Hi riseup users of many stripes and colors. How are your projects, campaigns, and struggles going? We’d love to here what you’re working on because these things make us happy, and because we might want to use it for future newsletters. So much of the time we work on our projects in our own towns and don’t get a real sense of how varied and beautiful our movements are. So send us your tales of daring actions and surprising successes!
There are many tips on practicing good security culture (and also the perils of being too security conscious) in our zine. Check it out! http://zine.riseup.net
Also, we answer lots of riseup frequently asked questions at http://help.riseup.net/security/about
State Surveillance in Iran
As of this writing, the fate of the Iranian people remains undecided. However, one thing is clear: technology matters. The internet may herald a deep change in democratic communication, but the internet is simultaneously the most effective tool for mass surveillance ever devised. On June 23, the Wall Street Journal reported that, shortly before the election, the government of Iran installed surveillance systems provided by Nokia and Siemens capable of tracking everyone’s internet usage .
Currently, these two qualities of democracy and surveillance are locked together. Social media is empowering, and it is also built on a business model of surveillance. The internet is empowering, and it is also built on insecure protocols that allow for mass tracking of behavior and social relationships.
It is far too early to draw lessons from the June days in Iran. But the birds here at the riseup nest stay awake at night with this question: What communication infrastructure have our social movements become reliant on, and are these systems easily turned against us? All too often, the prospects are grim. Have slightly less fear! We, and our fellow radical geeks around the world, are hard at work to build better tools and infrastructure.
Surveillance made me do it
The next time you are caught shoplifting, try this excuse: the surveillance cameras made me do it. According to one study, retail surveillance systems can increase shoplifting: the systems cost money, this cost raises prices, and then more people are likely to steal the overpriced junk rather than to pay for it 2.
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