Zapatismo has infected the political body of Mexico's "perfect dictatorship" since January 1, 1994. This polyspacial movement for a radical democracy based on the Mayan legacies of dialogue ripped into the electronic fabric not as InfoWar--but as virtual actions for real peace in the real communities of Chiapas. As of September 1997 reports of The Mexican military training and arming paramilitary groups with the intent of moving the "low-intensity" war to higher level began to circulate among the Zapatista Network. It took the massacres at Acteal to focus the world on something that was already known--the constant tragedy of late-capital.
As manifestations took place around the world in remembrance of the Acteal dead on January 1 and 2nd, the Mexican military with the full support of the PRI government began the next stage of the war against peace. As the West stumbled about in celebration of a new year--the first report reached out across the net and slapped us awake once more with the brutal reality of the neo-liberal agenda.
1.0 Beta Actions
This time Zapatista Networks responded with a new level of electronic civil disobedience beyond the passing of information and emailing presidents. On Sunday the 18th of January 1998 a call for NetStriking for Zapata (from Anonymous Digital Coalition) came in via email with the following instructions:
In solidarity with the Zapatista movement we welcome all netsurfers with ideals of justice, freedom, solidarity and liberty within their hearts, to a virtual sit-in. On January 29, 1998 from 4:00 p.m. GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) to 5:00 p.m. (in the following five web sites, symbols of Mexican neoliberalism):
This virtual sit-in not only brought the possibilities of direct electronic actions to the forefront of the Zapatista networks, it also initiated a more focused analysis of what methods of electronic civil disobedience might work. Several questions were brought up on the issues of net traffic, ISPs, and small international pipes. Speculations on the technological implications of these actions began to focus on questions of Who is most likely to be damaged by this move? The Mexican target banks or the Internet Service Providers, ISPs, who route data to these banks?
As these discussions were taking place a group of Mexican digital activist on February 4, 1998 hacked into a Mexican government home page on the Internet and placed pro-Zapatista slogans on the front pages of the site. Soon afterwards an MS Dos Ping Action program from the ECD group arrived to hit Mexican Banks and Chase Manhattan Bank on February 9.
The next level of possible ECD began to emerge at the end of February: an automatic mail engine from the New Humans and Java based site that automatically began to PING the Britsh Mexican Embassy URL every 7 seconds once you logged-in.
To move beyond these Beta actions we need to map the general condition of InfoWar at this shifting point in time.
Command and control systems (CCS) within the Military and Intelligence Communities have been re-shifting their definition of war for sometime. That surveillance systems like Project Echelon would become a priority is no surprise. The NSA (National Security Agency) and the (NRO) National Reconnaissance Office have been working on implementing new functions for themselves since the end of the post-Cold War.
They had to re-invent themselves into hyper-surveillance
networks that can accomplish defensive intelligence gathering and rapid
containment missions for the lowest cost possible. Now it is more
important to attack an opponents information infrastructure, than it is to destroy its armies. Actions, like the Gulf War, are now only useful for limited screenal political gambits.
The enemy is now hosted by the global public commercial
networks. InfoWar tactics must now maintain a constant analysis of all
information flows and a continuous tracking of the backbone routes.
In search of the most effective way to bring down specific zones of resistance
within an enemies political or economic structures:
The scenarios of possible implosions faced by the decentralization
of command and control are increasing at a co-equal rate with the speed
of access to hardware, software, and training. Late Capital demands that
this equation grow even faster and to the farthest reaches of the globe.
The necessity of the rule of association and strategic coalitions between military and intelligence networks with mega corporation webs, universities, independent ISP´s, electronic political cells, individual research and analysis creates a general state of pan-anarchy.
Thus IWW (Information World War) has already started and
it is haunted by its own shadow. It must face the task of dealing with
an open network that has at least 5 vulnerabilities:
2. Multiple distribution points.
3. Memetic networks (MMN): independent networks which coordinate without the unification of a central command.
4. Non linearity and complexity effects: where simple interactions lead to unpredictable outcomes.
5. Constant states of emergency: all systems are always already not enough and must be constantly upgraded.
3.0 Hacking the Future
Digital Zapatismo has always been an open system of sprawling networks—this has been the force multiplier of the movement. It used digital cultures most basic system of exchange, e-mail between people to disturb the Informatic State. Now that we know that they are using, as we always suspected, hyper-surveillance filters to regain control of the network.
We must begin to invent other methods of Electronic Civil
2. Deep programming: Creating Spiders, Bots, and other (minor network agents) to move against specific URLs without interrupting the Server. The first Zapatista Spider should be available by the end of May.
3. Offshore Domains: To maintain spamming engines for massive e-mail actions.
4. Virtual proximity capabilities: Create simple access systems for Real Time intercontinental electronic communication. These types of systems would disable the possibility of surveillance. A proto-type has been developed by Thing.net—The Thing Connector 3.0.
5. Satellites: To gather a fund among alternative networks to buy our own Satellite. Giving us autonomy from controlled networks and backbones. The Nettime community has been discussing the possibility.
6. Jamming Chips: Jamming by cells of highly trained cells could systematically disrupt wide areas of sensitive networks. These micro-squads could slip basic disturbances into the chips bought by the U.S military-entertainment complex from foreign countries. Many of these elements are part of a wide range of defensive and offensive weapon systems--that could induce a general dysfunction in performance at a pre-set time.
Since Jan 1, 1994 the analysis of the Zapatista Electronic Movement has been at the top of the list of the Military and Intelligence research agenda. For now all we can do is continue to forge ahead and always remember that all of this electronic activism is about a real community in search of a real peace. A community that has been calling for a world the makes all worlds possible.