Tonight I was pondering how we’d get started with a private defense agency. My train of thought usually goes something like this: somebody needs to start a company (agorist), hire some ex-military badasses like Adam Kokesh, then contract them out to local anarchist businesses, houses, clubs, or rent them out as escorts. Then I sigh a gasp of defeat over the fact that I’m too lazy and too busy and too inexperienced to start a business like that myself. Then I briefly ponder why the Kokesh’s of the anarchist community haven’t done that either. Not being able to come up with any satisfactory answer I switch to happier thoughts in order to stave off despair.
Ed Snowden does an even greater job at damning computing devices in this interview than he ever has in preivous interviews. He specifically mentions how easy it is for state spy agencies to read everything we type, take pictures and video at will, and also audio record even when we’re not using our devices.
Now he doesn’t specifically delve into the free vs. non-free software issue, frankly because there are so few people that run 100% free software. He simply says they can do these things against all of us. The lesson to be learned from all of this is that if you are running any non-free software on your computing device, it is not really your computing device.
Because of these revelations, and others, I have long since given up my smartphone and run only 100% free software on my computer. Recently, also, the company I work for sent all of its remote employees new Chromebooks to do all of our work from. The day I received mine in the mail I completely disassembled it and removed the built in webcam and microphone. I do nothing other than work from the Chromebook. I know that everything I type and every movement of the mouse is non-private. But at least I have no fear of being audio/video recorded while in the comfort of my own home, be it from the government or Google or my own employer.
Enjoy this interview and please rethink what sort of Orwellian intrusions you’ve allowed into your life, likely for no reason other than the sake of convenience.
I am now on day fifteen of tax disobedience. This year I refused to file taxes on income earned as an independent contractor. In the past I had always had jobs that paid a wage, where taxes were withheld by my employer. Because my earnings in years past have always been so paltry, I filed paperwork only because I knew I would be getting some money back. But last year I worked as an independent contractor, and so the onus was on me this tax season to write a check to the federal government. I disobeyed. I’d like to explain why I’m telling the world and why you should too, if you’re a tax rebel like me.
This article is not for pacifists. I do have great respect for pacifists and would enjoy reading articles similar to this one outlining strategies and tactics for anarchist pacifist defense agencies. Sadly, I’ve come across very few, if any, that employed outside of the cage thinking. Maybe I’ll write one myself one of these days. Also, this article is not concerned about the basics of why private defense agencies are needed or why they would not turn into governments themselves. This article is strictly about the nuts and bolts and assumes that the reader is already on board with the philosophy. Furthermore, it must be understood that the economics I present below absolutely require Bitcoin as the medium of exchange. The elaborate nature of underground defense agencies precludes the use of corporate bank accounts or easily seizable stockpiles of precious metals or cash. Let’s get started.
Bitcoin’s biggest hurdle is not technological or legal; it’s social. I’ve been very bullish on Bitcoin’s future for over two years. In that time it’s had many ups and downs and many hiccups. None of them have ever fazed me in the slightest or made me afraid. That is until now. Over the last few weeks there has been a relentless smear campaign by the mainstream media that threatens to relegate Bitcoin to the dustbin of history. It matters not that Bitcoin is a superior technology with endless potential. As capitalists we know that value is subjective. And if the vast majority of people hate Bitcoin we’ll spend the rest of our lives living under fiat tyranny. Let me explain.
I recently asked Daily Anarchist author Roman Skaskiw several questions concerning Ukraine. I had hoped he would write an article on the subject, but instead he proposed me simply publishing the question/answer format. Enjoy!
No need waiting until June. Overstock didn’t want the competition to get the jump on them. If you’re in the U.S. you now have a ton of new consumer items to purchase with Bitcoin, thanks to Overstock.com.
I really have to thank the likes of Richard Stallman and other longtime outspoken advocates of free and open source software. They sufficiently instilled the fear in me of government backdoors that allow for complete surveillance of my personal computing, including built in microphones and video cameras. I’d also like to thank Edward Snowden for vindicating them and showing the rest of the world just how vulnerable we really are.
I’ve been watching several videos from 30c3, the 30th annual Chaos Communication Conference. Let me tell you, the events and revelations of 2013 concerning government spying and the state of cryptography made for a lot of interesting talk. I’m very hopeful knowing that the hacking community at large is now fully aware of the threat matrix we’re facing and is working overtime to address it head on. The spying capabilities of the NSA and other alphabet soup agencies are no longer relegated to conspiracy theories. They are real and they are being used against us relentlessly.
Please watch this video for just a taste of 30c3, and if you like it consider watching some more talks on youtube. If there is one thing I hope you’ll take away from this speech, and others, it is that it’s time to switch to a 100% free software operating system. I choose Debian Gnu/Linux. Unlike all other non Free Software Foundation recommended distributions, it contains no binary blobs or nonfree software in any of its default repositories. There are legion of white hat hackers in the world working overtime to debug cryptographic standards, software packages, and libraries. But they cannot help you if you are running nonfree software. With that being said, enjoy the video!
There is a trend to be seen amongst the anti-bitcoin crowd that I feel needs to be pointed out, even at the risk of sounding insensitive. I’m throwing this out there because I believe that once a person better recognizes the cause of the problem, they can better address it. I would like to preemptively make the disclaimer that there are always exceptions to the rules, however, I feel the generalization is true enough that it should guide our actions.
As time goes on I become increasingly frustrated by email. There are simply too many downsides to traditional e-mail for me to continue its use long-term. There currently exists a superior alternative. All that’s left is for individuals to start boycotting e-mail and make the switch. Unfortunately, as we’re all heavily vested in e-mail, it’s going to take some pioneers.
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