I wrote this about the nature of a prosecution and its limits for understanding the world and making political change. I also wanted to bring in the authoritarian tendencies that can come out of apolitical “anti-corruption” law enforcement. The title is a little bland, but I assure you it is more interesting than it seems!

Here is a panel I was asked to speak at. I mostly talk about CFAA the export of our (US) peculiar implementation of criminal law.

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I was invited to speak on this ACLU cosponsored UN HRC panel. (my part starts around minute 50:00) highlighting some of the issues raised in Maina Kiai’s US country visit as special rapporteur. See video below and the full report here:http://freeassembly.net/reports/usa/

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This is a panel I organized taking a synthetic approach to information activism by looking at it from several perspectives.

Panel Discusses Hacking and Information Activism

The Left Forum hosts a panel discussion on computer hacking and information activism, with Will Potter, Grainne O’Neill, Gabriella Coleman, and Abi Hassen.

Read this on c-span.org >

Originally published Saturday, December 12, 2015 By Truthout

What if in 1960, instead of performing an act of civil disobedience at the Woolworth lunch counter, the Greensboro Four had been arrested for “attempted disorderly conduct” on their way downtown?

Even if the charge were bogus and had no chance in court, its effect on the movement would have been real. Instead of engaging in a high-profile confrontation with the state that highlighted the cruelty of the United States’ racist laws, four young Black people would have been arrested on minor charges — hardly a noteworthy occurrence.

Law enforcement officials do not make clear distinctions between activism and terrorism — they even explicitly conflate the two.

Law enforcement and the intelligence complex are paving the way to preempt activism in this way with their current talk of banning strong encryption while perpetuating an ever-growing system of mass data collection and surveillance. Don’t be fooled by their calls of “terrorism.” Actual terrorists such as al-Qaeda have known about and subverted electronic eavesdropping for decades and will continue to do so. The current efforts at subverting digital security will not stop the Bin Ladens and al-Qaedas of the world. Rather, they will disrupt this generation’s Martin Luther King Jrs., Black Panthers and Greensboro Fours. …

Originally Published on Saturday, January 19, 2013 by Common Dreams

The prosecution of Aaron Swartz and his subsequent suicide is heartbreaking. Aaron’s life and work was an inspiring example of how the Internet can elevate humanity beyond the dregs of rote commerce and cheap thrills. Aaron’s contributions to our society were not the shiny widgets of tech icons like Steve Jobs. Rather, they were ideas and technologies that enriched lives and empowered ordinary people. …

Abi Hassen

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