“But what shall we dream of when everything becomes visible?” Virilio replies: “We’ll dream of being blind."
Artist and film-maker, Hito Steyerl, asks us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our digital equivalents. Digital images are Things (like you and me) - a plethora of compressed, corrupted representations pushed and pulled through increasingly policed and capitalised information networks. If 80% of all internet traffic* is SPAM - a liberated excess withdrawn** from accepted channels of communication - perhaps it is in The Poor Image we find our closest kin? [more inside]
Mining the Mother of all Data Dumps We now have a relatively massive haul of digital data from the OBL strike. There are several forensic toolkits in use by the private (commercially available) and public sector as well as open-source. Best practices include inventorying all the sources, cloning the sources so as to not damage pristine data, recovering any partial or damaged content, making the cloned sources read-only, adhering to legally-admissible tools standards, and documenting everything. There is an excellent source titled Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content from the Council on Library and Information Resources [pdf, Resource Shelf]. But what to do next*? [more inside]
Why Your Digital Data Could One Day Disappear HBS Working Knowledge has a Story (actually it's an Excerpt of Dark Ages II: When the Digital Data Die, by Bryan Bergeron) that says data stored on discs and other forms of computer storage are anything but permanent. Not only are the disks themselves the trouble (they last 5-20 years), the computers that read/write them are an added problem, tried opening a Commodore 64 file lately, or a 5 ¼ inch disc?
Have you heard about the SSSCA? It is the sequel to the universally-reviled Digital Millenium Copyright Act and is 1000 times more heinous. It would require that any device even remotely capable of transmitting digital data contain security hardware approved by the US Department of Commerce. I can't say I have ever heard of anything more ridiculous. Here is a draft of the bill.