The Berkman Buzz at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society provides timely reminders on digital issues. This week they let me know (and to my surprise) about a balanced and well-reasoned article about Anonymous, the hacker-activist movement that the US military cyber-war division has raised to terrorist threat level. I know I'm posting a lot of links to articles recently, rather than studio notes, but there is a lot of change afoot in the world, and these links are important. While painting a new series, I'm conscious of these upheavals passing them on.
Like this article, I too do not support the current assessment of Anonymous
priority threat to national security of democratic governments in any part of the world. I too believe the danger of over-reaction by governments to movements will be counter-productive. And as an artist, I have spoken a lot about the reality of declining creative and innovative as a direct by product of war on 'terror policies'.
Yochai Benkler has put this, and a lot more, into an excellent article within the usually hawkish Foreign Affairs Journal which I usually avoid. Believe me, when this journal starts publishing these types of articles there is a change in the air that those currently on top need to listen to before its too late. For those that are loosely familiar with the over-used concept of the military-industrial-complex (MIC), this article illuminates some new angles. Again, I stopped reading Foreign Affairs, but perhaps they have decided to become relevant again.
I am heartened that Benkler links this issue to the decline in innovation, creativity and expression in Western democracies (and hallmarks of American exceptionalism in the past tense) which an over-militarised civil society has encouraged.
SNAPSHOT: The U.S. government has begun to think of Anonymous, the online network phenomenon, as a threat to national security. This is the wrong approach. Seeing Anonymous primarily as a cybersecurity threat is like analyzing the breadth of the Vietnam antiwar movement and 1960s counterculture by focusing only on the Weathermen.
The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects and is worth subscribing to (click here. or Browse online here).