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.

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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.

 

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