To intrude into a computer “in real life”: this is the conceptual artistic intervention into which Richard Stallman has indulged himself last Monday, in the premises of Bull/Amesys in Tunis.
We have cooked up this little LULZ “happening” during a barbecue party, in the highlands of Sidi Bou Said – in a hackerspace -, and we have gone through with it the next day, at Bull’s headquarters in Tunis, where Stallman embodied Saint IGNUcius of the church of Emacs.
Bull is one of the biggest digital weapons dealers in the world; they provide global surveillance solutions and can intercept communications at country level.
Politiacs got to know the company – largely owned by the French state – through the case of Takkiedine, and under the brand name Amesys, which appeared in an arms sale contract signed with Colonel Gaddafi. It also provides solutions to countries such as Qatar, Gabon, Morocco and France, among many others.
But Bull remains tight-lipped, and their competence field is far too technical for journalists who do not have a clue about these cutting-edge technologies, which were installed throughout Africa and the Middle East… and France.
Politicians remain tight-lipped too : in Tunisia, Morocco, France, and elsewhere, no one takes the floor when it comes to explaining the presence of such equipment on their territory, the way they intend to use it against their populations, what “respect of on-line human rights” can mean, or the digital society model they intend to impose on their citizens using these weapons.
In the face of this silence, we have decided to make hell to pay.
Translation by Elodie Chatelais