Filed under booklet | Tags: · bitcoin, capitalism, copyleft, critique, free software, hacktivism, money, software, wikileaks
“While most expressions of hacktivism lack this revolutionary vigour expressed in one of the later communiques by now infamous hacking collective AntiSec, hacktivism is widely appreciated for its radical potential. Wikileaks and hacking crews are considered by some as anarchist special forces striking blows against the forces of domination. Bitcoin is regarded as a practical approach to break the power of capital. Free software is thought of as a model for future production beyond capitalism. We disagree.
This booklet collects our writings on activism in the digital realm produced over the last few years. In our piece on Wikileaks — which first appeared in Kittens #1 — we critique Wikileaks’ appreciation of the bourgeois-democratic state which persecutes it. The article on Bitcoin — which previously appeared in Mute Magazine Vol. 3, No. 3 — deals with the political economy of the digital currency and critiques the Libertarian ideology driving it. Finally, our piece on free software and other digital commons — which has not previously been published — portrays how ‘copyleft’ software licences are still expressions of appreciation for the social conditions we are forced to live under.
All three pieces critique both the fallacies inherent in the reasoning behind these projects as well as left-wing hopes attached to them. As such, it might strike the reader as arrogant sneering from the sidelines. However, this is not the intent of this work. We hold that the project of transforming the existing social conditions must start from a correct understanding of these conditions to avoid reproducing them. In this spirit, this booklet is an invitation to critique.” (from the Foreword)
Publisher The Wine & Cheese Appreciation Society of Greater London, London, January 2013
via Marcell, via Anthony
Filed under book | Tags: · anonymous, anthropology, code, computing, floss, free software, hacker culture, hacking, intellectual property, internet, internet activism, software, web
Who are computer hackers? What is free software? And what does the emergence of a community dedicated to the production of free and open source software–and to hacking as a technical, aesthetic, and moral project–reveal about the values of contemporary liberalism? Exploring the rise and political significance of the free and open source software (F/OSS) movement in the United States and Europe, Coding Freedom details the ethics behind hackers’ devotion to F/OSS, the social codes that guide its production, and the political struggles through which hackers question the scope and direction of copyright and patent law. In telling the story of the F/OSS movement, the book unfolds a broader narrative involving computing, the politics of access, and intellectual property.
E. Gabriella Coleman tracks the ways in which hackers collaborate and examines passionate manifestos, hacker humor, free software project governance, and festive hacker conferences. Looking at the ways that hackers sustain their productive freedom, Coleman shows that these activists, driven by a commitment to their work, reformulate key ideals including free speech, transparency, and meritocracy, and refuse restrictive intellectual protections. Coleman demonstrates how hacking, so often marginalized or misunderstood, sheds light on the continuing relevance of liberalism in online collaboration.
Publisher Princeton University Press, 2012
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
ISBN 1400845297, 9781400845293
Filed under book | Tags: · activism, anonymity, censorship, code, cryptography, cypherpunk, encryption, free software, hacking, internet, internet activism, politics, privacy, software, surveillance, transparency, wikileaks
Cypherpunks are activists who advocate the widespread use of strong cryptography (writing in code) as a route to progressive change. Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief of and visionary behind WikiLeaks, has been a leading voice in the cypherpunk movement since its inception in the 1980s.
Now, in what is sure to be a wave-making new book, Assange brings together a small group of cutting-edge thinkers and activists from the front line of the battle for cyber-space to discuss whether electronic communications will emancipate or enslave us. Among the topics addressed are: Do Facebook and Google constitute “the greatest surveillance machine that ever existed,” perpetually tracking our location, our contacts and our lives? Far from being victims of that surveillance, are most of us willing collaborators? Are there legitimate forms of surveillance, for instance in relation to the “Four Horsemen of the Infopocalypse” (money laundering, drugs, terrorism and pornography)? And do we have the ability, through conscious action and technological savvy, to resist this tide and secure a world where freedom is something which the Internet helps bring about?
The harassment of WikiLeaks and other Internet activists, together with attempts to introduce anti-file sharing legislation such as SOPA and ACTA, indicate that the politics of the Internet have reached a crossroads. In one direction lies a future that guarantees, in the watchwords of the cypherpunks, “privacy for the weak and transparency for the powerful”; in the other lies an Internet that allows government and large corporations to discover ever more about internet users while hiding their own activities. Assange and his co-discussants unpick the complex issues surrounding this crucial choice with clarity and engaging enthusiasm.
With Jacob Appelbaum, Andy Müller-Maguhn, and Jérémie Zimmermann
Publisher OR Books, New York/London, November 2012
Interview with Assange where he also speaks about the book (video, DemocracyNow!, 29 November 2012)
Commentary (The Guardian)
Filed under book | Tags: · code, floss, free software, open source, programming, software
Architects look at thousands of buildings during their training, and study critiques of those buildings written by masters. In contrast, most software developers only ever get to know a handful of large programs well—usually programs they wrote themselves—and never study the great programs of history. As a result, they repeat one another’s mistakes rather than building on one another’s successes.
The goal of these two books is to change that. The authors of four dozen open source applications explain how their software is structured, and why. What are each program’s major components? How do they interact? And what did their builders learn during their development? In answering these questions, the contributors to these books provide unique insights into how they think.
If you are a junior developer, and want to learn how your more experienced colleagues think, these books are the place to start. If you are an intermediate or senior developer, and want to see how your peers have solved hard design problems, these books can help you too.
Published in March and May 2012
ISBN 9781257638017 (Vol I), 9781105571817 (Vol II)
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License Unported
432 and 390 pages
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Filed under book | Tags: · code, community, floss, free software, open source, programming, software
Open Advice is a knowledge collection from a wide variety of Free Software projects. It answers the question what 42 prominent contributors would have liked to know when they started so you can get a head-start no matter how and where you contribute.
Free Software projects are changing the software landscape in impressive ways with dedicated users and innovative management. Each person contributes something to the movement in their own way and to their abilities and knowledge. This personal commitment and the power of collaboration over the internet is what makes Free Software great and what brought the authors of this book together.
This book is the answer to “What would you have liked to know when you started contributing?”. The authors give insights into the many different talents it takes to make a successful software project, coding of course but also design, translation, marketing and other skills. We are here to give you a head start if you are new. And if you have been contributing for a while already, we are here to give you some insight into other areas and projects.
With contributions by Georg Greve, Armijn Hemel, Evan Prodromou, Markus Kroetzsch, Felipe Ortega, Leslie Hawthorn, Kevin Ottens, Lydia Pintscher, Jeff Mitchell, Austin Appel, Thiago Macieira, Henri Bergius, Kai Blin, Ara Pulido, Andre Klapper, Jonathan Leto, Atul Jha, Rich Bowen, Anne Gentle, Shaun McCance, Runa Bhattacharjee, Guillaume Paumier, Federico Mena Quintero, Mairin Duffy Strode, Eugene Trounev, Robert Kaye, Jono Bacon, Alexandra Leisse, Jonathan Riddell, Thom May, Vincent Untz, Stuart Jarvis, Jos Poortvliet, Sally Khudairi, Noirin Plunkett, Dave Neary, Gareth J. Greenaway, Selena Deckelmann, Till Adam, Frank Karlitschek, Carlo Daffara, Dr. Till Jaeger, Shane Couglan
Published in 2012
Creative Commons BY-SA License
Filed under book | Tags: · code, commons, copyleft, creative commons, floss, free culture, free software, free speech, freedom, intellectual property, open source
Libre Culture is the essential expression of the free culture/copyleft movement. This anthology, brought together here for the first time, represents the early groundwork of Libre Society thought. Referring to the development of creativity and ideas, capital works to hoard and privatize the knowledge and meaning of what is created. Expression becomes monopolized, secured within an artificial market-scarcity enclave and finally presented as a novelty on the culture industry in order to benefit cloistered profit motives. In the way that physical resources such as forests or public services are free, Libre Culture argues for the freeing up of human ideas and expression from copyright bulwarks in all forms.
Publisher Pygmalion Books, No. 21
Res Divini Juris Libre Commons Licence
Filed under sprint book | Tags: · floss, free software, internet, open source, open web, web
This book was created in a Book Sprint over 5 days between January 17 and January 21, 2011 in Berlin. It was an enormous achievement by the handful of people brought together to write a Book about the ‘Open Web’. The event was hosted by transmediale.11 and the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin (CHB), based on an idea and concept initiated by transmediale artistic director Stephen Kovats and Adam Hyde of FLOSS Manuals. To write the book the authors used the FLOSS Manuals installation of Booki.
The book takes the view that the Open Web is an essential technology and cultural practice for the future of the Internet and human society. The Web as we know it has had a positive and even revolutionary impact on key areas of science, technology, politics and culture. It has opened up new fields of individual rights and responsibilities, in terms of legal structures, community standards, privacy and the control of data. The rapid pace of technological change is bringing ever more powerful threats (and opportunities) to the Open Web.
Written by Adam Hyde, Alejandra Perez, Bassel Safadi, Christopher Adams, Mick Fuzz, Jon Phillips,
Publisher in 2011
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license