In No More Potlucks, Issue 23: Dirt, ed. Heather Davis.
Dirt often evokes information trails, the pursuit and gathering of information – getting the dirt on someone, as they say. Today, getting the dirt might likely be for security or marketing purposes, where information is sought legally, illegally, or extralegally, by a variety of governments, persons, and private institutions. Perhaps D.I.R.T. (Data Interception by Remote Transmission) is a paradigmatic example, a Trojan program from the early 2000s that allowed US law-enforcement to surreptitiously monitor a suspect’s computer as well as upload evidence to it. D.I.R.T. highlights the tactics at play in contemporary tropes of dirty political battles: get it any which way.