10 Rules for Radicals: Lessons from rogue archivist Carl Malamud

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud's 10 Rules for Radicals is the transcript of his keynote at the 19th World Wide Web Consortium conference in 2010. It's a thrilling and often hilarious account of his adventures in liberating different kids of information and networks from various bureaucracies in his storied and exciting career. Malamud has instigated the liberation of American law, the Blue Book describing the workings of the telephone system, the EDGAR database, the video archives of the National Technical Information Service, and many others. On the way, Malamud boils his experience down to ten amusing and useful rules for people who want to do the same work, including "When the authorities fire the starting gun [and authorize the experimental liberation of some data], run as fast as you can, so when they get that queasy feeling in their stomach and have second thoughts, it is too late to stop," and "Get standing: one can criticize government all one wants, and they'll often ignore you. But, if there is something clearly wrong and against the law and you can document that malfeasance and wrongdoing, they have to talk to you. If you have standing, you can insist."

It's all so engagingly written, and so useful, that it is truly a must-read for anyone interested in the history or future of universal access, open networks and free societies.

10 Rules for Radicals (Thanks, Carl!)