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Telecomix hacktivist to talk about control of cyberspace

Telecomix hacktivist to talk about control of cyberspace

The battle for control and circulation of information on the internet is the topic of a Skype lecture by Telecomix hacktivist Stephan Urbach at the Albany campus on Tuesday.

Mr Urbach is part of the hacktivist group of crypto-anarchists Telecomix, which was involved in opening up communications in Egypt, Libya and Syria, fighting for net neutrality against the surveillance and information restrictions of governments.

He will be talking about how the internet is becoming a new battleground for the control and circulation of information – one where conflicts in real life spill over into cyberspace.

Senior Tutor in the School of English and Media Studies Ms Phoebe Fletcher says the lecture is a coup for Massey as Mr Urbach is one of the few Telecomix members to come forward publicly.

“We are thrilled to have someone like Mr Urbach talk at the University. He is on the cutting edge of both the possibilities that technologies enable in an increasingly networked and globalised world, and also the restrictions that we, as citizens, may face in the future in accessing information. There are very few hackers that have come forward publicly, so we are very privileged to have him talk.”

Telecomix was formed in Sweden in 2006 and is now a loose collective of global hacktivists. Their achievements include exposing the Syrian government’s use of the US firm Blue Coat’s surveillance technologies to monitor activists, as well as pioneering the use of low-tech solutions to circumvent communication shutdown, including teaching Syrians how to convert household objects into walkie talkies.

A former activist for Germany’s Pirate Party, Mr Urbach worked on free communication for people in Egypt, Libya and Syria, and now lectures on topics relating to free communication, solidarity and “internet culture”.

The Skype lecture will be held at the Atrium Round Room on the Albany Campus on May 13. The lecture is open to staff and students of Massey University, and the public. It is free to attend, but seating is limited.

For more information on Telecomix, go to their website: http://telecomix.org

Event details:

Where: Atrium Round Room

When: Tuesday May 13, from 11am to 11.45am

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