Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

HOPE X: Themes and Reflections


Image by Willow Brugh.

Over the weekend, I attended HOPE X, the 10th Hackers on Planet Earth conference, organized by 2600 Magazine. HOPE is my favorite hacker conference, and a strong contender for my favorite conference overall, because although content is tech-heavy, it's not really about technology. HOPE is a conference by and for those interested in the hacker ethos of free information, understanding the world, and empowerment to fix what is broken— including keynote speakers Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg. So HOPE is a great place to think about the intersection of technology, journalism, and activism. Throughout the conference, I noticed several recurring themes.

Code Is Not Enough

HOPEX: Community owned and operated cellular networks in rural mexico

Disclaimer: un-cleaned-up copypaste from a shared piratepad for livenotes of this talk. Originals here: http://piratepad.net/hopex

Community owned and operated cellular networks in rural mexico, with rhizomatica

Maka Muñoz and Peter Bloom

Maka begins with context: ´when I say mexico, what images come to your mind?´

The crowd: drugs, corruption, tacos, chocolate. Zapatistas!

For many people, Mexico is synonymous with tourism, narcos, indigenous cultures. How many people have been to Mexico?

About half the crowd raises their hands.

And Oaxaca?

A few scattered hands.

HOPEX: Daniel Ellsberg

Disclaimer: un-cleaned-up copypaste from a shared piratepad for livenotes of this talk. Originals here: http://piratepad.net/hopex

Hashtags: #hopex and #asksnowden

Moderator: Daniel Ellsberg will be up first, then a short break, then Snowden will connect from Russia. There will be a 1 min standing ovation for Snowden when he shows up.

[daniel ellsberg takes the stage. Does a Nixon pose ;p ]

HOPEX: Thomas Drake and Vivian Weisman

DISCLAIMER: this is un-cleaned-up shared livenotes, cut and paste from this piratepad: http://piratepad.net/hopex

The talk opens with Vivian showing several clips from the film The Hacker Wars. The film includes interviews with Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on Stellar Wind. He was prosecuted with a 10 felony count indictement, and faced 35 years in prison.

Can you tell us what it was you learned at the NSA? Your were a contractor for 12 years; On 9/11 you got high level access. What did you see that led you to blow the whistle?

Drake: As a government employee, you take an oath to defend the constitution. It's not an oath to secrecy, to the president, or NSA. It's to the Constitution. 9/11 was a trigger event that led the govt at the highest levels, including Cheney & Bush, to approve various programs, some of which we still don't know the extent of, despite Snowden's disclosures.

To my horror, having grown up with Watergate, which introduced me to civil liberties, Ellsberg, the lie of vietnam, whistleblowers charged under the espionage act, and also that no one was above the law.

HOPEX: Chatting Live with Edward Snowden

Disclaimer: un-cleaned-up copypaste from a shared piratepad for livenotes of this talk. Originals here: http://piratepad.net/hopex

Trevor Timm, Founder of Freedom of the Press foundation is also in the room. He'll be selecting questions from Twitter. For people in the Press: our questions come from our attendees.

Welcome, Edward Snowden!
[loud applause. Snowden is smiling]

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