The US government wants to use social media platforms for the surveillance of non US citizens

 

Why you should stop using social media :

The US government’ plans to use Facebook, Twitter and Google for the surveillance and political targeting of non US citizens

Following my precedent post about social media that was questioning a dissymetry of access and powers in between users, and specifically US citizens and non US citizens, I have been watching closely the talks between Facebook’s Sandberg and Twitter’s Dorsey and the Congress following the accusations of foreign interference and bias.

It resulted from the watching/hearing that the debate that was supposed to question foreign interference through bias and manipulation finally evolved around the issue of the American National Security and discussed the possibilities of profiling the non US citizen users in the context of a cold war against Russia through social media surveillance, notably through the intervention of Mr Wyner.

If the US government really gets to manage through the negociations with owners to have a closer role in the regulation of Facebook and Twitter’s processes of control over information, we might fear that social media are soon going to be used as spying programs on the behalf of the US government for the monitoring of the political and economical activities of the non US citizens.

Following this document, and once the law of non foreign political interference would be amended, a non american citizen could be tracked, unauthorized to make political comments on the platform contrarian to the American politics, and monitored for suspicious activities, which obviously will give unpreceedents powers to the Justice Department for control and censorship of the non american populations’ digital communications.

Politically, this document is the sign of a new escalation in the program of the US mass surveillance, showing the explicit ambitions of the US government to conduct advanced and aggressive politics of belligerence and tactics of warification against non US citizens, even if the position of the Congress is not clear yet regarding of such prerogatives.

Keeping using social media, products and services owned by American corporations will put Europeans users at risk with an interception of their personal communications and industrial plans and documents for the purpose of a massive surveillance by the CIA, FBI and NSA as not only Russians citizens but all non US citizens are targeted.

I think if it has to be discussed, researchers and analysts from other geopolitical areas should join the table to share their viewpoints as the perceptions of threat from the US intelligence agencies seem to be highly biased by conservative ideas, cold war sentiments and post-9/11 terror.

Meanwhile, awaiting clarifications from the main actors, I encourage caution about the confidentials informations and social interactions that can be stolen and used for political profiling, targeted and mass surveillance and industrial spying by the US government.

The question is to know if the interests for the national security and its tactics of criminalization and victimization of non US citizens will prevail on the interests for the global peace and collaborative economy in which case we will have to take appropriate measures to protect emerging markets as well as local producers from the US imperialism.

 

Posted in algorithm bias, bias, Digital culture, Exploitation, Google, machine learning, Palantir, privacy, protection des données, social media, surveillance, Twitter, war | Comments Off on The US government wants to use social media platforms for the surveillance of non US citizens

A modern disease : the social impact of the criminalization of women thinking

The Social Impact of the Criminalization of Women’s Thinking :

Investigative journalists, critical academics, female activists, intellectuals and political leaders under a hail of bullets

sexism

This analysis based on the observation of the systemic and structural violence against women generated by State and institutions aims at showing the processes and procedures of exclusion of women scientists leading to the repression of the expression of their identities, roles and leadership in the public space with the use of abusive politics, everyday sexism and police brutality.

The experience of the woman as a scientist and at borders recorded during 5 years shapes an analysis of the structures of influence and power at play with the systemic violence embodied by attackers of women scientists’ representations, images and public appearances in media, politics and society, in western societies and non-western societies.

Apart of situations of inequality, and unfair treatment at work, at home or in street, produced by the common and abusive categorizations of women’s active roles in society, this analysis aims at showing how these processes conduct to the silencing and erasure of women’s contributions in different fields as journalism, social activism, social development, business or emergent markets.

These logics of domination and social exclusion based on discrimination and gender bias and the constant disputes over their status and legitimacy as scientists and leaders erode the benefits of their social works by excluding the richness and value of their works (Di Chiro, 2004), prejudicing the emergence or protection of alternative markets and alternative economies.

Through the use of our methodology (Debaveye, 2012), we identified two main categories of criminalisation and exploitation :

  • Intellectual professions as : journalists, researchers, academics or scientists who seem to be more at stake with the issue as women in leadership are both being more visible in social networks and media and more associated with notions of economic empowerment
  • Migrant women, displaced women and women in transit as they become targets of violence while being far from home and exposed to trafficking or sexual violence.
  • Intertwinned categories

We argue that these categories of women are being intensively tracked and criminalized to then be subjugated to the purpose of economic exploitation as “there are not place anymore for social relations to be expressed as the situations involved a loss in sociality, be it, for situations of war opposing the national interests of two countries, or states of advanced capitalism in which economical transactions have been substituted to the human and social relation”.http://juliedebaveye.com/copenhagen-the-resilient-city-for-a-woman-entrepreneur/

The document provided is generated by qualitative and quantitative data obtained through a period of 5 years observation and via social media analytics (see my previous works). It allowed us to underline patterns of persecution towards women leaders so to produce a list of situations in which women are confronted with violence and exclusion.

By combining fieldnotes and quantitative sets of data as well as stats from global reports, human rights watchdogs and mainstream media (Guardian, local papers, HRW, Amnesty, UN), I then drew a parallel between the qualitative experiences of women described in stories and some proeminent global threats that women intellectuals are facing today exposed by watchdogs. I finally established scores of criticality for every situation in real-time by crossing datasets and analysis.

Data were collected through two main processes :

One main process resulted from a synthesis of the narratives and fieldnotes I recorded publicly during my practice over the past 5 years and a list of situations I’ve established.

The second process is obtained with the collection of quantitative measures taken from several global reports (UN, HRW) and media sources and ranged under the typology.

Giving the accuracy of my findings and its convergence with quantitative results, I didn’t have to refine my results and findings but I might say that the extended period of 5 years observation (pretty rare in research) allowed me to verify results and findings in very different contexts and situations as there wasn’t many variations.

The table I have produced is focused on the last past years and reveals the specificity of women targeted violence following geographical area/countries.

As there are obvious similarities between both sets of data, the results obtained allow us to raise awareness about a level of criticality regarding risks encountered for women intellectuals and critics through their public activities that is a call for helping decisioners and main political leaders into taking decisive actions.

Table 1 :

The criminalization of women in western and non-western societies (2015-2018)

Discussion 

This mixed methods model is flexible and can serve many types of different data and purposes but it is better adaptable with small, idiosynchrasic sets of data and trendings phenomenon in emergent data or suited for qualitative observations about broader events.

Of course, the goal is not to convert the richness of our qualitative findings into numerical value that could bias our data collection but to provide an indice that can be actionnable for policy makers about levels of criticality. It is obtained by combining multiple factors.

In this peculiar case, there is no possibility to generalize the research because we lack access to critical information that is not being made accessible by governments and officials about the global number of victims or potentially biased reports. We thus have to ground our findings on pieces of information produced by grassroots groups or local organizations, and rely more heavily on our qualitative intuitions in situations of risk and uncertainty.

Notes :

There were some data that cannot be obtained as there were not produced yet by any official organization or watchdog.

Most news coverage and reports about violence against women worldwide were taken from the Guardian for South America and UN Report for the Middle East.

The reports about police brutality against women during G20 in 2010 are reported in most of the canadian press as well as in a paper I have published in 2012.

Posted in algorithm bias, bias, corruption, Digital culture, Ethnographie, everyday sexism, Exploitation, gender discrimination, immigrant, Power, qualitative research, repression, resistance, social impact, social media, social precarity, technology, Twitter, violence against women, women networks | 1 Comment

Societies of desinformation : how narratives of financial corruption serving US sovereignity might ruin the world

[PART 3]

The narratives of financial corruption and money laundering spread by powerful networks as Palantir for the account of corrupted states build the infrastructure of a corrupted economy that might be questionned and challenged for maintaining centralized relations of power with deep asymetries.

These narratives produce societies of desinformation by involving the participation of officials producers, media outlets and news rooms and proeminent leaders in social media for the massive hack of personal data and identity, unveiling the creepy relations of financial milieux with our political and social institutions.

 

If speculative finance, via some startup hubs for investment and banks networks share a good rate of responsibility in supporting institutional corruption and US sovereignity, corrupted institutions and state agents involved in money laundering also contribute to the perpetuation of  narratives of financial capitalism and symbolical productions aiming at deceiving through media and social networks. These narratives are encrypted in digital news, official and media stories to manipulate and interfere with public, foreign and political affair

It has been proved that CIA funded Palantir – used by intell agencies to track population – has ties and connections with the liberal establishment, anarcho-capitalists and leaders of the left propaganda, as Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal and Palantir’s CEO, early Facebook investor, sold ex-Paypal and his smart set of algorithms to Pierre Omidyar, co-funder of Ebay, also owner of the Intercept (that is supposed to be a whistle blower) thus boss of Greenwald.

In fact, all these actors evolve in the same bubble. And this post wants to show how corrupted state agents and corporate media exaggerate political ideologies to serve their own economical and financial interests by supporting the views of their funders, partners and sponsors. By encouraging censure and repression, they spur the normalization of coercive politics and abusive policies.

Digital news producers as The Intercept, news rooms as The New York Times (family trust) or libertarian activists members of the Data & Society network (Center for Democracy & Technology, Center for Media Justice, Open Society Fund, the New York Times, the UNICEF…) are funded by the Omidyar, Soros, Bill & Melinda Gates Fundation and Microsoft among others to inject distorted realities in informational networks.

Having acknowledged that popular culture products and media contents are really powerful ways to indoctrinate the minds, Omidyar started to invest consequently in politics, media industry and civic tech aside of its activities in finance, by funding powerful organs of influence as the USAID or the Clinton global initiative during the 2016 elections as well as diverse range of media publications, extremist groups, NGOs and civic organizations.

By doing so, Omidyar networks created societies of desinformation with the use of chat bots, trolls, polls, manipulation, censure, social media campaigns and financial blackmail of retaliation over opponents.

These efforts made by the Omidyar network of permanating structures of hegemonic powers in which boards hold almost absolute control over their own company and employees but also over media outlets, news organizations and political institutions, have led to the massive corruption of the public affairs and public spheres and hacking of personal lives and online identities.

The direct implication and activism from groups of interests and lobbies instrumentalized by the partisan views and supporting their claims with dubious narratives based on inventions and defamations at Brussels import these networks of oppressive powers and financial collusion in Europe.

Lack of critical skills from polls to understand and critically analyze news and popular culture contents has played in favor of policies made to empoverish the forms of our collective knowledge leading to cyber-stalking, cyber-harassment, thieves of identity and frauds, threatening the construction of an organically informed knowledge society, necessary to the regulation and protection of a desinterested global debate.

Media plurality, data bias and censure

Not to comment the effects of these deadly policies based on money laundering and corruption on media plurality, public policies and political freedom resulting from the disastrous governance of science and technology by the FBI-Omidyar-Palantir-Mercks-Airbus’ consortium in the US and in Europe, these policies are surely leading to war in the world by destroying the trust.

By extending its tentacles, the Omidyar network has increased censure and dictatorship against political dissents and critical researchers with subtile and above suspicion nets of news sources as The Intercept who had become really popular among whistle blowers as Snowden and Poitras around 2012.

By making use of political coercion, media pressure and censure against whose who oppose and denounce their financial deals – which led them for example to cut funds to various organizations and spread smearing campaigns – institutional corruption is reaching unpreceedings levels of frauds.

Top secret intelligence and state fundings coming from money laundering and criminal activities are growing to their highest level, both in private and public sectors, and are obviously mostly employed at tracking citizens and activities for surveillance and espionage. In order to be less trackable by accountable policies, this ‘black budget’ are then being dispatched between main players and big corps funded partners notably through encryption and blockchain technologies.

With the authoritarian structures of an archaic society – this society that never quite existed before aims at dividing those who can access material and symbolical power and those who remain out due to ‘invisible walls’ – this configuration of powers will cause the perpetuation of wars, conflicts and social regressions in the world.

The purpose of producing such an antagonistic symbolical and economical apparatus is to induce the feeling that two groups whose interests diverge are fighting. By maintaining divides and gaps among people, these propagandists encourage individuals in artificial battles and comments on conflicts and wars that do not quite concern them but better conceal global struggles for raising profits, artificial growth and geo-political power from speculation.

The informational arena will in this aspect approach the culture of criminality in the real estate or oil sectors. The internet communities will become completely biased and fooled by state funds injected in technology industry aiming at hacking people’s spaces illegally and exploiting their body of works.

What you see is not what you may think

We argued that some news producers employed by state and corporations intentionally maintain partisan ideologies vivid by encouraging artificial oppositions and conflicts in public discussion. By excluding people from public place and speech, by victimizing populations (with the anti-anti immigrant rhetorics for example) and by displacing groups, with the help of overcharged rhetorics that amplify conflicts and wars, they endanger the lives of children and women. They dismiss the potential for change and for endogenous emerging ecologies of wealth and cooperation.

The Palantir financial investments in fintech and pharmaceutics (implants and chips but also data manipulation of academic studies) as well as the high profits they make clearly show their goals and implications with financial mafias established in the US and elsewhere in Africa, Europe, Myanmar and India. Nevertheless governments and states are still working and making deals with Omidyar-Palantir’s networks.

As a coincidence, all these areas are dominated with political instabilities, conflicts and wars and striked by poverty, inequality and population displacements, supporting investments in cybersecurity business and banks.

Concomitantly Omidyar has been really active in tech, finance, media and education (or indoctrination) in Myanmar since 2015, right at the time when conflicts with local populations and persecution of the Roginhyan people started to arise. During that period, Omidyar network massively funded (and silented) local leaders and NGOs on the ground as well as tech initiatives in finance.

Doesn’t his remember you of some guys? Yeah, the actions of the Clintons network and the foreign interferences in Afghanistan and Sudan (that was already Palantir by the way).

It is not hard to guess that their presence in conflictuous regions is linked to the activities of Palantir involved the displacement of the Roginhyan people with the firm analytical technology tools being specialized in tracking foreign populations, strategic places and resources for governmental agencies. Omidyar network act as an instrument of political propaganda serving the interests of the firm to extend its monopoly over the area.

Palantir also has been pressented to localize and map the 55,000 files and 183 CDs that Israeli leader Netanyahu claimed to have stolen from Teheran with the help of the Mossad intelligence on Iran nuclear power and informations about building a bomb (Just like with Irak).

On the basis of these allegations and to pretendingly protect the US national security, Palantir and partners have deployed 60 probes in Iran to steal classified documents and collected informations through social media feeds and via satellite images, nurturing the conflict between Iran and Israel.

Intelligence expertise gives Palantir a kind of transcendental authority on governmental agencies for supposedly owning control over information better than them. The case is that they make use of false assumptions, fake news and desinformations to reach their goals, contributing to undermine Palantir’s integrity regarding of security and peace building.

Of course, it is concerning because it is not only occuring in the US but also in Europe via lobbyism and local corruption. In France, Thales is pressented to clone Palantir’s services for populations’ surveillance and repression, Airbus to track people at borders; in Germany, Mercks to track patients’ data,…and by a myriad of other medium players in the startup bubble privately funded.

Counter mapping connections of crime and money laundering

American foreign politics portrayed into news rooms as the Wapo, the New York Times, the Times, the WSJ or The Economist are like watching finals between Ma Long and Fan Zhendhong so let’s introduce a bit of nuance in these deadly policies with more defined and accurate regimes of news production.

Mapping connections of corruption and dirty money allow us to modelize some critical constructs to debunk the financial narratives that create false consciousness, desinformation, fake assumptions and real wars and conflicts.

A Bloomberg journalist wrote that Palantir “combs through disparate data sources—financial documents, airline reservations, cellphone records, social media postings—and searches for connections that human analysts might miss. It then presents the linkages in colorful, easy-to-interpret graphics that look like spider webs.”, but we have to point too that, in addition, Palantir mostly works hard at producing “ideologized” representations designed to deceive to cover up the laundering of dirty money.

Aside of developping cyber tracking tools for analytics and intelligence services, they have deployed an arsenal of sophisticated ways of controlling and manipulating public opinion through the use of media, institutions and popular contents.

To counter this process of subjugations from our infrastructures and ecologies to US sovereignity and US financial interests, we need to deploy, not only solutions and tracking devices, but most of all, a counter-mapping expertise deployed within long term partnerships and programs to better help at taking informed decisions.

To access the map, see below :

Double agents : Palantir’s ties with colluded politics, media, universities and lawmakers

By Julie Debaveye, June 2018

To read [PART 2]
To read more about financial capitalism and anticapitalism in new media and technology :
@clacmontréal : émergence et institutionnalisation d’une expertise militante dans les micro-médias

To read more about collusion:

Soros lobbying at Brussels

 

Licence Creative Commons
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.

 

Posted in algorithm bias, Exploitation, Film industry, finance capitalism, freedom of press, intelligence artificielle, media collusion, media industry, media plurality, Palantir, Power, protection des données, relations of power, shareholders, social media, social precarity, war, Wikileaks | Tagged | Comments Off on Societies of desinformation : how narratives of financial corruption serving US sovereignity might ruin the world

The Matrix scenario : mindless minds

During my years as a PhD researcher and then class A researcher, I noted that the law of privacy is in essence discriminative and biased against private individuals when confronted with interferences from financial networks.

In a claim for efficiency, officials, lawmakers and attorneys are ignoring concerns of populations regarding of public policies about data protection, urban planning and healthcare.

As most cannot reach the financial and cognitive means to use appropriately the ICTs in order to fight the authority of the administrators of treatment for improvements of privacy, protection of citizens and health services, we argue that the law is being instrumentalized for the benefits of criminal networks.

This situation prevents honest contributors and independent researchers from regulating the situation of oppression experienced by populations caused by abusive procedures based on systematic denials and unethical uses of the technological apparatus.

This led me to design a Matrix scenario for the future as a risk scenario taking into account the interdependance of law and money.

The Matrix Scenario

First, getting rid of intermediaries and witnesses by the means of legal procedures

 

By suppressing intermediairies and witnesses, as law firms and clients collude towards their needs and the defense of their common financial interests argumenting towards conflits of interests, states and tech giants have generated a no man’s lands on the matter of justice, notably regarding of civic liberties and freedom and justice for all.

This situation has been more than observable in the execution of the GDPR in the last months or more recently in cases of money laundering and criminal activities involving the mafia (Giulani).

As soon as in May 2018, we noticed that the benefits of codification were mostly going to Google, IBM, Deloitte, Facebook : “gathering individuals’ consent for targeted advertising at far higher rates than many competing online-ad services, early data show. (…). reinforcing — at least initially — the strength of the biggest online-ad players, led by Google and Facebook.”

Beyond GDPR, the laws corrupt the intent of the code generated for reaching the ends of public good and for protecting citizens against scams and abuses towards the ones of benefiting their clients’ global financial operations, opening path for misguided interpretations of the code of law. That’s actually an idea I started to nurture in some past posts. 

Actually it is a bit naive to consider that the EU lawmakers, in cumpliance with US lawmakers, hadn’t planned the outcomes in the execution of the GDPR giving their extensive knowledge of procedures about the concentrative nature of the existing markets.

The estranged collaboration they more than willingly maintain with tech giants – CEO’s being regularly hosted at the Brussel Parliament – indicate clearly a very narrow degree of acquaintance and co-optation between lawmakers and criminals that it is necessary to point out as an entry point for corruption.

Two, controlling public identities at a distance 

 

If properly interpreted, taking into accounts the specificy of each context and the limits posed by risks over individual targeting and coercive consentment, the GDPR should have prevented tech giants to pressure against governments and policies.

It became instead the place for a socially accepted and enabled transaction of the individual data market with private affairs causing situations of oppression for citizens whose data are being hijacked by global databases to be controlled at distance with the technologies of the corrupted states.

This context can lead to manipulations and errors that might deeply harm citizens’ health and security.

In fact, with the administration of the GDPR procedures, we noticed EUs lawmakers tendency to share a common culture of privacy and security based on the concept of cheats and frauds that falsely criminalize individuals.

Individuals and mass are perceived as idiosynchratic agents of disorder and confusion and cheaters that it is necessary to contain, control and even repress when they endanger their clients’ secrecy, by supporting financially an economy of laws failing to adress the complexity of the phenomenon.

We couldn’t miss the point then that the intention wasn’t there to get rid of the task of adjudicating the legislation to pass it to tech giants at the detriments of societal progresses.

 

Three, forcing people to run and to hide 

 

Tax evasions and spoliations are the main activities involved.

Google has forced publishers to ask users’ consent on their behalf, stealing customers from small ads agencies in Europe to drive them away in his own marketplace in the US with the help of its digital advertising platforms.

Thanks to deals non-Google ad agencies had to grant to get access to the code of products as DBM or Google Adwords for ad campaigns guaranteeing users’ consent, Google could be also spared of paying the harsher penalties for privacy infringements and mainstream media publishers or local producers will pay for the bills.

The GDPR gives american companies a striking and competitive advantage over normal, local actors by granting big corps access, authority, leadership and legitimacy to monitor and to manage private and sensitive data.

As a consequence some valuable investors and high capacity entities have already left Europe, raising concerns for Europe capacity to sustain a stable local economy following the application of the GDPR and security rules.

Confronted with the issue of lack of access and black boxes, the main options for the people are limited to the opt-in/opt-out dichotomy, preventing room for complexity, disruption or nuance, notably regarding of specific cases of security and local surveillance that need to be dealt by experts in ICTs with high knowledge of ethical procedures.

In this aspect, the centralization and automation of procedures is a sound mistake for democracy and for the protection of the populations against corruption.

Citizens can virtually opt-out for the use of censors, microphones or cameras for some Google apps and services but as Google allows their third parties and staff, developpers and data scientists, to legitimately access private informations held in mega-databases, it ultimately denies users the possibility to restrict what they want to disclose to governments or companies.

Moreover most android devices have by-default apps pre-installed programmed to perform with opt-in options activated as Google Play and Google services or tools as Microphone or Camera. If opt-out is activated, the service can no longer be used and users will be deprived from making photos or videos with their cellphones.

In the case of invasive, repeated and ubiquitous intrusions of the private spheres and matters through personal cellphones, trackers and image recognition technologies via CCTV, the opt-out option is not an option.

This situation is causing anxiety and hyper-vigilance. Users then may not have other remedy than to disengage and stop using the internet services on their cellphones.

Four, creating illusions of control for hacking of personal id

Global databases are dealing with constant intrusions in the real and diary lives of citizens.

Data collected at site by default extraction of IP adresses provides a random access to informations of geolocalization and of private affaires from users (friends and lovers’ networks). Data scientists might apply filters to log files to anonymize data in secondary operations but files are still stored with included indicators.

The IP adress collection enables to track citizens in private areas that they’re not willing to share and forces them into disclosure of sensitive informations.

What we observe is an enaction of data justice by the means of juridiction.

State hackers can access databases and use private data malevolently for adversarial purposes serving the interests of their private investors and clients.

Removing filters on an algorithm takes no more than the removal of a line of code asking the machine to hide (not to quite suppress) the information considered as sensitive.

The script of code remains, open and flexible, and can be accessed and transformed as often as desired.

 

Law is a factory of consentment. This impacts trust and affects economy for segmenting populations into stereotyped categories and misrepresentations that allow manipulations and repressions across the globe.

The collection of pieces of informations put together in centralized databases combine civic informations and bits of information on personal devices and augment the effects of the damage caused on populations.

The accessed data might be stolen without consent and divert for secondary purposes as elections or business deals.

I documented about the plans of the US Congress to use social media to track and monitor non US-citizens for reaching political ends and economical benefits, and so plan to do the French government in January 2019 by tracking citizens private affairs on Facebook.

These policies might end damaging the most precarious and vulnerable and reinforce the domination of the biggest ones as rich people are having the means to pay lawyers and firms to hide their profits and white wash their past misactions.

In spite of being heavily detrimental to the persons being the objects of targeted surveillance, with the criminalization of persons and groups coming from visible minorities as persons of colors, people with disabilities or mental health issues and single mothers or women by police, laws around privacy and security are reinforcing prejudices.

Five, megaveillance superpowers vs simple powers

 

Deals that give to device makers access to users’ private information, such as romantic relationship status, geo-localization of homes and sensitive health matters, fall within the label of the infringements of privacy laws and are illegal without a Court injunction.

Even if done in the name of security concerns, counter-terrorism and ‘healthy’ public debate, this compromises the relation between institutions and citizens causing social chaos.

GDPR as many privacy laws grant tech corps with extra-powers to adjucate the law and decide about people’s rights and futures. The thought starts to crack that beyond GDPR applications, a creepy pragmatism has led EU administrators and lawmakers to comply with the views of tech giants to tacitly facilitate the ownership of citizens’ private data in mega-databases.

Same issues about privacy occur in Canada with the Toronto Waterfront/Quayside project directed by Sidewalks Lab (City Lab Toronto) and Google parent’s company, Alphabet, that led Torontonian officials to spouse the core principles of Alphabet Inc, enabling the trading of sensitive and private data of citizens accessed via cell phones and CCTV without users’ consentment, under the veil of anonymization.

The deals are put together quite hastily without any participation and consultation of information experts in technology and ethics, who would surely raise claims and critics regarding the scope and the flexibility of the laws.

An army of lawyers is then required to take charge not of the necessary corrections that society is calling for but to make sure that this law was being rigorously applied and ‘cheaters’ sued.

To make this move acceptable, law scholars whose labs are funded by Palantir, Google and Facebook, have been giving talks in so-called privacy concerned conferences as the APC Amsterdam, with the support of the EU ex-president.

The principles of discrimination encrypted in the code of law cannot obviously merely be based on the basic ignorance of the rules of the market and of the unfair situation that the GDPR contributes to create with an illegal competitive market.

Publicness and privacy are complex notions

Why to rush in passing privacy laws based on ‘bad anonymization’ and ‘broken promises’ (Olm, 2010) rather than to accept the limited risks of some random bad disclosures about personal information into public media, which is far less harmful for society as it is, at least, organically based on users’ preferences ?

People are not either willing to spread informations without thinking, as if deprived of choosing what they disclose with others, of dealing with some personal negociations they make about the amount of informations they share online. Instead our research show they rather carefully arbitrate among diverse priorities (Debaveye, 2012a, 2012b). Technologies might impact and undermine the potential for change of organic conversations and ecologies.

Is the risk of having your social security numbers deduced from social media by some random and passing by cyber-attacker higher than the ones of having it hacked from public databases crossed with multinational databases owned by corporations ? I don’t think so, really.

Ethic surrounding privacy is a complex problem involving many contextual indicators and specific considerations. One scientific matter of verifying the sources might be considered in a whole perspective. Are the intentions of the actors involved in acts of surveillance motivated by the will to reduce the harm or to increase existing prejudices? Is state still good for citizens or for protecting itself ?

By using scenarios of terrors and manipulating issues of trust and paranoia to make high profits, national security and tech securitists blurr the lines between reality and illusion and spread narratives of imaginary frauders and attackers that deceive.

Giant databases endanger democracy

In this aspect, the biggest frauder is the state denying citizens’ rights.

States of increased ubiquitous surveillance and targeted surveillance against sensitive persons result from megadatabases crossing public held databases collected through the administration of procedures by fiscal administrations, police at borders and police controls or health departments, containing civic identities, social security numbers, financial credentials or fingerprints and databases of users’ sensitive data related to private affairs and personal emotional involvements held by corporations as Google and Facebook.

The privileges of tech giants as some users would believe that it is better to be scammed by Google or Facebook than by some obscure russian or chinese company play in their favors. But the case is that, by tracking personal mobile phones and live data 24/7, Google is doing exactly the same thing in Toronto with the cumpliance of city administrators than chinese governments do in China.

Did the EU yielded into despair ? Or is this another sign of advanced corruption and cynism from institutionals colluding with the world of business and the milieu of law in exchange for discreet retributions and personal advantages ?

This question remains into the air, but one thing is sure, the instrumentalization of the code of privacy has not been done in accordance with the principles of equity, social justice, net neutrality and non-discrimination and following the rules of free and fair competition.

The codification of the law through the enactment of the GDPR alas won’t allow for a fresh start for civic liberties and citizens rights. Instead, the GDPR as the main source of reference will make the consensus for a law of punishment and capitulation.

Cheaters who cannot afford the means for personal protection or doesn’t recognize the value of anonymization when anonymization is used as a moral caution to enable the disclosure of sensitive and private data will be first target for these mafias.

The control of private and domestic affairs shouldn’t go either under the loupe of the strict interpretations of the universal code of  law by tech companies as Google who are – might I recall – under public scrutiny for serious cases of sexual harassment and even sexual slavery.

We need more diversity and qualitative insights into science and technology evaluations.

By creating an equivalence between stealing an apple – i.e. not obtaining consent from one customer and storing of semi-public data – and stealing a beef – i.e. diverting millions of dollars and attacking people opposing their financial interests with public ressources –  by disqualifying the contributions of critical researchers and denying the scientific principles that guarantee the independence of the research from state and public affairs, lawmakers not only reveal the compromission of their art but also enable deepest harms against populations whose mistakes are smaller than the ones of whose they represent.

Lawmakers consciously contribute to an escalation in violence for the benefits of corrupted networks. As Mill’s harm principle, core principle of the original liberal philosophy that reached great influence in politics, logics, epistemology and pragmatism since the nineteen century, shows : “If the regulation is more harmful than the behavior in question, it may be best not to regulate, despite the pro tanto case for regulation”.

Relying on the code of law to pretendingly ‘fix’ human issues will create more corruption and collusion by tricking people into the fake belief that the perfection of code is the solution to all the societal ills when all our ills are the consequences of bad rules and biased judgements.

We need to find the ways to develop economies that anticipate and integrate better the fails and limits of the laws as a component of society, i.e. human mistakes, trials and errors, in a way that is also limiting the negative impacts of policies as the regression of civic rights.

 

This post is a reinterpretation of a post published on the 13th of June 2018 about the shadowy relations linking US and EU lawmakers and the industry of the Code.

Licence Creative Commons
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.

 

Posted in algorithm bias, bias, Corporatism, corruption, cybersécurité, data justice, data security, Digital culture, ethique des données en ligne, GDPR, Google, intelligence artificielle, Justicenowhere, privacy, protection des données, RGPD, state surveillance, Transparency | Comments Off on The Matrix scenario : mindless minds

The corruption in the tech industry and the notorious networks of collusion with the mafia

Part 3

How the tech industry has become a web of collusion and corruption playing with all the mafia from the world (Will be keeping updated!) with the complicity of accounting firms.

Since many years it has been obvious for many observers that tech industry doesn’t follow the rules of the legal free market as some other traditional industries. Some commentators have been pointing out their obscure structure and others commenting on the opacity of their networks.

Some have been showing their links with corrupted financial services, others with freemasonry (aristocracy), or firms specialized in money laundering from profits coming from the selling of drugs and weapons (IBM), lucrative benefits from tax avoidances (Panama papers). It is not clear yet which actor is the most prominent in the industry but most have benefited from actions drived by crimes and abuses, law’s infrigements or corruption digging the public deficit.

Investigations from watchdogs, journalists and researchers or practicionners as myself have lifted the veil on the practices of webs of corruption that raise mayor sums of money from dirty business as selling weapons to war countries (Syria and Yemen), proxenetism in western economies (US and Europe), children and women trafficking in Asia or Africa, of accounts’ hacking and scams.

You can resume all in one and single word : MAFIA.

And, if you are ignorant of these practices, don’t call it conspiracy.

As mentionned in previous blog posts, big companies who are the biggest investors in technology are raising benefits with illegal activities war, pornography and trafficking.

IBM and Google have been selling weapons and encryption technology to Syrian fighters from both sides and to Saudi Arabia.

War and surveillance are the main poles in business for companies specialized in security and encryption. These companies also get most of their profits from selling technologies and algorithms at western governments to spy on their citizens via programs of mass surveillance and to censure political opponents and business competitors.

Tech giants commonly raise profits from the business of pornography, pedo-pornography and children trafficking, one of the most lucrative business on the internet today, weapons and gold trafficking or spoliations.

The role of multinational professional services companies as today’s leaders in technology with activities for auditing and funding big corps and startups ecosystems and as global influencers, is to be questionned with tech clients as IBM and SAP investing in social health sectors (NHS), public transports services or aviation due to higher rates of corruption.

Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young and PwC are regularly incriminated into scandals of corruption:

In 2017, the global firms Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young and PwC, known as the big four, have been condemned by Italy’s antitrust authority to pay a fine of 66 millions of euros for “nullifying” the bidding process and “neutralising competition from outside the cartel”.

In 2017, a “number of material errors” in Mitie Group’s full-year accounts for 2015 and 2016 had led to an investigation of financial statement from 2015 to 2017 into Deloitte by an accounting watchdog.

In 2017 Deloitte, KPMG, SAP and PwC were implicated in the Steinhoff scandal, a global retail business company established in South Africa with interests in western Europe, that led workers to lost their funds after Johannesburg-listed Steinhoff’s shares collapsed last year after the company revealed the €6bn black hole in its accounts.

This practice is not new. Back in 2004, Deloitte has already been charged (in 2013) in the US, to a fine of 10 millions of dollars for misappropriations observed in 2004 and 2005 with the bank Standard Chartered. It has been proven that they changed their recommendations for procedures for money laundering and transferred confidential informations to the bank on two other clients.

Deloitte is also helping big corps as Amazon, Google, Starbucks, Apple or Microsoft to avoid taxes, using places as the Negresco, the luxury palace located in Nice French Côte d’Azur as a basement for recruiting customers.

In 2018, South Africa’s corporate registry has accused McKinsey, KPMG South Africa and the German software maker SAP of criminal breaches of company law. A spokesperson for the South African companies and intellectual property commission filed reports for criminal complaints against the three companies following an investigation linking each to allegations that the Guptas used a friendship with President Jacob Zuma to exert influence over state-owned firms.

By doing so, these global firms played a role in deciding of whom will be the political leaders and the policies in local governments, as it has been shown with the actions of KPMG South Africa that were detrimental to Pravin Gordhan, the popular leader to the benefits of Zuma, the corrupted dictator who was forced to resign in february.

They have recently been banned from auditing public organizations.

More service providers and national companies are involved and tacitly play the game of crime.

They have been denying of their implications but the truth is cracking from every part and ready to explode. If the tech industry wants to be acknowledged as a decent field, corruption and collusion must be mercilessly eradicated. Big corps must also pay their taxes to allow companies to create more value and more jobs for tech workers.

 

Posted in AI, Corporatism, corruption, data security, Digital culture, technology, Transparency | Comments Off on The corruption in the tech industry and the notorious networks of collusion with the mafia

Ethique des données en ligne et protection des utilisateurs

privacy

Une lecture du rapport du NDG, dans le cadre du Réglement Européen sur la Protection des Données (RGPD), qui établit les principales recommandations.

 

Après la publication du rapport établi par la commissaire du NDG (National Data Guardian for Health and Care) en janvier 2018, j’ai procédé à une lecture attentive des recommandations émises par Dame Caldicott pour produire mes propres observations.

Comme on pouvait s’y attendre le NDG établit clairement la distinction entre les données publiques et les données dites sensibles, validant les procédures mises en œuvre par les comités d’éthique scientifiques institutionnels, et rappelle la nécessité du consentement pour les données privées à caractère sensible. Pour un professionnel averti, il s’agit, à la lecture, davantage d’un document de vulgarisation des procédures éthiques à destination des praticiens, des analystes, des non-scientifiques et du grand public que d’une réelle législation établissant de nouveaux standards éthiques.

Le NDG établit ainsi la liste des données à manipuler avec précaution car susceptibles de causer un préjudice important en cas de fraudes ou d’exposition involontaire : prénom et patronyme, adresse, numéro de téléphone, adresse IP, coordonnées bancaires, état de santé, données biométriques et toutes données permettant d’identifier des individus.

Exit donc de ce focus les données publiques puisque les utilisateurs donnent leur consentement lors de l’utilisation des services en ligne (médias sociaux, activisme et groupes d’intérêts divers partageant des documents en ligne). Exit également les données collectées par les entreprises sur leurs salariés aux fins de mesure des activités professionnelles ou les données ne revêtant pas de caractère sensible. Au final, ces procédures concernent essentiellement les praticiens de santé et ceux employés par les services publics ou privés qui traitent les données privées et sensibles de particuliers.

On comprend bien qu’il ne s’agit pas ici en effet d’interdire ou de sanctionner une production scientifique selon des critères basés sur des préférences personnelles et subjectives mais de permettre le partage d’un universel pour que les recherches issues des usages des utilisateurs puissent contribuer à l’avancée des connaissances et ce, par la mise en œuvre de garde-fous et par l’encadrement de la pratique, aujourd’hui répandue, de collecte et d’analyse des données.

En tant qu’analyste et praticienne dans le public et le privé, j’estime en effet que ces clameurs de haro ont été indispensables pour critiquer les nombreux manquements à l’éthique et les manipulations que j’ai pu observer à quelques reprises lors de collectes massives de données par des entreprises et organisations. Un grand nombre de données sensibles sont aujourd’hui collectées par des logiciels et des applications sans le consentement des utilisateurs. D’autres sont transmises à des tiers sans le consentement des particuliers.

Un autre point à souligner est l’effort mis en œuvre, bien qu’inabouti, dans ce texte – mais il s’agit après tout d’un travail préliminaire – de circonscrire, de délimiter et de définir le statut du chercheur ou de l’analyste. Le rapport établit la nécessité de définir “quand“ et “où“ (en réalité, c’est surtout qui et quoi mais passons) et d’être redevable envers les personnes concernées par l’analyse.

Il est ici question de la responsabilité sociale qui engage l’analyste à son travail de recherche dans le cours d’un travail de production scientifique dans le cas de données provenant de sujets humains, mais notons que cette dimension s’observe notamment dans le cadre d’interactions directes (sondages, questionnaires, etc) et est moins pertinente dans le cas de recherches non-intrusives.

La NDG souligne ainsi le devoir de répondre aux revendications publiques et l’obligation de dire les fins auxquelles les données sont collectées.

La transparence fait loi. Il s’agit dés lors de rendre publiques et accessibles, toutes les étapes de l’analyse, in extenso, depuis la définition du projet et des ses objectifs jusqu’à la description des protocoles de collecte et d’analyse (algorithmes et coefficients de mesure compris).

Il faudrait par exemple que l’analyste soit joignable dans le cas où des personnes concernées par son travail aient des demandes à produire sur l’usage qui est fait des données et des analyses et ce, même dans le cas du respect des standards éthiques. C’est la démarche que j’ai adopté dans mon travail de recherche lorsque j’ai communiqué au groupe d’utilisateurs sur lequel portait l’analyse des moyens de communication dans les médias publics mes coordonnées pour qu’ils puissent exercer leur droit à l’information.

Le chercheur ou l’analyste prend la responsabilité d’agir en adéquation avec les demandes qui lui sont faites. Attention, cette pratique ne porte pas sur le contenu ou les conclusions de l’analyse (l’analyste reste maître d’oeuvre de ses recherches), mais bien sur l’usage qui est fait des données empiriques sensibles dans le cas où celles-ci soient collectées (ce qui n’était pas le cas de mon travail de recherche : ne pas collecter de données sensibles peut aussi relever d’une pratique de précautions).

En réalité c’est surtout l’exposition des données empiriques à des tiers (hackers et maîtres-chanteurs) qui peux causer du tort.

Or ici, le rapport pêche par approximation car il n’établit pas avec suffisamment de précision les délimitations entre les données empiriques et les données issues de l’analyse.

Un autre élément qui reste à approfondir est celui de l’accréditation, point qui demeure pour le moins obscure dans le rapport car on ne nous précise pas quel est le sujet ou l’objet de ladite accréditation.

Dans un travail d’analyse, on parle d’accréditation pour définir les utilisateurs ou groupe d’utilisateurs concernés par l’étude qu’on décide de mentionner afin de leur donner le crédit de leur production pour éviter que celle-ci soit attribuée à un tiers (analyste ou tiers partie) (Debaveye, 2012b). A distinguer donc des copyrights et des droits d’auteur qui portent, eux, sur la contribution de l’analyste. Ce point doit être envisagé également dans le cadre de l’anonymisation des données. Et oui, on touche ici à des enjeux plutôt complexes qu’un simple texte de loi aura de la peine à circonscrire.

La commissaire souligne, et à raison, que les données relevant de sujets humains ne peuvent être collectées que dans le cadre d’une pratique délimitée par les besoins de l’analyse. Out donc la collecte systématique de données qui se pratique à outrance dans les milieux technologiques (on se rappellera les innombrables think tank et cabinet de conseil-analyse ayant publié en veux-tu en voilà des graphes et des diagrammes à des fins de publicité commerciale lors des élections. A proscrire).

D’une manière générale, le questionnement éthique dépasse souvent le cadre de la loi lorsqu’il fait appel notamment à l’intégrité et à la responsabilité sociale de l’analyste pour devenir une responsabilité personnelle et morale.

Ceci inclut, par exemple, le cas de la manipulation des données qui opère lors de biais induits par le chercheur et déterminés en fonction de sa sensibilité théorique et personnelle, de son éducation et de son background, ou lorsque se produisent des décalages entre le terrain empirique observé et les résultats de l’analyse (Debaveye, 2012b).

Cette problématique est particulièrement à l’oeuvre dans les analyses basées sur des calculs statistiques reposant sur des postulats émis par le data scientist a priori ou dans le cas d’une automatisation des procédures qui répliqueraient des biais causés par le triage et la sélection des données, particulièrement lorsque cela se produit de façon exponentielle comme sur internet (Debaveye, 2012b).

On peut aussi ajouter à cette liste de précautions les problématiques plus globales quoique non moins intéressantes des conflits d’intérêts, des réseaux de collusion et de cooptation, du corporatisme, des partenariats publics-privés, de la transparence, etc., etc.

En résumé, même si on peut souligner, un effort de clarification, il reste encore à faire pour que ce texte puisse faire l’objet d’une application concrète sur le plan des pratiques. Outre le fait qu’il se posera de nombreux cas particuliers lors de l’application de la loi, il importera aussi de faire appel à des professionnels compétents en matière d’éthique pour donner aux praticiens concernés le moyen de prendre des décisions éclairées. Il faudra également s’équiper de moyens humains et financiers conséquents pour permettre de se prémunir contre les risques, notamment en matière d’évaluation et de cryptographie.

 

Licence Creative Commons
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.

 

Posted in algorithm bias, Corporatism, ethique des données en ligne, infosharing, protection des données, RGPD, scientific production, social media, Technologies éducatives, Transparency | Comments Off on Ethique des données en ligne et protection des utilisateurs

Escaping the internet in hard times

 

With the increase of automated decision-making and technocratic procedures, the WWW – or KKK? – has become a place of nightmare and madness for the most vulnerable and underrepresented communities due to the concentration of power into the hands of corporations and private agencies.

With the normalization of procedural violence and the rationalization of social processes by States and powers, lots of abuses on women’s rights, privacy rights and data manipulations have been observed and are currently reproduced by invasive technologies via processes of dissemination or surveillance (Debaveye, 2012b).

Because it replicates bias, prejudices and past mistakes, AI has to be considered with a minimum of caution. Even Elon Musk or Bill Gates consider that AI is a threat for humanity in the hands of bad intended people.

The work and analysis of well informed researchers and analysts in ICTs and social sciences help to monitor, grasp and better interprete the negociations at stake during data transactions in-between state, agencies and corporations to avoid the drifts of a technocracy harming citizens with political censure, state violence, repression and authoritarian governance.

We might acknowledge that speaking from the perspective of educated and digitally skilled crowds sometimes insufficiently questions the issue of the lack of means at the disposal of society to fight back dataveillance (Debaveye, 2015) and to denounce the violations of privacy and human rights.

In times of wars and conflicts, the management and displacement of population with algorithmic calculations might expose sensitive persons to privacy violations and identity thieves as well as to acts of retaliations, spoliations, economical exploitation and illicit trafficking.

Procedural and disembodied procedures made in the name of a so-called pragmatism spread invisible measures of exclusion and oppression that murder sensitive persons in silence.

In Europe, during World war II, deportations and spoliations of entire populations in France, Germany, Italy and Denmark went massive and silented. All families have had an ancestor confronted with the violence of state and global finance, so we made the vow not to repeat.

70 years later, technologies each day have become more clever, sophisticated, trained, powerful and efficient, pushing AI’s technologies and procedures at invading people’s minds, homes and privacy.

In this virtualized war of human transactions, populations are escaping, reaching for the right to be let alone and to retire from public affairs, for a place that they would call home.

However with the enhancement of surveillance activities for profiling and law enforcement, people’s emancipation in the interstitial spaces located between the real and the virtual world is threathened by the sway and pressure of financial mafias and corporate interests.

While social media still remain the voice of the voiceless as it is free of access and easy to handle by posting and sharing links, technocrats have colonized the internet with trolls and assaulters who are dedicating themselves to harass online in order to steal private civic identities, and take possession of private lives, forcing sensitive persons into stigma and ostracization.

Information is being tracked and collected, bad intended and poorly designed machines storing earnings and belongings, lovers and friends’ memories and living time in databases used for reaching personal profits and commercial interests.

States, governments and international agencies might reinforce cyberwalls and data monopolies by concealing more and more of our public territories to the benefits of private investors, profit-only markets such as centralized banks, pharmaceutics, real estate laundering, drug trafficking or weapon industry.

Traditionnal opponents of the corporatization and dataification as the Left or the Liberals are just turning a blind eye as they also grow profits from the human trades. People are constantly desinformed by mainstream media and news, getting confused.

The influence of rumors, fake news, distorted views, polls and partisanry, populism or extremist ideologies enhance individualization, normalization, ultra-nationalism and lethal competition.

This confusing situation is helping bad agents at attacking vulnerable populations who have been historically spoliated and discriminated, causing more social chaos and destructing the local social forces.

Society at a large cannot contribute to produce a society of knowledge and culture by relying on laws and structures that have been instrumentalized for the exploition of human beings and human arts and works.

We need to focus on the way counter-powers from social activists, small entrepreneurs and local politics interact to counter-map networks of terror and share sustainable ecologies of informations for social change in hard time.

***

The increased codification of our living through procedures of exclusion such as “predictions” is based on judgemental views, stereotypes, and personal assumptions that have created artificial distinctions and rigid classifications biased with positivism or statism (notably with the stats disciplines).

At the time I’m writing, the US AI industry is massively recruiting low cost and underqualified workforce in emerging economies, which undermines the potential for local economies to support durable local growth and developp their own sustainable markets. Crucial considerations are raising about the social, ethical and human considerations involved into AI’s acquisition.

This is where social science and Information technology specialists are useful. The field of Information and Communication Technology Studies I graduaded in aims at showing the relationship between the media images and texts produced by the media and technology apparatus and at studying the way technology impacts and influences social definitions and representations in society.

For the very same reasons you wouldn’t ask a baker to fix your car or a mecanics to bake breads, you won’t ask someone who has never dealt empirically with social sciences or qualitative methods for populations’ management to be in charge with the social research or the policy making.

The point is that procedural and technicist policies deprive high capabilities and potentials from the possibility to fulfill their condition as human beings and to live their life at their full extent as they’re being caught into modern slavery.

To find joy, contentment, work, friendship and love, in brief, to survive should not be done under the perpetual constrains of abusive and permanent procedures of ostracization over repeated in a certain period of years against the same persons.

But as underrepresented have been historically denied access from decision making and leadership, gaps have been reproduced and maintained stable.

Because AI is traditionnaly dominated by males, regarding of gender exclusion, 90% of tech products from artificial hearts to mobile phones are designed primarily for men neglecting the realities of women and endangering women’s lives as they are not the target of health care products.

Women are not part of the digital revolution neither, as most of them are hit by the glass ceiling. And what Silicon Valley do when women claim against discrimination ? They answer by targeting women, intellectuals and female activists more intensely with weaponized and invisible tactics pushing them away from their social recognition, maintaining them into precarity and social exclusion.

The scientific patriarchy appropriates women’s expertises and knowledges to take credits for their work, refusing to recognize women’s values and contributions.

Women researchers underrepresentation in science and technology is a very serious issue through the cultural exploitation of their researches, the difficulty they find to access funds and to reach visibility due to peer-reviewing selective procedures of discrimination in tech.

It prevents from producing scientific accounts and insider views about gender violence, abuses and rape.

We rarely discuss the impacts of women targeted attacks as sexual violence on women’s health, integrity, careers and personal lives openly because their voices are being silented by networks of power and coercion who benefit from this configuration to dominate the politics and economics.

On the matter of women’s contributions and scientific accomplishments, we never came to know for long that tremendous discoveries as the molecular structures of the DNA or the isolation of radioactive isotopes were discovered by women.

Rosalind Frankly died from an ovarian cancer at age 37 and she was never recognized in the field of science for her staggering accomplishments in medecine and her work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA, during her living. Marie Curies had to coshare price with husband, and so on.

Women figures are suppressed from public places.

They’re getting harassed in streets and at borders.

These dynamics of gender-based harassment and segregation, based on the erasure of European women’s alternative voices and representations from the public spheres, prevent the emergence of more creative, hybrid and qualitative forms of science and arts (Debaveye, 2012, 2015).

It is necessary to give back the ownership of their thought and choice to women by supporting women critical thinkers in order to break the reproductive patterns of subjugation unheritated from the US post-war taylorism that has been amplificated with the tech fascism funded by Wall street finance and entilted mafias.

Unfortunately the ties of the actual governance with tech corporations and financial mafias has had a bad influence on policies and procedures, as shown with the NATO, EU, UN’s in Haiti, Central Africa, Balkans, Palestine or Middle East diplomatic failures and scandals.

Reducing the gap between an oligarchy that amasses all profits and the workers who struggle at the basis, should by now be a priority. 

Women and child are the primary target of precarity and violence. Scientific knowledge and social change could never happen under the domination of criminal policies benefiting from disaster capitalism.

The instrumentalization of terrorist threats for the surveillance and repression of dissents voices and women voices oppose the emancipation of women for the protection of their civic and privacy rights, as the right to be let alone, the freedom of speech and the right to information.

This situation of power is likely to persist over time as Yahoo, Microsoft and Google are exposing users’ sensitive data at the request of NSA and FBI under the secret directives in the name of national security. Most of cyber-threat trackers are directly integrated into the code of solutions and apps of whose who sell them, exposing broadly sensitive persons.

The fact that IBM for example, a leading company in encryption, has acquired influence through a collaboration with the Third Reich during WW2 and used its machines to track and repress the Jews and minorities is not as harmless as we can see today how machine learning was used since its premisses for populations’ surveillance and for the suppression of minorities (with war technologies being used on innocent civilians).

Drifts of artificial intelligence innovations becoming weapons like Tay, the racist bot that versed in nazism, show that tech giants are not at all prone to ethical considerations. Their motivations remain mostly turned to corporate gains, high growth and profitability.

They operate in the shadows filtering news, censuring the internet (words, ideas, concepts), doing data manipulating, practising targeted and mass surveillance, collecting private and sensitive data, restricting access via bandwidth throttling (buzzering or disconnecting), making the people the preys for an escalation in domination.

Forced subjugation through the use of trackers, apps and censors show a lot of acceptation for authoritarian politics from both private companies and public governments and administrations in charge of sensitive data.

***

These considerations led me to the conclusion that engaging in a counter-culture to oppose those coercive powers is pointless. You need to reverse them by hacking codes and procedures with more ethics.

The selling of local and private data, resources and intelligence to American corporations deprive society from their workforce as people are held hostage under the sway of brutal and aggressive policies that benefit monopolies.

The European Commission has reinforced its trades with big American corps to serve its own preservation putting people into situations of more oppression.

Nevertheless there is History to remind us of what happened.

In 1940, when the nazi occupied the National Assembly, and the german troops defiled on Champs Elysées, the resistant Fresnay wrote he felt “a feeling of rape”. This event caused a shock among the French population who kept for sometimes in denial.

Some national corps as Orange/Merck/Airbus are also involved into obscures processes of tacitly sharing european private data and informations (mails, phone calls, financial and health data) to foreign parties as US intell agencies in exchange for funds and money.

Public organizations also transmit sensitive data held in private databases to third parties exposing them to data breaches, without informing the users.

The sent of databases of several years to external entities with records of ethical violations is the most massive hack of History. Data are being manipulated, identified and then delocalized with no way to prove the final outcomes.

Unethical processes like selling weapons and technologies of encryption to warriors or dictatures or tracking employee’s heath or physical capacities for exposing them to exclusion and hurt are not acceptable policies.

Using invisible and undetectable tools (like censors, probes) around the world to target women, dissents and social activists is not an acceptable policy. For whose who ignore what is a probe, a probe is something that allow you to track a network by proximity, from a car or by placing it behind a wall (oups). They use these materials on the basis of undocumented facts and unproved arguments targeting women and sensitive persons witha abusive surveillance.

Because institutions as UN deny their duty of acknowledging the trauma caused by sexual violence and fail to protect adequately the victims of trade wars it is opening concerns for cases of collusion from organizations with monopolies and financial powers.

As they are refusing to be held accountable for their past mistakes and poor decisions making in matters of privacy and security, citizens won’t have to pay in the future to acquire a service or a product but to protect their personal data, privacy and integrity from frauds, hacks and abuses.

Women and kids in specific are more exposed to violence than many other categories because they own less financial autonomy. There are gaps in technology appropriations remaining unsolved leaving some groups of people eternally sacrificed (Jews, Women, Black, Muslims, Trans, disabled…).

I actually started to write a fiction about this global move for control and domination of human forces last year and it already started to become a reality so times are counted. This is not a dystopia, it is real and it’s becoming the new acceptable norm.

Genocides still go on in Syria and Yemen. Hundreds of millions of people die for nothing else than financial conquests of territories and markets. Even in our western economies, women and kids, homelesses, patients, disabled, black people … become the target of violence in war contexts and at borders. We cannot merely observe their disappearance.

10K of victims in Afghanistan…240 000 Syrians and same number of women killed because of gender violence in Europe.

***

These processes are not the result of bad luck, hazardous events or unfaithful circumstances but of coordinated global and lethal logics of persecution and human exploitation by the central power.

As political and critical thinkers have pointed it out (H. Arendt), people under oppression have better chance to survive by escaping the reality of oppression and by taking back the ownership of their private self.

I coined the concept of escapism in the context of authoritarian and repressive politics leading to fascism and spoliation, as a political choice of withdrawing – following the mere definition of privacy – from the acceptation of persecution to focus on the research for a decent life.

Historically boycott and resistance networks have proven their ways by doing so during World War II. While collaborators of the Vichy regime, who was employing increasingly brutal tactics against French populations, gathered at mundane dinners and at fancy theaters in Paris, living of all kind of extravagance, The French resistance in Lyon and Grenoble made alliances, notably with the British MI6, to organize the underground networks and fight the Nazi German occupation using passive and active resistance.

Escapism is not a defeat. It’s not a run away. It’s the ultimate fight for protecting the identity from theft and keeping it away from the bullets by the means of a voluntary relinquishing at participating at the forms of public life.

Arendt feminism is not a call to some bourgeoise conceptions of western privacy nourished by the fear of the other and caused by some distorted views of the alien as a danger, neither is a resignation to go willingly towards one’s own death, but is an act of rebellion against the effects of the real biased by fascist policies that lead society to women jailification and persecution.

“Tout ce qui cherche à s’affirmer se nie; tout ce qui se renonce s’affirme.”

André Gide, Les Nourritures terrestres (1897)

As technologies have become a place for the expression of violence and brutality into the hands of one man (a group of men), vulnerable persons have been expropriated from their own lands and deprived from their basic civic rights.

By escaping the reality of oppression, people can deal with the condition of being fully alive in spite of the global forces coming from discretionary powers and the use of extraordinary laws (the laws that led to gas Jewish and war prisoners legally, remember?).

During War II, French Jews and political dissents trained in the art of guerilla, espionage and sabotage, derailed telecommunications, marchandise convoys and electric centrals in industry and navigated between the net of double agents and traitors (captured members of the resistance turned into informers of the Reich).

With the help of the British, parachutists as Moulin joined the Resistance, under the orders of de Gaulle, to unify the Resistance and organize a military answer, assassinating the informers who were the “eyes” and “ears” of the Police and of the German intelligence (collaborating with the NSA).

At the time, millions of French citizens were being captured and held hostage in Germany, French jews were sent to Auschwitz and the ones remaining executed when they couldn’t escape the police. The country was paralized by the lack of workforce and troops held hostage and employed as slaves in Germany (many were women employed in factory as IBM).

To avoid retaliations, the Resistance, highly composed of women as men were sent to war started to organize actions of quiet sabotage, like making deviations of a few millimiters to shorten the lifespan of weapons, sparing some lives.

Similarly at World war I (1870-), resistants to nazist Third Reich were called terrorists by the Gestapo, targeted and murdered by operations of repression of the Militia, mostly composed of gangsters, fascists and mercenaries. They were also seduced and tricked by Gestapo agents to reveal secrets then tortured or murdered.

Over time, the resistance became more organized and mastered the art of information and communication networks. They rejected the term of “réfractaires” (lazy) and called themselves the Maquisards (The Maquis term came from Corsica).

At the end of war, when the Maquisards left the South of France to join the North, after the Asq massacre (1944), French and British soldiers maintained contact through radio waves.

They were landed in Normandy to conduct “Operation overload” – a plan of diverse attacks against German Nazists, notably the violet plan, consisting at destroying phonelines and cables – and they ended up breaking the codes of the Enigma, the nazi machine.

Fight intensified in Plateaux du Vercors, Grenoble and Lyon where were hidding the Maquisards, craddle land of resistance, supported by the allies who dropped weapons. They fought bravely, but the weapons dropped by the US were too light weapons, and Germans replied with heavy weapons so the resistance suffered heavy losses. Locals suffered reprisals as rapes, spoliations and executions.

The American forces used the breaches in the networks French resistants have made with the help of the Cypher School and were finally able to localize, monitor and attack the German occupations. They made German SS surrender and de Gaulle walked on the Champs Elysées.

But no one can forget the resistance who died alone and betrayed in the cold mountains…

As Arendt wrote, still, there was hope that in their fight, they would join hands with friends and lovers.

 

This communication has been submitted, reviewed and accepted at the APC, Amsterdam Privacy Conference, 2018, but giving the compromission of the APC with questionable sponsors and partners as Palantir, Facebook and Google, wasn’t presented after I have cancelled my participation in early June.

 

Licence Creative Commons
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.

 

 

Posted in AI, bias, cultural trafficking, data security, dataethics, dataveillance, dissent repression, escapism, French resistance, machine learning, Net neutrality, Power, tech fascism | Comments Off on Escaping the internet in hard times

How algorithms bias on Twitter favor media concentration, monopolies and manipulation

Algorithm bias excluding significant amounts of qualitative information, at the expense of creative alternative contents, and influencing public opinion

 

I write this post to underline how processes of social discrimination are actually activated via the use of encrypted codes and obscure algorithms by Twitter and how it affects deeply the structure of the ecology of news  to impact negatively the processes of news production and the formation of public opinions.

My interest for the processes of news production and sharing started with my doctoral researches on new ways of sharing information on social media with hashtag activism and the digital interactions and online affiliations of users in times of social and political crisis. 

There are many reasons that led me to choose Twitter versus Facebook. Twitter was the most purist platform in social media or at least the one that was looking the more alike the IRCs or digital forums with its chrononological timeline of real time informations. Produced by multiple users, shared streams of news structured by organic hashtags were giving access to a diversity of view points and news sources.

Originally the low intervention and minimalist transparent architecture were based on subtle levels of external interventions from staff and programmers. Authoritative decisions regarding of the priority and focus of informations and news sources made through algorithms can produce a shift in the structure of the ownership of media production.

The move Twitter made after 2012, following its introduction in the american stock market and the call from investors for making it more lucrative as Twitter was not returning enough value, drove the owners to complexify the organic ecology in order to generate a business ROI at the expenses of the quality and of the integrity of the public conversation.

This politics has been a killer for the democratic processes involved in the production and selection of the best informations and sources possible for the public debate based on the intrisic value of the information. The use of obscure algorithms prioritizing some types of contents created asymetry with filters that suggested trendy topics and biased the evaluation of the qualitativeness and reliability of information.

The efforts that the company has made to raise profits led them to interfere more and more often with the producers’ choices and to undermine the potential for access and plurality of informations and sources.

The proliferative accumulation of social media bots, cyber-harassment patterns, malveillance and fake accounts from the dominant firms created poor conditions for the alternative news producers.

The profitability approach led to increased visibility of sources located in the close network of funders and investors with the highlight of specific topics and claims and with the subsequent concentration of resources and means for news production into their hands.

My researches were the first consequent work dedicated to the analysis of Twitter interpreting and mapping emergent practices of production and sharing of political informations so better to say, the body of literature existing was more than partial or inexistent.

To do so, I linked together several pieces of incomplete data, informations and expertises with the help of my own methodology of  social network analysis mixing qualitative and quantitative  data. The plurality of sources was crucial to guarantee the quality of the findings both in local and global contexts.

It is quite clear that if Twitter had been at that time the platform it is today biased in the processes of news production with the views of its conceptors, I couldn’t have produced anything else than an account on the many ways propaganda is being structured and disseminated online through the use of mass media.

But let’s be fair, my claims are not only directed at Twitter and concern the whole media market.

With the concentration of market and media powers, the digital worlds are not transposing our social practices. The news market ecology doesn’t reflect in any point the real networks of influence, the authenticity of informations or the structure of our social interactions. It became a distorted representation of our social realities and physical worlds.

I had the chance to catch the emergence of the Arab Spring movement, converging with the Quebeckers’ Spring I was studying, and also the intensification of hashtag activism and personal information produced online with photos and videos before AI, everywhere in the world like a blossoming spring.

It was the first ever global expression of a public conversation shared in real time on the internet and it was really emotioning assisting to the explosion of all the plural voices raising consciousness in a renewed form of media. That was magic.

At the time, Twitter was the place-to-be for researchers, librarians, alternative media and talented social justice activists who had better and faster access to primary sources, diversified contents of political and local information and unfiltered contents.

It was a space where things happened for building public debate, solidarity networks, civic friendship around common issues and social causes, discuss about politics and society, share rare knowledge and local informations, produce alternative ecologies and emergent markets, the space where the voiceless who couldn’t access traditional media and gatekeepers came. It became a giant open market.

It disrupted the traditional newsrooms and enabled the production and emergence of new ways of sharing informations (Debaveye, 2012). It is now consolidating the structure of media ownership with mass media firms as Comcast, Sky, Walt Disney, Fox… owned by multinationals.

There was the Arab Spring opposing dictatures, the Quebecker student strike Red Square against the scholarship fees, the Occupy movement to reclaim affordable housing, the protests in Spain and South America against authoritarian policies and austerity, that would later give birth to the massive engagement for the American elections (Obama, Trump…), the movement for women against violence (#WhyIstayed, #BringBackOurGirls, #Metoo, #MosqueMetoo), the #BlackLivesMatter movement, #PreyforParis, #netneutrality, so on).

And now hashtag activism is being diverted and soiled by political propagandists, extremist groups and hate speech campaigns, some of them paid by firms.

There was some critics made by the establishment of clicktivism, hacktivism or slacktivism as the people never meet offline but it was doing good. It has become the privileged media from the oppressed thanks to the plurality of access and voices.

Now that firms have laid hands on, it is all gone. Twitter INC. owns the design to the work of us, and shares it with market owners. And we need to be cautious that there are not transforming our tweets in financial transactions.

For a researcher, the platform is a privileged site for observing the forms of participation of multiple audiences in processes of news production and sharing. I wrote a consequent paper on how the information is processed through times and space and is remediated by Twitter users to enable minority groups to reach audience and visibility, based on the results of my PhD dissertation.

But I have also pointed, how as fewer sources control bigger shares of information, a small group of users is being given the authority of the leadership.

The algorithms perpetuate the persistence of the same old powers by influencing users with selecting global hashtags instead of alternative hashtags (Debaveye, 2012b) as the exigence of visibility created by the platform (publish or perish) pushes users to favorize global hashtags and common issues pulled by markets.

In this context, producing a counter-narrative that doesn’t reflect an  auto-centered perspective or play the private interests of big corps has become very difficult today, and the regimes of visibility have muted to exclude perhaps 80% of good users’ contents.

In democratic processes, people would vote for contents or sources, but in the oligarchy of the code, the army of bots used for the amplification of the dominant narratives dismiss the potential of technologies for democracy and social change.

I also analyzed the configurations of power and influence (Debaveye, 2012b) : in concentrative markets, views that are not popular, politically convergent or contervening the views of central powers might possibly be blurred, monitored if not censured, without no one knowing.

End 2015-2016, Twitter INC. implemented an algorithm that allows users to see more tweets from the people they interact with and the most popular tweets from the followees – the people you follow (this, fine), but the algorithm also makes you see more tweets of what Twitter decides to be popular contents for you based on the number of sees, likes and retweets, just as Facebook.

What twitter decides for you means that people do not really decide of who to follow or what content to like or retweet, they are being said by the algorithms that suggest them to do. Some of my tweets became viral after they passed 10 retweets when others that were of much better quality but more controversial hardly were seen and never reached any audience.

Numbers decide of the quality and of the value of the information produced and contextual evaluation is neglected. As a result users from mass media biggest firms get extended visibility in the timeline and the integrity of news sources cannot be met.

It’s understandable that Twitter tries to improve readability giving the increasing amount of information being produced daily by users (or bots!) but there is an issue on the way algorithms are used to serve the private interests of funders and partners in a competitive market and we need to know and adress it.

Interventionist measures to control information mess with the authenticity of the users’ experience and might create hurt by exposing users to desinformations and manipulations.

Despite of being aware of the situation, Twitter Inc. didn’t take vigorous measures to prevent and repress the aggressive and illegal conducts of firms employing strategies as cyber-harassment and hacking on its platform to dominate the market.

My Twitter account is organic. I don’t mind talking about unconsensual subjects or taboos as sexual assault and abuses in academia and in tech communities back in 2012 and through 2018, police brutality under Harper in 2013, war tactics or corruptions employed in liberal politics against civilians back in 2013-2017. I have a low visibility. I have never felt much concern about visibility but better about integrity and authenticity.

But the conditions of work for small producers are hardly manageable. Most of the time, I cannot focus on my job as censure, harassment and cyber-attacks are taking over. I am not interested into contributing to rhetorics that merely aim at consolidating the legitimacy of existing powers and markets.

The highlighted tweets in the timeline be it randomized or by hashtag research are from American people located on the West Coast, i.e. from the same location than the very guys who are programming the machine, when they don’t represent a significant portion of the people I follow. And frankly, I don’t care about their views. My scientific and personal interests are not about tech insiders’ views.

By doing so, Twitter is not guaranteeing access to diversified sources of information for the audiences. The process of curation of news is being complexified and discourage people to look after authentical and plural sources for information, boosting fake news propagation and depriving users from the freedom of choice.

Social media firms enact democracy and citizenship more than they create the structures necessary to build democracy and citizen knowledge.

Concentration of media power make social media more vulnerable to scams and stealing of identities as some class of people steal already existing cultural contents, exploiting the merits of whose producing the original works and finally promote networks of crime and corruption in place of retributing the real ones.

The ones we see today in the #netneutrality protest, the ones who come from the margins and the minorities, not the beautifully marketized tribes portrayed in some demagogic campaigns, the ones of the ugly, the difform, the hurt, the betrayed, the disfigured, the ones who fight to reach ends every day, the ones who never found their way in polls, the ones of the invisible, in brief the 99%

To protest against that increasing amont of powers in the hands of a few that is threatening the future of the public conversation I have asked Twitter : “remove filters for 2018” in order to reinitialize the platform the way I used to know, cherish and love and not in the best interests of the tech giants and media consortiums.

Now with the end of net neutrality in the U.S and the increasing power of media and tech firms oligarchy, we can fear that the acceleration of profits produce more censure of controversies, less symetry between users and a permanent damage of the fragile ecosystem of news and contents built through the years, at the perils of people’s lives.

I am talking about all the alternative media producers who used Twitter for criticizing abuses and ended up in jail, death sentenced or executed. I am talking about the women and individuals who bravely confronted public stigma to share their experiences. I am talking about the activists and leaders who were murdered in countries of war for exposing truths and defend democracy, press freedom and social justice. I am talking about the little Twitter itself that has lost his soul and is crying for his mamma.

The deregulation endangers the formation of diverse opinions for an informed public debate.

This is really saddening me too much. I hope for you Twitter that you get that without the composite users and the plural views that made it learn and grow, it is nothing else than a gadget in the hands of the capitalists of disaster, a kind of Wallmart of the information.

I have read in news that you ironically made it some days ago, for the first time since you were born, you made some positive results. And I wish I could celebrate the good news with you. Instead, I’m leaving you because I don’t know you anymore, I have no more words or dreams to share with you (edit 6 of september).

Maybe you will learn a bit more about the concept of civic friendship in the terms of Aristotle, as bridging people together in times of scarcity with love and trust, and not in the terms of arranging your 3 “best friends”.

 

Licence Creative Commons
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.

Posted in algorithm bias, Digital culture, Digital entrepreneur, digital literacy, manipulation, Net neutrality, social media, Twitter, usages et appropriations, woman entrepreneur | Comments Off on How algorithms bias on Twitter favor media concentration, monopolies and manipulation

The reconfiguration of the internet and the threat to net neutrality

net neutrality

The end of net neutrality and the privatization of the free internet by tech giants is driving society to collapse. For years, the market of technology has been dominated by tech mastodontes as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple or Airbnb and in the hands of major internet providers (Verizon, Comcast in the US) that have been frequently described as models for success by entrepreneurs and stakeholders (remember the Unicorns).

But recent and refined indicators show that this so called recipe for economical success is based on a profitability and high concentric model that is not a sustainable model. At the opposite, these monopolies are openly depriving from the opportunity of being seen and heard for new tech leaders, entrepreneurs, social contributors and random users.

The problem with that is that profitability profits A LOT but to… A FEW creating vacuum effects in economy and causing collapse due to a poor distribution of the resources among people that consequently are not willing to cooperate.

We’re actually assisting to the disaster it provoked in the internet society in terms of social, political and economical returns for the last ten years. Who can imagine that a society can benefit in the long run from the exclusion of this components, like an atom without particles. Even the most basic pyramidal model needs the support from the basis.

I think it is more sustainable to learn people how to access financiary, symbolical and capital resources by raising equitable models of economical development as it will make the ecosystem more flexible and resilient to disruptions (Piketty and social justice advocates).

We’ve been said by Silicon Valley evangelists that Bill Gates and Zuckerberg are genious who made money out of their minds but it’s wrong. These guys are not genious. People are genious. What these guys did is that they merely passed by and took the fruits on the trees, collecting the ressources made available on the internet for 20 years by the gift economy. They made money out of our minds, stories and issues.

They seem to consider that everything has been done. But does it really make sense to consider that 20 years is enough compared to the centuries of civilization still to come and the legacy of History ? No. That doesn’t make any sense.

It’s not that these people are dumbs, it’s that they don’t care about what’s coming next. They once made rich defend their monopoly engaging pursuits against rivals (everybody got heard of Apple versus Samsung battle) or systematically buying the many innovations (Facebook acquisitions) so to reinforce a concentric model of ultra-liberalism.

Now we’re seing, with the battle for the internet and the #Savenetneutrality movement on Twitter, that also impacts directly the way people are accessing sources of information and internet contents (edit 15 december).

This model is a dead end model, it is draining the creativity of the market and killing innovation from the entrepreneurs or community in the long run causing disempowerment but also discapacitation from the whole structure.

Many tech actors don’t raise any profits from their works, they’re sustainable for the whole. In a startup or social environment, making value is not capitalistic. You create value for example by exchanging say a tomatoe against a salad to make a meal. What is ultra-capitalistic is the disproportionate profits generated for the benefits of an elite.

This model is based on the sacrifice of workers who feed the pyramid, it is as old as the monarchy and absolutely unconstitutional.

The aim of the free internet society is to give the many’s the way to acquire media literacy by accessing the whole resources on the internet not only by providing tools, tutorials and documents but also by showing them how to do, learning by doing.

It is also, in the wake of this adamant move from the FCC in the US to give OUR internet to major companies, to take action and do anything possible to preserve our free and beautiful internet that allowed so many people to enter the matrix (edit 15 december).

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Corporatism, Digital culture, Digital entrepreneur, digital literacy, infosharing, Net neutrality, Power, social media, Technologies éducatives, Transparency, usages et appropriations | Comments Off on The reconfiguration of the internet and the threat to net neutrality

Why leaders transparency matter ? The case of WIKILEAKS blurring the frequency

[PART 2]

READ [PART 1]

The case of Wikileaks screwing up with transparency by blurring the frequency in the aftermath of America’s elections and other comments about tech scene in 2016.

Wikileaks helped us to get quite an insight at the internal politics of the DNC by giving access to the secret garden party of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 elections, what we are all very grateful for (THANK YOU GUYS!). Yet, I might say that after Trump’s election, they kind of behaved erratically.

In fact, Wikileaks, sealed with the seal of conspiracy, promptly started to elementary my dear Catson behave as any 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 we fight at labelling did try to cover its political ambitions under some kind of christian moral rhetorics – (we are the champions, yeah), look my cat is jailed in the London, oups ecuadorian ambassy and Pamela Anderson brings me my lunch box – knowing that they precedently in exclusivity advocated body and soul against the demons of partisanry and the hell of conflicts of interests.

BUT to my dismay, they argued that a media source reaching a kind of public interest should necessarily convert into a political influencer deciding into the place of people of who is going to govern the nation and raising dubious and demagogic arguments of pseudo-counterpower into new media in such a perfectly polished hispterized 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 Brexit referendum that split the UK from Europe, the Revelations on the links between the 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 raising of 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 (liberal shit kids say).

But when you think about these moves, despite that they happened out of the blue in a certain poetical chaos, weren’t they, in a way, the quite logical prefiguration of some secret forces coming from underwater currents that started to erode the political scene. Nothing was much new but yet, it was made public, and the simulacrum was suddenly known from all.

That is carnavalesque!

Many networks of power appearing as stables have been seriously impacted by unexpected moves, starting with the markets of New York, Tokyo, Mexico or London that were down on the night of the elections. Damn. They should have asked the hackers, the main and only source having sides both in Russia and America… (Call it diplomacy).

Following Trump’s election, we thus observed a reconfiguration of global powers starting with negociations on global governance to the reactivation of the Old War fantasma that predicts that US and Russia are soon to exchange bacteriological war, with the emergence of China as a serious challenger (yes Obama, they’re better than you at human exploitation, you bet), and the appearance of secondary economies on the scene of economical power, passing by the discredit of long term american media figures like the NYT, Washington Post, CNN or AP. Yes. The world has changed its face in a night.

Yet, other actors revealed the one they were hiding in secrecy (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 yet ironical from part of actors that have been saying their commitment to the passing of public pieces of information for the last decade, we might ask if the legitimacy of these sources in accessing political power is not merely an attempt to get honor and fame by getting people to do what they want. Doesn’t this sound a bit like, WAIT, a communist/fascist dictature?!! Oh yes…, Fidel Castro is a hero… true. He maintained his seat for nearly 5 decades and he would have completed 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) supposed to watch and comment about the political power but don’t do it quite yet, being themselves watched by the political consortium, the tech leaders (Silicon Valley hype, Conversation.com, Medium, Snapchat, Google, Facebook, Twitter, yes Twitter) and the White house have merged to become one single party. This CANNOT happen because IT IS SIN!

Since ever, it is not for nothing that we have splitted political power and public affairs from news rooms and news sources as it is quite obvious of what political power would cause if money 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 with TOR Signal), 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 (but I have been said it is hard to find).

Hell yeah i’m talking about accountability and reputation. Of course, we 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 with more funds and resources and starting to spread media propaganda. Because since the 9th of November, it is clear that they have refocused on a political/financial agenda rather than keeping it informational.
Ok tell me, do you really think these guys are still going to care about transparency right now? What they’re doing is following a personal interest agenda.

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 alternative actors as Wikileaks credibility because they’re doing exactly what they have denounced about Hillary and on the same night : colluding in the name of democracy.

The 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 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 you until you can drive them where they want. The informational cultures are being used as Trojans.

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 the existence of a counter- power serving the needs of society for transparency and information 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 the fact that 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 is compromising itself and losing its status as a news source by shaking hands with opaque powers, occupying the space just as an écran de fumée or a public entertainor to distract people from the real thing, just as Snowden has done in the past, being a blockbuster. Wikileaks has not ruined the DNC politics. Wikileaks is ruining the politics for emancipation and it is quite obvious now that the only reason is access to economical power. Nothing new folks.

This case is a lesson for the future.

We need to rethink the frontiers of transparency to allow more people to engage in a broader scientific debate.

Obscurity obtained by blurring the frequency is what makes people ignorant and what makes people ignorant is what gives power to the global order to control information and minds.

Licence Creative Commons
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.

Posted in Digital culture, infosharing, Power, Transparency, transparency<, Wikileaks | Tagged , | Comments Off on Why leaders transparency matter ? The case of WIKILEAKS blurring the frequency