Why is wikileaks screwing up with transparency?

[PART 2]

Why is Wikileaks screwing up with transparency?

Wikileaks transparency
Neo in the virtual store of guns in Matrix

Wikileaks helped us to get quite an insight at the internal politics of the DNC and the secret garden party of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 elections, what we are all very grateful for, but I might say that after Trump’s elections, they kind of behaved erraticly. Assange never shown up publicly at the balcon of the embassy (hinhin), Wikileaks, sealed with the seal of conspiracy, promptly started to elementary my dear Catson behave as a mainstream stakeholder shaking hands with whoever like the barons of the privacy (Snowwden out of Assange’s body) to the over consumed media product Michael Moore! Only are missing Good Amy (God, Amy!) and Go Go Klein! to get the portrayal completed (but oups they’re women so skip it).

More seriously, it is dubious that the organization didn’t try to hide a bit more its political ambitions crafted into christianic moral rhetorics (we are the champions) knowing that they precedently in exclusivity advocated body and soul against the demons of partisan media. But to my dismay, they sustained that a media source reaching a kind of public interest should necessarily converts into a political actor raising voices with demagogical arguments in such a perfectly polished brand (The Intercept? Catch that one).  Oh my godness.

Anyway, one thing is sure in ontology and politics, transparency and privacy are not going the same way.

2016 has been a disruptive year with the referendum of the Brexit that splits the UK from Europe, the Revelations of Wikileaks about the links between DNC and Wall Street, the mainstream media and the political gotham as influential leaders and well seen academics, the chief of the FBI last minute request to access the Clinton’s documents and the popular crowds that put, against all expectations, Trump at the head of the White House.
Yes, the last months have been a pochette surprise instead of the craft packet waited to be delivered monthly.

But when you think about these moves, unless they happened out of the blue in a certain poetic chaos, weren’t they, in a way, the quite logical figuration of some secret forces coming from underwater currents that have started to erode the political scene. Nothing was much new but yet, it was made public, and the simulacrum was suddenly known from all.
Many networks of influence that appeared as stables have been seriously affected by these unexpected changes, starting with the markets of New York, Tokyo, Mexico or London that were down on the night of the elections. Dude, hell, they should have asked Wikileaks, the main and only source having sides both in Russia and in America… Call it, diplomacy.

Following Trump’s election, we observed a reconfiguration of the global powers starting with the negociation of the global governance to the reactivation of the Old War fantasm that predicts that US and Russia are soon to exchange bacteriological war, to the emergence of China as a serious challenger (yes Obama, they’re better than you at human exploitation, you bet), to the appearance of secondary economies on the scene of economical power (oh, oh, this is not good for Canada, oups), passing by the discredit of long terms american media figures like the NYT, Washington Post, CNN or AP. Yes. The world has changed its face in a night.

Yet, others revealed the one they were hiding in privacy (and we’d better not know). Quite dominant yet non established actors, the whistle blowers and the alternative tech scene, have thus seemingly, in the realm of the elections, voiced loudly their concerns to get out of the shadow where they lyed since years like Succubs (my precious) to access political power and public recognition. Yes, they revealed how badly they wanted to be adored.

If the wish of accessing political leadership might be understandable from actors that have been saying their commitment to the passing of public pieces of information for the last decade, we might ask ourself if the legitimacy of these sources to access political power is not merely an attempt to get honor and fame or get people to do what they want. Doesnt this sound a bit like a communist dictature? Oh yeah…, Fidel Castro is a hero… true. He maintained his seat for nearly 5 decades and he would make 6 if he hadn’t abused from cigars.

Thinking about it, it’s not like if the NYT, the Washington Post, the HuffPost and Friends (there are many but they don’t do much) that are supposed to watch the political power but don’t do it quite yet (Nevermind how hard you try) being watched by the political consortium, the tech leaders (Sillicon Valley hype, Conversation.com, Medium, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, yes Twitter) and the White house fusionned to become one single party. This CANNOT happen because IT IS SIN.
Since ever, it is not for nothing that journalism have splitted political power from news and sources of news as it is quite obvious of what political power Would do if it was in charge with the Press and the Media in terms of political propaganda, looking back at the monarchies in Old Europe (Louis XIII, R.I.P).

Taking into consideration what happened with Snowden when he got access to economical power, political recognition and popular power (yes it is irritating) and became that hegemonic figure managing his business interests (he is also known for settling the Startup culture), we came to a really confusing situation where the proper guy that was supposed to guarantee our civic liberties turned himself into a reseller for an app (i.e. Security for the poors) that incidently exposes its users to breaches and targeted surveillance. Well you can fix it if you happen to have a friend who is a hacker though!

I don’t want the same thing to happen to Wikileaks because we need hope. We need to believe that a change is possible. For once. Yes. Well. That was the positive moment. Even if I wouldn’t give my caution if the dark web is good or bad, we have to be vigilant that we are maybe, in this period of post-crazy idiot yet successful elected Trump with a risk of concentration of the power – our power – into the hands of ex-political opponents. They are for sure in a position for taking control over both informational networks and political power, which is BAD THING.

And why Wikileaks wouldn’t be at more risk at the times they’re looking for digging their foundations into stones (nesting) and starting to spread media propaganda. Because since the 9th of November, it is clear that they have refocused on a political agenda rather than keeping it informational.
Ok tell me, do you really think these guys are still going to care about transparency right now?

Even if leaders have been maintaining connections with political and economical power at all times, I just think this move was really too short to be true, which is just totally undermining Wikileaks credibility because they’re doing exactly what they reproached to Hillary and on the same night : colluding in the name of democracy. This corruption of the original text – transparency – has damaged Wikileaks  integrity. It had been shown that Wikileaks have exposed non public figures privacy in, their leaks when they had apparently the material means not to do so. Why? Some observe that Wikileaks is more creating an illusion of transparency than enacting transparency.

What is going to be different from precedently?
Stakeholders are like the agents Smith. They take every forms that can convey them to more wealth. And they don’t care about who you are until you can drive them where they want. The informational cultures are used as a Trojan.

In this context, we might ask, thoroughly and responsibly…, if it is not better that Wikileaks remains independent from this opaque affiliation of powers to guarantee a counter- power serving the needs of society for transparency because it is crucial for our future to obtain a redistribution of powers. Because if opponents become victorious, then there are not anymore opponents at all (which is great if leaders have integrity and we know they don’t so the situation is pretty fucked).

It is not the only leaks that put the Democrats and establishment upside down but Hillary loss was secreetly wanted by the Senate, and the Congress, and the majority of voters, and at some point, the Russian, and the entire World, and this doesn’t have to see with the fact that Hillary is a woman but with the fact that Hillary is a Clinton.

In other words, Wikileaks might just have been an écran de fumée, or a public entertainor to distract people from the real thing, just as Snowden has been in the past. Just another blockbuster. What Wikileaks has ruined is not the DNC politics. What Wikileaks has ruined is the global politics and it is quite obvious now that the only reason they dud was to take the seat left vacant.

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Ce(tte) œuvre est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution – Pas d’Utilisation Commerciale – Partage dans les Mêmes Conditions 4.0 International.

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A quand une politique acceptable en faveur des vélos?

Le manque d’infrastructures pour les cyclistes en milieu urbain et de politiques urbaines adaptées au vélo se fait cruellement sentir. Cycliste des villes et des champs, j’ai consacré plus de temps à documenter mes expériences de voyage à vélo hors des villes que mes incursions en milieu urbain. Et pourtant, la ville est mon aire d’évolution quotidienne et à l’année puisque, comme de nombreux cyclistes, je réside en centre-ville pour le travail.

Avec l’accroissement du nombre de cyclistes dans les villes du fait de la popularité croissante de notre bien-aimée petite reine, un enjeu est devenu de plus en plus central ces dernières années qui concerne la lutte pour l’occupation des routes entre les cyclistes, les automobilistes, les conducteurs de taxi, les routiers et même les piétons. Ce combat à mort pour l’espace a entraîné chaque année son lot d’accidents dont certains à l’issue dramatique pour les cyclistes évoluant dans ce terrain miné sans protections.

Malheureusement, les conséquences des collisions entre voitures et cyclistes peuvent être hélas des handicaps à vie ou des décès. Au Canada, qui est traditionnellement un pays de conducteurs de voitures, contrairement aux pays d’Europe du Nord ou à certains pays d’Europe comme le Nord de la France, l’Allemagne, la Suisse, la Belgique et le Nord de l’Italie, les accidents sont excessivement nombreux et les automobilistes peu sensibilisés aux enjeux posés par les transports doux.

C’est ainsi que, lors de mes périples urbains, j’ai tristement croisé une petite dizaine de vélos fantômes attachés à des anneaux pour vélo – ces vélos peints en blanc et disposés à l’endroit où leur propriétaire a perdu la vie – accompagnés de gerbes de fleurs dans les rues de Montréal et de Toronto :

Les accès sont dangereux et peu nombreux en dehors du Plateau (quartier bobo de l’hypercentre) :

koi

Depuis cet été seulement, il y a eu trois morts de cyclistes percutés par des voitures et camions à Montréal. J’ai aussi été témoin récemment d’un accident au croisement Laurier/Clark devant la brasserie du Dieu du Ciel. La victime, apparemment réchappée, gisait sur le côté, sans mouvements, renversée tel un fétu de paille par un automobiliste ayant coupé la piste cyclable par la droite en tournant au stop, alors qu’elle filait droit devant elle, inconsciente du danger, puisque la piste cyclable est bordée d’une file de voitures à droite stoppant toute visibilité.

image

La cause de la rivalité entre conducteurs de véhicules et cyclistes est simple : le manque d’infrastructures dédiées aux cyclistes mises en oeuvre par les municipalités et les gouvernements qui semblent minimiser le problème et éluder toute responsabilité.

De plus en plus de municipalités, notamment européennes, prennent conscience de l’impact positif du cyclisme, aussi bien, en termes d’intégration et de mobilité (se rendre au travail, emmener ses enfants à l’école, rentrer chez soi aux heures où les transport sont rares ou à l’inverse bondés…). Le vélo permet aussi d’améliorer la qualité de l’air en réduisant l’empreinte carbone.

Il a des bénéfices également économiques, des villes comme Copenhague ayant démontré, par une banale étude des coûts et bénéfices, qu’un vélo coûte six fois moins cher qu’une voiture à entretenir pour la ville, sans compter l’impact sur la santé environnementale se chiffrant en millions d’euros, de nombreuses maladies des voies respiratoires et des cancers étant causées par la pollution de l’air au dioxyde de carbone ou l’intoxication par les métaux lourds.

Il n’y a vraiment aucune raison de s’opposer au développement du vélo dans les villes. Néanmoins, le refus de mettre en oeuvre de véritables plans d’actions, au-delà de la mise à disposition de vélos urbains, conduit à un défaut de sécurisation des accès vélo.

Parmi les principaux problèmes rencontrés, notons que :

  • Les pistes cyclables ne sont pas construites en nombre suffisant. Elles sont discontinues et placées dans des emplacements peu appropriés comme le long des aires de stationnement à voitures ou en simples bordures de grands axes routiers ou viaducs.
  • Les pistes cyclables discontinues peuvent forcer les cyclistes à emprunter des routes non sécurisées à fort traffic routier, des rues à contre-sens ou des trottoirs, favorisant ainsi le risque de collisions. Le long des aires de stationnement, elles les exposent au dooring, qui se produit lorsqu’un automobiliste ouvre brusquement sa porte donnant sur la piste cyclable sans regarder préalablement dans le rétroviseur, entraînant la chute sur la chaussée du cycliste.
  • Les marquages au sol peu accentués et invisibles à l’oeil des automobilistes, eux-mêmes peu enclins à céder aux vélos de leur part de privilège acquise par la force, particulièrement aux endroits stratégiques, sont un autre facteur à risques puisque le cycliste se croyant protégé par les limites de la piste cyclable évolue soudainement, lors de croisements et feux, dans une zone non marquée dangereuse.
  • L’absence de marquage clair donne des arguments aux groupes d’intérêts tel que les taxis et transporteurs routiers, favorisant les intimidations et les agressions.
  • Les problèmes d’accès persistent et les anneaux à vélo sont inexistants ou placés aux mauvais endroits.
  • Sans doute des problèmes d’éclairage urbain et de visibilité.
  • La vitesse des automobilistes.

Le risque fait partie de toute évolution et accompagne toute transition comme celle vers les énergies alternatives et la réduction de l’empreinte carbone. Cependant, il y a des limites. Il est inacceptable que ce risque repose sur les cyclistes et que ceux-ci soient forcés de mettre leur vie en jeu pour avoir le droit d’occuper l’espace qui leur revient. Même si de nombreux militants se disent prêts à prendre les rues car il est évident qu’il ne faut pas céder à l’odieux chantage de la force brute et de l’intimidation impulsé par certains automobilistes, il est important de protéger sa vie.

Plus il y aura de cyclistes vivants et plus il y aura de cyclistes. Il faut oser demander le risque zéro.

De nombreuses organisations se sont sensibilisées à la cause des cyclistes à temps plein. Le PNUE a récemment appelé les gouvernements à réagir et à consacrer 20% de leur budget à la construction et à l’entretien d’infrastructures pour les cyclistes.

À Copenhague, outre une sensibilisation à la culture cycliste, les feux sont alternés empêchant toute collision et les marquages au sol sont en continu de manière à ce que le risque soit impitoyablement éradiqué. Sur cette image prise à l’été 2016, on peut voir que les marquages au sol sont entièrement peints de couleur vive afin de délimiter la piste sans équivoques :

Velo Copenhague

 

En attendant que nos politiques prennent conscience du fait que cet énactivisme ne peut durer et adoptent des politiques de concertation, j’encourage les cyclistes à porter casques, lumières, sonnettes et réflecteurs et surtout à éviter de se rendre sur les axes non sûrs tel que les grands axes routiers et boulevards urbains, les pistes cyclables non protégées ou rasées par des voitures et des camions en centre-ville et longeant des aires de stationnement sur des axes routiers très fréquentés, etc pour privilégier les parcours alternatifs. Il appartient aussi aux cyclistes d’adopter des conduites responsables.

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A conversation about refugees, minority voices & state control

 

Ethnography

During my ethnographic cycling project around Scandinavia this summer, I met C., an Iranian political refugee who also is a documentary maker. After being jailed because of his activities in Iran, he left for Istanbul where he applied for the Refugees Immigration UN Program and he is now resident of Denmark.

I was curious to get an insider point of view about the way anti-migrant media are portraying refugees, calling them rapists, since the Refugees crisis had become a theme for political elections. I thought it was interesting to get access to the unofficial story of someone who went into the camps, in this times of political elections in Europe and US. I asked C. if he would agree with reporting our talk and having his views presented on my blog. He consented.

The way C. feels with how media and polls portray refugees as rapists was quite unexpected. Although I thought he would immediately deny this caricatural portrayal, he seemed quite okay with it. From what he’d seen in the camps, the rape problem was true. He said that men do rape girls. He reported it happened to him several times while going to the camps for visiting that girls spontaneously offer sex services in exchange for material goods, favors or protection.

C. didn’t seem to feel resentment about being called a rapist by media as he is himself a refugee. I wonder if the rapists term only applies to Syrian refugees or if there is a segmentation among categories. Then he explained, really calmly, that he understood Danish were scared about him.

Saying it frankly, the rhetoric is pure racism and C. Is tolerant, but I can’t figure out how to be comprehensive of repressive politics of representation that normalizes the criminalization of immigrants.

Of course, C. was conscious that media and politics use the pro or anti-migrants rhetorics for electoral aims but he didn’t mind, considering maybe that nothing is to be done with that, which is pretty true. I wondered what meaning to give furtherly to the action of the people that are involved into telling the stories and educating in the context of media manipulation.

The anti-migrants as well as the pro-migrants are both racists denying status to refugees and objectifying them to get voters. Encouraging stigmatization for political or commercial purposes (weapons traffic, oil and data access) have nothing to see with humanitarianism, it’s political manipulation. The blatent revisionism of dictatures or rebel groups stories that justify the killing millions of innocent souls shouldn’t lead to any kind of understanding from our mediocracies.

C. knew well about that after he was jailed for his political ideas in his country. The violence of power was a common ground on which I guess we agreed. I have been exposed to gender and racist violence while travelling for work in the UK after a man verbally physically and sexually attacked me with nationalist motives. Intelligentsia encouraged…

I have been exposed to many acts of xenofobia while travelling in Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the US or studying or working in Canada where I had to hear that scorching «Go back to your country» (I come from a multicultural family that travelled Europe so it is pretty sure I have ancestors in many countries and I always find this absurd).

Transient populations are at risk with abuse, especially women and kids. Not because they’re weaker but because sedentary populations see them as weak.

I have never been jailed but I know the feeling of being unchained or asphyxiated by abusive categorizations. I am jailed with stigma.

C. keeps hope in the belief that education might help, not me. I have ceased to believe in our models of society. Am I the only one to be staggered by the destiny of women and kids condemned to remain in captivity with the treath and reality of rape? By the degree of social acceptation that these rhetorics have contributed to reach in our societies assessing facts with dishumanized pictures and putting barriers between communities?

It is sadly a fact that political parties need voices for elections but with representations and policies that damage women’s rights as well as their physical and psychological integrity – as shown by multiple reports from Amnesty International, women’s rights watchdogs and child advocates organizations worlwide – politics consciously amplify the stigma against persons that have absolute no way to escape categorizations nor the symbolical or material access to representations while living in the camps, in order to raise benefits, gain popularity and occupy the center stage. It is unhealthy and pervert.

My white western education might have an influence on my sensitivity (I recognize that living in a dictature might leave you quite desensitized by multiple abuses) but I am also part of a target community as a woman and my experience while travelling makes me feel that members of the stigmatized communities cooperating willingly or not with dominant power contribute to the extension of the violence against women and kids.

Portraying refugees as rapists that have to be educated by moral western institutions is a colonialist rhetoric from the power and is indeed a threat for the oppressed communities fighting for their rights and freedom, trying to emancipate from the logics of domination and subjugation. I believe that the zero tolerance to human’s bodies persecution is the only answer.

This conversation with C. led me to reflect further on the responsabilities of our governments into the problems that society encounters today. Many people are actually worrying that our western politics are dominated by amorality and cynism.

Why to be critical about religious politics and not about the morality of our western policies that encourage fascism, dictatures and violence with their sophisticated apparatus causing social chaos?

Is that wiseness as C. said?

I might be an irreductible hothead but it better sounds to me like collaboration with an abusive fascist State. Foucault explains in L’Ordre du discours (1971) that education is one procedure of exclusion that pertains to a political system reproducing limits and contraints.

How to make sense from the nonsense was what I thought while listening to C.

The mind control deviances from the global power over vulnerable persons do send mixed signals. Their attemps in washing people’s brains with the threat of sending them back into their countrie or categorizing them are modern forms of censure, torture and coercion  (refugees are not authorized to take part into politics…). It forces people into cooperation.

The responsability is on global leaders.

Later that day, after C. invited me to stay in his house as it was late, C. said that if we have slept in the same bed, he wouldn’t be sure he could control himself. I was kind of afraid. I came to think that the media rhetorics could in a way encourage him into bad conducts and behaviors or into making uses of such politics against my wants.

Maybe the story he told me about rape in the refugees camps wasn’t that unofficial at the end. Maybe everyone around is accepting the story of the natural sacrifice of women and kids on the autel of progress.

***

I should have been relieved as what C. said confirmed our premonitions but the fact that women and child’s safety is furtherly subordinated to economical growth made me feel depressed, sad and hopeless. Years have passed by and bleached my hope since my PhD years that critical issues can be resolved with the project of basically telling people how to behave.

It’s not much that I contest the freirian philosophy of critical education that still is an inspiration for my works. It’s more that, with the complicity of some media, we live in an era of unpreceding manipulation of facts, data, image and technology in the name of profit due to news acceleration and poor literacy causing desinformation.

Research and education have never been the priority of the successive governments and it is impacting knowledge. I observed how useless it is to teach our kids about media and politics if no critical policies fighting logics of domination and exclusion are implemented too, if the same model of governance is perpetuated over and, over again.

Western governments encourage dictatures in countries as Iran, Irak or Syria with elits, C. said, that have been sent to the best UK universities. They do maintain abusive powers in place causing harm to civilians.

Politics have to be made accountable prior to their actions. A revolution in the minds first. We have far too many descriptive and politically correct media telling us the official story. We need brave and courageous media asking the right questions. You don’t fight power with the same weapons that the power uses.

I found this graff in Copenhagen next to a oil station that shows that even Danes are not quite convinced either:

refugees crisis

Society shouldn’t let its choices to be driven by the fear and the paranoïa spread around by abusive leaders.

A critical goal can hardly be reached with governmental agency or international funds. Such a goal remains a project from the oppressed communities making use of their inner knowledge.

Substantial and undetectable amounts of money come from business deals as unethical as prostitution, weapons and drugs and even from politics and media owners. They are motivated by the rush to access power and to reach political influence AT ALL COSTS rom political elites. They are causing as desperate situations as the one we saw with the death by drowning of Alan Kurdi in 2015 [edit 19/08/1026 : or the sight of a bloodied child in an ambulance in Syria]. Their politics are damaging the future of not only women, and vulnerable people but of the most wealth negatively impacted minority : kids.

The question we have to address now is if global powers and at some point amoral political leaders are deliberately encouraging social crisis in our modern democracies or politics of crime by manipulating conflictual politics.

 

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Ce(tte) œuvre est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution – Pas d’Utilisation Commerciale – Partage dans les Mêmes Conditions 4.0 International.

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