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Issue 10


Since the beginning, humans have made tools in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones. The simplest hut shelters you from at least some of the elements; a bow and arrow spares you from doing hand-to-hand combat with a sabertooth tiger; a writing implement lets you tell future generations how to do the same.

And yet, even now, there are no guarantees. Internet transmissions are inherently leaky. Becoming “smart” can make the most banal object hackable: your toaster becomes part of a botnet; your baby’s crib is a spy. Digital platforms have created new kinds of precarity, as they disrupt workplaces and algorithms handle scheduling and benefits.

This issue looks at how we use technologies to stay safe—and the novel dangers that these same technologies create.


Meditations in an Emergency

The Editors

It’ll get worse before it gets better.


The Insecurity Machine

Astra Taylor

An essay about a system that destabilizes by design.

Hacking Security

Matt Goerzen, Gabriella Coleman

An inquiry into the history of hacking, and its lessons for making a safer internet.

A Brief History of the Gig

Veena Dubal

The gig economy wasn’t built in a day.


Auto Controllers

Emma Weil

An investigation into the small networked devices that are killing car engines and ruining people’s lives.

Access Denied

Joyce S. Lee

What would our technology look like if it aspired to keep everyone safe?

Tracing Paper

Mitch Anzuoni

A brief history of the secret plan to track every printed page.

The Party Decides

Darren Loucaides

A story about how to hack democracy.

Attacking Agriculture

Rian Wanstreet

What’s the price of precision?


Safe or Just Surveilled?: Tawana Petty on the Fight Against Facial Recognition Surveillance

Notes from the front lines of organizing and community technology in Detroit.

Free as in Smash the Surveillance State: Alison Macrina on Library Freedom Project and Tor Browser

A conversation about how to make information free.

Party at My House: Darius Kazemi on Human-Scaled Social Media

How can we build a better social network?


My Blue Window

American Artist

A conversation about state power and the construction of blue life.

First edition of Issue 10: Security released May 04, 2020.