In this episode, we meet Primavera De Filippi, author of the recently published 'Blockchain and the Law', from Harvard University Press (co-authored with Aaron Wright). Primavera is interested in how the law will change to accommodate blockchain -- and how blockchain might replace parts of the law. We've already seen how P2P filesharing strained the world's copyright law: what changes will be ushered in by P2P money? We discuss the future of blockchain-based technologies, and whether decentral systems are doomed to create new incumbents and new forms of centralisation; whether (and how) forking could be a solution against this 're-centralisation'; and how Ethereum's smart contracts may have a fatal flaw that the philosophy of law already knows about.
Primavera De Filippi is a permanent researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris, a faculty associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and a Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute. She is a member of the Global Future Council on Blockchain Technologies at the World Economic Forum, and co-founder of the Internet Governance Forum’s dynamic coalitions on Blockchain Technology (COALA). Her fields of interest focus on legal challenges raised by decentralized technologies, with a particular focus on blockchain technologies. She is investigating the new opportunities for these technologies to enable new governance models and participatory decision-making through the concept of governance-by-design.

Showrunner & Host Jamie King | Editor Lucas Marston (Hollagully) Original Music David Triana | Web Production Eric Barch


Presented by TorrentFreak

Sponsored by Private Internet Access

Executive Producers: Mark Zapalac, Eric Barch, Nelson Larios, George Alvarez.

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In this episode we meet Abhishta, one of the authors of the paper 'The Business Model Of A Botnet', from the University of Twente in Netherlands.  This fascinating research was widely discussed on release, at least partly due to its insights into the astonishing sums of money botnet operators are making -- and how they're doing it. We sit down with Abhishta to discuss  how Botnets are created, and the multiple ways they can be used to make profit for their operators; attacks on critical internet infrastructure like Dyn; and the surprising actors behind some big DDOS attacks on banks in the Netherlands. Abhishta fills us in on so-called 'stresser' botnet operations like Lizard Stresser, a kind of rent-a-botnet model, and we consider the surprising accessibility of mother of all attacks: a DDOS against the internet itself -- and how it could be used to net billions of dollars.

Showrunner & Host Jamie King | Editor Lucas Marston (Hollagully) Original Music David Triana | Web Production Eric Barch


Presented by TorrentFreak

Sponsored by Private Internet Access

Executive Producers: Mark Zapalac, Eric Barch, Nelson Larios, George Alvarez.

For sponsorship enquiries, please email [email protected]

This is the second part of our interview with Chris Beams, founder of the decentralised cryptocurrency exchange, Bisq. We discuss the inner workings of the Bisq service, how it compares to the widely used platform Local Bitcoins, and the intricacies of designing decentral P2P systems for financial operations. From there, we move into some of the political/philosophical implications of Bisq as a Distributed Autonomous Organisation (DAO): are we evolving, with Bitcoin and other P2P networks, functionalities which parallel certain present-day institutions, and which could one day eliminate the need for  establishment altogether? And could a future democracy be composed of "opt-in" components that actually do better at providing for our basic human needs?

Showrunner & Host Jamie King | Editor Lucas Marston (Hollagully) Original Music David Triana | Web Production Eric Barch


Presented by TorrentFreak

Sponsored by Private Internet Access

Executive Producers: Mark Zapalac, Eric Barch, Nelson Larios, George Alvarez.

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What is the alt-right, and what does it have to do with online culture? In this episode we meet Elizabeth Sandifer, author of Neoreaction, A Basilisk. Riffing off the material in her book, we talk through the origins of the alt-right, Richard Spencer, and a potential relation to 4Chan's Anonymous movement. Then we look at so-called Neoreactionary (NrX) theorists such as Mencius Moldbug and Nick Land, asking what it is they want for the world and what their arms may (or may not) have in common with early Marxism. Finally we look at the fascinating concept of The Great Filter: what is it, how do we survive it, and are Elon Musk, Nick Land and Peter Thiel all hunting for different solutions to the same problem? And last, but not least: the many lives of The Red Pill. Please note that although Elizabeth is referred to as 'Phil' and 'Philip' in the episode, she has since transitioned and is now known as Elizabeth.

Showrunner & Host Jamie King | Editor Lucas Marston (Hollagully) Original Music David Triana | Web Production Eric Barch


Presented by TorrentFreak

Sponsored by Private Internet Access

Executive Producers: Mark Zapalac, Eric Barch, Nelson Larios, George Alvarez.

For sponsorship enquiries, please email [email protected]

In this episode we meet Chris Beams, founder of the decentralised cryptocurrency exchange Bisq. We discuss the concept of DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations), and whether The Pirate Bay was an early example; how the start of Bitcoin parallels the start of the Internet itself; and why the meretricious Bitcoin Cash fork of Bitcoin is based on a misunderstanding of Open Source development. Finally then we get into Bisq itself, discussing the potential political importance of decentralised crypto exchanges in the context of any future attempts by the financial establishment to control cryptocurrency. This is part one of a two-part interview; the second part will be released to Patreon supporters first, and then on the main feed.

Showrunner & Host Jamie King | Editor Lucas Marston (Hollagully) Original Music David Triana | Web Production Eric Barch


Presented by TorrentFreak

Sponsored by Private Internet Access & Premiumize

Executive Producers: Mark Zapalac, Eric Barch, Nelson Larios, George Alvarez.

For sponsorship enquiries, please email [email protected]

In this episode we meet Sam Woolley, director of the Digital Intelligence Lab at the Institute for the Future, to dig deeper into the topic of troll farms, political disinformation and the use of social media bots to create what Sam calls 'Computational Propaganda'. What happens when the ability to create propaganda is democratized out of the hands of governments and corporate media and into the hands of unknown, weird and downright dangerous online actors? The paper Sam co-wrote, 'Computational Propaganda in the United States of America: Manufacturing Consensus Online', is available here.

Showrunner & Host Jamie King | Editor Lucas Marston (Hollagully) Original Music David Triana | Web Production Eric Barch


Presented by TorrentFreak

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Executive Producers: Mark Zapalac, Eric Barch, Nelson Larios, George Alvarez.

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In this episode we meet Vinay Gupta: software engineer, disaster consultant and global resilience guru. Vinay served as Release Co-ordinator for the Ethereum project, and is now CEO of Mattereum, 'the first Internet of Agreements infrastructure project, bringing legally-enforceable smart contracts to the internet.' We discuss: the idea of a 'nerd Reich' that has either usurped power from or merged with global governmental power; how and why we now live in a market-driven version of Orwell's 1984; and Vinay's concept of de-governance, and why the modern nation state is the wrong platform to solve the problems that face us today.
Starting out in the 1990s as a computer programmer, Gupta shifted his attention to environmental and infrastructure risk around the turn of the century, becoming involved with the Rocky Mountain Institute, a leading US think-tank dedicated to the sustainable use of energy and resources. He was on the editorial team for two of its books, the Pentagon-funded Winning the Oil Endgame and Small is Profitable, winner of the 2003 Economist book of the year. Since then, his work on state failure and critical infrastructure has seen him contribute to US Department of Defense research projects, consult for the engineering and design firm Arup on urban resilience and most recently, take on a role as an associate fellow at the UCL Institute for Security and Resilience Studies in London.
It seems everyone's getting in on the "fake news" game today, from far-right parties in Germany to critics of Catalan separatism -- but none more concertedly than the Russian state itself. In this episode we meet Ben Nimmo, Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, to talk us through the latest patterns and trends in online disinformation and hybrid warfare. 'People who really want to cause trouble can make up just about anything,' explains Ben, 'and the fakes are getting more and more complex. It's really quite alarming.' After cluing us in on the state of information warfare today, we discuss evidence that the Russians are deploying a fully-funded 'Troll Factory' across dominant social networks whose intent is to distort reality and sway the political conversation in favour of its masters. We dig deep into the present history of the 'Battle Of The Bots', looking specifically at the activities of the fake Twitter account @TEN_GOP, whose misinformation has reached all the way to the highest tier of American government. Can we control or counter these rogue informational entities? What's the best way to do so? Do we need 'Asimov Laws' for a new generation of purely online, but completely real, information entities?

Showrunner & Host Jamie King | Editor Riley Byrne Original Music David Triana | Web Production Eric Barch


Presented by TorrentFreak

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Executive Producers: Mark Zapalac, Eric Barch, Nelson Larios, George Alvarez.

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In this episode we meet Diani Barreto from the Berlin Bureau of ExposeFacs. Launched in June 2014, ExposeFacts.org supports and encourages whistleblowers to disclose information that citizens need to make truly informed decisions in a democracy, aiming to shed light on concealed activities that are relevant to human rights, corporate malfeasance, the environment, civil liberties and war. We start by discussing Diani's Cuban heritage, the recent mysterious aural attacks against diplomats in Cuba, and how her work with Telecomix trying to network the country attracted the unwelcome attention of the American Heritage Foundation. Then we move through a range of topics including whether the media establishment has lost the power determine what counts as 'reality' in political discussion; Facebook's political function and whether it's more like a branch of government than a company; how the new information incumbents like Facebook, Twitter and Wikileaks are coping with their status; and if Silicon Valley's mantra of "disrupt all the things" is actually resetting our social landscape in favour of the unpleasant and unwanted alt-right.
Diani Barreto is a Cuban-American painter, media artist, translator, information activist and independent researcher on whistleblowers and hacktivism.

Showrunner & Host Jamie King | Editor Riley Byrne Original Music David Triana | Web Production Eric Barch


Presented by TorrentFreak

Sponsored by Private Internet Access & Premiumize

Executive Producers: Mark Zapalac, Eric Barch, Nelson Larios, George Alvarez.

For sponsorship enquiries, please email [email protected]