on Mon, 8 Jun 1998 19:40:45 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> HackIt 98

from: Patrice Riemens <>
subject: IEDEREEN: HI 98 Firenze Day 1
date: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 10:27:06 +0200 (MET DST)

You all know the dynamics of events: organisers are stressing weeks or
month on end, towards the last day of preparation things move towards a
climax, promptly followed by an ant-climax when day one has come.  And you
know the dynamics of tyrain time-tables: once one train is late, the whole
schedule goes haywire.  And you know the dynamics of networks: aka a chain
is as strong as its weakest segment.

Hack it 98 got to do with all these problems, and connectivity is truly
abysmally low. But then, you dont need networks and computers for a hacker
meeting. You do need however, a modicum of organisation. Well, it was thre
and not.  You cant blame them really, there were also some personal, sad
circumstances involved. Suffice to say that the Amsterdam contingent (aka
"HippiesfromHell", HFH) was bigger than the organising group.
Well, it made its presence felt. There was a kind of general meeting in
the late evening where initiatives about "antagionist/contrarian networks
in Italy & Europe were presented.  First there was a lengthy exposition of
what happens in Italy.  A lot, but a lo-tech level (in our eyes).
Internet is simply not a geneally available tool, especially in
'progressive' circles.  So still a lot of books, magazines, CDs.  And a
lot of political talk, of solidarity, but also fear of 'selling out'. Come
in the Hippies  (there was no moderation, so we simply seized the floor)
and started shocking  this whole edifice. Patrice gave an outline of the
evolution of xs4all, dds, society from relatively small scale initiatives
to full fledged institutions.  The numbers (40.000+ subscribers at xs4all,
70.000 users on DDS) gave the audience the jitters.  You're talking 100s,
a few 1000s at most here. The level of the budgets involved was also a bit
too much. Then Marcel explained how hackers in Holland became
professionals, yield influence if not power, mahke money, and still keep
up the spirit and remain independent (fiercely so).   Time for some
contrarian talk by the folks from nodo50 (  in Madrid.
They choose on purpose for small-scale, self-governemnt by the members,
and a consistent progressive political line...and just 300 members.  Lots
of applause from the audience for those "pur et dur" people.   One can
understand.  After them and as last contrib, Barbara Strebel (The Swiss
Thing, after commenting that Dutch keep their pirate and
traders on the wild fringe tradition very much alive (and operate with
aremarkable solidarity and one-mindedness when abroad..."Dutch Imperialism
anyone...?) presented the Thing project as a thinking (and organising)
international, operating local art(ist)s space, and kicked a few
discussion topics on the issue of how to act and present yourself in these
tough times. And sorry, before that, Billsf had explained the ins and outs
of his 'cuba' machine (, unfortunately out of
commisiion due to the most byzare input coming in from the Hack It

And after that everybody got  plastered, unless one was already...
party on (orso)


PS  The most interesting thing at HI 98 might well be the pirate Radio and
Television station (  They are very active
and ...errr...experimental.

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from: Patrice Riemens <>
subject: IEDEREEN: Hack It 98 Days 2-3, and the WASHOUT!
date: Mon, 8 Jun 1998 16:02:40 +0200 (MET DST)

For Hippies Only:

The BarryMobile with Moped-indent has left at 11.53 local time containing
Marcel, Lenneke, Tamara, Nils & Bill.
(and 16 liters of bottled water....)

Hanno & Ellen left yesterday late afternoon by train.

Tim left this morning by train to Rome, and will fly to-morrow to BXL, then
train to A'dam

Charlotte & Barry are terrorizing the Air France reps here to fly them out
to-morrow, despite total strike at that company.  They might have to fly
Brutopian Airlines via Ulan Brutop....


Voor "Waagers" only

Congratulations on your heavy technical announcement traffic & the
anti-timesheet actions.  Thje former, unfortunately have been 'DBR-ed' (Delete
Before Reading)


Hack It 98 Report Days 2 and 3.

After the usual slo start, HI98 got really on during its second day.  However,
it is unlikely that the expectyed 400 visitors have materialized, let alone
the 1000 that were rumoured at some stage.  Or that had to be at the nite
parties, with experimental music from Japan, Cyber-theater and the habitual

The seminars looked like going fine.  But they were  (of course) all in
Italian, and it was also very hot outside, and even more inside those great
dark rooms (!) which were to large for the beams...  Anyway the whole venue
(an huge, abandonned and only very  partially used industrial plant) would
have made a perfect set for some kind of post-nuclear film production...

Seminars were given on:
- cryptography and anonymousness.
- privacy and the future of money
- providers responsibility, networks and censorship

There were also basic courses in Internet related  techniques, basic
telematics,cryptography - there was a PGP signing session -  and Linux for
beginners , which were in great demand (and free).

But possibly one of the most popular courses was a kind of on-going 'master'
class (true beginners really) in lockpicking by Tim of the HippiesfromHell
group, who had calmly installed himself next to the secretariat and had a c
onstant following of a few folks happily picking various hangslots and
assorted cylinders open).  One had of course to explain to the local media
that this was not a thieves' academy - and they got the message!

Alas, there were also sniffers at work in an other room, so the hippies
immediately started a SSH offensive and we all had to pledge to change our
passwords and kiss telnet goodbye! (sad news for the two 'Naughty Nephews of
Telnet" in Amsterdam, but hey, hackers parties are there for learning!)

(end of part one)

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from: Patrice Riemens <>
subject: IEDEREEN: Hack It 98: Days 2-3 and the WASHOUT (part 2)
date: Mon, 8 Jun 1998 16:28:45 +0200 (MET DST)

The Great XS4COPS debate

If you thought the Dutch 'invasion' of Hack It 98 was without merit or
purpose, watch this:

Somewhere during the night of saturday to sunday, some folks (may be those
pesky sniffers ;-) ) put up a 'hackable' webpage  purporting to represent
XS4ALL in its 'true' guise of 'collaborators' with the police. Rumour had
spread that xs4all had gone out of its way to help the police in the kid
pornography scare (Itself a contentious subject in Italy, vide the Luther
Blisset pieces). Upon which Hanno, one of the few 'real' xs4all people (though
we are all at heart!) talked all nite to a smaal but very intent group of
people explaining the general purposes and policies of xs4all, and managed to
set the record straight. The discussion reemerged on Sunday morning and
afternoon, again with Hanno and Patrice in debate, especially with Alberto and
Roxu from Nodo50 about the ins and outs of being a big, corporate provider,
but with a social brief and quite precise political ideas (and principles) vs
being a small political organisation totally given to being antagonist to the
status quo (not to speak of the huge difference in political culture between
Holland, and resp, Italy and Spain). Here too potential conflict was stemmed,
and as Tommaso Tozzi put it, the large basis we have in common was not
overshadowed by differences which are as so many opportunities of serving the
same purpose in an optimum way.

PS Of course Bill or Marcel can explain you far better the technical aspects
of the 'hack' which, I understand, involved being now in
need of serious reinstallation....

Anyway, the whole fracas brought into focus in a very effective way all the
ins and outs of hackers moving out of social movements into the corporate
mainstream. Without loosing their soul, or so maintained our group. But we
probably did not convince everyone...

(end of part 2)

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from: Patrice Riemens <>
subject: IEDEREEN: Hack It 98: Days 2-3 and the WASHOUT (part 3)
date: Mon, 8 Jun 1998 16:51:52 +0200 (MET DST)

(part 3)

Another initiative by the 'foreign guests' was subtly overturned by the
audience: an english-speaking workshop/seminar or your have it to discuss all
these pending issues of differences between the various local situations. This
insufferable language imperialism was quickly overturned in a well-attended
session under spirited but temporary chairpesonship of barbara strebel. the
proposed topics of discussion were cyberfeminism, anonymity, group processes,
ways of organizing, how (if?) to resist the onslaught of commercialisation
etc etc. It turned into a very realistic demo of most of these concepts at
work IRL. Including 'the Italians' first demanding  (and getting) continuous
translations, then engaging in fierce (and untranslatable) debate amongst
themselves, before finally leaving without waiting for an answer after having
made their point.  But Barbara still managed to express her views about the
exemplary traject of the "Cyberfeminists" evolving in little time from a cosy
group of women on the Net into a hierarchised "Spice Girls" outfit producing
itself at various arty-netty conference venues...

May be the slightly foul atmosphre was directly related to the cataclismic
depression taking shape in the higher layers of the air outside.  Once the
sky'd gone pitchdark, a most wonderous thunderstorm erupted, followed by a
break of the monsoon like downpour which drenched the terrain (and quite a lot
of the buildings). Within minutes the server was seen (or perceived) drifting
away while the electrical sockets came knee-deep under water.  Nobody was
'jolted', but then the little connectivity we had at the best of time went
away for good...

Whereupon people put chairs on their heads and went out to walk to the theatre
and assemble for the final session. There was again a good display of
rhetorics, and a platform of principlies and action was adopted, quite
reminiscent of the 'ICATA Manifesto' and other habitual pronouncements at this
sort of meets. The whole event was declared - rightly so - a s a big success,
and it was decided to just do it again, next year in Milano, care of
Decoder/Shake, and in the Holy Year 2000 in ...Rome. Forte Prenestino's going
to take any anti-pilgrim willing to show up then.


cheers from Badia Fiesolana (connectivity @ IUE at last!)
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