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With Enemies Like This...

By Rhizome

Wiretaps, leaks, and whistle-blowing have recently become popular topics of discussion within the US . The current Administration’s secrecy seems to depend increasingly upon a lack of secrecy for everyone else, as journalists fight to keep their sources private and activists find themselves targeted by the FBI. One assumes that social networking sites like Friendster are under surveillance... So where can conspiracy-minded people get together? Perhaps on Sinister, a social software tool for our collective dark side. Managed by the suspicious team of Cassandra Rand, Georgia Underwood, and Annina Rüst, Sinister is a connection to underground chat worlds revolving around gardening, real estate, and finance, via the web, IRC, and telephone. One can call access numbers provided on the Sinister Calling Card to listen in on ongoing conversations. More than a mere communication platform, the Sinister website uses theories developed by researchers at Rensellear Polytechnic Institute to analyze the 'shape' of communication patterns in order to reveal the topic of discussion. Sure, conspiracies simmered before social software, but have they ever had their own calling card? - Ryan Griffis

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