Create an Account
username: password:
  MemeStreams Logo

Spontaneous Sociability and The Enthymeme


Picture of Rattle
Rattle's Pics
My Blog
My Profile
My Audience
My Sources
Send Me a Message

sponsored links

Rattle's topics
   Sci-Fi/Fantasy Literature
  Tech Industry
  Telecom Industry
Health and Wellness
   Using MemeStreams
Current Events
  War on Terrorism
Local Information
  SF Bay Area
   SF Bay Area News
  Nano Tech
  International Relations
  Politics and Law
   Civil Liberties
    (Internet Civil Liberties)
   Intellectual Property
   Computer Security
   PC Hardware
   Computer Networking
   Software Development
    Open Source Development
    Perl Programming
    PHP Programming
   Web Design
  Military Technology
  High Tech Developments

support us

Get MemeStreams Stuff!

Current Topic: Internet Civil Liberties

Wired News: Computer Privacy in Distress
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 11:08 pm EST, Jan 20, 2007

My computer is my most private possession. I have other things that are more dear, but no one item could tell you more about me than this machine.

Yet, a rash of recent court decisions says the Constitution may not be enough to protect my laptop from arbitrary, suspicionless and warrantless examination by the police.

Wired News: Computer Privacy in Distress

The cure to online predators: Stop online discussion. Brilliant!
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 9:04 pm EST, Dec 12, 2006

Oh boy...

Any social-networking site must take "effective measures" to remove any Web page that's "associated" with a sex offender.

Because "social-networking site" isn't defined, it could encompass MemeStreams.

"This constitutionally dubious proposal is being made apparently mostly based on fear or political considerations rather than on the facts," said EFF's Bankston.

In other words, Sen. McCain would like to welcome you to the social wedge issue for the 2008 election: Internet Predators.

Calling this "Constitutionally dubious" is the understatement of the year. However, anyone who raises their voice in opposition to this will be branded as a pedophile sympathizer, so you can rest assured that this will roll through Congress like a hot knife through butter. The inevitable result will be a Constitutional challenge and a lot of really pissed off people on the Internet, as every independent blogger, and every small website like this one, will be forced to comply with federal regulations that were designed with multi-million dollar companies in mind. Of course, thats impossible, but unlike Clinton, Bush will not forgo enforcement pending the outcome of the challenge, resulting in what will basically amount to a fundamental threat to the future of online discourse.

As the 2008 election season unfolds this thing will be winding its way through the federal appeals process, with a literal 5 alarm fire burning online as site after site shuts down out of fear of liability that some user might have committed statutory rape while in high school 30 years ago. Conservative pundits will be handed a constant stream of angry commentary from Internet users and quotations from civil liberties attorneys like Bankston to hold up before the masses while saying things like "these liberals want to defend child molestors, this is what you get if you vote for a Democrat!"

But, there is one thing they're not counting on. This isn't 1995. Today, all of the smart, well educated, powerful people in this country use online discussion systems. Obviously, the Republicans haven't figured out where their money is coming from. If they really decide to carpet bomb the Internet they may be in for a surprise. Would you donate money to the guy who killed your favorite website?

The cure to online predators: Stop online discussion. Brilliant!

Ignoring the Great Firewall of China
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 7:35 pm EDT, Jun 27, 2006

We've all heard of the Great Firewall of China. These guys found a clever way around it:

The Great Firewall of China is an important tool for the Chinese Government in their efforts to censor the Internet. It works, in part, by inspecting web traffic to determine whether or not particular words are present.
It turns out [caveat: in the specific cases we’ve closely examined, YMMV] that the keyword detection is not actually being done in large routers on the borders of the Chinese networks, but in nearby subsidiary machines. When these machines detect the keyword, they do not actually prevent the packet containing the keyword from passing through the main router (this would be horribly complicated to achieve and still allow the router to run at the necessary speed). Instead, these subsiduary machines generate a series of TCP reset packets, which are sent to each end of the connection. When the resets arrive, the end-points assume they are genuine requests from the other end to close the connection — and obey. Hence the censorship occurs.

However, because the original packets are passed through the firewall unscathed, if both of the endpoints were to completely ignore the firewall’s reset packets, then the connection will proceed unhindered! We’ve done some real experiments on this — and it works just fine!! Think of it as the Harry Potter approach to the Great Firewall — just shut your eyes and walk onto Platform 9¾.

Ignoring the Great Firewall of China

Boing Boing: Proposed law requires schools to censor MySpace, LJ, blogs, Flickr
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 2:13 am EDT, May 12, 2006

A new bill called DOPA (Deleting Online Predators Act) will require schools and libraries that receive federal funding to block access to social networking sites like MySpace and FaceBook, and is written so broadly that it plausibly could encompass blogs, mailing lists, and sites like Flickr.

All this news is trite in relation to the NSA revelation, but if you're looking for more bullshit, consider warrantless searches for individuals crossing borders with pirate DVDs.

Boing Boing: Proposed law requires schools to censor MySpace, LJ, blogs, Flickr

No to Global Online Freedom Act, Yes to Global Internet Freedom Act!
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 2:49 am EDT, May  2, 2006

Decius has been following this situation for awhile now. He is extremely knowledgeable about export restrictions, so I strongly suggest posing any questions you have about these bills in this thread.

Tonight, I thought I'd check up on the bill's status. Apparently its still a live issue as its being discussed in the press. Much to my suprise, I also learned that another bill, called the Global Internet Freedom Act, was proposed at the same time as the Global Online Freedom Act, and it does exactly what I was thinking we ought to do. This bill funds research on content filtering and filtering subversion to the tune of $100 million over two years! For some reason the bill appears twice on Thomas, once as HR2216 and once as HR4741. I think the texts are the same but I haven't checked line for line. I like this quote:

It is the sense of Congress that the United States should... deploy, at the earliest practicable date, technologies aimed at defeating state-sponsored and state-directed Internet jamming by repressive foreign governments and the intimidation and persecution by such governments of their citizens who use the Internet.

Here, Here! Kathryn Cramer, who I link above calling for censorware to be added to the USML, also calls HR4741 "lame." I could not disagree more. HR4741 has a much better chance of impacting the real situation on the ground in these countries then HR4780, for the aformentioned reason. The pricetag is expensive, much more then I would have asked for, but I'll bet the impact of that expenditure on the U.S. economy would be dwarfed by the impact of HR4780, which makes it illegal to host Internet connected computers inside of any country designated as a censoring state.

So, in sum, if you're talking to your representative, I say No on HR4780 (without serious revision), but Yes on HR2216/HR4741.

No to Global Online Freedom Act, Yes to Global Internet Freedom Act!

ISP snooping gaining support | CNET
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 7:31 pm EDT, Apr 14, 2006

The explosive idea of forcing Internet providers to record their customers' online activities for future police access is gaining ground in state capitols and in Washington, D.C.

Top Bush administration officials have endorsed the concept, and some members of the U.S. Congress have said federal legislation is needed to aid law enforcement investigations into child pornography. A bill is already pending in the Colorado State Senate.

Youch! I think the sheep are primed and ready for this step.

This follows the line we have been singing for awhile now. When the draconian shit starts happening, its going to be done in the name of "protecting the children".

ISP snooping gaining support | CNET

LawGeek: New Jersey Assemblyman introduced bill to force online identification
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 4:25 pm EST, Mar  4, 2006

Peter J. Biondi, NJ Assemblyman for District 16, has introduced A1327, a bill to force every ISP and website with comments/forums to demand user identification from every single poster (called an "information content provider" in the bill). The bill also forces all ISP and websites to turn over that information upon demand to anyone who claims to have been defamed, without any legal process or protections:

Well, it appears Seigenthaler's stupid campaign to remove due process protecting the identity of Internet posters, based on the inane assumption that claimants are always good guys who always have a legitimate claim, has gotten traction in the New Jersey legislature. MemeStreams users in New Jersey ought to contact their local representatives and calmly and respectfully explain that for every human problem there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.

Talking points:
1. Anonymous and pseudononymous speech has a long history of political significance in our country.
2. People seeking to identify Internet users do not always have a legitimate claim. Sometimes they are stalkers or other criminals.
3. Having a court decide whether Internet Services are required to turn over personal information about their customers creates a process which validates the legitimacy of a claim before personal information is forcibly disclosed.
4. Internet message boards are often informal things run by hobbyists. Information collection and reporting requirements create barriers to entry for those seeking to operate message boards, which has a deleterious effect on the free flow of discourse critical to our democracy.

Update: Biondi can be message on the web here. Office phone number: (908) 252-0800. Office address: 1 East High Street, Somerville, NJ 08876

LawGeek: New Jersey Assemblyman introduced bill to force online identification

Bill aims to fight Net censorship - The Boston Globe
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 6:02 pm EST, Feb 17, 2006

The Global Online Freedom Act is sponsored by Smith and five of his colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans. It would make the free exchange of ideas on the Internet a central concern of US foreign policy.

For example, no US firm could locate its Internet server computers inside one of these countries. Smith said that China or other repressive countries would still be able to subpoena an American Internet provider. But the subpoena would pass through the US legal system.

In addition, the bill would make it illegal for any US company to censor Internet information hosted on a US government website. Thus, Google Inc., which offers censored Internet searches inside China, would be barred from blocking access to the website of the Voice of America or Radio Free Asia.

The bill could mean trouble for US firms like Cisco Systems Inc., which sell Internet switching hardware. It calls on the Commerce Department to set up export controls on such equipment.

Bill aims to fight Net censorship - The Boston Globe

Big Content would like to outlaw things no one has even thought of yet
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 1:04 am EST, Jan 23, 2006

The post points to broadcast flag draft legislation sponsored by Senator Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) that contains provisions which appear to limit digital broadcast media reception devices to "customary historic use of broadcast content by consumers to the extent such use is consistent with applicable law and that prevents redistribution of copyrighted content over digital networks."

It is being widely alleged that Gordon Smith has been influenced by the $250,000 the National Association of Broadcasters gave to his party last year.

It is imperative that the Senate not pass laws that halt innovation. Just because these things can be nocked down in the courts does not mean they do not pose a serious risk. This is exactly the type of thing that stops innovation by making investors unwilling to take risk in companies and individuals working on new ideas. We have not reached the place we need to be yet in the digital content space. Legislation such as this will not help our progress, it will stop it dead in its tracks.

Oddly, I was not able to find any information about this bill in Thomas.

Big Content would like to outlaw things no one has even thought of yet

Bush Administration Demands Search Data; Google Says No; AOL, MSN & Yahoo Said Yes
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 6:27 pm EST, Jan 20, 2006

In fairness to Yahoo, which handed over information -- and MSN which likely did the same -- it is important to note that it is not just spin that no privacy issues were involved with this particular data. As I explained in the story, the information is completely divorced from any personally identifiable data.

Lots of good information in here about the Google FBI thing. Apparently they don't want IP addresses...

Bush Administration Demands Search Data; Google Says No; AOL, MSN & Yahoo Said Yes

(Last) Newer << 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 >> Older (First)
Powered By Industrial Memetics