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Re: <nettime> A Veillance Ansatz
William Waites on Mon, 7 Dec 2015 00:25:50 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> A Veillance Ansatz

Hi John,

Yes,   `social   power'   has   a   form   a   lot   like   `potential
energy'. Confusing choice of words  here since `power' in pysics means
something quite different. Also perhaps confusing was my choice of the
symbol E for the product which might normally be used for some kind of
total energy. Well, it's a work in progress.

The  immediate  reason  for  writing  this was  an  article  [1]  that
mentioned sousveillance but  used it wrongly. I had  been working with
Steve Mann around the time that he  coined the term, so I pointed this
out. What the article discusses is  more like isoveillance at best and
indirect surveillance at worst.  A minor quibble over choice of words,
not especially interesting.

More generally,  I've been  busy over  the past  years working  in the
background on collaborative Internet  infrastructure in remote places.
These  are  organised  roughly  along  venture  communist  lines,  and
although  they  generally would  not  use  that language  to  describe
themselves  they  owe a  great  debt  to  Dmytri Kleiner  and  others'
thinking. This project has been  quite successful at creating the part
of  the  Internet that  covers  a  large  geographical area  in  rural
Scotland,   complete   with    inter-network   peering   and   transit
relationships  and  a  distributed   exchange  point  presented  as  a
confederation to the outside world.

Sadly the extent to which the  Internet is under siege is increasingly
clear.  In  the UK  it may  soon become untenable  to work  to promote
access and collective ownership  and management of infrastructure. The
reason  is that  the  proposed  new laws  attempt  to conscript  these
operators into assisting with the surveillance project. The flavour of
this  is  yet   more  sinister  than  just  the   background  of  mass
surveillance (the flavour may have something to do with path integrals
of the veillance field equation).

Given these developments, it may be  best to redirect some effort away
from   infrastructure   development    and   towards   awareness   and
self-defence. The main line of work continues of course. In this light
the  previous  post  is  part  of the  process  of  understanding  and
articulating the  situation in which  participants in the  Internet (a
better term than `users') find themselves.



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