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The Enigmatic Sven Olaf Kamphuis and the “Cyber-Wandervogel”

Sven Olaf Kam­phuis

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: Dur­ing the recent cyber­at­tack on the inter­net, we won­dered idly if the “Anonymous/Pirate Bay/Pirate Par­ty” milieu might have been involved.

The inves­ti­ga­tion has high­light­ed an eccen­tric, bril­liant pro­gram­mer named Sven Olaf Kam­phuis, a cit­i­zen of the Nether­lands. Kam­phuis emphat­i­cal­ly denies that he was in any way involved in the attacks and no charges have been filed.

What inter­ests us are some aspects of Mr. Kam­phuis’s out­look that sug­gest the pos­si­bil­i­ty that he might be what we have termed “Cyber-Wan­der­vo­gel.”  

Described as right-wing hip­pies in Weimar Ger­many, many of the wan­der­vo­gel (lit­er­al­ly “wan­der­ing birds”) even­tu­al­ly became Nazis.

With a fas­ci­na­tion for Ger­man heavy met­al music and a dis­like for “Jews,” Mr. Kam­phuis is indeed a fan of the Pirate Par­ty. His Cyber­Bunker host­ing ser­vice has served both Wik­iLeaks and the Pirate Bay in the past. Mr. Kam­phuis also has an affin­i­ty for the Chaos Com­put­er Club, also part of the Wik­iLeaks milieu.

Kahm­phuis with Pirate Par­ty Flag

Obvi­ous­ly, this is nowhere near enough infor­ma­tion with which to draw any con­clu­sions about Mr. Kam­phuis. One does won­der, how­ev­er, what direc­tion the “hack­tivists” with their remark­able com­put­er skills are going to take.

Will they be seduced by the far-right, as the Wik­iLeaks and Pirate Bay milieux have been (in spite of their anarcho/Utopian” phi­los­o­phy)? Will they ulti­mate­ly meta­mor­phose into fas­cists, as did so many of the wan­der­vo­gel?

Stay tuned.

Before we skip to the text of the New York Times arti­cle about Mr. Kam­phuis, we note in pass­ing that Mr. Emory epit­o­mizes the lib­er­tar­i­an, “every­thing should be free” phi­los­o­phy of the Anonymous/Chaos Com­put­er Club/Pirate Par­ty milieu.

Dave has made his entire life’s work avail­able for free. He has paid dear­ly for that.

 “After Attack on Web, a Shad­owy Prova­ca­teur Comes into View” by Eric Pfan­ner and Kevin J. O’brien; The New York Times; 3/29/2013.

EXCERPT: . . . . Mr. Kam­phuis, who is actu­al­ly Dutch, is at the heart of an inter­na­tion­al inves­ti­ga­tion into one of the biggest cyber­at­tacks iden­ti­fied by author­i­ties. He has not been charged with any crime and he denies direct involve­ment. But because of his out­spo­ken posi­tion in a loose fed­er­a­tion of hack­ers, author­i­ties in the Nether­lands and sev­er­al oth­er coun­tries are exam­in­ing what role he or the Inter­net com­pa­nies he runs played in snarling traf­fic on the Web this week. . . . .

. . . . He describes him­self in his own Web post­ings as an Inter­net free­dom fight­er, along the lines of Julian Assange of Wik­iLeaks, with polit­i­cal views that range from eccen­tric to offen­sive. His likes: Ger­man heavy met­al music, “Beav­is and Butt-head” and the cam­paign to legal­ize med­i­c­i­nal mar­i­jua­na. His dis­likes: Jews, Lud­dites and author­i­ty. . . .

. . . . Asso­ciates say Mr. Kam­phuis moved to Berlin in about 2006, and his Face­book page dis­plays pho­tos indi­cat­ing his inter­est in the Pirate Par­ty, a small polit­i­cal move­ment focus­ing on Inter­net issues that holds some oppo­si­tion seats in Berlin’s city-state gov­ern­ment assem­bly, and in the Chaos Com­put­er Club, a group that dis­cuss­es com­put­er issues.

For a time, CyberBunker’s clients includ­ed Wik­iLeaks and The Pirate Bay, a Web site whose founders were con­vict­ed by a Swedish court in 2009 of abet­ting movie and music pira­cy. In May 2010, six Amer­i­can enter­tain­ment com­pa­nies obtained a pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion in a Ger­man court order­ing CB3ROB and Cyber­Bunker to stop pro­vid­ing band­width to The Pirate Bay. . . .

Discussion

One comment for “The Enigmatic Sven Olaf Kamphuis and the “Cyber-Wandervogel””

  1. @Dave:
    Relat­ed to your not­ing that mak­ing infor­ma­tion free is at the cen­ter of your life’s work and an exam­ple of true Lib­er­tar­i­an ideas, one of the most inter­est­ing debates we’re prob­a­bly going to see in the next few decades is the “free infor­ma­tion” vs “free mar­kets” divide in the Lib­er­tar­i­an move­ment because they’re sort of mutu­al­ly exclu­sive propo­si­tions. How can you have the free flow of infor­ma­tion cou­pled to the free­dom to make the most exclu­sive economic/legal con­tracts one can devise? And how can the “free mar­ket” work with­out free infor­ma­tion if informed indi­vid­u­als are con­sid­ered a vital com­po­nent to any func­tion­al “free mar­ket”. It’s sort of the Aaron Swartz vs David Koch debate and it’s a debate that could have reper­cus­sions far out­side the Lib­er­tar­i­an com­mu­ni­ty. It’s one of those debates that forces us to reex­am­ine a lot of old, erro­neous assump­tions about what it actu­al­ly takes to make a mar­ket func­tion when you’re deal­ing with non-omni­scient crit­ters like human beings.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 3, 2013, 11:50 am

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