Newsletter #162: Fires and Militias

Hello Recompilers,

Some of the editors of Recompiler (not me, I’m just a newsletter-writer) have started a blog to track the Portland protests and it’s one of the best resources I’ve seen to keep up with what’s going on, with timelines of each night and a roundup of news.


You’ve probably noticed that the West Coast of the USA is on fire. You might even have noticed it because the sky is orange, you can’t breathe, or you’ve had to flee your home. There’s no problem that the police state can’t make worse, and evacuated prisoners have been forced into deep overcrowding that is guaranteed to continue the spread of Covid. There’s also no problem that the far fright can’t make worse, and at least one militia checkpoint has been set up to point guns at people fleeing from the fires–because the militia movement is spreading the rumor that antifa is responsible for these fires.

Every time we make a political demand in earnest, we will run across two obstacles: the forces of conservative reaction who seek to preserve the status quo, and the forces of faux-progressive reaction who will seek to co-opt our demands to further repression under a different guise. California, of course, is one of the centers of the latter style of reaction. Activists have been working hard to eliminate cash bail, which affects poor people disproportionately, but lawmakers have offered to replace it with a dystopian crime-prediction algorithm that will not make the world any better.

In a bit of more hopeful news, protestors in Belarus have been using Telegram and VPNs to continue to communicate despite governmental attempts to shut down the internet to quell dissent.

Finally, Cory Doctorow, a friend of Recompiler, is pre-selling his new book Attack Surface in audio and ebook format on Kickstarter because Audible won’t carry it because Doctorow steadfastly refuses to let his work be locked under DRM. Personally, I’ve never met a Doctorow book I didn’t like, so I just preordered the audio version.


Cyber: Inside Amazon’s Spy Campaign Against it’s Own Workers
Motherboard’s Lauren Kaori Gurley discusses how Amazon hires spy agencies to keep tabs on their workers.

Talk of the Week:

This talk is part of our “Favorite Talks” YouTube Playlist. Check it out and subscribe! 

Talk the talk! Information security jargon

Dorothea Salo at Intro Sec Con 2020 gives a 101 talk about infosec jargon

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SeaGL, Seattle GNU/Linux Conference 2020, November 13-14, held online.


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This newsletter compiled by Margaret Killjoy (@magpiekilljoy). Margaret is an author, activist, and musician based in Appalachia. Her most recent book series is the Danielle Cain novella series, which starts with The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion.

Image by pxfuel (free for commercial use)