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Zentrum für politische Schönheit: “Mit Kunst die Gesellschaft hacken”

Das Zentrum für Politische Schönheit auf dem 31. Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg: “Eskalationsbeauftragter Stefan Pelzer und Chefunterhändler Philipp Ruch plaudern auf dem 31c3 aus dem Nähkästchen: Wie steht es um die Verteidigung der Menschlichkeit? Wie evakuiert man eine Gedenkstätte aus dem Hochsicherheitsbereich des Regierungsviertels? Was bieten CDU-Bundestagsabgeordnete an, um Aktionen des ZPS zu beenden?”

Daniel Reetz: DIY Book Scanner

Der DIY-Buchscanner von Daniel Reetz: “Do-It-Yourself Book Scanning is using cheap, compact cameras and Free software to scan books quickly and efficiently. DIY Book Scanners can be as simple as a camera and a piece of glass [PDF] or as involved as the Instructable that brought our community together [PDF / Vimeo]. We’ve come a long way since then. We have GPL-licensed laser cut designs, aluminum designs, and detailed instructions for beginners. We have built hundreds of scanners and freely shared thousands of design improvements. We are the most open, sharing, and productive scanner building community on the ‘net, and we’re looking forward to meeting you in the Hello Thread, where our members tell their stories and reasons for getting involved.” Via

Benjamin Gaulon: “2.4GHz”

Benjamin Gaulon hackt sich in Überwachungskameras und macht diese Aufnahmen mit kleinen Monitoren öffentlich sichtbar: “The 2.4Ghz project uses a wireless video receiver to hack into wireless surveillance cameras. This device (which is now part of consumers popular products), can be used for wireless surveillance cameras, but it can also be used for parents to monitor their children. Such systems are becoming more popular as they get cheaper. But what most users of those devices don’t realise is that they are broadcasting the signal. This project (on-going) has several layers. Initially, I have been walking around different towns in Europe to collect and record footage received with the device (see below for the collected movies). The second part of the project (also on-going) consists of placing the device in the street to reveal the presence of the cameras and to make obvious the fact that anyone can receive those signals. The third stage of the project consists of a series of workshops: 2.4GHz Workshop, where participants are invited to explore the CCTV wireless networks of their city by searching and recording 2.4GHz surveillance video signals. The recorded material is then compiled into a movie of the event.” Via: Mail

Porno-Hacking im Elektromarkt

Schöner Beitrag bei SPON unter der Überschrift “Schock im Elektromarkt”: Kunden in einem Elektromarkt in Greenville, South Carolina, waren erstaunt bis schockiert: Beim Shoppen in der TV-Abteilung sahen sie plötzlich einen Porno – auf den 55-Zoll-Fernsehern mit W-Lan. Der Laden Best Buy veröffentlichte später eine Erklärung: “Zwei Personen griffen auf das drahtlose Netzwerk des Ladengeschäftes zu, um unangemessene Inhalte auf Smart-Television-Ausstellungsgeräte zu übertragen.” Offenbar war das sogar zweimal geschehen. “In beiden Fällen gingen wir sofort daran, die unpassenden Inhalte zu entfernen. Wir entschuldigen uns vielmals für diesen unangenehmen Zwischenfall und arbeiten daran, sicherzustellen, dass das nie wieder vorkommt.” Eine Kundin berichtet: “It was extremely, extremely pornographic image,” customer Gloria Berg says. “I think even the word ‘pornographic’ doesn’t cover it. I have never watched pornography, so I don’t know what else you can see there, but to me, I really felt extremely violated.” Berg was inside the store with her son and his children. She says they were looking at the store’s display of 55-inch screen smart televisions when a pornographic photo of a man and woman suddenly popped up.” (*)

The Hacking Monopolism Trilogie: Face to Facebook

Face to Facebook, der dritte Teil der The Hacking Monopolism Trilogie von Paolo Cirio und Alessandro Ludovico, thematisiert Fragen zur Privatsphäre in Online-Kontexten anhand der Ikone aller Plattformen: Facebook. In Anlehnung an das Prinzip Facebook haben die Künstler eine Singlebörse gebaut, in die sie mittels einer speziellen Software aus einer Million Facebook-Profilen 250.000 solcher Profile importiert haben. Mit einem neu entwickelten Gesichtserkennungsalgorithmus haben sie die Profile dann – wie als einen ironischen Kommentar zu den Urteilen, die wir täglich über Leute fällen, die wir aus der Ferne betrachten – je nach Gesichtsausdruck und Eigenschaften in Kategorien eingeordnet.

“Face to Facebook is a project by Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico, who wrote special software to steal 1 million public profiles from Facebook, filtering them through face-recognition software and posting the resulting 250,000 profiles (categorized by facial expression) on a dating website called Lovely-Faces.com. The project was launched at Transmediale, the annual festival for art and digital culture in Berlin, on February 2nd, in the form of installation displaying a selection of 1,716 pictures of unaware Facebook users, an explanatory video and a diagram detailing the whole process.

* The Global Mass Media Hack Performance: On February 3rd a global media performance started with a few epicenters that after a few days had involved Wired, Fox News, CNN, Msnbc, Time, MSN, Gizmodo, Ars Technica, Yahoo News, WSB Atlanta TV, San Francisco Chronicle, The Globe and Mail, La Prensa, AFP, The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Independent, Spiegel Online, Tagesschau TV News, Sueddeutsche, Der Standard, Liberation, Le Soir, One India News, Bangkok Post, Taipei Times, News24, The Age, Brisbane Times and dozens of others. It was a “perfect news” for the hectic online world: it was about a service used by 500.000.000 users and it potentially affected all of them. Even more importantly, it boosted our inherent fear of not being able to control what we do through our connected screens. Exquisitely put by Time: “you might be signed up for Lovely-Faces.com’s dating services and not even know it.” At the end of the day Cirio’s and Ludovico’s Facebook accounts were disabled and a “cease and desist” letter from Perkins Coie LLP (Facebook lawyers) landed in their inboxes, including a request to give back to Facebook “their data”. We can properly define it as a performance since it happened in a short time span, involved the audience in a trasformation, and evolved into a thrilling story. The frenzied pace of these digital events was almost bearable.

* The Social Experiment: In the subsequent days the media performance continued at a very fast pace and what we still define as a “social experiment” was actually quite successful. Starting on February 4th the news went spontaneously viral: thousands of tweets and retweets pointed to the Lovely-Faces.com website or to articles and blog posts, often urging people to check if they (and their loved ones) were on the website or not. In a few days Lovely-faces.com received 964.477 page views from 195 different countries. Reactions varied from asking to be removed (which we diligently did) to asking to be included, from anonymous death threats to proposals of commercial partnerships.

* Back to Facebook: We approached the Electronic Frontier Foundation about legal counsel, but after a second warning by Perkins Coie, we temporarily put up a notice that Lovely-Faces.com is under maintenance. But they are not ok with that. They want Lovely-Faces.com not to be reachable. And they even want the same for Face-to-Facebook.net, the website where we explain the project. So basically their current aim is to completely remove the web presence of this artistic project and social experiment.
They missed out on Face-to-Facebook also being meant as a homage to FaceMash, the system Mark Zuckerberg established by scraping the names and photos of fellow classmates off school servers, which was the very first Facebook. Furthermore, it’s a bit funny hearing Facebook complain about the scraping of personal data that are quasi-public and doubtfully owned exclusively by Facebook (as a Stanford Law School Scholar wondered analyzing Lovely-Faces.com). We obtained them through a script that never even logged in their servers, but only very rapidly “viewed” (and recorded) the profiles. Finally, and paradoxically enough, Facebook has blocked us from accessing our Facebook profiles, but all the data we posted in the last years is still there. This proves once more that they care much more about the data you post than your online identity.

We’re going to reclaim the access to our Facebook accounts, and the right to express and document our work on our own websites. And even if we are forced to go offline, Lovely-Faces.com will never go offline in the minds of involved people.

Face to Facebook data:
People who asked to be removed from the database: 56
People who asked to be included in the database: 14

Commercial dating website partnership proposals: 4
Other partnership proposals: 9

Cease and desist letters by Perkins Coie LLP (Facebook lawyers): 1
Other threatened lawsuits or class actions: 11

Anonymous email death threat: 5

TV reports: 3
Online news about Lovely-Faces.com (source: Google News): 427

Number of times “lovely faces” introductory video has been viewed on you tube: 31,089
Unique users on Lovely-Faces.com: 211.714″ Via: Mail, danke Oliver!