Three models of social change — MLK, Malcolm X and Che Guevara as it relates to Tor, Bitcoin and TAILS
Technology can’t protect. With enough resources everything is breakable. A quick look at the promise of technology and its shortcomings with regard to civil disobedience
So alot of us think that technology can protect. I used to.
However logically if you look at it it makes no sense.
My caveat is that IF YOUR LIFE OR FREEDOM is under threat then yes as a TEMPORARY measure prior to self exile then its probably a useful means of escape or protest.
Let me explain — the world governments have near limitless access to resources — financial, talent wise etc. Hence if you compete against them you will always fail. Why? Because thats the nature of power — the stronger power prevails right? And as every hacker knows its usual people and our habits and foibles which are the weakest link. Make technology as strong as you like but people being people are still much more pliable than code.
This stops being true when you look towards goodwill. So regardless of how mighty an army you have whether it be digitally based or based in reality there is one area which is largely still avaialble for being usurped — namely the area of goodwill.
So with this in mind I think as technologists and activists we should appreciate the the magnitude of the forces around us and navigate accordingly. A wise sailor does not battle the sea. He uses the natural currents and changes in weather to his advantage. Likewise in technology and activism we must use these same currents and weather conditions. Specifically I would say that this would include the following guideliness to work by:
- assume everything you do is in the public domain and act accordingly
- recognise that Police States are brittle by nature — 97% don’t get served very well, if at all by their continuance — hence you have tremendous ability to appeal to public goodwill to win your argument
- never for any reason abandon your principles — NEVER. This is golden and primary. If for any reason you do then not only have you stepped out of integrity you have also weakened your entire stance and the strength of whatever movement your support
Given the above I think its time we moved from the attempt to assert authority with Technology and move onto claiming the real and resilient base of power which is that of goodwill. Lets put down our firewalls and work in ways like MLK. The Malcolm X methods of storming heaven simply cannot work.