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We lost the war

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Come to terms with the imminent loss of privacy and civil rights without going lethargic. We will analyse current events, how we think they will affect the issues we care about and how we can be most effective given the new circumstances. Or possibly how to simply survive the times ahead. During this lecture, we will first analyse what is happening on a global scale with regards to privacy, civil rights, democracy, corporate control of the media and related issues. We will try to highlight trends and the interests and motivations behind them, and we will try to analyse which strategies work well and which ones don't, both from the Luke Skywalker and from the Darth Vader perspective. Among other things, we will examine recent events and current situation in The Netherlands as a model for a possible Fortress-Europe future. We are now deep inside the kind of future we speculated about as a worst case scneario, back then. This is the ugly future, the one we never wanted, the one that we fought to prevent. We failed. And even if it wasn't our fault, we still have to live in it. The activists among us will need to figure out how to exercise the maximum amount of influence in a radically different environment. A surprising number of our friends work on the dark side, or at least in the twilight zone. While it certainly would be better if the surveillance industry were to die from lack of talent, the more realistic approach is to keep talking to those of us who sold their souls. We need to know much more about the details, but the general technological roadmap for the user-friendly police state is probably as clear to us today as the Internet Future was clear to us in 1993. We must think of ways to leverage this foresight. In order to stay relevant in this future, we need to choose our battles extremely wisely and avoid knee-jerk responses to knee-jerk politics. We will argue that fighting all battles on all battlefields will demotivate the very people we depend on if we want to change things for the better. Surviving and still having fun might not be easy, but is certainly possible. We don't pretend to have (too many) ready-made answers, but we will point to some models, ideas and implementations.

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