At HOPE X: Artist Essam Attia, cool research, and Restore The Fourth!

The tenth biennial Hackers on Planet Earth Conference starts today and runs through Sunday at the Hotel Pennsylvania in NYC.

We’ll be there as part of the Restore The Fourth delegation (I’m the national chair of Restore The Fourth). I and Zaki Manian will be hosting a radio show 10am-11am on Radio Statler, the HOPE community radio station. We’re honored to have on our show controversial Maine-born artist Essam Attia. If you can’t be at the conference, check out the stream on!

You can also check out the Restore The Fourth booth (I’ll be covering it Saturday afternoon), sign up as a member here ($60 individual/$20 student), or come hear a talk on our research into the effects of the Snowden revelations on search engine behavior.

See below the fold for more on the Attia case!

Essam is a former military geospatial analyst concerned about the implications of the drone war coming home. In 2012, he started putting up fake ads for the NYPD in kiosks across the city.


In outrage, the NYPD tossed his apartment, and Attia found himself charged with multiple counts of possession of “forged instruments” (the posters), “stolen property” (the ads he replaced with the fake ones), and an unloaded .22 handgun under his mattress. Three months ago, we’re glad to say that all charges were dropped, and Attia is back doing what he does best. Check out our prior coverage of his case here.

The Attia case brings up important issues of Fourth Amendment law, police censorship, art, surveillance, and freedom of expression.

See you there!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.