Summary and Info
This project is a study of free data dissemination and impediments to it. Drawing upon post-structuralism, Actor Network Theory, Participatory Action Research, and theories of the political stakes of the posthuman by way of Stirnerian egoism and illegalism, the project uses a number of theoretical, technical and legal texts to develop a hacker methodology that emphasizes close analysis and disassembly of existent systems of content control. Specifically, two tiers of content control mechanisms are examined: a legal tier, as exemplified by Intellectual Property Rights in the form of copyright and copyleft licenses, and a technical tier in the form of audio, video and text-based watermarking technologies.A series of demonstrative case studies are conducted to further highlight various means of content distribution restriction. A close reading of a copyright notice is performed in order to examine its internal contradictions. Examples of watermarking employed by academic e-book and journal publishers and film distributors are also examined and counter-forensic techniques for removing such watermarks are developed. The project finds that both legal and technical mechanisms for restricting the flow of content can be countervailed, which in turn leads to the development of different control mechanisms and in turn engenders another wave of evasion procedures. The undertaken methodological approach thus leads to the discovery of on-going mutation and adaptation of in-between states of resistance.Finally, an analysis of various existent filesharing applications is performed, and a new Tor-based BitTorrent tracker is set up to strengthen the anonymization of established filesharing methods. It is found that there exist potential de-anonymization attacks against all analyzed file-sharing tools, with potentially more secure filesharing options also seeing less user adoption.
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