The Commons - Networked Politics & Technology Seminar
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  • 1.
      • Networked Politics & Technology Seminar
      • Berkeley
      • 2008-12-06
      • The Battle Over Bits
      • The Commons: A Culture for Healthy Techno-Politics
      • Mike Linksvayer
      • Creative Commons
    Photo by asadal · Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 · http://flickr.com/photos/68242677@N00/2117153416/
  • 2. Original photo by Brooke Novak · Licensed under CC BY · http://flickr.com/photos/brookenovak/337889974/ I AM NOT A
  • 3. ... and this is a little far afield from a normal CC presentation. The most important (and CC-relevant) takeaway is that building the commons now is critical to the future of techno-politics turning out well ... as opposed to Orwell!
  • 4. “Napster politics are brutally boring” Lucas Gonze
  • 5. So let’s talk about a crusade for the soul of techno-politics, not a battle over bits.
  • 6. Example threats and fears
  • 7. Cyber terrorism
  • 8. Cyber terrorism (Cyber terror war on)
  • 9. Cyber terrorism (Cyber terror war on) Privacy breaches
  • 10. Cyber terrorism (Cyber terror war on) Privacy breaches Loss of Generativity
  • 11. Cyber terrorism (Cyber terror war on) Privacy breaches Loss of Generativity Lock-in
  • 12. Cyber terrorism (Cyber terror war on) Privacy breaches Loss of Generativity Lock-in Surveillance
  • 13. Cyber terrorism (Cyber terror war on) Privacy breaches Loss of Generativity Lock-in Surveillance DRM
  • 14. Cyber terrorism (Cyber terror war on) Privacy breaches Loss of Generativity Lock-in Surveillance DRM Censorship
  • 15. Cyber terrorism (Cyber terror war on) Privacy breaches Loss of Generativity Lock-in Surveillance DRM Censorship Suppression of innovation
  • 16. Cyber terrorism (Cyber terror war on) Privacy breaches Loss of Generativity Lock-in Surveillance DRM Censorship Suppression of innovation Electoral fraud
  • 17. Threat categories
    • Legitimate security issues
    • Protectionism
    • Politics and power
    • Security theater and fear-based responses (driven by all of above, not just legitimate security issues)
  • 18. Healthy techno-politics
    • Keep same rights online/digitally that we (should anyway) have offline/IRL
    • Permit innovation and participation enabled by digital world even if not possible before
    • Take advantage of (2) like crazy!
  • 19. How building the commons (free software, free culture, and friends) helps
  • 20. Security
    • Data shows FLOSS is more secure
    • Security through obscurity doesn’t work
    • FLOSS encourages a heterogeneous computing environment
    • Free software and free culture both allergic to DRM and other mechanisms that sacrifice security to other goals
  • 21. Protectionism
    • Peer production undermines policy arguments for protecting knowledge industries
    • Free software and free culture both allergic to DRM
  • 22. Politics and power
    • Free software and culture improve transparency
    • ... and the ability of all to participate
    • Peer production works against concentrated power — doesn’t require concentrated production structures and lowers barriers to entry
  • 23. Security theater and fear
    • Access to facts mitigates fear and allows rational evaluation of responses
    • Commons work against three previous threats that drive security theater and fear
  • 24. What about network services? The Commons Lost ?
    • No access to source code of web applications ( none of the four freedoms!)
    • Application, data, content, even identifiers, all available at the whim of service provider
    • Non-transparent, security through obscurity
    • Subject to centralized failure, state meddling
  • 25. Autonomy in a network services environment
    • Network application providers should publish source code of running application under a free license
    • Collaboratively created content should be available under a free license
    • Private data should be available for on-demand export
    • Possibly most explicit linkage of free software and free culture yet
  • 26. Network services freedom: early efforts
    • AGPL
    • Franklin Street Declaration
    • Open Software Service Definition
    • Example compliant applications:
      • Wikipedia (!)
      • Identi.ca
    • See http://autonomo.us for ongoing discussion
  • 27. Some network services open issues
    • Governance of centralized services?
    • To what extent are completely decentralized services required to maintain freedom?
    • Much more experience is required!
  • 28. Photo by RocketRaccoon · Licensed under CC BY · http://flickr.com/photos/rocketraccoon/227241974/
  • 29. Nagging question relevant to the development of techno-politics over last ~10 years: To what extent has the attempt to suppress P2P negatively impacted the development of completely decentralized applications, shaped “Web 2.0”, and added to the network services challenge?
  • 30. Can the success of the (digital) commons alter how we view freedom and power generally?
  • 31.
    • “The gate that has held the movements for equalization of human beings strictly in a dilemma between ineffectiveness and violence has now been opened. The reason is that we have shifted to a zero marginal cost world. As steel is replaced by software, more and more of the value in society becomes non-rivalrous: it can be held by many without costing anybody more than if it is held by a few.”
    • Eben Moglen
  • 32.
    • “If we don’t want to live in a jungle, we must change our attitudes. We must start sending the message that a good citizen is one who cooperates when appropriate, not one who is successful at taking from others.”
    • Richard Stallman
  • 33.  
  • 34. What is the future of techno-politics?
    • I don’t know
    • Have a good idea of what we need to do to make it a good future
    • It is truly wonderful that creating free software and free culture has a side effect of facilitating healthy techno-political outcomes
  • 35. So Create! (and learn/experience so you can teach/recommend free software and free culture when appropriate)
  • 36. Building the commons is key to the future of healthy network politics
    • Politicians and corporations are unimaginative ... they need to see solutions, or they react in fear
    • A dominant commons makes many closed net scenarios much less likely
    • Presentation Lic ense ... http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
    • Attribution ... Author: Mike Linksvayer; Link: http://creativecommons.org
    • Questions? ... ml@creativecommons.org