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Stefan Marsiske - What would hackers use? part2

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  • 1. what would hackers use.notes stef September 5, 2010
  • 2. Background The disruptive nature of the Internet produced a set of conicts between society, governments and business. Normally governments and business would have sorted these conicts out, if there weren't these shiny new and ecient tools and methods for organization of civil defense. Despite low budgets these NGOs operate with a couple of dozen activists are able to cause serious trouble to corrupt or misguided politicians and business interests harming fundamental freedoms. The Internet is a mighty weapon when it comes to transparency, self-organization, communication, activism. This has been discovered by politicians and business, which feel threathened by this and want to change this to their benet. I am one of the volunteers trying to defend the freedom on the internet, so that you guys can do your job better. Today i'll try to give you some insights what we use in to amplify our activities.
  • 3. Roots The roots of these tools and methods come from the Free Software movement, where for the last 2025 years huge amounts of unbeatable quality software has been developed in such a decentralized and bottom-up manner.
  • 4. Industry eciency In the industry having a traditional top-down project with more than 100 developers is almost impossible, adding one new employee to a project only increases productivity by 30%, because of the communication and project management overhead.
  • 5. Free software eciency Whereas a new version the Linux kernel is released every 3 months and is being developped by more than 1000 developers and companies involved. Bottom-up scales, top-down does not.
  • 6. - So what are these tools. - The most important advice is be OPEN!!!!1!eleven!!1! If there is a barrier to contribute to your cause - eliminate it ASAP!
  • 7. In bottom-up organizations merit is everything, members that have accomplished things get credit and inuence, the rest of the team chances to accomplish. This ensures action instead of talking. Always concentrate on the 'how yes' instead of the 'why not!' Also keep in mind that it's better to apologize than to ask for permission.
  • 8. - The development of free software is generally distributed, this made it necessary to develop an infrastructure that enables highly eective communication among people that never meet in their life. Similar infrastructures are being used by tech-savvy organizations: - If possible always use your own infrastructure, if you do not have your own hardware then rent a Virtual Private Server (VPS) somewhere in Europe, cheap ones start at 10EUR/month. If the provider is sold or bust you can loose your data that is still locked in, also you're trusting 3rd parties who can be intimidated or otherwise compromised.
  • 9. - It is ok to use VoIP conferencing for rapid small group 24 communication.
  • 10. - Blogs for the general public - communication is low with rare spikes, audience is big.
  • 11. - IRC the communication platform that precedes and surpasses any modern IM solution, use it! having an IRC channel with 100 members is very useful. The Telecomix team is able to transcribe a secret leaked 5060 pages document within a few hours after requesting the transcription in their IRC channel. Communication is usually ad-hoc, with rare pre-scheduled irc meetings, the number of participants is usually not more than 100.
  • 12. - Some communities use video streaming services like ustream for virtual connecting of oces, streaming events, conferences and lectures. Audiences can be up to 1 million with ustream, less with bambuser, usually only a couple hundred.
  • 13. - mailing-lists if possible host your own, use mailman or ezmlm. If that is not possible use googlegroups. Combined with nabble this can also be accessed like a forum. Usually you need 23 mailinglists, one lively for general discussion, one low-trac for announcements and press-releases and possibly one restricted for administration/management tasks - but the necessity of latter is debatable.
  • 14. - wikis/collaboriative text creation. Everyone uses them
  • 15. Wikileaks
  • 16. LQDN
  • 17. euwiki
  • 18. FFII
  • 19. Telecomix/Werebuild
  • 20. If you want to embrace crowdsourcing you must give full write access to anyone, even anonymous users - yes that means some moderation and hard work. I know mediawiki and wikipedia is a huge success, but time has passed on and there are much more eective tools now, for rapid development of text use Etherpads, when the text is more-or-less ready you can migrate it to a more static wiki.
  • 21. During the draft of the 3rd revision of the GNU Public License, the copyleft license enabling free software a new tool has been introduced. This enabled thousands of reviewers to reect upon the draft, without overwhelming a handful of core-authors. Of course this can also (and is) used for analyzing laws, contracts, or any other kind of text document.
  • 22. Stet has been abandoned, but fortunately there is co-ment.com. If you have many documents to analyze or reect on, then having a co-ment service is invaluable.
  • 23. twitter and facebook are closed systems, use them cautiously only for campaings. If possible avoid Facebook or closed products from companies like Apple or Microsoft, these are fundamentally top-down and despised for their disrespect of fundamental freedoms of the users. Although Facebook might be used to reach a huge audience, it makes sometimes sense to use it for campaigns. It is better to replace twitter with status.net - which is completely libre.
  • 24. an exciting innovation comes from the german pirate party, they use delegated voting and liquidfeedback as a tool for governing their party in a transparent and empowering way.
  • 25. for nancial support Moneybookers (cheaper and european) and Paypal can be used eectively. But my real hope is BitCoin a decentralized anonymous payment system.
  • 26. Ok, these are general tools, but of course dierent specialized tools have appeared as well. The European Union is an excellent breeding ground for such, the PSI and FOI directives provide lot's of data to process and react upon. There is lot's of data on europa.eu.
  • 27. During the Software Patents ght a couple of years back (which we won - until the next round starts) gave rise to the rst batch of such tools. The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure established a highly informative swpatent wiki . . .
  • 28. . . . and tools like Tratten. Tratten tracks all the issues in the legislative pipeline of the EU - from the rst mentioning of an issue to the ratication of it. If anything changes related to an issue and this is (as it is mandated) published on the ocial EU websites, notications are sent to anyone interested in an issue.
  • 29. A very exciting tool is politicalmemory.eu, where voting recommendations to MEPs are compared to actual votes and a ranking is produced according to these. This helps identifying opponents and allies across the political spectrum.
  • 30. Also interesting are special interest groups dedicated to developing tools that enable citizens to engage in policymaking. See Data.gov(.uk) by the Open Knowledge Foundation, also the US based Sunlight Foundation and the UK based mysociety.org are excellent examples of tools developed for bottom-up inuence on traditional top-down structures and processes. My favorite is Littlesis.org from the US.
  • 31. Currently there is a erce ght going on for the freedom of the new world brought upon us bye these technologies. This time Trade Agreements are the threat, these are being negotiated in secret . . .
  • 32. . . . so we must rely on leaks and laborous work to analyze them. (PDFs are the tools of the evil and printing companies)