2016, Fri, Feb 05

Tacit Futures #2: Connecting Snowden Archives

With Andrew Clement, Sandro Gaycke,n Evan Light, Geert Lovink, M.C. McGrath, Deborah Natsios & John Young, André Rebentisch, Pit Schultz, Maria Xynou, Sabrina Apitz, Corinna Haas and Krystian Woznicki

The day-long workshop brings together pioneering archivists of the Snowden documents from North America and Europe for the first time. It enables them to present their work in depth, in order to facilitate deeper "learning from" processes.

Additional guests, who do research or run projects adjacent to Snowden archive initiatives, will provide ideas about how such an archive could be used for explorations and projects by journalists, researchers, activists, and librarians.

Guests: Andrew Clement (The Snowden Digital Surveillance Archive), Sandro Gaycken (Digital Society Institute / dsi.esmt.org), Evan Light (Snowden Archive-in-a-Box), Geert Lovink (Institute for Network Cultures), M. C. McGrath (The Snowden Document Search / Transparency Toolkit), Deborah Natsios (Cryptome.org/The Tally Update), Pit Schultz (nettime.org), André Rebentisch (meshcon), Maria Xynou (Surveillance without Borders), John Young (Cryptome.org/The Tally Update).

Moderation: Sabrina Apitz (Berliner Gazette), Corinna Haas (ICI Library / Berliner Gazette), Krystian Woznicki (Berliner Gazette) Documentation: Norman Posselt, Adriana Radu, Magdalena Taube, Andi Weiland (all Berliner Gazette)

The workshop brings together the following Snowden archive projects:

The Snowden Document Search aims to provide a comprehensive, easy-to-use search that draws upon all text from available Snowden documents. The search is based upon the most complete archive of Snowden documents to date. It is meant to encourage users to explore the documents through its extensive filtering capabilities. While users are able to search specifically by title, description, document, document date, and release date, categories also allow filtering by agency, code word, document topic, countries mentioned, SIGADS, classification, and countries shared with. Results contain not only full document text, PDF, and description, but also links to relevant articles and basic document data, such as code words used and countries mentioned within the document. This project is a collaboration between the Courage Foundation and the Transparency Toolkit.

The Snowden Digital Surveillance Archive is the first fully text-searchable, internet-based archive of all files leaked by Snowden and subsequently published by the press. It was initiated by Andrew Clement in collaboration with the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, who now host it. Created by archivists trained at the University of Toronto, it contains document descriptions and browsable indices such as initiating agency, surveillance program, publishing source, reporting journalist, and creation and publication dates.

The Snowden Archive-in-a-Box is an autonomous stand-alone wireless network and web server version of the Snowden Digital Surveillance Archive designed to provide end-users with a secure off-line method to use this database without the threat of mass covert surveillance. This evolving project includes a surveillance demonstration apparatus that monitors wireless traffic to the server and plays it back visually in real time. Evan Light at Concordia University conceived of and continues to develop the portable version - the Snowden Archive-in-a-Box.

Cryptome.org is widely considered as the precursor of digital whistleblower platforms and was also the first one to systematically collect all published Snowden documents. Cryptome's scatterplots of original artworks and cartographic research interweave geneaology with geopolitics, juxtaposing the biography of a spy-assassin who defected in Cold War Germany with the 21st-century border crossings of an informant-whistleblower eluding prosecution by the surveillance state. As fugitive defector and whistleblower navigate aliases and false tallies what does this phrase mean, they raise compelling questions about sovereignty, territory, citizenship, and the inchoate quantification of a borderless public domain.

Tacit Futures: Diving Into Snowden Archivesis the follow-up to UN|COMMONSand a cooperation between Berliner Gazetteand transmediale in the context of the Tacit Futures projectby Berliner Gazette.