On Monday, August 27, AME LA PAZ, a Mexican based human rights organization
issued an analysis of the April 10 Electronic Civil Disobedience and questioned
our taking action within Mexican cyber-territory. We, the co-producers
of The Electronic Disturbance Theater, after giving AME LA PAZ's criticisms
careful consideration, have decided to withdraw from Mexican cyber-territory.
Whereas on April 10 Mexican President Zedillo's web site became the target
of FloodNet, on May 10 an upgraded version of FloodNet will target a U.S.
based web site. Details about the May 10 FloodNet site will appear as we
get closer to that day.
EDT Policy on International Borders in Cyberspace
And Call for U.S Target on May 10 WWW of ECD
by The Electronic Disturbance Theater, April 29, 1998
The idea of international borders in cyberspace is a contested issue among cyber-activists in Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Some believe that cyberspacial international borders should be respected while others believe there are no such borders.
The Electronic Disturbance Theater initiated a campaign of Electronic Civil Disobedience on April 10 - marked by the release and activation of Flood Net, a software tool for mass action blockades of web sites - based on a belief system that does not recognize international borders in cyberspace. We targeted the Mexican President Zedillo's web site for a mass "ping" action and intermittently blocked it.
AME LA PAZ responded with an analysis of the Electronic Civil Disobedience actions that criticized the projects interventionist nature and argued that permission had not been obtained by Mexican allies. The discourse of the AME LA PAZ analysis is based on a belief system that international borders in cyberspace should be recognized and respected.
Temporarily these belief systems coexist in the same arena. Sound arguments can be constructed to support either view. Therefore at this moment we can not say that one perspective on this matter is more valid than the other.
Given that we will not be able to reach a consensus among Mexican, U.S., and Canadian cyber-activists before May 10 on the question of whether cyberspacial international borders exist or not, The Electronic Disturbance Theater will do the following.
We will change direction. Instead of pointing Flood Net south, across the U.S.- Mexico border, and into the heart of Mexico City, to blockade President Ernesto Zedillo's main web site, we will point Flood Net to a northern target, on our side of the border here in the United States.
Until such time that we can ascertain a consensus or common understanding over the question of international borders in cyberspace we will not impose an answer by continuing to act within Mexican cyber-territory.
We believe that Electronic Civil Disobedience is a valid tactic at this moment in the development of on-line social movements and we will continue to experiment with models and acts that encourage simultaneous and collective mass actions on the Net.
Therefore on May 10 we will continue with the 1998 Tactical Theater Calendar, but this next time all of our targets will be north of the U.S.-Mexico border. As we did in last month's action, we will choose one FloodNet target from a short list of potential candidates. Information on this target will not be released until just before May 10.
We hope that this alteration in our plan alleviates the concerns of AME LA PAZ and others who hold similar views. We also hope that since we are now going to have a U.S. target for FloodNet, that more people will be willing to participate on May 10. We urge our friends in Mexico join in.
Since we don't believe in international cyberspacial borders we call on cyber-activists from all over the world to point their browsers to a number of mirror sites that we'll have set up in the U.S. and Canada. We give the world permission to enter U.S. cyber-territory on May 10 to make a statement about the War in Mexico by blockading the web site of a key actor in this conflict. You are all invited.