A German friend recently directed me to the hugely interesting webspace of the CCC: certainly not the Belgian extreme left-wing organisation, but the German Chaos Computer Club – not as violent yet not less ideological. Since the early 1980s, this Berlin-founded club of hackers strives for a free flow of information and advocates communication as a human right. They organize an annual congress for hackers and related life-forms, artists, utopists and technology researchers. You might know them from their installation, transforming the Haus des Lehrers at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz into a big low-resolution computer-screen – immortalized in this duet with Miss Kitten. Even for those not hindered by a poor command of German, much of it may be just a bit too technical, unintelligible and puzzling for those not initiated in the complexities of ‘hacker-ism’ – not all hacking is as easy as a game of chess. But even then, the ethics of the movement may be refreshing, and its view on technology and culture provoking – for instance in protesting against the collecting of biometric data by obtaining and copying the fingerprint of the German home secretary. Their podcast network ChaosRadio is definitely worth checking, collecting several series of talk-shows on issues relating to data-flow, privacy and hackerism.


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