Telecomix

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Telecomix
Telecomix.svg
FormationApril 18, 2009;12 years ago (2009-04-18)
TypeDecentralized cluster
Website telecomix.org

Telecomix is a decentralized cluster of net activists, committed to the freedom of expression and is a name used by both WeRebuild and Telecomix. WeRebuild is a collaborative project used to propose and discuss laws as well as to collect information about politics and politicians. The Telecomix is the operative body that executes schemes and proposals presented by the WeRebuild. [1] [2] On September 15, 2011, Telecomix diverted all connections to the Syrian web, and redirected internauts to a page with instructions to bypass censorship. [3]

Contents

Moreover, "Telecomix circulated the ways of using landlines to circumvent state blockages of broadband networks" [4] during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. Their most recent[ when? ] intervention was a large release of Blue Coat surveillance log files, allegedly revealing vast interception in Syria, which was analyzed and made public from the "telecommunist cluster" of Telecomix. [5] The leak had previously[ when? ] been criticized for possibly revealing too much sensitive information about Syrian users by security researcher and hacker Jacob Appelbaum. [6]

History

One of the first Telecomix servers, building their cryptographic infrastructure. This SPARC machine ran Debian Lenny, before it was retired. Telecomix Solarworks Server.jpg
One of the first Telecomix servers, building their cryptographic infrastructure. This SPARC machine ran Debian Lenny, before it was retired.

The organization was created at April 18, 2009, as a suggestion following a seminar about surveillance, the legislative changes regulating the National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA), and other laws processed in the European Parliament at the time. [7] The audience was asked to help stop the surveillance laws that were about to be passed in the European Parliament. The evening after the seminar a spontaneous bifurcation started and someone threw a cipher.[ citation needed ] It was then Telecomix was born.[ citation needed ]

During the first months of Telecomix' existence, focus was mostly on the Telecoms Package, the Data Retention Directive and the laws regulating the FRA. Work consisted of gathering information about the laws and the political processes involved, public conversations with legislators and art projects. [8]

As the organization grew larger, the definition and boundaries of the cluster became more undefined. According to one interview, an activist described it as "an ever growing bunch of friends that do things together" consisting of "[...] roughly 20 extremely active members, 50 active and some 300 total including lurkers". [9]

Origins

Telecomix has their roots in a heterogenous activist and hacker scene.[ citation needed ] Many of the founding members had followed and participated in and around Piratbyrån and The Pirate Bay.[ citation needed ] There is membership overlap with The Julia Group and La Quadrature du Net, as well as with the hackerspaces Forskningsavdelningen in Malmö, Gothenburg Hackerspace and Sparvnästet in Stockholm.[ citation needed ] As Telecomix has a very vague concept of being a "member" of the group (the only formal ritual is to enter their IRC chat), it is however difficult to assess with certainty what their origins are.[ citation needed ]

According to Marcin de Kaminski, who gave one of the earliest interviews on Telecomix's first project (which used to be under the domain telekompaketet.se, now with a new unrelated site owner), he points to a heritage line from Piratbyrån via a sudden side-project called Tapirbyrån ("The Bureau of Tapirs", which is an anagram of the word Pirate in Swedish), which then led to the formation of Telecomix. [10] Apart from this statement by de Kaminski, there are no known written records of this story, and no member of Tapirbyrån has yet confirmed nor denied it.[ citation needed ]

As Telecomix was founded, the initial work consisted of engaging parliamentary politics, to serve as an interface between concerned communities and politicians.[ citation needed ] As the work gradually moved over to direct interventions and rescue operations, the cluster moved over to a gradually more militaristic rhetoric, with heavy influences from 1990s-style crypto-anarchism. [11]

However, during 2011 some Telecomix activists have given interviews and talks at various technology-related conferences under their real names. [12] [13] [14] [15] This is in stark contrast to the earlier practice of eschewing real and individual names in favour of using Telecomix as a collective pseudonym.

Rasmus Fleischer argues that the formation of Telecomix signified the end of a long era of pirate rhetoric, and instead shifted attention to a hacktivist approach to politics. [16] Moreover, Christopher Kullenberg describes how "Telecomix News Agency" was shaped as a consequence of close online and offline friendships in connection with the trial against The Pirate Bay in his manifesto Det Nätpolitiska Manifestet. [17]

In the book Svenska Hackare ("Swedish Hackers"), the two technology journalists, Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson, describe how WeRebuild (a project name used by Telecomix) appeared on a seminar on net neutrality held by the Swedish Government in 2009, to influence the implementation of the Telecoms Package. [18]

Projects and operations

Streisand

A project created and hosted by Telecomix is the Streisand project, named after the Streisand effect. The aim is to mirror certain types of content that gets blocked or censored. [19]

WeRebuild

WeRebuild is a decentralized wiki page containing Telecomix information and projects. [20]

Egypt Operations

During the internet blackout in early 2011, Telecomix released a video [21] stating that they would launch series of attempts at restoring internet connectivity by means of old modems, faxes and rerouting of traffic. [22]

Syria Operations

Similar in approach to the Egypt operations, the organization is currently[ when? ] intervening in Syrian networks. The most notable event was when Telecomix released log files from Blue Coat Systems surveillance equipment. Blue Coat Systems were eventually forced to admit [23] that their devices were used in Syria, although they had not been directly sold to the country. [24]

search.telecomix.org

Telecomix hosted a search service based on Seeks, an open-source P2P distributed search engine with an emphasis on user privacy. Seeks implements a decentralized peer-to-peer architecture: install Seeks on your machine, server or laptop, and automatically start sharing results. While users share queries over the Peer-to-Peer network, Seeks protects your privacy by sending encrypted query fragments to peers. This scheme makes it difficult for other peers to devise your initial query. [25]

Blackthrow

Telecomix members often experiment with unorthodox encryption technologies. One such project is the "Blackthrow" concept computer (sharing some etymology with the word Black fax), described as:

"A blackthrow is a small computer that can be hidden inside government agencies or corporations. It connects to the Tor or I2P networks and publishes its SSH server as a hidden service in any of these networks. The TCMB field agent can then connect to the blackthrow anonymously and remote control it to deliver any type of packets to any location at the internets, that the host organization can connect to." [26]

Due to the questionable legality of Blackthrow computers, Telecomix maintains no records of such devices being live and running.

The logo contains a variety of symbols. The origins remain unclear, but one common interpretation is that the pyramid in the middle is a symbol of kopimi philosophy, a project originally started by Piratbyrån. Moreover, the lightning arrows seem to originate from the logo of Televerket (Sweden), the old telecoms monopoly of Sweden. The star (also present on Televerket symbol) is a symbol of telecommunism, and the Omega sign is a symbol of resistance, as in Ohm's law. This interpretation of the symbols is sometimes referred to as the Gothenburg interpretation, as many of the founding members are from this town. [27] Others have, however, associated the symbols in the logotype with secret societies, due to several of them being associated with the Illuminati and freemasonry.

In an article in French Magazine Lesinrocks, [28] Fabrice Epelboin argues that the pyramid in the Telecomix logo symbolizes power, and that "it is bordered by a bunch of elements - the Omega, the lightning, the star - the challenge ahead". In the same article Fabrice d'Almeida, historian of the propaganda images describes the logo as "giving the impression of a large machine capable of unleashing great energy".

Jellyfish

Telecomix often refer to oceanic concepts when describing their overall structure.[ citation needed ] They state that "a siphonophoric organism transmitting its genome through memes and imitation rather than through rules and regulations". [29]

Jellyfish are an important part of the symbolism of Telecomix, circulating both as a meme and as an organizational concept guiding participants in evolving the organization.[ citation needed ] In June 2009 a blog post on "jellyfish memetics" was posted at a Telecomix-affiliated blog, [30] arguably sparking a great interest within Telecomix for the philosophical implications of decentralized self-organization.

Datalove

The notion of "datalove" appeared for the first time in one of several manifestos written by Telecomix, as to "inspire the body-politic to incarnate creatively via totemized teleportation-flows of datalove". [31] The concept of datalove has been the leitmotif for several spawned projects . Site with interactive Datalove-experience.[ citation needed ]

Crypto-anarchism

The organization contributes to the general theme of Crypto-anarchism.[ citation needed ] Their project Cryptoanarchy.org aims at promoting cryptographic research and security technologies.[ citation needed ]

Cameron

The organization maintains a MegaHAL speech bot named Cameron. According to one member it is "a computer generated representation of all of us". [32] Cameron has become a core symbol for Telecomix, and her function in governing the actions of the activists remains obscure.[ citation needed ]

Related Research Articles

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Telenor telecommunications company of Norway

Telenor ASA is a Norwegian majority state-owned multinational telecommunications company headquartered at Fornebu in Bærum, close to Oslo. It is one of the world's largest mobile telecommunications companies with operations worldwide, but focused in Scandinavia and Asia. It has extensive broadband and TV distribution operations in four Nordic countries, and a 10-year-old research and business line for Machine-to-Machine technology. Telenor owns networks in 9 countries.

Criticism of copyright

Criticism of copyright, perhaps outright anti-copyright sentiment, is a dissenting view of the current state of copyright law or copyright as a concept. Critical groups often discuss philosophical, economical, or social rationales of such laws and the laws' implementations, the benefits of which they claim do not justify the policy's costs to society. They advocate for changing the current system, though different groups have different ideas of what that change should be. Some call for remission of the policies to a previous state—copyright once covered few categories of things and had shorter term limits—or they may seek to expand concepts like fair use that allow permissionless copying. Others seek the abolition of copyright itself.

Crypto-anarchism is a political ideology focusing on protection of privacy, political freedom and economic freedom, the adherents of which use cryptographic software for confidentiality and security while sending and receiving information over computer networks.

In computer networks, download means to receive data from a remote system, typically a server such as a web server, an FTP server, an email server, or other similar system. This contrasts with uploading, where data is sent to a remote server. A download is a file offered for downloading or that has been downloaded, or the process of receiving such a file.

Home Taping Is Killing Music Anti copyright infringement slogan

"Home Taping Is Killing Music" was the slogan of a 1980s anti-copyright infringement propaganda campaign by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), a British music industry trade group. With the rise in cassette recorder popularity, the BPI feared that the ability of private citizens to record music from the radio onto cassettes would cause a decline in record sales. The logo, consisting of a Jolly Roger formed from the silhouette of a Compact Cassette, also included the words "And It's Illegal". The campaign was officially launched by then-BPI chairman Chris Wright on 28 October, 1981.

Piratbyrån was a Swedish think tank established to support the free sharing of information, culture, and intellectual property. Piratbyrån provided a counterpoint to lobby groups such as the Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau.

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The Pirate Bay Website providing torrent files and magnet links

The Pirate Bay is an online index of digital content of entertainment media and software. Founded in 2003 by Swedish think tank Piratbyrån, The Pirate Bay allows visitors to search, download, and contribute magnet links and torrent files, which facilitate peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing among users of the BitTorrent protocol.

Social peer-to-peer processes are interactions with a peer-to-peer dynamic. These peers can be humans or computers. Peer-to-peer (P2P) is a term that originated from the popular concept of the P2P distributed computer application architecture which partitions tasks or workloads between peers. This application structure was popularized by file sharing systems like Napster, the first of its kind in the late 1990s.

Freegate

Freegate is a software application developed by Dynamic Internet Technology (DIT) that enables internet users from mainland China, South Korea, North Korea, Syria, Vietnam, Iran, United Arab Emirates, among others, to view websites blocked by their governments. The program takes advantage of a range of proxy servers called Dynaweb. This allows users to bypass Internet firewalls that block web sites by using DIT's Peer-to-peer (P2P)-like proxy network system. FreeGate's anti-censorship capability is further enhanced by a new, unique encryption and compression algorithm in the versions of 6.33 and above. Dynamic Internet Technology estimates Freegate had 200,000 users in 2004. The maintainer and CEO of DIT is Bill Xia.

Com Hem was a Swedish brand owned by Tele2 AB which supplied Triple Play services that included cable television, broadband internet and fixed-line telephone.

Gottfrid Svartholm

Per Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, alias anakata, is a Swedish computer specialist, known as the former co-owner of the web hosting company PRQ and co-founder of the BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay together with Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde.

<i>Steal This Film</i> 2006 short film

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Peter Sunde

Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, alias brokep, is a Swedish entrepreneur and politician. Sunde is of Norwegian and Finnish ancestry. He is best known for being a co-founder and ex-spokesperson of The Pirate Bay, a BitTorrent search engine. He is an equality advocate and has expressed concerns over issues of centralization of power to the European Union in his blog. Sunde also participates in the Pirate Party of Finland and describes himself as a socialist. As of April 2017, Sunde has been working on a new venture called Njalla, a privacy oriented domain name registrar.

The Pirate Bay raid

The Pirate Bay raid took place on 31 May 2006 in Stockholm, when The Pirate Bay, a Swedish website that indexes torrent files, was raided by Swedish police, causing it to go offline for three days. Upon reopening, the site's number of visitors more than doubled, the increased popularity attributed to greater exposure through the media coverage.

Missionary Church of Kopimism Congregation of file sharers

The Missionary Church of Kopimism, is a congregation of file sharers who believe that copying information is a sacred virtue and was founded by Isak Gerson, a 19-year-old philosophy student, and Gustav Nipe in Uppsala, Sweden in the autumn of 2010. The Church, based in Sweden, has been officially recognized by the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency as a religious community in January 2012, after three application attempts.

Fidaaldin Al-Sayed Issa, born January 15, 1985, is a Syrian political activist who lives in Eskilstuna, Sweden

Internet censorship circumvention is the use of various methods and tools to bypass internet censorship.

The Day We Fight Back

The Day We Fight Back was a one-day global protest against mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA), the UK GCHQ, and the other Five Eyes partners involved in global surveillance. The "digital protest" took place on February 11, 2014 with more than 6,000 participating websites, which primarily took the form of webpage banner-advertisements that read, "Dear Internet, we're sick of complaining about the NSA. We want new laws that curtail online surveillance. Today we fight back." Organizers hoped lawmakers would be made aware "that there's going to be ongoing public pressure until these reforms are instituted."

References

  1. Werebuild and Telecomix CV
  2. “Chaos et productivité : l’entreprise 2.0 chez les cyberactivistes” Archived 2011-11-22 at the Wayback Machine on ReadWriteWeb France
  3. “#OpSyria: When the Internet does not let Citizens down” on Reflets.info
  4. Howard, Philip N.; Hussain, Muzammil M. (2011). "The Role of Digital Media". Journal of Democracy. 22 (3): 35–48. doi:10.1353/jod.2011.0041. S2CID   145661725.
  5. "US probes Syria's use of internet blocking equipment". BBC News, 2011-10-24. 2011-10-24.
  6. "Syrian internet censors' log files released". H-online, 2011-10-06.
  7. "Seminarium i Göteborg den 18 April 2009". FRApedia. Archived from the original on August 15, 2010.
  8. "Telecomix". Cryptoanarchy wiki.
  9. Kanalley, Craig (2011-01-29). "Anonymous Internet Users Team Up To Provide Communication Tools For Egyptian People". Huffington Post.
  10. "Nätaktivister lyfte frågan". Daniel Goldberg, Computer Sweden 2009-05-06.
  11. Werebuild and Telecomix CV
  12. Decentralized Clustering. Talk given by Stephan Urbach on Chaos Communication Camp, 2011
  13. Raccoon from Telecomix on Blackthrows on YouTube Talk given at Hacknight in 2010
  14. “Moving away from The Cloud, Earth Computing”. Talk by Jonathan Walck on Futur en Seine, 2011
  15. "interview about Telecomix". Peter Fein.
  16. Fleischer, Rasmus (2010). "Femton gastar på död mans kista". In Andersson, J.; Snickars, P. (eds.). Efter the Pirate Bay. Stockholm: Kungliga Biblioteket. p. 259. ISBN   9789188468253.
  17. Kullenberg, Christopher (2010). Det nätpolitiska manifestet. Stockholm: Ink Bokförlag. p. 47. ISBN   9789197846912.
  18. Goldberg, D.; Larsson, L. (2011). Svenska Hackare - En berättelse från nätets skuggsida. Stockholm: Nordstedts. p. 268. ISBN   9789113030449.
  19. Streisand, retrieved on 2013-05-05
  20. "We Rebuild". .
  21. "Telecomix Message to North Africa and the Middle east". Youtube.com.
  22. "Werebuild Wiki, Egypt entry". werebuild.eu.
  23. Valentino-Devries, Jennifer; Sonne, Paul; Malas, Nour (2011-10-29). "U.S. Firm Acknowledges Syria Uses Its Gear to Block Web". Wall Street Journal.
  24. Wan, William (2011-10-23). "Syria using American software to censor Internet, experts say". Washington post.
  25. "Seeks - The New P2P Based Search Engine". activepolitic.com. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25.
  26. "Blackthrow". Cryptoanarchy.org, retrieved on 2011-09-26. Archived from the original on 2011-09-06.
  27. "Cyber-activistes vs. dictateurs" on Nuovo.ch. By Géraldine Jacot
  28. Anonymous, LulzSec: les énigmatiques bannières des hacktivistes Lesinrocks, 2011-11-17.
  29. “Telecomix.org” retrieved 2011-09-26
  30. "Treatise on Jellyfish Memetics | Intensifier" retrieved 2011-09-25
  31. "Instructions on how to build a cluster like Werebuild.eu and Telecomix.org". WeRebuild Interfax, 2009-11-29.
  32. "Interview Chris Kullenberg, Part 1". Nrli.tv.