What's wrong with the kids these days?

On the moral decay of the Dutch hacker scene

A lot has changed since the days when the people around Hacktic set up and defined the Dutch hacker scene. The Hang Out made way for a variety of hackerspaces; Hacktic itself is long dead (who needs dead trees to communicate nowadays anyway?) and the crew organizing OHM2013 is a completely different one from the oldies that had set up the Galactic Hacker Party and HIP. In short, we're looking at a complete new generation of Dutch hackers.

Of course, nothing is more normal and healthy than for kids to rebel against their parents, but our parents have given us a difficult task there. For how in hell does one rebel against oldies who self-identified as "techno-anarchists" and were all too pleased with their image as online rebels? Some of the kids found a way: join the police! Well, technically, create a company that does the online dirty work for the police, but in this day and age of neo-liberalism and privatisation the difference is marginal...
Now, the notion of hackers voluntarily joining the police probably sounds completely absurd to an outsider, but that's pretty much what happened. The Dutch High Tech Crime Unit is called Fox-IT. In case the name doesn't ring a bell, they're the main sponsor of OHM2013, employer of half of the organising core team, and you may find their logo painted on the wall of a Dutch hackerspace - not as a fuck-the-police-type graffiti, but as a thank-you for their kind sponsorship.

Let's have a closer look at this company. Founded in '99 by two TU Delft alumni who had previously worked for the NFI (forensics institute) and the BVD (secret service), Fox-IT started as a relatively normal security company. Such was the hip thing to do for a hacker who wanted to legally cash in on their skills at the height of the IT bubble. Things start to get saucy around 2006 when they developed FoxReplay, a tool for wiretapping, and started selling on the international market. Not caring much for their customers regard for human rights, Fox-IT has promoted their services to countries like Iran and the United Arabic Emirates, and sales to Egypt have also been confirmed. On September 27th 2011, Fox-IT sold their tapping-branch to the US company Netscout, conveniently just one day before a change in EU regulations was to place restrictions on the export of wiretap equipment.
But things also get a lot closer to home for the Dutch hackers, as Fox-IT has assisted the Dutch police in the apprehension of 4 members of AntiSec NL, a Dutch group closely linked to Anonymous.
To add to the sauce, Fox-IT has been experimenting with 'hacking back', as they call it. In an operation that was meant to take down the Bredolab botnet, Fox-IT used the seized 'command and control' servers to inject code on infected machines worldwide to display a message from the Dutch police. A clever hack, if you will, but also a controversial and illegal one. Lately, Fox-IT has been publicly lobbying to create legal rights for law enforcement to actively crack target systems.
Fox-IT now has customers worldwide and around 150 employees. They are the prototype of a privatised blend of law enforcement and defense, unhindered by any ethics and stretching its praxis to the shady borders of legality.

That's the kind of company considered hip amongst contemporary Dutch hackers, who seem all too happy associating with and working for them. Fox-IT is actively recruiting within the scene, and many a hacker who used to share his tools and knowledge now works for them. Now, where did that come from? Sure, the scene has always had a bit of a flirtatious relationship with the secret service, but the old Hacktic crew simply giggled at the silly men with sunglasses and trenchcoats who attended their meetings. Moreover, they were exposing the wiretapping and other sniffing methods that were in use then, giving the general public means to detect, if not avoid, or play around with them.
Those early days of the hacker scene were marked by a shared sense of ethics: a hands-on attitude, for freedom of information and a healthy distrust of any authority. Luckily, on a global scale, many of these values have persevered. For example, one look at the CCC website is enough to see a strong outspokenness on the political issues surrounding hacking, actively monitoring and criticizing state surveillance. In fact, hackers worldwide are working on tools to subvert (state) surveillance and censorship. Furthermore, with the rise of Anonymous and related groups, we have seen an incredible increase in politically motivated hacks and cracks, all based on those same basic values of personal freedom and distrust towards authority.

How are we to interpret the bizarre contrast between upholding these values and happily accepting a company like Fox-IT in our midst? Are OHM and a number of hackerspaces drifting away from the hacker scene towards the security industry? Or do people simply not think or care about these issues because they distract from playing with LEDs and arduinos? Maybe the money is simply too good? Either way, the Dutch hacker scene is suffering from a severe case of schizophrenia where, on the one hand, it identifies itself with a global scene struggling against surveillance and, on the other hand, it condones, receives money from, advertises or even concretely works on the buildup of exactly that surveillance state.

The usual approach to such mental illness that is seen all too often within the hacker scene is to simply ignore it and bury it deep down in our subconciousness. Indeed, sometimes simply ignoring the peculiar conflicts that arise within our brain may lead us to perfectly happy (though perhaps somewhat socially awkward) lives. Not in this case, though. As the world around us is transforming, the importance of resolving this inner conflict is becoming ever more urgent. Like it or not, the hacker scene is a key player in a much larger political game that will determine the face of future online communication. If we are to sell away our skills to unscrupulous companies working for power-hungry governments, that future could be very grim.

It is for these reasons that the current generation of hackers needs to take a step back and reconsider the wise lessons our parents gave us. One cannot simply take the cool image of being a hacker yet act in ways that are complete opposite. It's not cool to assist in the creation of an Orwellian dystopia. It's also definitely not cool to assist in the apprehension of your fellow hackers (imagine how they might feel about attending the largest European hackercamp this year). That is not to say it's all black and white, or that we should form some sort of unified front, but maintaining a praxis that is the direct opposite of what you are preaching is both unhealthy for yourselves and dangerous towards others. So please, work out who you really are and where you stand. Read the old philes and the new. Rethink what's going on in the world around you. Discuss the role we play in it. Define your identity. And, in the end, if you still wish to call yourself a hacker, leave the fox out.

sources:
http://www.hacktic.nl/magazine/index.html
http://wikileaks.org/spyfiles/list/company-name/foxit.html
http://webwereld.nl/nieuws/108047/fox-it-stoot-afluisterdivisie-af.html
http://www.techzine.nl/nieuws/27475/eu-legt-export-afluisterapparatuur-a...
http://webwereld.nl/analyse/108759/fox-it--is-er-dan-wat-aan-de-hand-in-...
http://www.vn.nl/Standaard-Media-Pagina/De-geheimen-van-een-supertapper.htm
http://www.computable.nl/artikel/nieuws/security/4049661/1276896/foxit-h...
http://www.bredolab.nl/
http://www2.fiu.edu/~mizrachs/hackethic.html

Comments

I am a little upset right now...

I was so sad that I couldn't attend HAR2009. And I was really looking forward to visit OHM2013. Thank you for clearing this up on time, so I can reschedule to go to another place this summer.

Huh?

Really? You thought the point of this blog was to say that OHM2013 is going to suck? I really don't understand your reaction, unless you really care that much about who is on the sponsor list.

anon

if you don't care about who is the sponsor probably you haven't understood the post itself. OHM2013 does suck if it's sponsored by that company.

har2009 was sponsored by fox-it too

so har2009 sucked as well! end of argument.

The difference was that back

The difference was that back in 2009, foxit wasnt actively performing and pushing for strikeback ;)

this is not a boycot

Just to be clear, this was never meant as a callout to boycot OHM, nor was it meant to imply that the whole event sucks. It's merely spelling out what should've been an obvious 'wtf?' and giving some food for thought...

the death of ohm 2013 by groente

Too late 'groente': the uptake of this article by fefe has led to a storm of outrage from the German hacker community (who remember their own NAZI past well and now get into a fit against anything that remotely smells of their own ways back then).

Volunteers are dropping out.

Congratulations, you killed OHM. I was looking forward to it! Now we may *never* have this event again in The Netherlands. The only event where the dutch hackers come together in the thousands and are interacting with their peers.

A black day in the history of dutch hackerscene. A name to remember. 'Groente', the man who killed OHM2013.

not to blame

_if_ german hackers are dropping out in the hundrets, groente still isn't to blame for it, because $correctTM then would be: "Don't tell people about our gold sponsors", which makes no sense.

who needs german hackers

who needs german hackers anyway ? they smell !

Very childish...

Very childish...

Thanks

Thanks for that compliment. You are a racist bastard with a weird sense of humor.

Looking forward to see you on OHM2013 to let you smell my finest body odor ;)

I'm with you that the poster

I'm with you that the poster you replied to is an idiot, but let's not kid ourselves... that's not racism, they just have a prejudice against german people. racism = prejudice + power

Good. This will help hackers

Good. This will help hackers organise new, independent events, out of sight of those. At least those German hackers who, by reading this article, stopped for a second thought and starting reconsidering who they are helping, and who they should be helping, have some sense of responsibility.

I applaud every single dropped-out volunteer that quit because of their views on this. And yes, I do hope they start something else. Without the police-state bullshit.

no, ohm2013 does not suck

The mere fact that people are raising questions to the scene does not mean that the whole event 'sucks'. In fact, most of the people from the Puscii collective will be present at OHM2013, actively participating in discussions and events.

The main question is of course: how can we relate to our own values like respect for privacy, human rights and critical thinking, while at the same time 'we' are co-operating with companies who are literally opposing those same values. That is a question the hackerscene should be willing to discuss and answer. One of the best places to do that is at OHM2013,

Relax! It's only money...

And without the substantial kind of sponsoring, like Fox-IT is giving, there would be no OHM2013 to go to and discuss all this.

People, it's just money... It wasn't taken from dying children, no kittens were killed for it, and it will be used for the greater good.
It may be money coming from governments. Maybe even some very rotten ones. So in effect *they* may even have sponsored OHM.

But I can only see this as a good thing: Even if the most evil governments have -indirectly- sponsored OHM2013, this does not change a thing about how we can use that money. OHM2013 is a 100% independent event. Sponsors get no say in the content.
Just be glad that money wasn't spent on buying weapons or the like!

In money we trust!

I found your comment really stupid. How you can say that the origin of money doesn't matter? And do yu really think this money is no meant to be considered an investemnt in new kind of weapons?
First result, really concrete, is that there are people that consider normal to have partenrship with governement and military agency, to sell tools to control and limit other people, just to have a bigger conformt area!

What's the greater good that money will be used for? To create a great show about hacking with a lot of colorful and tricky superficial details but the inside is fucking rotten: how you can talk about freedom when the event is organised with money mad3e by limiting freedom of other people? You just becom a puppet in the hands of that agency.

It would be much better to ask to pay a fee than have a free but bloody event!

the way to get to a goal is even more important than just reach the goal!

Alternative

One way to deal wit this ...

How much did Fox give? Lets raise that money and tell Fox to stay away.

Start raising...

Start raising...

€25.000,-

Fox-IT is a gold sponsor, meaning they gave at least 25.000.
With 3.000 people attending this is €8,33 euro per person...

But it shouldn't be to hard to find 25 companies, NGO's, groups or so that are willing and could pay €1.000,-

Hey, it is the age of crowd-sourcing, right?

EUR 50000

Don't forget costs for breaking open a signed contract.

Great ethical solution: we don't agree with something, so we just pay to have it removed from sight. Nicely done, the Hollywood content criminals have taught you all well.

If you think it isn't that

If you think it isn't that hard to find a sponsor who doesn't feel the need to influence the program, please feel free to ask these sponsors to read the sponsor documentation and contact the board.

Some possible sponsorships already are declined because they did want to influence the camp and/or the program and that is NOT something OHM organisation (which could be you, because it can be anybody) wants.

Fox is not our biggest problem

Cannot remember this being an issue back in the good 'ol days of 2009 when Fox-IT was also one of sponsors that provided much needed *early* cashflow. The world was *slightly* less insane back then but only slightly (wikileaks members had not yet been openly threatened by western governments with extra-judicial killing - and if you don't
know what that means you really need to read this post to the end).

The old-fart part of me does agree with some of the 'kids-these-days' feelings voiced in the piece on PUSCII, just not the focus on Fox. A willingness to fight and take real and personal risks for basic-priciples is needed more than ever in our societies today. A willingness to understand what is happening in the world (especially if this is very outside your comfort zone) and to help others do so is just as important. A bit more Free Software (principled stand) instead of just 'opensource' (practical method) would not hurt the Dutch technology scene IMHO.

I sometimes voice the opinion that the rules applied by the victors of WWII to German leaders (thou shalt not initiate offensive wars based on lies) should now also apply to the leadership of the US, the UK and the Netherlands. For this I am called a radical. Perhaps more of us need to get a bit radical or risk waking up in 1984 someday soon. If
no-one pushes back against the stuff you're trying to accomplish you're obviously not trying hard enough.

Do note that OHM2013 will be the *only* major event in the Netherlands were some important whistleblowers from the world of spooks and spies (CIA, NSA, FBI, MI5) are given a platform to share their insights with people who will hear about them for the first time. Just as HAR2009 was the *only* place in NL in 2009 were Wikileaks got a soapbox in front of a significant audience. That's how messed up the country is
right now.

We offer something real at a time when it is much needed. I would not be involved with OHM if it were otherwise - life's too short and the planet too fucked-up to mess about with minor stuff.

(Arjen Kamphuis does not work for Fox-IT and left IBM in 1999 ;-)

A well written article deserves a somewhat OK response...

Thanks for a sourced and well written statement, i can only respect an author that has taken the time and liberty to write a story that is backed up with some facts and details. This should be commended, whoever the author may be.

Free will:
The author states that working for a company results in the employee fully accepting all that the company has done in the past and that the employee wholemindedly promotes and understand every aspect of that company, implying that such company has the power to remove any free will of the employee. Such is not the case, as absolutism on working for companies / having some mindset is just as dangerous as absolutism by state control. Look at the Zen symbol.

Insiders:
Hackers also have a significant impact on the direction of many companies. Is having "insiders" not a crucial prevention of absolutism? Many company-people are very stupid/short-sighted and might aid in more forcefully oppressing hackers. For example: without embedded hackers and the good spirits of those, there would be no "responsible disclosure" policy and the movement that companies will adopt this.

We:
There is no such thing as "we". "we" just happend to be. I don't like to be controlled by people that say that "we" should do anything. "we" is temporal, "we" is separating people, fuck "we". If someone wants to be part of the "we" and be an outspoken mistrusting, over skeptic, conspiracy driven individual, so be it. Is this also "we"? Maybe...

Just another random vision:
Although your story has critique and is fairly negative while not having consulted the opposing party. This makes bad journalism and turns this into a column thing. But I still like it over empty allegations, because it gives a body to discuss and might inspire people. But be careful: Even when everyone and everything has changed their ways, there are still people using some (possibly outdated) facts to create a negative image. Just to refer foxes: this is what companies like Fox News do best.

-- Stitch

Lagging behind

The general trend with "the kids these days" is, in my observation, going in the right direction. Whereas for years the hacker community in The Netherlands was half-heartily following thought leaders from the US and Germany, there seems to be a trend to form an opinion that develops in the same direction as Germany. I'd say it's lagging behind a bit, which only reflects society as a whole. Bits of Freedom, the rise of hacker spaces, debate around government agencies recruiting, this all leads to more outspoken opinions.

What The Netherlands lack is a single platform to discuss. In Germany there is the CCC, where a clear opinion was formed and guarded over more than 30 years. In The Netherlands no such thing. There is the four-yearly hacker camp though, a most excellent spot to discuss trends like described above.

HITB network run by police!

Yes you are right it is bad. Did you know that the hacker conference next month in amsterdam, hack in the box (HITB) has a network team with the leader (ruud or ruuder or something) being a guy who works for the police? You think i will go to a conference where the police are tapping the network because they make the network?

oh and that same ruud or whatever is also the leader of the hackerspace in amersfoort. really, hackers stay away from hitb ohm or the hackerspaces they are all infested with cops!!

TOR and CCC are in it as well

You know TOR? From Jacob Appelbaum? You know they are working closely with the police in the US and The Netherlands, right?

https://blog.torproject.org/blog/trip-report-tor-trainings-dutch-and-bel...

And Dingledine is also good friends with Rop Gonggrijp, you know. The example hacker from way back? He sold out to KPN, and now has a company that makes cryptographic phones. And those are sold to governments to keep their communication a secret from their people.

And what all the germans are upset about? They should look at theirselfs first: one of the CCC figureheads at least works for the same company from Rop Gonggrijp making phones to help oppressive governments to keep their secrets.

So not only the dutch hackers are falling for the trap. The american hackers are too, and so are the Germans!

open dialog is important

Working closely? Hardly. Talking with people? Understanding what they're doing and how anonymity actually is seen, used and debated across the spectrum? Yeah - what exactly is wrong with such activities? Anonymity must be for everyone and if we try to pretend otherwise, we'll see that only the police and intelligence agencies have anonymity. That is basically the current state of affairs - anyone with privilege and wealth is welcome to their privacy at a cost; everyone else is out of luck. I want privacy, security and anonymity for everyone on the planet.

Cryptophone is used by lots of people around the world. Demonizing Frank and Rop for Cryptophone is unreasonable. They produce devices without a backdoor and have led the way to normalizing secure communications for everyone - yes, it includes people that I personally find uncomfortable and yet, such a thing cuts both ways. Will you also demonize them for allowing WikiLeaks to use such phones?

When speaking at the NCSC event, I made it perfectly clear that police malware and wiretapping are wrong. Not just ethically but also strategically. I openly challenged the current "intelligence service" way of operating.

I encourage you to attend such an event and discuss your feelings on the matter openly. If you think merely conversing with the people attending NCSC is somehow evil, I'd ask you to share how you've come to that conclusion? If you think that speaking about the issues and threats we face (essentially a talk similar to the 28c3 talk that Roger and I gave about Tor) is wrong, I'd ask again, how did you come to that conclusion?

Bullshit

What is bullshit, are you still a client at KPN/Tmobile/Vodafone/etc? They also work for the Dutch Police... :p
BTW, if you are such a crazy and 1337 hackah, aren't you smart enough to install an openvpn then?

openvpn has fox it code in it

Using openvpn would be stupid. check the commit logs, fox-it is one of the committers of that vpn software.

lol

ik wil wat jij rookt

I like this speculation of

I like this speculation of monitoring if you like come and check out our nice non existing tapping hardware at hitb, but if you think you are so good that you coud lay you hands on all this information why the .... can't you find out my real name or nick. With that i wish you a very nice day.

HITB network master is police snitch

If you realy want to know i looked up the details. *** CENSORED *** and works for a detachment company where he is now stationed at the police offices in emmen to manage the IT infrastructure of the police.

Think of that. The person who manages it infrastructure for the police is managing the network at a so called hacker conference. I am sure your tapping infrastructure is well hidden at hack in the box. And as a nice detail, what company sponsored hitb last year in amsterdam? Yes. It was fox it.

* editted by groente: please don't abuse our blog for d0xing.

HITB is hardly a hackerscene

HITB is hardly a hackerscene event. It is a network event for the security industry. please do not confuse the two :)
Also, it is not up to us to judge on what people do in their spare time, and where they work; especially when the distinction is very clear. Completely different discussion, which only distracts here.

Very nice you found all that

Very nice you found all that information, but its still wrong. I will give you the right details then.

I am Rudy my nick is Zarya. it is true that i do something with networking for the Police but its nog managing but its designing there is a big diference. today is my last day in this function. I have nothing to do with the tap department i design firewall and network infrastructures i dont implement them.

I hope you are well informed now. btw i dont work in Emmen.

If you still think that we install tapping equipment at HITB that one is true, in the bar downstairs you will find most of our tapping equipment. It is used to tap a alcoholic liquor called Beer.

HITB

HITB was sponsored by Fox-IT last year[1], and even worse this year[2] their sponsor is VUPEN who supplies western governments with:

As the leading source of advanced vulnerability research, VUPEN provides government-grade exploits specifically designed for the Intelligence community and national security agencies to help them achieve their offensive cyber security and lawful intercept missions using extremely sophisticated codes created by VUPEN Vulnerability Research Team (VRT)."[3]

[1]http://conference.hitb.org/hitbsecconf2012ams/
[2]http://conference.hitb.org/hitbsecconf2013ams/
[3]http://www.vupen.com/english/services/lea-index.php

Response from @ioerror

I'm really happy to see that someone took the time to write this article
and I'm also happy to see that it was related to puscii. For those that
do not know the history of ascii and puscii - these two groups are two
extremely important parts of Dutch/European sustainability, artistic,
hacking and autonomous culture. I've long respected their squatting
activity, their Free Software ethics and their political actions.

I find the observations in the article extremely grim and depressing -
it is largely as a matter of agreement, I might add. The desire to
collaborate with authoritarian power structures is often hand-waved away
with "one has to eat" or "we're not helping Syria" style arguments.
They're often followed up with arguments about fear of punishment or
about the so-called justice done on occasion by such structures. The
privatization of this kind of policing is concerning. It is built on the
already questionable notion that the police themselves would be
legitimate actors in this space if they merely had the talent. This is
false in many cases and such partnerships generally seek to expand the
authoritarian reach of the State, without any of the democratic
oversight, transparency or even the semblance of consent on the topics
at hand. Most people hardly understand the abstract ideas involved, let
alone the actual concrete details.

The Dutch police actually do this on many levels - that is - they do it
not only with private Dutch companies like Fox-IT but also with other
law enforcement. The FBI has some full time people who are embedded
within the Dutch law enforcement offices. My understanding is that they
have desks in the same (!) office area as other Dutch police. Consider
this as a threat not only to the Dutch democratic processes but also to
the notion that the Netherlands is somehow independent in terms of
law-enforcement and intelligence. Surely, one would not jest that the
FBI deployed with the Dutch police would serve the Dutch police first,
right? Perhaps they'll take some puscii members who are actually Dutch
citizens to sit with their FBI office counterparts? It seems doubtful
and as such, it raises questions on a number of levels.

I've met a lot of Dutch police in the last few months as I have recently
visited the Hague for the latest NCSC event. Many of the higher level
computery security folks are personally nice people. Even some of the
AiVD people are personally friendly - quite a difference from some of
the other intelligence agencies. Obviously, I'm not in agreement with a
lot of their policies, their methods, tactics, strategies or even
comfortable with their relationships. While they do work for goals that
I think are reasonable such as stopping non-consensual human
trafficking, it is perhaps with methods that may lead to abuse or other
serious concerns. I don't hold any personal contempt for them for doing
what amounts to a thankless job. I do however find myself thinking that
the new Dutch hacking generation should not forget that some power
structures are not worth supporting simply because one is not personally
oppressed by it on a daily basis.

With that said, the complicity of hackers in these kinds of actions is
beyond loathsome. Rather than helping to actually secure our systems, we
see compromises that undermine the very core of our modern world. If we
look to the physical world for an analog of such total surveillance,
even in camera heavy parts of the world, humanity still largely rejects
such total spying programs, if they are lucky enough to be consulted at
all. Why then should people of any stripe help to build similar systems
that are nearly total and almost completely incomprehensible to most
people on the planet? The answer is simple: we shouldn't! Hackers and
those who are technically literate have a responsibility to consider the
larger issues at stake. Those who don't, who just follow orders, who use
simplistic self-serving reasoning in place of thoughtful ethics - those
people are building a world where most of humanity will be subservient
to such architecture. Total identification, total and complete logs of
our activities, our relationships, our beliefs, our experimentations,
our core values - everything. History will not reflect well on such
people and the near future will be extremely uncomfortable if those
resisting have anything to say about it.

I look forward to leaked documents and leaked software about companies
like Fox-IT as well as details on such surveillance programs. While
people are digging, don't forget to identify the people and the money
trails involved - if such companies will promote and construct such
systems for all of us, lets give it to them first!

Leak more documents!

In solidarity,
Jacob

Response to Jacob Appelbaum

Americans are not part of the solution right now, Americans are part of the problem. That is a very black and white statement. One which I don't fully believe in. But Jacob Appelbaum is an American who is part of the problem. By exporting his self-righteous belief and morality upon other countries, he distracts attention from the source of many of todays problems: the united states of america.

That the US law enforcement agencies are infiltrating the Dutch police is not the fault of the Dutch police. We are forced by the US patriotic and oppressing foreign politics to have these feds among us. No-one here wants them, yet we are powerless against the sanctions we face when we go against the US.

Jacob, you are a crowd pleaser. You are someone with a black-and-white view of the world, one which reminds a lot of the McCarthy period in your country. Where you were either a morally impecible American or a communist. Where a witch-hunt was commenced to clear the US of any leftist dissidents. Or the recent wars you waged, wars that no-one wanted but everyone was forced to join with your president's 'either you are with us or you are against us'.

You are forcing people away from a good cause by making the world appear to be a matter of black-and-white. Please fix your own country before you blame other countries for compliance with your colonial and oppressive regime.

Many of us work in IT, many of us work with Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, Fox-IT, Madisson Gurkha, Philips, Competa, LogicaCMG, Pink/Roccade and any other number of larger and smaller IT firms. All of those people, in your black-and-white view of the world are 'against you'. Do not think you will find sympathy within that group (still the large majority) by claiming they will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes. Those are empty threats.

Also, what has puscii done lately for the world at large apart from writing rants from their wellfare-benefit paid for armchair in their illegaly squated dwellings? Nothing.

Please Jacob, go back to fixing your own country and stay there until you fixed that. Don't go bragging about telling other countries they are bad for complying with your own policies.

So PUSCII is government

So PUSCII is government sponsored... that's outragous.

And for all this money they sell complaints and grievances.

It's rediculous.

for the record

puscii was and always will be completely independent from whatever kind of sponsorship. neither do we have to rely on rich parents or state allowance for our daily income.
also, our complaints and grievances aren't sold, you get them for free.
it's indeed ridiculous.

stay classy

(For your information: The original post wasn't by me - it was posted as part of a discussion on a mailing list; I'll reply to you here as this is the forum where you have decided to participate.)

Your attempts ironic nationalist rhetoric is only made worse by the notion that all perceived members of some national group are somehow in lockstep. It is made worse by your statements that we're somehow less, even when one generally agrees with you! Perhaps you could have made some overtly anti-Muslim statements with your xenophobic commentary? Perhaps in the next reply?

I'm a very vocal person about the United States of America and so often a critic that it causes me serious issues. For you to suggest that I distract attention from the issues that directly relate to the US is simply incorrect. My 29c3 keynote was entirely about the threat that the NSA poses to the entire world and that this fault is squarely on the shoulders of the people in the US. Did you miss that? Did you miss the discussions about the drone strikes or the illegal wars? I have protested the Afghan war from the outset as I did with the Iraq war and the drone war over the entire planet. When I spoke out against the assassination of even Bin Laden himself that I was (actually) spit upon by other Americans. Do you seriously suggest otherwise?

The entire point of my statement is that the FBI shouldn't be sitting in the Dutch police offices - if more Dutch people knew that this was the case, I suspect there would be protects, actions and likely lawsuits. As far as I understand Dutch law, it is actually quite illegal. When you suggest that you are powerless, I suspect that you mean that you have made your choices and feel powerless in your position - for whatever reason - if you feel that you are really forced, bring it out and show that you are forced; openly debating is one of the only ways that these things will change. This is why I called for more leaked documents - the internal debate that is hidden from view will help to clarify exactly these issues that puscii raises.

Your comment is particularly offensive when you compare me to the McCarthy era as one of the McCarthyists. I have lived in the last four years under heavy surveillance, with intense harassment and I have been unofficially blacklisted at times by my very own government. Why is that? Because I have effectively protested and resisted those wars you reference.

You like to suggest that I'm of the black-and-white cloth without understanding that there are hard edges. Yes, I firmly believe that political assassination by the state for free speech related issues is essentially always wrong. No, I do not believe that people working at Cisco are evil. No, I don't think that people writing proprietary software are bad people - at worst is is simply a waste of human effort. Hardly a stark condemnation. You suggest that because some of my hard edges are controversial that I'm black-and-white for every topic. Absolute nonsense. I think those at Cisco who helped design and implement the Golden Shield project, especially those who marketed it for finding religious minorities - those people are on the wrong side of history.

I have worked extensively to stop US companies from participating in such activities because I agree that the US is the source of so much of this technology. I am not alone in this action, I'm a minor player at best. Does that mean that I have a black-and-white view? No. It means that I have firm boundaries and I stand my ground. People who work on products that are *intentionally* used to assist in ethnic or political cleansing are on the wrong side of history. When they are later known to be used in such a way, I think continued support of it is extremely questionable. If you think you're the majority with such behavior, I'd encourage you to claim it openly. If you think the majority of such behavior isn't even remotely related, I'd encourage you to state that openly as well. If it isn't a big part of the business, I guess it should be an easy part of the market to abandon.

I agree that the United States is in dire need of reform - our wars, our imperialism, our push for things like a new CALEA, our drone strikes, our War on Some Drugs; all of it and almost without exception. It is however nearly impossible for the US to have such reform as long as other countries refuse to push back even slightly.

You suggest that I alienate you and others from these otherwise good causes and I say, if you're alienated by your perceptions of my actions, I question your actual commitment to these causes in the first place. I'm not a fan of the falun gong but I would never side with those who torture them because I consider their beliefs or expressions to be different than my own.

Oh and while we're talking about our own national politics - I look forward to your analysis of the Dutch monarchy, the Raad van State, internet and telephone surveillance, and its role in supporting the aforementioned US imperialist wars.

Americans? Hackers? Pirates? Cops?

What about humans on planet Earth?

People who (still) think in Manichean terms seriously need an upgrade on their mental map. Nothing is black and white: we live in a complex world.

Let's apply the "us vs. them" pattern to free software... What happens? Yes, you just killed free software, because you're saying that the "bad guys" should not use it, and so you prefer not having any than letting "them" have it. Brilliant. Therefore, you don't get what freedom is about.

For your enlightenment, freedom fighters believe that overall, despite all the evil in the world, freedom will prevail because ethics, knowledge, and complexity, are vastly more powerful, beautiful, and aligned with the Kosmos than malevolence, ignorance, and any reductionist view of it.

Also, focusing on the one company cited in the article is a perfect application of war propaganda: demonize the enemy, give it a face, so that nobody will think anymore.

Re

(Cross-posted, like the original article, to both this blog and the mailing list . In Dutch; sorry about that.)

Puscii skribis 2013-03-26 13:16 (+0000):
> What's wrong with the kids these days?

Om je uitspraken in de juiste context te kunnen lezen, zou ik graag
willen weten wie de schrijver van het artikel is. Hoe oud (bejaard?) ben
je, als je deze mensen "kids" vindt? En waarom heb je het idee dat het
fenomeen dat je beschrijft, iets met generaties te maken heeft? Wat doet
leeftijd er eigenlijk toe?

> On the moral decay of the Dutch hacker scene

TL;DR: Ik ben het ten dele met je eens, maar vind dat je het te zwaar
aanzet, en ik kan je argumentatie niet helemaal volgen.

> In short, we're looking at a complete new generation of Dutch hackers.

Wat kort door de bocht. Er is verloop, maar er vallen zeker geen
generaties te onderscheiden.

Het gaat hier echt niet om kinderen en ouders. Je metafoor klopt m.i.
totaal niet, en staat potentieel de kern van de discussie in de weg.

> Some of the kids found a way: join the police!

Alsof er nooit eerder hackers bij of voor de politie hebben gewerkt?

> Now, the notion of hackers voluntarily joining the police probably
> sounds completely absurd to an outsider

Alleen omdat outsiders denken dat alle hackers crimineel zijn. Dat geldt
noch voor de oude rotten, noch voor de jongste aanwas.

> The Dutch High Tech Crime Unit is called Fox-IT. In case the
> name doesn't ring a bell, they're the main sponsor of OHM2013,

Ik vind Fox-IT geen prettig bedrijf, maar als ze hun geld willen
uitgeven aan onze feestjes, zeg ik: met beide handen aanpakken die poen!
(Al was het maar om meer profijt te hebben van het geld dat we met z'n
allen aan belastingen betalen.) Het moet onafhankelijkheid niet in de
weg staan, en daarom ben ik een stuk skeptischer als het gaat om het
sponsoren van hackerspaces en doorlopende initiatieven, maar voor
kortstondige dingen zoals evementenen zie ik weinig risico's. Het is
niet alsof we bij het organiseren van eerdere evementen vervelend hebben
gedaan als overheden zich van hun beste kant lieten zien met hun
vriendelijke medewerking.

Joh, al komt het geld van de paus. Zonder geld kun je het evenement niet
van de grond krijgen.

Daar staat tegenover dat ik erg blij ben dat zoveel Nederlandse hackers
diep in de buidel tasten om hun hackerspace de kans te geven om
financieel onafhankelijk te blijven.

> employer of half of the organising core team

Lichtelijk beangstigend als je het mij vraagt, maar dit zegt wellicht
meer over de arbeidsmarkt voor hackers, dan over de mensen die ervoor
kiezen (of zich genoodzaakt voelen) om voor Fox te gaan werken.

> and you may find their logo painted on the wall of a Dutch hackerspace
> - not as a fuck-the-police-type graffiti, but as a thank-you for their
> kind sponsorship.

Fuck the police vind ik sowieso een kinderachtige houding waar ik me
graag van distantieer. De politie is een gigantische organisatie van
voornamelijk welwillende mensen. Dat ze ook (grote, gigantische,
verwerpelijke) fouten maken, is nog geen reden om de politie als
organisatie als vijand te zien. "Alle kleuren zijn mooi" is te kort door
de bocht.

Onder hackers en hackerspaces bestaat grote diversiteit. Dat er een
hackerspace is die sponsorgeld accepteert en een vosje op de muur
schildert, wil echt niet zeggen dat de gehele Nederlandse
hackergemeenschap daar achter staat. Sowieso heb ik begrepen dat ze
(Hack42 dus) een specifiek project hebben laten sponsoren, niet de
hackerspace zelf.

Hacken betekent voor verschillende mensen ook verschillende dingen. Wie
het hacken vanuit een puur technologisch perspectief benadert, zal zich
minder bezwaard voelen om activiteiten te laten betalen door laakbare
partijen, dan wie hacken (ook) vanuit een ideologische hoek ziet.

> Not caring much for their customers regard for human rights, Fox-IT
> has promoted their services to countries like Iran and the United
> Arabic Emirates, and sales to Egypt have also been confirmed.

Als je de verkoop van producten en technieken aan landen met dergelijke
nare regimes, hoe denk je dan over het gratis weggeven van software en
het openbaar delen van kennis?

En wat hebben ze ueberhaupt verkocht? Is een mes een wapen, of een
gereedschap dat (al dan niet toevallig) ook als wapen kan worden gebruikt?
Hoe zit het dan met schroevendraaiers?

> AntiSec NL, a Dutch group closely linked to Anonymous.

Ja, want iedereen weet dat Anonymous een vastomlijnd en enkelvoudig iets
is, waar je banden mee kunt hebben. En ze blijven altijd binnen alle
universele ethische grenzen.

> A clever hack, if you will, but also a controversial and illegal one.

Veel hacks, van hackers in privesfeer, van bedrijven en van overheden,
zullen controversieel en illegaal zijn. Maar controversiele en illegale
dingen kunnen best goed zijn. Ik ben fel tegenstander van "terughacken",
maar je kunt je in het debat beter niet laten leiden door wat er
momenteel in de wet staat. Vaak zat is de wet zelf gewoon fout.

Je kunt "het is illegaal" simpelweg niet als argument gebruiken in een
discussie over ethiek.

Of, anders gezegd: you say "illegal" like it's a bad thing.

> Lately, Fox-IT has been publicly lobbying to create legal rights for
> law enforcement to actively crack target systems.

Het is hun recht om een mening te hebben, die mening te uiten, en te
proberen de wet aangepast te krijgen om hun wensen uit te laten komen.

> [Fox-IT] are the prototype of a privatised blend of law enforcement
> and defense, unhindered by any ethics and stretching its praxis to the
> shady borders of legality.

Hear, hear.

> That's the kind of company considered hip amongst contemporary Dutch
> hackers, who seem all too happy associating with and working for them.

Er zijn hackers die dit hip vinden en graag voor zo'n bedrijf willen
werken. Er zijn ook hackers die homoseksualiteit haten. Er zijn hackers
die PHP fantastisch vinden, en er zijn hackers die vinden dat domme
mensen minder rechten zouden moeten hebben.

Zoveel hackers, zoveel meningen. Het zijn net mensen.

> Those early days of the hacker scene were marked by a shared sense of
> ethics

Ethiek is een persoonlijke beleving, en inderdaad is er vandaag de dag
zeker geen consensus binnen (enorm gegroeide) de hackergemeenschap. Hoe
groter een groep wordt, hoe meer het op allerhande gebieden het
gemiddelde van de bevolking zal benaderen. Dat betekent voor
hackergroepen vaak dat de gemiddelde intelligentie afneemt en dat de
ooit gedeelde ethiek niet meer zo vanzelfsprekend is. De schaduwzijde
van sociaal succes?

> For example, one look at the CCC website is enough to see a strong
> outspokenness on the political issues surrounding hacking, actively
> monitoring and criticizing state surveillance.

Dat zal ook heel veel te maken hebben met hoe vroeg de CCC is begonnen,
met hoe enorm de CCC propaganda voert binnen de eigen gelederen, en dat
het een grote club is waar mensen blijkbaar graag bijhoren. Nederland
heeft zo'n organisatie niet en het window om een dergelijk instituut op
te richten is volgens mij al geruime tijd voorbij. Nederlandse hackers
van weleer, de oldies die je eerder benoemde, hebben kennelijk nooit de
neiging (of het doorzettingsvermogen) gehad om zich officieel te
organiseren en in die structuur op grote schaal gezamenlijk politiek te
bedrijven. Dat ze dit hebben nagelaten, kun je ook opvatten als iets
positiefs.

> Are OHM and a number of hackerspaces drifting away from the hacker
> scene towards the security industry?

Hacker scene en beveiligingsindustrie overlappen. Het is duidelijk goed
mogelijk om je in beide te begeven, hoewel dat zeker sociale
consequenties heeft. Werk je voor Fox-IT, dan zul je sommige geheimen
wellicht niet te horen krijgen van andere hackers. Ben je actief in de
hackergemeenschap, dan zul je sommige geheimen wellicht niet te horen
krijgen van je werkgever. Of juist wel, om je loyaliteit en
geheimhouding op de proef te stellen. Ik benijd mensen die zichzelf in
die situatie brengen in ieder geval niet.

Wat betreft OHM: bij het organiseren van zo'n feestje werp je je op als
quasi-professioneel evenementenorganisator. Er komt weinig typisch
hackwerk bij kijken. Het is hard werk, waarbij politieke menings-
verschillen vaak geen belemmering vormen.

> The usual approach to such mental illness that is seen all too often
> within the hacker scene is to simply ignore it and bury it deep down
> in our subconciousness.

Er is een prettigere manier om om te gaan met diversiteit: omarmen!

Net zoals je mag geloven wat je wilt, en ik het niet met je eens hoef te
zijn, en zoals je mag uitspreken wat je vindt, en ik het niet met je
eens hoef te zijn, mag je ook werken voor een werkgever, zonder dat ik
het met je eens hoef te zijn. Dat hoeft samenwerking en vriendschap niet
in de weg te staan.

De situatie wordt overigens echt niet genegeerd. Het is heel vaak
onderwerp van discussie, althans zeker bij RevSpace, en ongetwijfeld ook
in andere hackerkringen.

@juerd

The metaphoric use of generations shouldn't be taken too literally, i think it has more to do with the general spirit of the times then the actual age of people. What i was trying to accomplish was depicting a simplified genealogy of the narratives within the dutch hacker scene. The generation metaphore seemed appropriate enough and saved me from having to use tl;dr-academic-talk.

As for why the notion of hackers joining the police sounds absurd? Trying to wave that away because of the way the media has depicted hackers seems a bit too easy. I don't even think hackers are generally regarded as criminals. Online rebels? yes, criminals? not necessarily. Hacking has connotations of the subversive (no wonder given the self-labeling as techno-anarchists) and playful creativity, which hardly are attributes one would ascribe to the your average police constable.
Speaking of the your average police constable; before you dismiss a fuck-the-police as childish, please bear in mind that being on the receiving end of a truncheon (often enough simply for voicing ones opinion) doesn't generally add to ones willingness for nuance and subtleness.

Having said that, let's get a bit more to the point. You (and you're not the only one) seem to claim that Fox-IT has no influence whatsoever on the organisation of OHM. Don't you think it's ironic that the spokesperson of OHM today quoted in Der Spiegel stressing how there was no influence on the program ... is also working on marketing at Fox-IT? While it may not be as apparent as direct influence on the program, there are of course reasons why a company hands over a pretty large amount of money.
What bothers me most is the image of acceptance it portrays, by accepting a company like Fox as your sponsor you're implicitly endorsing its policies and activities. So yes, Fox-IT has the right to express and lobby for their political views, but that sure doesn't mean you should endorse them. Quite frankly, when OHM has activists listed as their target audience yet at the same time endorses a company like Fox-IT, this leads to division by zero.

The subject of endorsing brings me to your point regarding diversity. Sure the scene is very heterogenous and in principle this is a very good thing. But when you say 'there are hackers who hate homosexuality', I would sure hope they be removed from the terrain the moment they start their hate mongering. Celebrating diversity and freedom of speech should not be confused with blindly accepting the intolerable. As much as I empathise with peoples economic circumstances that might force them into jobs that go directly against hacker ethics, I maintain it is a very wrong signal when the promotion of said jobs is silently endorsed or even encouraged.

Anyway, one of my main reasons for this rant was the impression people didn't know or simply didn't care. I'm happy to hear there's already been lively discussion at revspace. I'm also very happy to see there is now a much broader discussion and I sincerely hope all those considering boycotting Ohm will still be there to participate in the real life discussions on how to deal with these issues.

ps. I'm really not that old, but don't you know it's impolite to ask...?

"Don't you think it's ironic

"Don't you think it's ironic that the spokesperson of OHM today quoted in Der Spiegel stressing how there was no influence on the program ... is also working on marketing at Fox-IT?"

How is this ironic? What are you suggesting?

"there are of course reasons why a company hands over a pretty large amount of money."
In this case, what specific reasons are there?

"So yes, Fox-IT has the right to express and lobby for their political views"
Do they have the right to lobby for their political views? What rights are these rights exactly?

--stitch

To be clear, the sponsor

To be clear, the sponsor contract was signed September 2012. The two board members of IFCAT didn't work for Fox-IT at that time.

...

That is incorrect. I started working for fox-it in june 2012.

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K.I.T.T.! I need you!

But we all loved Michael Knight from the Foundation for Law and Government (F.L.A.G.) and MacGyver of the Phoenix Foundation, didn't we?

All those adventures, going where official law enforcement and military couldn't go due to some pesky laws.

Old people seem to forget details about the past

Groente glorifies the past and despises involvement of Fox-IT. As a hacker from the past I would like to note that the past was less glorious. We didn't have a respectable Fox-IT company backing initiatives.

Organized crime and radical groups tried to get a foothold within the hacker community with the aim of abusing any outcome. These guys were always in the background, trying to influence the community and to monitize hacks. I don't see fox or any other security firm sponsoring these events doing this.

For the record: I have no ties with Fox, I don't like it when someone tries to abuse history.

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