One of the lectures during LabsurLab was given by Epsilon and Daniel, two hackers representing Hacktivistas, a citizen mouvement that is part of Anonymous. Hacktivistas grew out of the Spanish hacklab community in order to ‘coordinate actions on a global level, discuss strategies and synchronize with other resistance mouvements towards the creation of a free society with free technologies.’ They are an open horizontal assembly community organised around three fundamental principles:
1) the construction of a society and culture that are free, open, participative throughout the use of free tools
2) the right to privacy
3) the desire to experiment freely.
Hactivistas mainly function with a mailinglist, anyone can do a proposal and organise it. The methodology is simple: ‘quien la pone se la come’ or ‘the one who proposes something takes on the responsability to realise it’. Concretely, this means they create free software tools that allow any citizen to participate in decision making on large scales, like f.ex. the X-mailer, a tool they created to oppose the Law Sinde, that allows to close down pages that infringe copyright. The program Xmailer allows each citizen to send out automatically an email expressing their concerns to all representatives of the parliament at once, either by filling out the form online. Xmailer works around the mechanisms of ‘spam detection’ and cause a torrent of mails in the mailboxes of the politicians, their secretaries etc. You can read the results of their action here (in Spanish).
http://damoslacara.net is another tool developed after receiving a complaint by the PSOE, Exgae and other institutions that the anonymous mouvement only represented a very few activist people. Damoslacara offers an easy – a webcam + only one click – to visualize the amount of people who resist to accept the law Sinde.
“La Lista de Sinde” gathers a list of webpages that have been autopenalizing themselves for exchanging culture freely by integrating a ‘download search machine’. The idea is to add to this list another thousands of pages the government should shut down for the same reason – websites of syndicates, lobbys,…. The list is then sent to the respective ministers. It is impossible to shut down 25000 pages at once. This would cause too much damage…
The same moment Hacktivistas presented their work, the Colombian governement anounced the Ley Lleras, also tagged on the web as #hadopicolombia. This law would protect 3% of the Colombian artists, all others work with free licenses or no licenses at all. The coincidence of this announcement and the Hacktivistas-conference caused a great excitement amongst activists present at Labsurlab. More discussions and gatherings followed, a.o. one where we discussed the law in detail based on the draft and 18 main questions. About a 100 people were present through the chat. The manual Hacktivistas keep developing resulted very inspiring, proposing the following strategies – that can be adopted easily as well by all citizens opposing ACTA:
* ask ISPs openly (on social network platforms) about their position regarding the proposed law, so they can publicly respond
* take advantage of moments of elections to ask the opinion of politicians
* using the tools mentioned above (and more)
* starting to distinguish producers of culture and producers of commercial entertainment products.
* follow the ‘tubes’ of wikileaks on Intellectual Property Rights
* host websites with ISPs in other countries