All one needs is an enemy: On the shifting definition of ‘political motivation’ and the Loizidou emails

I’ve been trying to understand what happened and why. Amidst the media absurdity, the offensive onslaught, the ever-deepening politics, and the strange suspension of normality, I’ve been asking questions in an effort to extract sense and political context from all this.

I do not have my mother’s permission to publish / share anything (I have the opposite, for everything, all the time, except eating: she generally encourages eating, wearing warmer clothes, and extradition: joke, I hope, not sure, is it her job or is it too friendly? Or is it the Russians? Wait, which of the Russians?). Most importantly I do not wish to cause her harm by attracting attention, but given the turn of events, the apparent dominance of thoughtlessness in public opinion (including the Επίτροπος Προσωπικών Δεδομένων + Anastasiades’ encouragement that she be tried by media / treated as guilty until proven innocent, and for what?) I am very worried and I think it’s crucial to put things down as an opening to friends who might be able to help think ahead.

Contents

  • Who stands to benefit from the hack, the smear campaign, and Loizidou’s removal from her post
  • Techno-political implications: Whistle-blowing vs. privacy in the Cy political landscape
  • Reasons I’m very worried
  • References

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4 points of frustration around the Eleni Loizidou ‘corruption scandal’ / My mom got hacked and they say she’s really dodgy!

So she was hacked. There dawns the realisation that it was a matter of time, one way or another. When we recently talked about the possibility of her being targeted in this way, in advance of all this, she ended the conversation with ‘μάνα μου εν έσιει τίποτε.’ Her sense that there’s nothing to hide frustrated me (1), not because I thought she should be worried beyond the occasional change of password, but because I wanted to draw her into a conversation about privacy vs. transparency, which she didn’t have time for. Of course her being targeted presupposes a particular kind of hostile intention against her, which in her line of work is nothing unusual.

I find it terribly interesting that Cypriot news articles have so far attempted no reflection on the politics behind the Russian blog post, parts of which they uncritically reproduce. There’s nothing about the Russian extradition politics, and nothing about the hacking politics: first, the leak was shared on a blogspot set-up specifically for this one post, which must have been sent directly to Politis (by whom?!); second, this is probably the third major Cyprus-related leak after Hacking Team and the Panama Papers; and third, this is probably the first hack that specifically targets a single person / a Cypriot public official at such scale (I’m not sure we should count that thing with Anastasiades’ facebook account). Continue reading

openness, democracy, hack66, Phygital, and ellak.org.cy

What follows should, eventually, lead into a piece discussing conflict-resolution in open communities, and the handling of authoritative mentalities. The sheer power of hierarchy-assuming or hierarchy-constructing exclamations of ‘no’ is always surprising to me. As is the arrogance, the injustice, the power-plays it contains, as is the speed, the insensitivity, and the ease with which people shoot down other people’s ideas — sometimes as an automatic response that can only be rooted in personal fear: Continue reading