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Re: <nettime> Twitter revolutionaries, unmade in the USA
Jaime Magiera on Sun, 11 Oct 2009 22:00:32 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Twitter revolutionaries, unmade in the USA


On Oct 10, 2009, at 5:08 PM, Morlock Elloi wrote:

> They were not caught because of scanners; they were either busted
> thanks to twitter source tracing (or motel staff reporting CCC on
> their facilities - but this would imply improbable competence of the
> police groundwork.)

Ok, so you don't know how they were traced? I haven't been able to
find it in any of the media reports. Maybe before assuming, we should
determine the details.

> Failing to separate in space and via secure links the radio pickup
> points from the twitter packet injection points (which could happen
> in comfort in Alaska or Bangalore, for example) is the gross
> incompetence/ stupidity I was referring to.

Calling them stupid or incompetent is a bit unfair. They were
monitoring a host of local radio dispatches (maxing out at a couple
miles), as well as handling other duties. They may not be as
technically versed as you or I for these types of things. Lets take
your idea and run with it though: Since we don't know exactly how
they were traced, lets set distant physical location AND obscured
tweet source as the goals. How would one control the radios, mux
all the feeds and send them elsewhere? You'd need to choose a
radio control method that could be handled remotely over a network
(asterisk app_rpt, IRC/web service, etc.). Alternately, have multiple
individuals with a radio and encoder each, at different locations. If
you want network security between radios and mission control, then you
run that over a secure connection. Then, the tweets themselves have to
be relayed via a secure, distributed system (as mentioned, tor would
work). Yes, this is all doable, but look at what is involved. For a
pair of protestors who have dave jobs, it's completely conceivable
that it would be beyond their means.

> And this is the best illustration of governments winning the
> dumbification campaign. The mere idea that sending twitter
> packets is any different from firing "LOOK WE ARE HERE" flares is
> stupefying.

That's an exaggeration to say the least.

To be clear here: I was not responding to the security of the system
that they chose to use. I was responding to the value of their
communications and what I perceive as your attempt to write off social
media tools. Those are two different ideas at play. A more secure use
of twitter, or a completely different social media platform, could
have been used. One could even envision an app written and distributed
specifically for the event. However, sometimes folks have to use what
they have. A freely/easily accessible tool that provides instant
communication, though it can be traced in some circumstances, is
better than not having such a tool at all.

Jaime Magiera

Sensory Research, Inc.

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