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Manifesto Calls For 'Rebel Cities' To Reject Surveillance (decentralize.today) 52

Presto Vivace quotes an article from the Coding Rights magazine Oficina Antivigilancia urging readers to "connect with other rebel cities and collectives". It was re-posted on Decentralize.Today by a Guatemalan Human Rights Lawyer (and member of the Creative Commons Board of Directors). To free ourselves from surveillance and other repressive and authoritarian forms of power...we must immediately activate the mechanisms of law that allow us to oversee the functions of mass surveillance systems in our cities. And do this collectively, in coordination with other cities affected by the problem. Just as there are Smart Cities networks we should form our own Rebel Cities networks where surveillance is rejected and participatory democracy is affirmed, a democracy framed in respect for human rights and diversity, focused on collective solutions, which is the true path to safer cities. Not cameras.

We can then simultaneously activate collaborative mechanisms to prevent their expansion. Make freedom of information requests for public information detailing their costs. Demand studies on their results. Take serious legal action in face of possible illegal uses of surveillance for discriminatory policies. Demand from authorities protection of personal data where it exists, and where it does not, demand that human rights authorities undertake feasibility studies, weighing the impact on individual guarantees before installing systems. Democracy begins and ends there. In its exercise.

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Manifesto Calls For 'Rebel Cities' To Reject Surveillance

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  • who wins your city council race is important.
    • who wins your city council race is important.

      It may be difficult to determine which candidates are pro or anti-surveillance/police-state. So a quick rule of thumb is to look for the candidate endorsed by the police union ... and then vote for somebody else. Over the last 25 years, violent crime has halved in America, but spending on police and prisons has doubled ... and no, the spending on P&P did not "cause" the fall in crime, because it mostly came later, and jurisdictions that didn't increase spending often saw an even steeper fall in crime.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No it isn't. You are missing the big picture.

      True statesmen don't exist. Positions in government attract the already-corrupt. And even inasmuch as something close to a true statesman might run for office, the more honest they are, and the more focused their political agenda is on Justice, the more likely they are to get knocked out right at the starting line.

      But even that is just details. Here is the big picture:

      The collective human capacity for intelligence is increasing. I am not talking about indivi

  • are you going to be building these cities?
  • A "manifesto", eh? That'll get people's attention!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Like Putin, the authorities will plant bombings and blame it on lack of surveillance.

  • Stop using the internet, the cell phone, the landline phone, the credit and debit card, the WiFi and Bluetooth gizmos and any banking system. Then maybe you'll have done a real step against surveillance.
    • by Scutter ( 18425 )

      You're not necessarily wrong, but it's also a defeatist attitude. We should have the right to use modern technology without being surveilled by our own government.

      • by DaHat ( 247651 )

        You remind me of the RIAA during the 90's & 00's... thinking they could beat the crushing wave of the internet and the ease of copying songs... thinking that technical controls like DRM or lawsuits against music fans could save their business.

        They lost, and had to be dragged kicking & screaming into a world where you can buy an MP3 from Amazon or Apple and use it on any device you want.

        Like it or not, surveillance is here to stay, not because we don't have specific laws regulating it.. but because i

      • You can have the right, but maybe "they" don't necessarily agree.
        But those technologies have been designed with "tracking and surveillance inside"(tm), so when you use them, you agree on how they work.
      • Agreed, but local governments have very little power to do anything about it. All the "rebel cities" in the world can't prevent the various TLAs from reading your email, tracking your movements via your cell phone, monitoring what you buy, or planting malware on your computer so they can turn on the camera and microphone whenever they want.

        What do you suggest we do that would actually be effective?

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.