My Flattr

This blog has a flattr account. I checked it out and it seems that I have 76 euros on it. I have donated 8 euros per month to other projects, so this blog has maybe made about 100 euros in total. It’s great! Thanks!

Now, instead of buying beers for the money, I targeted two awesome projects to spend my funds on. As a little new years present, or a late christmas present, I give half of my revenues to Telecomix and the other half to I2P.

Right now I’m at the 27th Chaos Communication Congress. Telecomix and I2P have a table together, where we sit and hack, socialize and sign cryptographic keys. So, in a way my Flattr behaviour is nepotism. But then again, if my friends do great stuff for Internet, then they can haz all my support.

Cheers!

ISP liability and #09STOCKHOLM141

It is not only our infamous lobby organization Nepotia that wants to put an end to net neutrality in Sweden. The #09STOCKHOLM141 cable that was put on interweb by Wikileaks reveals a puppet-like behaviour by the Swedish Government concerning these issues.

What is at stake is nothing less than our tubes. ISP liability means that the Internet Service Providers are responsible for what packets of data that run through their infrastructure.

My fear is that “ISP liability” will radically change internet in Sweden. It is conveyed in a scary language. The lobby organization Nepotia talks about “responsibility” and “business models”. What ISP liability means, and can not mean anything else, is systematic surveillance.

Let us take a look at #09STOCKHOLM141:

Now that the Enforcement Directive implementation will finally enter into force on April 1, and there will soon be a first District court decision in the Pirate Bay case — the Justice Ministry will turn its attention to other key issues, primarily the ISP liability issue and extra resources to investigative capabilities.

So, there was IPRED and nothing happened. There was the The Pirate Bay trial and nothing happened to files being copied between computers. Now, the Justice Ministry turn their attention to ISP liability and want something to happen,according to the cable . The lobby campaign of the industry, their “front” being Nepotia, are timing this very well. A while ago they hired a Phd-candidate named Johan Axhamn to make a report about ISP liability to put some academic polish to cover up the industry demands.

The whole story is very gangsta-style when ventriloquized by the Embassy cables. One thing that the Swedish government needs to solve (crush) are the actual Internet Service Providers:

6. (SBU) Industry consultations/ISP liability: The GOS held a series of industry consultations in the summer/fall of 2008, with the explicit aim to discuss a voluntary industry agreement involving ISPs and right-holders organizations. Industry contacts reported that the ISP’s were not willing (they claim they are not able) to take on any action on a voluntary basis. The first round of consultations was concluded without results during the fall of 2008. The Justice Ministry is currently working internally in the GOS to get acceptance for a second round with a clear incentive for progress, i.e. threatening with legislation in the absence of a voluntary agreement. There is some resistance in the Center party led Ministry of Enterprise, Energy, and Communications, and negotiations are on-going at senior GOS-levels.

Lets “threaten with legislation”. To me that sounds a bit like extortion. Either you start up your Deep Packet Inspection or we give you no choice but another law regulating your enterprise.

The ISPs of Sweden are really nice. We have a cutting edge fibre backbone and you can get a really fat pipe straight to your home for a reasonable cost. Sure, some of them don’t behave well all the time, for example Telia blocks some Skype in their wireless networks and tried to give Spotify a fast-lane in traffic management. But besides that, it is a real pleasure to surf the .se-nets.

The freedom of mere conduit, of well protected ISPs, is the fundamental material technology of freedom of speech in contemporary societies.

The US must withdraw their fingers from our fibres, and the lobby front organizations should be scrutinized more. Their inquiries and representatives smell like money, and when you can change laws with lollars, we sell out freedom of speech for some lousy entertainment.

The choice is still ours.

Meanwhile in Belarus

Not to anyone’s surprise, the Belarusian goverment performed a malicious attack on internets during the elections. According to reports on Twitter, they blocked SSL connections. This means that sites such as Gmail, Twitter and Facebook were forced into non-encrypted mode, if they even worked at all.

Such an attack is particularly evil. Internauts then run the risk of being wiretapped while they are left completely insecure in a harsh network environment. Let us all hope noone gets injured because of this abuse of power.

The video tutorial above is an instruction on how to install and use the Tor Software on Linux for using the advanced hidden services to connect to the Telecomix chat network. Ten minutes of hacking turns the Belarusian internet censorship and surveillance obsolete.

Now, it’s too late to secure up the networks this time. But for the future, if we all learn darknets and computer security, we will be able to avoid future dangers.

To make this tutorial, I used the screen capture software RecordMyDesktop for filming Hannah Montana Linux (Ubuntu based) running in a virtualbox machine. Then I edited the film in PiTiVi and exported to AVI for upload on Youtubes. All software, except the last video codecs, are free software.

Make more tutorials and spread the knowledges of freedom!

Jumpstyle and Cipherstep

The above video shows a jumpstyle dance event in my local town of Gothenburg that took place in July this year. Not only does the dance look like a lot of fun, it also has some interesting resemblances to the cipherstep dance moves of the darknets. Let me explain!

Jumpstyle dance seems to follow protocols of hopping. There are simple instructions for how to jump in different configurations, and the jumping (or rather in German “jumpen”) can then be moved across the locations of the city with ease. For example, in the Gothenburg case, which claims to be the “first Swedish jumpstyle meetup”, we see clips from the main shopping mall Nordstan, the old harbour of Röda Sten, the park Slottskogen and the city centre of Brunnsparken. Jumpstyle utilizes portable soundsystems, and seems to be on the move, occupying the city by tactical maneouvres.

The basic protocol is described by Wikipedia as:

* The dance can be started with two small jumps that match the beat or stomping the left foot twice, to the beat.

* The dancer places his right foot to the front, and his left foot to the back.

* The dancer’s feet then switch positions.

* The dancer kicks his right leg forward twice. His foot would be at the same height as his knee.

* The dancer would then kick his left leg.

* The dancer then swings his left leg backwards. Similar to the original step, the foot would be level with the knee.

* The left leg would be put on the ground, behind the dancer.

* The dancer then swings his right leg back, knee level, to prepare for the initial first step.

* The dancer would repeat this.

There are also plenty of video tutorials showing five basic steps. A good advice is to remove sensitive furniture from you apartment before trying this at home.

Now, lets take a look at the so called tunnel hops of your advanced darknet software, which very much resembles the protocol of jumpstyle:

The image shows the settings for an i2p-tunnel. A ciphertunnel. This particular one leads from my computer to the irc.telecomix.i2p chat server. To go there the dark way, I have to jump. First my computer needs to execute a protocol-based encryption algorithm, then it forms a vector. Since there is no way of telling where the chat server is located physically, this is the strength of the darknets, it has to hop until it gets received by the inbound tunnel. So, it is like the video below, first you hop forwards, then backwards.

My data jumps two steps in the direction of the chat server, then I turn backwards and the server will take over my feet. I do not know how many more steps I have, because beyond this point I am not the one in charge anymore. Gently the destination tells me how to hop while looking back. And there I land. My little packets of encrypted data reach the destination, only to be pushed back towards me. I don’t know where the server is, and I do not want to know. The server does not know where I am. We only dance because we share little secret keys!

This particular video begins with three dancers following a basic protocol in the first instance, then hopping to a new destination, where inbound hops secures a new location, another territory:

As well as in the jumpstyle dance you may make random variations in your cryptographic router. Difference creates strength. The hops may be varied, made longer or shorter, multiple or singular. You go random paths along the intertubes. This makes the dark networks near-invisible when tunneled inside the vanilla internet. Jumpstyle, however, has a different purpose, aiming for visibility in the boring European streets, disrupting the everyday robot-like behaviour of humans on their way to work, or whatever.

To jump the networks solves the problem of burrowing paranoia. Nothing catches you in flight, your ciphers are constantly on the move. You do not ever stop dancing the cipherstep.

As far as the whole of networks go, we can never see it from above. Your vision is the vision of your position. The router is a large scale hub, mine looks like this:

Three hundred peers constantly push traffic through my node. They are caught in flight, only to put one foot in my apartment, then jumping to the next router in the network. They only stay for milliseconds, except for those who actually have me as their destination. These ones are able to safely fetch data off my computer. Maybe I run a web server, a chat server or I send encrypted e-mails. Nobody knows, and nobody should know.

So, lets do it like Scooter does. We jump all over the world, in the streets and in the interconnected tubes of the internet. It’s a lot of fun, I can promise!

Hackerattacksradio


På en svajig mobilförbindelse på en båt på röda havet gjorde jag i förra veckan en intervju om Wikileaks, Anonymous och skillnaden mellan en DDoS-attack och en intrångsattack för P3 Brunchrapporten. Det blev lite rörigt kanske, och framförallt hade jag ett skumt eko i luren som gjorde att jag var tvungen att “vänta in” min egen röst. Iofs inte helt dåligt eftersom man då kanske pratar långsammare. Dessutom hade jag precis snorklat för att kolla in det marina livet kring korallreven, och hade efterdyningar av hajskräck precis när min egyptiska telefon ringer.

Finns som OGG för den fria internauten och som MP3 för macmän.

Modeblogg 2 – Egypten

Det är så härligt att vara på semester. Speciellt nu när det är svinkallt hela tiden. Jag och bästiz XOXOXOXOXOX Miss u bitch!

GULLEKATTEN kom på besök när vi var på restaurang. Har hört att man inte ska klappa katter men kan du motstå MISHMISH <3<3<3<3<3<3 Hoppade bara upp i knät på vännen opalmar XO. Ibland blir han sur, men här ser man att han är ca jätteglad.

Mmmmm. Svalkande dryck efter en hård dag i solen 😉 😉 😉 😉 😉 Jag ba 😀 Skjorta från Dressman.

Modeblogg – Lulzia

Numera är jag blond, men svart är såååååååå snyggt!!! *xoxoxo*. Skjorta från Black Fashion Bureau.

Lulzia är mys. Vi pyntade värsta grejen med sugrör. Fint när det är så kallt ute *ryser*

Oj här ser jag helt drogad ut 😉 😉 😉 🙂 😉 🙂 😉 😉 Kvällens outfit. Vilket paaarty!

Gunnar blå, Kafka och panspektron

Ett genomgripande tema på denna blogg är det mänskliga tillståndet i förhållande till teknisk utveckling. En konsekvens av övervakningsteknologier är exempelvis en speciell form av paranoia som är svår att sätta fingret på. I förra bloggposten nämndes Kafkas text der Bau, som beskriver den ensamme individens bunkerbyggande. Det frenetiska livsprojektet består av att skapa en säker plats, med full kontroll och säkerhet. Projektet präglas av rekursiva emotioner, varje känsla av ett stundande hot leder till en förstärkning och en fortsättning som i sista instans pekar mot döden.

Kafka läst som en politisk filosof, varnar för denna bunkermentalitet, som leder till sorg och isolering.

Men bunkeraffekten är bara en instans av paranoia. Finns det fler? Och framförallt, finns det en mera uppdaterad version som beskriver förhållandet till vår samtid i Panspektron?

Vi sneglar igen på begreppet panspektron ur Det nätpolitiska manifestet (Fortfarande går hälften av inkomsterna till Wikileaks: julklappstips!):

I den panspektriska övervakningens tidevarv är populationen inte längre intressant. Varken militären eller företagen är längre intresserade av nationalstaternas gamla gränser. För att upptäcka det som idag upplevs som hot mot samhällsordningen vänder sig övervakaren inåt och fokuserar blicken på avvikande beteendemönster i den egna samhällskroppen.

Det panspektriska subjektet görs alltså synligt av en mängd mönster som samlas i olika databanker.

Den filosofiska tesen ligger i linje med Gilles Deleuzes Postskriptum till kontrollsamhällena, där de gamla panoptiska samhällena, som i detalj studeras av Michel Foucault i exempelvis Övervakning och straff ställs i relation till nya teknologier, ekonomier och maktflöden. Även Kafka befinner sig i brytbunkten enligt Deleuze:

Kafka, som befann sig vid brytpunkten mellan dessa båda samhällen, beskrev i Processen de mest fruktansvärda juridiska former: de disciplinära samhällenas skenbara frikännande (mellan två inspärrningar) och kontrollsamhällenas eviga förhalning (en kontinuerlig variation) utgör två högst olika juridiska former, och om vår rättsapparat tvekar och själv har hamnat i kris, så är det för att vi håller på att gå från den ena till den andra.

Der Bau kan läggas till bredvid Processen som ytterligare en dimension av den eviga förhalningen som karaktäriserade det juridiska systemet. I förhalningen vänder sig subjektet inåt, och drabbas av den paranoia som der Bau utmålar. Minnet sviker, sinnena sviker, allt föranleder bristande tillit till omvärlden och till slut bristande tillit till de egna tankarna.

I linje med paranoiaspåret kommer vi till fallet Gunnar Blå. Kopplingen till panspektrisk övervakning gjordes för snart ett år sedan av Copyriot, vars bloggpost är utmärkt läsning i hur litteratur är (eller kan vara) politisk filosofi.

Boken kan läsas som en undersökning av panspektrisk övervakning som tar tanken på informationsekonomi till sin absurda yttre spets. Att visa känslor är att skänka bort information, i de dunkla nät av frilansande spioner och särskilda byråer där “Carl” [huvudpersonen] är verksam.

Att “visa känslor är att skänka bort information”. I kommentarsfältet görs direkt kopplingen till Facebook, vars ekonomiska modell går ut på att vi visar känslor. Visar dem i ett maskinläsbart format. Detta är den panspektriska politiska ekonomin, som drivs fram som en “business model” snarare än en planerad övervakning.

Jag skulle vilja lyfta fram ett annat spår i Gunnar Blås Övervakningen, som är en konsekvens av den genomgripande övervakning som “Carl” är utsatt för, reell eller inbillad spelar ingen roll. Man skulle kunna kalla det den panspektriska schizofrenin.

Han drack en klunk till. Han lät bli att tänka på vad det var han faktiskt dolde, det bästa sättet att upprätthållan legenden. Men han betedde sig som en som inte har något att dölja för att dölja att han inte hade något att dölja.

– Jag borde ha köpt en tidning, tänkte han, det skulle ha set mer normalt ut än att jag sitter här och stirrar: “Objektet betedde sig misstänkt, satt stilla coh stirrade rakt framförsig”, kommer de skriva i rapporten.

Skräcken ligger inte i att hemligheter ska avslöjas. Dessa säljer “Carl” vitt och brett omkring sig när han ständigt får slut på pengar i sin svindlande flyktresa genom Europa, som följer stålets metallurgi via järnvägen snarare än flygets aluminium. Om Kafkas djur i der Bau håller sin lilla bunker som den yttersta hemligheten, objektet som inte får avslöjas, så består “Carls” skräck i att döljandet framstår som ett döljande, en avvikelse i normaliteten, som samtidigt måste avvika precis lagom för att inte avvika, för det som aldrig avviker är i sig suspekt.

“Carl” tvingar hela tiden sig själv att balansera på den “lagoma” avvikelsens tunna tråd, eller som Deleuze hade uttryckt det “kontrollerna är däremot en modulation, som en självdeformerande formering i ständig förändring från ett ögonblick till nästa, eller som ett såll vars genomsläpplighet hela tiden förändras.”

Normaliteten är längre ingen konstant, utan alltid specifik. Döljandets perfekta modulation måste hela tiden anpassas efter kontrollens perfekta modulation. Annars tar det stopp. Allt som gäller är nästa kontroll, inte kontroller i allmänhet. “Carls” flykt är en konstant schizofreni. Varje detalj i hans närvaro är en potentiell modulator, varje gång han ser sig i spegeln tvingas hans hjärna gå i överljudsfart och reflektera stundens förhållande till den abstrakta övervakning som förföljer honom. Schizofrenin är i allra högsta grad fysisk. Hans magmun släpper på och av magsyra som fräter smärtsamt. Munnen väljer i ena momentet kaffe, i andra sekunden Fernet, i tredje sekunden suktar den efter kvinnan i den röda klänningen. Men den kan aldrig stanna, den kan aldrig få en stabil identitet. “Carls” mun är en modulation av ett organ som hela tiden söker nya formeringar, nya kopplingar, nya sammansättningar.

Den enda vägen till sinnesfrid är att falla in i en begärets nollintensitet och närma sig kroppen utan organ. Vi följer Deleuze & Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus:

Where do these pure intensities come from? They come from the two preceding forces, repulsion and attraction, and from the opposition of these two forces. It must not be thought that the intensities themselves are in opposition to another, arriving at a state of balance around a neutral state. On the contrary, they are all positive in relationship to the zero intensity that designates the full body without organs. (20)

När “Carl” inte längre klarar av de aldrig sinande associationerna, när han inte orkar med att varje organkoppling genast sänder blixtrande smärta genom hans kropp, lägger han sig ned för att uppsöka ett tillstånd av nollintensiteter. Han blir “den döda lilla flickan” och döper sin magmun till “Cissi”. Utan att äta på flera dagar finner han sakta en slags sinnesfrid, eller åtminstone en temporär lättnad från smärtan.

Men i denna nollintensiva kropp utan organ finner han en motattack i förhållande till sina övervakare. På hotellrummet finns en övervakad telefon, vars mikrofon han stoppar in i örat och på så sätt lyckas höra övervakarnas dialog. Mikrofonen förvandlas från ett öra till en mun, och “Carl” hör rakt in i spionernas liv. Med en kyla lyckas han övervaka övervakarna, genom att först ha förvandlats till en kropp utan organ, som i nästa moment kopplar sig till en mun-mikrofon som tar honom rakt in i de andras liv.

På så sätt flyttar Gunnar Blå in i min bokhylla av mycket värdefulla politiska filosofer. Utöver den skarpa analysen är boken även mildrande terapeutisk och de sista sidorna läste jag precis vid när jag landade med en skramlande gammal aluminiumsarkofag av märket Boeing i den Egyptiska öknen. Trots att inflygningen skedde i nattens mörker, såg jag samma gula nordafrikasol som “Carl” så panikartat flyr.

Burrowing paranoia

Burrowing birds. Making holey spaces in the ground.

This is a long essay in English that I am submitting to the Apocryphal Machinery of Ciphernautics, which also you can contribute to by using the Gitorious archive, just like any other software project.

Introduction

It is another average day and you boot up you computer. Lately a certain worrisome feeling has started to creep into your mind. It is the feeling of someone watching you. Every move, and every conversation, seem to disappear out on the networks. Perhaps there is someone copying your messages, then reading them, and to you anger there seems little that you can do about it. A common reaction is then to build a burrow.

Earlier this week you wanted to tell your friend something secret. It wasn’t really anything big, just another thing that you wanted whisper instead of saying it out loud. Also, there were some files on your hard-drive that you wanted to keep secure. What if someone stole my laptop? What if someone tried to copy my files? In the corporate networks of today, under the jurisdiction of States willing to listen in on the bits and bytes sent across the networks, this emotion is for everyone and nobody. You will have to deal with it, one way or another. Paranoia will enslave you or liberate you, depending on how you handle it.

To understand the future of the Internet and how to cope with its problems, we need to consider at least three different modes of thinking. Actually, they don’t necessarily have to be three, but could be multiple. Reality has an infinite number of modes; modi multiversum – practica ciphernetica.

First we draw from literature and philosophy, then we move on to zoology and biology, to finally return to the computer science of ciphernetics to revise and refine our tools of enciphering the world.

Kafka and the burrow – the political literary model

In his short story der Bau (the Burrow), Franz Kafka describes the productive element of paranoia, through a burrowing animal that devotes its life to building a secure home in the underground. The animal spends most of its waking hours building and securing an fortress, through walls, tunnels and passages. The burrow must stay hidden at all costs, and nobody else is allowed to know the existence of the secret passages. One day, the animal starts hearing noises in the ground, as if another animal, maybe even a monster, was digging a competing system of tunnels, which would breach the security of the Burrow. The poor animal becomes obsessed with the noise, and even though there is no conclusive evidence of a terrible monster, the threat becomes very real in the paranoid mind of the animal.

From time to time, the burrowing animal reflects upon its life. From the English translation of the Burrow:

I almost screw myself to the point of deciding to emigrate to distant parts and take up my old comfortless life again, which had no security whatever, but was one indiscriminate succession of perils, yet in consequence prevented one from perceiving and fearing particular perils, as I was constantly reminded by comparing my secure burrow with ordinary life.

First and foremost, paranoia is something that will consume a lot of energy. It is a whole psychic machinery of obsessive emotions, fueling themselves recursively without any type of finite rationality. There can always be another escape-tunnel, another fortification in the walls, another exit point hidden from the wild beasts of the surface. There is never enough. The paranoid machine of the unconscious connects it flows to your hands, your whole body only enjoys silence and satisfication as long as you keep improving the safety. From time to time you are able to imagine the “ordinary life” of the surface dwellers. The first symptom is however a lack of trust in others. Who are they? Where did they come from? What are really their intentions?

The second iteration of paranoia is that you stop trusting your own senses, your own body. You start asking yourself whether your memory was right. Desperately you start writing down things. You never know, sometimes you might have to check. You start double-checking the quality of the tunnels, then triple-checking, then all of a sudden you find yourself chokingly checking over and over again until you get too tired to check once more. On the Internet, this ritualistic behavior goes by way of checksums, certificates, encryption passwords and constant lookups of your IP-number. There can be no mistake, one insecure connection and you are trapped! You slowly march into a state of solitude. Kafka again:

If I only had someone I could trust to keep watch at my post observation; then of course I could descend in perfect peace of mind. I would make an agreement with this trusty confederate of mine that he would keep a careful note of the state of things during my descent and for quite a long time afterwards, and if he saw any sign of danger knock on the moss covering, and if he saw nothing do nothing.

The loss of your friends is the reason for why the paranoia of the burrowing and solitary animal will always fail. There is no longer anyone out there to break the flows, the repetitions. You slowly end up digging tunnels for yourself only, and while you isolate your mind it slowly turns inwards. There is a black hole inside your own mind, which slowly consumes all the little particles of yourself into a point of no return. There is no longer chaos, but a slow order, brought about by your own gravity field. No matter how safe your tunnels are now, no matter the strenght of you ciphers or the depth of your secret passwords, paranoia has a power takeover.

To flee the solitary paranoia, we must find a model of thought which is collective in nature. Thus we turn to the multiverse of the animal world.

Burrowing animals – recordings from zoology

Rabbits are burrowers. So are frogs, amphibians, reptiles, even some birds and dinosaurs. There are burrowers of the sea, burrowers of arborescence, and burrowers that live in entire queendoms. Burrows have the primary function of protection against predators, but may also include the building block of societies, shelter for reproduction and storage facilities for food. There are even cases of burrowers in human bodies; The scabies may use your flesh to burrow, causing a major itch.

Burrowing animals may be divided into two major psycho-political categories; suicidal and kamikaze. These two modes of operation are wholly different in nature. While Kafka’s animal turned inwards, only to be trapped in the black hole of paranoia, there are other species willing to offer another model of death. Death-drive, this concept of a final solution, is the cutting edge of paranoia, and must be understood before we are able to move on again.

There is an absolute difference between foxes, which may become may become an heroes, while termites self-sacrifice:

In cases where the intrusion is coming from a breach that is larger than the soldier’s head, defense requires special formations where soldiers form a phalanx-like formation around the breach and blindly bite at intruders or shoot toxic glue from the nasus. This formation involves self-sacrifice because once the workers have repaired the breach during fighting, no return is provided, thus leading to the death of all defenders.

Arborescent termite tunnels. Your protection on the vanilla Internet.

Far beyond the lonely mammal-burrower, the termites organize their tunnels according to various functions, a multitude of milieus, creating whole societies on infrastructures that are not only witty and clever, but also include a division of labor, and a hierarchic mode of organization (we even call some of their structures “cathedrals”).

You can kill all the foxes on the countryside of England, yes, you can even make rabbits an extinct species. But you can not get rid of termites, no matter the poison you apply. Because of their intrinsic structures, the propagation of a hive-mind in a collective assemblage, their communicative adaptation, they have rendered themselves near nuke-proof. The exit nodes of their tunnels are protected by soldiers willing to take their lives in order to keep the network up an running, without breaching security. The burrow is composed of an absolute trust, and paranoia is counteracted with a much stronger emotion of de-subjectification. We are no longer individual termites, we act as one and thus we take over the forest and the desert!

Rabbit burrow. The exit node is a dangerous place.

The Technological burrow

Let us return to the notion of the panspectron: It entails three types of data for surveillance; content data, traffic data and meta-data. These are all a threat to the burrow.

By content data the actual payload of our traffic is designated and targeted. It consists of files. To prevent anyone from reading our files we encrypt them, for example with GPG. Cryptography comes in various shapes, strengths and weaknesses. The method of deciphering is called cryptoanalysis, and is a task for the mathematician. Cryptos may also have flaws in security that depends on key- exchange, human error and sloppiness, or other design errors and unforeseen events. When burrowing a file in crypto, it is not to be confused with burial of a file. To kill a file you need to shred it, not merely delete it. Alternatively, you destroy the storage medium.

By traffic data we mean the additional data used in computer networks to navigate where content data is supposed to go. In distributed packet-switched networks such as the Internet, traffic data is defined in the Requests for Comments for the TCP/IP suite. Traffic data reveals parts of your identity when moving around in the plain-text open networks. It is a very handy tool for the technicians and engineers of the networks, since it makes analysis, debugging and statistics an easy task when automated. However, traffic data is hazardous for the burrowing internaut, since it produces an entire cartography of its setups, movements and destinations.

Surveillance of traffic data is circumvented by the tunnel system of the burrows. The most basic setup is to hide your actual location with an escape tunnel that exits elsewhere. An old corporate product, the Virtual Private Network is one method, another one the proxy server. Single tunnel escape routes pave way for a primitive burrowing, and their downside is the fact that a single tunnel may be compromised by the wolves of the vanilla Internet. Also, clever predators may listen in on several locations of the Internet, and slowly finding out to where the tunnel leads by analyzing traffic patterns.

A more refined way of burrowing is to join in on an already existing meshwork of tunnels. Tunnels inside the tubes, which almost randomly and with additional stealth technologies provide a network inside the network. Such examples are the TOR and I2P darknets. They allow internauts to create hidden burrows called “hidden services” or “tunnel destinations”. The burrows are protected by network algorithms that produce tunnels that begin and end with “hops” which are irreversible in nature. This way, you are not able to trace exactly where the burrow is located, since you instantly keep forgetting the path that took you there. All you need to navigate is a mathematical number, consisting of an encryption key, or a hash-sum of the encrypted key.

The third form of data is the meta-data. It consists of descriptive data which is always added to existing data. Lets say that there is a file consisting of an image. If you add a description to the image, lets say the name of the person on the photographic picture, you have added meta data. Meta-data modulates analogue traces into digital constants. It gives names to the world, just like the system of nature of Linneus, who created an entire cartography of the animal kingdom.

Designating meta-data can be performed my humans and machines. The computer is unable to initially know the name of a person on a photograph. However, if this information is added by a human, the computer can then calculate the properties of the persons face, and then recognize him or her in another photograph by statistical variations and mathematical associations.

As computers are rapidly becoming more and more ubiquitous, larger quantities of the spectrum is becoming attached with meta-data. Every day hundreds of thousand of images, maybe millions, are designated with proper names on facebook.com. The names we were given by the family or the pack offline, in modern states also by States, are in turn over-coded by the gigantic human-machine assemblages of the web 2.0 economies. Your face is now a unit of measure, a distinct absolute in the vanilla networks. You are supposed to feel comfortable about it since it now has become very easy to associate you with others. The picture no longer shows plain waves of light in the spectrum, but entire associations of communities of people. The name-tag is not worn on clothes, but worn in databases. “On December the 1st Jane Doe attended the housewarming party of James Doe. Also attending were Cameron, John-Henry and Catherine”.

The smiling faces on the picture are baptized in the river of data. In a near future more things will be modulated. The brand of the sofa, the location of the party via GPS satellites, the place to buy the music online which is played in the background. Still, it is not a question of realism. It is not about providing detailed representations of an event. It is rather on the conditions of accumulating the lives of consumers, collecting their little traces of living, consuming, associating. Meta-data adds information, it takes nothing away. It captures by copying and generating. It starts to know by means of prediction. When will Jane and James throw another party? Based on previous patterns sometime in February. If we know this in advance we have captured the moment of proto-consumption. What wines are they planning to buy? Maybe they would like to eat roast chicken? A targeted advertisement in the flow of information hits the rabbit in flight on the vanilla Internet. Only a burrow can save it now!

Lessons learned

Burrows must be built and expanded. However, burrowing in solitude is never a good idea. It sooner or later leads to the black hole and implosion. Instead, burrows should be built as infrastructure. On the vanilla networks, users are unprotected and have little chances of escaping the wolves of data retention, data mining, data wiretapping, etc. Then we need to build entry- and exit holes, a collective assemblage of tunnels, for the safety of netkinds.