Anti-flag the terror state megaupload

anti-flag the terror state megaupload

Has Adam Gadahn Forsaken the Lawful Jihad for Anti-Americanism? Diffusion of Terrorism in State Dyads,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. Both nation-states and intellectual property owners have sought to impose interdiction obligations on network intermediaries. This chapter considers the extent. Though the collective had proven its ability to mobilize and influence, its operations were limited to DDoS attacks targeted at opponents.

Anti-flag the terror state megaupload - remarkable, useful

Anti-Flag - Go West Lyrics

Like a ghost
Emptiness haunted his years
Still his heart was made of nothing less than good
Insecure narration in his head
Something less than schizophrenia
Creeping him with every move that he makes
Breath he takes
A beautiful walk alone
To his empty home
Where he'll lay and he'll sleep by himself

Go west young man
Your future is untold
You can find your dreams on the California coast
Go west young man
Your future isn't too
Far away

She hates me
And I know it because she said so
And I forgot my notebook
And my socialist manifesto
Will it be a tragedy
Or a comedy
The choice is up to you
Life can lead you along on a leash
Or you can break free and run on your own
Don't waste your life
Go and live your life
Like it's the last day here on this earth

Go west young man
Your future is untold
You can find your dreams on the California coast
Go west young man
Your future isn't too
Far away

Don't waste your life
Go live your life
Like it's your last day here on this earth

Go west young man
Your future is untold
You can find your dreams on the California coast
Go west young man
Your future isn't too
Far away

Go west young man
Your future is untold
You can find your dreams on the California coast
Go west!

New Zealand Police". Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  • ^Debrin Foxcroft and Simon Smith (22 November 2018). "New smaller police cars are 'a bit snug' in the back".
  • ^Jamie Ensor & Ella Prendergast (18 February 2020). "Holden axing presents 'real challenge' for police - Chris Cahill". Newshub.
  • ^Maxine Jacobs (25 February 2020). "Police will need to think outside the square following Holden axing, says association president". Stuff.
  • ^George Block (25 November 2020). "NZ police select Skoda to supply new cop cars as Holden rolls into sunset". Stuff.
  • ^"Škoda to supply new Police cars". New Zealand Police. 25 November 2020.
  • ^Lana Andelane (25 November 2020). "New Zealand Police select Škoda for new frontline patrol cars". NewsHub.
  • ^Dog handlers
  • ^"Police Dog Section

    New Zealand Police

    National police service of New Zealand

    New Zealand Police
    Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa  (Māori)
    Flag of New Zealand Police.svg
    Motto"Safer Communities Together"
    Formed1886[n 1]
    Employees13,436 (26 September 2019)
    Annual budgetTotal budget for 2019/20[1]

    National agencyNew Zealand
    Operations jurisdictionNew Zealand
    Size268,021 square kilometres (103,483 sq mi)
    Population5,122,600[2] (June 2021 est.)
    Governing bodyNew Zealand Government
    Constituting instrument
    General nature
    Overviewed byIndependent Police Conduct Authority
    Headquarters180 Molesworth Street, Wellington 6011
    41°16′24″S174°46′41″E / 41.273453°S 174.778143°E / -41.273453; 174.778143Coordinates: 41°16′24″S174°46′41″E / 41.273453°S 174.778143°E / -41.273453; 174.778143
    Sworn members9,831 (2018 Census)
    Unsworn members3,013 (30 June 2016)
    Minister responsible
    Agency executive


    • 111 Emergency
    • Armed Offenders Squad
    • Beat and patrol
    • Communications
    • Counter Terror
    • Criminal investigation
    • Diplomatic Protection Squad
    • Dive
    • Diversion
    • Dogs
    • Drugs
    • E-Crime
    • EM-Bail
    • Ethnic
    • Evaluation
    • Financial
    • Fingerprint
    • Firearms
    • Forensics
    • Info4traders
    • Interpol
    • Licensing
    • Maritime
    • Missing persons
    • Museum
    • International
    • Road Policing
    • Search & rescue
    • Statistics
    • Tenders
    • Vetting
    • Youth education


    • Northland
    • Waitematā
    • Auckland City
    • Counties Manukau
    • Waikato
    • Bay of Plenty
    • Eastern
    • Central
    • Wellington
    • Tasman
    • Canterbury
    • Southern
    www.police.govt.nzEdit this at Wikidata

    The New Zealand Police (Māori: Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa)[n 2] is the national police service and principal law enforcement agency of New Zealand, responsible for preventing crime, enhancing public safety, bringing offenders to justice, and maintaining public order. With about 13,000 personnel, it is the largest law enforcement agency in New Zealand and, with few exceptions, has primary jurisdiction over the majority of New Zealand criminal law. The New Zealand Police also has responsibility for traffic and commercial vehicle enforcement as well as other key responsibilities including protection of dignitaries, firearms licensing, and matters of national security.

    Policing in New Zealand was introduced in 1840, modelled on similar constabularies that existed in Britain at that time. The constabulary was initially part police and part militia. By the end of the 19th century policing by consent was the goal. The New Zealand Police has generally enjoyed a reputation for mild policing, but there have been cases when the use of force was criticised, such as during the 1981 Springbok tour.

    The current Minister of Police is Chris Hipkins. While the New Zealand Police is a government department with a minister responsible for it, the Commissioner and sworn members swear allegiance directly to the Sovereign and, by convention, have constabulary independence from the government of the day.

    The New Zealand Police is perceived to have a minimal level of institutional corruption.[4][5]

    Origins and history[edit]

    Policing in New Zealand started in 1840 with the arrival of six constables accompanying Lt. Governor Hobson's official landing party to form the colony of New Zealand. Early policing arrangements were along similar lines to the UK and British colonial police forces, in particular the Royal Irish Constabulary and the New South Wales Police Force. Many of its first officers had seen prior service in either Ireland or Australia. The early force was initially part police and part militia.

    The Constabulary Act 1846[6] aided at 'preserving the peace, and preventing robberies and other felonies, and apprehending offenders against the peace.' The Armed Constabulary Act 1867 focused the force on dealing with unrest between the indigenous Māori and the encroaching European settlers and the force grew to 200 musket-trained men.[7] The Armed Constabulary took part in military actions against Māori opponents Riwha Titokowaru in Taranaki and Te Kooti in the central North Island in the dying stages of the New Zealand Wars.[8]

    From the police force's beginnings in 1840 through the next forty years, policing arrangements varied around New Zealand. Whilst the nationally organised Armed Constabulary split its efforts between regular law enforcement functions and militia support to the land wars, some provinces desired local police forces of their own. This led to a separate Provincial Police Force Act being passed by the parliament. However, provincial policing models lasted only two decades as economic depression in the 1870s saw some provinces stop paying their police as they ran out of money. Eventually, the government decided a single nationally organised police would be the best and most efficient policing arrangement.

    The New Zealand Police Force was established as a single national force under the Police Force Act of 1886. The change in name was significant, and provincial policing arrangements were dis-established and their staff largely absorbed into the newly created New Zealand Police Force. At the same time, the government took the important step to hive off the militia functions of the old Armed Constabulary, and form the genesis of today's New Zealand Defence Force, initially called in 1886 the New Zealand Permanent Militia.

    Just a decade later, policing in New Zealand was given a significant overhaul. In 1898 there was a very constructive Royal Commission of Enquiry into New Zealand Police. The Royal Commission, which included the reforming Commissioner Tunbridge who had come from the Metropolitan Police in London, produced a far-reaching report which laid the basis for positive reform of New Zealand Police for the next several decades. A complete review of police legislation in 1908 built significantly off the Royal Commission's work.

    A further Police Force Act in 1947 reflected some changes of a growing New Zealand, and a country coming out of World War II. The most significant change in the structure and arrangement for police came after the departure of Commissioner Compton under a cloud of government and public concern over his management of Police in 1955. The appointment of a caretaker civilian leader of police, especially titled "Controller General" to recognise his non-operational background, opened the windows on the organisation and allowed a period of positive and constructive development to take place.

    In 1958, the word "Force" was removed from the name when legislation was significantly revised.

    On 1 July 1992, the Traffic Safety Service of the Ministry of Transport was merged with the police.[9] Up until that time, the Ministry of Transport and local councils had been responsible for traffic law enforcement. In 2001, the Police re-established a specialist road policing branch known as the Highway Patrol. Today the police are mainly responsible for enforcing traffic law, while local councils can appoint parking wardens, who can enforce traffic rules regarding parking and special vehicle lanes.[10][11] In 2010, after some calls to split traffic enforcement again from standard police duties, it was decided that it would remain part of their duties, partly due to the public having shown "enormous support" for it remaining this way.[12]

    The Police Act 1958 was extensively reviewed starting in 2006, after a two and a half-year consultative process the Policing Act 2008 came into effect on 1 October 2008.[13][14] The process included the world's first use of a wiki to allow the public to submit or propose amendments. The wiki was open for less than two weeks, but drew international attention.[15]

    More recently, the New Zealand Police has been involved in international policing and peacekeeping missions to East Timor and the Solomon Islands, to assist these countries with establishing law and order after civil unrest. They have also been involved in community police training in Bougainville, in conjunction with Australian Federal Police. Other overseas deployments for regional assistance and relief have been to Afghanistan as part of the reconstruction effort, the Kingdom of Tonga, Thailand for the tsunami disaster and Indonesia after terrorist bombings. New Zealand Police maintains an international policing support network in eight foreign capitals, and has about 80 staff deployed in differing international missions.[16]

    Female officers[edit]

    In 1936, there was 'a proposal to establish a women police branch in New Zealand', and former principal of the women's section of the South Australia Police, Kate Cocks (1875–1954) attended to speak to the member of the government, the Commissioner of Police, and a gathering of women's societies.[17] Cocks was the first of two female officers in December 1915 with the SA Police, until her retirement in 1935, with the largest women's section of all Australian state law enforcement agencies.

    Women were first admitted to the police in 1941 but were not issued with uniforms.[18] One of the first intake was Edna Pearce, who received the badge number S1 when she was finally issued a uniform in 1952.[19] Pearce made the first arrest by a woman police officer in New Zealand.[19] By January 1949, officer Miss R. M. Hadfield did a cross-Tasman interchange, working for two months in Sydney, a month in Melbourne, and Tasmania.[20] At the time, female officers wore only a small badge under the coat lapel.[20]

    In 1992 less than 10 per cent of the New Zealand Police Force were women.[21]


    Royal New Zealand Police training college

    There is a Police National Headquarters that provides policy and planning advice as well as national oversight and management of the organisation. Although headed by a Commissioner, the New Zealand Police is a decentralised organisation divided into twelve districts.

    Each district has a geographical area of responsibility and a central station from which subsidiary and suburban stations are managed. As of March 2019, there are 327 police stations around the country[22] with nearly 12,000 staff who respond to more than 600,000 emergency 111 calls each year.[23]

    The Commissioner is in overall charge of the New Zealand Police. Assisting the Commissioner are two chief officers in the rank of Deputy Commissioner: Deputy Commissioner-Resource Management; and Deputy Commissioner-Operations.

    Five chief officers in the rank of Assistant Commissioner and the Director of Intelligence report to the Deputy Commissioner-Operations. The Assistant Commissioner-Investigations/International is responsible for the National Criminal Investigations Group, the Organised and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand (OFCANZ), Financial Crime Group, International Services Group and Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat. The Investigations and International Group leads the prevention, investigation, disruption and prosecution of serious and transnational crime. It also leads liaison, overseas deployment and capacity building with international policing partners. The Assistant Commissioner-Operations is responsible for Community Policing, Youth, Communications Centres, Operations Group, Prosecutions and Road Policing. The remaining three Assistant Commissioners command geographical policing areas – Upper North, Lower North and South. Each area is divided into three to five districts.

    District Commanders hold the rank of Superintendent, as do sworn National Managers, the road policing manager in the Waitemata District, responsible for the motorway network and traffic alcohol group, and the commandant of the Royal New Zealand Police College. Area Commanders hold the rank of Inspector as do Shift Commanders based in each of the three Communications Centres. District Section Commanders are typically Senior Sergeants. The New Zealand Police is a member of Interpol and has close relationships with the Australian police forces, at both the state and federal level. Several New Zealand Police representatives are posted overseas in key New Zealand diplomatic missions.

    It is acknowledged, by both Police and legislation, that important and valuable roles in the performance of the functions of the Police are played by: public agencies or bodies (for example, local authorities and state sectors), persons who hold certain statutory offices (for example, Maori Wardens), and parts of the private sector, especially the private security industry. It is also acknowledged that it is often appropriate, or even necessary, for Police to perform some of its functions by working in co-operation with citizens, or other agencies or bodies.[24]


    The New Zealand Police is organised into twelve districts: nine in the North Island and three in the South Island. Each district is subdivided into between two and four areas:[25]

    • Northland – based in Whangārei; divided into two areas: Far North (Kerikeri) and Whangarei-Kaipara (Whangārei).
    • Waitematā – based in Henderson; divided into three areas: North (Orewa), West (Henderson), and East (Rosedale).
    • Auckland City – based in Auckland Central; divided into three areas: West (Avondale), Central (Auckland Central), and East (Mount Wellington).
    • Counties-Manukau – based in Manukau; divided into four areas: West (Ōtāhuhu), Central (Manurewa), East (Flat Bush), and South (Papakura).
    • Waikato – based in Hamilton; divided into three areas: Hamilton City, Waikato West (Huntly), and Waikato East (Thames).
    • Bay of Plenty – based in Rotorua; divided into four areas: Western Bay of Plenty (Tauranga), Eastern Bay of Plenty (Whakatāne), Rotorua, and Taupō.
    • Eastern – based in Hastings; divided into two areas: Hawke's Bay (Hastings) and Tairāwhiti (Gisborne).
    • Central – based in Palmerston North; divided into three areas: Taranaki (New Plymouth), Whanganui, and Manawatū (Palmerston North).
    • Wellington – based in Wellington; divided into four areas: Wellington City, Kapi-Mana (Porirua), Hutt Valley (Lower Hutt), and Wairarapa (Masterton).
    • Tasman – based in Nelson; divided into three areas: Nelson Bays (Nelson), Marlborough (Blenheim), and West Coast (Greymouth).
    • Canterbury – based in Christchurch; divided into three areas: Christchurch Metro, Canterbury Rural (Rangiora) and Aoraki (Timaru).
    • Southern – based in Dunedin; divided into three areas: Otago Coastal (Dunedin), Otago Lakes-Central (Queenstown), and Southland (Invercargill).

    Communications centres[edit]

    New Zealand Police operate three communications centres that are responsible for receiving 111 emergency calls, *555 traffic calls and general calls for service and dispatching the relevant response. The centres are:

    • Northern Communications Centre, based in Auckland and responsible for the northern half of the North Island, down to Hicks Bay, Desert Road south of Turangi, and Awakino
    • Central Communications Centre, based in Wellington and responsible for the southern half of the North Island, from Mokau, Taumarunui, the Desert Road north of Waiouru, and Te Araroa in the north
    • Southern Communications Centre, based in the Christchurch Central Police Station, responsible for the South Island[26]

    The Police Digital Services Centre, a new digital services and communications centre, opened in Paraparaumu in November 2018.[27]


    A police employee becomes a constable by swearing the oath under section 22 of the New Zealand Policing Act 2008. Upon doing so the constable receives certain statutory powers and responsibilities, including the power of arrest. While constables make up the majority of the workforce, non-sworn staff and volunteers provide a wide range of support services where a constable's statutory powers are not required. Rank insignia are worn on epaulettes. Officers of Inspector rank and higher are commissioned by the Governor-General, but are still promoted from the ranks of non-commissioned officers. A recently graduated constable is considered a Probationary Constable for up to two years, until he or she has passed ten workplace assessment standards. The completion of the above is known as obtaining permanent appointment. Detective ranks somewhat parallel the street ranks up to Detective Superintendent. Trainee Detectives spend a minimum of six months as a Constable on Trial after completing an intensive Selection and Induction course. During these initial six months they are required to pass four module based exams before progression to Detective Constable. They are then required to continue studying with another six exam based modules as well as a number of workplace assessments. Once the Detective Constable has completed all of this they are then required to sit a pre-requisite exam based on all of the exam based modules they have previously sat. If they are successful in passing this they attend the Royal New Zealand Police College where they complete their training with the Detective Qualification course before receiving the final designation of Detective. All of these requirements are expected to be completed within two to three years.

    The rank of Senior Constable is granted to Constables after 14 years of service and the Commissioner of Police is satisfied with their conduct. Senior Constables are well regarded within the New Zealand Police for their extensive policing experience, and are often used to train and mentor other police officers.

    Detective and Detective Constable are considered designations and not specific ranks. That is, Detectives do not outrank uniformed constables. Nevertheless, a police officer with a Detective designation will generally assume control of a serious crime scene rather than a uniform staff member regardless of rank.

    To promote to the rank of a Sergeant, Constables must have at least 5 years of service, have a good understanding of general Policing and pass the Core Policing Knowledge examination. Once completed, they are then eligible for promotion.

    Insignia and uniform[edit]

    Two officers at a protest

    New Zealand police uniforms formerly followed the British model closely but, since the 1970s, a number of changes have been implemented. These include the adoption of a medium blue shade in place of dark blue, the abolition of custodian helmets and the substitution of synthetic leather jackets for silver buttoned tunics when on ordinary duty. The normal headdress is a peaked cap with blue and white Sillitoe tartan band and silver badge. Baseball caps and Akubra wide-brimmed hats are authorised for particular duties or climatic conditions. Stab resistant and high visibility vests are normally worn on duty. The body vests are also marked with Sillitoe tartan markings.

    AOS and STG members, when deployed, wear the usual charcoal-coloured clothing used by armed-response and counter-terror units around the world. In 2008, a survey found strong staff support for the re-introduction of the white custodian helmets worn until 1995, to reinforce the police's professional image.[29]



    Police officers communicate with each other via Apple iPhones. For shorter, fast communication, front-line police officers also use radios.

    In 2009 New Zealand Police began moving from using analogue two-way radios, to trialling digital encrypted radios in the Wellington region.[30] The trial was perceived as having been successful and New Zealand Police planned to roll out digital encrypted radios to all regions. However, this has not progressed as planned and only the main centres of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have digital encryption.



    In 2012, the police began using drones also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. By 2013, drones had been used only twice; in one case a drone was used in a criminal investigation and led to charges being laid in court. Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff said "organisations using drones needed good privacy policies – or possibly a warrant".[31]


    The Air Support Unit, commonly known as Eagle, is based in Auckland at Auckland Heliport, Pikes Point, Onehunga and operates three Bell 429 GlobalRanger helicopters.[32][33] In October 2017, the Eagle became a 24/7 service and in July 2019 the Bell 429 helicopters entered service to replace the AS355 Squirrels.[32][33] In February 2020, an Eagle helicopter was based in Christchurch at Christchurch Airport for a five week trial.[34][35]

    Maritime Units[edit]

    The 18.5-metre police catamaranDeodar III, based in Auckland
    The Deodar III'ssister, Lady Elizabeth IV, based in Wellington

    Two maritime units are also operated – the launch Deodar III in Auckland and the launch Lady Elizabeth IV in Wellington, supported by various smaller vessels.[36]

    Road Vehicles[edit]

    The Skoda Superb is the current generic road vehicle of choice for the police. In the past they have used Ford Falcon and the Nissan Maxima. The highway patrol mainly uses the Holden Commodore S variant along with the Holden VF Commodore. The police also use unmarked models of the Holden Cruze and Holden Commodore. Liveries are chequered Battenburg markings orange-blue (older models – VT, VX and VZ Commodores) or yellow-blue (Newer Models, Captiva, Commodore VE and VF, trucks and vans), as well as cars in standard factory colours, commonly referred to as unmarked or undercover.

    Since 2008 the orange-blue livery is being phased out, and all marked patrol vehicles were expected to have the yellow-blue livery as well as LED light bars by 2014.[37] Both Commodore sedan and wagon bodies are used – normally in V6 form.[38] The Holden Commodore (VE, VT, VX and VZ) is currently being phased starting 2013 and slowly being replaced with Holden VF Commodores, with ZB Commodores joining the fleet in 2018.[39] The Holden Cruze is currently only used for Youth Aid, both marked and unmarked.[38] With Holden's announcement it would cease operations in 2021, new pursuit vehicles have been investigated.[40][41] A request for proposal was issued in July 2020 and 27 different vehicle models were evaluated. In November 2020, the police announced that the Skoda Superb would supersede the Holden Commodore, with the first cars being introduced in April 2021.[42][43][44] Dog handlers[45] have fully enclosed utility or station wagon vehicles, which may be liveried or unmarked, with cages in the rear and remotely operated canopy doors to allow the handler to release their dog if away from the vehicle.[46]

    The police also use vans and trucks as Team Policing Units, command centers, mobile police stations, and for the Riot Squad and Armed Offenders Squad (AOS).[47] The AOS also have their own vehicles which is commonly seen as a Nissan X-Trail and the newly introduced Toyota Highlander (all unmarked and equipped with bullbars). They also use the new Holden Acadia with unique markings in the upper/middle North Island.

    The police use SUV-type vehicles mainly for use in rural New Zealand but can also be used in urban areas (mainly in airports). The vehicles used are the Holden Captiva, the Colorado, and its predecessor the Rodeo.[38]

    The police and Ministry of Transport (see history above) have used a wide range of different cars and motorbikes over the years.[48]

    Previous police vehicles[edit]
    Previous police motorcycles[edit]


    New Zealand Police officers carry OC spray (pepper spray), batons and tasers (stun guns). The only officers who routinely carry firearms are members of the Diplomatic Protection Squad, and those with dog and airport units.[50][51] Most officers are trained to use Glock 17 pistols and Bushmaster XM15 M4A3 Patrolman AR-15 type, military style semi-automatic rifles[52] and wear a holster attachment in case they do need a pistol.[53][54] Since 2012, frontline vehicles have had a locked box in the passenger foot-well containing two loaded and holstered Glock 17s and, in the rear of the vehicle, a locked case with two Bushmaster rifles and ballistic vests.[55][56][57] Officers must tell their supervisor or communications staff if they are accessing a firearm from their vehicle.[55][58] The vehicles are fitted with alarms in case windows are broken.[55] Each officer carries vehicle keys and safe keys.[55]

    The Police Association claims the carrying of handguns is inevitable. In January 2013, a Waikato officer was attacked by at least five men after he deployed his OC spray and Taser. His radio was taken from him and his pistol was 'misplaced' during the attack. The Police Association's request for routine carrying of firearms for all officers after this incident was dismissed by the Police Commissioner.[59] The current firearm training and issuing policy has been criticised. Not all police officers receive regular firearm training and not all vehicles contain a firearm. In October 2015, unarmed officers at a routine police checkpoint at Te Atatū South who pursued a vehicle that sped off from the checkpoint were shot at from the offender's vehicle.[60] In December 2015, the Police Association referred to the incident while requesting that all frontline officers receive firearm training and that their vehicles contain a secured firearm. This was rejected.[61]

    In July 2015, the Police Commissioner announced that Tasers would be routinely carried by police officers.[62][63] Tasers were first trialled in 2006 and in 2010 were rolled out throughout New Zealand with all frontline vehicles containing an X26 or X2 Taser in a locked box.[62][64][65][66][67] In 2012, figures showed that a 'disproportionate number of people' targeted by police Tasers were mental health patients.[68]

    Police officers receive regular Police Integrated Tactical Training (PITT) with different levels of training, depending upon an officer's role and responsibilities.[54][69] In 2017, a training model was introduced, and the number of officers trained as so-called 'Level 1 responders' increased to 79%. Level 1 includes training with pistols, rifles, tasers, defensive tactics, handcuffs, OC spray and batons.[54][69] In 2019, Level 1 responder live-fire training and simunitions training increased by 50%.[70] Police annually release a report of their use of force including OC spray, Tasers and firearms.[71]

    Since 2019, all officers wear a Body Armour System (BAS). This is a stab-resistant vest with equipment pouches that can be fitted with ballistic hard armour plates.[72][73] The BAS replaced the stab resistant body armour (SRBA) introduced in 2006 and the ballistic Hard Armour Plate (HAP) which could be worn over the SRBA.[74][75][73]

    Notable incidents[edit]

    Memorial for the Kowhitirangi Incident

    On 8 October 1941, four police officers were killed by South Island farmer Stanley Graham, 40, who fired at them as they attempted to seize arms from his West Coast home at Kowhitirangi. After widespread searches, two policemen and a local civilian saw Graham carrying his rifle and ammunition belts on 20 October.[76] He was shot by Constable James D'Arcy Quirke with a .303 rifle, from a distance of 25 meters,[76] while crawling through a patch of scrub. He died early the next morning in Westland Hospital, Hokitika.

    The police investigation into the murders of Harvey and Jeanette Crewe in 1970 was a turning point in the public's perception of the police. A royal commission subsequently found that the police had planted evidence and framed Arthur Allan Thomas for the murder. Writer Keith Hunter believes this introduced "a cynicism (in attitudes towards the police) that infects us today."[77]

    During the 1981 Springbok tour, the police formed three riot squads known as Red Squad,Blue Squad and White Squad to control anti-apartheid protesters who laid siege to rugby union fields where the touring team was playing.[78] Police were described as being heavy-handed with their batons as they tried to 'subdue' protesters opposed to the Springbok tour.[79] The tour had a significant effect on public perceptions of the police who since this time "have never been viewed with the same general benign approval".[80]

    In July 1985, the New Zealand Police arrested two French Action Service operatives after the Rainbow Warrior was bombed and sunk in Auckland harbour. The rapid arrest was attributed to the high level of public support for the investigation.[81]

    In October 2007 at least 17 people were arrested in a series of raids under the Suppression of Terrorism Act and the Arms Act 1983. The raids targeted a range of political activists allegedly involved in illegal firearms activity.[82] The case dragged on for nearly four years and cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Much of the surveillance evidence was found to have been gained illegally and charges against all but four defendants were dropped.[83] The remaining four were charged with firearms offences, found guilty and sentenced to terms of imprisonment and home detention.[84]

    On 20 January 2012, the police flew in by helicopter and arrested Kim Dotcom and three others in Coatesville, Auckland, in an armed raid on Dotcom's house following United States cybercrime indictments against him for on-line piracy via his internet file sharing company, Megaupload. Assets worth $17 million were seized including eighteen luxury cars, giant screen TVs and works of art. According to Dotcom, about 80 police officers were involved in the operation;[85] the New Zealand police claimed it was between 20 and 30.[86] The incident became controversial when a district court judge ruled that the warrants issued for the property seizures were invalid and it turned out the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had broken the law when asked by police to spy on Dotcom.

    Police and civilian deaths[edit]

    Police killed on duty[edit]

    Main article: List of New Zealand police officers killed in the line of duty

    Since 1 September 1886, 33 police officers have been killed by criminals.

    A member of the New Zealand Police, Sergeant Stewart Graeme Guthrie, was the last New Zealand civilian recipient of the George Cross, which is awarded for conspicuous gallantry. He fired a warning shot near a gunman at Aramoana on 13 November 1990, but was killed by a return shot from the gunman, who also killed twelve others.[87] As of May 2009[update], 29 police officers have been killed by criminal acts, and about 17 by accident, while in the performance of their official duties.[88][89][90] The most recent policeman to die was Constable Matthew Dennis Hunt, who was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop.[91]

    Civilian deaths involving police[edit]

    In June 2012 the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) released a comprehensive report on deaths in police custody.[92] There were 27 deaths in the last ten years – ten of which were suicides. Seven deaths occurred when police were overly vigorous in the use of restraint. Another seven were "caused by the detainee's medical condition" which got dramatically worse in police custody, and three deaths were drug related when police failed to ascertain the detainees were on drugs. Of the 27 deaths, the IPCA said only four "involved serious neglect of duty or breaches of policy by police".[93] On top of deaths in custody, police have shot and killed seven people in the last ten years. One was an innocent bystander, and another two were not carrying firearms but were carrying other weapons.[94] The police were exonerated in all seven cases.

    Numerous people have also died in collisions during or shortly after police car chases. In the five years after December 2003, 24 people died and 91 received serious injuries in police pursuits.[95] Over this period, the IPCA made numerous recommendations to change police protocols, but the death rate continued to climb. In 2010, 18 drivers fleeing police were killed.[96] Fourteen of the deaths were triggered by pursuits over minor offences rather than serious crimes.[97] That year police conducted the fourth review of pursuit policy in six years and ignored key recommendations of the Independent Police Conduct Authority making only minor changes to the policy.[98] Over the next 12 months, 15 drivers died in the course of police pursuits.[99] 14% of pursuits result in a crash either by the police or the offender but police guidelines do not provide a predetermined speed at which officers should pull out of a pursuit. The IPCA has now recommended that pursuit policy would should require officers to "state a reason for beginning a pursuit," and recommended compulsory alcohol and drug testing of police officers involved in fatal incidents.[100]

    Counter-terrorism and military assistance[edit]

    Main article: National Security Investigations Team (New Zealand)

    Since 2005 the NZ Police's main counterterrorism and threat assessment group is the National Security Investigations Team, previously known as the Special Investigation Group.[101] The NSIT is composed of four teams in regional centres, with a remit that covers early intervention in cases of extremism, soliciting informants, and building relationships with communities. Public information on the NSIT was released in relation to criticism of its handling of right wing terrorism in the lead up to the Christchurch terror attack.[102][103]

    The NZ Police are accountable for the operational response to threats to national security, including terrorism. If an incident escalates to a level where their internal resources are unable to adequately deal with the issue (for example, a major arms encounter or a significant terrorist threat), the Police Incident Controller may call on extra assistance from the New Zealand Defence Force and in particular NZ's Special Forces, the military focused New Zealand Special Air Service and terrorism focused Commando Squadron (D Squadron). Control of the incident remains with police throughout. As of 2009, the two military counter terrorist units have never been deployed in a domestic law-enforcement operation. Military resources such as Light Armoured Vehicles have been used and requested before, such as during the Napier shootings, and Royal New Zealand Air Force helicopters from No. 3 Squadron are often used to assist in search and rescue and cannabis eradication operations.

    In 1964, the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) was created to provide a specialist armed response unit, similar to the Metropolitan Police Service's SC&O19 in the United Kingdom. In addition to the AOS, the New Zealand Police maintain a full-time counter-terrorist unit, the Special Tactics Group (STG). Similar to the FBI'sHostage Rescue Team, the STG train in dynamic entry and other tactics vital in high-risk situations. The STG train with the SAS and are the last line of law enforcement response available before a police Incident Controller calls in support from the Defence Force.

    Crime statistics[edit]

    Main article: Crime in New Zealand

    Crime statistics are documented in the police annual report.[104] The police also publish bi-yearly statistical summaries of crime for both New Zealand as a whole and each police district. In early 2005, crime statistics for both recorded crime and recorded apprehensions for the last 10 years were published by Statistics New Zealand. These statistics provide offence statistics related to individual sections of legislation and appear to be the most detailed national crime statistics available today.


    During the early years of the present century several controversies put the Police under close scrutiny. Some have been investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority; others have received significant publicity.


    Main article: INCIS

    The Integrated National Crime Information System (INCIS) was a computer software package developed by IBM in the early 1990s to provide improved information, investigation and analysis capabilities to the police. Deputy Police Commissioner, Barry Matthews, was responsible for its implementation and acknowledged that police requested 'hundreds and hundreds of changes' to the system as the programme was being developed.[105] It never worked as required and ended up costing $130 million before it was finally abandoned in 2000.

    The wasted resources and on-going problems surrounding the failure of the project were a huge distraction for the police. When it was about to be scrapped, Police Association president Greg O'Connor said "The reality of it is that the sooner ... the huge distraction that is Incis is gone, the better."[106] Funding wasted on INCIS subsequently led to budget cuts in other areas so that infrastructure such as cars and communications centres were poorly resourced.[107]

    Use of facial recognition technology[edit]

    In 2021, police were accused of racially profiling Māori and young people by taking photos of any youth apprehended during the course of patrols or considered "suspicious" on a mobile app called "OnDuty" connected to the National Intelligence Application (NIA) system.[108][109] Police claim the photos were a necessary part of combatting crime through more effective intelligence sharing.[108]

    Communications centres[edit]

    In 2004 and 2005, the police were criticised over several incidents in which callers to the Police Communications Centres, particularly those using the 111emergency telephone number, received inadequate responses. In October 2004, the Commissioner of Police ordered an Independent Review into the Communications Centres under sustained political scrutiny after the Iraena Asher incident received a lot of publicity and a whistle-blowing employee resigned. On 11 May 2005, the Review Panel released its report which criticised the service for systemic failures and inadequate management. The report expressed ongoing concerns for public safety.[110]

    Police acted on the recommendations of the review with a number of initiatives, including increasing communications centre staff numbers[111] and then initiating a demonstration project for a single non-emergency number[112][113][114] centre, to reduce the load on the 111 service. The single non-emergency number 105 was launched on 10 May 2019.[115]

    Historical sexual misconduct by police[edit]

    In 2004, a number of historical sexual misconduct allegations dating from the 1980s were made against both serving and former police officers. In March 2006 assistant police commissioner Clinton Rickards and former police officers Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum were charged with raping and sexually abusing Louise Nicholas in Rotorua during the 1980s. The defendants claimed all sex was consensual and were found not guilty on 31 March 2006.[116][117] In February 2007 the same three men faced historical charges of kidnapping and indecent assault for the pack rape of a 16-year-old girl with a whisky bottle that took place in the early 1980s, and again they were acquitted.[118] Throughout both trials, the jury were unaware that Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum had been convicted of a previous pack rape in 2005 and were already serving prison sentences for this crime.[119]

    Rickards was forced to resign from the police but was paid $300,000 as part of his termination package.[118] Complaints about inappropriate sexual behaviour by police officers led to a three-year inquiry conducted by Dame Margaret Bazley. Her highly critical report was released in 2007.[120]

    Poor prosecution of sexual abuse cases[edit]

    In 2008 there was a public scandal regarding the failure of police to investigate a backlog of sexual abuse cases in the Wairarapa.[121] The then head of the Masterton Criminal Investigation Bureau, Detective Senior Sergeant Mark McHattie, received an unspecified disciplinary "outcome" and has since been promoted to head of the Auckland CIB's serious crime unit.[121]

    Spying on community, union and activist groups[edit]

    Main article: National Security Investigations Team (New Zealand) § Rob Gilchrist spying incidents

    In 2008, the police's Special Investigation Group came under considerable media scrutiny after it was revealed Chrischurch man Rob Gilchrist had been hired by officers to spy on individuals and organisations including Greenpeace, Iraq war protestors, student associations, unions, animal rights and climate change campaigners.[122][123][124]

    Detention of youth in police cells[edit]

    The Independent Police Conduct Authority launched a wider investigation into the treatment of young people in police cells and in October 2012 issued a report which found that the number of young people being held has more than doubled since 2009.[125][126] It said that "youths in crisis are being locked up in police cells and denied their human rights." Practices that "are, or risk being, inconsistent with accepted human rights" include: being held in solitary confinement; having cell lights on 24 hours a day; family members being prevented access; and not being allowed to see the doctor when they have medical or mental health problems.[126] The IPCA made 24 recommendations into how police can improve the detention and treatment of young people in custody.[127]


    In 2019, it was reported that there had been claims of bullying within New Zealand Police.[128]

    Taranaki death in custody, June 2020[edit]

    On 3 June 2020, three police officers in the town Hāwera in the Taranaki region were charged with manslaughter in relation to the death of a 55 year old man who died in police custody in early June 2019. The man's death had been investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority.[129][130][131]

    Armed response teams[edit]

    On 9 June 2020, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster announced that the police would be scrapping their armed response teams after public feedback and consultation with the Māori and Pasifika communities. Public discussion around the armed response teams was influenced by concerns about police-community relations in light of the murder of George Floyd, which sparked protests around the world including New Zealand.[132][133][134]

    Alo Ngata's death[edit]

    On 27 August 2020, the Independent Police Conduct Authority criticised the Police's handling of the detention of Alo Ngata, who died in police custody in July 2018 after he had been incorrectly fitted with a spit hood. Ngata had been arrested for assaulting an elderly pensioner named Mike Reilly in Auckland's Freemans Bay and had violently resisted arrest. While the IPCA considered the Police's use of force to be reasonable, they found that the police had failed to assess his well-being while in custody.[135] Both Ngata and Reilly's family have asked the police to release footage from the Police helicopter showing Ngata assaulting Reilly.[136]

    See also[edit]


    1. ^It was established as the "Police Force" in 1886 and shortened to the current name in 1958.
    2. ^The Māori name literally translates to "The Police Officers of New Zealand".[3]


    1. ^"Total Appropriations for Each Vote". Budget 2019. The Treasury. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
    2. ^"Subnational population estimates (RC, SA2), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996-2021 (2021 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2021. (regional councils); "Subnational population estimates (TA, SA2), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996-2021 (2021 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2021. (territorial authorities); "Subnational population estimates (urban rural), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996-2021 (2021 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2021. (urban areas)
    3. ^"pirihimana: police officer". Retrieved 26 August 2017.
    4. ^"2016 Corruption Perceptions Index"(PDF). Transparency International New Zealand. 25 January 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
    5. ^Quah, Jon S. T. (2013). Different Paths to Curbing Corruption: Lessons from Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore. Emerald Group Publishing. p. 116. ISBN . Retrieved 26 August 2017.
    6. ^"Constabulary Act 1846 (10 Victoriae 1846 No 2)".
    7. ^"Armed Constabulary Act". 8 June 2017.
    8. ^"Te Kooti's war begins". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
    9. ^Noted. "When traffic cops used to rule New Zealand roads". Noted. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
    10. ^"Section 128E Powers of parking wardens - Land Transport Act 1998". New Zealand Legislation. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
    11. ^"Summary of review findings of de-merging traffic enforcement from Police". State Services Commission. 26 April 2007.
    12. ^Fisher, David (28 February 2010). "Police remain on traffic duty". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
    13. ^"Policing Act 2008 No 72, Public Act – Commencement". Parliamentary Counsel Office. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
    14. ^"Modernising Police Legislation". Police Act Review. New Zealand Police. 2006. Archived from the original on 11 December 2006.
    15. ^"NZ police let public write laws". BBC News. 26 September 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2007.
    16. ^"FAQ about New Zealand Police overseas, International Service Group". New Zealand Police.
    17. ^"Women police in N.Z."The Advertiser (Adelaide). South Australia. 14 January 1936. p. 16. Retrieved 18 December 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
    18. ^New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu Taonga. "First uniformed policewomen, 1952". Retrieved 3 June 2021.: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
    19. ^ abNew Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu Taonga. "Pearce, Edna Bertha". Retrieved 3 June 2021.: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
    20. ^ ab"N.Z. Policewoman on Interchange". The Examiner (Tasmania). Vol. CVII, no. 293. Tasmania, Australia. 7 January 1949. p. 7. Retrieved 18 December 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
    21. ^Coney, Sandra (1993). "Women in Blue, The Long Fight for Women Police". Standing in the Sunshine: A History of New Zealand Women Since They Won the Vote. Auckland, NZ: Penguin Books, Ltd. p. 127.
    22. ^"Find Police stations by A - Z". New Zealand Police. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
    23. ^"How Police handle 111 calls and what you can do to help in an emergency"(PDF). New Zealand Police. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
    24. ^"Section 10 Roles of others acknowledged - Policing Act 2008". New Zealand Legislation. Retrieved 13 March 2021. Public DomainThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
    25. ^"Police districts". New Zealand Police. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
    26. ^"Police Communications Centres | New Zealand Police". Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
    27. ^"New police communications centre opens in Paraparaumu" (Press release). New Zealand Government. 27 November 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2019 – via Scoop.
    28. ^ abcdef"Insignia". New Zealand Police. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
    29. ^McNaughton, Maggie (5 February 2008). "Police beanies get OK, helmets must wait". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
    30. ^"July09Digital". 30 April 2016. Archived from the original on 30 April 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
    31. ^Police use drones to catch criminals
    32. ^ ab"Air support 'Eagle' unit". New Zealand Police. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
    33. ^ ab"New contract awarded for supplier of Police Eagle helicopters". New Zealand Police (Press release). 21 December 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
    34. ^"Canterbury trial comes to an end". New Zealand Police (Press release). 20 March 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
    35. ^Guildford, Jonathan (17 February 2020). "New Eagle police helicopter to be trialled in Christchurch". Stuff. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
    36. ^"Maritime Units". New Zealand Police. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
    37. ^Binning, Elizabeth (11 November 2008). "Arresting image update to save police force $800,000". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 March 2009.
    38. ^ abc"Road policing teams and units


      please note "Bomb the Music Industry" in the subject or body of your donation.

      THIS GRACELESS PLANET (we versus the shark cover)

      Our very first tour was with some close friends of ours in the band We Versus the Shark. This tour consisted of us playing one show in Athens, one show in Connecticut and two shows in North Carolina. Our personnel consisted of me playing guitar and singing, John playing bass and singing, Laura playing keyboards and singing and Christine getting uncharacteristically wasted and shouting at quiet bands while doing shirts. We played along to the computer (not an mp3 player! what a mistake!) and actually had the computer do our banter in between songs (example: "how are you doing tonight asheville, hold for applause, one, two, three...") One particular show we found a desk, lamp, office chair and lava lamp backstage and set up a little home office onstage for the computer. Anyway, the only time we were ever good on this tour was when we played this song (and debatably our cover of "Love Fool") which was written by the Sharx and recorded shortly after Album Minus Band. The plan was to record a cover of "Slide" as well and they would do a very droney, spacey version of "Sweet Home Cananada" where they made all the major chords minor, and the minor chords diminished. We actually wanted to do a split 7" covering songs with EVERY band we ever toured with, so I guess it's good that this never happened 'cause that precedent would have started to get annoying for other bands.

      rebels, guns, ingenues--all diamondless coal
      paranoia and pop charts, but you know how we roll
      what's that, baby? yeah, I miss god too
      but he's doing just fine without you

      this graceless planet has accrued its debt
      (and now it's time to pay it up)
      this graceless planet has accrued its debt
      (and now it's time to pay it up)
      this graceless planet is a skull's head death
      (and now it's time to pay it up)

      it's been a long time, i shouldn't have left you

      disciples from the past have come for yr daughters
      a gentleman from the future has reclaimed california
      a frozen clock sudden stop puts culture shock at odds
      baby needs some new math, baby needs a couple more jobs
      and we have always lived in this village
      and we have always lived in this village

      this graceless planet has accrued its debt
      (and now it's time to pay it up)
      this graceless planet has accrued its debt
      (and now it's time to pay it up)
      this graceless planet is a skull's head death
      (and now it's time to pay it up)
      there's no place left for you to rest your head
      (and now it's time to pay)


      While I was alternately doing merch for Mustard Plug/playing sax for the Know How on the Ska is Dead tour, Rick Johnson told me that he was starting a tape label and wanted to know if Bomb would want to do something for it. I came up with a very elaborate story and idea... it involved me "finding" a tape on the beach that was in a plastic bag that this dude had recorded around the Cold War as a musical journal before his cruise ship was shot down by Russian submarine spies (which apparently is something that happened once or twice, but I have no facts to back this up.) Eventually, I really couldn't keep up with the concept on this one and a few songs ended up on Goodbye Cool World ("King of MPLS 1 & 2", "Grudge Report", "Sorry, Brooklyn...") but this song was released on myspace, already had lyrics that were clearly about cruise ships (but also about the exhiliration of being fired) so it wasn't gonna make sense anywhere but hopefully some b-sides compilation in the future!

      I don't wanna wake up to an alarm clock ever again.
      I don't wanna sit through 8 AM traffic ever again.
      First hour of these 15 days that I'll be away,
      I feel I'm never coming back.

      For 15 days I'm not gonna have to button my shirt or wear a neck tie.
      For 15 days all I gotta do is drink drink drink till I fucking die.
      Cubicle vs. the fresh air? We know who's winning there.
      I feel I'm never going back.

      Home is punching in.
      Home is 9 to 5.
      So tell my boss, "I hate you and it's time for you to die."

      Take it back. Take the bathroom key.
      Take the stapler that doesn't belong to me.
      Look, dick, I'm not gonna wake up
      stressed about things that have nothing to do with me.
      Pass me another beer. The wind is in my hair.
      I feel I'm never going back.

      For 15 days I'm not gonna have to
      be a yes man for bad ideas.
      I'll get to play, I'll get to drink,
      I'll wake up hungover but I won't care.

      Sure it's a two week holiday, but I'll see if I can stay.
      I feel I'm never going back.

      Back to punching in, sleeping at my desk.
      Back to 9 to 5.

      So tell my boss, "I hate you and it's time for you to die a slow death, bleed in excess, give my life back and kiss my ass."

      I'm not punching in.
      I'm not working for some dick.
      I'm sleeping 9 to 5.
      So tell my boss "I hate you and it's time for you to die."


      The second attempt at a tour split went slightly better than the Sharx split, as this one actually came out. The plan however was to release it by Christmas, as this song and the last one were clearly Christmas songs. Things started taking too long however, and it eventually was to be released on Presidents' Day (I think it may have even come out a day or two afterwards.) Rick cleverly wrote his political songs to alter the 7" to this timeline. I however, just replaced the word "Christmas" with "Presidents' Day." Not as clever.

      I was gonna die alone, I know.
      (Gonna die before thirty years old)
      I've got this notion that successful careers are evil.
      So finally for the holidays
      (A gift is coming all y'allz way)
      my family will be excited when they look under the Presidents' Day tree

      To see a box shrink-wrapped with real gold.
      Not paper gold.
      It's a fucking box filled to the top
      With fucking gold.

      Hey, Mom! I got a job I'm not wasting my potential!
      Hey, all my friends!
      You don't have to hear about blah blah band
      who just got a brand new Prevost bus
      and forgot my name and used to open for us.
      It's getting old, I know.
      That's why I'm giving up on rock and roll.

      We'll celebrate in my new pad
      (I'm flying you out mom and dad!)
      I've got a new job and a 40 inch plasma
      (We'll watch 24!)
      Now without music I can concentrate on sitting down
      and charging by the hour to sell ideas to some assholes who wants to sell a car.

      I've upgraded from my childhood bedroom
      to Southern California
      (everyone here's always smiling)

      Hey, Dad! I sold the van and used the money to invest!
      I'm buying stocks and climbing ladders!
      I'm all business!
      Yes sir! Right sir! Coming sir!
      Your documents are in order!
      You're fucking proud. I know.
      Thank Bush I've given up on rock and roll.

      Hey, Mom! I got a job I'm not wasting my potential!
      Hey, all my friends!
      You don't have to hear about blah blah band
      who just got a brand new Prevost bus
      and forgot my name and used to open for us.
      It's getting old, I know.
      Thank Cheney I've given up on rock and roll.

      We'll drink Delirium not Pabst.
      Not at my parents'
      We're at my brand new apt
      (that stands for apartment.)

      4 INCHES! (rick johnson rock and roll machine cover)

      Rick Johnson Rock and Roll Machine cover. Hands down my favorite sounds that I've ever gotten out of anything that I have ever recorded. I don't know how I did it, I tried to do it again and it didn't work. Oh well.

      Four inches from the top to the bottom.
      This is how I view myself.
      This is how we view ourselves.
      But you can't go back to the fall wardrobe.


      This song has always been one of my favorites, even though it's a very very clear Mountain Goats ripoff. I recorded it in the bathroom of my parents' house into the microphone on my laptop in one take (although the crystal clear production quality may imply otherwise), and added some banging on the guitar and synthesizer afterwards. The song is about the obvious observation that Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier every year in the retail marketplace and the question of whether or not that eventually Christmas will take up the entire year in a store, and we'll always be Christmas shopping no matter what. T.G.I.Credit Crunch I guess.

      I've seen the light and it's a Wal-Mart
      setting fires in our stupid hearts.
      T-Minus one month is a late start.
      We'll spend the year in preparation.
      What do we celebrate if a holiday lasts three months?
      And will there come a time when we stop having seasons
      and it's just you and me in a store
      exchanging fucking cards?

      The house is on fire.
      We left the lights on way too long.
      One dull flame burns perpetually
      and we watch it blaze unexcited
      'cause we know nothing else
      lest we not participate in Presidents' Day promotions.
      And if we subsist on the absence of gifts then
      resistance is now a selfish emotion.
      Better sing those P-Day carols on and on and on and on...

      You and me on a couch
      Watching Oprah
      Clipping coupons.


      This song was originally by Infamous Jake and the Pinstripe Mafia, a band from Massachusettes that featured a young Dan Lang-Gunn on the lead vocals. Dan was the head honcho at Kill Normal Records, my old band's label and became a very very close friend. A lot of people were grief stricken when Dan had an aneurysm onstage while performing with his newer band, The Modern Day Saint and Flood put together a compilation to help his parents out with medical bills. I'm not sure exactly where Sum 41's "Fat Lip" fits into all this, but it is worth noting that at some point in the mixing process all the files kind of ate themselves somehow and all we have is this version that we can't do anything with.

      When i'm looking back, and see the better men we've become
      turn look smile, now face front breath and run
      Have you seen feet have you noticed we're wearing the shoes of the people we wanted to be
      drive, scream, live, dream, try and see what i mean

      I don't think you know it
      I don't think you've noticed

      When i'm looking back, and i see the way, see the way we
      waste laze, waste days, grin lay back and sigh
      The clocks running down on the time we had to do what we wanted to do with our lives
      sweat blood friend, our best years are almost done

      I don't think you know it
      I don't think you've noticed

      she said, this doesn't mean much to me
      i said, this means the world to me
      he said, the world's what i want to see

      we'll all break free

      she said, i can't take much more of this
      i said, i'm thinking it's how i'll live
      he said, we're almost done with the list

      we'll all break free now

      well three years, it won't be nearly enough
      to do everything we could have done, everything we should have done
      we've wasted precious minutes forgetting this is fun
      this is fun, this is fuck you

      seen the way, seen the way, seen the way i look at this
      you've seen the way i look at this


      I like this version way better than the one that appeared on the album, but to be fair there is some VERY questionable timing on it and maybe a little too much Wayne Coyne aping. I found this old track on my computer and decided to record some stuff along to it, using pasta boxes and keys as percussion. Sounds inventive, no? Well just remember there's a reason why your favorite bands don't use pasta boxes and keys as percussion on THEIR records.

      You got a new medicine
      100 movie channels on television.
      We can use it as evidence
      of why I don't have any more friends.

      I got a big comfortable couch
      that seems a lot bigger when it seats just one.
      I got a new video game
      and playing on your own is almost fun.

      1,000 square feet for the one and only.
      Who cares about size when it's big and lonely?
      Cutting my teeth on the biggest parties.
      Who cares about life when it's big and lonely?


      So after Goodbye Cool World there were a few projects that didn't really end up happening, one being The World Sucks and I Know Nothing, a political EP that was going to be recorded in a REAL STUDIO with Sean Qualls! Of course, I ended up moving to Georgia and all we had from these sessions was an unmixed version of This is a Singalong, that we were going to re-record anyway. This version is still fun I think though, it's nice to hear it without all the keyboards and noodly parts. I remember that I wrote this song and went to Sean's studio that day to record it. That's kinda fun. So yeah, Sean Qualls recorded AND played drums on this so this is the first Bomb the Music Inudstry! recording with live drums. I think I was a bit thrown by that, but I like it a lot more now.

      "Guantanemo Bay, son.
      We want none of your bullshit.
      The boy who's crying 'Haditha',
      Vietnam's not a reference.
      Stop to think of the terror
      Everyone's gonna mess with a whiny bitch of a nation.

      Turn in your laptop unless you are ready to report the news in a way we see fit
      And turn in your dictaphone
      All your photos won't be shown
      You're just fanning the flames of decent and the U.S. wants no part of it.

      We must distract or they'll react
      in a way that will be detrimental to our policy of coverups, BOY.
      We want none of your bullshit."

      Well, everyone knows that numbers have no liberal bias
      You stupid shit of a nation.

      If it's a campaign advertisement will you please stop telling us it's news?
      We got better things to do than read other countries' papers
      because you silence our reporters while you're killing just to keep our rights

      We found no bombs so can we move on
      from the spying snide America where we are no safer now than we were
      before, BOY.
      We want none of your bullshit.
      Only one thing to call it, feeding time for the pulpit.
      We want none of your bullshit.

      If we can't disagree then what do we fight for.
      If we can't dissent, then why do we have war?

      "Son, we want none of your bullshit.
      The boy who's crying 'Haditha',
      Vietnam's not a reference.
      Stop to think of the terror
      Everyone's gonna mess with a whiny bitch of a nation.
      And boy, we're not gonna let them.
      Christian values for miles, God will place us above them.
      Don't focus on the photos.
      Please focus on gay marriage."


      Another project that didn't end up happening after Goodbye Cool World was No No New York, and this is the only surviving track from that idea. I did record the song "No No New York" for a radio broadcast in Nashville, TN but apparently it didn't get recorded and just wasn't very good. Matt Kurz advised me not to talk shit about places where you live because it'll come back to bite you in the ass, like it did him whenever he was roaming through Virginia at this time. Thankfully, everyone who lives in New York seems to despise it and love it at the same time. When we moved to 493 Ruth in Athens, we took all the amps out of the trailer, put it in one room and I immediately recorded this song. Props to Jeff Tobias and Christine Mackie for those handclaps! Oh yeah, this was originally released on its own to celebrate the launch of Quote Unquote Records.

      I had a bad day today.
      I couldn't even park my car.
      And I'm walking 67th by myself
      It never did me good to talk to anybody.

      I wanna drink this away
      but I'll just get ditched at the bar
      and I'll end up drinking whiskey by myself.
      I'm getting used to not drinking wtih anybody.

      They say a broken heart's reserved
      for puppy love and bad divorces.
      They never say a thing about
      feeling it all the time
      when you just can't start your life on time.

      We've been nowhere.
      We've done nothing.
      Wasted all my time.
      And you can goddamn have it all from
      Brooklyn to Niagra Falls,
      text messages in minimalls,
      expensive drinks and social calls.

      I got my back stabbed today
      inside a freshly opened wound.
      I keep forgetting history repeats itself.
      Should know better than to trust, like, anybody.

      I get the bad brains so much these days
      that I don't even know what for anymore.
      So I sit in my apartment by myself
      trying to work up the courage to go do something.

      This goes for anyone who's confused with what I'm doing with my life.
      I'm going to recover my soul.
      You should recover your soul.

      Or else you'll go nowhere
      You'll do nothing.
      You'll just sit there
      wasting time in business meetings,
      online shopping,
      and you will die fucking boring.


      In late 2007 we went on a three-day stint with Anti-Flag and it was the first time that a bigger band (who we had not even played locally with) asked us to do any shows with them. Their booking agent called us up, and we were laughing a lot 'cause she was like "I can't find your booking agent's contact anywhere" and we were all "yo, we're mad ghetto." Anyway, at the second show I accidentally threw a guitar at a girl's face (sorry again) and it seemed like everyone was gonna get sued or something. So naturally I settled the situation by saying "you wanna meet Anti-Flag?" Chris #2 was very nice about the whole thing and to celebrate that I made them this sweet introduction music THAT THEIR FRONT OF HOUSE GUY DIDN'T EVEN PLAY ON THE P.A. BEFORE THEY PLAYED. Real bush league stuff, dude.

      You've got to die for your government.
      Die for your country.
      That's shit.


      Kind of my homage to the Asian Man Records tour, but even moreso an homage to the wonderful men and women of Andrew Jackson Jihad. The AMR tour was completely fucking epic and there's no other way to describe it. We're all still crying on the inside about it being over. Anyway, this was Carlos's favorite AJJ song and they didn't want to play it which is silly 'cause it's amazing. I recorded this the day I got back from tour and was pretty distruaght about losing my job.

      when i was a little boy
      i fed my mother a bottle of whiskey
      while she was pregnant,
      unbeknownst to me.

      i felt bad to say the least.
      and when my little brother was born
      he had
      what they call
      "fetal alcohol syndrome"
      the kids used to laugh and taunt him as we'd walk to school.

      its about this time that i discovered a drug
      called crack-cocaine
      and by the second grade, i had my classmates hooked.
      and in the fourth grade i threw a big crack party, everyone was invited

      and i got a girl named cynthia to blow my little brother for a fix.

      and no one would fuck with us

      after that.

      POG (DEMO)

      This was recorded around the same time as Little Brother, which is pretty obvious because it sounds VERY much like a Lemuria song. We knew that's how it was going, which is why we are/were planning on titling the songs on our Art of the Underground 7" "Pog" and "Pogs" (akin to their "Dog" and "Dogs") I have no idea where this was recorded, but I do remember that I used a pretty bad microphone that I don't usually use, 'cause I was curious how it would sound. The answer was that it would not sound very good.

      And I haven't had any fun this year
      but that's fucking bullshit and
      I haven't had any luck this year
      I'm preaching to the choir. I know.
      I haven't been to my parents' house in months
      and it looks like March
      and the years before and my attitude's the same:
      familiar and worrisome.

      I pictured my death two times today
      the tracks and the fire escape.
      Room of burnt toast and stacked dirty plates
      and I'm the one responsible
      I haven't had any luck this year
      I know I'm preaching to the choir
      but my nightmare's here and I forgot how to wake up
      and start moving forward.

      And my mother said, "Son, I'm sorry you're neurotic."
      And my dad said, "Son, I really thought you dodged the bullet."


      This is available on a split 7" with Mustard Plug where they cover a Fugazi song. We were on tour with the Slackers and realized that we were REALLY REALLY alienating the portion of the audience that was older than twenty and not in a fun way. One night we got spit on for a very very VERY long time. Anyway, we thought that a good way to further alienate people would be to play a Pavement song in the style of traditional ska, insulting not just one but TWO tastes at once! At the end of the day though, we really do love Pavement and ska so I'm glad we got to record this to remind people that it is possible to like two different things.

      go back to those gold soundz
      and keep my advent to your self
      because it's nothing i don't like
      is it a crisis or a boring change?
      when it's central, so essential,
      it has a nice ring when you laugh
      at the low life opinions
      and they're coming to the chorus now...
      i keep my address to yourself 'cause we need secrets
      we need secrets crets crets crets crets crets back right now

      because i never wanna make you feel
      that you're social
      never ignorant soul
      believe in what you wanna do
      and do you think that is a major flaw
      when they rise up in the falling rain
      and if you stay around with your knuckles ground down
      the trial's over, weapon's found
      keep my address to myself because it's secret
      cuz it's secret cret cret cret [etc.]... back right now

      so drunk in the august sun
      and you're the kind of girl i like
      because you're empty and i'm empty
      and you can never quarantine the past
      did you remember in december
      that i won''t eat you when i'm gone
      and if i go there, i won't stay there
      because i'm sitting here too long
      i've been sitting here too long
      and i've been wasted
      advocating that word for the last word
      last words come up all you've got to waste


      Like every book I’ve written since the first, this book was inspired by ideas I encountered in researching the previous one but was unable to explore and develop as much as I’d have liked within that framework. In writing the material on crisis tendencies of capitalism in Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, the writings by Paul Goodman and Ivan Illich on the hegemony of bureaucratic culture set a train of thought in motion that eventually lead to writing Organization Theory. Researching the chapter on decentralized manufacturing technology in Organization Theory led, in turn, to a stand-alone book on micro-manufacturing (Homebrew Industrial Revolution).

      This book, in turn, is the development of ideas on network organization and stigmergy I touched on in Homebrew Industrial Revolution. It applies many of the same ideas in the realm of information that I developed earlier in regard to physical production in that book. It also ties in some of the ideas I discussed in the chapter on labor organization in Organization Theory, like open-mouth sabotage, but in much greater scope.

      This book was a much longer time writing than any of my others, and because so much of its content involved ongoing current news I had much greater difficulty in either finding a cutoff point or setting parameters to filter out excessive detail. In the Appendix I wound up deleting a great deal of detail I’d previously incorporated on the activities of the various networked social movements starting with the Arab Spring, and shifted instead to a greater relative focus on the general principles behind the wave of networked movements since the EZLN uprising in 1994. My judgments on the level of detail to preserve were necessarily somewhat arbitrary; whether the result is satisfactory is up to the reader to decide.

      This book, in keeping with the spirit of the subject matter, is far more a product of stigmergic organization and the wisdom of crowds than anything I’ve previously written. In an attempt to adhere to Eric Raymond’s principle that “many eyeballs make shallow bugs,” I first posted the roughly eight-month-old draft online at, warts and all, in March 2011. At the time it was four chapters (which have since fissioned into twelve), consisting mostly of placeholder notes in many places and containing some sections entirely blank except for the title. Since then I’ve automatically updated the online text whenever it was edited. I have benefited from many suggestions and tips from those following the progress of the book, including Steve Herrick’s wonderful job formatting the online word processor template for the online text, as well as all the information I get from email discussion lists (particularly the P2P Foundation, C4SS working group and Networked Labor lists), the leads from friends on Twitter, and the blogs and news sites I follow via RSS reader. And many thanks in particular to my friend Gary Chartier at La Sierra University, who has formatted this as well as two of my previous books for print!

      1. The Stigmergic Revolution

      Several parallel developments are driving a trend toward the growing obsolescence of large, highly capitalized, hierarchical organizations, and the ability of networked individuals with comparatively cheap capital equipment to perform the functions formerly performed by such organizations. They include the drastically reduced cost of capital goods required for informational and material production, as well as drastically reduced transaction costs of coordinating efforts between individuals.

      I. Reduced Capital Outlays

      For most of the past two hundred years, the trend has been toward increasing capital outlays for most forms of production. The cost of the basic capital equipment required for production—the mass-production factory, the large printing press, the radio or TV station—was the primary justification for the large organization. The economy was dominated by large, hierarchical organizations administering enormous masses of capital. And the astronomical cost of production machinery was also the main justification for the wage system: production machinery was so expensive that only the rich could afford it, and hire others to work it.

      In recent decades we’ve seen a reversal of this trend: a shift back from expensive, specialized machinery to inexpensive, general-purpose tools. Although this is true of both material and immaterial production—as attested by the recent revolution in garage-scale CNC machine tools[1]—it was true first and most dramatically in the immaterial sphere.

      The desktop computer is the primary item of capital equipment required for entering a growing number of industries, like music, desktop publishing and software design. The desktop computer, supplemented by assorted packages of increasingly che—ap printing or sound editing equipment, is capable of doing what previously required a minimum investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the words of Yochai Benkler: “declining price of computation, communication, and storage have, as a practical matter, placed the material means of information and cultural production in the hands of a significant fraction of the world’s population—on the order of a billion people around the globe.”[2](Of course since that passage was written the proliferation of cheapening smartphones has probably expanded the latter figure to include over half the world’s population.)

      The growing importance of human capital, and the implosion of capital outlays required to enter the market, have had revolutionary implications for production in the immaterial sphere. In the old days, the immense outlay for physical assets was the primary basis for the corporate hierarchy’s power, and in particular for its control over human capital and other intangible assets. In many information and culture industries, according to Benkler, the initial outlay for entering the market in the days of “broadcast culture” was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

      Since the introduction of the mechanical press and the telegraph, followed by the phonograph, film, the high-powered radio transmitter, and through to the cable plant or satellite, the capital costs of fixing information and cultural goods in a transmission medium—a high-circulation newspaper, a record or movie, a radio or television program—have been high and increasing.[3]

      The broadcast era media, for instance, were “typified by high-cost hubs and cheap, ubiquitous, reception-only systems at the end.... [P]roduction in the information and entertainment industries was restricted to those who could collect sufficient funds to set up a hub.”[4] In the case of print periodicals, the increasing cost of printing equipment from the mid-nineteenth century on served as the main entry barrier for organizing the hubs. By 1850 the typical startup cost of a newspaper was $100,000—$2.38 million in 2005 dollars.[5] In other words, as the saying went, freedom of the press was great so long as you could afford to own a press.

      The networked information economy, in contrast, is distinguished by “network architecture and the [low] cost of becoming a speaker.”

      The first element is the shift from a hub-and-spoke architecture with unidirectional links to the end points in the mass media, to distributed architecture with multidirectional connections among all nodes in the networked information environment. The second is the practical elimination of communications costs as a barrier to speaking across associational boundaries. Together, these characteristics have fundamentally altered the capacity of individuals, acting alone or with others, to be active participants in the public sphere as opposed to its passive readers, listeners, or viewers.[6]

      Today most people in the developed world, and in a rapidly growing share of the developing world, can afford to own a press.

      In the old days, the owners of the hubs—CBS News, the Associated Press, etc.—decided what you could hear. Today you can set up a blog, or record a podcast, and anybody in the world who cares enough to go to your URL can look at it free of charge (and anyone who agrees with it—or wants to tear it apart—can provide a hyperlink).

      The cultural authoritarianism that resulted from the old state of affairs, as Clay Shirky points out, is unimaginable to someone who grew up with access to the Internet.

      Despite half a century of hand-wringing about media concentration, my students have never known a media landscape of anything less than increasing abundance. They have never known a world with only three television channels, a world where the only choice a viewer had in the early evening was which white man was going to read them the news in English. They can understand the shift from scarcity to abundance, since the process is still going on today. A much harder thing to explain to them is this: if you were a citizen of that world, and you had something you needed to say in public, you couldn’t. Period..... Movie reviews came from movie reviewers. Public opinions came from opinion columnists. Reporting came from reporters. The conversational space available to mere mortals consisted of the kitchen table, the water cooler, and occasionally letter writing.... [7]

      The central change that makes these things possible, according to Benkler, is that “the basic physical capital necessary to express and communicate human meaning is the connected personal computer.”

      The core functionalities of processing, storage, and communications are widely owned throughout the population of users.... The high capital costs that were a prerequisite to gathering, working, and communicating information, knowledge, and culture, have now been widely distributed in the society. The entry barrier they posed no longer offers a condensation point for the large organizations that once dominated the information environment.[8]

      The desktop revolution and the Internet mean that the minimum capital outlay for entering most entertainment and information industries has fallen to a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, and the marginal cost of reproduction is zero.

      The networked environment, combined with endless varieties of cheap software for creating and editing content, makes it possible for the amateur to produce output of a quality once associated with giant publishing houses and recording companies.[9] That is true of the software industry, desktop publishing, and to a large extent even indie film (as witnessed by affordable editing technology and the success of projects like Sky Captain).

      In the case of the music industry, thanks to cheap equipment and software for high quality recording and sound editing, the costs of independently producing and distributing a high-quality album have fallen through the floor. Bassist Steve Lawson writes:

      .... [T]he recording process—studio time and expertise used to be hugely expensive. But the cost of recording equipment has plummeted, just as the quality of the same has soared. Sure, expertise is still chargeable, but it’s no longer a non-negotiable part of the deal. A smart band with a fast computer can now realistically make a release quality album-length body of songs for less than a grand....

      What does this actually mean? Well, it means that for me—and the hundreds of thousands of others like me—the process of making and releasing music has never been easier. The task of finding an audience, of seeding the discovery process, has never cost less or been more fun. It’s now possible for me to update my audience and friends (the cross-over between the two is happening on a daily basis thanks to social media tools) about what I’m doing—musically or otherwise—and to hear from them, to get involved in their lives, and for my music to be inspired by them....

      So, if things are so great for the indies, does that mean loads of people are making loads of money? Not at all. But the false notion there is that any musicians were before! We haven’t moved from an age of riches in music to an age of poverty in music. We’ve moved from an age of massive debt and no creative control in music to an age of solvency and creative autonomy. It really is win/win.[10]

      As the last statement suggests, it may well be that most of the revenue loss to the music industry has fallen, not on actual performers, but on the middlemen in the record companies themselves.

      Networked distribution models have already gone a long way toward challenging and supplanting older models. For example the alternative rock group Radiohead marketed an album (Rainbows) directly over the Web, making it available for free and accepting whatever contributions downloaders saw fit to give. This would seem to be an ideal approach for independent artists, compared to the difficulty of making it through the record company gatekeepers and then settling for the royalties paid out after all the middlemen take their cut. It only requires, for all intents and purposes, a cheap website with a PayPal button. I have personal experience with a similar approach to publishing books, making them available for free online and selling hard copies through an on-demand publisher. And outside the blockbuster market, most writers and musical artists probably know more than the in-house marketing experts at the big content companies about their own niche markets. So they can do a better job marketing their own material virally to their target audiences through blogs, email lists and social networks than they would relying on the by-the-numbers efforts of the publishers’ in-house promoters.

      This approach undermines the business model of the old record and publishing companies, and probably does cut into the revenues of their old stables of blockbuster artists. It’s probably becoming harder for another Stephen King or Mick Jagger to make megabucks because of competition from the networked distribution model, and surely a lot harder for the old gatekeeper corporations to make the giant piles of money they used to.

      But if it’s harder for the big boys to make gigantic piles of money, it’s easier for a lot more little ones to make modest piles. Endless possibilities result from all the things they can now do for themselves, at virtually zero cost, that formerly only a highly capitalized record or publishing company could do for them.

      As an independent scholar and author, I share Steve Lawson’s view of things. From my perspective, the proper basis for comparison is the money I can make that I never could have made at all in the “good old days.” In the good old days, I’d have—and have done—painstakingly put together a manuscript of hundreds of pages, and then put it away to gather dust when I couldn’t persuade the gatekeepers at a conventional publisher that it was worth marketing. Never mind whether the facsimile pdf’s of my books available at torrent sites are costing me money (I don’t think they are—I believe the free e-books are more like viral advertising). More importantly, if it weren’t for digital publishing technologies and free publishing venues on the Internet, I would probably have lived and died doing menial labor with nobody anywhere ever hearing of my ideas. Thanks to digital culture, I’m able to make my work directly available to anyone in the world who has an Internet connection. If only a tiny fraction of the people who can read it for free decide to buy it, giving me a few thousand dollars a year in royalties, I’m richer by exactly that amount than I would have been in the “good old days” when my manuscripts would have yellowed in an attic.

      That extra money may not be enough to support me by itself, but it’s enabled me at various times to pay off debts and put away go-to-hell money equivalent to several months’ wages. Right now about half my income, in an average month, comes from writing. That probably puts me in a much better bargaining position vis-a-vis my employer than most people enjoy.

      For every small full-time musician who has a harder time scraping by, and may have to supplement her performing revenues with a day job, I suspect there are ten people like me who would have spent their entire lives as (if you’ll pardon the expression) mute inglorious Miltons, without ever making a cent from their music or writing, but who can now be heard. And for every blockbuster writer or musician who has a few million shaved off her multi-million dollar revenues as a result of online “piracy,” I suspect there are probably a hundred people like me.

      As for the old broadcast media, podcasting makes it possible to distribute “radio” and “television” programming, at virtually no cost, to anyone with a broadband connection. As radio historian Jesse Walker notes, satellite radio’s lackadaisical economic performance doesn’t mean people prefer to stick with AM and FM radio; it means, rather, that the iPod has replaced the transistor radio as the primary portable listening medium, and that downloaded files have replaced the live broadcast as the primary form of content.[11]

      A network of amateur contributors has peer-produced an encyclopedia, Wikipedia, which Britannica sees as a rival.

      There are enormous online libraries like Google Books, Project Gutenberg and Internet Archive, as well as more specialized efforts like (which archives the collected works of Marx, Engels and Lenin, and of writers ranging from Kautsky to Luxemburg to Trotsky to C.L.R. James), the Anarchy Archives (extensive archives of most of the major works of classical anarchism), and (including, among many other things, Elliot’s debates in the ratifying conventions and St. George Tucker’s edition of Blackstone). In effect they give any kid with a smart phone, whether in the Third World or in an American ghetto, access to the equivalent of a university library. If one is willing and able to pay an annual subscription fee, there are enormous online collections of scholarly journals like JSTOR. And rebellious scholars are in process of tearing down the paywalls and the textbook racket; scholars with JSTOR memberships are providing articles for free to their peer networks. It’s possible to solicit pdfs of paywalled articles using the #ICanHazPdf hashtag on Twitter. And there are also services which strip DRM from college textbook pdfs which publishers make available for rental, so that they can be used indefinitely and distributed through torrent download sites.

      The network revolution has drastically lowered the transaction costs of organizing education outside the conventional institutional framework. In most cases, the industrial model of education, based on transporting human raw material to a centrally located “learning factory” for processing, is obsolete. Forty years ago Ivan Illich, in Deschooling Society, proposed decentralized community learning nets that would put people in contact with the teachers they wanted to learn from, and provide an indexed repository of learning materials. The Internet has made this a reality beyond Illich’s wildest dreams.

      Niall Cook, in Enterprise 2.0, describes the comparative efficiencies of software available outside the enterprise to the “enterprise software” in common use by employers. Self-managed peer networks, and individuals meeting their own needs in the outside economy, organize their efforts through social software and platforms chosen by the users themselves based on their superior usability for their purposes. And they are free to do so without corporate bureaucracies and their officially defined procedural rules acting as a ball and chain.

      Enterprise software, in contrast, is chosen by non-users for use by other people of whose needs they know little (at best).

      Blogs and wikis, and the free, browser-based platforms offered by Google and Mozilla, are a quantum improvement on the proprietary enterprise software that management typically forces on its employees. My OpenOffice CD cost me all of ten bucks, as opposed to $200 for Microsoft Office. The kinds of productivity software and social software freely available to individuals in their private lives is far better than the enterprise software that corporate bureaucrats buy for a captive clientele of wage slaves—consumer software capabilities amount to “a fully functioning, alternative IT department.”[12] Corporate IT departments, in contrast, “prefer to invest in a suite of tools ‘offered by a major incumbent vendor like Microsoft or IBM’.” System specs are driven by management’s top-down requirements rather than by user needs.

      .... a small group of people at the top of the organization identify a problem, spend 12 months identifying and implementing a solution, and a huge amount of resources launching it, only then to find that employees don’t or won’t use it because they don’t buy in to the original problem.[13]

      Management is inclined “to conduct a detailed requirements analysis with the gestation period of an elephant simply in order to choose a $1,000 social software application.”[14] Employees often wind up using their company credit cards to purchase needed tools online rather than “wait for [the] IT department to build a business case and secure funding.”[15] This is the direct opposite of agility.

      It’s just one particular example of the gold-plated turd phenomenon, in which stovepiped corporate design bureaucracies develop products for sale to other stovepiped corporate procurement bureaucracies, without the intervention of user feedback at any point in the process.

      As a result of all this, people are more productive away from work than they are at work. And management wonders why people would rather work at home using their own software tools than go through Checkpoint Charlie to use a bunch of klunky proprietary “productivity software” from the Whore of Redmond.

      As Tom Coates put it, all these developments in the field of immaterial production mean that “the gap between what can be accomplished at home and what can be accomplished in a work environment has narrowed dramatically over the last ten to fifteen years.”[16]

      Even when free and open source models don’t quite equal the quality of the proprietary stuff, as Cory Doctorow argues they usually manage a close enough approximation of it at a tiny fraction of the cost.

      This is the pattern: doing something x percent as well with less-than-x percent of the resources. A blog may be 10 percent as good at covering the local news as the old, local paper was, but it costs less than 1 percent of what that old local paper cost to put out. A home recording studio and self-promotion may get your album into 30 percent as many hands, but it does so at five percent of what it costs a record label to put out the same recording.

      What does this mean? Cheaper experimentation, cheaper failure, broader participation. Which means more diversity, more discovery, more good stuff that could never surface when the startup costs were so high that no one wanted to take any risks.

      And the gap between almost-as-good and just-as-good is narrowing rapidly.[17]

      II. Distributed Infrastructure and Ephemeralization

      The larger and more hierarchical institutions become, and the more centralized the economic system, the larger the total share of production that will go to overhead, administration, waste, and the cost of doing business. The reasons are structural and geometrical.

      At its most basic, it’s an application of the old cube-square rule. When you double the dimensions of a solid object, you increase its surface area fourfold (two squared), but its volume eightfold (two cubed). Similarly, the number of internal relationships in an organization increases as the square of the number of individuals making it up.

      Leopold Kohr gave the example, in The Overdeveloped Nations, of a skyscraper. The more stories you add, the larger the share of floor space on each story is taken up by ventilation ducts, wiring and pipes, elevator shafts, stairwells, etc. Eventually you reach a point at which the increased space produced by adding another story is entirely eaten up by the increased support infrastructure.

      The larger the scale of production, the more it must be divorced from demand, which means that the ostensible “economies” of large batch production are offset, and then more than offset, by the increasing costs of finding new ways of making people buy stuff that was produced without regard to preexisting orders.

      The society becomes more and more like the Ministry of Central Services in Brazil, or The Feds in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, and the distribution of occupations increasingly resembles the demographic profile of the promoters and middlemen in the crashed spaceship in A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, who founded the human race on Earth.

      The only way out is a new standard of progress that doesn’t equate “growth” with larger institutional size and more centralization: scalable, distributed infrastructure, stigmergic organization, module-and-platform design configurations, and production capacity sited close to the point of consumption and scaled to demand.

      Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins, in Natural Capitalism, stated the general principle that when load-bearing infrastructures are built to handle loads at peak demand, most of the unit cost comes from the added infrastructure to handle the increased usage during the small minority of peak load time. They gave the specific example of home heating, where enormous savings could be achieved by scaling capacity to handle only average usage, with additional demand handled through spot heating. Most of the horsepower in a contemporary SUV exists only for brief periods of acceleration when changing lanes.

      It’s a basic principle of lean production: most costs come from five percent of point consumption needs, and from scaling the capacity of the load-bearing infrastructure to cover that extra five percent instead of just handling the first ninetyfive percent. It ties in, as well, with another lean principle: getting production out of sync with demand (including the downstream demand for the output of one step in a process), either spatially or temporally, creates inefficiencies. Optimizing one stage without regard to production flow and downstream demand usually involves expensive infrastructure to get an in-process input from one stage to another, often with intermediate storage while it is awaiting a need. The total resulting infrastructure cost greatly exceeds the saving at individual steps. Inefficient synchronization of sequential steps in any process results in bloated overhead costs from additional storage and handling infrastructure.

      More generally, centralized infrastructures must be scaled to handle peak loads even when such loads only occur a small fraction of the time. And then they must amortize the extra cost, by breaking user behavior to the needs of the infrastructure.

      At the opposite pole is distributed infrastructure that’s mostly distributed among the endpoints, with links directly between endpoints rather than passing through a central hub, and volume driven entirely by user demand at the endpoints. Since the capital goods possessed by the endpoints are a miniscule fraction of the cost of a centralized infrastructure, there is no incentive to subordinate endusers to the needs of the infrastructure.

      The classic example is Bucky Fuller’s: the replacement of the untold millions of tons of metal in transoceanic cables with a few dozen one-ton satellites. The entire infrastructure consists of satellite dishes at the endpoints commuinicating—via free, immaterial ether!—to the satellites.

      Likewise the enormous infrastructure tied up in the civil aviation system’s central hubs and batch-and-queue processing, as opposed to small jets flying directly between endpoints.

      Another example is mass-production industry, which minimizes unit costs by running its enormously costly capital-intensive machinery at full capacity 24/7, and then requires organizing a society to guarantee consumption of the full output whether consumers want the shit or not—what’s called “supply-push distribution.” If consumers won’t take it all, you soak up surplus output by destroying it through a permanent war economy, sinking it into an Interstate Highway System, etc.—or maybe just making stuff to fall apart.

      The opposite of mass-production is distributed production on the EmiliaRomagna model described by Charles Sabel and Michel Piore in The Second Industrial Divide, with the capital infrastructure distributed to the point of consumption and output geared to local demand. The transnational corporate model of outsourcing is an attempt to put this new wine in old bottles. It distributes the production facilities, but does so on the basis of local labor cost rather than the location of market demand. So it still relies on the centralized wholesale infrastructure of warehouses on wheels/containerships, scaled to peak load, to transfer goods from the distributed production sites to the point of final consumption. The pure and unadulterated distributed manufacturing model, on the other hand, does away with this infrastructure by siting production at the last-mile network of consumption.

      The model of stigmergic organization in Wikipedia and open-source design—the central theme of this book—is an example of distributed infrastructure. Individual contributions are managed entirely by endpoint users, coordinating their efforts with the finished body of work, without the intermediary of a centralized institutional framework as in old-line activist organizations.

      III. Distributed Infrastructure and Scalability

      Another advantage of distributed infrastructure is that it is scalable; that is, each separate part is capable of functioning on its own, regardless of whether the rest of the system is functioning. When a centralized infrastructure fails at any point, on the other hand, the whole system is incapacitated.

      A large dam project must be completed to give service, and if something in the environment changes half way through the project, there is little hope of adapting the project to the new circumstances. The entire risk is assumed at the start of the project, based on long term projections about the future in many different domains, from energy demand through to geopolitical stability. On the other hand, an array of micropower projects could provide equivalent electrical services, and as the projects are each built, continuous assessment of the “right next move” can be made to suit learning from previous projects, response to changing demand, adoption of improved technologies or shifting priorities. Fundamentally, half a dam is no dam at all, but 500 of 1000 small projects is half way to the goal. A modular approach to infrastructure in an uncertain world just makes sense. [18]

      IV. Network Organization

      As Johan Soderburg argues, “[t]he universally applicable computer run on free software and connected to an open network.... has in some respects leveled the playing field. Through the global communication network, hackers are matching the coordinating and logistic capabilities of state and capital.”[19]

      Until the early 1990s, there were many possible Internets. What makes the Internet the “Internet” we know is really the World Wide Web: all the billions of web pages linked together by hyperlinks. And depending on the institutional context in which hyperlinks had been introduced, the Web as we know it might never have existed. Tim Berners-Lee in 1990,

      published a more formal proposal.... to build a “ Hypertext project” called “WorldWideWeb”.... as a “web” of “hypertext documents” to be viewed by “browsers” using a client–server architecture. This proposal estimated that a read-only web would be developed within three months and that it would take six months to achieve “the creation of new links and new material by readers, [so that] authorship becomes universal” as well as “the automatic notification of a reader when new material of interest to him/her has become available.” While the read-only goal was met, accessible authorship of web content took longer to mature, with the wiki concept, blogs, Web 2.0 and RSS/Atom.[20]

      The Web as we know it is something that could never have been built as the unified, conscious vision of any institution.

      It’s interesting that most visions of the “Information Superhighway,” preWorld Wide Web, imagined it as populated largely by large institutional actors of one kind or another, and its communications as mainly one-way. It would be built on the backbone of the Internet’s packet-switching infrastructure, vastly expanded in capacity by a fusion of the telephone and cable TV industries into a single highbandwidth fiber-optic network.

      I recall seeing a speculative article in TV Guide in the late ‘70s, when I was just a junior high school kid, speculating on the science fictiony wonders that would soon be possible. Everyone would have a combination digital telephonecomputer-radio-cable TV terminal as the main entertainment center in their home, cable of accessing streaming content—television programs, movies, music, digitized books and periodicals, etc.—presumably on a paid basis. The key actors providing this whiz-bang content would be libraries, media conglomerates, and government agencies.

      The Internet envisioned by figures like Al Gore and Bill Gates was, despite the decentralized nature of the physical packet-switching process, very centralized in terms of the actors providing content. Their vision of the Internet was simply as a foundation for the Information Superhighway. The legal infrastructure for the Superhighway consisted of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which eliminated barriers to telephone/cable mergers, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which created the draconian system of copyright law needed for digital content providers to turn the Superhighway into a turnpike. Here’s what Bill Gates had to say, as late as early 2000:

      This new generation of set-top boxes that connects up to the Internet is very much part of that. The potential impact is pretty phenomenal in the terms of being able to watch a TV show whenever you want to. There will be so many choices out there. You’ve got to imagine that a software agent will help you find things that you might be interested in.

      .... The “TV guide” will almost be like a search portal where you’ll customize and say, “I’m never interested in this, but I am particularly interested in that.” It’s already getting a little unwieldy. When you turn on DirectTV and you step through every channel—well, there’s three minutes of your life.

      When you walk into your living room six years from now, you’ll be able to just say what you’re interested in, and have the screen help you pick out a video that you care about. It’s not going to be “Let’s look at channels 4, 5, and 7.” It’s going to be something that has pretty incredible graphics and it’s got an Internet connection to it.[21]

      But the Information Superhighway—in the sense of a fusion of telephone, cable, radio, and on-demand music and movies, accessed through a single digital home entertainment center, simply fizzled out. Instead, the World Wide Web took over the Internet.

      Mike Masnick speculates on what the World Wide Web—if it could even be called that—would have looked like, had Tim Berners-Lee obtained a patent on the hyperlinked architecture of the Web. And his hypothetical description reads very close to the vision of TV Guide, Gore and Gates.

      Where do you think the world would be today if the World Wide Web had been patented? Here are a few guesses:

      • Rather than an open World Wide Web, most people would have remained on proprietary, walled gardens, like AOL, Compuserve, Prodigy and Delphi. While those might have eventually run afoul of the patents, since they were large companies or backed by large companies, those would have been the few willing to pay the licensing fee. The innovation level in terms of the web would have been drastically limited. Concepts like AJAX, real time info, etc. would not be present or would be in their infancy. The only companies “innovating” on these issues would be those few large players, and they wouldn’t even think of the value of such things.

      • No Google. Search would be dismal, and limited to only the proprietary system you were on. Most people’s use of online services would be more about “consumption” than “communication.” There would still be chat rooms and such, but there wouldn’t be massive public communication developments like blogs and Twitter. There might be some social networking elements, but they would be very rudimentary within the walled garden.

      • No iPhone. While some might see this as separate from the web, I disagree. I don’t think we’d see quite the same interest or rise in smartphones without the web. Would we see limited proprietary “AOL phones?” Possibly, but with a fragmented market and not as much value, I doubt there’s the necessary ecosystem to go as far as the iPhone.

      • Open internet limited by lawsuit. There would still be an open internet, and things like gopher and Usenet would have grown and been able to do a little innovation. However, if gopher tried to expand to be more web like, we would have seen a legal fight that not only delayed innovation, but limited the arenas in which we innovated.[22]

      The Internet would have been a wasteland of walled-garden ISPs like AOL, with Usenet and BBSs grafted on. What Web there was would have been accessed, not by browsers or open search engines, but through portals like AOL or Yahoo!.

      It’s not necessary to speculate that something like that would surely had happened had Berners-Lee not been first to the draw. It was happening, in fact. As recounted by David Weinberger, the software company for which he was vice president of strategic marketing at the time was in process of developing a proprietary document format with embedded links, when it was caught off-guard by the Mosaic browser. As the developers attempted to reassure themselves, their software was far more polished and professional-looking, and had better capabilities, than Mosaic. But deep down, they knew that Mosaic’s lack of “bells and whistles” was more than compensated for by its openness.

      With our software, a publisher could embed a link from one document to another, but the publisher had to own both documents. That’s fine if you’re putting together a set of aircraft maintenance manuals and you want to make all the cross-references active, so that clicking on one brings up the page to which it’s referring. But those links had to be compiled into the system. Once the document was published, no more links could be added except by recompiling the document. And, most important, the only people who could add new links were those working for the publisher. If you were an aircraft mechanic who had discovered some better ways to clean a fuel line, you had no way to publish your page with our system and no way to link it to the appropriate page in the official manual.

      .... The Web ditches that model, with all its advantages as well as its drawbacks, and says instead, “You have something to say? Say it. You want to respond to something that’s been said? Say it and link to it. You think something is interesting? Link to it from your home page. And you never have to ask anyone’s permission.” .... By removing the central control points, the Web enabled a self-organizing, self-stimulated growth of contents and links on a scale the world has literally never before experienced.[23]

      Rupert Murdoch’s objections notwithstanding, the basic organizing principle of the Web is that you can link to another person’s website without having to ask permission or secure her cooperation.[24]

      It was actually the collapse of Web 1.0 in the dot-com bubble, and with it most of the hopes of the “visionaries” of the 1990s for enclosing the Web as a source of revenues, that created the space in which the decentralized vision of Web 2.0 could be fully realized. As Foundation for P2P Alternatives founder Michel Bauwens described it:

      All the pundits where predicting, then as now, that without capital, innovation would stop, and that the era of high internet growth was over for a foreseeable time. In actual fact, the reality was the very opposite, and something apparently very strange happened. In fact, almost everything we know, the Web 2.0, the emergence of social and participatory media, was born in the crucible of that downturn. In other words, innovation did not slow down, but actually increased during the downturn in investment. This showed the following new tendency at work: capitalism is increasingly being divorced from entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurship becomes a networked activity taking place through open platforms of collaboration.

      The reason is that internet technology fundamentally changes the relationship between innovation and capital. Before the internet, in the Schumpeterian world, innovators need capital for their research, that research is then protected through copyright and patents, and further funds create the necessary factories. In the post-schumpeterian world, creative souls congregate through the internet, create new software, or any kind of knowledge, create collaboration platforms on the cheap, and paradoxically, only need capital when they are successful, and the servers risk crashing from overload.[25]

      The Web’s many-to-many communications capabilities have enabled networks to coordinate the actions of self-directed individuals without the transaction costs of traditional hierarchies. Benkler explained the implications of networked communications, combined with the near-universal distribution of capital goods for information and cultural production:

      .... the technical architectures, organizational models, and social dynamics of information production and exchange on the Internet have developed so that they allow us to structure the solution to problems—in particular to information production problems—in ways that are highly modular. This allows many diversely motivated people to act for a wide variety of reasons that, in combination, cohere into new useful information, knowledge, and cultural goods. These architectures and organizational models allow both independent creation that coexists and coheres into usable patterns, and interdependent cooperative enterprises in the form of peer-production processes.[26]

      In other words, it’s stigmergic organization (about which more below)—what Weinberger calls “small pieces loosely joined.”

      Networked crowdsourcing venues like Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Patreon have radically lowered the costs of aggregating capital even when total outlays are still beyond the means of the average individual. That means that even when the costs of the physical capital required for production are non-trivial, the transaction costs of aggregating the required investment capital from a number of small contributors.

      But whether capital outlay requirements are large or small, network technology has had a revolutionary effect on the transaction costs of traditional organization.

      That was true even back in the 1990s, when the Internet was dominated by static institutional websites. Email, both individual and in discussion lists, was a powerful tool for networked organization. The forms of culture jamming described by Naomi Klein in No Logo, themselves unprecedented and revolutionary in her day, were an outgrowth of the possibilities of the Web 1.0 of the 1990s. But the rise of Web 2.0, and the free platforms it made available, increased the possibilities exponentially. To quote Benkler again:

      What we are seeing now is the emergence of more effective collective action practices that are decentralized but do not rely on either the price system or a managerial structure for coordination.... [The networked environment] provides a platform for new mechanisms for widely dispersed agents to adopt radically decentralized cooperation strategies other than by using proprietary and contractual claims to elicit prices or impose managerial commands.... What we see in the networked information economy is a dramatic increase in the importance and the centrality of information produced in this way.[27]

      Consider the drastically lowered costs of aggregating people into affinity groups or movements for the sharing of information and taking concerted action. Clay Shirky cites the example of Voice of the Faithful, a Catholic lay organization formed to fight priestly sexual abuse:

      Had VOTF been founded in 1992, the gap between hearing about it and deciding to join would have presented a series of small hurdles: How would you locate the organization? How would you contact it? If you requested literature, how long would it take to arrive, and by the time it got there, would you still be in the mood? None of these barriers to action is insurmountable, but together they subject the desire to act to the death of a thousand cuts.

      Because of the delays and costs involved, going from a couple dozen people in a basement to a large and global organization in six months is inconceivable without social tools like websites for membership and e-mail for communication.[28]

      I can remember, as a grad student in the 1980s, experiencing that “series of small hurdles” in dealing with a completely different—but analogous—situation. If I heard of some periodical in my area of interest that the university library didn’t carry, the only way to find out more about it was to dig through the latest installment of Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, send a query letter soliciting information about the price of sample issues, wait several weeks for a response, send in the money, and wait several more weeks for my sample.

      Today, I just Google the title of the journal, and most likely it’s got a website with an index of past issues. I can instantly get a pdf of any article of interest through online academic indexing services—or better yet, soliciting a free copy from someone with a JSTOR or SSRN membership. Soon, dedicated sharing sites with indexed academic articles available free for scholars will probably be as common as mp3-sharing sites—much to the chagrin of the academic publishing industry.

      The cumulative effect is that a rapidly increasing share of the functions previously carried out by corporations and by the state can now be effectively out by what Marx and Engels, in The Communist Manifesto, called the “associated producers”—without any bureaucratic intermediation. Matthew Yglesias describes it as “actually existing Internet communism.”[29]

      Another result of the reduced threshold for communications in networks is the drastic increase in speed of propagation.

      Smart mobs are essentially a rapid cascade of coordinated action. “Whenever a new communications technology lowers the threshold for groups to act collectively, new kinds of institutions emerge.... We are seeing the combination of network communications and social networks.”[30]

      V. Stigmergy

      Networked organization is based on a principle known as stigmergy—a term coined by biologist Pierre-Paul Grasse in the 1950s to describe the process by which termites coordinate their activity. Social insects coordinate their efforts through the independent responses of individuals to environmental triggers like chemical markers, without any need for a central coordinating authority.[31] It was subsequently applied to the analysis of human society.[32]

      As a sociological term stigmergy refers primarily to the kinds of networked organization associated with wikis, group blogs, and “leaderless” organizations configured along the lines of networked cells.

      The termites do not communicate about who is to do what how or when. Their only communication is indirect: the partially executed work of the ones provides information to the others about where to make their own contribution. In this way, there is no need for a centrally controlled plan, workflow, or division of labor.

      While people are of course much more intelligent than social insects and do communicate, open access development uses essentially the same stigmergic mechanism.... : any new or revised document or software component uploaded to the site of a community is immediately scrutinized by the members of the community that are interested to use it. When one of them discovers a shortcoming, such as a bug, error or lacking functionality, that member will be inclined to either solve the problem him/herself, or at least point it out to the rest of the community, where it may again entice someone else to take up the problem. [33]

      Social negotiation, according to Mark Elliott, is the traditional method of organizing collaborative group efforts, through agreements and compromise mediated by discussions between individuals. The exponential growth in the number of communications with the size of the group, obviously, imposes constraints on the feasible size of a collaborative group, before coordination must be achieved by hierarchy and top-down authority. Stigmergy, on the other hand, permits collaboration on an unlimited scale by individuals a cting independently. This distinction between social negotiation and stigmergy is illustrated, in particular, by the contrast between traditional models of co-authoring and collaboration in a wiki.[34] Individuals communicate indirectly, “via the stigmergic medium.”[35]He makes a parallel distinction elsewhere between “discursive collaboration” and “stigmergic collaboration.” “.... [W]hen stigmergic collaboration is extended by computing and digital networks, a considerable augmentation of processing capacity takes place which allows for the bridging of the spatial and temporal limitations of discursive collaboration, while subtly shifting points of negotiation and interaction away from the social and towards the cultural.”[36]

      Stigmergic organization results in modular, building-block architectures. Such structures are ubiquitous because a modular structure

      transforms a system’s ability to learn, evolve and adapt.... Once a set of building blocks.... has been tweaked and refined and thoroughly debugged through experience.... then it can generally be adapted and recombined to build a great many new concepts.... Certainly that’s a much more efficient way to create something new than starting all over from scratch. And that fact, in turn, suggests a whole new mechanism for adaptation in general. Instead of moving through that immense space of possibilities step by step, so to speak, an adaptive system can reshuffle its building blocks and take giant leaps.”

      A small number of building blocks can be shuffled and recombined to make a huge number of complex systems.[37]

      If you start with a large number of modular individuals, each capable of interacting with a few other individuals, and acting on other individuals according to a simple grammar of a few rules, under the right circumstances the modular individuals can undergo a rapid phase transition, according to systems theorist Stuart Kauffman: “The growth of complexity really does have something to do with farfrom-equilibrium systems building themselves up, cascading to higher and higher levels of organization. Atoms, molecules, autocatalytic sets, et cetera.”[38]

      Gus diZerega’s discussion of spontaneous orders is closely analogous to stigmergy. Spontaneous orders

      arise from networks of independent equals whose actions generate positive and negative feedback that help guide future actors in pursuing their own independently conceived plans, thereby continuing the feedback process. Each person is a node within a network and is linked by feedback, with each node free to act on its own. The feedback they generate minimizes the knowledge anyone needs about the system as a whole in order to succeed within it.

      All spontaneous orders possess certain abstract features in common. Participants are equal in status and all are equally subject to whatever rules must be followed to participate within the order. All are free to apply these rules to any project of their choosing. Anything that can be pursued without violating a rule is permitted, including pursuing mutually contradictory goals. Finally, these rules facilitate cooperation among strangers based on certain broadly shared values that are simpler than the values actually motivating many people when they participate. Compared to human beings, spontaneous orders are “value-thin.”[39]

      In netwar, say Rand theorists John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt,

      many small units “already know what they must do”, and are aware that “they must communicate with each other not in order to prepare for action, but only as a consequence of action, and, above all, through action.”[40]

      Far from submerging “individual authorial voice” in the “collective,” as Jaron Lanier and Mark Helprin claim, stigmergy synthesizes the highest realizations of both individualism and collectivism, and represents each of them in its most completely actualized form, without qualifying or impairing either in any way. Michel Bauwens uses the term “cooperative individualism”:

      this turn to the collective that the emergence of peer to peer represents does not in any way present a loss of individuality, even of individualism. Rather it ‘transcends and includes’ individualism and collectivism in a new unity, which I would like to call ‘cooperative individualism’. The cooperativity is not necessarily intentional (i.e. the result of conscious altruism), but constitutive of our being, and the best applications of P2P, are based on this idea.[41]

      Stigmergy is not “collectivist” in the traditional sense, as it was understood in the days when a common effort on any significant scale required a large organization to represent the collective, and the administrative coordination of individual efforts through a hierarchy. But it is the ultimate realization of collectivism, in that it removes the transaction cost of concerted action by many individuals.

      It is the ultimate in individualism because all actions are the free actions of individuals, and the “collective” is simply the sum total of individual actions. Every individual is free to formulate any innovation she sees fit, without any need for permission from the collective, and everyone is free to adopt it or not. In this regard it attains the radical democratic ideal of unanimous consent of the governed, which is never completely possible under a representative or majoritarian system. Majoritarian democracy is a lesser evil, a way to approximate as closely as possible to the spirit of unanimous consent when an entire group of people must be bound by a single decision. Stigmergy removes the need for any individual to be bound by the group will and reduces the unit of governance to the individual, fully realizing the ideal of consent.

      Another remarkable thing about stigmergic coordination is that free riders are not a problem; all actions are voluntarily undertaken out of self-interest, and their service to the individuals undertaking them and to the group is not lessened by the fact that others free ride without contributing.

      In the stigmergic paradigm, the common good (e.g. Wikipedia, or a network of trails and roads connecting common destinations) is gradually built up via the cooperation implicit in stigmergically coordinated actions. Free riders may profit from this common good without putting in any effort in return. However, the benefit derived from a stigmergic trace does not in general reduce the value of that trace. For example, an ant that follows a pheromone trace laid by others without adding pheromone of its own does not by that action make the pheromone trace less useful to the other ants. Similarly, a person who downloads a piece of open source software without contributing to the development of that software does not impose any burden on the software developers. Thus, in a situation of stigmergy, a free rider or “defector” does not weaken the cooperators, in contrast to situations like the Prisoners’ dilemma or Tragedy of the Commons.[42]

      In short, as Michel Bauwens describes it, “Peer production is based on the elimination of permission-asking and a shift to the self-selection of tasks.... ”[43]

      A good example is Raymond’s “Bazaar” model of open-source development, as illustrated in a hypothetical case by Benkler:

      Imagine that one person, or a small group of friends, wants a utility. It could be a text editor, photo-retouching software, or an operating system. The person or small group starts by developing a part of this project, up to a point where the whole utility—if it is simple enough—or some important part of it, is functional, though it might have much room for improvement. At this point, the person makes the program freely available to others, with its source code.... When others begin to use it, they may find bugs, or related utilities that they want to add.... The person who has found the bug.... may or may not be the best person in the world to actually write the software fix. Nevertheless, he reports the bug.... in an Internet forum of users of the software. That person, or someone else, then thinks that they have a way of tweaking the software to fix the bug or add the new utility. They then do so, just as the first person did, and release a new version of the software with the fix or the added utility. The result is a collaboration between three people—the first author, who wrote the initial software; the second person, who identified a problem or shortcoming; and the third person, who fixed it. This collaboration is not managed by anyone who organizes the three, but is instead the outcome of them all reading the same Internet-based forum and using the same software, which is released under an open, rather than proprietary, license. This enables some of its users to identify problems without asking anyone’s permission and without engaging in any transactions.[44]

      Nevertheless, the creation of value itself is inherent in the network as an entity—a form of network effect that is more than the sum of the individual parts. Antonio Negri’s and Michael Hardt’s discussion of value production on the commons is relevant here:

      .... biopolitical production is not constrained by the logic of scarcity. It has the unique characteristic that it does not destroy or diminish the raw materials from which it produces wealth. Biopolitical production puts bios to work without consuming it. Furthermore its product is not exclusive. When I share an idea or image with you, my capacity to think with it is not lessened; on the contrary, our exchange of ideas and images increases my capacities. And the production of affects, circuits of communication, and modes of cooperation are immediately social and shared.[45]

      The synergy produced by the sharing of knowledge by the network is—in both senses of the word—a property of the network.

      This has had revolutionary implications for the balance of power between networks and hierarchies, and almost unimaginably empowered individuals and small groups against large organizations.

      In a hierarchy, all communications between members or between local nodes must pass through a limited number of central nodes. The only communications which are allowed to pass from one member or local node to another are those which meet the standards for distribution of those who control the central nodes. Only a few nodes within a hierarchy have the power to transmit; hence the use of the phrase “one-to-many” to describe its topology. The version of local news that appears in the local newspaper under the byline of a local journalist may be far superior in relevant detail and analysis, but it is the wire service version—even if far inferior in quality—which appears in local newspapers all around the world. It is only the communications approved by the Party Secretariat that are heard by all local cells of a party.[46]

      But in a distributed network, every node has the power to transmit, and any two nodes can communicate directly with each other without passing through a central node or obtaining the approval of whoever controls that node. Instead of the individual members simply selecting who controls the central nodes, “[s]omeone makes a proposal and everyone who wishes to join in can do so. The range of the action in question will depend on the degree to which the proposal is accepted.” Majoritarian democracy is a “scarcity system” in which decisionmaking power is rivalrous: “the collective must face an either/or choice, between one filter and another, between one representative and another.” In a distributed network, on the other hand, decision-making power is non-rivalrous. Each individual’s decision affects only herself, and does not impede the ability of others to do likewise. “Even if the majority not only disagreed with a proposal, but also acted against it, it wouldn’t be able to prevent the proposal from being carried out.”[47]

      In such a universe, every collective or hierarchical decision on what to publish or not can only be conceived as an artificial generation of scarcity, a decrease in diversity, and an impoverishment for all.[48]

      Hardt and Negri describe the form of organization they call the “multitude”—as opposed to the monolithic “people,” the atomized “masses” and the homogeneneous “working class”—in terms that sound very much like stigmergy.

      The people has traditionally been a unitary conception.... The multitude, in contrast, is many. The multitude is composed of innumerable internal differences that can never be reduced to a unity or a single identity—different cultures, races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations; different forms of labor; different ways of living; different views of the world; and different desires. The multitude is a multiplicity of all these singular differences. The masses are also contrasted with the people because they too cannot be reduced to a unity or an identity. The masses certainly are composed of all types and sorts, but really one should not say that different social subjects make up the masses. The essence of the masses is indifference: all differences are submerged and drowned in the masses. All the colors of the population fade to gray.... In the multitude, social differences remain different. The multitude is many-colored, like Joseph’s magical coat. Thus the challenge posed by the concept of multitude is for a social multiplicity to manage to communicate and act in common while remaining internally different.

      Finally, we should also distinguish the multitude from the working class.... The multitude.... is an open, inclusive concept. It tries to capture the importance of the recent shifts in the global economy: on the one hand, the industrial working class no longer plays a hegemonic role in the global economy.... ; and on the other hand, production today has to be conceived not merely in economic terms but more generally as social production—not only the production of material goods but also the production of communications, relationships, and forms of life. The multitude is thus composed potentially of all the diverse figures of social production.... [A] distributed network such as the Internet is a good initial image or model for the multitude because, first, the various nodes remain different but are all connected in the Web, and, second, the external boundaries of the network are open such that new nodes and new relationships can always be added.[49]

      The multitude, unlike the people, in traditional political philosophy cannot rule as a sovereign power because it “is composed of a set of singularities.... whose differences cannot be reduced to sameness.” Yet “although it remains multiple, it is not fragmented, anarchical, or incoherent.”[50]

      Their description of the “common,” or background against which the multitude cooperates, is quite similar to the stigmergic medium against which individuals coordinate their actions via markers.

      Insofar as the multitude is neither an identity (like the people) nor uniform (like the masses), the internal differences of the multitude must discover the common that allows them to communicate and act together. The common we share, in fact, is not so much discovered as it is produced.... Our communication, collaboration and cooperation are not only based on the common, but they in turn produce the common in an expanding spiral relationship. This production of the common tends today to be central to every form of social production, no matter how locally circumscribed, and it is, in fact, the primary characteristic of the new dominant forms of labor today. Labor itself, in other words, tends through the transformations of the economy to create and be embedded in cooperative and communicative networks. Anyone who works with information or knowledge.... relies on the common knowledge passed down from others and in turn creates new common knowledge.[51]

      Indeed, in their description of the swarming activity of the multitude, they appeal explicitly to the behavior of stigmergically organized termite colonies.[52]

      Hardt and Negri also attribute an internal tendency toward democracy to the multitude, in terms much like David Graeber’s “horizontalism.” The modern history of resistance movements displays a shift from “centralized forms of revolutionary dictatorship and command” to “network organizations that displace authority in collaborative relationships” (this was written after the rise of the Zapatistas and the Seattle movement, but before the Arab Spring or the Occupy movement). Not only do resistance movements aim at the creation of a democratic society, but also tend “to create internally, within the organizational structure, democratic relationships.”[53]

      The advantages of stigmergic organization go beyond resilience. Jean Russell coined the term “thrivability” to describe systems that are more than merely resilient.

      Thrivability transcends survival modes, sustainability, and resilience. Thrivability embraces flow as the sources of life and joy and meaning, adds to the flow and rides the waves, instead of trying to nullify the effects. Each layer includes and also transcends the previous layer, expanding both interconnections as well as expanding system awareness as each layer hits limits and discovers that more forces are at work than can be explained within their purview.

      She illustrates the distinction by contrasting descriptions of resilient and thrivable systems. Rather than simply withstanding or recovering quickly from difficulties, the thrivable organization is characterized by an “unfolding pattern of life giving rise to life”; it will “develop vigorously,” “prosper” and “flourish.” It is “antifragile”: that is, it gets better, generates and transformed when disturbed.[54]

      For a while I struggled a bit trying to picture examples of what her distinction between resilience and thrivability would mean in concrete terms. Then it hit me: stigmergic organizations are both resilient (because of distributed infrastructure and redundant pathways between nodes) and thrivable.

      A stigmergic organization fits her description perfectly: “invites everyone to contribute their very best to making a world that not only works, it also produces joy, delight, and awe.” The reason is that it’s organized on a modular basis, and each discrete module of work is carried out by someone who volunteered to do it because it’s something they care about (often passionately) and they were empowered to do it without waiting for anyone else’s permission. So each task in a stigmergic organization is carried out by those most interested in it. Anyone who sees an opportunity for improvement, or has a eureka moment, can immediately jump in and get their hands dirty, and doesn’t have to work at it past the point where it ceases to be a joy for them.

      To the extent that progress depends on the Shoulders of Giants Effect— people building on each other’s contributions—a stigmergic organization that facilitates collaboration, and does so without enforcing any barriers (like patents and copyrights) to making use of others’ ideas or creations, is the ideal embodiment of Russell’s idea of thrivability as promoting “growth on growth.

      Stigmergy is ideal for facilitating division of labor, with those best suited to a task selecting it for themselves. The Left—even the anarchist Left, who should know better—is plagued with the lionization of “activism” and guilt-tripping of anyone who lacks sufficient activist street cred. If your primary talent is writing or theory, according to this valuation, you’re a second-class Leftist. If you’re not “doing something”—which translates more or less into participating in demos—you’re a poser. But when viewed in light of the stigmergy paradigm, this view is just plain stupid. It makes far more sense for each person to do what she is best at, and let others make use of her contributions in whatever way is relevant to their own talents.

      Vinay Gupta expressed this principle in a couple of tweets:

      Noble Saint Hexayurt does the heavy lifting, every hexayurt build makes four more likely.[55]

      I cannot save people, there are too many. I can give ideas and maybe some examples, but only an idea is big enough to help everyone.[54]

      Exactly. The primary bottleneck in today’s world is not physical resources, but the transmission of knowledge. Why do something that I’m bad at, when the most cost-effective use of my time and talent is writing? Putting ideas together and propagating them is “doing something.”

      In sum, the transition to a society organized around stigmergic coordination through self-organized networks involves an exponential increase in agility, productivity and resilience. To quote Heylighen again, “[t]his world-wide stigmergic medium is presently developing into the equivalent of a global brain able to efficiently tackle the collective challenges of society.” [57]

      2. Networks vs. Hierarchies

      I. The Systematic Stupidity of Hierarchies

      The intrusion of power into human relationships creates irrationality and systematic stupidity. As Robert Anton Wilson argued in “Thirteen Choruses for the Divine Marquis,”

      A civilization based on authority-and-submission is a civilization without the means of self-correction. Effective communication flows only one way: from master-group to servile-group. Any cyberneticist knows that such a one-way communication channel lacks feedback and cannot behave “intelligently.”

      The epitome of authority-and-submission is the Army, and the control-andcommunication network of the Army has every defect a cyberneticist’s nightmare could conjure. Its typical patterns of behavior are immortalized in folklore as SNAFU (situation normal—all fucked-up).... In less extreme, but equally nosologic, form these are the typical conditions of any authoritarian group, be it a corporation, a nation, a family, or a whole civilization.[58]

      That same theme featured prominently in The Illuminatus! Trilogy, which Wilson coauthored with Robert Shea. “.... [I]n a rigid hierarchy, nobody questions orders that seem to come from above, and those at the very top are so isolated from the actual work situation that they never see what is going on below.”[59]

      A man with a gun is told only that which people assume will not provoke him to pull the trigger. Since all authority and government are based on force, the master class, with its burden of omniscience, faces the servile class, with its burden of nescience, precisely as a highwayman faces his victim. Communication is possible only between equals. The master class never abstracts enough information from the servile class to know what is actually going on in the world where the actual productivity of society occurs.... The result can only be progressive deterioration among the rulers.[60]

      This inability of those in authority to abstract sufficient information from below, and this perception of superiors by subordinates as “a highwayman,” result in the hoarding of information by those below and their use of it as a source of rents. The power differential, by creating a zero-sum relationship, renders the pyramid opaque to those at its top.

      Radical organization theorist Kenneth Boulding, in similar vein, noted “the way in which organizational structure affects the flow of information,”

      hence affects the information input into the decision-maker, hence affects his image of the future and his decisions.... There is a great deal of evidence that almost all organizational structures tend to produce false images in the decision-maker, and that the larger and more authoritarian the organization, the better the chance that its top decision-makers will be operating in purely imaginary worlds.[61]

      In his discussion of metis (i.e. distributed, situational, job-related knowledge), James C. Scott draws a connection between it and mutuality—“as opposed to imperative, hierarchical coordination”—and acknowledges his debt for the insight to anarchist thinkers like Kropotkin and Proudhon.[62]Metis requires two-way communication between equals, where those in contact with the situation—the people actually doing the work—are in a position of equality.

      Interestingly, Wilson had previously noted this connection between mutuality and accurate information in “Thirteen Choruses.” He even included his own allusion to Proudhon:

      [Proudhon’s] system of voluntary association (anarchy) is based on the simple communication principles that an authoritarian system means one-way communication, or stupidity, and a libertarian system means two-way communication, or rationality.

      The essence of authority, as he saw, was Law—that is.... , effective communication running one way only. The essence of a libertarian system, as he also saw, was Contract—that is, mutual agreement—that is, effective communication running both ways.

      To call a hierarchical organization systematically stupid is just to say that it’s incapable of making effective use of the knowledge of its members; it is less than the sum of its parts. Clay Shirky quotes John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid:

      “What if HP knew what HP knows?” They had observed that the sum of the individual minds at HP had much more information than the company had access to, even though it was allowed to direct the efforts of those employees.[63]

      Because a hierarchical institution is unable to aggregate the intelligence of its members and bring it to bear effectively on the policy-making process, policies have unintended consequences, and different policies operate at cross-purposes with each other in unanticipated ways. And to top it all off, the transaction costs of getting information to management about the real-world consequences of its policies are prohibitive for the same reason that the transaction costs of aggregating the information required for effective policy-making in the first place were prohibitive.

      But no worries. Because senior management don’t live under the effects of their policy, and subordinates are afraid to tell them what a clusterfuck they created, the CEO will happily inform the CEOs at other organizations of how wonderfully his new “best practice” worked out. And because these “competing” organizations actually exist in an oligopoly market of cost-plus and administered pricing, and share the same pathological institutional cultures, they suffer no real competitive penalty for their bureaucratic irrationality.

      A hierarchy is a device for telling naked emperors how great their clothes look. “Thoreau,” a professor of physics who for obvious reasons prefers to blog anonymously, describes it in the context of his interactions with an administrator:

      Let’s just say that there’s something we do that is .... sub-optimal. Everyone knows it is sub-optimal....

      I observed that what we do is sub-optimal, and we shouldn’t expand this, but she was basically pointing out that we routinely generate reports saying that it works. Yes, we do. Those reports involve pigs and lipstick. We all know this. However, she lives in a world that is based on those reports.... [64]

      When you constantly operate on the assumption that you’re going to internalize the effects of your own actions, you have an incentive to anticipate things that could go wrong. And when you make a decision, you continually revise it in response to subsequent experience. Normally functioning human beings—that is, who are in contact with our environments and not insulated from them by hierarchies—are always correcting our own courses of action.

      Authority short-circuits this process: it shifts the negative consequences of decisions downward and the benefits upward, so that decision-makers operate based on a distorted cost-benefit calculus; and it blocks negative feedback so that the locus of organizational authority is subject to the functional equivalent of a psychotic break with reality.

      When policy isn’t the result of systematic stupidity, it’s an elaborate exercise in plausible deniability, so management can say “But they knew about our written policy,” when the inevitable shortcuts to compensate for deliberate understaffing and irrational interference result in a public relations disaster.

      The lack of feedback means most organizations are “successful” at achieving goals that are largely artificial—goals defined primarily by the interests of their governing hierarchies, rather than by the ostensible customers or those engaged in directly serving customer needs. On the other hand, organizational structures like networks, which are based on two-way feedback between equals, result in a high rate of “failure.” As Clay Shirky puts it, open source is a threat because it outfails proprietary systems. It can experiment and fail at less cost. Because failure is more costly to a hierarchy, hierarchies are biased “in favor of predictable but substandard outcomes.”[65]

      Failure also reflects the empowerment of workers and customers; most products in the corporate economy are only considered “good enough” because customers are powerless.

      Chrystia Freeland argues the GOP establishment and its backers were so utterly convinced Obama would lose in 2012, and caught so badly off-guard by the actual outcome of the election, because of the very same kinds of information filtering and group think that prevail in the corporations they represented.

      By his own definition, Romney’s single strongest qualification to become president was analytically based, managerial excellence. And if the election campaign were the test of that, and even if you were ideologically his fan, you should think it right that he lost. Now, how could it happen? My first thought was it was also the case that all the smartest guys in the room managed to lose a lot of money in 2008 and managed to convince themselves of a set of very mistaken beliefs about where the markets where going to go. It was a lot of the same people on the wrong side of both bets....

      .... [W]hen you’re a rich and powerful guy, it can make it hard to see reality, especially when you’re paying your campaign staff great salaries, as Romney was.[66]

      To repeat, no matter how intelligent the people staffing a large institution are as individuals, hierarchy makes their intelligence unusable. Given that the institution does not exist as a vehicle for the goals of its members, there’s no intrinsic connection between their personal motivation and their roles in the organization, and the information and agency problems of a hierarchy prevent consequences from being fully internalized by actors, individuals simply cannot be trusted with the discretion to act on their own intelligence or common sense. That’s the rationale for standardized work-rules, job descriptions, and all the rest of the Weberian model of bureaucratic rationality: because someone, somewhere might use her initiative in ways that produce results that are detrimental to the interests of the organization, you need a set of rules in place that prevent anyone from doing anything at all. Unlike networks, which treat the human brain as an asset, hierarchical rules systems treat it as a risk to be mitigated.

      Job descriptions and union work rules are the other side of the coin to Weberian/Taylorist work rules. Both result from hierarchy. Power, by definition, creates zero-sum relationships. Superiors attempt to externalize effort on subordinates and skim off the benefits of increased productivity for themselves; subordinates, as a result, attempt to minimize the expenditure of effort and do the minimum necessary to avoid getting fired. Both superiors and subordinates filter or hoard information of benefit to the other party, and attempt to maximize the rents from keeping each other ignorant. In this zero-sum relation, where each side can only benefit at the expense of the other, each party seeks mechanisms for limiting abuses by the other.

      Paul Goodman illustrated the need to impose constraints on freedom of action, and impede individual initiative in directly adopting the most common-sense and lowest-cost solutions to immediate problems, with the example of replacing a door catch in the New York public school system:

      .... To remove a door catch that hampers the use of a lavatory requires a long appeal through headquarters, because it is “city property.”....

      .... An old-fashioned type of hardware is specified for all new buildings, that is kept in production only for the New York school system.[67]

      When the social means are tied up in such complicated organizations, it becomes extraordinarily difficult and sometimes impossible to do a simple thing directly, even though the doing is common sense and would meet with universal approval, as when neither the child, nor the parent, nor the janitor, nor the principal of the school can remove the offending door catch.[68]

      A corporate hierarchy interferes with the judgment of what Friedrich Hayek called “people-on-the-spot,” and with the collection of dispersed knowledge of circumstances, in exactly the same way a state does.

      Most production jobs involve a fair amount of distributed, job-specific knowledge, and depend on the initiative of workers to improvise, to apply skills in new ways, in the face of events which are either totally unpredictable or cannot be fully anticipated. Rigid hierarchies and rigid work rules only work in a predictable environment. When the environment is unpredictable, the key to success lies with empowerment and autonomy for those in direct contact with the situation.

      Hierarchical organizations are—to borrow a wonderful phrase from Martha Feldman and James March—systematically stupid.[69] For all the same Hayekian reasons that make a planned economy unsustainable, no individual is “smart” enough to manage a large, hierarchical organization. Nobody—not Einstein, not John Galt—possesses the qualities to make a bureaucratic hierarchy function rationally. Nobody’s that smart, any more than anybody’s smart enough to run Gosplan efficiently—that’s the whole point. As Matt Yglesias put it,

      I think it’s noteworthy that the business class, as a set, has a curious and somewhat incoherent view of capitalism and why it’s a good thing. Indeed, it’s in most respects a backwards view that strongly contrasts with the economic or political science take on why markets work.

      The basic business outlook is very focused on the key role of the executive. Good, profitable, growing firms are run by brilliant executives. And the ability of the firm to grow and be profitable is evidence of its executives’ brilliance. This is part of the reason that CEO salaries need to keep escalating—recruiting the best is integral to success. The leaders of large firms become revered figures.... Their success stems from overall brilliance....

      The thing about this is that if this were generally true—if the CEOs of the Fortune 500 were brilliant economic seers—then it would really make a lot of sense to implement socialism. Real socialism. Not progressive taxation to finance a mildly redistributive welfare state. But “let’s let Vikram Pandit and Jeff Immelt centrally plan the economy—after all, they’re really brilliant!”

      But in the real world, the point of markets isn’t that executives are clever and bureaucrats are dimwitted. The point is that nobody is all that brilliant.[70]

      No matter how intelligent managers are as individuals, a bureaucratic hierarchy insulates those at the top from the reality of what’s going on below, and makes their intelligence less usable. Chris Dillow describes it this way:

      But why don’t firms improve with practice in the way that individuals’ musical or sporting performance improves? Here are four possible differences:

      1. Within firms, there’s no mechanism for translating individuals’ learning, or incremental knowledge, into corporate knowledge. As Hayek said, hierarchies are terrible at using fragmentary, tacit, dispersed knowledge.

      2. Job turnover means that job-specific human capital gets lost.

      3. Bosses are selected for overconfidence. But overconfidence militates against learning.

      4. In companies, the feedback that’s necessary for improvement gets warped by adverse incentives or ego involvement. If I play a phrase or chord badly, my ears tell me to practice it more. But if a company gets some adverse feedback—falling sales, say— no-one has an incentive or desire to say “I screwed up: I’d better improve.” And formal efforts to generate feedback, such as performance reviews, often backfire.

      What I’m saying is what every methodological individualist knows: companies are not individuals writ large. The differences between them can mitigate against learning by doing.[71]

      As an institution becomes larger and experiences increased overhead and bureaucratic ossification, it simultaneously becomes more and more vulnerable to fluctuating conditions in its surrounding environment, and less able to react to them. To survive, therefore, the large institution must control its surrounding environment.

      The only real solution to complexity and unpredictability, as security analyst Bruce Schneier argues, is to give discretion to those in direct contact with the situation.

      Good security has people in charge. People are resilient. People can improvise. People can be creative. People can develop on-the-spot solutions.... People are the strongest point in a security process. When a security system succeeds in the face of a new or coordinated or devastating attack, it’s usually due to the efforts of people.[72]

      The problem with authority relations in a hierarchy is that, given the conflict of interest created by the presence of power, those in authority cannot afford to allow discretion to those in direct contact with the situation. Systematic stupidity results, of necessity, from a situation in which a bureaucratic hierarchy must develop arbitrary metrics for assessing the skills or work quality of a labor force whose actual work they know nothing about, and whose material interests militate against remedying management’s ignorance.

      Most of the constantly rising burden of paperwork exists to give an illusion of transparency and control to a bureaucracy that is out of touch with the actual production process. Every new layer of paperwork is added to address the perceived problem that stuff still isn’t getting done the way management wants, despite the proliferation of paperwork saying everything has being done exactly according to orders. In a hierarchy, managers are forced to regulate a process which is necessarily opaque to them because they are not directly engaged in it. They’re forced to carry out the impossible task of developing accurate metrics to evaluate the behavior of subordinates, based on the self-reporting of people with whom they have a fundamental conflict of interest. The paperwork burden that management imposes on workers reflects an attempt to render legible a set of social relationships that by its nature must be opaque and closed to them, because they are outside of it.

      Each new form is intended to remedy the heretofore imperfect self-reporting of subordinates. The need for new paperwork is predicated on the assumption that compliance must be verified because those being monitored have a fundamental conflict of interest with those making the policy, and hence cannot be trusted; but at the same time, the paperwork itself relies on their self-reporting as the main source of information. Every time new evidence is presented that this or that task isn’t being performed to management’s satisfaction, or this or that policy isn’t being followed, despite the existing reams of paperwork, management’s response is to design yet another—and equally useless—form.

      Weberian work rules result of necessity when performance and quality metrics are not tied to direct feedback from the work process itself. They’re a metric of work for someone who is neither a creator/provider not an end user. And they are necessary—again—because those at the top cannot afford to allow those at the bottom the discretion to use their own common sense. A bureaucracy can’t afford to allow its subordinates such discretion, because someone with the discretion to do things more efficiently will also have the discretion to do something bad. And because the subordinate has a fundamental conflict of interest with the superior, and does not internalize the benefits of applying her intelligence, she can’t be trusted to use her intelligence for the benefit of the organization. In such a zero-sum relationship, any discretion can be abused.

      The problem is, discretion cannot be entirely removed from any organizational process. James Scott writes that it’s impossible, by the nature of things, for everything entailed in the production process to be distilled, formalized or codified into a form that’s legible to management.

      .... [T]he formal order encoded in social-engineering designs inevitably leaves out elements that are essential to their actual functioning. If the [East German] factory were forced to operate only within the confines of the roles and functions specified in the simplified design, it would quickly grind to a halt. Collectivized command economies virtually everywhere have limped along thanks to the often desperate improvisation of an informal economy wholly outside its schemata.

      Stated somewhat differently, all socially engineered systems of formal order are in fact subsystems of a larger system on which they are ultimately dependent, not to say parasitic. The subsystem relies on a variety of processes—frequently informal or antecedent—which alone it cannot create or maintain. The more schematic, thin, and simplified the formal order, the less resilient and the more vulnerable it is to disturbances outside its narrow parameters....

      It is, I think, a characteristic of large, formal systems of coordination that they are accompanied by what appear to be anomalies but on closer inspection turn out to be integral to that formal order. Much of this might be called “metis to the rescue.... ” A formal command economy.... is contingent on petty trade, bartering, and deals that are typically illegal.... In each case, the nonconforming practice is an indispensable condition for formal order.[73]

      .... In each case, the necessarily thin, schematic model of social organization and production animating the planning was inadequate as a set of instructions for creating a successful social order. By themselves, the simplified rules can never generate a functioning community, city, or economy. Formal order, to be more explicit, is always and to some considerable degree parasitic on informal processes, which the formal scheme does not recognize, without which it could not exist, and which it alone cannot create or maintain.[74]

      And as I keep trying to hammer home, just the reverse is true of networks and stigmergic organization: their beauty is that they render the intelligence of all their individual members more usable. While one-way communication creates opacity from above, two-way communication creates horizontal legibility. To quote Michel Bauwens:

      The capacity to cooperate is verified in the process of cooperation itself. Thus, projects are open to all comers provided they have the necessary skills to contribute to a project. These skills are verified, and communally validated, in the process of production itself. This is apparent in open publishing projects such as citizen journalism: anyone can post and anyone can verify the veracity of the articles. Reputation systems are used for communal validation. The filtering is a posteriori, not a priori. Anti-credentialism is therefore to be contrasted to traditional peer review, where credentials are an essential prerequisite to participate.

      P2P projects are characterized by holoptism. Holoptism is the implied capacity and design of peer to [peer] processes that allows participants free access to all the information about the other participants; not in terms of privacy, but in terms of their existence and contributions (i.e. horizontal information) and access to the aims, metrics and documentation of the project as a whole (i.e. the vertical dimension). This can be contrasted to the panoptism which is characteristic of hierarchical projects: processes are designed to reserve ‘total’ knowledge for an elite, while participants only have access on a ‘need to know’ basis. However, with P2P projects, communication is not top-down and based on strictly defined reporting rules, but feedback is systemic, integrated in the protocol of the cooperative system.[75]

      In a prison—governed by panopticism—the warden can see all the prisoners, but the prisoners can’t see each other. The reason is so the prisoners can’t coordinate their actions independently of the warden. Holopticism is the exact opposite: the members of a group are horizontally legible to one another, and can coordinate their actions. And “everyone has a sense of the emerging whole, and can adjust their actions for the greatest fit.”[76]

      The unspoken assumption is that a hierarchy exists for the purposes of the management, and a holoptic association exists for the purposes of its members. The people at the top of a hierarchical pyramid can’t trust the people doing the job because their interests are diametrically opposed. It’s safe to trust one another in a horizontal organization because a common interest in the task can be inferred from participation.

      II. Hierarchies vs. Networks

      In a distributed network, it’s impossible to prevent communication between nodes by controlling a central node. There are too many alternative nodes through which communication can be routed if any particular node or nodes are closed off. As John Gilmore famously quipped, “the Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it.”[77]

      The power of distributed networks lies in the fact that in them filters disappear: eliminating or filtering a node or node cluster will not delay access to information. By contrast with the decentralised information system which arose with the invention of the telegraph, in distributed networks it is impossible to “burn bridges” and restrict the information that reaches the final nodes by controlling a few transmitters.[78]

      As Ori Brafman and Rod Backstrom describe it, “when attacked, a decentralized organization tends to become even more open and decentralized.”[79] They use the example of the file-sharing movement. After Napster was shut down, the movement responded by creating a series of successors—each of which was even more decentralized and presented even less in the way of vulnerable nodes than its predecessor.[80]

      That’s the subject of Francesca Musiani’s article on the history of p2p filesharing architecture, which she argues has been shaped by the offensive-defensive arms race between the forces of state surveillance and those of circumvention.[81] The first generation of file-sharing services, typified by Napster, were centralized, one-to-many systems. Subsequent services became increasingly decentralized— although their weak point remained imperfect anonymity. The third stage, Musiani argues, is file-sharing under cover of darknets, with membership by invitation only on a “friend-of-a-friend” basis. Although such organization through conventional, proprietary social networking services like Facebook is still vulnerable to the vagaries of their privacy policy, open-source social networking services like Diaspora are much more promising as avenues for darknet file-sharing.[82]

      “The Pirate Bay,” Rick Falkvinge writes, “has been a trailblazer in resilience. After all, a number of bought-and-paid-for or just plain misguided legislatures and courts have tried to eradicate the site, and yet, it still stands untouched.”[83] One source of its resilience—as is the case with Wikileaks (see below)—is its lack of dependence on servers that are vulnerable to the laws of any particular country. Like Wikileaks, The Pirate Bay has access to a network of servers in a number of countries; and it responds to shutdown attempts by nimbly switching its Web-hosting to servers in other countries (most recently the servers of the Norwegian and Catalan Pirate Parties as of this writing).[84]

      The ultimate step so far for file-sharing operations has been to bypass sitehosting as a bottleneck altogether and move into the cloud. The Pirate Bay released its software code so that it could be replicated by anyone who wanted to host a Pirate Bay clone.

      Earlier this year [2012], after months of legal wrangling, authorities in a number of countries won an injunction against the Pirate Bay, probably the largest and most famous BitTorrent piracy site on the Web. The order blocked people from entering the site.

      In retaliation, the Pirate Bay wrapped up the code that runs its entire Web site, and offered it as a free downloadable file for anyone to copy and install on their own servers. People began setting up hundreds of new versions of the site, and the piracy continues unabated.

      Thus, whacking one big mole created hundreds of smaller ones.[85]

      And Tribler moves file-sharing in a literal peer-to-peer direction.

      The new software called “Tribler” is the new weapon in the battle for Internet liberty and does not need a website to track users sharing torrent files.

      According to The Raw Story, it is a “peer-to-peer network protocol that enables computers to share files with thousands of others.”

      For many this could be the solution movie....

      While lawmakers are dreaming of a censored web, many believe Tribler will be a true nightmare for them.

      According to the technology blog Torrent Freak, the attempt to disconnect users from the Internet for “illegal” purposes will be foiled by the software that has been in the works for the past five years and will make it nearly “impossible” to stop file sharing.

      “The only way to take it down is to take the Internet down,” stated Doctor Pouwelse of Delft University of Technology to the Daily Mail.

      Tribler will be entirely decentralized, leaving the control in the hands of the users.

      “Individuals can rename files, flag phony downloads or viruses, create ‘channels’ of verified downloads, and act as nodes that distribute lists of peers across the network,” The Raw Story reported.[86]

      More recently, the clumsy attempts of the U.S. government and its allies to suppress Wikileaks through control of strategic nodes (domain name registries, Amazon, PayPal, etc.) have made the same principle abundantly clear. Wikileaks’ enemies have strategized against it within the paradigm of a Weberian bureaucratic institution functioning inside a Westphalian nation-state. Will Wilkinson mocked the sheer idiocy of people like Joe Lieberman—and all the clucking chickenhawks in the neocon blogosphere calling for Chelsea Manning or Julian Assange to be waterboarded—in his blog at The Economist:

      If Mr Assange is murdered tomorrow, if WikiLeaks’ servers are cut off for a few hours, or a few days, or forever, nothing fundamental is really changed. With or without WikiLeaks, the technology exists to allow whistleblowers to leak data and documents while maintaining anonymity. With or without WikiLeaks, the personnel, technical know-how, and ideological will exists to enable anonymous leaking and to make this information available to the public....

      Yet the debate over WikiLeaks has proceeded as if the matter might conclude with the eradication of these kinds of data dumps—as if this is a temporary glitch in the system that can be fixed.... But I don’t think the matter can end this way. Just as technology has made it easier for governments and corporations to snoop ever more invasively into the private lives of individuals, it has also made it easier for individuals, working alone or together, to root through and make off with the secret files of governments and corporations. WikiLeaks is simply an early manifestation of what I predict will be a more-or-less permanent feature of contemporary life, and a more-or-less permanent constraint on strategies of secret-keeping.

      Consider what young Bradley Manning is alleged to have accomplished with a USB key on a military network. It was impossible 30 years ago to just waltz out of an office building with hundreds of thousands of sensitive files. The mountain of boxes would have weighed tons. Today, there are millions upon millions of government and corporate employees capable of downloading massive amounts of data onto tiny devices. The only way WikiLeaks-like exposés will stop is if those with the permissions necessary to access and copy sensitive data refuse to do so. But as long as some of those people retain a sense of right and wrong—even if it is only a tiny minority—these leaks and these scandals will continue.[87]

      Mike Masnick, in similar language, expressed his amused contempt for calls from people like Christian Whiton and Marc Thiessen to kill Assange or declare war on Wikileaks and shut it down:

      .... As was pointed out at the time, this is a statement totally clueless about the nature of Wikileaks, and how distributed it is. If you shut down one node, five more would likely pop up overnight, and they’d be harder to track and harder to shut down. Whiton and Thiessen are reacting to Wikileaks as if it were a threat from an individual or a government. In other words, they’re treating it like a threat from decades ago, rather than an open effort to distribute leaked information....

      .... What the internet allows is for groups to form and do stuff in a totally anonymous and distributed manner, and there really isn’t any way to prevent that—whether you agree with the activity or not.[88]

      As Reason’s Jesse Walker put it,

      I remember when the record companies were filled with men and women who thought the key to stopping online filesharing was to shut down a company called Napster. I remember when a teenaged programmer named Shawn Fanning was attracting the sort of press that Julian Assange is getting today. In 2010, the average 14-yearold probably doesn’t know who Fanning is. He might not even recognize the name Napster. But he knows how to download music for free.[89]

      The resilience of Wikileaks against attempts at suppression by the corporate state, in particular, is remarkable. The networked movement to blog and tweet Wikileaks’ dotted-line IP addresses around the Web, and to mirror the site by the thousands, should be a source of pride to all friends of information freedom. It reminds me of the DeCSS uprising, in which the “illegal” DeCSS hack for movie DRM was distributed at thousands of blogs and websites worldwide, and sympathizers even showed up for Eric Corley’s trial in T-shirts bearing the DeCSS code. And even if the site were entirely shut down it would be feasible to move beyond the current website-based model and simply distribute content worldwide by torrent download.

      Similarly, the Egyptian government’s so-called shutdown of the Internet during the early 2011 uprising was circumvented by (inter alia) using dialup connections and virtual private networks. As with Wikileaks, social media sites were reportedly still available at their IP addresses. And use of the Tor anonymizer tripled.[90]

      What’s more, another lesson of the shutdown is just how catastrophic the economic consequences are.

      A central unknown at this moment is what the economic harm to the country will be. Without internet and voice networks, Egyptians are losing transactions and deals, their stocks and commodities cannot be traded, their goods are halted on frozen transportation networks, and their bank deposits are beyond reach.[91]

      In fact the measure seems so drastic, and the effects so severe, that governments are likely to treat them as a last resort and put them off until it’s too late—as was the case in Egypt. Governments are as prone to the Boiled Frog Syndrome as we are.

      Attempts to suppress efforts like Wikileaks by interdicting their access to centralized intermediaries like domain name services, web hosts, PayPal, etc., simply serve as a catalyst to create new, decentralized versions of those intermediaries which are less vulnerable to interdiction. There’s already been talk about setting up an open-source domain name service by one of the founders of The Pirate Bay. Even before Wikileaks emerged as a major story, services like PayPal had come under criticism from the open source community for their lack of accountability to the user community, and sparked assorted attempts to create an open-source alternative. Attacks on Wikileaks have just increased the momentum behind such movements to reduce the vulnerability of centralized intermediaries.[92] The users’ power of voice over PayPal is virtually nil, but their power of exit is potentially enormous. Again, the Net is in the process of treating censorship as damage and routing around it.

      Projects to harden the Net against shutdown. Even before the Egyptian government shut down the Internet during the “Twitter Revolution” in early 2011, there was a wide range of projects aimed at increasing the Internet’s resilience in the face of state attempts at shutdown or control. The Egyptian government’s shutdown, combined with talk in the U.S. of an “Internet kill switch,” added a sense of urgency to these projects.

      It’s worth bearing in mind, of course, that the resistance movement has been quite creative in circumventing the so-called Net “shutdown” while it was actually going on.

      Even shutting down the Internet, which the security services in Syria, Libya, and Egypt all tried at various stages of those uprisings, cannot prevent determined cyber-dissidents from organizing. In Libya, rebels used satellite telephones to upload videos of violence by Qaddafi’s government against protesters. In Egypt, software developers managed to cobble together an alternative Internet—a peer-to-peer network that bypassed the state-controlled one—when the regime began blocking access. And from China to Belarus to Cuba, dissidents have used updated versions of time-tested samizdat methods developed to smuggle prodemocracy writings out from behind the Iron Curtain, downloading videos, images, and text onto tiny USB flash drives and mailing them or smuggling them abroad. Syrians smuggle USB drives across the northern border to Turkey and, thanks to robust connections with relatively free Lebanon, kept a steady flow of images and information streaming into cyberspace even through the darkest moments of the Assad regime’s crackdown. With the U.S. government and other public and private entities funding research into ways of keeping such dissidents just ahead of the censors, the information “arms race” between regimes and their subjects so far appears to give a lopsided advantage to the people.[93]

      Telecomix, a group of European online freedom activists, it a good example. It offered technical support to Egyptian protestors:

      Egyptians with dial-up modems get no Internet connection when they call into their local ISP, but calling an international number to reach a modem in another country gives them a connection to the outside world....

      The few Egyptians able to access the Internet through Noor, the one functioning ISP, are taking steps to ensure their online activities are not being logged. Shortly before Internet access was cut off, the Tor Project said it saw a big spike in Egyptian visitors looking to download its Web browsing software, which is designed to let people surf the Web anonymously.[94]

      And now many Egyptians are finding ways around the cuts and getting back on the Internet, allowing them to more easily communicate with the outside world and spread information from the inside. One popular method is to use the local phone lines, which remain intact. The trick is to bypass local Egyptian ISPs (Internet Service Providers) by connecting to remote ones hosted in outside countries—many are hosted here in the United States; Los Angeles seems, for whatever reason, to be a popular site.[95]

      Telecomix has also provided a package for bypassing state Internet surveillance and censorship in Syria, which it put together on a number of mirrored websites, and then circulated links to them by email spam:

      It took about one month to design, write, discuss, erase, rewrite, correct and finally package the software. Many people gave their advice either on the design, on the technical content or on how the message would be welcomed on the Syrian side. One of our Syrian contacts put his heart and guts to provide us a perfectly polished Arabic translation. At this point, the 60MB Telecomix Safety Pack website was ready. It contained security Firefox plugins, a Tor bundle, secure instant messaging software, a link to the Telecomix chat and more. It also emphasized basic guidelines such as avoid revealing personal information over the Internet....

      19 mirrors, all using different domain names, managed by 2 load balancers. Not that huge, but hopefully robust enough to both reply to all requests and circumvent a potential blocking against some domain names. Webservers specially installed and configured for this aggressive broadcast. The crossing point between high technical skills, deep emotional involvment and decentralized technological power.

      I «pushed the button» on the 5th of September at 1:53am CEST. Then came the anxious monitoring of our respective servers.

      Thousands of requests were scrolling on the screen, several megabytes per second were passing through the main mirrors. All servers kept responding bravely to all these requests during the operation time.

      Fucking hell yeah. It was working. Cheers, champaign![96]

      Another project, originally designed for maintaining connectivity in largescale disasters like Katrina or the Haitian earthquake but also ideal in a case like Mubarak’s Internet shutdown, was Tethr: an easily portable, concealable, solarpowered device with a satellite Internet modem and Wifi connectivity.[97]

      One open Net project, the Chokepoint Project, states its mission as “To identify chokepoints, understand the issues behind who owns what and has the power to turn off connections or control aspects of internet control like domain names.”[98]

      During the recent uprising in Egypt, in January 2011, the order was given to “turn off” the Internet, sending shock-waves around the world. Murmurs were heard of US security agencies and American politicians asking for access to a similar kill switch. These actions force us to look at who owns The Internet? This is where the Choke Point Project comes in mapping the nodes of control in service of the multitude of global citizens under who authoritarian regimes can act upon without their consent. We are in favor of exploring approaches to the decentralization of access in favor of guaranteeing connectivity as a counter-weight to the control of the Internet by nation states and corporate influence. A team comprised of web researchers, software developers and data visualization experts aim to gather data from across the web and show the control points, while clearly explaining the issues involved: history of Internet control, current legal situation, choke points, possible strategies for decentralization, reasons for and against kill switches.

      We are confident to succeed with this project, through the interconnected network of designers and hackers available through the communities of ContactCon (a major conference focused on an independent Internet which will be held October 20th, 2011 in New York, convened by Douglas Rushkoff) and members of the P2P Foundation community.[99]

      The object of this research is to develop an Internet architecture that is not vulnerable to shutdown. The umbrella term for projects to develop such an architecture is “NextNet.”[100] The term was coined by David Rushkoff.[101]

      In July 2012 the project reported on its progress to date:

      • Hosting is now set up and data is being processed ready for the forthcoming beta launch of what we are calling the (dis)Connection State Map....

      • Ongoing mapping and interface improvements are being added.

      • The new website is practically ready to roll and we are starting work on a public wiki as well.

      • Strategic partnerships with relevant organisations are coming along and we’ve had many meetings with interested parties.

      • Simon, Ruben & Gustaf were in Rio for RightsCon, the related hackathon and the Freebird “pre-event”.

      • Data sources have been investigated.

      • And we’re lucky to have a whole new bunch of very capable people from various disciplines onboard.[96]

      Most visions of such a distributed, decentralized Internet architecture involve meshworks of various kinds, in which “there is actually a physical ‘many to many’ distribution of hardware itself.”[103] As Rushkoff describes the advantages:

      Back in 1984, long before the Internet even existed, many of us who wanted to network with our computers used something called FidoNet. It was a super simple way of having a network—albeit an asynchronous one.

      One kid.... would let his computer be used as a “server.” This just meant his parents let him have his own phone line for the modem. The rest of us would call in from our computers (one at a time, of course) upload the stuff we wanted to share and download any email that had arrived for us. Once or twice a night, the server would call some other servers in the network and see if any email had arrived for anyone with an account on his machine. Super simple.

      Now FidoNet employed a genuinely distributed architecture.... 25 years of networking later, lessons learned, and battles fought; can you imagine how much better we could do?[104]

      The existing Internet architecture still has a considerable hub-and-spoke physical architecture, given its dependence on web-servers and routers. Meshworks overcome this limitation:

      Meshies believe that mesh networks will overthrow traditional networking and communications and create entirely new kinds of distributed software. For the purposes of this column, mesh networks (sometimes called mobile ad hoc networks, or MANETs) are local-area networks whose nodes communicate directly with each other through wireless connections. It is the lack of a hub-and-spoke structure that distinguishes a mesh network. Meshes do not need designated routers: instead, nodes serve as routers for each other. Thus, data packets are forwarded from node to node in a process that network technologists term “hopping.”

      Before dismissing mesh networks as being of interest only to specialists, consider their advantages over existing hub-and-spoke networks. Mesh networks are selfhealing: if any node fails, another will take its place. They are anonymous: nodes can come and go as they will. They are pervasive: a mobile node rarely encounters dead spots, because other nodes route around objects that hinder communication.[105]

      In a typical Wi-Fi network, there’s one router and a relatively small number of devices using it as a gateway to the internet. In a mesh network, every device is also a router. Bring in a new mesh device and it automatically links to any other mesh devices within radio range. It is an example of what internet architect David Reed calls “cooperative gain”—the more devices, the more bandwidth across the network.[106]

      Another benefit of meshworks is that, even if the central fiber-optic network is shut down and there are area limits to the propagation of the network, the local meshwork can support community darknets based entirely on their members’ computers and mobile devices. Short of blanketing an entire country with an electromagnetic pulse, there’s no way to shut down local meshworks.

      The Freenet project is one form of architecture for an encrypted local dark meshwork. It is completely anonymous, since individual nodes’ routing functions are encrypted. The downside is that it is not a proxy for the Web; the Freenet includes only material from the World Wide Web which has actually been imported into it and stored on member hard drives.[107]

      Nevertheless an urban Freenet, even if completely disconnected from the Web, could provide a robust range of services for a local counter-economy, including: hosting resident websites and community bulleting boards, a community encrypted currency on the model of Greco’s credit-clearing networks, local email, sharing of music and other content files (including CAD/CAM files for micromanufacturers), telecommunication and teleconferencing links, assorted collaborative platforms, rating and reputational systems for local commerce, etc. It could also provide similar services for a distributed network like a phyle (about which more in a later chapter).

      The Freenet, as a platform, can host member web pages, sites (“freesites”) and social networks visible only to members of the Freenet. It can be used as the darknet or Virtual Private Network platform for any local organization or distributed network. For example the Las Indias cooperative, with which phyle theorist David de Ugarte is affiliated, uses Freenet for its internal functions.

      Another meshwork/nextnet project, Commotion Wireless, “aims to build a new type of tool for democratic organizing”:

      an open source “device-as-infrastructure” distributed communications platform that integrates users’ existing cell phones, WiFi-enabled computers, and other WiFi-capable personal devices to create a metro-scale peer-to-peer (mesh) communications network.

      What it means: Democratic activists around the globe will gain access to a secure and reliable platform to ensure their communications cannot be controlled or cut off by authoritarian regimes.[108]

      The Commotion Wireless website itself describes the general outlines of the project in much greater detail:

      .... the developers, technavists, and organizers here propose to build a new type of tool for democratic organizing: an open source “device-as-infrastructure” distributed communications platform that integrates users’ existing cell phones, WiFi-enabled computers, and other WiFi-capable personal devices to create a metro-scale peer-topeer (mesh) communications network. Leveraging a distributed, mesh wireless infrastructure provides two key enhancements to existing circumvention technologies and supports human rights advocates and civil society organizations working around the globe. First, a distributed infrastructure eliminates the ability of governments to completely disrupt communications by shutting down the commercial or state-owned communications infrastructure. Second, device-as-infrastructure networks enhance communications security among activists by eliminating points for centralized monitoring, by enabling direct peer-to-peer communication, and by aggregating and securing individual communications streams.

      For over a decade, developers here have pioneered the development of “deviceas-infrastructure” broadband networks.... Specifically, this project proposes the following five-point solution:

      • Create a robust and reliable participatory communications medium that is not reliant upon centralized infrastructure for local-to-local (peer-to-peer) and local-to-Internet communications;

      • Design ad hoc device-as-infrastructure technologies that can survive major outages (e.g. electricity, Internet connectivity) and are resilient during emergencies, natural disasters, or other hostile environments where conventional telecommunications networks are easily crippled;

      • Secure participants’ communication to protect data integrity and anonymity through strong end-to-end encryption and data aggregation;

      • Implement communications technologies that integrate low-cost, preexisting, off-the-shelf devices (e.g. cell phones, laptops, consumer WiFi routers) and maximize use of open source software; and,

      • Develop an open, modular, and highly extensible communications platform that is easily upgraded and adapted to the particular needs and goals of different local users.[109]

      More closely related to the specific problems presented by police in Cairo and San Francisco, Stephanie Brancaforte of Avaaz announced a project to “‘blackoutproof’ the protests”

      —with secure satellite modems and phones, tiny video cameras, and portable radio transmitters, plus expert support teams on the ground—to enable activists to broadcast live video feeds even during internet and phone blackouts and ensure the oxygen of international attention fuels their courageous movements for change.[110]

      The FreedomBox is a small plug-in server with a built-in Tor router, which can plug into an electrical outlet in your home and provide wireless service—as well as providing point-to-point meshwork connection to others with FreedomBoxes, in the event local wireless networks are shut down.[111] The Freedom Box is part of a larger hardware stack[112] promoted by the Free Network Foundation.[113] The stack includes the Freedom Tower—a high-powered mobile wi-fi hotspot with an encrypted router and uninterruptable power supply—which provided communications to Occupy Wall Street.[114]

      Venessa Miemis listed sixteen wireless meshwork projects aimed at circumventing state censorship.[115]

      Dust is a project that counters government attempts to filter certain kinds of traffic by protocol “fingerprinting,” summarily blocking protocols like SSL, Tor, BitTorrent, and VPNs. Dust reencodes the traffic into a form which cannot be correctly fingerprinted by the filtering system.[116]

      In May 2011 the Mozilla Foundation fell afoul of Homeland Security by refusing to comply with a request to remove a new extension from its Firefox browser—MAFIAAfire—which circumvents censorship of the Web by federal law enforcement and the content industries. MAFIAAfire “negates ICE’s domain seizures, by automatically rerouting users to alternate domains.”[117]

      And Firefox announced a new extension, explicitly directed against SOPA, which functioned much like the earlier MAFIAAfire to circumvent domain name takedowns.[118]More recently, in August 2013, The Pirate Bay released PirateBrowser—an Internet browser for bypassing blocks—which was downloaded 100,000 times in the first three days after its issue.[119]

      III. Networks vs. Hierarchies

      But if hierarchies don’t do so well at suppressing networked organizations, centralized, hierarchical institutions are finding themselves all too vulnerable to networked resistance.

      In the early 1970s, in the aftermath of a vast upheaval in American political culture, Samuel Huntington wrote of a “crisis of democracy”; the American people, he feared, were becoming ungovernable. In The Crisis of Democracy, he argued that the system was collapsing from demand overload, because of an excess of democracy. Huntington’s analysis is illustrative of elite thinking behind the neoliberal policy agenda of the past thirty years.

      For Huntington, America’s role as “hegemonic power in a system of world order” depended on a domestic system of order; this system of order—variously referred to as corporate liberalism, consensus capitalism, Cold War liberalism, and the welfare-warfare state—assumed a general public willingness to stay out of government affairs.[120] And this was only possible because of a domestic structure of political authority in which the country “was governed by the president acting with the support and cooperation of key individuals and groups in the Executive office, the federal bureaucracy, Congress, and the more important businesses, banks, law firms, foundations, and media, which constitute the private establishment.”[121]

      America’s position as defender of global capitalism required that its government have the ability “to mobilize its citizens for the achievement of social and political goals and to impose discipline and sacrifice upon its citizens in order to achieve these goals.”[122] Most importantly, this ability required that democracy be largely nominal, and that citizens be willing to leave major substantive decisions about the nature of American society to qualified authorities. It required, in other words, “some measure of apathy and non-involvement on the part of some individuals and groups.”[123]

      Unfortunately—from his standpoint—these requirements were being gravely undermined by “a breakdown of traditional means of social control, a delegitimation of political and other means of authority, and an overload of demands on government, exceeding its capacity to respond.”[124]

      The phenomena that caused Huntington to recoil in horror in the early 1970s must have seemed positively tame by the late 1990s. The potential for networked resistance created by the Internet exacerbated Huntington’s crisis of governability by orders of magnitude.

      There is a wide body of literature on the emergence of networked modes of resistance in the 1990s, beginning with the Rand studies on netwar by David Ronfeldt, John Arquilla and other writers. In their 1996 paper “The Advent of Netwar,” Arquilla and Ronfeldt wrote that technological evolution was working to the advantage of networks and the detriment of hierarchies. Although their focus was on the military aspect (what has since been called “Fourth Generation Warfare”), they also mentioned governability concerns in civil society much like those Huntington raised earlier. “Intellectual property pirates,” “militant singleissue groups” and “transnational social activists,” in particular, were “developing netwar-like attributes.”

      Now.... the new information technologies and related organizational innovations increasingly enable civil-society actors to reduce their isolation, build far-flung networks within and across national boundaries, and connect and coordinate for collective action as never before. As this trend deepens and spreads, it will strengthen the power of civilsociety actors relative to state and market actors around the globe....

      For years, a cutting edge of this trend could be found among left-leaning activist NGOs concerned with human-rights, environmental, peace, and other social issues at local, national, and global levels. Many of these rely on APC affiliates for communications and aim to construct a “global civil society” strong enough to counter the roles of state and market actors. In addition, the trend is spreading across the political spectrum. Activists on the right—from moderately conservative religious groups, to militant antiabortion groups—are also building national and transnational networks based in part on the use of new communications systems.[125]

      In “Tribes, Institutions, Markets, Networks” (1996) Ronfeldt focused on the special significance of networks for global civil society.

      .... [A]ctors in the realm of civil society are likely to be the main beneficiaries. The trend is increasingly significant in this realm, where issue–oriented multiorganizational networks of NGOs—or, as some are called, nonprofit organizations (NPOs), private voluntary organizations (PVOs), and grassroots organizations (GROs)—continue to multiply among activists and interest groups who identify with civil society. Over the long run, this realm seems likely to be strengthened more than any other realm, in relative if not also absolute terms. While examples exist across the political spectrum, the most evolved are found among progressive political advocacy and social activist NGOs—e.g., in regard to environmental, human-rights, and other prominent issues— that depend on using new information technologies like faxes, electronic mail (e-mail), and on-line conferencing systems to consult and coordinate. This nascent, yet rapidly growing phenomenon is spreading across the political spectrum into new corners and issue areas in all countries.

      The rise of these networks implies profound changes for the realm of civil society. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when most social theorists focused on state and market systems, liberal democracy fostered, indeed required, the emergence of this third realm of activity.... However, civil society was also considered to be a weaker realm than the state or the market. And while theorists treated the state and the market as systems, this was generally not the case with civil society....

      Now, the innovative NGO-based networks are setting in motion new dynamics that promise to reshape civil society and its relations with other realms at local through global levels. Civil society appears to be the home realm for the network form, the realm that will be strengthened more than any other....

      The network form seems particularly well suited to strengthening civil-society actors whose purpose is to address social issues. At its best, this form may thus result in vast collaborative networks of NGOs geared to addressing and helping resolve social equity and accountability issues that traditional tribal, state, and market actors have tended to ignore or are now unsuited to addressing well.

      The network form offers its best advantages where the members, as often occurs in civil society, aim to preserve their autonomy and to avoid hierarchical controls, yet have agendas that are interdependent and benefit from consultation and coordination.[126]

      Networked global civil society, in the words of James Moore, is becoming a “Second Superpower”:

      As the United States government becomes more belligerent in using its power in the world, many people are longing for a “second superpower” that can keep the US in check. Indeed, many people desire a superpower that speaks for the interests of planetary society, for long-term well-being, and that encourages broad participation in the democratic process. Where can the world find such a second superpower? No nation or group of nations seems able to play this role.....

      There is an emerging second superpower, but it is not a nation. Instead, it is a new form of international player, constituted by the “will of the people” in a global social movement....

      While some of the leaders have become highly visible, what is perhaps most interesting about this global movement is that it is not really directed by visible leaders, but, as we will see, by the collective, emergent action of its millions of participants.... What makes these numbers important is the new cyberspace enabled interconnection among the members. This body has a beautiful mind. Web connections enable a kind of near-instantaneous, mass improvisation of activist initiatives....

      New forms of communication and commentary are being invented continuously. Slashdot and other news sites present high quality peer-reviewed commentary by involving large numbers of members of the web community in recommending and rating items. Text messaging on mobile phones, or texting, is now the medium of choice for communicating with thousands of demonstrators simultaneously during mass protests. Instant messaging turns out to be one of the most popular methods for staying connected in the developing world, because it requires only a bit of bandwidth, and provides an intimate sense of connection across time and space. The current enthusiasm for blogging is changing the way that people relate to publication, as it allows realtime dialogue about world events as bloggers log in daily to share their insights....

      The Internet and other interactive media continue to penetrate more and more deeply all world society, and provide a means for instantaneous personal dialogue and communication across the globe. The collective power of texting, blogging, instant messaging, and email across millions of actors cannot be overestimated. Like a mind constituted of millions of inter-networked neurons, the social movement is capable of astonishingly rapid and sometimes subtle community consciousness and action.

      Thus the new superpower demonstrates a new form of “emergent democracy” that differs from the participative democracy of the US government. Where political participation in the United States is exercised mainly through rare exercises of voting, participation in the second superpower movement occurs continuously through participation in a variety of web-enabled initiatives. And where deliberation in the first superpower is done primarily by a few elected or appointed officials, deliberation in the second superpower is done by each individual—making sense of events, communicating with others, and deciding whether and how to join in community actions. Finally, where participation in democracy in the first superpower feels remote to most citizens, the emergent democracy of the second superpower is alive with touching and being touched by each other, as the community works to create wisdom and to take action.

      How does the second superpower take action? Not from the top, but from the bottom. That is, it is the strength of the US government that it can centrally collect taxes, and then spend, for example, $1.2 billion on 1,200 cruise missiles in the first day of the war against Iraq. By contrast, it is the strength of the second superpower that it could mobilize hundreds of small groups of activists to shut down city centers across the United States on that same first day of the war. And that millions of citizens worldwide would take to their streets to rally....

      .... [T]he continual distributed action of the members of the second superpower can, I believe, be expected to eventually prevail. Distributed mass behavior, expressed in rallying, in voting, in picketing, in exposing corruption, and in purchases from particular companies, all have a profound effect on the nature of future society. More effect, I would argue, than the devastating but unsustainable effect of bombs and other forms of coercion.

      Deliberation in the first superpower is relatively formal—dictated by the US constitution and by years of legislation, adjudicating, and precedent. The realpolitik of decision making in the first superpower—as opposed to what is taught in civics class— centers around lobbying and campaign contributions by moneyed special interests—big oil, the military-industrial complex, big agriculture, and big drugs—to mention only a few. In many cases, what are acted upon are issues for which some group is willing to spend lavishly. By contrast, it is difficult in the US government system to champion policy goals that have broad, long-term value for many citizens, such as environment, poverty reduction and third world development, women’s rights, human rights, health care for all. By contrast, these are precisely the issues to which the second superpower tends to address its attention.

      Deliberation in the second superpower is evolving rapidly in both cultural and technological terms. It is difficult to know its present state, and impossible to see its future. But one can say certain things. It is stunning how quickly the community can act—especially when compared to government systems. The Internet, in combination with traditional press and television and radio media, creates a kind of “media space” of global dialogue. Ideas arise in the global media space. Some of them catch hold and are disseminated widely....

      .... The shared, collective mind of the second superpower is made up of many individual human minds—your mind and my mind—together we create the movement. In traditional democracy our minds don’t matter much—what matters are the minds of those with power of position, and the minds of those that staff and lobby them. In the emergent democracy of the second superpower, each of our minds matters a lot. For example, any one of us can launch an idea. Any one of us can write a blog, send out an email, create a list. Not every idea will take hold in the big mind of the second superpower—but the one that eventually catches fire is started by an individual. And in the peer-oriented world of the second superpower, many more of us have the opportunity to craft submissions, and take a shot.

      The contrast goes deeper. In traditional democracy, sense-making moves from top to bottom. “The President must know more than he is saying” goes the thinking of a loyal but passive member of the first superpower. But this form of democracy was established in the 18th century, when education and information were both scarce resources. Now, in more and more of the world, people are well educated and informed. As such, they prefer to make up their own minds. Top-down sense-making is out of touch with modern people.[127]

      In The Zapatista “Social Netwar” in Mexico,[128] Arquilla, Ronfeldt et al. expressed some concern over the possibilities of decentralized “netwar” techniques for destabilizing the existing political and economic order. They saw early indications of such a movement in the global political support network for the Zapatistas. Loose, ad hoc coalitions of affinity groups, organizing through the Internet, could throw together large demonstrations at short notice, and “swarm” the government and mainstream media with phone calls, letters, and emails far beyond their capacity to cope.

      The information revolution is leading to the rise of network forms of organization, whereby small, previously isolated groups can communicate, link up, and conduct coordinated joint actions as never before. This, in turn, is leading to a new mode of conflict—“netwar”—in which the protagonists depend on using network forms of organization, doctrine, strategy, and technology. Many actors across the spectrum of conflict—from terrorists, guerrillas, and criminals who pose security threats to social activists who do not—are developing netwar designs and capabilities. [129]

      The interesting thing about the Zapatista netwar, according to Ronfeldt and Arquilla, is that to all appearances it started out as a run-of-the-mill Third World army’s suppression of a run-of-the-mill local insurgency. Right up until Mexican troops entered Chiapas, there was every indication the uprising would be suppressed quickly according to the standard script, and that the world outside Mexico would “little note nor long remember” it. It looked that way until Subcommandante Marcos and the Zapatistas made their appeal to global civil society and became the center of a networked movement that stirred activists the world over. The Mexican government was blindsided by the global reaction.[130] The reaction included not only activist support around the world, but a demonstration of hundreds of thousands in solidarity in Mexico City—a fact which no doubt figured in the government’s decision to accept a ceasefire.[131] Since then, Immanuel Wallerstein argues, this political support has been the main factor in the government limiting itself largely to skirmishes and harassment of areas under EZLN control, despite overwhelming military superiority.[132]

      Swarming—in particular the swarming of public pressure through letters, phone calls, emails, and public demonstrations, and the paralysis of communications networks by such swarms—is the direct descendant of the “overload of demands” Huntington wrote of in the 1970s. In “Swarming & the Future of Conflict,” Ronfeldt and Arquilla focused on swarming, in particular, as a technique that served the entire spectrum of networked conflict—including “civic-oriented actions.”[133] Despite the primary concern with swarming as a military phenomenon, they also remarked on networked global civil society—and the Zapatista support network in particular—as examples of peaceful swarming with which states were ill-equipped to deal:

      Briefly, we see the Zapatista movement, begun in January 1994 and continuing today, as an effort to mobilize global civil society to exert pressure on the government of Mexico to accede to the demands of the Zapatista guerrilla army (EZLN) for land reform and more equitable treatment under the law. The EZLN has been successful in engaging the interest of hundreds of NGOs, who have repeatedly swarmed their media-oriented “fire” (i.e., sharp messages of reproach) against the government. The NGOs also swarmed in force—at least initially—by sending hundreds of activists into Chiapas to provide presence and additional pressure.[134]

      At present, our best understanding of swarming—as an optimal way for myriad, small, dispersed, autonomous but internetted maneuver units to coordinate and conduct repeated pulsing attacks, by fire or force—is best exemplified in practice by the latest generation of activist NGOs, which assemble into transnational networks and use information operations to assail government actors over policy issues. These NGOs work comfortably within a context of autonomy from each other; they also take advantage of their high connectivity to interact in the fluid, flexible ways called for by swarm theory.

      The growing number of cases in which activists have used swarming include, in the security area, the Zapatista movement in Mexico.... The [Zapatista movement] is a seminal case of “social netwar,” in which transnationally networked NGOs helped deter the Mexican government and army from attacking the Zapatistas militarily....

      Social swarming is especially on the rise among activists that oppose global trade and investment policies. Internet-based protests helped to prevent approval of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) in Europe in 1998. Then, on July 18, 1999— a day that came to be known as J18—furious anticapitalist demonstrations took place in London, as tens of thousands of activists converged on the city, while other activists mounted parallel demonstrations in other countries. J18 was largely organized over the Internet, with no central direction or leadership. Most recently, with J18 as a partial blueprint, several tens of thousands of activists, most of them Americans but many also from Canada and Europe, swarmed into Seattle to shut down a major meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on opening day, November 30, 1999—in an operation known to militant activists and anarchists as N30, whose planning began right after J18. The vigor of these three movements and the effectiveness of the activists’ obstructionism came as a surprise to the authorities.

      The violent street demonstrations in Seattle manifested all the conflict formations discussed earlier—the melee, massing, maneuver, and swarming. Moreover, the demonstrations showed that information-age networks (the NGOs) can prevail against hierarchies (the WTO and the Seattle police), at least for a while. The persistence of this “Seattle swarming” model in the April 16, 2000, demonstrations (known as A16) against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington, D.C., suggests that it has proven effective enough to continue to be used....

      In these social netwars.... swarming appears not only in real-life actions but also through measures in cyberspace. Swarms of email sent to government figures are an example. But some “hacktivists” aim to be more disruptive—pursuing “electronic civil disobedience.” One notable recent effort associated with a collectivity called the Electronic Disturbance Theater is actually named SWARM. It seeks to move “digital Zapatismo” beyond the initial emphasis of its creators on their “FloodNet” computer system, which has been used to mount massive “ping” attacks on government and corporate web sites, including as part of J18. The aim of its proponents is to come up with new kinds of “electronic pulse systems” for supporting militant activism. This is clearly meant to enable swarming in cyberspace by myriad people against government, military, and corporate targets. [135]

      Swarming, in all its manifestations, involves a new understanding of the strategic principle of mass, in which mass is achieved by a rapid, transitory concentration of forces at the point of attack. The flash mob, when used for activist purposes, is a good example of this. Another, older example of the same phenomenon was the Wobbly practice of unannounced one-day strikes at random intervals.

      The new principle of mass is far less vulnerable to preemptive disruption in its preparatory stages. Swarming attacks, which can be organized on comparatively short notice by loose networks, require far less advance planning. More conventional mass demonstrations in the previous era, like the East German uprisings in 1989, were much more visible to authorities during their planning stages. Now the planning and preparatory phase is drastically shortened and virtually invisible to the authorities, with the highly visible public demonstration seeming to appear out of nowhere with little or no warning.[136]

      The German Blitzkrieg doctrine, by way of analogy, relied on radio-equipped tanks to turn their armored force—fewer, more lightly armored and with lighter guns than that of the French—into a “coordinated group weapon.”[137] German armored formations, by converging rapidly at the breakthrough point and then rapidly dispersing, or by achieving concentration of fire without spatial concentration, prefigured the flash mobs which—although possessing far less firepower than the state’s police—are able to form and disperse before the state can react to them.

      Since then, doctrines like the American Airland Battle of the 1980s attempted to attain mass through concentration of fire (coordinated artillery, missile and air strikes) on the Schwerpunkt, with the physical concentration of rapidly assembled and dispersed ground forces playing a secondary role. A force with superior agility, despite smaller numbers, can achieve local superiority at will and defeat the enemy in detail.

      Netwar, Ronfeldt and Arquilla wrote elsewhere, is characterized by “the networked organizational structure of its practitioners—with many groups actually being leaderless—and the suppleness in their ability to come together quickly in swarming attacks.”[138]

      The disappearance of time and space limitations, associated with networked communications operating at the speed of light, has strong implications for the growing capability of swarming attacks. Consider the radical compression of the time factor, as described by Sarah Wanenchak:

      Now the spread of information is nearly instantaneous. A protest is violently put down in an afternoon; by the evening, one can see solidarity demonstrations in multiple other nations. People act and react more quickly and more fluidly in response to new information, to changing perceptions of opportunity and threat. The heartbeat of collective action has sped up.

      Coordination across large distances is another practical result of the increased speed of information sharing.... 3316ow protesters in multiple different countries call a day of protest, and over 900 cities worldwide take part.[139]

      And as Julian Assange argues, such advances in speed and ubiquity make it possible for the swarming attack to take the form of a full court press, overwhelming multiple governments or agencies at once so that each is too preoccupied dealing with its own swarming attacks to cooperate with the others.

      In relation to the Arab Spring, the way I looked at this back in October of 2010 is that the power structures in the Middle East are interdependent, they support each other. If we could release enough information fast enough about many of these powerful individuals and organizations, their ability to support each other would be diminished. They’d have to fight their own local battles—they’d have to turn inward to deal with the domestic political fallout from the information. And therefore they would not have the resources to prop up surrounding countries.[140]

      The rest of this section is, in many ways, a direct continuation of our discussion of stigmergy in the previous chapter. It might be fruitful to reread the fourth section of Chapter One and proceed directly to the material below.

      Many open-source thinkers, going back to Eric Raymond in The Cathedral and the Bazaar, have pointed out the nature of open-source methods and network organization as force-multipliers.[141] Open-source design communities pick up the innovations of individual members and quickly distribute them wherever they are needed, with maximum economy. This is a feature of the stigmergic organization that we considered earlier.

      This principle is at work in the file-sharing movement, as described by Cory Doctorow. Individual innovations immediately become part of the common pool of intelligence, universally available to all.

      Raise your hand if you’re thinking something like, “But DRM doesn’t have to be proof against smart attackers, only average individuals!.... ”

      .... I don’t have to be a cracker to break your DRM. I only need to know how to search Google, or Kazaa, or any of the other general-purpose search tools for the cleartext that someone smarter than me has extracted.[142]

      It used to be that copy-prevention companies’ strategies went like this: “We’ll make it easier to buy a copy of this data than to make an unauthorized copy of it. That way, only the uber-nerds and the cash-poor/time rich classes will bother to copy instead of buy.” But every time a PC is connected to the Internet and its owner is taught to use search tools like Google (or The Pirate Bay), a third option appears: you can just download a copy from the Internet.....[143]

      New Zealand Police". Retrieved 1 April 2016.
    39. ^Armed Offenders Squad (AOS)
    40. ^Brewer, Ken. "Early NZ Police Motor Vehicles"(PDF). International Police Association, New Zealand section. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
    41. ^New Police motorcycles launched (+photos)
    42. ^"Use of Firearms by Police". New Zealand Police. 27 September 2007. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
    43. ^"Easy police access to firearms". The Press. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
    44. ^MacManus, Joel (25 March 2019). "Police officers in every part of New Zealand will continue to carry guns". Stuff. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
    45. ^"Replacement due for police rifles". New Zealand Police (Press release). 19 May 2005. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
    46. ^ abc"Ready to respond – in greater safety". Ten One Magazine. New Zealand Police. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
    47. ^ abcd"Locked and Loaded". New Zealand Police Association. 1 March 2012. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013.
    48. ^Plowman, Steve (October 2011). "Complex issues at heart of greater access and availability of firearms and Tasers"(PDF). Police News the Voice of Police. New Zealand Police Association. 44 (9): 244–247. Archived from the original(PDF) on 8 February 2013.
    49. ^Shortt, Dr Richard (11 June 2020). "NZ's police have been 'routinely armed' for nearly two decades". Stuff. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
    50. ^Independent Police Conduct Authority (1 October 2019). Police use of firearm when stopping a car in Hastings (Report). p. 5. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
    51. ^"Police reject calls for guns after attack". 3 News NZ. 14 January 2013.
    52. ^"Police officers shot at multiple times in West Auckland overnight". New Zealand Police (Press release). 2 October 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
    53. ^"Call to ensure guns on hand in patrol cars". Radio New Zealand. 23 December 2015.
    54. ^ ab"Commissioner announces routine carriage of Taser by first response staff". New Zealand Police (Press release). 31 July 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
    55. ^"Taser decision good for public and police safety". New Zealand Police Association. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
    anti-flag the terror state megaupload

    Anti-flag the terror state megaupload - removed

    New Zealand Police". Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  • ^Armed Offenders Squad (AOS)
  • ^Brewer, Ken. "Early NZ Police Motor Vehicles"(PDF). International Police Association, New Zealand section. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  • ^New Police motorcycles launched (+photos)
  • ^"Use of Firearms by Police". New Zealand Police. 27 September 2007. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  • ^"Easy police access to firearms". The Press. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  • ^MacManus, Joel (25 March 2019). "Police officers in every part of New Zealand will continue to carry guns". Stuff. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  • ^"Replacement due for police rifles". New Zealand Police (Press release). 19 May 2005. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  • ^ abc"Ready to respond – in greater safety". Ten One Magazine. New Zealand Police. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  • ^ abcd"Locked and Loaded". New Zealand Police Association. 1 March 2012. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013.
  • ^Plowman, Steve (October 2011). "Complex issues at heart of greater access and availability of firearms and Tasers"(PDF). Police News the Voice of Police. New Zealand Police Association. 44 (9): 244–247. Archived from the original(PDF) on 8 February 2013.
  • ^Shortt, Dr Richard (11 June 2020). "NZ's police have been 'routinely armed' for nearly two decades". Stuff. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  • ^Independent Police Conduct Authority (1 October 2019). Police use of firearm when stopping a car in Hastings (Report). p. 5. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  • ^"Police reject calls for guns after attack". 3 News NZ. 14 January 2013.
  • ^"Police officers shot at multiple times in West Auckland overnight". New Zealand Police (Press release). 2 October 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  • ^"Call to ensure guns on hand in patrol cars". Radio New Zealand. 23 December 2015.
  • ^ ab"Commissioner announces routine carriage of Taser by first response staff". New Zealand Police (Press release). 31 July 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  • ^"Taser decision good for public and police safety". New Zealand Police Association. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2016.