Member of the Board of the Polish Linux Users Group. Human rights in digital era hacktivist, Free Software advocate, privacy and anonimity evangelist; expert volunteer to the Panoptykon Foundation; co-organizer of SocHack social hackathons; charter member of the Warsaw Hackerspace; and Telecomix co-operator; biker, sailor.

Formerly President of the Board of the Polish Free and Open Source Software Foundation; CTO of BRAMA Mobile Technologies Laboratory on Warsaw University of Technology and a student at Philosophy Institute on Warsaw University.

Table of Contents

02.07.2016Dzień, w którym cenzura Sieci w Polsce stała się faktem pl 152 13.04.2015Needless haystacks en 151 12.03.2015e-Dockleracje pl 150 19.01.2015Ban on encryption is not about banning encryption en 149 13.01.2015Not Free as in Beer en pl 148 30.12.2014GPG Key Transition en pl 147 18.12.2014Siła wyższa pl 146 04.12.2014Internet in Poland to be porn-free after all? en pl 145 27.11.2014Block everything! en pl 144 02.11.2014Introducing: rysiek's law of unavoidable consequences en pl 143 09.09.2014Stop paedophilia en pl 142 22.06.2014Even with EME, Mozilla will become "the browser that can't" en 141 21.06.2014EuroDIG 2014 en pl 140 19.06.2014Hacker in the Digital Affairs Council en pl 139 30.05.2014Public consultations and anonymity en pl 138 18.05.2014Why being a pirate is not worth it en pl 137 15.05.2014On Mozilla, DRM and irrelevance en pl 136 14.05.2014Not-quite-good-enough-Mundial en 135 12.04.2014Irresponsible non-disclosure en pl 134 29.03.2014Ecologic, Ford and surveillance en pl 133 15.03.2014Otwórzmy edukację pl 132 10.03.2014Blurry line between private service and public infrastructure en 131 08.03.2014IM IN UR MINISTRY, CONSULTING UR INTERNETZ en pl 130 17.02.2014Encrypted VoIP that works en pl 129 11.02.2014So you want to censor the Internet... en pl 128 02.02.2014This is why we can't have nice IRC en 127 31.01.2014Decentralize where your mouth is en pl 126 30.01.2014A link cannot be illegal en pl 125 30.01.2014Copyright reform debate lives on en pl 124 26.01.2014Neat HaCSS, or let's de-JS the Web a bit en 123 27.12.2013Information Account Number en 122 14.12.2013HaIPu en 121 20.11.2013Friends of TTIP and data protection in Brussels en 120 19.11.2013Social media, Polish Pirates style en pl 119 05.11.2013A rude comment en 118 20.10.2013TEDx Warsaw Women and privacy en pl 117 03.10.2013Copyreform at CopyCamp 2013 en pl 116 22.09.2013Long-expected KMail2 rant en 115 18.09.2013Facebook for schools en 114 12.09.2013In which I call upon United Poland parliamentarians to guarantee citizens the right to Internet free of surveillance en pl 113 08.09.2013Complaintivism en 112 04.09.2013It's his own fault en pl 111 19.08.2013Lies, damn lies, and analytics en pl 110 27.07.2013Shortest Internet censorship debate ever en pl 109 22.07.2013Cómo el compartir información desarraiga los modelos conservadores de negocio en es 108 22.07.2013Posts' markup is now available en pl 107 11.07.2013Kultura wolna i legalna pl 106 07.06.2013Internet is not a problem en pl 105 05.06.2013Libel Culture en 104 17.05.2013Wojtuś Fatalista i wolność w Internecie pl 102 17.05.2013Por qué hallo la licencia -ND como innecesaria y dañina en es pl 101 28.03.2013Wolność nasza codzienna pl 100 17.03.2013Nie wszystko korpo co o wolności w Internecie pl 99 15.03.2013♫ Odpowiadam na e-maile ♫ pl 98 11.02.2013One year anniversary of Anti-ACTA en pl 97 30.01.2013Nie ma haka na słabe dziennikarstwo? pl 96 30.01.2013Fighting Black PR around OER en pl 95 29.01.2013HOWTO: effectively argue against Internet censorship ideas en pl 94 20.11.2012Border conditions for preserving subjectivity in the digital era en pl 93 19.11.2012Social blogosphere en pl 92 07.11.2012Embrace fragmentation en pl 91 02.11.2012SERVICES.TXT en pl 90 24.10.2012Apple por fin saltó por la borda en es 89 24.09.2012Rompiendo los muros del jardín en es pl 88 24.09.2012Minister i Kultura pl 87 24.09.2012Melbourne CryptoParty video message en 86 16.09.2012On sailor's sensitivity, or "the starry heavens above me" en pl 85 22.08.2012Black PR around Polish e-Textbooks en pl 84 15.08.2012Regaty utracone pl 83 24.07.2012Hypochristian Love en 82 24.07.2012Some new Layout Goodness en pl 81 17.07.2012Party 2.0 en pl 80 16.07.2012Prawo autorskie po ACTA pl 79 13.07.2012Party as a system hack en pl 78 10.06.2012Are corporations dangerous only in collusion with governments? en 77 09.06.2012Proxies! Proxies everywhere! en 76 05.06.2012Automagic re-publishing from Twitter to StatusNet en pl 75 18.05.2012TPSA/Orange and GIMP, or a word on 5 users en pl 74 16.05.2012Słowo o Warsztatach MAiC pl 73 15.04.2012Schowaj gadżeta pl 72 05.04.2012Perfect ToDo-oid en 71 27.03.2012Subjectively on Anti-ACTA in Poland en pl 70 25.03.2012On copyright in Budapest en pl 69 23.03.2012Kościoła poczucie odpowiedzialności pl 68 20.03.2012Learning to Internet en pl 67 19.03.2012Kościoła wiara w wiernych pl 66 29.02.2012Brussels Safari #1 - EP press conference and ITRE en pl 65 21.02.2012Because ACTA is passé en pl 64 20.02.2012Privacy of correspondence, EU-style en pl 63 17.02.2012Polish PM on ACTA: I was wrong en pl 62 12.02.2012Anonymous vs Corponymous en pl 61 10.02.2012To have a cookie and dowload it too en pl 60 19.01.2012About ACTA at Polish PM Chancellery en pl 59 19.01.2012Free as in United en pl 58 16.01.2012Towarzystwo czuje się oszukane pl 57 10.01.2012Terms of Using the Service en pl 56 05.01.2012Corporate lack of patriotism en pl 55 04.01.2012Terroristcopters en pl 54 03.01.2012IceWeasel and Privacy en pl 53 28.12.2011Good Uncle Stal... Putin en pl 52 25.12.2011Useful Bash defaults done right en 51 21.12.2011Google Mail, or how mail becomes publication en pl 50 20.12.2011Occupy Gotham en pl 49 11.12.2011Copyfraud en pl 48 08.12.2011Multikino Wikipedia FAIL pl 47 27.11.2011Nie miejsce na pl 46 18.11.2011One-way cutting en pl 45 12.11.2011Tolerancja dla Kościoła pl 44 11.11.2011Users and Citizens en pl 43 30.10.2011Adhocracy and Net4Change en pl 42 18.10.2011War on Fun en pl 41 16.10.2011Boli mnie w krzyżu pl 40 14.10.2011Technocomplacency en pl 39 10.10.2011I Can Haz? pl 37 09.10.2011Election Silence in Poland en pl 38 03.10.2011Kibice i kampania pl 36 02.10.2011E-textbooks, Johnny Mnemonic, business and the Net en pl 35 19.09.2011CC Global Streaming/Summit/Party pl 33 19.09.2011Czy jest coś takiego jak darmowe śniadanie? pl 34 12.09.2011Faktycznie Super pl 32 12.09.2011Diaspora-Based Comment System en 31 11.09.2011Conflict of values en pl 30 06.09.2011Wolność słowa to nie wolność od myślenia ani od krytyki pl 29 06.09.2011On-line privacy and anonymity: case in point en pl 28 04.09.2011On being careful with words en pl 27 03.09.2011W obronie QR Code pl 26 31.08.2011Stolica Nie Tak Święta pl 25 29.08.2011Of malware, hot steam, privacy, using one's brain and paedoparanoia en 24 29.08.2011Kragen Thinking Out Loud en pl 23 18.08.2011Ból, blizny, dziewczyny i wiosła pl 22 07.08.2011Worst. Woodstock. Ever! pl 21 27.07.2011Willpower, productivity and cycling en pl 20 19.07.2011Neo FreeRunner as a WiFi Soundcard en 19 10.07.2011A Weekend with lawyers en pl 18 09.07.2011One step closer to ideal en pl 17 04.07.2011Apostasy in Poland en pl 16 28.06.2011YAFR (Yet Another Facebook Rant) en pl 15 19.06.2011Wiara w priorytety pl 14 17.06.2011Important meetings, fun meetings en pl 13 13.06.2011Ooops I en pl 12 30.05.2011Playing with Node.js en pl 11 25.05.2011Mozilla, Google and the Location Bar en pl 10 24.05.2011At Sector 3.0 conf en pl 9 23.05.2011Layout, CSS and RSS/Atom en pl 8 15.05.2011Startup Weekend Network Fun Fun Fun en 7 11.05.2011Nowy szef Bramy pl 6 10.05.2011World's Smallest Open Source Violin en pl 5 10.05.2011Po kolejnym spotkaniu w KPRM pl 4 08.05.2011Inspiracja na niedzielę pl 3 08.05.2011I horizontally the whole blog is that serious pl 2 07.05.2011I can has brag en pl 1

Adhocracy and Net4Change

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Last week (Oct 25-26, to be precise) I went to Stockholm for two great events around the topic of hacktivism and how ICT can shape the dynamics of social changes.


The first of those — Power of Adhocracy — was an activist-organised meet-up, an "inofficial warm-up" before the next day conference. Activists (including Jacob Appelbaum, of TOR Project fame) from the USA, through Europe to Kenya were talking in a casual manner about their ideas and projects. Unfortunately I was only able to get there for the last two talks, but nonetheless that meant a fun and interesting evening with the speakers and the great people of Telecomix.


The second one — Internet and Democratic Change — was a much more official conference. Organized by the Julia Group in co-operation with SIDA, an agency of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with participation of media and activists from around the world, but focused mainly on the Arab Spring.

The Agenda was full of great talks, unfortunately one had to choose their track. I am very happy with my choice, though.

Scott Lucas of EA World View described how new methods of contacting sources (like social networks) and new media (blogs, internet sites) allow for following and commenting on global situation from any corner of the world, provided Internet access is available.
Stephen Urbach, a Telecomix hacktivist, provided an insider perspective on "revolutions from the couch", or how hacktivists, IT proffesionals, programmers and other volunteers co-operating with Telecomix helped Egiptians circumvent government-mandated Internet blockades during anti-Mubarack protests.
Mahnaz Afkhami, founder of Women’s Learning Partnership, talked about tools that help change situation of women in the MENA region and deliberated on new ways of fighting gender discrimination globally.
Maryam Al-Khawaja reflected on role of social media in social change in Bahrain, and that new technologies are being actively used there bo both sides, which was well exemplified in the twitter feed of the conference (where the presence of negative comments posted from newly created accounts was very visible).
Hamza Fakhr — by an audio/video link, as he was unable to come personally due to unforseen difficulties — described changes in the way ICT was being used in the Syrian revolution.
Dima Khatib and Sultan al-Quassemi, in a panel discussion moderated by Yasmine El Rafie, pondered on how they received first information on the beginning of the protests in Northern Africa, where did they get further info from and how they became important sources for others. Of course, they continued to use their social network accounts while on-stage.


A very interesting talk, as usually, was given by Jacob Appelbaum: on surveillance and invigilation we all endure — being aware of that, or not; with our consent, or not — all the time, and how network censorship (under the guise of fighting the bogeyman of the day like "terrorism" or "child porn"; or without any guise at all, like in Syria or Egipt) is just a logical extension to such surveillance, simply putting the infrastructure and technology to work. The only way out is using effective mechanisms of ensuring anonimity and privacy in the Net — and those must be trivial to use so that they are used universally (so that the mere fact of using encryption does not automatically tip off the government agencies that "this somebody has something to hide"). Anonimity, privacy and using strong cryptography must become the default, not optional! Two interesting examples of projects striving to go this way were called:

  • TAILS, or a Linux distribution crafted for anonymous use, by default removing all the logs and using as strong cryptography as possible in each given situation;
  • TORouter, or a physical device that just needs power and Internet connection to provide a properly configured TOR node.

Of course a question arises why the software vendors and service providers do not make the right decisions on user privacy, anonimity, offer strong encryption by default — and the answer, according to Jacob, is simple:
Do you know why vendors don't make good privacy decisions for users? It's because you are their product.

Jacob's talk got an interesting emphasis after the conference, when en route to the USA he was detained on Keflaviku airport (that did not stop him from commenting the whole situation in his usual manner).

However, the biggest sensation of the conference (and that's a general consensus) was Salma Said dismantling the popular myth of how peaceful and "Internet-fueled" Egyptian revolution was — and the myth of its success.
The revolution became peaceful once we burned 90% of police stations during the first 6 hours. Then we could act like hippies. (...) This revolution needs weapons; if we had weapons we would use them. (...) When the thugs came we didn't defend Tahrir with twitter and facebook; we defended it wih our own bodies.

That does not mean that Internet wasn't relevant to the Egyptian uprising; however, it was not — according to Salma — even close to being as important as the Western world was led to believe.

It was all the more interesting considering the fact that at the same time in the second room Slim Amamou praised the way Internet enabled and helped the Tunisian peaceful social and political change. The apparent contradiction was especially evident on the (unfortunately) twitter [feed of the #net4change tag, where Salma's remarks on how Internet was much less important than what is generally thought and Slim's praises on its importance went head-to-head. A nice summary of that came spontaneously from Salma:
Internet is important in revolution, but it depends on where you are and what you can do.

Finally, Hanna Hellquist (State secretary, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs) summarized the conference saying, among other things, that Sweden must send clear signals, unequivocal signals of support for human rights and personal freedoms towards foreign nations. It's not always easy (it's very difficult to do with China, for example), but it's crucial.

The response was very mixed, as the talk sounded strange in the context of controversial events around The Pirate Bay.

I had the pleasure of asking Mrs Hellquist about that afterwards — she admitted that it's a difficult topic, not only due to Internet censorship debate and actions against filesharing in Sweden. However, she cannot, for obvious reasons, be held accountable for the whole Swedish government and is just playing her part and doing her job.


...Or a joint beer excursion was one of the most interesting beer excursion I have ever had the pleasure of participating in. The sheer fact that I wa able to discuss with activists from around the globe, doing their parts in a multitude of different ways — direct actions in Egypt; getting the info out and finding sources; keeping the infrastructure up and running, and acquiring proof of government foul play — was fantastic.

The discussions themselves, obviously related to the topic of the conference, social change and Internet (and more!) where very stimulating and will have my mind going for a long time.

Thanks: I would like to thank Marcin de Kaminski for inviting me as a participant to the Net4Change conference; and Telecomix agent Lejonet for extending his hospitality towards me and offering a place to stay for the two nights in Stockholm.