Faculty of the College of Ontopoetic Machines on Mon, 13 Dec 2010 05:41:02 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Six Anti-Theses on WikiLeaks

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> in the high speed flows of the Internet, time is condensed to the
> point critics act even earlier than facts and statements are
> accomplished... especially media critics, well aware of the economic
> dynamics of information consumption, should be careful to when feed
> the channels they conquer with imprecisions.  caveat impetus oratorum.

We couldn't agree more; nevertheless, we do think that the WikiLeaks
phenomenon is of a piece with existing tendencies and works to make them
more solid.  But these tendencies are not without flow, and we expect
the noisiness of the world to produce more surprises and changes of

> all the companies you name above cannot be grouped in a unique
> thesis. Details change from one's another reasons to block WL.

Indeed the details make them singular.  Yet we would argue that they
share a fundamental similarity, making it a difference in degree and not
in kind, which is a use of contractual language (and not a court order)
to deny services.  In the PayPal case there was the original
consternation over supposed State Department "letters", similar to the
supposed "contact" between Senator Lieberman's office and both Amazon
and Tableau.  But in the end, each of these organizations---despite
their initial public statements---had recourse to their ToS or AUPs (in
the PayPal case, see
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/12/paypal-wikileaks/ and

We would argue that, while the use of AUPs and ToS against the
undesirable has been percolating under the surface of so-called Web 2.0,
the confluence of so many providers using these one-way documents as
their main rationale for cutting off service represents a further
tightening of the privatization of the network in the guise of
contractual language.

> Such aspects represent a major node for hackers and the main
> trampoline imaginary to build new (pronounced "GNU") circuits for the
> circulation of values, a process that will naturally unfold in Europe,
> soon enough.

As we stated in anti-thesis six, this is what we hope for as well.  The
difficulty comes in phases of transition, where powerful actors can make
these processes very challenging to endure, to say the least.

Members of the Faculty of the College of Ontopoetic Machines

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