Welcome to the Electronic Disturbance Theater!

For our next act of Electronic Civil Disobedience to Stop the War in Mexico,
we turn our attention to a Mexico related web site in Europe on July 3.

For those new to ECD and to FloodNet, the purpose of these actions is to draw attention to the war in Mexico by engaging in virtual sit-ins on web sites directly linked to the Mexican government's genocidal campaign against the Zapatistas and other indigenous peoples in Chiapas and the rest of Mexico.

In short, Electronic Civil Disobedience borrows the practice of trespass and blockade from traditional - i.e. physical - civil disobedience and applies this practice to the Internet. Until now, we have mainly engaged in blockades of Mexican government web sites using a new software tool we developed called FloodNet.

FloodNet is a mass distributed system that relies on the participation of many. When hundreds or thousands of people are simultaneously connected to FloodNet, the targeted web site receives hundred or thousands of "reload" requests every few seconds. When a critical mass of "reload" requests are received, the targeted site is effectively blocked.

There are different ways to measure the success of these types of electronic actions. Quantitatively, we can assess the number of "hits" that the targeted site receives and we can observe instances when access to the site is blocked. Qualitatively, we realize there is an echo effect in which our message gets redistributed through other means. For example, there have been articles about our project in the on-line versions of the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle/Examiner, and Wired. We know that we have also created a "buzz" in a number of on-line discussion forums. Finally, we also know that the Mexican government has been paying attention to us and in fact has allocated time and resources to attempt countermeasures. (See FloodNet Foyer for a brief explanation).

At this point, FloodNet is our primary tactical tool. But we hope this changes soon and that FloodNet becomes just one of an array of devices that can be deployed for future acts of Electronic Civil Disobedience against the Mexican government and other appropriate targets. To this end, the Electronic Disturbance Theater has developed a SWARM proposal for this September's Ars Electronica festival in Linz, Austria. Through raising the specter of Electronic Civil Disobedience in forums like this, we hope to gain the participation of others. Eventually, we hope that our group becomes one of many in an internationally linked network of ECD actors.

For a deeper understanding, read a recent paper about the Electronic Disturbance Theater and Electronic Civil Disobedience. This paper has links to a number of useful articles. Also browse through the ECD homepage.

Send feedback to Ricardo Dominguez and Stefan Wray.

Thank you for joining us. Return for our next action on August 8.

Join the July 3 ECD action.