Black Transparency. The Right to Know in the Age of Mass Surveillance

A Google executive once said: “If you want to liberate a society just give them the Internet.” But how does one liberate a society that already has the Internet? Publicly, liberal democracies adhere to the twin ideals of institutional transparency and personal privacy. In reality, the two are often shifted around: while citizens are subjected to mass surveillance, government practice goes unchecked, shrouded in secrecy. Now, a new generation has taken to the Internet to defend the right to governance without secrets. From Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks to LulzSec and Anonymous, from the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative to the revelations of Edward Snowden, a wide-ranging and multifaceted coalition is now busy revealing the militarized dystopia at the core of the modern state. Metahaven (@mthvn), a design and research studio from Amsterdam, has been vocally supporting WikiLeaks through their graphic design work. In this book, the studio engages transparency’s junctions with design and pop culture. Black Transparency sets out on a starry night journey with transparency activists and legal scholars.

Text: Metahaven. pp. 288; paperback. Publisher: Sternberg Press, New York, 2014.

ISBN: 9783956790065| 3956790065

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A Google executive once said: “If you want to liberate a society just give them the Internet.” But how does one liberate a society that already has the Internet? Publicly, liberal democracies adhere to the twin ideals of institutional transparency and personal privacy. In reality, the two are often shifted around: while citizens are subjected to mass surveillance, government practice goes unchecked, shrouded in secrecy. Now, a new generation has taken to the Internet to defend the right to governance without secrets. From Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks to LulzSec and Anonymous, from the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative to the revelations of Edward Snowden, a wide-ranging and multifaceted coalition is now busy revealing the militarized dystopia at the core of the modern state. Metahaven (@mthvn), a design and research studio from Amsterdam, has been vocally supporting WikiLeaks through their graphic design work. In this book, the studio engages transparency’s junctions with design and pop culture. Black Transparency sets out on a starry night journey with transparency activists and legal scholars.