Sunday, February 21, 2010

A tentative green shoot of resistance -4.ATA

The riot of January 13, 2009 turned Latvia's then Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis into a stone-faced figure on morning television proclaiming that we were waking up in " a different Latvia" (hello??). President Valdis Zatlers shortly thereafter told the Saeima to basically get its ass in gear or he would consider dissolving them. Nothing of the kind happened. A non-violent "Penguin" movement, based on Godmanis' expression that "penguins huddle together in the cold" has, unfortunately not amounted to very much.
I have written before that while "riot" seems to be one of the few languages that the Latvian ruling elite pays attention to, ultimately street violence is no solution (except for a brief feeling of -- the fuckers got what they had coming). Therefore it is tentative encouraging that a cyberactivist movement, the Fourth Awakening People's Army (Ceturtās Atmodas Tautas Armija/4.ATA) has appeared and taken responsibility for copying the database of the Latvian State Revenue Service (VID). What the 4.ATA has done is arguably illegal and raises some issues about publishing the identities of persons who filed tax returns and other information through the, as it turned out, leaking sieve of the VID's Electronic Declaration System (EDS).
However, compared to the waste of taxpayer funds as well as tax fraud that may be uncovered through analyzing this information, the "crime" of copying an inadvertently "open" data base pales by comparison. For now, it looks like 4.ATA is a viable, extraparliamentary resistance group that Latvians looking to finally implement decent, honest and efficient government should support.
4.ATA has declared that it is against all corrupt politicians and will make an effort to expose compromising information during the present election year. It hopes that this information will be a kind of "detonator" for mass action to reclaim the democratic system in Latvia. One can only hope that that will be so. The first action could be a mass refusal to pay public transport fares on a certain day after 4.ATA disclosed disproportionately high salaries and bonuses for top executives at Rīgas Satiksme, the Riga transport agency. Fares for buses, trolley buses and streetcars have been raised and Rīgas Satiksme has proposed limiting the number of rides one can take on a full-fare monthly transport card.
4.ATA has opened a Twitter account @neo4ata where a person calling him/herself neo has been tweeting, mostly in Latvian. Neo recently said he/she was coming to Latvia next week. 4. ATA has identified itself as a small group of Latvian IT specialists in Britain and Ireland. If neo enters from a non-Schengen country, there is some risk his/her passport data could be screened.


Armands said...

If @neo4ata wants to gain some sympathy, he really should be more responsive towards other twitterers. Especially those, who support his cause but don't have a thousand followers (and therefore not worth engaging with).


TRex said...


Latvian activism has the staying power of vanilla pudding.

serena said...

first of all - taking without permission still remains to be a crime
second - i see no actions taken by the nation after this will be over and it will, the listings are not endless
third - whoever is calling himself a hero shall not steal to become the one!
fourth - remember Gints? exactly! who the **** is Gints now?!
this guy neo had been watching that circus and i already can link them two nation waking-up callers together by identifying the same mistakes
fifth - who is standing behind all this?
my humble opinion: soemeone, who's position right now, is far beyond that point secret services are staring at. one man. one vulnerable man. ambitious enough and underestimated once by those, who are paying the price tight now, one by one. what does he want?
what do men usually want, when they get power?
correct, more power!
what for?
cherche la femme!
find trinity and she will tell you.. :))