The Catalan independence movement is being coordinated by an app designed for revolutions

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If I were an authoritarian regime, or even sorta sympathetic to an authoritarian regime, I would be working like crazy to subvert this software (and its supporting infrastructure) so further installations would be poison.

But then if I were the software’s authors, I’d be working on a sequelwith a completely different kind of vulnerability profile.

“Programmer-at-arms” is what they called that job, in Deepness in the Sky.


This app is used to escape the laws, voted by european citizens to protect european citizens. In this case to coordinate the harassment of the majority of poorer Spanish-speaking catalonians (Remember that this is an intrinsically racist and xenophobic movement)

At some point supremacist groups will use tools like this in the States and elsewhere. Then we will have to, collectively, think a way to control them. In the long run western democracies have shown great resilience against street violence.

They had to resort to this because the Spanish state is targeting dissidents and visible leaders. The last ones have been in jail for 2 years without trial and now condemned to 10 years.

You have to be careful in Spain. They have widened the definition of terrorism so that now it includes all forms of dissent. You can’t have a fair trial in Spain, evidence is made up by the police and the judges accept it willingly.


There is no oppressed Spanish-speaking minority. The ones refusing to learn Catalan are not being prosecuted or discriminated in an official way, and unofficially no less than a Catalan would be discriminated in the rest of Spain (bigots exist everywhere). Catalan and Spanish are both official languages in the region and any government worker will attend you in any of those languages, and again, save for the minority assholes, you won’t have a problem living in Catalonia without speaking Catalan.

The main problem is the radicalization of nationalism, a push that started ~10 years ago by the PP in an effort to capture the votes from the far right by demonizing any non-central movement, but mainly concentrating on Catalonia’s efforts for self-determination (at that point it was not a secessionist movement, as the majority of Catalans simply wanted conditions similar to the ones offered to Basque country, another region of Spain that has a great degree of autonomy). Later, this movement was co-opted mainly by the Catalan right party CiU, who joined efforts with ERC (left-ish Catalan party) to polarize the Catalan people.

This polarization has been a very successful smokescreen that has served well to hide the corruption among the main governing parties: from the embezzling cases of PP and PSOE, to the destruction of Catalan healthcare at the hands of CiU, everything was hidden behind the struggle for secession and the efforts to contain it.

As the situation has become more and more polarized, there has been a resurgence of far-right groups, mainly on the Spanish side, thanks to the lenience justice tends to show to them, allowing them to act without fear of retaliation in most cases, while mercilessly crushing any reactionary movement destined to contain them (in short, Spain defends fascists, and detains anti-fascists). It also helps most reactionary movements are grass-roots oriented, while there is a lot of money (of “unknown” origin) helping these far-right groups to succeed.

In the week of protests we’ve been suffering, we can see an emerging pattern:

  • The protesters meet at 19:00, the protest starts and keeps peaceful
  • At 21:00, as people is start dispersing, the police charges.
  • At the same time, some of the people start to make barricades setting fire to trash containers.

I have first hand accounts of friends of mine trying, unsuccessfully, to contain these “radicals”. Unlike some press say, they are not police -most of them anyway-, but simply angry young people who think the protest should escalate to a battle against the power. They tend to move in big groups, which makes difficult for protesters to stop them - they risk starting a mass brawl, something that will have the same effect as burning the containers.

Also I would like to point that these “poorer Spanish-speaking Catalonians” have been also part of this polarization, and we can see at most of these counter-protests “for the unity of Spain” a lot of people Nazi-saluting, sporting francoist flags and, with the complicity of the police forces, harassing Catalan protesters.

Finally, as I suggest with most of my foreign friends (as well as my local friends who understand English), the The Guardian Catalonia feed is the best source we have, as it is doing a fair coverage (not leaning one side or the other, and giving voice to both) of the events. I specially recommend the article “Catalonia’s separatists were jailed for sedition, but brought down by hubris” as basically doing a very good job of summarizing the failings of both sides.

As a personal note, being born in the late seventies of Extremaduran (one of the poorest regions of Spain) immigrants, I benefited of a bilingual education and while I do not want “my Cataluña” to secede from Spain, I support the right to decide, and would like if my government stopped using the plight of Catalonia as an excuse for everything that goes wrong with my country, and adopted policies similar to the ones in UK.


Who proved the app is using retroshare?

From the source I can not see anything pointing to retroshare.

The github does not contain the source code nor a license file, so it’s not a good source to prove or disprove anything :slight_smile:

The article itself is a bit confusing over the source, but seems to point to Sergio Lopez, who has partially decompiled the app code, that seems to find commonalities with the open source app.

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From my point of view this article (the wired one) and also the boing boing article is not just a bit confusing, but heavily misleading. They are giving the impression this is app is open source, and it is therefore easy to check what it is doing. Even if you partially have decompiled it, you can only guess it is doing something with retroshare, but you do not know what else it is doing. An app designed for a revolution should be open source!


Completely agreed. The article is not very well written, but I have to note is not a “the Guardian” but “Wired”. Unfortunately Wired’s article quality has been dropping down considerably.

The only mention I found on the Guardian was this article

When news came through of the sentencing of the Catalan prisoners, Tsunami used Twitter, Telegram and word of mouth to get people to the airport.
It has more than 320,000 subscribers on Telegram and rolled out a new app of its own after the airport occupation. To access it, the user needs a QR code that it scans from another, trusted user. So far, more than 15,000 people have downloaded the new app, which has yet to be used in any action.

Yep, you were right. I corrected my posting. :slight_smile:

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They are planing to release the code:

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