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Throughout history we can trace a gradual evolution of our institutions. Be they religious or civil, all institutions are informed by the advances of information technology. Speech, writing, the printing press and now the internet: they have all had a profound impact on how human beings relate to each other, to their surroundings, their history, and their future. The itinerary of information technology reveals a perspective on history informed by virtuality: a force that can alter the way power is distributed throughout communities.

The power of virtuality is the faculty of abstract representation: how for instance monetary mediation has changed the way states relate to their subjects and how subjects relate to their property, and how both their futures are interfered with through the injunction of debt. The dynamics of these technologies inform the structure of our interpersonal lives and history, revealing a spiritual perspective on our political economy: how abstract values have altered the nature of our social relationships. The nature of labour, property, value, and debt are all transformed throughout this history, showing how the representation of these abstraction in script (paper money) have made possible the hacking of the state: informing the supra-individual nature of our social reality.


This presentation will present a range of transparency critiques in order up to open a discussion about contemporary info-activism. The notion of transparency is usually mobilised as a 'good': Transparency goes against state secrecy, represents responsible policy, and stands for openness about data and research methods. As Lessig remarked in a critical piece about the transparency movement: 'How could anyone be against transparency?' (The New Republic, 9 October 2009).  This session aims to look more closely to the workings of transparency.

What political and philosophical assumptions are embedded in the use of the word 'transparency'? Does transparency also expect something from the public? And what does that say about the politics of practices of 'bringing things into view'? We will go through a list claims made by contemporary scholars (amongst others Clare Birchall, Andrew Barry, Evelyn Ruppert) who have critically examined the idea and status of transparency and look at the use of the concept in social movements. The aim of the session is a discussion about the extent to which these insights are fruitful (or too limited) to discuss contemporary forms of info-activism.



The DCP Bay is the codename for a digital movie distribution platform which intend to be an alternative to monopolistic actors in place in France. Digital movie transport is in the hands of very few actors and as the cinema is heading towards digital at high speed, they have a crucial place in the landscape. Our project originates from the mind of Rodolphe and Nicolas, working for an indie movie theater in Toulouse, Utopia. Under the influence of the local DIY ISP, they thought of a scheme where movies are transported by the local DIY ISP instead of the big corps running the market.

Soon, they were joined by independant distributors and groups of movie theaters. Taking inspiration from the "scene", movies are distributed to theaters using free software and most of all, with ftp/bittorrent for a prize well below the monopolistic market. Amongst many things, this means fresh air for pressured little theaters. It's also a wonderful example of the synergy that can exist between culture, free software and community-driven Internet infrastructures.


The evolution of our species is no longer determined by the physical prowess of dominant genes, we create new interfaces to interact with the mind and push as into new territories of thinking.

The architectural space, the environment we live in, demands the body to move in it. Maps are the physical tool we use to navigate this space, these objects are the signifier of the relationship to our surroundings. Google Maps has created a 1:1 reality, of the architectural world, that gives the impression of real time feedback. It offers up the perfect exploration that can be accessed with a scrolling finger, and yet with all the available possibilities for moving in an online space we’re still set in the bodily plane.

The imaginary spaces we create have developed into new worlds that are poured into online gaming and communities. We’ve created a new visual language influenced by the architectural space but with more possibilities. The Memory Palace, an important branch of the imaginary space, allows us to assign large amounts of information to our everyday environment and objects. In this space we transcend the body, moving from object to object recalling memories, we move freely from our constraints without the body weighing us down. How can we combine the abstracted ideas, that come from transcending the mind, with a new map of reality.

In the workshop we will explore how we understand and access the architectural and imaginary space. Combining the everyday and sublime to transcend our physicality and create interfaces to experience virtual space in a new way.


If we want to see everyone being able to communicate freely (and thus without spying), that means creating software for potentially billions of people. The Tor Project, for example, has been approched1 by companies who wish to integrate Tor in products with a 100 million users. Does such growth inevitably mean getting completely eaten by capitalism? Is there a “proper” way to work at such a scale?

This discussion round aims at investigating the problems that come along with developing free/libre opensource software for a large audience. Till what point can the near-free reproduction of software save us from capitalist accumulation? Can we apply technologies to uphold values like free speech on a universal scale without compromising adherence to decentral and non-hierarchical organising? What practical measures can we take to prevent our projects from being co-opted? Won't such measures leave us marginalised?

This will be an open discussion, please share your thoughts and experiences, so we can address these questions collectively.



By way of a comparison between two subcultures/communities that both assert their autonomy vis-à-vis the State through a 'flight into the future', hackers and psychonauts, the former innovating around intellectual property law, the latter around controlled substance acts, a reflection is made on the limitations of instituted, sovereign power. The entire face of the earth having been mapped out and divided up between instituted powers, the last remaining no-mans-land is the ever-evasive near future. Providing a hideout for occasional "social bandits", the legal greyzone is concurrently being turned into an incubator for corporate innovation, placed right at the centre of the innovation-driven, high-tech economy, and much lauded by EU policy makers. In management discourse, a half-conscious admission is given to the intimate relation between corporate innovation and illegality by the much talk about "Shenzhen innovation". Here "Shenzen" does not designate an industrial region in China but the historical state of being outside-the-law that was constitutive of innovativeness.

As filesharing and hacking provides numerous examples of, the "open" innovation model is fine-tuned as a model for procuring innovation from users, out of which some may even be hostile to the corporations, and possibly find themselves on the "wrong" side of law. Their illegal status does not gainsay that corporations can make a profit from them, on the contrary, illegality lays down the base-line for negotiating the labour conditions of the pirates. The exchange rate of their "labour" is negative. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry is opening up its methods for innovating drugs, where the old, in-house, and top-down model for developing a new medicine is replaced with an inductive approach to drug development.

Drugs whose effects are barely known are released on the pharmaceutical market, and a monitoring system scans for unexpected side-effects among patients that could provide the starting-point for a new cycle of drug discovery. In the light of this development, the psychonauts, making up the least risk-averse and most knowledgeable niche in the drug market, come to occupy a similar position vis-à-vis the pharmaceutical industry as do hackers vis-à-vis computer industry. Labouring in the legal greyzone, subject to the punitive side of law but not to its protective clauses, hackers and psychonauts are pioneering new forms of citizenship in the Schumpeterian-Shenzen innovation state.


While we all strive towards decentralisation, the current state is that collectives with experts in technology run the services, rather than each and every person on its own. This leads to collateral damage such as shutting Lavabit down affected more people than Edward Snowden.

In our vision, everybody should be able to host their own mail/addressbook at home on her Raspberry PI. This is not done today due to the complexity of system administration: a general purpose operating system is used for running services. Instead, we develop a library operating system (named OpenMirage), which is configured at compile time, and can be run as a Xen guest or FreeBSD kernel module (Raspberry backend under development). OpenMirage is developed in the OCaml programming language, which is memory managed, thus certain classes of problems (such as buffer overflows) do not apply.

It is a radical approach - instead of reusing a general purpose operating system we developed everything from scratch in a modular way. But I believe it is the way to enable people to run their own services. A first application which uses this library operating system is Nymote.

The idea is further described in "Unikernels: Rise of the Virtual Library Operating System".



Hacking is perennially the subject of much study and debate and has been examined using various disciplinary theories and perspectives. Despite being yet another proposed theory about hacking, this talk will discuss potentially useful concepts, methods and frameworks to better analyze and understand hacking in relation to law and society.

The talk will delve into such topics as the meaning and elements of hacking, the significance of values and ethics, and the relationship between hacking and law from the viewpoint of socio-legal studies.


Hello CiTiZENs, we are the psychomedia analysts from the XLterrestrials, an arts and praxis group currently based in the last remaining tunnels of Btropolis, still under siege, stocking up on brainfood items, counter-cultural maps, re-embodied detournement and freshly-picked perspectives to help us all make it through to the next autonomous zone alive and intact. And we're bringing our latest episode of CiTiZEN KiNO to Interference:

XLterrestrials present CiTiZEN KINO #40 : All You Can't Eat

CiTiZEN KiNO is a method of cinema hacking and media navigating as an effort to provide a public platform for  analyzing our current challenges and social crises arising from an afflicted civilization out of balance on multiple levels. C-KiNO #40 explores the current digital culture colonization and occupation. We'll be reflecting on the situations now often described as a Post-Snowden Internet or as we've termed the cybernetic regime, assessing the dangers and discussing possible new routes to take in this information-flooded, over-networked and fully militarized social sphere. We'll be referencing a variety of
current research and critiques from the likes of Astra Taylor, Morozov, and excerpts from an illuminating doc called Eyewar from Root and Thorn. And a number of other unusual audio-visual specimens will be used to experiment with you - the media-users.


Fridaynight the Paralyzing Device will turn OCCII into a night filled with electronic noise and terror.

Performances by:

  • Autopsy Protocol
  • The USA Kings
  • No28
  • Power vs Power
  • Kombinat][7526
  • Trotyl
  • Plastic Interior Urynian
  • +Vizual Terror
  • +Magnez Stress



Signal to Noise is a radio installation dealing with the concreteness of ideological discourses and the imaginary of the “Other”.

The minimal and non-visual set-up will be composed of two radio stations using the same frequency which intersect and neutralize into a virtual line crossing the space of the exhibition. By broadcasting simultaneously Radio Free Europe and Radio Romania re-worked programs running back then, the two transmissions will interfere and effectively jam each other. It is only when someone carrying mobile radios or receivers will come across the middle line formed by the two transmissions, that he/she will break the neutral point and it will become possible to hear fragments from of one of the two broadcasts. It is like being cached between two Logos (or two ideological positions), where beyond words, the ideological and media wars embody beings.

Far from being historical and contextual dated, the fluidity of radio (or “Hertzian”) space continues to be relevant today, in the age of wireless communication and coded information. Drawing invisible frontiers, building up on coded languages, are arsenals of producing and reiterating the “Other”.


Tails - The Amnesic Incognito Live System - is a live system based on Debian GNU/Linux and aims at providing privacy and anonymity to its' users. Users range from activists to journalists who want to protect their sources, doctors who want to protect patient data, to simple Bitcoin users, you, me, Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and others.

The core team is very small, and there are relatively few contributors for this system which has been proven to be booted around 10.000 times a month around the world lately.

During the workshop, we'd like to present the functioning of this free software project and tell you how you can effectively help Tails. There are lots of ways to contribute : helping with user support, writing documentation, translating, proof reading, web programming, testing ISOs, reporting bugs, triaging bugs, auditing code, writing code, contributing back to Debian for software used in Tails, doing system administration, advocating Tails, formulating ideas on further improvements and more.

Our idea is to help you set up a working environment for a particular task you are interested in, in order to start contributing right away. This workshop shall also be a space for mutual knowledge exchange and discussions around the usages and implementations of Tails.

Stuff you could bring:

  •     Your laptop.
  •     A Tails USB stick or DVD is not necessary, but welcome, especially if you want to do testing.
  •     Empathy.
  •     Ideas.

The workshop will be provided by Tails developers and contributors.


As current developments in physical computing contributes to augment social anxiety by measuring every aspect of daily life, it feels needed to understand to which degree all those props are seriously intrusive not only putting at risk individual personal space and information, but also in depth physical intimacy, as they do not clearly state the limit between what is individual and what is collective.

Jacques Ellul has already identified the technical sacralization as a cause for alienation, and this session will drive from his concepts to launch a classification process. Starting from an overview of examples taken in the reductive builder only approach specifically focusing on trying to understand their inherent tendency to generate technological fascination.

We will focus on defining new relations to understand the Technological Society, as a powerful structure of physical alienation. Because those physical computing and quantified self endeavors alien us basic empowerment on our body feelings and offer an intrusive machine control over our most intimate knowledge. Other thinkers will also give us tools to better appropriate physical computing perceptive action, opening doors for constant adaptation, critical thinking, and networking between self aware individuals in collectivity.

1. The technological society, Jacques Ellul, 1967.
2. Le Bluff technologique, Jacques Ellul 1988.


Bitcoin is more ambitious than merely providing a somewhat anonymous way to buy stuff on the Internet. Bitcoin is meant as a new money for the Internet age. However, this new money is supposed to be based on different principles than all modern currencies, i.e., credit money. 

Because of this ambition, Bitcoin prompts us to ask what money is. Bitcoin reflects on various qualities of money, which are usually taken for granted, by addressing them as "technical challenges". In particular, the Bitcoin design is an attempt to solve the "technical" problem of how to exclude people from the wealth of societies and how to maintain a permanent conflict of interest. Hence, we want to present what Bitcoin's inner workings imply about the social conditions known as the free market. In particular, from these "design challenges" we can learn that a market economy needs state domination. This stands in contrast to what Libertarians, who might posit Bitcoin as an anti-state intervention, like to believe. 

Furthermore, Bitcoin is an expression of scepticism against credit money. For example, the total amount of Bitcoin that can ever be created is fixed to 21 million. Hence, Libertarians argue whether Bitcoin is yet another fiat currency or an adequate emulation of gold on the Internet. In opposition to this, if there is time left, we want to discuss the question why all modern currencies are credit money. That is, why does capitalism lead to the development of a credit system and in the last instance credit money. Instead of discussing the advantages/disadvantages of a new gold standard, we want to discuss why there is no gold standard in modern capitalism or why credit money is the adequate form of money under capitalism. 

No prior knowledge of the inner workings of Bitcoin is required to take part in this workshop.


This presentation offers a synthetic (summarising) look at the technologies developed in control societies by the state and capital and the ones developed in the hackerspaces, considered in the context of their political consequences.  Cybernetics as an ideology with two forks (assymetric and symmetric) is used as an interpretative key to understand the visions of the world (ontologies) wired into such technologies.  The underlying claim is that cybernetics had a decisive influence on the intellectual history of the second part of the twentieth century and consequently became an unreflected foundation of both cultural and countercultural currents.  However, in order not to reproduce modernity and its discontents, we need to recover lost experiences in the cybernetics story which can inspire our relationship with technology, as well as political visions of the world.



A search from cluelessness (ASFC) interferes with sensations and aesthetics of knowledge through searching With being clueless as the drive from which the activity comes from and How it is propelled.

In the streets of Amsterdam, Aharon will skateboard-surf from one person to another searching from questions both he and people encountered are clueless about.

Each encounter will be recorded and have its own audio file.

In the vicinity of interference, the recordings will be distributed among interference attending public as a part of an exchange sequence. Each file will be given in exchange for an idea about the life of that file as linked to other files. (eg what kind of a link, how it might operate, will it actually function, etc..).

The exchanged conversation will be added to the wiki and linked there, in the manner/s suggested, with the appropriate recording.

ASFC will form a sequence of interferences across materials (eg, digital/physical/etc.), times (eg both short/long time based via encounters and wiki respectively) and space types. sing the interferences to question subjects as well as itself - hence Being utterly clueless.

The ASFC talk will be conversational, hence clueless about How it will actually Be...


Universal Automation is an hacktivist intervention against the destruction of the social safety net in the UK referred to as the austerity programme, and the use of digital technologies by the government to enact it. It's not a hack as such but rather a tool to subvert Universal Jobmatch, a website that recipients of welfare are forced to use to search for jobs as a condition of their benefits.

People are required to spend more hours every week, and apply for more jobs on a government run website full of spam and fraud; a website were legitimate work opportunities are few and far between; a website which sole purpose is to ensure people are not idle no matter if busyness in meaningful in any way; a website where activity is not checked beyond meeting the simplest criteria for a number of application. It is obvious that a simple program can do those tasks instead of a human. Universal Automation is that program.

Universal Automation is a working application used by hundreds of people in the UK. It challenges the prevailing work ethics, the assumption that work is a value on its own, no matter if it's socially useful or fulfilling. It questions how digital automation is used to immiserate people.

We would like to use this project as a starting point and see where we can get. We could have a discussion about it as an statement about anti-work politics and how it can be mediated by technology. We could brainstorm how to further the struggle it is a part of. We could run a hacking workshop where we actually do that.


There is a deep and dynamic relationship between the evolutionary pathways of computers and humans, each influencing and helping to configure the other. Yet while machines are getting lighter, faster, easier to use, performing ever better at ever lower costs. The same cannot be said of the human, which has not kept up with the raging pace of development of the machine. Humans have not changed in any significant way in the last 200,000 years. There is, however, an illusion of productivity, which reinforces this relationship. Parallels can be drawn between this situation and the psychology of addiction. A damaging habit persists while the illusion of a perceived benefit is fed. 

Where critical media theory focuses on the impact that different technologies have upon human culture. The concerns addressed in Computational Somatics are slightly different. The impact I am most concerned with is not cultural but somatic, it pertains to the body. 

In the same way that when a human misuses a machine the machine eventually breaks down. When a machine misuses the human, it is the human that breaks down.


Recent successes in robotic prosthetics suggest humans could someday replace one by one their body parts, including sense organs and much of the brain, with mechanical and computerized parts. Posthumanist Andy Clark appeals to Merleau-Ponty's "blind-man's cane" example to explain how foreign objects integrate into our bodily systems in a seamless and organic way. But Merleau-Ponty's theory only accounts for how already acquired implements further assimilate into our body's workings; it does not explain how we were able to combine with them in the first place.

Against Merleau-Ponty's "organic" account, I propose Guattari's and Deleuze's "machinic" theory of connected systems. Only by means of the interference of one system into another can machines link up, reconfigure, and express their vitality. Specifically it happens by means of "minorization", that is, when a "minor" machine links into a larger one but in a disruptive way, sending shockwaves through the "major" one and causing it to rearrange its order and organization. The usefulness, then, of this "machinic" view is twofold: it (a) helps us to understand our selfhood as we transition to a more machine-based embodiment, and it (b) suggests a purpose to guide our choices and uses of new enhancements, namely, to do so in accordance with their ability to interfere with and disrupt larger systems so to prevent the solidification of centralized power and order, and to thereby build a larger heterogeneous community of interfering machines.

diy [noisy] synths
16.08 / 17:00 / LAG

UPDATE: please check https://pad.interference/p/diysynths

This talk focuses on simple diy synthesizers that can easily be made with a handful of electronic parts. While the field of electronic sound synthesis is huge and can be a big adventure to delve in, the introduction to it can be done in a simple manner .......

UPDATE: please check https://pad.interference/p/diysynths

This talk focuses on simple diy synthesizers that can easily be made with a handful of electronic parts. While the field of electronic sound synthesis is huge and can be a big adventure to delve in, the introduction to it can be done in a simple manner for anyone interested in electronic sound generation without needing to know too much before being able to start playing with some cheap analogue components.

Highlighting some of the essential building blocks for sound made by electronic circuits, some of the possible ways of synthesis are explained.

This talk/workshop requires no former knowledge of electronics.

While wotwot has spent a big part of his professional life with digital systems, the elegance of the analogue has meanwhile caught on more of its well deserved attention.




The free software movement (Richard Stallman, the GNU Project, the Free Software Foundation, etc.) claims that intellectual property is a bit of a contradiction in terms. They argue that information wants to be free and restricting use, distribution or development of digital goods such as software is a violation of its purposes and principles.

As these "goods" can be copied almost infinitely often one might ask: why constrain access to these goods that are already virtually a common good? But then, one also has to ask: what is it about material wealth that makes it right, without alternative even, to treat it as private property? Most proponents of free software and of intellectual property rights reforms distinguish between "intellectual property law" and your run-of-the-mill property law; they oppose the former but appreciate the latter. In contrast to this, we want to ask how well founded the proclaimed distinction between "intellectual" and material property is.


In this performance a heart rate monitor is used to feed the entropy pool of a unix machine whose only purpose if to generate PGP keys for the participants. A visitor takes a seat, she is wired up to this machine which will analyse the idiosyncracies of the visitor's unique heartbeat signature and the signal coming from the EKG machine will feed the entropy pool that feeds the random number generator, an essential component in the generation of cryptographic keys. Biosignals are excellent sources of entropy.

Combining a naturally occurring source of entropy within the visitor's body with the generation of a digital identity, this performance links the bodily to the digital and allows the body to play an important role in a process that is typically considered strictly computational.

The moment of key generation is a very specific form of liturgy for cryptopunks, and has a belief element based on trust. Is this random number generator any good? Is this machine trusted? Is this machine bugged? Is my private key stored anywhere else I might not know? Who is this person giving me my revokation certificates? Can I trust this key?


LEAP exists of 2 parts: an end-user facing client called Bitmask and a server platform. In this hands-on session we'll dive into the server side of things: setting up a provider from scratch. There are about a dozen very hard problems in making easy and secure communication tools: data availability, async forward secrecy, meta-data, secure identity validation and quite some more…. We're trying to tackle those, some with stop-gap means, but splendid ideas for the longer term and at some points there's a ballroom of improvement possible.

To properly run services like mail, chat and an encrypted internet proxy (aka vpn), you currently need quite some time, devoted and talented people; with LEAP, we're trying to setup a platform that could be managed with only a couple of talented people who can't spend 80-hour weeks on it.

45 minutes of practical interference requires 1 real or paravirtualized virtual machines with plain Debian. Shoulder surfing is allowed.

Code and presentations at


On saturday OCCII’s stage is going to be open to the participants of interference that want to share their musical / performative projects. Expect many diverse short performances, ranging from algorithmic simphonies made with one line of code to DIY analog synths built during the workshops, but including bands and djsets as well.

Partial line up:

Please let it be known if you want to join.


Computing is an industry where many problems of today's world -- wastefulness, overcomplexity, alienation, etc. -- manifest more extremely than anywhere else. The demoscene subculture, while working on ever stricter limitations and exploring different platforms on ever deeper levels, provides a strong contrast against these trends.

We are two demo artists who have been working on classic eight-bit platforms (Atari VCS, VIC-20, C-64, NES), very short programs (bytebeat, IBNIZ), experimental emergent styles and many other things. In our session, we will screen some of our work and discuss the perspectives it has given us towards computers, technology and even human civilization in general. It is apparent to us that sticking to "industrial" methodologies reveals only a tiny fraction of the potential of any given technology, and realizing the full potential requires deep excursions to the more chaotic, uncontrollable and profoundly non-modular areas of the possibility space.



Internet of Things can be the best possible feedback on my physical and mental health, the best possible deals based on real time monitoring for resource allocation, the best possible decision making based on real time data and information from open sources and the best possible alignments of my local providers with the global potential of wider communities.

Internet of Things is in its essence the seamless flow between the

  • BAN (body area network): the ambient hearing aide, the smart t-shirts…
  • LAN (local area network): the smart meter as a home interface,
  • WAN (wide area network): the bike, car, train, bus, drone…
  • VWAN (very wide area network) : the ‘wise’ city as e-gov services everywhere no longer tied to physical locations

Whoever ensures traceability, sustainability and security linking up the gateways is de facto and de jure the new power. We see Google trying to achieve this with the Glass and Lense, the Google Powermeter and NEST, the Car and automotive and the wooing discourse of public office byEric Schmidt and

It is crucial that we organize to create an open source competitor to these gateways to ensure that the future is not old style corporate but truly open, public and inclusive.

It means that the hacking community stops hacking dying systems (actually keeping them alive by even bothering) and start building these gateways.

Where to start?


Liquid Surveillance by David Lyon and Zygmunt Bauman discusses a wide variety of relevant topics. From the ethics of algorithms, to the self-modification of consumers, from the tyranny of reason in the 20th century to transformation of Foucault panopticon to a banopticon. They all share a key-concept; the distribution of power.

In this session we’ll do a group reading of some of the key paragraphs of the book and discuss their relevance in todays society in general and the implications for the hacker community in particular.


The past 70 years privacy advocacy suffered from a lack of casualties of the issue; at least a lack of casualties reported by Western media. The NSA-files, leaked via whistleblower Edward Snowden, show that meta data and cell phone tracking technology is used to discover targets and to launch lethal drone strikes on targets by the US government (G. Greenwald and J. Scahill, ‘The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program’ First Look: the Intercept, 10 February 2014, available on:, last visited 16 June 2014).

There seems to be a complete lack of emergency with regard to stopping (or at least investigating) these activities, and nation states as well as international bodies show little policy response to these facts. European states still exchange meta data with USA intelligence services; data that exist because of decisions made during the design phase of protocols and their implementations in everyday technology. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the potential of data minimization in helping to limit the injustice caused by mass surveillance and assassinations with unmanned aerial vehicles. However, data minimization and data processing minimization have become information management policy requirements rather than technical design principles.

In this contribution the incentives of states to collaborate in (meta) data exchange will be investigated. The speakers will point to the policy decisions that are made by the European institutions and national governments with regard to international intelligence cooperation, IT development and fundamental rights protection. This talk will show that there are no policy incentives to change meta data production, collection, exchange and exploitation and, therefore, the speakers call upon all scientists and computer engineers to effect data minimization in a technical manner. Scientists and engineers have the moral obligation to implement data minimization into protocols and systems because a lack of information privacy turns out to be lethal.


Do search engines co-shape the way we perceive each other? And if so, what are the issues at stake? Paulan Korenhof, promovendus at Privacy & Identity Lab, and Janneke Belt, online professional, will present an enquiry into the manner in which search engines can affect our use of information and our identities over time both from a philosophical and practical perspective. The question whether – and if so, what – we should do with this ‘co-shaping’ will be addressed at the audience.

The technological development of the Web has been a reason of concern with regard to the availability of online personal data, and especially with regard to the 'persistent' availability; the state of information occurring or existing beyond the usual, expected, or normal time: the availability of information over time as individuals were generally used to in the “analogue” era. The "right to be forgotten or erasure" in the General Data Protection Regulation-proposal aims to deal with the problems created by such a persistent availability. However, the exact scope and character of the problems are still unclear and it is highly debatable if – and till what extent – the so-called “right to be forgotten” can be considered a solution to the problems. The underlying issue here is that it is still insufficiently clear what the character of the problems is, and which role technology actually plays in them.

In this presentation we aim to shed some light on the character of the problems that are caused by the persistent availability of personal information on the Web for individuals in the social sphere, given the mutual shaping of technology, social behaviour and norms. The interplay between these three aspects is important, because they shape each other. Information technologies like the Web shape the manner in which individuals can use information, and in return lead to and may require changes in social behaviour and legal and/or social norms.

The presentation will be given by Janneke Belt and Paulan Korenhof. Paulan will approach the subject form her applied philosophical research on the Right to Be Forgotten, while Janneke will provide her view with an eye on her practical know-how of Townshall archives.


Figures of speech, such as metaphors, are often used to communicate technological ideas to a broader audience. The Cloud comes to mind, yet what is lesser known is that computer technology can in turn also be used metaphorically to describe more general societal concerns. For instance Lawrence Lessig uses the terms of Read-Only (RO) versus Read-Write (RW) culture to describe the problems of access and rights to culture.  Alas, as much metaphors attempt to clarify a signal by simplifying its information, the result of such drastic filtering often results in a plethora of misunderstandings that end up interfering with each others.

In the case of free culture, the RO vs RW approach reaches quickly its limits as soon as one steps out of the simplified binary narrative. However, by pushing this* *analogy of file attributes to its limits, this presentation will challenge the ideas of cultural freedom by putting it in perspective of Unix-like file permissions and venerable filesystem trickery such as the chroot command, so as to reveal a lesser known facet of free culture in its struggle to combine a dream of universalism with the harsh reality of local sandboxed particularities.


According to Ted Nelson's book "Computer Lib"0, the main topic of very first hackers conference in 1984 already centered around the question "Is the hacker ethic dead?". The answer of today (at least @ Phrack) is something like no, but hackers as a group are dead. What happened? This talk is arguing that we are living within liquid surveillance by the state, which has consequences for any discussion about ethics. I will discuss the theories of Zygmunt Bauman, analyze a movie from Europol and have a look at some attempts to formulate hacker ethics 2.0 of 2014 compared to 1984, when the so-called BTX-Hack happened. This was the first time hackers presented themselves as a group of responsible citizens, not hacking for the lulz. "Alle Hochachtung vor der Tüchtigkeit dieser Leute", said Benno Schölermann CEO of the bank which was hacked 30 years ago,  "we hold these very competent people in great esteem".

Liquid surveillance is a concept developed Zygmunt Bauman from his thoughts about modern liquid societies1. Modern societies are surveillance states, but the surveillance is not universal nor projected on everyone. Surveillance is uneven and distributed alongside the lines separating social classes. Moreshowover, there are areas where the subjects of surveillance are actively helping and cooperating. The term "Liquid" indicates that surveillance is floating back and forth, with surveillance practices slipping into different aereas. The delocalized border control practice of the Schengen-Raum is an example. Zygmunt Bauman noted that within the surveillance of the state there are "adiaphoristic tendencies"2 : whole subystems are excluded from ordinary law or are excluded from ethical reasoining. Baumann's example is the surveillance drone who are almost impossible to fly in out of sight operations due to legal restrictions, but who are used by police on the basis of exigent circumstances. Drones and the usage of RFID are simple examples, but what about hacker? The most blatant example is the German "Hacker-Paragraf"3 but there are other forms. German law states very clearly that private companies are not allowed to analyse hard disks which are declared as evidence in criminal investigations, yet there are dozens of IT-forensic companies doing this, officially due to limited resource of the police forces and law investigators. Other examples from other countries are welcome.

The European Cyber Crime Center (EC3) by Europol, located in Den Haag, is seen as one of the most advanced institutions of law enforcement on the Internet (at least it sees itself that way). In collaboration with Trend Micro, a software company, EC3 has developed "Project 2020", both a lenghty paper-based scenario and a professional movie about how the digital society will evolve and the role of hackers in the future. The movie4 is settled in the state of South Sylvania in 2020, where the cental computer "the Switch" is hacked by malware shortly before the first all-digital election. The main hack is done by the hacker Adam Cole aiming to free people from the tyranny of "the Switch": "I'm not doing it for the Lulz". But the idealistic hacker who is quoting Margaret Mead as a defense, is in turn controlled by Yanek Novak, a criminal who injects super-malware into the malware. The criminal itself is controlled (and killed) by a super-agent of a foreign state. For the general public, the hacker is been presented as the lone warrior, stopping "the Switch" just for the Lulz. He is sentenced to death by prime minister Carrington of South Sylvania, who loses the election.

I want to show how the movie can be desconstructed with the concept of liquid surveillance. The main narrative is done by the only "real" character, Rik Ferguson of Trend Micro and a couple of newscasters. Ferguson repeatedly states the message that technology is neutral and that there are no alternatives to digital money or all-digital elections. The EC3-whitepaper5 describing the "scientific background" of South Sylvania contains additional information about the way liquid surveillance is perceived to work. With Google glasses as an example, all characters in the movie are wearing 3D-Glasses connected to service providers who let them switch off what they doesn’t want to see. Therefore the universal system "the Switch" has ist counterpart in the personal switch blending out unwanted realities.

Examples of liquid surveillance in film and reality: In his legal defense, Gotfrid Svartholm (Anakata) argued that his computer was used by other people when hacking swedish and danish computers. The swedish court followed evidence presented by prosecutors, ruling out ruled out the possibility that a third party could have carried out the hack. In the movie, the female teleworker Kinuko Jakatan is accused to insert malware into "the Switch". She is faced with a lifelong sentence, but access to her "personal sex cloud" reveals she had a lover, hacker Adam Cole, who used her terminal and her retina biometrics for access to "the Switch". In the case of Barett Brown we have a journalist presented by the media first as information activist, then as a spokesman for anonymous, then as a criminal hacker. The same form of liquid attribution can be seen in the case of Paypal14...

0. Ted Nelson, Computer Lib. Microsoft Press 1987 and, for today "The Fall of Hacker Groups",
1. Zygmunt Bauman, David Lyon; Liquid Surveillance. A Conversation. Cambridge 2013
2. Zygmunt Bauman, Wir Lebenskünstler, Berlin 2010 (The Art of Life)
4. Project 2020,