Monday, March 12, 2012

War on the Internet (Australia)

Electronic Frontiers and The Australian Greens teamed up a few months ago, to host an interesting event called War on the Internet, featuring:

  • Jacob Applebaum - leading computer security researcher and hacker
  • Bernard Keane - 'Crikey' journalist and author
  • Scott Ludlam - Senator for Western Australia and Greens spokesperson for Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy
  • Suelette Dreyfus - author and researcher on whistleblowing

The response of governments and corporations to Wikileaks, Anonymous, the occupy movement and the Arab Spring has been defensive and warlike.  The internet and social media were declared tools of agitation.  Behaviour that sought peaceful democratic reform was characterised as treasonous or even terrorist.
Government asserted the right to flick the internet off-switch, and law enforcement, Internet Service Providers, telcos and the judiciary were enlisted to harass activists via subpoenas, takedown notices, mercenary denial of service attacks, and direct denial of services based on unexplained breaches of hard to find user licences.  It also involved the ritual harassment of activists in the far corners of international airports, dark places reserved for unlawful arrivals and criminal suspects.
It doesn't have to be like this.  Come and hear from an activist, journalist, researcher and legislator challenging the gatekeepers and proposing alternatives to the weaponisation of cyberspace.
Videos of this event are kept on Vimeo, with just over 200 views in a month and barely any 
mainstream coverage that I am aware of. I'd say Australian journalists and editors are asleep on this subject. 

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