“The program, called Viral Peace, seeks to occupy the virtual space that extremists fill, one thread or Twitter exchange at a time. Shahed Amanullah, a senior technology adviser to the State Department and Viral Peace’s creator, tells Danger Room he wants to use “logic, humor, satire, [and] religious arguments, not just to confront [extremists], but to undermine and demoralize them.” Think of it as strategic trolling, in pursuit of geopolitical pwnage.”
— The fundamental point to understanding cyber is that it exists not as a separate world but as part of this one, where actors have a plethora of means available and arenas in which to strike to achieve objectives. Cyber is just one of them.
— Olesker & Elkus on why cyberspace as a concept has failed policymakers.
For the first time, free internet disseminated throughout Jalalabad. When glitches occurred, Partensky recalls, “the people [who] grew to be reliant on it — the kids, students and so on — would climb on their roofs and fix it.” Fast Company called an early version of the network “amazing."
— Spencer Ackerman takes a look at Jalalabad’s homespun internet, and more specifically the gap between it’s utopian promise and bleak funding reality.
So we can design clever, decentralised systems such as BitTorrent all day long, systems that appear to have no convenient entity to sue or arrest or legislate against. But if our inventions rattle enough cages and threaten enough bottom lines, the law will come hunting for them. The law will seek out arbitrary victims – think of how Sopa set out to prohibit hardening DNS against fraud and phishing because it would be convenient to use fake DNS entries to stop people from reaching The Pirate Bay. When it does, technology can’t save them. The only defence against a legal attack is the law. If you don’t have an organised body for someone else to sue, it means that there will be no organised body to mount a defence in court, either."
— Cory Doctorow on why it’s essential for those who care about technology to engage with the law, rather than just assuming that politics are either an obstacle to work around or a cesspit to avoid.
— At my long-form blog, I examine what we can learn about covert action from how it’s modeled in games.