Apple’s Crystal Prison and the Future of Open Platforms

Apple’s recent products, especially their mobile iOS devices, are like beautiful crystal prisons, with a wide range of restrictions imposed by the OS, the hardware, and Apple’s contracts with carriers as well as contracts with developers. Only users who can hack or “jailbreak” their devices can escape these limitations.

link to the article on the EFF website

Commotion: Let’s get Meshy!

Commotion, is an open source “device-as-infrastructure” communication platform that integrates users’ existing cell phones, Wi-Fi enabled computers, and other wireless-capable devices to create community- and metro-scale, peer-to-peer communications networks.

Commotion is organized and maintained by community members to fit their needs. It can act as a backbone for last-mile infrastructure, a local community network, a circumvention and anonymity ensuring communication channel, or a local emergency communications infrastructure when existing systems are severed.

The New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) is improving and integrating communications tools for emergency response, democratic organizing, civil society, and free speech in the 21st century.

Commotion website

OpenData brace yourself, Morozov is moving in!

Evgeny Morozov curbs Web enthusiasm

His next book will include an attack on the “open data” movement. In one cautionary example, the Indian state of Karnataka put millions of property records online in the name of convenience and transparency.

“The wealthy and the powerful used this new data to evict the poor, find the right people to bribe and so forth,” Morozov said. “The moral of the story here is that transparency and efficiency should not be pursued for their own sake. They should serve as enabling factors to other goods and values.”

He believes that self-interested capitalists and “charlatans who claim to be futurists and visionaries” have dominated talk about the Internet. When he enrolls at Harvard in the fall to pursue a PhD in the history of science, it will be with an eye toward shifting the debate to a “richer approach,” one that is more historically and culturally literate.

Discussion with @ICTRecht and @photomatt on Privacy and Jetpack

I like how twitter enables you to communicate with people you would normally never have a conversation with. Here is a screenshot of a dialogue I had with @ICTRecht en @photomatt (Matt Mullenweg: the founder of WordPress)

Piwik als alternatief voor Google Analytics

Ook Google Analytics valt onder de cookiewet. De cookies die deze websiteanalysetool zet, zijn immers niet puur en alleen bedoeld om de eindgebruiker een gepaste webpagina voor te schotelen. De webmaster kan extra informatie krijgen over bezoekers met deze cookies, en dat maakt de cookies toestemmingsplichtig. Los daarvan wordt Analytics gezien als privacytechnisch dubieus, met name omdat het Amerikaanse Google erachter zit. Als alternatief wordt steeds vaker de open source Piwik analytics-software aanbevolen. Is Piwiki wél legaal onder de cookiewet?

Piwik als alternatief voor Google Analytics onder de cookiewet – Cookierecht.

26/6 | Me, Myself and I //or// How to make your own new identity – 20:00 : Schijnheilig

An evening on identity, technology and crossing borders. Heath Bunting is presenting his Status Project: an experiment in creating real and new identity for yourself or anyone else.
We will explore the technological challenges and social consequences of this endeavor. Also we will look into possible real-world applications if people can have a new or more then one identity.

The evening is part of a series on the Digital Alterego. Past presentations included bureau Jansen & Janssen on Security Forces and Police Control, Bits of Freedom on company databases and developers of technologies for protest movements like N-1, Sukey and Liquid Democracy.

26/6 | Me, Myself and I //or// How to make your own new identity – 20:00 : Schijnheilig.

Basic Internet Security – Download the book

The digital world is changing at a tremendous speed. New communication technologies open up new possibilities, but by using them you can also expose yourself, and others, to risks. Many people have trouble assessing these risks especially with regard to the subject of safe digital communication. This is particularly true for people working in regimes with high levels of censorship. However, also in countries considered to be relatively free and uncensored, your data can be used or misused by others – governments, companies, or other persons (sometimes even unintended).

How to protect yourself, your sources or your friends? What are safe routes to take? How do you secure after your personal data? This manual aims to address these issues to help you choose your own ‘level’ of safety.


Basic Internet Security – Download the book.

Heath Bunting on the hierarchy between the physical and the virtual

Before the Internet, you knew where your virtual body was – it was at the tax office or the police station, or at school. And if a revolution did take place you could go and burn those records, but now people put all their data on different platforms and different machines and think it’s fun. All the hype about Twitter and online identities is nothing new, except now it’s on a different platform whereas before it would have been on a stone tablet. But what happens if the police knock on you door, as they do in Iran or elsewhere and even in the UK, and say, ‘You’ve been on these websites and are involved with certain activities so now we’re arresting you’. So, the virtual is more important, because it’s actually becoming more difficult for people to see their traces. Their actual true nature gets misrepresented or codified or enslaved through the Internet. Things happen in a much more sophisticated way, whereas before you could burn a piece of paper or tear it up: Goodbye body.