Tactical Media

Civil Disobedience

In 1848 Henry David Thoreau gave a lecture entitled, "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience".

In protest of the Mexican-American War, Thoreau stopped paying a poll tax and was briefly locked up.

Civil Disobedience involves the deliberate breaking of laws, rules or commands of a government or controlling power without using physical violence. Thoreau's writings were adopted by Mahatma Gandhi and many subsequent social movements. Civil disobedience has been as an anti-colonialist tool in India, as an anti-apartheid tool in South Africa and an anti-war tool in the USA. Other examples, include the Civil Rights movement, environmental activism and both the pro-life and anti-abortion movements.

Electronic civil disobedience

Electronic civil disobedience is the extension of this form of non-violent resistance into the sphere of information technology, typically the Internet. Traditional tactics of trespass and blockage are carried over into electronic media. In certain cases, we have large numbers of people carrying out legal actions. For example, the denial-of-service attack is a virtual sit-in whereby many people reload a website over and over again making it inaccessible to the general public. Other examples, however might involve deliberate violations of the law - The Grey Album, file-sharing, etc..

Tactical Media

Tactial media has similarities to culture jamming and alternative media. French philosopher Michel de Certeau differentiated between a "vocabulary" of social elements used within a society and the system under which they are used. The suggestion is that while the elements of the vocabulary may be fixed, the phrasing may be open to creative reinterpretation. This is where tactical media comes in. Unlike culture jamming or alternative media which act in opposition or response to dominant practices, tactical media tries to become part of dominant media. In this way, tactics are concerned with time rather than space.


Information Awareness Office
The IAO mission was to "imagine, develop, apply, integrate, demonstrate and transition information technologies, components and prototype, closed-loop, information systems that will counter asymmetric threats by achieving total information awareness". Defunded in 2003.
original site: http://infowar.net/tia/www.darpa.mil/iao/

Darpa: Information Exploitation Office

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