Recordings in English

Music for Computers

Goodiepal; Leo Findeisen

At the Berlin transmediale 2015, Danish musician and performer Goodiepal presented his performance-installation “Drop-In or Drop Out!”, a continuation of his acclaimed “El Camino Del Hardcore - Rejsen Til Nordens Indre…” (2009-12). Through his installation, he focused on the way technological inventions such as the Internet have formalized knowledge and the capability of the human psyche to imagine things beyond this formalization.

In order to reclaim a space of imagination, Goodiepal has been engaged in the creation of what he calls “unscannable” objects and practices in the past few years. The publication of “El Camino Del Hardcore” follows this logic, as it is constantly evolving, handmade and not available online, contains encrypted texts and is assembled from the author’s sometimes incomplete personal memories.

The short interview he gave during the festival provides additional information on the development of Goodiepal’s work as a traveling performer on a self-made bike, his former occupation as a lecturer at the Danish Royal Academy of Arts, and his personal outlook on the relation of artificial intelligence and the arts.

The Lifecycle of a Revolution

Jennifer Granick; Jeff Moss; Phillipe Courtot

In 2015, Jennifer Granick was the keynote speaker at Black Hat, the annual conference of the global InfoSec community held in Las Vegas (UT). In her talk, she argued that 20 years from now, the internet might complete its shift from liberator to oppressor. According to her, centralization, regulation, and an increasingly divided community of users have slowly subverted the dream of a free and open internet. These developments will continue to form the future of communication and information, and transform the internet into a slick, controlled, and closed thing. While it might still be possible to prevent this from happening, Granick believes that in the next 20 years we will need to get ready to smash the Internet apart and build something new and better.

Jennifer Granick is the director of Civil Liberties at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. Outside of academia, she is mostly known as the attorney who defended some of the more notorious criminal hackers around, including Kevin Poulsen, Aaron Swartz, Jerome Heckenkamp and the hackers in the Diebold Election Systems case.

The video of the speech as well as a revised written version are also available at https://medium.com/backchannel/the-end-of-the-internet-dream-ba060b17da6…

Europe vs. Facebook

Max Schrems; John Kennedy

“It is essential to me not to spread apocalyptic sentiments. It is about to call on people, like I do in my book, that improvements can actually be achieved and that we, the citizens, are in no way helpless when it comes to our rights.”

The story of Mac Schrems is one of engaging in a hard, long struggle that reached a pivotal moment in October 2015, when the European High Court ruled that the US can no longer portray themselves as a ‘safe harbor’ for the data trails of European citizens.

On 26 June 2013, the law student turned privacy activist filed a complaint against “Facebook Ireland”, the international headquarter of Facebook Inc., with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. Schrems argued that the transfer of customer data to the US, where these data were processed, constitutes a “transfer to a third country,” which is only legal in the European Union if the receiving country can guarantee adequate protection of these data. Because the data is forwarded from Facebook Inc. to the NSA and other US authorities for mass surveillance programs, the core claim was that personal data transferred to the US is not adequately protected once it reaches the United States. About one year later, the Irish High Court referred the case to the European Court of Justice.

Max Schrems and his thousands of supporters did not give in. On 6 October 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the regulation of data transfers under the ‘Safe Harbour’ agreement between the European Union and the US, which allowed tech firms to share their data, was invalid. The court followed Schrems’ interpretation, stating that Facebook and other digital operators do not provide customers with protection from state surveillance, and concluded that the US thus “does not afford an adequate level of protection of personal data.

In a first reaction, Schrems stated that “this case law will be a milestone for constitutional challenges against similar surveillance conducted by EU member states.” He also thanked the bravery of ex-security analyst Edward Snowden, whose revelations about mass surveillance had played a pivotal role for the Strasbourg decision. In this interview with award-winning technology journalist John Kennedy, he provides background information on the case against Facebook, how end users’ lack of technical knowledge  fosters their lack of necessary mistrust and how business interests outrank the question of legality.

 

To be an artist but not noticed as an artist

Marcel Duchamp

In the early years of his career, Marcel Duchamp set out to revolutionize the art world: he invented the ready-made and declared art to be dead. In doing so, he did not only shock the audience, he also alienated many of his fellow artists - including the French cubists and those he deemed to be ‘optical’ painters who only seek to please, like Matisse. By the 1960s, when Joan Bakewell interviewed him for the BBC, Duchamp had become a legend who inspired the young artists of the time, especially those involved in Pop Art.

In the interview, Duchamp talks about his attitude towards his own work as well as about distancing himself from groups and artistic movements alike to follow his vision, and boredom as a strategy to attract a public after shocking the audience became impossible.

Keywords: English, Marcel Duchamp

Inside the Dark Web - The Hackers and Scientists whoseTechnology is fighting against Internet Surveillance

Reem al Assil; Julia Angwin; Jacob Applebaum; Julian Assange; Tim Berners-Lee; David Chaum; Steve Crocker; Alex Hawkinson; Jon Iadonisi; Eugene Kaspersky; Rick Lamb; Troels Oerting; Thomas Olofson; Bruce Schneier; Paul Syverson; Peter Todd;Joss Wright

Twenty-five years after the World Wide Web was created, the issue of surveillance has become the greatest shame upon its existence. With many concerned that governments and corporations monitor people’s every move, this programme meets hackers and scientists who are using technology to fight back, and some law enforcement officers who believe it’s leading to opportunities for risk-free crimes. With contributors including World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange. 

The documentary features statements, in alphabetical order, by: Syrian human rights activist Reem al Asim, journalist Julia Angwin, Tor representative Jacob Applebaum, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, World Wide Web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee, cryptographer David Chaum, ICANN chair Steve Crocker, SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson, internet security expert Jon Iadonisi, Kaspersky Lab founder Eugene Kaspersky, ICANN Senior Program Manager Rick Lamb, the Head of the European Cybercrime Centre Troels Oerting, information security specialist Thomas Olofson, cryptographers Bruce Schneier and Paul Syverson, Bitcoin developer Peter Todd, and Oxford Internet institute researcher Joss Wright.

Freedom, Out of the Box!

James Vasile

FreedomBox is the name of an award-winning project devoted to building small, low-cost computers that protect peoples´ privacy, security and anonymity while they use the Internet. On January 21, 2015, Version 0.3 of FreedomBox has been released. Speaking at the Elevate festival Graz, Austria, free software advocate and consultant James Vasile outlines the technical and political background and present status of development.

In this presentation at the legendary location for the legacy of Austrian avantgarde art, Forum Stadtpark, Vasile looks back at the way communication used to work in the early days of the internet. Stressing the importance of trust in communication networks, he proposes the FreedomBox as a possibility to create a convenient way for users to access encryption technology and to re-establish personal trust as the foundation of online interactions. The boxes themselves work as Debian plug servers and allow to run various software, including encrypted VOIP and email. They can also be used for routing connections around national censorship firewalls, or to replace social networking sites like facebook. For a software projekt, the development seems to be slow as Vasile is speaking in 2011, yet a closer look shows the complexity that is involved in `doing FreedomBox right´. More information on the project can be found on the project wiki at https://wiki.debian.org/FreedomBox

The project has received an Innovation Award at Contact Summit 2011, as well as an Ashoka ChangeMaker’s award for Citizen’s Media.

Keywords: English, James Vasile

Mistrust authority, promote decentralization

Alec Empire

Alec Empire, one of the founders of music collective Atari Teenage Riot, gave the keynote speech at the annual event of Chaos Computer Club 2014. The artist, who uses an old Atari 1040 ST for his compositions, talks about a variety of topics ranging from the beauty found in machine code and sheet music to the connections between the fight for privacy and the promotion of authors’ rights.

Drawing upon his personal experiences with streaming services and censorship in the music industry, he speaks out against passive consumerism and for an alliance between hackers, musicians and other artists to shape the digital culture of the future.

Keywords: Alec Empire, English

Power Balancing in the next Decade

Bruce Schneier

In 2013, blog author and security expert Bruce Schneier was invited by google to give a talk as part of the “Authors at Google” series. Under the title “Liars and Outliers”, Schneier compared our use of technology and our relationship to tech companies to medieval feudalism, where the weak give up their rights for the promise to be protected by the powerful. He links this concept to the average user’s inability to control their own devices, and to the power amassed by almost monopolist corporations and service providers.

Keywords: Bruce Schneier, English

Mass surveillance is setting fire to the future of the internet

Edward Snowden; Ben Wizner; Chris Saghoian

At the SXSW conference 2014 in Austin (Texas), Edward Snowden addressed the tech community, encouraging them to play the role of ‘firefighters’ who have the ability to craft solutions and make society safer. Answering questions submitted via twitter, he reflects on differences between data mining done by companies and governmental surveillance, the role of private contractors to the development of policies, and steps everyone can take to counter mass surveillance.

An obligation to report

Laura Poitras

Laura Poitras talks about “Citizenfour”, her documentary about Edward Snowden, the NSA, and surveillance that won the `Academy Award´. Yes, this is what professionals also call the Oscar - it is now official that the arts have, after many years of activists risking their sanity, freedom and their families, joined the new clash of cultures on the sensitive and progressive side. During a Q&A at the 52nd New York Film Festival, she recalls her transformation from a documentary journalist into an activist during the production of the film that narrates her stay with Glenn Greenwald and Snowden in a hotel in Hong Kong.

Citizenfour won the 2014 Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Documentary and the International Documentary Association award for best documentary feature. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for 2015. (our first update from February, 2015: “It has won the Oscar in this category.)

 

Keywords: English, Laura Poitras