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The new wall

In the early 2000s I left Norway for Sweden. I didn’t like my job, I had a girlfriend who lived in Sweden, but most of all I didn’t like the norwegian mentality. Being part norwegian myself I was always included by my friends and co-workers as a norwegian. Most of my friends are all awesome but some of them, especially the newly rich (and there was a lot of them) made it a thing to crack jokes about people from other etnicities. It usually started out with someone making fun of swedes – calling them the new polacks. A lot of polish people has been coming to Scandinavia to work for much higher salaries than in Poland, but still being cheap labour for scandinavian employers. And when Norway started becoming really rich, a lot of young swedish people started coming over. First for summer jobs, then later for restaurant and pub jobs.

This was a big change for norway, who used to be the poorer of the nations. As a kid, when living in Sweden (yes, I move(d) a lot!), when we went to norway, we brought stuff they didn’t have (Sweden being much more modern) and on the way back we bought cheap stuff to bring back to Sweden. The norwegian krona was worth almost half of the swedish, and we got a lot of moneys worth. I can’t remember a lot of swedish making fun of norwegians for being poor. (However – I’m also part finnish, and a lot of Swedes did make a lot of fun of the Finns, but that’s a story for later).

There’s always been an sibling rivalry between the scandinavian countries. The classic thing is that people care more in the smaller countries than in the big ones. Norway tended to have the mentality of the younger brother who looked up to it’s big sister Sweden and all of a sudden got more successful and wanted to shove it into the face of big sis’. It’s not a very flattering thing to do however. I remember my mother flying in to Norway after a few years living in Spain and norway had introduced a new 200 krona bill (previously there was a 100 and a 500 krona bill only). She asked a taxi driver why they did that and the taxi driver said – more or less jokingly – that it’s because it’s getting too heavy to carry around 100 krona bills for norwegians since they’re all so rich. These jokes were everywhere.

Norway had massive issues of employment. Yes, not umemployment, there was too little people for all the jobs that needed to be done. So meanwhile, in Oslo (capital of Norway) I could basically go to any pub or restaurant and speak swedish with most of the staff. Almost every place had swedish staff, young and energetic, wanting to build up their financial future. Norway is easy to travel to, you have the right to work and live because of the nordic convention. And it was all high paying jobs, some places earnings were more than double of the swedish salary.

The salaries in norway, albeit high, also meant that costs of living is high in Norway. Among highest in the world. So young swedes started living in collective housing. Since Sweden is close by (two hours by car from Oslo and you’re across the border) a lot of swedes went home during weekends. They bought food in Sweden, much cheaper than in Norway. And still to this day, the food you can get in Norway is basically shit compared to the selection in Sweden. In 2001 a norwegian friend of mine took me to a new supermarket and asked me if I’ve ever seen such a good selection of fresh fruit and veggies. He was super impressed. He picked up a fruit and asked me if I’ve ever seen one of these before, proud as hell. And I told him I’ve seen avocados lots of times before. No wonder swedish people, that were in Norway temporary, kept to their own. They formed small “swedish ghettos” of highly educated people, making a lot of money working hard, saving that for their future and their families. And norwegians started making fun of them, comparing them to other working class immigrants.

Being norwegian that has ties to most of the nordic countries in some way, it started getting to me. I was sharing an apartment with a swedish friend of mine myself. We also went to Sweden a lot to shop, because it was half price, we were in Sweden anyhow and the selection was just so much better. Our freezer was full of good food instead of the awful norwegian food. We made dinner at home instead of going out to eat expensive shitty norwegian pizzas. Daniel, my friend I shared the apartment with, was (I hope he still is) an awesome cook. We had people over that loved his food. Some norwegian people that came over kind of joked about us being like swedish ghetto people – “but the good kind”. Maybe because of me being norwegian, or rather: because they actually knew us, they could look past the issue of us not being 100% norwegian (whatever that is).

When I went out to clubs with norwegians a lot of them dropped remarks about the swedish staff. Every time they did, I got a little pissed but didn’t say anything. I felt connected to the swedes, since I lived a lot of my life in Sweden. The swedish society was much more open and thus appealing to me than the close minded norwegian patriotic christian society. I started hanging out more and more with swedish people. They never made jokes about norwegians, except when being upset with norwegians mentality towards swedes. Totally fair reactions as well.

For the few years I was living in Oslo, I felt less norwegian by the minute. I didn’t like what Norway was becoming. I realised I didn’t change, the country did. The racist political party (FrP) was still considered lunatics and somewhat of a joke, but it was changing rapidly. Every day I felt that norway was becoming more and more a nationalist state full of rich people looking down at the working class. Rich people being mostly norwegians, working class being mostly not. It was becoming racist. This was just a few years before Breivik, a member of FrP during early 2000s, committed his terrorist acts.

When I moved to Sweden again I decided I wanted to move to Malmö. Malmö was the total reverse of Oslo in many ways. It was very open and people from almost every country in the world was represented in the city. The was a lot of buzz and creativity, people had fun, they didn’t care where you came from. In Oslo I felt that was the first thing anyone asked. People in Oslo dressed up to impress, bought fast cars for their hard earned money to impress. Newly rich all the way. The first day in Malmö I was smiling because of the people wearing sweat pants and having no make up on. It felt so much more alive, more natural, more international. And Malmö had Öresundsbron – the bridge! – to Copenhagen. Malmö was the perfect mix: a small-ish international city, close to a international big city, lots of things going on, and one of the best international airports in Europe. All being interconnected by the bridge. The jokes between swedes and danes, although similar between the rivalry between norway and sweden, was on a more loving way.

People in Scania (the southern part of Sweden where Scandinavia gets its name from and where Malmö is the capital) normally have lots of ties to Denmark. They’ve much more interconnected and international in that way than most of the Scandinavians. Scania has been a part of Denmark, the dialect resembles the tone of Danish (not always in a good way, danish being a weird language). But it’s all full of love.

The things that I took for granted growing up in Sweden as a kid, was that openess. The feeling of an “us”, without any excluding “them”. Everyone is part of the “us”. Pride in helping thy next, without being religious about it. The pride in doing good in society, rather than bragging about it and the money you make. The pride in being strong enough to tell the big bullies that they are in fact bullies. The understanding that ideals are more important than future trade. That people are more important than money. All of these things, are the things I’ve always loved about Sweden. It was the things I missed in Norway.

Just a few years after I left Norway, Breivik committed his extreme right wing terrorist attacks. And just two years after that, his racist party was elected into government for the first time ever. There’s been a shift. At the same time, the attitude in Norway is that people from outside (especially Sweden) doesn’t understand the norwegian situation. Many of my norwegian friends are afraid to use the word “racist” to describe a party that is exactly that. It’s not politically correct apparantly. And in Norway it’s very common to bash Sweden for being “fucking PC”, and say that you can’t talk about whatever you want, that immigration is a problem and so on. The norwegian press is self-censoring more and more about their wordings, because Norway is such an open country where you can talk about everything, as long as you don’t call racists racists and as long as you’re critical of immigration.

This norwegian trend is what I’m feeling happening all over again. Sweden has been going the exact same way. The unthinkability of the racist swedish party – The swedish “democrats” (SD) – being part of the government is not as unthinkable anymore. The right wing, who previously declared that they would never rule jointly with SD has opened up cooperations in some cities and regions more or less openly. It’s becoming common to almost brag about voting for SD since it’s a sign of not being “fucking PC”. And SD is now polling as the biggest party among men.

On top of that, today the swedish government just built a wall. To stop immigration. Or well, they made the danish people do it. If you need to enter Sweden you need to show an ID card. In order to get immigration down. People being asked in the media what they think about the wall and ID checks are now really upset – because it will prolong their commute back and forth to denmark. Less trains will leave, they will be shorter. Everything designed to keep some people out. Anyone can see where this is heading.

I’m fed up of it all. There’s no political ideologies being discussed. There’s no talk of inclusion. There talk about how to fix the situation is about the wrong situation. How do we stop the war to make sure there’s no refugees? That topic has not been discussed for as long as I can remember in the general press in Scandinavia. And to add insult to all of that, Scandinavian countries are among the top weapons and ammunition manufactorers in the world. They just want to profit from war, but not take the cost of peoples horrors.

I’m fed up with the view that people are “fucking PC”. Being politically correct is something that I value – it simply means that you’re showing respect when talking. A persons gender or heritage is not important to the ideological discussion you’re having. So what the fuck is wrong with being PC? The trend is to be more obnoxious, to be more egotistical. There’s an ideology winning here, that’s not even being described as one. We used to call it fascism, but today we just censor it because we’re so open and not fucking PC. So we can’t call facists fascists anymore.

Today is a day of shame. Today is the day where the most beautiful things I loved about Sweden was taken away from me. The possibility of turning the other way around and going towards an open, inclusive, loving, caring society looks bleek, at best. Today is a day where I hoped people would wake up and start protesting. Last time I crossed the border between Denmark and Sweden I refused to show my ID card. Not because I have something to hide, but because I wanted to show solidarity towards the people that can’t. The police treated me as shit. The people around me was upset that I stopped the line so they could get home for pop idol in time.

But a few people managed to get passed the police, who would not have done that otherwise. The small things do count, but there not a lot of people that do even the smallest of things anymore. We’re becoming a shameful society, living of our old reputation of being an open and beautiful society that is no longer true. We’re perceiving ourselves as we used while closing our eyes to what we are now, and closing to what we are becoming. It starts with the small jokes and attitude changes, it ends up with facism in the government. Sorry for being so fucking PC but: Fuck Scandinavia.

Brasil, WhatsApp, Unfree network

In Brazil, WhatsApp has been temporarily closed for usage. It has been blocked by a court order, because it seems it’s competing with the telephone companies ability of making money from phone calls. That Skype and lots of other systems has been doing the same for years all over the world seems to never have been an issue.

Right now the political climate in Brazil is very heated. There’s an impeachment of the president and the congress is the most conservative it’s been for a very long time. As in most countries in latin america, they progress is away from the left (such as in Argentina).

That WhatsApp is closed down, when used by so many millions of people to organise and assemble, is probably about more than just the competition to the phone operators. If they were really scared of WhatsApp, I highly doubt they would have started selling phone packages that included free WhatsApp traffic – a very common thing in latin america. I’ve been upset that they’re been violating net neutrality and handing WhatsApp unfair competitive advantages, because few would choose apps like Telegram or Signal over WhatsApp when they would cost money to use compared to WhatsApp.

We might get to know in the future what the move about WhatsApp is really grounded in. But one thing is for certain and that is that we have a very unfree internet. When a country can suddenly close down one service like that, it’s hard to navigate around.

But to add pain to the suffering, WhatsApp has decided to not allow links to Telegram within their system. During the switch yesterday, where millions of brasilians rallied to find alternatives to WhatsApp, they could not send eachother links to the second most popular alternative. Another sign of the fact that the internet is centralised to a few select places.

We’re all building our infrastructure and put our trust in these systems. When you need to be able to protest in your country, it’s a bit too late to do it on a platform that works with the government. Or when you need to protest on the platform, it’s a bit too late to do it when it’s the one the government works with.

The single most dangerous thing about our new world is the centralisation. No matter how good and friendly the people are in the companies, they are still centralised services. They will be targets. That’s why I’m stating the obvious – that we do not have an open and free internet anymore. On so many levels we’ve centralised it all. From the ownership of the fibercables to the centralised services we used on top of them. Instead of having millions of “targets” that someone needs to close down in order to not have words spread, it’s enough for a government to contact 4-5 companies and they would have total control of our network. No matter that the underlying design is open, free, documented. No matter that you – technically – could start your own services. The free internet that exists is an island somewhere in the arctic. Noone wants to live there because it’s cold and has no inhabitants. No matter how free.

Put yourself on fire

(NB: I never edit my texts. I put in a dot at the end of a sentence and after that it stays that way. I never rearrange my texts. I never fix splelling erorrs. The point of my writing is to get things out of my mind, not for you to read them. If you don’t like that style, don’t read this text.)

Open letter to, well, everyone? (That’s kind of the idea of open letters?)

The past week an interview with me has made people quite upset. Most seem to only have read the headline that is very ambigous and somewhat misleading about me “giving up”. The point I wanted to make — and I think a lot of people has got that point — is that the state of our interconnected network is a reflection of our unwired world, and hence, it’s useless to look at those two as separate entities. And the state of our unwired world is so fucked up, we need a systematic change. A lot of people, me included, has been trying to fix the system. But we’re fixing the system from within, when the whole system is the problem in itself. And to quote the brainy dude with the hairy hair, Albert Einstein:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

For me it’s getting more and more obvious that we’ve been fighting a meaningless fight. Sure, a lot of things has been slowed down, even temporarily stopped. But look at the end results? What happened with the arab spring? And we still have more surveillance than ever even though Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning has opened our eyes (to what we basically suspected anyhow, but were called conspiracy theorists for saying). But when you’re playing with other peoples rules you don’t have the mandate to change their rules. That’s why I think we need to go beyond that. We can’t do insanity. We shouldn’t waste our time on insanity, however fun it is to be an activist and get attention for good causes. We need to find a cure for the core issue, not lots of cures to all the symptoms arising.

A lot of people has been upset with me telling my view of the world. Even though, as brought up in a Scandinavian culture, I don’t like being looked up to, I do realise that I have some influence. But the people that actually like me, and not the idea of me, should be glad that I’m standing true to what is the essence of me: to try and change things, not just trying to say what is more popular. People that usually talk about freedom of speech tells me I should sit quiet in the sinking boat. Sorry, but that won’t happen.

I’m in here for the endgoal, where the world is equal to everybody, where information is free because it needs to be. Where gender, race, sexuality, origin, money and heritage play no role in who you are. A world where you chose your personality without prejudice, a world where we treat eachother well. A world where power is saught after for embettering the people, not the people with power. A world where taxes is not to be avoided, but to be proudly paid in order to help your next ones. A world where we don’t say our jeans are too expensive when we at the same time poison people in the third world to make them cheaper. In short: a world of empathy, not psychopathy. We won’t achieve that by stroking eachothers egos and pretending it’s all good.

If you have cancer, is it better that the doctor tells you that you have 6 months left to live or tells you to take it easy because nothing is wrong? If you want to achieve change, do you not need to see what needs to be changed? Or do you want to live in denial so that the people that want to opposite of you get a homerun when your back is turned? Meanwhile you read this sentence, a woman probably died of cancer while a man might have survived. It’s because while we were thinking all is good, the gender inbalance got bigger.

While you read this, the world got a bit hotter. The impact on environment this unhealthy world makes is part of the system. And the heat on our surveillance went up – we’re being treated more and more like criminals. While you read this, someones human rights was violated in a prison. In a Swedish prison. Because when we think that those prisons must be like a vacation, noone actually looked into how fucked up it is. Trust me, it is fucked up, I have first hand experience. And that begger you passed recently, did you avoid eye contact with her? Of course you did. Because it’s easier to ignore than to fix.

But turning a blind eye to things and people is the same thing as not being in solidarity. If your eyes are closed you won’t see the errors of our society. If your eyes are open, you will see them, and also the beauty to make it worth fighting for. But more and more people are closing their eyes. And our beloved internet is helping us. We’re getting news that are tailored to our interests – and who’s interested in seeing pain and suffering? We’re getting tailored music – so we don’t have to listen to new music. We’re not expanding our horisons as we used to. We’re looking inward. When we look out, we see that we fit in. Because we’re tailored to our relationships as well. We’re building small isolated worlds, separating ourselves from society. We put headphones on and walk among other people. We could just as easily be zombies, noone would care. When someone falls over, we step around them — why? Because we don’t want to impose. They’ll manage.

We’re sending drones to war. It’s because killing our own is not good PR. It’s big news when someone shoots down a drone – we’re upset with the terrorists that did that. We know the ID number of the drone, there’s descriptions about it in the newspaper. But where’s the name of the faceless 100+ people it might have killed? Where’s their obituaries? People from the wrong countries are less worth than a piece of technology. A piece of technology that will be a christmas present for kids this year. In 10 years time, they’ll be so good at playing with their drones that they will do it for a living. In the military. The targets are people. People they’ll never meet. They’ll never go to the funerals, they’ll go home and drink their beer, fuck their wife, and complain about the mortgage. And then they’ll vote for Trump again, since they’re scared of being replaced with a robot.

But at least they can get to vote. Killed people have no say. And if you’re from the wrong country – i.e. not the united states of america; you have no say in who runs the world. Democracy? Nah. Meritocracy? Nah. The american dream? Yes. It’s all a big dream. Even the dream of the american dream. But it’s better to have something to believe in than nothing at all.

Last week I was in Rio de Janeiro, and by chance ended up on a panel with the awesome Lawrence Lessig. I had no clue I was supposed to be on a panel. Pretty sure it was not planned, brasilian style. We ended up disagreeing. Lessig called me a privileged white man [sic] since I said I wish Donald Trump would win their election — my reasoning was ignored. That I rather pull the bandaid off quickly – and albeit lose some hair, then to hurt longer when I lose the same when pulling it off slowly, is the reason. Just a lot of activists all over the world, Lessig is hard working and incredibly intelligent. But still, we’re not winning this fight, in the way we’re doing it. Doesn’t matter how inspiring your talk is or how right you are. End results matter here.

With Palin or Trump in power in the USA, the world would maybe finally understand that we can’t have one super power that goes amok. I’m not against the USA which a lot of people believe. I’m against a corrupt system that feeds itself with power of things. We’ve concentrated things to that country, for historical reasons. But noone is able to stop it anymore. They can buy the companies that are started outside with all the money they have. Or the money they think they have, having the biggest debt in the world and still being able to call themselves the richest in the world. I’m against beeing foolish. I don’t think it’s wise to put all your eggs in one basket.

As a technologist, I know that we need redundancy, backups and having enough distributed capacity. If one thing breaks, we need another to take it’s place. If it fails anyhow, we need a plan b. And to avoid these things happening at the worst time, we need to have over capacity. Otherwise the system fails. But well, here we are. We have one planet, but treating it as it’s redundant. We have one system taking the other systems out. We have one population, fighting within because of shades of their skin. We have capacity but it’s not distributed. We centralised it all. The food, the money, the power, the decisions. And most of all, we have no plan b, so we can’t try new things or roll back to an old backup.

Some people have called me an accelerationist. But labels are only there to help people to easily package your words into a ready made drawer, instead of listening to them. I’ve gotten the realisation that the only way forward is fast. Faster than the current pace. A fire that is allowed to burn slowly will cause more damage than one that burns so quickly that oxygen runs out around it. So when there’s nothing left to burn, you have to put yourself on fire. Burn your views, throw away the ashes. See if you come up with the same world view when you start with a fresh look. Zoom out, look for yourself.

Lovingly, I always say that I never want people to think like me, I just want them to think. And if they then don’t think like me, they’re wrong. But prove me wrong. You can’t. No, the world is not coming to an end, but our freedoms are being stripped away, slowly, replaced by a new word which is also freedom. The freedom to be monitored for our freedom. The freedom of being a slave to the bank for your freedom to take care of the banks property. Let’s not replace freedom with “freedom”. Let’s replace the broken system with a new one, even if it’s going to hurt for a while. Maybe earth needs just one thing to heat it up, us burning the system down.

Demokrati, typ.

Ett av västvärldens mest allvarliga problem har blottats mer och mer de sista åren, nämligen den märkliga synen på hur demokratin skall fungera. Sedan 11 september har demokratin pö om pö satts på undantag med ursäkten att befolkningen måste skyddas från terrorister genom att dess rättigheter sakta avskaffas. I Europa har fler och fler länder anslutit sig till EU, där över 90% av alla europeiska lagar i dag skapas. De europeiska länder som inte gått med i EU (däribland mitt hemland Norge) har förbundit sig till att efterapa EU:s lagar om de vill få lov att handla med EU-länder.

Demokratiunderskottet inom EU är enormt. Få europeiska medborgare har koll på hur lagstiftningprocessen fungerar där, vilket också avskräcker från att bry sig om det allt viktigare valet till EU-parlamentet. Insikten i att den enskildes röst spelar liten roll när det är en halv miljard invånare i området är däremot stor.

Inom EU finns en stor vilja att skapa en federal stat, liknande USA. EU-länderna skulle bli delstater, likt USA. Ett första steg togs genom införandet av Lissabonfördraget där varje lands vetorätt mot EU:s lagförslag slopades mot en majoritetsbestämmelse. Vetorätten marknadsförde EU som harmlöst under folkomröstningarna för att bli medlem, då varje enskilt medlemsland hade kvar sin självbestämmanderätt över sin nationella lagstiftning.

För att införa Lissabonfördraget så behövde EU klubba igenom det nationellt hos varje land, som ju fortfarande hade sin vetorätt. Flera länder sa nej, däribland Irland genom en folkomröstning. Efter diverse hot och tvång (och ihåliga löften) så tvingade EU fram en ny folkomröstning då de ansåg att folket hade röstat fel. Andra EU-länder skippade därför folkomröstningen och lät sina riksdagar rösta för lissabonfördraget. Bland annat har det lett till att Sverige numera har i sin grundlag att landet skall vara EU-medlem. Utan vetorätten hade nog ja-sidans röster (52.3%) inte varit i majoritet vid EU-folkomröstningen 1994. Är detta demokratiskt?

De senaste åren har en flod av varslare släppt hemligstämplade dokument för att informera medborgare i världens länder om de fel som myndigheterna sysslar med. Personer som Chelsea Manning och Edward Snowden har riskerat sina liv för att avslöja kriminella handlingar och brott mot mänskligheten. Följdeffekten i länder vi inte ser som demokratier har varit revolutioner som exempelvis den arabiska våren. Men i västvärlden har knappt någon makthavare fått någon påföljd. Istället har personerna som avslöjat deras fel blivit jagade och dömda till långa fängelsestraff.

När Edward Snowden avslöjade NSA:s hemliga övervakningsprogram så var det få som egentligen blev chockerade. Många kommentarer var “vad var det vi sa”. Förslag om att ge Snowden asyl i diverse länder blev bemötta av “gilla”-knappen på facebook och saken var närmast ur världen efter det för gemene man. Vårt förtroende för västvärldens demokrati är långt större än den förtjänat, vilket i sin tur lämnar öppet mål för de som vill missbruka den.

2008 så genomfördes en omröstning i Sverige gällande FRA:s möjligheter av övervaka allmän kommunikation. De flesta svenskar var starkt emot lagen, sällan har det varit så många olika samhällsklasser som enats kring en enda fråga. I riksdagen rådde det egentligen också en majoritet emot lagen. Regeringen blev så upprörd över att deras partiers ledamöten gick emot ledningen, att de hotade med diverse straff (som att inte få stå på omvalbar plats på listor till nästa val), samt bad vissa åka på semester inför omröstningen. Regeringen fick sin vilja igenom, medvetet att de gick emot folket och riksdagens egentliga vilja. Närmast samtliga löften som gavs för att förhindra diverse missbruk av FRA-lagen har redan tagits tillbaka om de någonsin ens hann införas.

För några dagar sedan avslöjade den brittiska journalisten Duncan Campbell, med insyn i de dokument som Snowden ännu inte släppt, hur USA och Storbrittanien tryckt på Sverige för införandet av FRA-lagen. Sveriges geografi och välutbyggda internetinfrastruktur har skapat en ny exportindustri för (numera lagligt) avlyssnad information. Svenska statens önskan om fortsatt goda relationer till USA och Storbrittanien har helt enkelt gjort att sveriges invånares vilja fått hamna på undantag.

Genom hemliga avtal som antingen redan fanns på plats innan FRA-lagens införande (datautbyte gällande det mycket vagt definerade ordet terrorism), eller nya lagar som EU:s datalagringsdirektiv, den uppdaterade svenska lagen om elektronisk kommunikation, så har den värsta övervakningsmaskinen i historien byggts upp, genom ett direkt missbruk av det demokratiska systemet. Sverige är en välintegrerad del i detta missbruk.

Än så länge är det inte så många av oss som personligen drabbats av de nya systemen. Men nyckelordet här är “än”. Vi vet nämligen inte vad det kommer leda till, precis som vi inte visste 2008 hur extremt FRA skulle kunna bli. Att det närmast alltid skett ändamålsglidningar gällande de dataregister som upprättats borde vara en varningsklocka. Och även om ändamålet kan låta bra, som att stoppa terrorism, så måste vi vara kritiska till vad annat dessa nya system kan leda till. Att lagra information och spåra människor har blivit en universallösning för att lösa alla problem. Ihop med övervakningen ska höjda straff skrämma bort folk från kriminalitet. Fokus för ett modernt och intelligent samhälle borde ligga på att förbättra samhället och livsvillkor för medborgarna så problem och kriminalitet inte behöver uppstå. Den senaste tidens utveckling är en direkt hyllning till den medeltida samhällssynen som vi för länge sedan borde ha lämnat.

När vi tror att dagens demokrati är en garanti för framtida demokrati så skjuter vi oss i foten. Precis som i en kärleksrelation är demokratin något som måste underhållas, annars förfaller den. När vi tillåter någon att missbruka demokratin en gång så har vi öppnat dörrarna för att det kommer ske igen. När våra politiker är otrogna mot oss måste vi göra slut med dem. Vi kan fortfarande riva upp de beslut som tagits, vi kan sluta samla in mer data. Men det måste ske innan nästa lag kommer, som likt lissabonfördraget förbjuder oss att lämna systemen. Då är det för sent.

Som Kina, med lusekofte

(Dette finnes også på NRK.no):

De skandinaviske landene er stort sett veldig like. Men når det dreier seg om Internett, har det vært få eller ingen som har stått på brukernes (og Internetts) side i Norge eller Danmark, til forskjell fra i Sverige.

Norge har nå, akkurat som Danmark, lyttet til lobbyister, istedenfor å innhente erfaringer fra andre land og bygge noe for fremtiden. I dag kom regjeringen med sitt forslag til hvordan Internett skal bli i Norge.

LES: Kulturministerens kronikk: «Slik blir Åndsverksloven»

Feil vei

Forslaget er som kopiert fra åndsverkslobbyister. Og all erfaring fra andre land viser at disse forslagene er direkte uglupe og farlige. Det er helt feil vei å gå for et samfunn som mer og mer bygger på tilgang til nett.

Det er tre hovedelementer som er presentert. Det første er en kopi av det som i EU kalles for IPRED-loven, der bedrifter og organisasjoner får lov til å lagre IP-adresser som de mener brukes til å laste ned ting uten lisens. Element to er at samme organisasjoner skal kunne kreve informasjon om hvem som eier abonnementet som IP-adressen står på.

Det som har skjedd i andre land, er at kafeer, bibliotek og andre offentlige steder har vært nødt til å stenge tilgangen til åpent trådløst nett. Dette av frykt for å bli trukket til domstolen for noe en kunde har gjort. I Italia må du for eksempel vise ID-kort (som også kopieres og lagres i en database) for å få lov til å komme inn på internettkafeer. Og i mange familier, spesielt i Frankrike, der man kan miste internettilkoblingen hvis man laster ned uten lisens, får barn ikke lenger lov til å bruke Internett. Fordi man er redd for hva som kan skje og hvem som ser hva du gjør på nett.

Utpressing

Og hvem er det som ser deg på nettet? I de største sakene som dreier seg om å gå etter internettbrukere, er det pornoselskaper. I Sverige pågår det akkurat nå en stor sak om en mann som har tjent over en milliard (!) på åndsverksutpressing over Internett. Han sender brev til folk som har besøkt hjemmesidene hans, med melding om at de må betale, ellers blir de saksøkt. I USA er det akkurat nå hundrevis av saker (og hver sak dreier seg om et titusentalls brukere) med pornoselskaper som krever penger fra folk de mener lastet ned filer ulovlig. De fleste betaler direkte, oftest noen hundre dollar, istedenfor å bli saksøkt for å ha lastet ned noe pinlig. Uansett om de har gjort det eller ei.

Åndsverksselskapene er veldig glade i å fortelle om hvor godt de liker ny teknologi. De mener at «løsningen» ikke er å saksøke mennesker, uten at den nye teknologien er forbedret. WIMP og Spotify, «det er fremtiden». Problemet er at disse streamingselskapene er kontrollert av for eksempel plateselskapene selv. Gjennom lisensavtaler, som kan trekkes tilbake når som helst, eller som med Spotify, som i stor grad eies av plateselskapene direkte.

Streaming er et steg tilbake, med tanke på distribusjonsmonopolet som Internett knuste. Derfor er det viktig for disse selskapene at det ikke finnes muligheter til å dele filer på andre måter. Uten monopol kan det ikke komme nye artister som står utenfor deres kontroll. Og de klarer å få dette monopolet realisert i dag, fordi regjeringen tror de gjør musikere en tjeneste.

Kina med lusekofte

Det tredje forslaget er kanskje det som egentlig skader Internett mest. Regjeringen mener at det skal være mulig å stenge tilgang til nettsteder. I hver eneste artikkel jeg har lest, tar man frem eksempelet «The Pirate Bay», et nettsted jeg har vært meget involvert i. Dette forslaget kan høres ufarlig ut, men det er begynnelsen på noe meget farlig. Overalt hvor man har gitt mulighet til å lukke nettsteder, så vokser listene med nettsteder som skal sensureres. Først er det fildelingssteder, så pokernettsider, og så kommer nettsider med tvilsomt etisk innhold. Deretter er det politisk ukorrekte nettsteder (islamister, nynazistiske nettsteder). Det blir litt som i Kina, men denne gangen med lusekofte.

I vitenskapelige undersøkelser vises det for eksempel til at 80 prosent av det som deles på Youtube er ulisensiert materiale. På Pirate Bay er kun 20 prosent ulisensiert. Det burde jo bety at Youtube er mer ulovlig enn sistnevnte. Hvorfor vil man da lukke The Pirate Bay? Fordi man ikke har kontroll over nettstedet. Fordi TPB er en direkte konkurrent til det monopol som åndsverksselskapene vil ha.

Et transparent samfunn

Det finnes allerede nettsteder som er sensurert vekk, nemlig barneporno. Ingen mener det er feil å kaste dette ut fra nettet. Men i Skandinavia hindrer man bare folk i å se barnepornoen. Man arbeider ikke for faktisk å fjerne den. Å la den ligge, når man vet at den finnes der, tilgjengelig i andre land, er ikke å ta ansvar. For noen år siden lagde en gruppe aktivister et program som sendte ut e-post til alle internettleverandører der barnepornoen var lagret. Det tok under 48 timer å fjerne 99,8 prosent.

Da aktivistene gikk gjennom listen for å sjekke hva som var klassifisert som barneporno, viste det seg imidlertid at det meste var homoseksuell pornografi og ikke ulovlig i det hele tatt. Men hvem kunne vite det når det var umulig å sjekke og samtidig snakk om noe så stigmatisert? Dette viser problemet med sensur. Et transparent og internasjonalt samarbeid er det eneste som faktisk fjerner ting som vi ikke vil ha i samfunnet.

Internett er plattformen som vi alle i dag bruker til kommunikasjon, kultur og demokratiske ytringer. Å begynne å sensurere Internett føles ikke akkurat som mer åpenhet, mer demokrati.

Maintain. Hardline. Kopimi.

Today news reached us that we didn’t get the appeal the TPB case to the supreme court.

We’re not surprised by this. The previous court cases has been filled of corruption. From having the minister of justice pressured by the US to illegally make a case of TPB, through the police officer responsible for the investigation (Jim Keyzer) “just happened” to get a job at Warner Brothers the weeks before I myself got promoted from a witness to a suspect, to the judges in the court cases being either board members, or in one case the actual chairman of the board, for the swedish pro-copyright society, it was clear to us that the supreme court – where many of the judges make a lot of money on their own copyrights – would be hard to persuade to take the case. Even though most of the public would want the case tested there. Even though it’s one of the most important cases for all of the EU.

Sweden speaks well about caring about the Internets. They spend a lot of money and time on helping activists all around the world. But who are these people that they’re so proud of helping? TPB has been one of the most important movements in Sweden for freedom of speech, working against corruption and censorship. All of the people involved in TPB at some time have been involved in everything from famous leaks projects to aiding people in the arab spring. We’ve fought corruption all over the world. We’ve promoted equal opportunities to poor nations around the globe. We’ve crushed the monopoly on information. Our close ones, many who have helped building TPB, have been mentioned as possible winners of the nobel peace prize. I’m not bragging – I’m saying this to make sure that people understand who’s doing the right thing here. I haven’t seen the entertainment industry help anyone but themselves.

Sweden is not used to corruption. Or rather; Sweden is not used to actually seeing the corruption that is there. The society is built upon the view that everyone has high morals and ethics in the swedish legal systems. The globalization of the world has changed that.
The entertainment lobby has bullied Sweden around. And not only Sweden. We see this in legislations such as SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, IPRED, IPRED2, TPP, TRIPS, just to name a few. All of these legislations have the same goal – make sure that the control of the internets goes to the rich people that already have some sort of control outside of the internets.

I’m just one of many millions standing up against this. Even though the outcome (which we still haven’t reached) is not favorable for my personal situation, the end goal that we fight for is so much more important than some peoples personal struggles. I’ll live with not being rich – which is easy when you’re not rich anyhow – the rest of my life. I’ll live with whatever sentence I’ll get in the end – I’ll just finish my book. The fight goes on with or without me, I’m just a pawn. But at least I’m a pawn on the morally right side. I’m proud as hell of what I’ve done and I would not change my involvement in any way. I actually think I could have done much more for the fight. And I will.

Today I urge everyone to make sure that the entertainment industry does not profit from them anymore. Stop seeing their movies. Stop listening to their music. Make sure that you find alternative ways to culture. I’ve founded Flattr.com, which allows you to support people that create directly instead of going through the corrupt entertainment industry. Use it in solidarity to the creators, and to your fellow citizen. Or start a competitor. Spread and participate in culture. Remix, reuse, use, abuse. Make sure noone controls your mind. Create new systems and technology that circumvent the corruption. Start a religion. Start your own nation, or buy one. Buy a bus. Crush it to pieces.

Always act with intent and maintain hardline kopimi.