IT feudalism: the surveillance state and wealth gaps

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We want policy to reflect the best available evidence…

No, we don’t all want this - in fact, I’ll bet very few want this. Most want policy to reflect their confirmation bias, and punish the wicked.


How can the workers seize the means of information if we cannot read and/or change the code that is running on our networks?


Speaking of hereditary elites, my policy is to avoid voting for family members of former politicians. i.e Bushes, Kennedys, Clintons, etc. Even if they are a good candidate, there’s a principle at stake. If Jeb and Hillary go head to head, well, that’s what those other spots on the ballot are for.

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Hereditary wealth is vulnerable, but only by removing some of the special rights of multi-generational capital-holding networks. It’s difficult for oligarchs to be economically useful outside of “being the money”, so they must distinguish their capital from the (rich) crowd and insure themselves against irrelevance and the risks of competition.

One of the most effective scams for accomplishing this is exclusive patent rights, participating in crosslicensing networks, and becoming part of IP-holding conglomerates who are so large and global that they can pick and choose what ideas they use and where. They control physical product markets; they don’t have to respond to them.

They’ve managed to revive pre-liberal aristocracy through the legal fiction that they can treat a non-exclusive good as if it were exclusive. The largest, most unresponsive, most anti-democracy businesses (GE, Boeing, oil exploration/extraction, mining) rely on a world that doesn’t question exclusive patent rights. No one thinks to separate the issue of royalties from exclusivity. Instead, questioning exclusivity means you hate inventors. It’s ridiculous, but their shills are legion.


Start another network? Preferably using a different protocol?

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Misery loves company, punishing the wicked comes first for most I think.

It was a good try for the 1700s when the royal patents were issued by the king for a cut, you could see value in the idea, but now few proles get to profit for their name on a patent or copyright. It is the dream of wealth which keeps normal people voting Republican or Tory, they want to be the aristrocratic lords oppressing their serfs.


How soon will that network become illegal and/or infiltrated?

Well, that’s a very open question!

As for the legality, this would depend upon the jurisdiction. What’s the legality of TCP/IP? What network technologies are illegal? Since networking computers are not confined to a specific area, do/should the users care whether or not they are legal? In the long term, how would computer networks ever improve if people didn’t make new ones? Anyway, if/when some boneheads pass laws to regulate “the internet”, there’s a practical benefit to having another system to play on.

Infiltration is trickier, because it is dependent upon deciding who the users are / should be. Using a different network protocol and different transport medium would certainly shake things up. But how depends upon specifics. The internet was designed to simply be redundant, not secure nor anonymous. If every so often we give up the current net and move to a nice new one with less yahoos and interlopers, maybe we can get a few nice years of frontier living before we pack up and move it again.

I have a thought. A lot of communication can be very low-bandwidth. If you can get a SMS message through, it is WAY WAY more difference against nothing than against a broadband.

There is the QRPp branch of HAM radio. Broadcasting at very low power (sub-watt, often milliwatts). They can do intercontinental connections with that.

What about some sort of ultra-low-power difficult-to-detect mesh network? Possibly with the signal sources of pulsed nature, relying on precision timing, and hidden in other random pulses (e.g. mimicking the noise form a sparky-brush motor)? The AWACS above or a spookmobile on the street would see not a comm gear running but a kitchen blender or an electric shaver… A version of steganography, applied to RF. There is a lot of signals out there, and if you want to hide in plain sight in a forest, better look like a tree.

Another thought: For more localized areas, use a self-configuring mesh network. There are already some out there; check out HSMM-Mesh or BBHM-Mesh. You can run a node on $35 Raspberry Pi, or on the WRT54GL routers (and presumably many others you can install OpenWRT or DD-WRT or so on).
This should give you enough keywords for more in-depth research.

Link to the software for the Raspi is here:


And before that, a common problem would likely be, how can it get enough people to sign on in order to be viable?


I’m not suggesting an alternate network isn’t a good idea. I’m just considering the worst case scenario, ala Little Brother’s Xnet and Paranoid Linux. People are always a security vulnerability in any system, so in building an alternate network, you’d have to anticipate that some of your users/nodes/proxies/etc. would be compromised, whether by the DOJ threatening a hacker with more decades in prison than the worst murderers and rapists or some other method like the CIA/NSA/FBI/ETC intercepting and compromising hardware. Is there a viable method of creating a network circle of distrust?

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