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February 2, 2014 4:02 PM   Subscribe

Transmediale keynote Art as Evidence by Trevor Paglen (recently), Jacob Appelbaum (recently), and Laura Poitras (previously), moderated by Tatiana Bazzichelli. Also, Bruce Sterling gave the opening ceremony, perhaps more to come.
posted by jeffburdges (8 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
It doesn't have to be this way, you know. Morning the innocence lost is all well and good, but let's not go presuming that it has to be the way it is.

It is entirely possible to have ones computer be both secure and usable. It is only the social inertia of the current paradigm that keeps things the way they are. Multilevel security was invented in the 1960s to deal with air defense computational needs in Viet Nam, it was perfected in the 1970s, and totally ignored (joked about) by K&R when they wrote Unix.

It is entirely possible to have email without spam, but not if we keep using SMTP.

It is entirely possible to replace the internet ourselves, using mesh networks for local connectivity, and dark fiber for the backbon.

This conference seems to be thoughtful, but there can be hope, if we choose to pursue new courses of action. All is not lost.
posted by MikeWarot at 7:09 PM on February 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

Trevor Paglen is very good.
posted by migurski at 9:52 AM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Appelbaum singled out aftermarket hardware backdoors, MikeWarot, not so easy to prevent, except by making governments much more transparent.

At 30c3 both Paglen and Appelbaum gave hour long talks more focussed on the technical details, see their recently links.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:11 PM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Aftermarket backdoors are a big issue, but there is a much bigger issue when every machine out there is basically an open invitation to exploitation. That issue can be solved, giving a much more stable platform to diagnose things like this against.

Right now you could have a clean system, with nothing added to it, and someone in the NSA, or whoever... could target it remotely, without any added hardware, and I would guess that they would have a way in 99.98% of the time thanks to just the installed OS and zero day exploits.

Yes... the hardware stuff gave me the willys, I'm not writing that off. But right now it's like we're building our houses out of C4... we need to stop doing that first.

I object to the idea that we've lost the internet, and should just deal with our loss, instead of trying to fix it with our hard earned experience.
posted by MikeWarot at 8:10 PM on February 3, 2014

I have not heard anyone advocate just giving up, certainly not this crew, but not really anyone serious. Adi Shamir's warning to prepare for a "post-cryptography" world considers only to high value targets.

We now understand from the backdoors that the internet cannot just "route around the problem", making real transparency and political progress essential. At least some folks already understood that.

I believe Snowden's revelations provides a window to deploy popular forward-secure end-to-end encrypted protocols that make unjust spying more difficult politically by making spying on everyone impractical.

At the endpoints, we need software and hardware hacks by the NSA, DoJ, companies, etc. to be exposed, and cost those organizations politically, maybe that means designing system to be easier to understand.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:31 AM on February 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Recent overhead photos of the NSA, NRO, and NGA by Paglen.
posted by stagewhisper at 3:45 PM on February 10, 2014

Recent overhead photos of the NSA, NRO, and NGA by Paglen.

Related thread: ‘We Track ’Em, You Whack ’Em.’
posted by homunculus at 6:28 PM on February 10, 2014

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