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July Meetup: Cyborg Civil Liberties and the Rights of Man

Our speaker this month (Monday, July 11th) will be Rich MacKinnon. Rich is a former president of EFF-Austin and former member of the boards of the ACLU of Texas and the Central Texas Civil Liberties Project. He was present at the founding of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the Los Altos Hills and attended the first Conference for Computers, Freedom and Privacy as a student researching the raid on Steve Jackson Games and the nascent Electronic Communications Privacy Act. He was the first political scientist in cyberspace and published the Cybergovernance trilogy on governance, crime, and punishment in virtual realities. While a graduate researcher in the UT ACTLAB, he began developing a theory of cyborg identity under the mentorship of Sandy Stone. He’s currently the founder of Borgfest, a human augmentation expo and cyborg pride festival so that he can share his cyborg theory with people through music, entertainment, and food rather than lectures and books.

As technologically-enhanced humans comprised of software, hardware and wetware, we will personally become a battlefield for intellectual property rights and the 3rd party ownership of our bodies. In the last century, civil liberties were understood in regards to the sanctity of our persons and bodies, the property we possess, and the manner in which we engage others. The 21st century reconceives the bodily boundaries as the fight moves inwards. It is a pitched battle for the ownership, licensing, and control of our augmented, alternative, and synthetic anatomies and the data and telemetry produced by them. Already, there are those walking among us whose bodies, likely unbeknownst to them, are a matrix of license and service agreements, limited warranties, and unilateral privacy policies.

Plainly put, what happens when your cyborg body part is legally understood as property as opposed to being a part of you? What are the legal challenges faced by cyborgs when parts of their bodies are owned by someone else?

Keeping in mind the distinction among civil liberties, other statutory guarantees, contractual rights, and moral claims, what challenges to our 20th century understanding of our rights can we anticipate since so much is based on the assumption that we are our bodies and our bodies, and everything which comprises them, are understood as an individual rather than a conglomeration of corporate owners operating within a human host.

What rights and liabilities do hosts have with respect to their internal property owners and vice versa? For instance, if an artificial organ maker is subject to a lawful remote search of an asset within one’s body, does the host have the right to know and/or object to the intrusion? Even the framing of the discussion is critical since the host and provider model is perhaps inherently a dehumanizing and disempowering construction. Or is it?

Could there be a basis for “humanizing the whole body” by the naturalization of third-party property introduced into the body and eventually superseding third-party claims? In other words, if it’s in you or attached to you, then it’s yours after a point, regardless of the contracts and property laws. Would such an effort undermine the development of beneficial cyborg technology and/or healthcare?

Join us for a discussion of these questions and more.

Monday, July 11, 2016 at Capital Factory

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Apple Patents Technology To Remotely Disable Your Cellphone Camera

Apple has patented a technology that can remotely disable the camera on your cell phone via an infrared signal. Ostensibly created to prevent people from taking pictures and video at concerts and movie theaters, or to prevent students from cheating on tests, it’s only a matter of time before this is used by law enforcement to prevent the lawful recording of their actions or by governments to prevent protestors from documenting retaliation against their assemblies.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/apple-patent-could-remotely-disable-protesters-phone-cameras/

A Victory For Net Neutrality

The FCC’s classification of broadband internet under Title II of the Telecommunications Act has been upheld in U.S. Appeals Court.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/14/471286113/u-s-appeals-court-holds-up-net-neutrality-rules-in-full?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20160614

EFF-Austin Hosts A Performance Of The Play Privacy Settings!

EFF-Austin board member Heather Barfield has conceived and directed a new play at The Vortex theater titled Privacy Settings. Based on the ancient Greek play of Prometheus Bound, Privacy Settings imagines Edward Snowden in the titular role of Prometheus, the titan whole stole fire from the gods and gifted it to mankind. The play is inspired by the actions and punishments of contemporary whistle-blowers, advocates for digital privacy rights and perversions of American civil liberties. Privacy Settings offers a “surveillance fun house” with opportunities for unique interactive experiences. Some of these experiences include actionable tips about how you can increase your digital privacy from the moment you walk out of the play later that evening.

EFF-Austin has managed to obtain a special deal for our followers to see the play for the low price of $10 a person on Thursday, June 16th at 8:00pm. On the night of the show you can mention that you’re with EFF-Austin to the Box Office and they will allow you to purchase the discounted tickets, which are being held for our group in our name. EFF-Austin board member Kevin Welch will be your host for the evening and will arrive at 6:30pm to lead a pre-show hour of drinks, socialization, and dinner at the adjacent Butterfly Bar and Patrizi’s Italian food trailer. Following the play, EFF-Austin president Jon Lebkowsky will lead a talkback to discuss the issues raised by the play.

We encourage everyone in the Austin tech community, as well as anyone who wants to learn more about the modern surveillance state and the increasingly large impact it’s going to have on our lives, to attend.

Please RSVP only if you are planning to attend, we are trying to get an accurate headcount.

https://www.facebook.com/events/708002946006241/
https://ctxlivetheatre.com/reviews/review-privacy-settings-a-promethean-tale-by-vo/
http://www.vortexrep.org/
http://butterflybaraustin.com/build/
http://www.patrizis.com/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1700148823579500/

EFF-Austin Hosts A Performance Of The Play Privacy Settings!

Thursday, Jun 16, 2016, 6:30 PM

The Vortex
2307 Manor Rd. Austin, TX

16 Activists Went

EFF-Austin board member Heather Barfield has conceived and directed a new play at The Vortex theater titled Privacy Settings. Based on the ancient Greek play of Prometheus Bound, Privacy Settings imagines Edward Snowden in the titular role of Prometheus, the titan whole stole fire from the gods and gifted it to mankind. The play is inspired by the …

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How To Mod A Hacked Phone

Watch Edward Snowden teach you how to mod your phone so that if it’s been hacked you can no longer be seen or overheard.

http://www.wired.com/2016/05/snowden-vice-cell-phone-hack/?mbid=social_fb