IMAGES THAT CONNECT TO SOMETHING REAL

The Summer of Lulz

Posted in Uncategorized by a1icey on July 29, 2011

I support civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is the antidote to Breivik. It lets off the pressure and anxiety that has infected my generation. While studying the First Amendment, I came to realize that the world is safer if angry people express themselves. A large burning cross is a red alert for those who must keep the peace, while importing fertilizers… just means local farm produce.

There are two sides to the movement lead by Lulzsec, recently arrested Mercedes and Topiary, and the thousands of other anonymous activists. On the one hand, there are activists who just want to create havoc, and seem inspired by Fight Club. They are willing to commit minor crimes. For example, they released user information from Sony when they could have made their point without harming the users (who used the same usernames and passwords on other sites, and lost access to email, among other things).  Then there’s the V for Vendetta activists, people who feel isolated in their commitment to ethics and honesty. As so eloquently put by Topiary, voluntary DDoSing should not be considered criminal, because it is the same as sit-ins for physical businesses. We live in an era where there is no central location or public face to our businesses. For these activists, civil disobedience like DDoSing seems like the only way to get their attention.

Half-way around the world, the Russian government has been suppressing their opposition over the last week with the use of – you guessed it – DDoSing. Livejournal is the largest social networking site in Russia, where many political dissidents and purveyors of uncensored ideas are gathering. Time magazine predicts that the DDoSing will continue for the next few months as the election season heats up.

Anarchists talk about the government as a monopoly on force. This is more true in Europe than in America, thanks to the Second Amendment which is still the law in the South West. Our federal government and its lifetime employees are best served by reinforcing this monopoly. HB Gary, a security firm the FBI has hired to try to combat so called “cyber terrorists,” is developing state-sanctioned malware. They’re a private company, but the government has asked them to do what the cyber terrorists do, so it’s legal.  When the federal government becomes involved in criminal law (where they never belonged) be wary of their monopoly on force, which is ever-expanding. It becomes a perfect playground for them to play the paradox to their advantage. They plan to use this particular tool to attack Wikileaks, which presents a threat to the federal government, but not to American citizens.

We are seeing a trend of the protection of the state over the protection of citizens. There are many secrets being kept, and the facebook generation doesn’t believe in secrets. Even outside of our generation, Americans understand that individuals have the right to privacy, but the government certainly does not. By creating these false wars to distract the population, incite fear and limit civil liberties, they can pretend that the exposure of diplomatic cables (of all things) could pose a security risk to citizens. Even 9/11 was not implemented with the use of any secret government information.

I also believe that all this hacking of corporations and governments won’t tell us anything new. Wading through the molasses of bureaucracy may confirm the web of personal allegiances that lead to the distribution of contracts and bail-outs, the head-in-the-sand approach to the torture and interrogation of Iraqis producing pamphlets on corruption (02:35:46 PM on May 23)… but really the government, our overlords, are all trying to look like they are busy, while secretly being really bad at their jobs. There’s not much to uncover and it might be that the V for Vendetta-style protestors are aiming for an empty space.

The underlying problem is that there is a vast, involuntary system of control that has been implemented by people who once were attendees of the Summer of Love, in the name of fear. Their children, a generation brought up on news television full of high-anxiety voices proclaiming the death of this person, the rape of that person, has had enough.  Exposing the sheer lack of danger is perhaps the best antidote. But the FBI and US Attorneys’ Office may have the last laugh, as they ask for longer jail sentences for their most awake, creative and independent citizens than they get for a murderer or a rapist.

So, what created the Summer of Love? An economic recession paired with a baby boom coming of age. And the Summer of Lulz, during another economic recession affecting the echo of that baby boom, forty years later, to reverse what they’ve done to America.

edit to add: This is an extremely valuable resource how to successfully engage in non-violent civil disobedience: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1B2CF32B0727D3EC

second edit: here is an expose of what really happened last summer: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/06/hacking-group-lulzsec-swept-up-by-law-enforcement/

third edit: This quotation really captures my whole issue with this area of criminal law: “Currently there are three known classes of players who develop malware and spyware: hacktivists, cybercriminals and nation state.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18238326

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