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Hacks/Hackers #40 – Weaponised Design, Security Reporting, Inclusivity in Tech

Jun 20, 2018 · Berlin, Germany

In June, we'll meet at ZeitOnline to talk about weaponised design with Cade Diehm (Tactical Technology Collective), the histories of building inclusive spaces in tech with Anita Say Chan (University of Illinois), and how to survive reporting about IT-security with Hauke Gierow.

Hacks/Hackers is a space to talk about the intersection between technology and journalism. Come and join us!


Cade Diehm - On Weaponised Design

The lived experiences of digital platform users is at odds with how these systems are designed. Weaponised design – a process that allows for harm of users within the defined bounds of a designed system – is faciliated by designers who are oblivious to the politics of digital infrastructure or consider their design practice output to be apolitical. Despite traumatic events against users with increasing regularity, addressing the weaponisation of design is not yet a priority, and is still to be addressed by the design community.

Cade is a researcher and creative lead from Tactical Tech. His practice critically explores the politics and outcomes of systems and interfaces through his research into weaponised design, protocol governance and the continued emergence of technology and platform dependency.


Anita Say Chan - The Long (and Continuing) Histories of Building Inclusive and Safe Spaces in IT Cultures

It’s no secret that STEM, Technology, and Innovation Sectors have been challenged as of late by issues of diversity and inclusion, and have been publicly called into question - particularly by workers in Tech Sectors today - for an inability to ensure safe workplace and research cultures. This talk explores the long history of the work to address issues of power and precarity in technology sectors, and to build Inclusive and Safe Spaces in IT. It in particular looks the history of cybernetics projects in the US like the Biological Computer Lab at the University of Illinois [masked]) that worked to foster a “radically interdisciplinary” community of cross-generational researchers, and became renown for energizing a global cybernetics community that served as a “Refuge” for counter-cultural critics within STEM and Humanities researchers alike. It also looks at the work of queer engineers in corporate IT workplaces in the US, who activated national networks and innovated campaigns to reform workplace policy in the 80s and 90s.

Anita is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Cinema Studies and Faculty Fellow at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research and teaching interests include globalization and digital cultures, innovation networks and the “periphery”, science and technology studies in Latin America, and hybrid pedagogies in building digital literacies. She received her PhD in 2008 from the MIT Doctoral Program in History; Anthropology; and Science, Technology, and Society. Her first book the competing imaginaries of global connection and information technologies in network-age Peru, Networking Peripheries: Technological Futures and the Myth of Digital Universalism was released by MIT Press in 2014.


Hauke Gierow - How not to die of cyber when reporting about IT-security

This talk will cover reporting about IT-security issues outside of specialised tech-media and common pitfalls. It aims to give a concise introduction on how to judge press-releases and reports about alleged security-issues.

Hauke writes about IT-security. He has spent a lot of time with journalists from countries with no press freedom and focuses on security that is usable by everybody. In an earlier life he studied political science and Chinese.


As always, if you can help us find speakers, hosts or have a burning desire for a specific topic to be covered please contact us.

Kind regards,
Hacks/Hackers organising team.

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