Crypto Reloaded: Rebranding the Dark Web, Spreading Art and Information (Security) Around the World

Part of my amazing time at Chaos Communication Camp 2015 this past week was giving my first Lightning Talk. It was actually my first conference-type talk. So naturally, I did it wearing a ballerina-princess outfit with butterfly wings. Here’s the video: 

And here’s the working paper drafty-draft

Please get in touch in the comments, on social media, or via email if you want to talk about these ideas! It would be great to get your ideas on how to better make and spread Wtf Butterfly Kits, get help making a website telling makers how to make them and giving patrons a way to fund them, and brainstorm about how to make this a self-monetizing project to help make it sustainable. I have a few ideas about all those things—like how I can just make the apocryphal album while writing a constructive critique of the surveillance state, and then distribute Wtf Butterfly Kits globally while touring. But perhaps for now I’ll just write a bit about the basic idea from the talk.

Today we struggle with one central paradox in politics, and that is the paradox of discretionary power in the age of big government. In the realm of the security state, that means mass surveillance, mass incarceration, and global Davos political culture. The paradox is that on one hand, discretion can be dangerous in the context of centralized power—but at the same time, trust in the discretionary power of our fellow hacktivists underpins the workings decentralized spaces and action that can help empower otherwise disempowered people.

I propose two interventions to resolve this paradox in the realm of information security. The first intervention is a rebranding of the subset of those decentralized spaces and action structures formerly known as the dark-Web—now the EDTR (expressing, dissenting, teaching, resisting) web—to make it more sustainable, safe, and simple to talk about. The second intervention is a reproducible art and info kit—Wtf Butterfly Kits—designed to produce trust spirals with art supplies and positive psychology exercises, enhance information security by propagating crypto, and transmit free books around the world. 

I’m only too happy to expound on every point in this summary six ways from Sunday. But you get the idea. So leave a comment on the blog or other social media, or email me (wildethinks at gmail dot com) if you want to talk. I’m especially excited to get your ideas about what Wtf Butterfly Kits should look like, how to spread them globally, and how to make this project self-monetizing. It would also be great to get help with the website telling makers how to make them and giving patrons a way to fund them. Plus I want to know how to present better next time, since this was my first conference-like talk…