Wir haben uns sehr gefreut als wir erfuhren, dass das Projekt 'To Whom It May Concern,' in der Radiosendung Freak Show besprochen wurde. Freak Show ist ein Podcast, der sich mit dem Leben mit Technik im 21. Jahrhundert auseinandersetzt und dabei eine Vielzahl von Themen anschneidet. Unter dem Titel Drucken und Scannen für die Kunst erfuhren die Zuhörer was wir hier bei unserem Projekt für Ziele verfolgen. Es war aufregend zu sehen wie viele Menschen nach dieser Show unsere Seite besucht haben um sich das Projekt anzusehen.
Hier kann man sich die Sendung anhören, ab Minute 01:31:35 fängt John-Paul Baader an über das Projekt zu sprechen.
'To Whom It May Concern' on the Radio
We were very happy to hear our project 'To Whom It May Concern,' being discussed on the radio show called Freak Show. Freak Show is a Podcast dealing with how technology is more and more forming the shape of our social lives. With the given title 'Scanning and Printing for the Arts' the listeners where able to get to know our project and understand the goals we aim for. We were stunned by how many people reached out for our website after the podcast was published.
Here you can listen to the show online, from minute 01:31:35 John-Paul Baader starts to speak about our project (radio show is in German).
Shodan is a search engine just like Google, with the difference that Shodan doesn't look for websites instead it looks for physical objects connected to the internet.
The most known thing connected to the internet is the router, an uncountable amount of households and offices, universities, schools or public spots like cafés and libraries have these devices to provide internet connectivity. A simple search on Shodan for 'router' results in 15.288.191 hits, that's 15 million routers whos IP-address everyone can find out, and everyone can connect to. Some of them don't have any kind of password security and one can directly connect with the router, changing whatever settings one can think of. Others have default usernames and passwords and the same thing here, anyone can login and for example change the default password so the person normally using the router is suddenly disconnected from the internet.
Dan Tentler, a well known IT security researcher, made some intensive research on Shodan trying to find as many open devices, and in fact he found a frightening amount of unsecured devices ranging from webcams, TVs, music stations and baby monitors to online crematoriums, school heating control systems, medical devices in hospitals and even power plants. With some expertise, really just a little, and a few clicks and you can remotely access all these devices connected to the internet. Read more about it here: Forbes, Wired, NY Times, t3n (Deutsch), ...
Here is a very interesting talk about Shodan by Dan Tentler, a famous IT security expert:
Companies producing internet connected devices must be more cautious, they have to produce products which are much more safe and secure, this is the wrong end to lower the production costs. Security is becoming a huge factor in a internet connected world, producers and consumers need to be aware of that.
The title of this project "To Whom It May Concern," derived from one of our experiences we made during this initiative. We were scanning an open scanner located in the USA. In the very moment of us scanning it there was a document on the scanner bed: An open letter of a charitable library.
The letter was asking for further fundings to be able to buy more books. The letter didn't have a specific recipient, rather it was directed to anyone who read it, in this case us. The letter started with the common sentence To Whom It May Concern, whoever is reading this, whoever feels appointed to. Somehow we felt that this letter was left on the scanner bed on purpose waiting for people to scan and read it, and maybe donating money. That's what we did, we donated money to the charitable library. Also to say thank you for inspiring us for the title.
We felt this title is a perfect match, we don't know who the recipient of our prints is, neither do we know who is visiting our website to read more on this topic, and in the end our goal is to raise concern.
So we decided to include this sentence in every document that we print out on open printers. To Whom It May Concern, to the person who is reading this, to everyone who feels spoken to, feeling that open and unsecured networks can lead to major problems in a world which is continuously connecting more and more things to the internet.