<synthesis> Remote Chaos Experience, selected lectures

Geert Lovink geert at xs4all.nl
Sat Jan 16 16:51:52 CET 2021

Dear all, 

a late selection of lectures during the all-virtual Chaos Computer Congress of late December 2020, the so-called Remote Chaos Experience: https://media.ccc.de/c/rc3 <https://media.ccc.de/c/rc3>.

This one is no doubt also my highlight:

Andy Mueller-Maghun (CCC) reports about surveillance incidents against him by CIA re: Wikileaks
https://media.ccc.de/v/rc3-11512-cia_vs_wikileaks#t=875 <https://media.ccc.de/v/rc3-11512-cia_vs_wikileaks#t=875>


YouTube for Advanced Users: Rage against the Machine Learning
https://media.ccc.de/v/rc3-891673-rage_against_the_machine_learning <https://media.ccc.de/v/rc3-891673-rage_against_the_machine_learning>

This talk explains why audits are a useful method to ensure that machine learning systems operate in the interest of the public. Scripts to perform such audits are released and explained to empower civic hackers.
The large majority of videos watched by YouTube's two billion monthly users is selected by a machine learning (ML) system. So far, little is known about why a particular video is recommended by the system. This is problematic since research suggests that YouTube's recommendation system is enacting important biases, e.g. preferring popular content or spreading fake news and disinformation. At the same time, more and more platforms like Spotify, Netflix, or TikTok are employing such systems. This talk shows how audits can be used to take the power back and to ensure that ML-based systems act in the interest of the public. Audits are a ‘systematic review or assessment of something’ (Oxford Dictionaries). The talk demonstrates how a bot can be used to collect recommendations and how these recommendations can be analyzed to identify systematic biases. For this, a sock puppet audit conducted in the aftermath of the 2018 Chemnitz protests for political topics in Germany is used as an example. The talk argues that YouTube's recommendation system has become an important broadcaster on its own. By German law, this would require the system to give important political, ideological, and social groups adequate opportunity to express themselves in the broadcasted program of the service. The preliminary results presented in the talk indicate that this may not be the case. YouTube's ML-based system is recommending increasingly popular but topically unrelated videos. The talk releases a set of scripts that can be used to audit YouTube and other platforms. The talk also outlines a research agenda for civic hackers to monitor recommendations, encouraging them to use audits as a method to examine media bias. The talk motivates the audience to organize crowdsourced and collaborative audits.


Reclaim Your Face: presentation from the European campaign against biometric mass surveillance
https://media.ccc.de/v/rc3-929578-the_reclaimyourface_campaign <https://media.ccc.de/v/rc3-929578-the_reclaimyourface_campaign>

The EU is making new laws on AI. People are mobilising against biometric surveillance in public spaces. Hear about what's going on in different European countries, what tools activists are using to attack face recognition and similar mass surveillance technologies and - most importantly - what you can do to join the civil society #ReclaimYourFace movement.
The European Union is setting new rules on Artificial Intelligence and people want to have a say. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to shape how the EU is dealing with intrusive biometric technologies in public spaces. Yes, people are mobilising!

# ReclaimYourFace is a civil society campaign that brings together organisations from across the continent with one goal: BAN BIOMETRIC SURVEILLANCE IN PUBLIC SPACES. Led by 12 digital rights member organisations of the EDRi network, the #ReclaimYourFace movement is fast expanding outside the digital rights bubble.

The first part of this session will offer a quick summary of the new laws EU Is preparing -we'll explain why biometric mass surveillance is dangerous, undignifying and must be banned. More, you'll get an overview of resistance initiatives to biometric mass surveillance from different European countries.

In the second part, you'll hear from people on the ground. Resistance organisers from Italy (Hermes Center), Greece(Homo Digitalis) and Serbia (SHARE Foundation) will talk about community mappings of cameras, freedom of information requests, investigative journalism and requests to the Data Protection Authorities.

Finally, you'll hear about what you can do to #BanThisBS.(biometric surveillance). In January 2021, we're preparing a week of action and if you're ready & willing - you have a role in it. More, in 2021 we aim to gather over 1 million signatures part of a special petition - European Citizen Initiative (ECI). The ECI forces the European Commission to formally respond to us and address our call for a BAN. You'll hear a bit also about how you can help reach those 1 million signatures.


This Is Not A Game: Eine kurze Geschichte von Q als Mindfuck-Spiel von Arne Vogelgesang
Dieser Vortrag beschreibt die Entwicklung von QAnon als Spiel mit Realität und überlegt, weshalb dieser Verschwörungsmythos sich derart schnell verbreiten konnte.

"Alternate Reality Games" sind eine relativ junge interaktive Erzählform, die einige interessante Eigenschaften hat. ARGs sind medienübergreifend, fesseln ihre Spielenden durch gemeinsames Recherchieren und Austauschen und benutzen dabei die je individuellen Leben der Spieler:innen als eigentliche Spielplattform. So können sie in kurzer Zeit sehr aktive und mitunter erstaunlich dauerhafte Gemeinschaften organisieren.

Seit der Verbreitung von QAnon-Mythos und -Marke haben wiederholt Beobachter:innen darauf hingewiesen, dass es sich hierbei um eine Weiterentwicklung des Spielprinzips "Larping" zu einer Form handelt, die Parallelen zu Alternate Reality Games aufweist. Wenn auch natürlich nicht in Gänze erklären, so kann diese Perspektive doch dabei helfen, die spezielle Attraktivität von QAnon besser zu verstehen.

Im Vortrag versuche ich Qeschichte, Hinterqründe und einige Sqielaspekte zusammenzufassen und mit eindeutig zu vielen Screenshots zu illustrieren. Dabei wird es vor allem um die Entwicklung im Kontext der US-Politik gehen.

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