A woman from South Korea, an Aborigine

from Australia - and we began to create a network for a social drama because

they're interested on what is the response would be, what is going on, how

can we help etc. A virtual plaza, a digital situation, is thus generated in

which we all gather and have an encounter, or an Encuentro, as the Zapatistas

would say - about the nature of neo-liberalism in the real world and in

cyberspace.



CF: Can you explain the meaning of the visual signs that appear on

screen during a Floodnet action?



RD: While Floodnet action goes on, EDT not only recalls President Zedillo's

web page, but we also call internal searches. For example, we will ask for

the names of the dead,  or about the question of human rights in Mexico. We

ask the server the question, "Does human rights exist on President Zedillo's

web site?" And then a 404 file emerges backstage, if you will.



CF: What is a 404?



RD: 404 files are the reports of this mistake or gap or the missing

information in these servers. We ask President Zedillo's server or the

Pentagon's web server 'Where is human rights in your server?" The server

then responds "Human rights not found on this server."  We ask "Where is Ana

Hernandez on this server and the server then responds " Ana Hernandez is not

found on this server." This use of the "not found" system, also know as 404

files - is a well known gesture among the net art communities. EDT just

re-focused the 404 function towards a political gesture.



CF: Is Ana Hernandez someone who was killed by the Mexican army?



RD: Yes, she was killed in the Acteal Massacre on December 22, 1997.  We

started doing these actions in response to that massacre. One of the artists

working with EDT,  Carmen Karasic, wanted to create an electronic monument of

remembrance to those who died. This kind of performance gesture borrows very

much from Conceptual Art. The actual performance may take place in an

invisible area, but at the same time it aggravates and disturbs the

infrastructure of President Zedillo's web site.



CF:  What you are doing makes me think of Rachel Whiteread's casting

negative spaces. In a sense you are operating within a virtual domain, and

are pointing to the absence of information, which amounts to an absence of

concern for ethical issues and lives.



RD: Yes, we bear witness to this with a gesture that retraces a Latin

American performance tradition. We are bearing witness to the gap or to the

invisibility that has been caused by the engines of destruction.



CF: When you theorize EDT's practice you often mention connections with

Ancient Greek concepts of the Agora and Demos. How do you envision

virtual performance as a kind of metaphorical speech in light of this

genealogy?



RD:  The idea of a virtual republic in Western Civilization can be traced

back to Plato, and is connected to the functions of public space. The

Republic incorporated the central concept of the Agora. The Agora was the

area for those who were entitled to engage in rational discourse of Logos,

and to articulate social policy as the Law, and thus contribute to the

evolution of Athenian democracy. Of course those who did speak were, for the

most part, male, slave-owning and ship owning merchants, those that represented 

the base of Athenian power. We can call them Dromos: those that belong the societies 

of speed. Speed and the Virtual Republic are the primary nodes of Athenian

democracy - not much different than today. The Agora was constantly being

disturbed by Demos, what we would call those who demonstrate or who move into

the Agora and make gestures. Later on, with the rise of Catholism - Demos

would be transposed into Demons, those representatives of the lower depths.

Demos did not necessarily use the rational speech of the Agora, they did not

have access to it; instead, they used symbolic speech or a somatic poesis -

Nomos.  In the Agora, rational speech is known as Logos. The Demos gesture

is Nomos, the metaphorical language that points to invisibility, that points to 

the gaps in the Agora.  The Agora is thus disturbed; the rational processes of its 

codes are disrupted, the power of speed was blocked. EDT alludes to this history

of Demos as it intervenes with Nomos.  The Zapatista FloodNet  injects bodies

as Nomos into digital space, a critical mass of gestures as blockage. What we

also add to the equation is the power of speed is now leveraged by Demos via

the networks. Thus Demos_qua_Dromos create the space for a new type of social

drama to take place. Remember in Ancient Greece, those who were in power and

who had slaves and commerce, were the ones who had the fastest ships. EDT

utilizes these elements to drama and movement by empowering contemporary

groups of Demos with the speed of the Dromos - without asking societies of

command and control for the right to do so. We enter the Agora with the

metaphorical gestures of Nomos and squat on high speed lanes of the new

Virtual Republic - this creates a digital platform or situation for a

techno-political drama that reflects the real condition of the world beyond

code. This disturbs the Virtual Republic that is accustomed to the properties

of Logos, the ownership of property, copyright, and all the different

strategies in which they are attempting enclosure of the Internet.



CF: What are some of the responses that EDT has received from the US

military and also from the Mexican government?



RD: These confrontations began when EDT undertook its Swarm performance in

Linz, Austria at Ars Electronica.  On Tuesday September 9th, 1998 we started

to do the largest virtual sit-in that we had ever done on Mexican President

Zedillo's web site, the Pentagon and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. That

morning I received a call from someone who I assumed to be representing the

Mexican government who spoke Spanish with a Mexican accent.  He said "Is

this Ricardo Dominguez? " I said, "Yes."  He said, "We know who you are, we know

where you're at, we know where your family is, we are watching you, do not go

downstairs, do not do your performance, because you know what the

situation is, this is not a game," and then he hung up. I went down and we

did the action anyway, but about three hours later we were attacked. We

didn't know who it was.  Hackers had told us the night before that they would

attack us so we thought it might be them.  Managers of President Zedillo's

website had tried to hack us before, so we thought it might be them.

Then we received an e-mail message from www.wired.com, an important on-line

news portal, saying that it was the Department of Defence that had initiated

a counter-measure or a hostile Javascript Applet against the Zapatista

Floodnet. As a result, the coverage of EDT's activities by major news media

exploded. An article about us appeared on the front page of  The New York

Times,  (Hacktivists' of All Persuasions Take Their Struggle to the Web by

Amy Harmon, October 31, 1998).  The U.S. military commented in a knee-jerk

manner,  'Well we don't know if what EDT is doing is illegal, but it

certainly is immoral." From that point on we have been in dialogue with the

military, which is very strange for us.  I certainly didn't expect it,

neither did any other members of EDT.



The military invited us to do what we call "The National Security Agency

Performance" for some 300 Generals and military men and also NSA people as

well as Congressmen. On September 9, 1999,  we did an hour and a half

performance for them. We approached it as theatre. They interrogated us. Of

course they wanted to know who was in charge, how extreme could we possibly

get, what was the future like, what do we expect from the growth of this new

term 'hacktivism' which has emerged as a response to the drama, if you will.



The dialogue with the military continues. Recently I met with naval

intelligence people who showed me their large holographic simulation war

machines. So the Electronic Disturbance Theatre's performance, even though I

keep thinking that it's going to end, always seems to be spiraling to a new

level. I've been asked if I'm concerned that I'm speaking to the military,

and why  I don't worry about what they're attempting to do to us, either by

co-opting or gathering information about us. One of the things about us is

that, unlike hackers, EDT is very transparent. We use our names, people know

who we are and what we do and we always let people know, and this really

disturbs the military. They are modernist at heart; they want secrets, they

want encryption, they want cyber-terrorists, and they want cyber-crime. What

we give them is net art performance that allows everyone to see who the real

cyber-terrorists are.



CF: EDT also distributes the codes freely, right?



RD: Yes, on January 1st, 1999, one minute after midnight, in celebration of

the 5th Declaration of the Lacandona, and the 5th year of the Zapatistas, we

distributed what is called "The Disturbance Developer Kit" or DDK, which is

free to anyone if they come to our site. During our actions, many groups

contacted us that wanted to do virtual sit-ins, so we developed this kit

that's quick and easy to put up. It has been used by wide variety of  groups

such as Queer Nation, the international animal liberation groups, and

anti-arms trading groups. There's a big action coming this November 30th

against the World Trade Organization and there is a UK group that is using code 

based on our DDK called "The Electro Hippies." Our performance continues with a 

new acts that consists of distributing of software.





CF:  Does EDT ever coordinate its virtual actions with more traditional

forms of mobilization and protest?



RD:  When EDT began the Swarm performance, we tried to theorize a hybrid

action. We wanted to mobilize people online as well as having direct

representation on the ground in the streets.  For the upcoming World Trade

Organization protests we're developing different platforms. We're also

working with Freespeech.org and Paper Tiger Television, and the new

independent media groups to send out real streams representing the

activities of the communities of direct action on the ground, so that 

individuals in Seattle and outside the city can have information about what 

is going on that has not been filtered through the mainstream media. We're 

going to set up maps of  Seattle so that people can use their Palm Pilots to 

see what routes are being blocked by the police. We can also do 

counter-surveillance.

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.::[05]-[Abstracts, comparisons & importance's of the Linux/open-source  

:::software movements in radical/activist communities]:::::[By: Chris Brennan]

:::[http://www.unaesthetic.net]:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

This article will attempt to highlight some similarities between the Linux/Open

source software movements and the

D.I.Y/anarchist/punk/radical/activist/whathaveyou communities, it will also

stress the importance of these movements for said communities and anyone

harboring similar qualities or interests. Please note that this article does not

intend to define any of the above communities or political ideas, as my

definition of the above may not exactly parallel majority. 



A brief rundown on what Linux and open-source actually is: Linux, in simple terms

is a computer operating system - not unlike windows or macOS. It's the basic

software interface a person interacts with to control the computer hardware.

Linux is a variant of an operating system called UNIX. However, Linux is

open-source. Open-source means that the source code is freely available to

anyone. Source code is what programmers type out when they are creating a

program, it's the medium between human readable language, and language readable

by a microprocessor. That code is later compiled into a file called an

'executable', for those of you familiar with windows this would be most any file

with an ".exe" extension that can be run, or executed. 



A person having access to the source code means they may alter it in any way they

see fit, granted they have the knowledge to do so. Windows is not open source in

that only Microsoft Corporation has access to the source code, and only they may

make changes to the operating system. Linux and other open source projects are

completely driven by the communities that use them and in that respect will only

reflect the efforts of those users. On the other hand you have windows - an OS

created by a corporation. The main interest of a corporation is to make money. In

a situation where a software companies main interest is to make money, you will

see that the decisions they make are many times not in the best interest of the

users which purchase their products. 



A few prime examples of said activity most commonly result in the following

problems: 



Security issues. This is especially important these days with everyone being

connected to some kind of network. Often times when working on a software

project, companies will be understaffed or on a deadline - this often leads to

source code not being double checked for bugs, programmers taking shortcuts to

save time, etc. In other words, corporations are compromising software quality

for reasons directly related to profit margins. In the open-source community,

everyone has access to review the source code being compiled; in the event of a

problem this enables someone with the know-how to fix the problem as soon as it's

identified. Having the source code also makes it much easier to identify Trojan

horses and viruses if you infact get the source code from an untrusted source.

 

Working as a network administrator, I often see individuals & companies putting a

lot at stake when allowing network/internet access to computers containing

valuable data. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to access to data on trusted

machines due to flaws in security models or defective software.

 

Buggy software & stability issues. For much of the same reasons as above, software

companies are putting out notoriously buggy & unstable software. This often times

will lead to program & system crashes, lost & corrupt files, etc. Can you say

"windows blue screen of death"? It's not uncommon for Linux systems to have an

uptime (running without the event of a reboot) of months or even years.



What does this all amount to? Open-source: for the people, by the people. It's the

high-tech version of a collective community. It's bringing power and equality to

the little guys. It's all about D.I.Y. Where do we come into this? I see a lot of

people denouncing the usage of computers for various reasons; and I do fear that

this kind of attitude will put us farther back in the race when it comes to

future forms of activism & protest. The new wave is digital information. That is

a fact. It's not going away any time soon so we must evolve and get used to it or

we will surely loose ground in the grand scheme of things. It's important that

movements like open-source take precedence early on before standard protocols &

procedures, rules & regulations harden in their molds. The electronic future will

be based heavily on what happens at these semi-early stages in computing and the

Internet. In recent years we've seen the boom of the Internet - showing no signs

of slowing any time soon. It will have a huge part both economically and socially

in our future. It will somehow affect you, no matter how far removed you are from

technology. As it stands right now, the ground rules are still being laid on the

Internet. Issues dealing with freedom of speech and privacy are hot topics. These

are very important times for people to get involved because what's happening now

will most defiantly carve a path into the future. In the past few years interest

in open-source has snowballed, this means things are looking up as far as

freedoms go. Governments and corporations alike fear the Internet in the respect

that they cannot directly control it. With something so large, dynamic, and

chaotic, no one entity can gain a handle on it - which is exactly how it needs to

stay if we are to have any freedom whatsoever. 



In this new arena we will have to devise a different way of doing things. A term

that's been coined semi-recently is Hacktivism. More or less, it's the act of

hacking in the name of activism. Hacking by definition of the media is a much

different thing than what the average hacker would define it as. Hacking doesn't

necessarily have anything to do with illegal activities, however that's an

entirely different article in itself. Like modern day activism, Hacktivism may

for instance take some routes deemed unlawful by the powers that be in order to

fully and adequately portray one's message. Like an group of activists may lock

down to block an intersection in order to make their point in full, a hacktivist

might temporarily disable a website or computer network in order to get their

message across. As a group of animal activists might burn a fur vendors' store to

the ground, an animal hacktivist might very well gain access to and destroy the

customer database for a well known fur vendor. With each instance you will see

much of the same extremes. Instances are given as an example that activists in

each arena might believe in destructive/violent or non-destructive/non-violent

forms of protest. And the medium in which the protests are taking place does not

necessarily denote the manner of activism, or beliefs of the

activists/hacktivists involved in the demonstration. 



So, if this has at all piqued your interest in open source projects, including

Linux - then you're probably wondering where to go from here. It defiantly helps

to have a bit of computer knowledge under your belt when making the change from

windows to Linux. Linux is a far more complex and intricate system than most

average PC users are used to. I'd recommend reading up on it before attempting to

make the switch over. If you know someone familiar with it, have him or her do

the installation and teach you the basics. I also urge anyone whom is already

familiar with Linux/open-source having interests in activism or radical politics

& the punk community to get involved in helping inform other activists and

radical-minded people about these movements and how they affect us. 



All in all, we are fighting for a common freedom. In this day & age technology is

abundant and I believe we must embrace it early on & establish ourselves. Looking

at any part of the technology industry, you'll see that there's quite a lot of

money flowing in and out; it's in our best interest to see to it that that money

is going to a useful place, useful meaning somewhere other than to buy an IBM

executive his fourth Ferrari. The US Census Bureau says the population of the US

on 9/14/2000 was: 275,715,531 (That's 275.72 Million). This means Bill Gates

could give $177.38 to every person in the United States. Let's say you wanted to

spend every dime of Gates' money, and you set a time limit of 14 years to do it.

Assuming you worked regular 8-hour days, all 365 days a year, with no breaks, you

would have to spend $198,000.00 a minute (that's no typo) to run him dry. Need I

even mention the fact that millions go starving every night on the streets? Need

I even utter the fact that Bill Gates is obviously not the only man who displays

this kind of disgusting imbalance of wealth among our society? We must make it

clear that we are to be the digital splinter under the skin of capitalism, class

inequality, media-disinformation, government control, corporate personification,

and all else that plagues our frail society. It's the little things that make a

difference. We all matter, as do our actions. Each dollar is a vote in a

capitalist society, WHERE DO YOU WANT (your money) TO GO TODAY? 

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.::[06]-[Interview with m0r0n/nightman and m0sad team]

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::[Interviewed by metac0m]

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

In recent months over 300 people have been killed, the majority being 

Palestinian youths, in the on going conflict in Israel/Palestine. 



This conflict has extended to the electronic realm, particularly the Internet. 

In the past month over an estimated 115 web sites have been attacked in an 

ongoing struggle between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli "hackers". The most 

high profile (from the media coverage standpoint) tactic has been web page 

defacement. 



A survey of the media reports of these defacements shows that the framing of 

the coverage has been a combination of hacktivism and cyber-war - a misleading 

combination. On the one hand the coverage depicts the tit-for-tat defacements 

in terms of "war", "attacks", "retaliation", and "casualties" while at the same 

time explaining the events as hacktivism. Thus the coverage confines hacktivism 

to warfare between vandals. The two concepts are, in fact, terribly inconsistent.  



However, the pattern is emerging: hacktivism = war = vandalism. 



Is this hacktivism?



Two of the actors involved in these defacements are m0r0n/nightman and the m0sad 

team. The content of the sites they've defaced ranges from rants to gruesome 

pictures - each denouncing the other. To try to understand their motivations and 

intentions I had them answer a list of the same questions.





1) Why have you undertaken this campaign?



     >>m0r0n and nightman: We are Muslims and working for the Muslims is our

     duty. Our purpose is just to aware people of the fact that Israel is an

     unethical and evil country which is torturing the people of Palestine.



     >>m0sad: I decided to get involved in this campaign in retaliation of all

     the useless defacing of the Israeli's websites.



2) Do you feel that it is making a difference in the conflict on the

ground?



     >>m0r0n and nightman: Our duty is to aware people. This is a cyber war

     and not a physical war. 



     >>m0sad: I think it will take more than this to make a huge difference

     but I hope that it will at least make a presence known that I would like

     to stop the violence that is occurring .



3) Do you feel that the targets that were defaced were directly related

to the crisis in the Middle East or were they simply vulnerable targets?



     >>m0r0n and nightman: We have defaced many Israeli sites.. more than 20

     if we are not mistaken. Currently we are working/defacing/hacking for a

     group named WFD (world's fantabulous defacers). After joining we had a

     team work and we defaced about 10 more Israeli sites. On the whole we

     have defaced about more than 30 Israeli sites AND WE HACK TO CREATE

     GLOBAL AWARENESS NOT TO SHOW ADMINS THAT THEIR SITES 

     ARE VULNERABLE! You can see our group's hack 

     @ http://www.alldas.de/hacked/H_68BDB782.html and before that when we use 

     to hack individually and when we hacked more than 20 Israeli sites our 

     archives of those sites are here... 

     http://www.alldas.de/hacked/H_F499C2BF.html



     >>m0sad: The targets that were chosen to deface was simply vulnerable and

     with special name or/and extensions.



4) Do you consider your defacements to be "hacktivism" if so how?



     >>m0r0n and nightman: We consider our work as jihad (because we are

     fighting for Islam), as hacktivism because we hack into servers and

     deface pages.



     >>m0sad: The website defacing was done to make a presence that I want it

     all to stop.



5) What does hacktivism mean to you?



     >>m0r0n and nightman: Nothing but a very good method to create awareness

     amongst people.



     >>m0sad: HacKtivism....That could have many meanings. It really depends

     on what side you are standing on at the time.



6) It seems that "both" sides are defacing web pages in retaliation to

one another. Is this the best way to engage in hacktivism or are there other 

more constructive, solution oriented ways?



     >>m0r0n and nightman: You must be indirectly referring to m0sad. Ah, he

     and his team has only defaced 3 or 4 sites which were not even directly

     related. He is hacking against Islam. We are not hacking against Israel

     we are hacking against their atrocities!



     >>m0sad: There are always more constructive solutions but until they stop

     and look at the situation and make the attempt to stop what is occurring

     then I have no choice to retaliate.



7) Do you see a viable solution for this "cyber war"?



     >>m0r0n and nightman: Yes. We won the fight when lion and type0 were

     defacing. And we are going to win it again. A viable solution is that

     people are their own judges. And we know what people have judged by now.

     :)



     >>m0sad: Yes there is a solution. There always is. But when they refuse

     to listen to reason that solution can never be applied to the situation.



8) How do you see the current situation, on the ground and on the

Internet, playing out?



     >>m0r0n and nightman: On the ground is awful. On the Internet! Well...as

     long as the ground affects do not calm down the internet won't! This is

     a fight for the "right" not a "playing out".



     >>m0sad: I see the current situation continuing on as long as one or the

     other problem exists. They are fueled by each other both directly and

     indirectly and can't end until both are solved.

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.::[07]-[[What Is Hacktivism?]

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::[By: Erika Pearson]

:::[http://madcelt.org/~erika]::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Hacktivism "refers to the merging of political activism and computer

hacking."(xv) It is the end product of a meeting of hackers (tech. skills) and

political/social activists. In very basic terms, the hackers provided the

weaponry and the activists located the target.



Hacktivism (as a discrete phenomena) is a very recent development. However, as

we have already seen, it has roots and formative ideas that go back nearly to

the beginning of the microcomputer revolution. As a means of social protest,

it also draws deeply on the techniques and many years of experiences brought

in by 'real life' activists. This includes knowledge on conducting sit-ins,

media events, acts of civil disobedience, etc. 



However, instead of just adopting wholesale these techniques, the new

hacktivists have taken these ideas as a basis from which to develop new and

interesting techniques more suited to the medium in which they will conduct

their protest. As one hacktivist was quoted as saying:



     "If you have 10 people at a protest, they don't do much of anything,

     .....[i]f you have 10 people on line, they could cripple a network."

     (xvi)



Civil disobedience was one of the first activist tools' to be translated into

an electronic context. The Electronic Disturbance Theatre was considered by

many to be the first true hacktivist network. The EDT defined the term

'electronic civil disobedience,' and were the first to implement it in a

hacktivist event. The EDT are active for causes such as Zapatista, and its

members were the creative and technical force behind actions such as SWARM.



But the flow of information and technique has not been all one- way. Activists

who have come from 'real life' protests are also adopting the tools and

techniques of the hackers when working for a cause. Activists are finding

that, by coming online, they are expanding not only the range of tools at

their disposal, but also the ways they can connect with like minded

individuals and groups. Also, they can approach their targets on a dual

level, both through real-life and virtual forms of protest.



     "But the rapid growth of the Internet has transformed what was once a

     hacker playground into, among other things, a far-reaching political

     platform. What's more, the tricks invented by hackers have become easier

     for activists to learn and adopt because they are now widely published

     on how-to Web sites. 



     As a result, radical groups are discovering what hackers have always

     known: Traditional social institutions are more vulnerable in cyberspace

     than they are in the physical world. Likewise, some members of the

     famously sophomoric hacker underground are finding motivation in causes

     other than ego gratification." (xvii)



The reasons why hackers have taken to activism is as diverse as why activists

have taken to the web. However, the main reasons that comes up again and

again when conversing with these hacker-activists themselves are threats

against their environment, and changes in their own worldview. Such a change

was summerised by John Vranesevitch, who said: 



     "We're starting to see right now the first generation of people who have

     grown up on the Internet....These hackers are entering the ages where

     people are most politically active. This is their outlet."(xviii) 



A Brief History of Hacktivism: "The Revolution Will Be Digitized" 



Below is a summary table of some of the more prominent and recent targets,

with notes on the issue and the tactics used by the hacktivists involved.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 

Target(s)           International Issues/ Tactics            Hacktivist(s)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Balkan Press        Defaced Albanian, Croatian and           Kosovo Hackers 

                    Serbian web sites relating to            Group/ Black 

                    Kosovo                                   Hand/ Serbian 

                                                             Angel



China               Government censorship. Removed           Blondie Wong

                    content filters. Warn activists          Hong Kong Blondes 

                    about imminent arrest. Defaced web       Bronc Buster & 

                    sites. Domain hijacking. Planted         Zyklon/Legion of 

                    Trojan Horses.                           Underground (LoU)



France              Antinuclear protest. Denial of           Strano Network

                    service attack.



India/US            Independence for Indian controlled       Dr Nukor/Pakistan 

                    Kashmir. Defaced Karachi Stock           Hackerz Club

                    Exchange, US military and commercial     Muslim Online

                    sites, including Disney                  Syndicate/GFORCE



India               Protest nuclear bomb testing.            Milw0rm & Ashtray 

                    Defaced web sites.                       Lumberjacks



Indonesia           Independence for East Timor. Alleged     Secretos/Kaotik 

                    human rights abuses. Defaced web sites.  Team



Mexico              Independence for Chiapas. Alleged        Ricardo Dominguez

                    human rights abuses. Denial of Service   Electronic 

                    attack using Floodnet utility            Disturbance

                                                             Theatre



Myanmar             Political identity (Burma). Alleged      Danny-Boy/X-ORG  

                    human rights abuses. Defaced web sites. 



NASA                Antinuclear protest. Computer virus      Wank

                    or worm.



Sri Lanka           Independent homeland for ethnic Tamils.  Internet Black

                    E-mail bomb.                             Tigers



World Trade         Various agendas. Denial of service       Electrohippies 

Organisation        attacks.                                 Collective and 

                                                             many others.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          Table 2.1: Some prominent examples of hacktivism.(xix)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------



This list is by no means complete. However, these samples give a good

indication of some of the pivot points in the development and application of

hacktivism. By examining four of these instances more closely, it can be

illustrated that these hacktivists share a positive approach to technology, a

willingness to fight for their own ideal of social justice, and the very

hacker concept that laws of boundaries, technical feasibility and common

sense are unimportant to the hacker trained activist.



Zapatista -- SWARM



SWARM was one of the first clearly hacktivist attacks on a political target.

Part of a series of protests conducted by the burgeoning Zapatista movement,

SWARM was billed as part-activist demonstration, part- artistic installation.

From reading the literature the hacktivists themselves produced at this early

stage, the impression is that they themselves were still unclear as to the

effectiveness or possible scope of action that their accumulated tools and

skills are capable of. SWARM was hacktivism by trial and error.



The main software tool used in this first action was a specially created

program called Floodnet. 



     " The Electronic Disturbance Theatre has produced a Java script program

     called Floodnet, which is used to flood and block a targeted Website by

     repeatedly calling for a specific or non-existent Web page on that

     server."(xx)



When the action was first proposed, it was envisioned that participants would

manually load and reload the target page. In the hacker spirit of 'there is

always a better way,' the Floodnet utility was created to do the reload work

automatically.



During the SWARM action, the activists estimate that up to 10,000 users joined

in the Floodnet action, sending approximately 600,000 hits to the server

every minute.(xxi)



The authors of Floodnet considered it to be part-hacktivist tool, part

"conceptual net.art that empowers people through activist/artistic

expression."(xxii)



     "In an artistic sense, this is a way of remembering and honoring those

     who gave their lives in the defense of their freedom. In a conceptual

     sense, the Floodnet performance was able to facilitate a symbolic return

     of the dead to the servers of those responsible for their murders."(xxiii)



On April 10th, 1998, the action was announced to the general Internet

community. By the end of April, the SWARM proposal was part of the Ars

Electronic Festival. On July 12, one of the instigators of the action,

Zapatista activist Stefan Wray, arrived in Amsterdam and started alerting

non-Internet sources (i.e.: newsmedia) of the upcoming action. On August 25,

a bulletin was released outlining ideas for dual virtual and street protests.

On September 4, the HEART (Hacker Electronic ART) was established in front of

the physical location of the SWARM activation at Ars. Overnight, the list of

targets for the action were announced and disseminated to activists

throughout the web.



By September 7, activists started analysing the efficiency of Floodnet and

began examining concerns raised by the hacker community. On September 8,

hacktivists tested the technology on a local network to ensure that all

hacker concerns had been addressed. Bulletin's announcing the action were

then distributed by RTMark (http://www.rtmark.com)/.



Within hours of the action being launched on the 9th, countermeasures to the

Floodnet tools were detected. Those monitoring Floodnet used software patches

to try and avoid these countermeasures. During the day, action coordinators

discussed the action within the Festival and with the international media.



The following day (September 10) the DOD (Pentagon, US) admitted to being the

author and user of the hostile countermeasures. The action was considered

successful, even though the sites were only intermittently blocked.(xxiv)





eToy: "Financial might against right."



In an event know on the Internet simply as eToy, an American corporate that

went after a European net.art collective found itself a target of hacker

activists from around the world. It began when eToys, the American toy

e-commerce site, decided to appropriate the European art collective site etoy

- even though etoy had been in operation for over two years prior to eToys.



Many hackers and hacktivists have seen the attack on etoy as an attack on

their rights as citizens of the Internet:



     "'eToys is trying to take advantage of a legal situation in which there's

     basically no protection against corporations, whether you're an artist,

     an activist, or just someone in the wrong place at the wrong time,' said

     a hacker who identifies himself as "Code Blue." 'But they're relying a

     bit too much on the legal. They're saying f*ck you to everything that

     etoy stands for, and that's like spraying tear gas all over the entire

     hacking community.'"(xxv)



In many ways, it could be argued that the eToys legal attack was the catalyst

which bound normally independent groups and individuals into a network based

around ideals of freedom of speech, individual rights in the face of

corporations, and the immediate and unprejudiced death of eToys.com Inc.



Following the ideals promoted by the Hacker Ethic, hackers went after the

corporation trying to ride roughshod over their fellow hackers - and won.



     "'A precedent has now finally been set in stone,' said RTMark

     spokesperson Ray Thomas. 'eToys thought it could act like corporations

     typically do, but it had no idea how the Internet works. Now e-commerce

     corporations have a choice: either obtain a legal stranglehold on the

     Internet, so that this kind of defensive reaction is no longer possible,

     or behave decently towards the humans who use this medium for purposes

     other than profit.'"(xxvi) 



This event began when eToys (the US e-commerce site) attempted to buyout etoy

(the European net.art site) for $500,000 in cash and stock options. When this

offer was refused, eToys sought a legal injunction on November 29, 1999. In

this injunction, they claimed they wished the etoy site to be shut down

because of unfair competition, trademark delusion, security fraud, illegal

stock market operation, pornographic content, offensive behaviour and

terrorist activity(xxvii) (etoy denies this). 



In an action which went beyond the bounds of the injunction, Net Solutions,

the corporation which allocates and manages domain names such as

www.etoy.com, closed down the etoy domain. A month later, they also closed

down the electronic mail address @etoy.com, thus severing etoy from the

Internet. Many writers both within and without the growing etoy protest

movement saw this as a destruction of nothing short of the etoy artist's very

identity.(xxviii)



In the month following the injunction, several protests occurred

simultaneously. Many of these attacks were denial of service (dos) attacks.

Similar to 'Floodnet,' which was used by the Zapatista's during SWARM, these

dos attacks flooded eToys.com with bogus inquiries and orders. For commercial

websites, dos attacks can cripple or even kill a company.



Another avenue of attack the activists used was to force eToys share prices to

plummet. The stated goal was to get the shares to $0.00 - and they very

nearly achieved this goal. They went about forcing down share prices through

a combination of savvy marketing (as one commentator noted, etoy.com was a

collective of artists who used the media as their medium) and through

encouraging supporters to 'play a game.' 



In the end, some media reports credited the activists with causing a drop in

stock value of up to 70%. Also, during the period of December 15-25

(Christmas retailing period), the dos attackers increased their activity, at

times completely shutting the website down.



Finally, on January 25, 2000, after an earlier verbal promise to back down

from the lawsuit, eToys formally withdrew from the lawsuit and paid costs,

leaving the etoy.com site to the net.art collective.



Jam Echelon Day - "The idea of hacktivism, or any kind of activism, is to

INFORM people of your plight." Bronc Buster



October 21, 1999, saw hacktivists from around the world combine for one of the

first hacktivist-style media events. In an attempt to generate interest and

raise public awareness on an international government surveillance system

known as 'Echelon,' hacktivists staged an event called 'Jam Echelon Day'

(JED).



Echelon, the email surveillance system, is proported to scan every email sent

over the Internet, looking for certain key words. If a keyword is found, it

triggers off an alert and the message is subject to further scrutiny. During

the events of JED, hacktivists encouraged Internet users to swap emails

loaded with key words and phrases.



Despite its name, JED was never seriously expected to jam Echelon.

Technically, jamming a system the size of Echelon is unfeasible and

unrealistic. Rather, JED was a symbolic action to raise public awareness of

government surveillance in general and Echelon in particular.



   "The entire point of events like JED has always been mimetic, to raise

   public awareness, and was never actually intended to STOP the damn thing.

   (hell, that'd be illegal!)"(xxix)



To this end, many hacktivists proclaimed JED a moderate success. However, some

argued that since the majority of positive/education media attention was

through independent media outlets (such as www.indymedia.com) and that

coverage through more mainstream media sources was more negative in reporting

the hacktivists actions, JED was more a case of 'preaching to the choir,'

rather than educating the masses. 



A16 - WTO: "No Justice! No Peace!" - A16 slogan



A16 is fascinating because it is a huge event that crosses repeatedly between

real life and virtual protest events. However, this crossover also makes it

difficult to tease out and examine individual actions in isolation.



But firstly, what is A16 about? A16 (named after the date of action, April 16,

2000), was an event which involved protesters from many different and diverse

backgrounds, such as labor, environment and human rights. They protested

against actions conducted by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which

included world debt, environmental degradation and human and workers' rights

issues. 



The media coverage of the events in Washington focussed on the highly visible

street protests that occurred on and around the 16th. In these protests,

thousands of activists gathered in marches, rallies and more creative

instances of public protest in the area surrounding the location of the WTO

meeting. Many protesters were arrested.



A less visible, less crowded, less policed arena of protest was online.

Hacktivists, not only in the Washington area, logged on and got involved in a

range of events as diverse as its real life counterpart. These events ranged

from email petitions, bulletins and online discussions, to acts of electronic

civil disobedience, denial of service and web defacement.



But the networks implemented were not only used by the hackers and

hacktivists. They were also used by other activists as a site to organize,

inform and mobilize fellow activists. As we shall examine further in a later

chapter, the hacktivists organizational and networking structures tended to

mimic the organizational structure of their own medium - the Internet.



Conclusions



Hacktivism has had a short, but interesting history. Whilst each hacktivist

event is uniquely tailored to the subject and the constituents of its

participants, there are some similar threads consistent between these events.



In every case, activists worked in cooperation with hackers to achieve a

common goal. In the case of SWARM, the activists taught themselves hacktivist

techniques. JED was the opposite, where hackers taught themselves how to

conduct a public protest. An issue like etoy saw hackers become politicized

over a perceived threat to 'their' domain, with activists (most of whom, it

would appear from reading their material, have some familiarity with

hacktivist technique) only coming on the scene at a later stage.



Finally, there are the ongoing WTO protests. Whilst only the A16 protest in

Washington DC has been outlined here, similar hacktivist and networking

events occurred at Seattle, Melbourne (S11), and Prague (S28). During WTO,

hacker skills were employed to help maintain group cohesion, information

flows and to mobilize. Hackers also got involved independently of their

street-based counterparts to conduct d.o.s attacks and to deface websites.



As we can see, hacktivism is already split by issues of appropriation - some

'hacktivism' is activists adopting hacker techniques. In other cases, it is

the hackers who are using the ideas and tools of more traditional activists.

Whilst both areas are equally fascinating, and to a great degree overlap, in

this thesis we will be focussing particularly on the hacker-hacktivists. The

hacktivists have retranslated activist techniques as the hackers as

individuals "grow up," and become politicized entities who are willing to use

their skills and associations to fight what they see as encroachments on

their rights as citizens and netzians.



To date, hacktivism as a concept has not truly entered the public arena.

However, early public coverage seems to suggest that hacktivists are an

'idealized' faceless enemy. They seem capable of threatening security and

stability of the average citizen, and they seem to have an almost mythic

ability to destroy a computer-dominated lifestyle. And as we shall see in the

next chapter, these attitudes are reinterpreted, challenged and in some cases

appropriated by the hacktivists themselves.

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.::[08]-[The DeCSS case and how to change a Big Business]

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::[Dr. Z]

:::[http://www.hackernews.com]:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

The DeCSS case and how to change a Big

Business (BB) in today's world



By Dr. Z (Nigel Loring) 



I have watched this case of legal muscling and intimidation and just

had to comment with an attitude of "What are the hackers doing

here?" This is BB vs. scattered and unfocussed "hackers". Who do

I think will win? BB of course! Just look at the situation: BB wants

to establish that they will punish anyone they want by using legal

bullying tactics. They pick a small entity (the "little guy", a son and

his father) with a "potential" impact on BB's business. It doesn't

matter that the "potential" adverse effect is not real or logical. The

business is playing on their own field of expertise, where they know

the rules and the hacker community doesn't even read the rule

book. The media love it and BB plays it for all its worth. After all,

BB has labeled the little guy a "criminal", a nerd and a foreigner,

and the people who would complain are those other nerdy guys

 (Linux users - and what place do they really have in the world high

technology order - just esoteric). 



Why do I say that BB will win? Just look at the comments in

Slashdot's talk-back to the initial indictment: You can characterize

them as whiny, uninformed, and petulant. Suggestions are made

that boycotting of BB and donations to the little guy are the ways to

help. Give me a break! Boycotts don't work unless you have an

established big organization (Green Peace, Sierra Club, NAACP,

and the Christian Right come to mind). Donations from a few

hundred (or 10's) of hackers don't merit any stories in any media

 (except in on-line talk-backs where they are buried by the high

volume of ranting, raving, and novice legal opinions). 



Let me call into question who wants to be called a hacker. Check

out the L0pht's website and the definition they use. Their classic

definition is the best and most rewarding: doing things (solving

problems) in a way that was not intended or planned. For myself, I

think you should "hack" life. Wozniak did it, Gates did it, the

Internet originators did it, the guy who invented the spreadsheet did

it, and the L0pht is doing it. Look at what they did - it was different

and enjoyable, and with dedication, they made a difference. Yeah

sure, one might get arrogant like Gates, but take a look at the

others and the L0pht. They're in a different mold. 



So, you have this case against reverse-engineering a trade secret

and then showing everyone how to do it. Let's be brutally frank

about it. The legal results are guaranteed: If you don't understand

the game that is going to play out here, you're going to lose. Just

slink away and let the legal people and BB play the game to get

what they want. In my opinion, if I was a lawyer for BB I would be

laughing at the ranting and raving going on by the "hackers", and

the media's obvious siding with my client. I have a no lose situation.

I can: Settle out of court before trial (BB wins and gags the "little

guy"); settle after starting the trial (BB wins by getting publicity that

they will pursue by legal bullying anything that THEY think might

hurt their interests); let the court decide (if BB loses, they WIN with

a spin-doctoring that says they only lost by a technicality in

Norway - and man, have they punished the little guy with his costs).

There you have it - end of episode - a clear case of flipping a coin

with the bet: "Heads I WIN, tails you LOSE." 



But wait a minute. Aren't you hackers? Can't you see that if you

learn the game you can change the way things are done and get

the outcome YOU want? 



You CAN hack big business and surprise the hell out of the CEOs

and lawyers. They have a soft underbelly. When a company

presses legal claims they are playing a high stakes game. Usually,

they do not play that game unless they are pretty confident they

can WIN. But sometimes they go wrong by underestimating the

resourcefulness of their opponent and being arrogant. That's a

deadly combination. 



A classic case comes from years ago when the telephone

company sued a guy in California for extending his phone with a

home-made system to connect all the buildings on his farm. They

claimed that he was setting up an exchange and only the phone

company wanted to be able to do that. The phone company was

arrogant and wanted to set the precedent that they owned all phone

systems. They didn't expect that as a ham-radio operator he would

get the National HAM Radio Operator's Club to support and defend

him. The phone company lost big-time and this set the precedent

that the phone company owns ONLY up to your property or the box

going into your house. Inside, you can do whatever you like, so long

as it doesn't interfere with the phone company's operations. I bet

the phone company wishes it had never sued that ham-radio

operator. 



So, this is how you can do the same thing today to the DVD

Consortium: 



Did you know that owning one (1) share of any public stock entitles

you (or your proxy) to attend and vote at the Annual Stockholders

Meeting of that publicly held big business? Did you know that you

can actually make a few statements on the record at those

meetings? 



Do you know that Mutual Fund Managers have forced big

businesses to merge, not to merge (see P&G and Warner-Lambert

talks in January) or do other business things because the Fund

Manager has proxy control of large amounts of the big business's

stocks. Did you know that each time big business's stock drops

and you find that a big business Officer sold his stock just before

the drop, you can sue him? Yes, you can, and it happens a LOT -

you just don't hear about it. Big business almost always settles out

of court before a trial (think they want to go to court when they can

get rid of the annoyance by paying off the complainer - it's almost

legal extortion - but the complainer has to lose money in the first

place for the suit to have teeth.) 



The only kicker is: The fewer proxies, the less influence. Now, you

don't have much clout with one share. But what if you, and people

who think like you, combine your proxies and vote as a block. THIS

is power! THIS is what will make Big Business's CEO and other

company officers take notice. THIS is charging onto the playing

field with a rule book in your hand and power in your pocket. You

WILL be noticed! You should also realize that only a fraction of the

stockholders in a company ever assigns their proxies to someone;

usually BB asks the stockholders for their proxies to vote what BB

wants. So the stockholders meeting attendees represent only a

part of the total shares in the company. Your block of shares then

has more clout than you think. If you can get enough opposition to

the mainline BB view, the Meeting notice can even state them. 



It doesn't have to stop there either. If you have a block of votes, then

the media is going to take notice also. Just imagine the story:

"Hackers, claiming ethical and economic reasons, plan to attend

Annual Stockholders Meeting to voice opposition to BB's DVD

policies." Imagine BB's CEO seeing that in his favorite media.

That's delicious and legal. 



OK, you say you can't get hackers to descend on BB at the right

time (work schedules, travel, distances, costs). PLAY the game.

Hack the rules. (Remember, this doesn't mean break the rules -

just apply them in a different way that no one thought of before.)

You have proxies - pool them! Find a well-respected and ethical

organization and set up an account that holds stock owned by

individuals. The sole purpose of the account is non-profit and to vote

the proxies of that stock as a block. Have ONE person with those

proxies show up at the meeting. Broadcast it. Call up the company

and tell them what you plan to do (I smile when thinking of that

phone call to the Investor Relations Department of BB). Remember,

the Security and Exchange Commission, which allowed the

company to raise a lot of money by going public, makes BB play

by SEC rules. If you understand computers you can understand the

SEC rules. (Ha! Think the lawyers, who study the SEC rules, know

computers like a hacker does? No Way. The lawyers have to hire

outside experts --- Hmmm, maybe friends of yours.) 



The beauty of this is that each of you still owns your shares of

stock. You aren't donating all that money to anyone! Later, you can

have the stock sold and get almost all the money back. 



Let's look at examples of costs to you: If the Holding Company

sells it on-line, you might lose a few cents. Think of it this way:

Honest (and savvy) Holding Company sells 1000 shares at

$100/share through an on-line broker for < $10. If the 1000 shares

came from 1000 people then the per person cost of the sale would

be $0.01! Note that the transaction is $100,000 total, but Holding

Company only expensed $10 total. One on-line broker lets you

trade up to 5000 shares for <$10. (If you had 5000 shares of MSFT

 (~$100/share) that would be $500,000 traded for <$10.) Ahh, the

beauty of on-line brokers! Do you feel that this cause is worth 1

cent? Now, I know that the Holding Company will have some

operating expenses too, but that can be worked out to cover

expenses with full disclosure guaranteed. This should be a cause,

not a plan to make anyone money. 



Here's another angle in the hack. Your holding company can sell all

but a small number of the shares in BB #1 after the Stockholder's

Meeting and buy a lot of BB #2 to get ready for BB #2's

Stockholder's Meeting. You can rotate through a number of them.

When you get what you want, you cash out. That's what big

business would do. Gee, isn't that ironic, and a pretty good hack. 



One noteworthy point at this juncture would be to highlight the fact

that investment clubs are regulated - they are not just informal

groups of investors. There is paperwork that needs to be filed. For

help starting up your own investment club, The Motley Fool

 (http://www.fool.com/) has lots of resources that may be of

assistance. In particular, the "Investment Club" section of the

Motley Fool may be of interest. 



Who knows, what you made the company do might please other

stock investors and you might sell at a profit. But, what you've done

could also hurt the company's image and cause the stock to go

down. Ha! (This is where you've got to smile.) You will have BB's

officers trying their hardest to not let the stock drop -- they're

working in YOUR (a stockholder) best interests (actually they're

trying to keep their stock options positive and they personally lose

money if the stock drops). Isn't it funny, that while you fight for your

cause, they can be fighting to not let you (a stockholder) lose any

money! Now, that's justice! 



Well, that's the plan. Play the game - Hack life. Use the media,

don't let them always use you. Don't just vent your displeasure on

the talk-back, on-line magazines. Make a difference!.



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.::[09]-[The Debate on the Tactic of Electronic Civil Disobedience] 

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::[Gidget Digit]

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 

The Debate on the Tactic of Electronic Civil Disobedience

(just another case of Dirty Bodies clashing with Clean Efficience?)



The president of the World Bank, in his speech to the political and

technological elite at last summer's "Global Knowledge for Development"

conference, used the word "revolution" no less than 16 times, in a brief

10 minutes.  He was referring to the already over-hyped "information

revolution", where executives of Microsoft, WorldCom, and AT&T are the

revolutionaries.



The Electronic Disturbance Theatre is heralding this same "information

revolution" with a call to cyberwar.  But the people's movements will not

be driven by a Java applet.



The internet has obvious limitations as a medium which depends upon one's

ability to read and write (usually English) and one's technical access,

all piled on the amount of time one can spend plugged in.  It is also

equally obvious that it is currently one of the cheapest forms of global

communication, and as more relatively low tech computers become equipped

with e-mail and list service, there is increasingly better access to

grassroots information.   All of these factors make it a good tool to

improve our communication strategy, but a poor place to choose as a site

for direct action.



Yet, several yanquis in a high-wired, post-modernist academic environment

are organizing "Electronic Civil Disobedience" as if power is no longer in

the streets.  As if the Spectacle is the main stage of engagement.  And

this suits the suits just fine.  It removes the debate from the public

sphere and places it in the private.  When the Electronic Disturbance

Theatre talks "direct" action in corporate networks, with hordes of

businessmen already self-defined as 'revolutionaries', grassroots

activists should see right away that this is definitely not our area of

strength.  Their "information revolution" is largely about deskilling

workers.  Terms like 'flexible' labour, or 'outsourcing' are code words

for removing benefits and long-term support and forcing people into

socially isolating piecework. The ECD tactic neither organizes electronic

workers into sabotaging nor unionizing against this "progression", and

worse, it de-mobilizes and de-politicizes solidarity activism.



Much Ado About Virtually Nothing



 "Electronic Pulse Systems" are designed to centralize "swarms" of

computer users in order to "automate" the repetitive process of reloading

a web-page. In theory, with enough participants, the "FloodNet device"

thereby overloads the target server. A "denial-of-service attack" is

another name for this ECD 'hack' or 'jam' that causes a temporary

interuption in an opponents public web page service.  Used on the White

House back in May, it had nil affect, and used on Zedillo's site, June

10th, it actually backfired.  (This action took place after Mexican human

rights organization AME LA PAZ specifically asked the Electronic

Disturbance Theatre to avoid choosing targets in Mexican cyberspace.)

Activists may recognize the ECD similarity with the old trick of getting

large numbers of people to continuously re-dial a target's phone lines, or

tie up fax machines with garbage data.   Organizing ECD seems to be like

getting as many people as you can together and going to stand in front of

a billboard.  It's an ineffective use of activist time and resources.

Because it's on-line though, it is currently attracting mucho hype from

mainstream media.



Warrior Machismo



There are several reasons for the speedy spread of this particular meme.

With often two or three rounds of announcements leading up to an "act" in

the unfolding play, there is no doubt that the Electronic Disturbance

Theatre understands spin.  It's a weird mix between rhetoric appealing to

sixties-non-violent-civil-disobedience folks, and adventurist "electronic

tinkerers" of the brave new world.



Such appeals as to "today's nomadic warriors who wander on the net" is

pure romantic nonsense designed to coax the DOOM-playing wanna-be

"revolutionaries" into doing something remotely political.  Much better

use of time to help those without access, who are already active in

struggle, to use the tools for their needs, than try to work within the

capitalist view of the masses as consumers.



Rather than politicizing through praxis, ECD siphons off the energy of the

movement on the ground, when folks who may become more engaged in activism

with encouragement and participation are told to reload a web page, or

send an e-mail to a politician.  Many would contend this does more to

assuage gringo guilt than effect any real change.



                    SUBVERT AND REPURPOSE-- POPULAR THEATRE



Sit-ins and blockades are not old-school and obsolete.  When a government,

whether the US Federal, or your local school, has no popular support, they

are still damn fine "devices" for publicly unseating illegitimate leaders,

and for physically re-placing them with people power.  That physical

change is the basis of the establishment of rebel autonomous communities.

And that "transformatory" change is also educational because popular

theatre is part of the streets.  Real "mass, public participation" by

necessity means that human beings have to form direct face-to-face

relationships with one another, in order to facilitate decision making for

themselves.



Floodnet runs counter to this, and I don't only mean centralized

automation of the process. It actually quantifies democratic participation

into hit measurements.  Yes, it is easy and convenient to "participate

from home or work" (if you have a computer!) But all this emphasis on

being able to attack without your body, just by hitting a button, ignores

the realities of boundaries -- in the time needed for organizing, the

locality of human relations and needs.



DIRECT ACTION GETS THE GOODS



Why send an e-mail of complaint to the politician, when you could work to

make him obsolete?  Our priority needs to be in building the autonomous

municipalities and the tangible solidarity here in the north, that would

support and work in concert with the struggles of our zapatista and

mexican comrades.



In essence, this is the central meaning of direct action that the

Electronic Disturbance Theatre cannot edit out in Microsoft Word.  It is

immediate.  As organizers of the international Reclaim the Streets

movement contend, "Direct action enables people to develop a new sense of

self-confidence and an awareness of their individual and collective power.

It is founded on the idea that people can develop the ability for

self-rule only through practice, and proposes that all persons directly

decide the importance of the issues facing them."  Such praxis comes

through seeing, touching, listening and truly working with people next to

you on the picket line, in the march, on the soup line, in your

neighborhood.



It is eventually socially isolating to sit in a room alone and type

because the medium only extends part of your body.  The information

transmitted across the net about demonstrations may help to determine the

general size and scope of our movements.  But when the "act" of

"disobedience" is simply hitting a button, when the net is relied upon by

organizers as a site for mobilization, then we miss entirely the real

character of resistance.  Worse, it will become painfully obvious to

people in struggle that our other senses of communication are dangerously

underdeveloped.



Analog Zapatismo



"Electronic Civil Disobedience" to defend the Zapatistas might not be

*such* a bad idea if there was already massive resistance in the streets.

Right now, the claims of the Electronic Disturbance Theatre to be 'just

another affinity group' carrying out 'one tactic in a range of available

tactics' ring hollow. But to its credit, the EDT says it does want to help

in setting up and defending a server in a zapatista support base.



As the urgent situation currently stands, there is a "low intensity" war

going on, which breaks out in massacres or mass imprisonment when Mexican

state police and Federal agents forcibly enter and try to dismantle the

autonomous communities.  It is a matter of life and death that we mobilize

people --bodies, physical support-- to bring medicine, food and

communication supplies, and to bear witness with our physical presence,

either there, or here in the streets, and at the businesses whose

investments perpetuate this war.   [A Mexican Solidarity Network is

beginning to emerge in several norteamericano cities, but when reading the

desperate pleas for help which come out across e-mail support lists from

Chiapas, it is clear we have a long way to go.]



 Our power is still in the streets, and we should not welcome a move to

the realm of the electronic with a rally call, but rather with intelligent

information gathering, a critical analysis of the electronic environment.

Instead of declaring cyberwar deep in capitalist territory, we need to

take a peaceful, cautious approach to the technology with the goal

improving the communications infrastructure in the service of the movement

on the ground.



This will necessitate broadening access, slowing down the devastating side

effects of the "knowledge economy" by sharing constructive skills,

hardware and software so that people of the south can tell their own

stories, not suffer the fallout of cyberwar.  Building this infrastructure

and autonomy will do far more to defend and expand public space within the

networks and on the ground, than any "electronic civil disobedience".





keep it real.

!Venceremos!

^ i don't even know how to make this upside down in said Microsoft

Word.TM

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.::[10]-[zapatista tribal port scan code]

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::[Electronic Disturbance Theater]

:::[http://www.thing.net/~rdom/ecd/ecd.html]::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::



zapatista tribal port scan code*



A port scan is not a crime. It is no different in spirit from counting the

windows of a building on a public sidewalk, or observing the number of

doors.

-- EDT, 2001



Chiapas, Mexico - January 3rd, 2000 - the Zapatista Air Force

"bombarded" the federal barracks of the Mexican Army with

hundreds of paper airplanes. Each one carrying a message to

counter the deafening noise created by the soldiers attempts

to silence their protests.



EZLN

http://www.ezln.org



In remembrance of this event the Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT)

releases a digital translation of the Zapatista Air Force Action:

the *zapatista tribal port scan code.*



The distribution of the source code for the** zapatista tribal port scan

(ZTPS)**

will be followed by the release of a ZTPS Tool Kit on January 15th, 2001

through EDT's home page.



Electronic Disturbance Theater

http://www.thing.net/~rdom/ecd/ecd.html



** zapatista tribal port scan (ZTPS) by EDT**



/* socketChecker -a simple port scanning class-

Opens a socket, checks it for a service, with a time-out.

Returns a String describing either the socket response, or

the result of the attempt to open the socket. Works for

both tcp-ip and udp services. A call to the factory method

checkSocket does it all (see below). Since the method

returns a String object after "time-out" milliseconds, you

might want to put the call *the checkSocket* method in it's

own thread.

*This code is completely free source

*If you download or use this code, please feel compelled to

make any improvements that you might make available to

the public domain.

*Utilize this code at your own risk - port scanning will

sometimes bristle the hairs of some sys admins.

As we know, the only thing a sys admin needs to do is

to complain (regardless of truth, and without responsible investigation),

for an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to pull the plug on a user.

*But if a socket is visible over the *public* Internet,

then a sys admin, (and everyone else), should expect

it to be scanned. A port scan is not a crime. It is no

different in spirit from counting the windows of a

building on a public sidewalk, or observing the number

of doors. If it sets off alarms, then it is the responsibility of

the sys admin to separate the potential threats from poetry,

free vision, or paper airplanes in public places.

Electronic Disturbance Theater

*/

import java.net.*;

import java.io.*;

public class socketChecker implements Runnable{

file://declarations

private String server;

private DatagramSocket dsock;

private DatagramPacket packet;

private int port;

private Socket socket;

private String response="";

private BufferedReader is;

private PrintWriter os;

public static final int TCP=0;

public static final int UDP=1;

private int type;

private boolean tcp; // if tcp true, then a tcp scan is done. if false,

udp.

private String message;

private boolean error=false;

// constructor - this is used by the factory method. You should not call it.

public socketChecker(String server, int port, int type, String message) {

socket=null;

dsock=null;

packet=null;

this.server=server;

this.port=port;

this.type=type;

this.message=message;

response="trying; no connection"; // default response reports message

// if there is a problem connecting it will be caught as

// an exception in the run method...

}

// methods

/* This static factory method is what you use to scan a port

public static String checkSocket(String ahost, int aport,

int timeout, int type, String message);

ahost - the machine to scan

aport - the port to scan

timeout - tells the thread how many milliseconds to wait for the socket

to respond...

int type - you can use the static ints socketChecker.TCP or

socketChecker.UDP to choose tcp or udp scans...

message - a String used either to message a port (TCP), or as

the data for the UDP packet.

(use depends upon "type" of scan selected in type)

*/

public static String checkSocket(String ahost, int aport,

int timeout, int type, String message) {

socketChecker look= new socketChecker(ahost, aport, type, message);

Thread t = new Thread(look);

t.start();

try {

t.join(timeout);

} catch (InterruptedException e) {

System.out.println("InterruptedException e: " + e.toString());

}

return look.getResponse();

}

// getResponse simply returns the String response

private String getResponse() {

return response;

}

// the run method

public void run() {

if (type==TCP) {

tcp=true;

} else {

tcp=false;

}

if (tcp) {

response="trying TCP=\"" + message + "\"; no connection";

// open a tcp socket

try {

socket = new Socket(server, port);

} catch (Exception e) { // catches mainly security and unknown host

exceptions

response+="; " + e.toString();

error=true;

}

if (!error) { // if the socket is open Reader and Writer

try {

is= new BufferedReader(

new InputStreamReader(socket.getInputStream())

);

os= new PrintWriter(

socket.getOutputStream(),true /* autoFlush */

);

} catch (IOException e) {

response+="; IO problem; " + e.toString();

error=true;

}

if (!error) { // if Reader and Writer are open

response="sending TCP=\"" + message + "\"; no reply";

try {

os.println(message);

} catch (Exception e) {

response+=("; "+e.toString()+"="+message);

}

try {

response="sending TCP=\"" + message + "\"; reply="+is.readLine();

} catch (IOException e) {

response+="; " + e.toString();

}

}

}

} else {

// open a udp socket, send a packet, get response..

response="trying UDP packet=\"" + message + "\"; can't create";

try {

dsock=new DatagramSocket();

} catch (SocketException se) {

response="SocketException: " + se.toString();

error=true;

} catch (Exception e) { // mostly to gather the variety of possible

security exceptions

response+="; " + e.toString();

error=true;

}

if (!error) {

response="sending UDP packet=\"" + message + "\"; can't send";

try {

dsock.send(new DatagramPacket(message.getBytes(),

message.getBytes().length,

InetAddress.getByName(server),

port)

);

} catch (UnknownHostException e) {

response+="UnknownHostException:" + e.toString();

error=true;

} catch (IOException e) {

response+="IOException: " + e.toString();

error=true;

} catch (Exception e) { // mostly to gather the variety of possible

security exceptions

response+="; " + e.toString();

error=true;

}

if (!error) {

response="UDP packet sent=\"" + message

+ "\"; no reply";

byte[] buf= new byte[1024];

packet= new DatagramPacket(buf, buf.length);

try {

dsock.receive(packet);

error=true;

} catch (ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException e) {

response="server trying to overflow buffer: " + e.toString();

error=true;

} catch (IOException e) {

response="IOException: " + e.toString();

error=true;

}

response= "UDP packet sent=\"" + message + "\"; reply=" + new

String(packet.getData(), 0, packet.getLength());

}

}

}

}

}





*******



End of zapatista tribal port scan code



*******

+ message + poetry packet +

}



}}





\+ Mayan Code+\



               Zapatista Technology

               Maya Time

               Air Notes

               Armed Words

               Paper Force

               EZLN 2001



               San Andres

               peace pact

               signed accords

               indigenous rights

               Paz Digna

               Fox promise



               La Realidad

               distributed encounters

               beyond Seattle

               las futuras

               always already

               future hacking



               against neoliberalism

               continuing repression

               taking Land

               taking communities

               taking rights

               Ya Basta!



               new dawn

               nightmare ends

               jungle waits

               silence breaks

               nuestra arma

               nuestra palabra



               Yepa! Yepa!

               Andale! Andale!

               Arriba! Arriba!

               Subcomandante Insurgente

               Mexican Southeast

               November 2000



               post presidente

               Ernesto Zedillo

               assassination administration

               going nowhere

               Acteal 1996

               peace justice

               bad joke



               sisters brothers

               conciencia internacional

               necesitamos difundir

               la palabra

               tomar accion

               nueva fronteras



               Lacandona dark

               all power

               for D.F



               italian kilowatts

               counter power

               for Chiapas



               virtual autonomy

               real politics

               not over

               top down

               cracks open

               reality arcs



               No Illegals

               Mexico USA

               Operation Gatekeeper

               Border war

               Every hour

               Someone dies



               amor rabia

               suspended particles

               adicciones ironicas

               mariposa rotas

               drift zones

               futuras globales



               auto nomedia

               network art

               tactical media

               net strikes

               hack tivismo

               indy media



               La Mar

               Old Antonio

               Don Durito

               Little Pedrito

               Commandante Tacho

               Commandante Ramona



               Zapatista Technology

               Maya Time

               Air Notes

               Armed Words

               Paper Force

               EZLN 2001



}continue switch

}

}

}

}



*****

Communique' from the Clandestine Revolutionary

Indigenous Committee -

General Command of the Zapatista Army of National

Liberation. Mexico.



January, 2001.



To the People of Mexico:



To the Peoples and Governments of the World:



Brothers and Sisters:



This past December 22 it will have been 3 years since the Acteal killings.

On that day, 3 years ago, 45 children, women, men and old ones, all

indigenous, were massacred by a paramilitary group of Ernesto Zedillo's

government.



Those intellectually responsible for this crime against humanity continue

to go unpunished. The dirty war which made it possible continues. The

counterinsurgency doctrine which inspired it continues still. The

paramilitary structure which carried it out remains untouched. The

military protection of the assassins continues.



Despite what the lavish government publicity campaign says, nothing has

changed. There is nothing in place in Chiapas which would ensure that

Acteal will not be repeated.



For Acteal to be finally put in our country's past, it is necessary for the

truly guilty ones to be punished, it is necessary for the warlike viewpoint

to be finally abandoned and for there to be a serious commitment to the

political path. It is necessary that the paramilitary groups be dismantled,

it is necessary for the foundations of dialogue to be set through the

signals which were demanded.



The EZLN is calling on political, social and non-governmental organizations,

on intellectuals and artists, on religious men and women, on all honest

persons in Mexico and the world, to mobilize in demanding an end to the

policies which made Acteal possible and the fulfillment of the 3 signals 

which were demanded for the renewal of dialogue.



Democracy!

Liberty!

Justice!



>From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee

-

General Command of the Zapatista Army of National

Liberation.



Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

Mexico, December of 2000.



EZLN

Zapatista National

Liberation Army



\ http://www.ezln.org\

{

dsock.receive(packet);

{{swtich_over}}



The distribution of the source code for the** zapatista tribal port scan

(ZTPS)** will be followed by the release of a ZTPS Tool

on January 15th, 2001 through EDT's home page.



  Electronic Disturbance Theater

  http://www.thing.net/~rdom/ecd/ecd.html



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.:::[    Copyright (c) www.thehacktivist.com 2001. All Rights Reserved.   ]:::.

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