THE KILL CLOUD Networked Warfare, Drones & AI

March 25, 2022
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Join Disruption Network Lab for their conference 'THE KILL CLOUD' exploring the idea of challenging AI powered global military programmes & targeted killings through civic action and whistleblowing.

When: 25 -27 March 2022
Where: Hybrid Event. STUDIO 1, KUNSTQUARTIER BETHANIEN, MARIANNENPLATZ 2, 10997 BERLIN.  Some events will be streamed online.

The dramatic situation in Ukraine and the power takeover of the Taliban in Afghanistan demonstrate that war and global humanitarian crises are burning issues at the top of our political and media agendas. But in the meantime, a gigantic data driven, global military infrastructure is being put up – mostly unnoticed by people and uncommented by the media. What is the future of war? Which political and technological strategies are already in use? What can whistleblowing and other acts of civil disobedience achieve in this power game?

In March 25-27, the conference THE KILL CLOUD opens the programme of the Disruption Network Lab 2022. This event interlinks the idea of exposing injustice with the debate on warfare whistleblowing, referring to the use of AI technologies and satellites for surveillance purposes with the aim of enabling targeted killings.

The conference will analyse which geopolitical alliances and power relations are hidden in the use of AI technology, Global Positioning System (GPS), and satellites.The event attempts to provide some understanding into ethical problems with the use of AI and satellite technology to enable targeted killing via unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as well as an insight into how atrocities such as the collateral bombing of civilians without soldiers can happen, as we witnessed in Afghanistan in 2021.

Diffusion of responsibility and desensitisation of conflicts are characterising the network of modern warfare, which is based on a complex interconnection of technologies and systems of hierarchy. Keynote speakers are drone whistleblowers Cian Westmoreland and Lisa Ling, co-authors of The Kill Cloud: Real World Implications of Network Centric Warfare, a revealing book chapter of our anthology Whistleblowing for Change (transcript Verlag, 2021), which gives the title to this conference.



Friday, March 25 · 2022


17:30—17:40 · OPENING · Tatiana Bazzichelli (Artistic Director, Disruption Network Lab, IT/DE)

17:40–19:00 · KEYNOTE · The Kill Cloud: Real World Implications of Network Centric Warfare

Lisa Ling (Whistleblower, Former Technical Sergeant, US Air Force Drone Surveillance Programme, US), Cian Westmoreland (Whistleblower, Former US Air Force Drone Technician, US). Moderated by Daniel Eriksson (CEO of Transparency International, SE/DE).

19:30–21:00 · PANEL · The Future of War: Drone Surveillance, Killer Robots & Lethal AI Weapons

Laura Nolan (Member, ICRAC - International Committee for Robot Arms Control, IE), Jack Poulson (Executive Director, Tech Inquiry, US), Taniel Yusef (Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, UK). Moderated by Theresa Züger (Research Group Lead: Public Interest AI, AI & Society Lab, DE).

Saturday, March 26 · 2022


16:00–16:30 · INSIGHT · The Art of War, the Moral Law & the Art of Whistleblowing 

Brandon Bryant 
(Whistleblower, Former US Air Force Drone Operator, US), Introduced by Tatiana Bazzichelli (Artistic Director, Disruption Network Lab, IT/DE).

16:45–18:15 · PANEL · Beyond Human Control: The impact of the Drone War on Civilians

Chantal Meloni 
(Criminal Lawyer, ECCHR & Professor, University of Milan, IT/DE), Khalil Dewan (Head of Investigations, Stoke White Investigations, UK), Emran Feroz (Journalist and Author, AF/AT/DE). Moderated by John Goetz (Investigative Journalist, NDR, US/DE).  

18:45–20:20 · FILM SCREENING
(not streamed) · National Bird

Documentary, 2016, US/DE ‧ 1h 32m, English language, directed by Sonia Kennebeck. Featuring Daniel Hale (Private Contractor and Former Signals Intelligence Analyst), Lisa Ling (Former Technical Sergeant on Drone Surveillance System), Heather Linebaugh (Former Drone Imagery Analyst), Jesselyn Radack, Asma Nazihi Eschen, and others. Produced by: Sonia Kennebeck and Ines Hoffmann Kanna. Cinematography: Torsten Lapp. Edited by Maxine Goedicke. Music by Insa Rudolph. Executive Producers: Wim Wenders, Errol Morris. 

20:30–21:30 · FILM Q&A
(not streamed) · National Bird: Q&A

Lisa Ling 
(Whistleblower, Former Technical Sergeant, Drone Surveillance Programme, US), Emily Tripp (Research Manager, Airwars, UK), Abdul Saboor Arghandiwal (Fixer and Translator, AF), Najibullah (Afghan Representative of Global Exchange, National Bird Afghanistan Production Coordinator, AF). Moderated by Katie Gallus (Geographer, Moderator & Journalist, DE).

Workshops · Sunday, March 27 · 2022


12:00–14:00 WORKSHOP · Tickets Collateral Damage: Civilian Harm Through all-source monitoring and Geolocation

Emily Tripp
 (Research Manager, Airwars, UK) & Clive Vella (Geolocation Specialist, Airwars, UK).

Understanding civilian harm in Iraq and Syria – identifying patterns of civilian harm from Russian actions in Syria, and US-led Coalition actions in the war against ISIS.

15:30–17:30 WORKSHOP
· Tickets To Play or Be Played: Uncovering Gamification Techniques

Agnese Trocchi
(Digital Communications Manager, Educator, IT) and Jacopo Anderlini (Researcher, Systems/Operations Engineer, IT/DE).

View full programme details here 

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