Tag Archives: “internet freedom”

Tor, Technocracy, Democracy

freedom is slavery

As important as the technical issues regarding Tor are, at least as important—probably more important—is the political worldview that Tor promotes (as do other projects like it). While it is useful and relevant to talk about formations that capture large parts of the Tor community, like “geek culture” and “cypherpunks” and libertarianism and anarchism, one […]

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‘Is It Compromised?’ Is the Wrong Question about US Government Funding of Tor

cia dissemination of propaganda

In many ways, the most surprising thing about Yasha Levine’s powerful reporting on US government funding of Tor at Pando Daily has been the response to it. From the trolling attacks and ad hominem insults by apparently respectable, senior digital privacy activists and journalists, to repeated, climate-denialist-style “I’m rubber you’re glue”-type (or, as I like […]

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‘Permissionless Innovation’: Using Technology to Dismantle the Republic

polluted WV water

There may be no more pernicious and dishonest doctrine among Silicon Valley’s avatars than the one they call “permissionless innovation.” The phrase entails the view that entrepreneurs and “innovators” are the lifeblood of society, and must be allowed to push forward without needing to ask for “permission” from government, for the good of society. The […]

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Paper: ‘Commercial Trolling: Social Media and the Corporate Deformation of Democracy’

commercial troller

I wrote this essay for a collection that originally said it could handle pieces of this length, but in the end decided not to. It’s a bit long for traditional journals or edited collections, and it’s about some fairly immediate stuff that’s also connected to other work I’ve been writing lately, so I decided simply […]

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Cyberlibertarianism: The Digital Deletion of the Left

I’m very happy to have a piece appear in Jacobin: A Magazine of Culture and Polemic, titled “Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left” (I’ve given this blog entry my original title, which fits more neatly with the work I’ve been writing recently on cyberlibertarianism. The piece begins by posing a question that I hope most […]

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Leaving and Not Leaving China

In the latest skirmish in the Google-China information war–but is really more like a US-China war, it seems to me, in which we have been drafted by a private corporation with what I can’t see as consent–Google has shut off its mainland china servers and redirected traffic to google.hk. It’s another remarkable example of the […]

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Neoliberalism, Info-determinism, Expressive Absolutism

One of the central and most symptomatic of computational slogans is “information wants to be free.” Like most computational ideologies, it’s willfully techno-determinist, almost vitalist, with regard to “what information does,” even if many who recite the slogan may find ways to construe it otherwise. Like many pieces of “wisdom” that circulate in the digital […]

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