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 Google Needs a Winston Smith

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Mar 11, 2002
 Comments:
Shortly after September 11th, Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a directive to federal agencies: All information that could possibly give an advantage to terrorists in committing their crimes should be removed from the Internet.

Unfortunately, terrorists can use a free and easy-to-access service on the Net to access this sensitive information. That service is the Google cache.

Below, read my arguments for regulating — or removing — this dangerous service.

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March 11th will mark the six-month anniversary of the horrific attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

It's already a cliche to say that everything has changed since September 11th — but the worst part is that not enough has changed. Lots of individuals, especially those misguided liberty-loving geeks, are continuing to live their lives and operate their businesses as if hordes of Internet-savvy terrorists are not out to destroy our mighty nation.

Case in point: Google. I love Google - I couldn't imagine surfing the Internet without it. However, they are silently contributing to the terrorist cause with the Google cache, an automated Web crawling service that provides copies of discontinued sites.

This may seem like a perfectly innocent service — a way of reading outdated news articles and poring over your own long-dead websites. What could it possibly have to do with terrorism? Well, it turns out, a lot.

Shortly after 9/11, Attorney General (and barbershop quartet singer) John Ashcroft ordered the removal of sensitive information from public government websites and libraries. This information includes security plans for government facilities, chemical factories, and nuclear plants. Also included was a lot of information originally posted by the Environmental Protection Agency, like maps of oil pipelines and the potential kill-rate for explosions at poisonous chemical manufacturers. For example, this Department of Energy page removed page described the best methods for conducting a limited spill of toxic materials for research purposes. It had info that could be of use to terrorists, such as the upper limited for a controlled test (and, conversely, the bottom limit for a dangerous spill) and descriptions of how the wind could blow material from a test spill.

How do I know this? The Google cache of the site, of course.

A Search Engine Watch report picked up by ABCNews inspired Google to remove some of the caches. However, there is still a lot of material out there waiting to be pulled. "The net is changing so fast we can't manually change everything," says a Google spokesperson.

In light of their selfish disregard for security, caching sites like google and the Internet Archive should be regulated or removed by the government. In Orwell's famous book 1984 Smith's job is to remove information from the historical record that conflicts with national security. Ashcroft has already taken this step - even librarians have taken on the role of Smith. The Google cache is a useful thing, especially for people with slow Net connections, but it needs a Winston Smith.

Some people have said that the government should leave up information that was previously publicly available, like environmental information and security plans for people who live close to a nuclear facility. This information, they say, is more likely to be used by a family in an environmentally ravaged zone than it is to be used by terrorists.

But, as the 9/11 attacks themselves prove, terrorists don't use tools especially designed for their use to create their vicious attacks. They used a box cutter and a plane. Surely we will give up a little bit of the utility of our own tools in order to ensure public safety?



       
Tweet

Perdida, you don't know what you are doing! (none / 0) (#2)
by tkatchev on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 11:51:12 AM PST
Google was founded by a Jew of Russian descent.

(Oh boy, I bet I'm going to be lambasted for anti-semitism again. Sigh...)


--
Peace and much love...




i dunno (none / 0) (#8)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 03:55:11 PM PST
why let a little thing like guilt stop you


 
well.. (none / 0) (#21)
by DG on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 01:21:30 AM PST
if the best you can come up with is that the founder is jewish and of russian descent. i'd say yes you deserve what you get.. it does smack of anti-semitism
2002, DG. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

 
Confused. (none / 0) (#30)
by hauntedattics on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 10:30:12 AM PST
I'm not getting the link between perdida not knowing what she's doing and Google being founded by a Jew of Russian descent. Or why this means people will think you're anti-Semitic.

Anyone? Anyone?



Well... (none / 0) (#32)
by tkatchev on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 12:00:29 PM PST
I just assumed that perdida is Jewish for some reason... Maybe I'm just a retard and got confused along the way somewhere. Correct me if I'm wrong.


--
Peace and much love...




Oh. (none / 0) (#34)
by hauntedattics on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 03:03:37 PM PST
I always assumed that 'perdida' was of Latin or Hispanic origin, but maybe I'm thinking of 'perdita.'

Maybe I'm just not thinking. It's been one of those days...




 
You must think I'm Greek then? (nt) (none / 0) (#43)
by elenchos on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 04:47:01 PM PST



I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


No. (5.00 / 2) (#55)
by tkatchev on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 10:42:16 PM PST
I think you're a dumbass for posting inane comments.


--
Peace and much love...




 
this type of regulation is short-sighted (none / 0) (#3)
by ism on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 11:59:53 AM PST
The Google cache is a singular source of information but is an example of the multitude of sources available on the internet. It aggregates the tools terrorists need to conduct their Jihad against the good Christians of America. Editing the Google cache is not enough as new information is released on the net. Obviously, the entire internet must be regulated.

As the internet has no national bounds, it will require an entity free from them. The most prominent international entity with wide-ranging support is the United Nations (well, other than McDonald's) but as many here might agree, they are not well-suited to the task. They must regulate a technological domain, and while arguments construing the internet as more of a humanitarian construct are meritous, I feel the former is of more concern. Therefore, we need an entity that is more familiar with the task at hand. I propose that ICANN perform this task.

They have already done an excellent job setting up the infrastructure to regulate the handling of IP addresses and internet domain names. It is certainly a more massive effort, but they are capable of handling this new task as well as they have their original goals. Funding this effort can be done in two ways, since ICANN is non-profit corporation.

The funding could come from information-hosting entities (such as ISPs that offer web pages), similar to how registrars fund ICANN's domain name handling budget. The hosts will have a variable due, depending on how much data they house, as it will require more effort to look through it. The alternative is to have content makers pay ICANN each time new data is to be posted on the internet, which will depend on data size. This particular solution would solve the Google problem as the document would never publicly appear on the net and would not get cached to begin with.


lol unbelievable (none / 0) (#6)
by PotatoError on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 03:27:53 PM PST
Nice idea in theory but in practice you have millions of people creating or appending data on the internet so you would also need millions of people censoring and removing "bad" material.

Obviously impracticle.

Your better off with the United Nations rather than ICANN but even they cant do much. Some nation's sensative information is another nation's unsensitive information. For example if another country decided to publicise results of their nuclear spill testing for acedemic reasons then you could hardly find a legitimate reason to stop them just becuase the information could be used by terrorists on the US.

internet is ruled by no country - no country can own it.

<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

dont be an idiot (none / 0) (#9)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 06:26:37 PM PST
we dont need millions of censors any more than we need millions of policemen; a rule of law is sufficient. Law, per se, doesnt prevent crime, it punishes crime in the relatively infrequent failures of its force of moral suasion. The fact that you know you will be punished when found makes you responsible for your misdeeds. The onus is suddenly upon you to behave, not upon us to suffer your criminal negligence with resignation. That's all we can aspire to. That's all a rule of law has ever been in meat space.

So, how lucky are you feeling, hax0rist?


the law isnt international (none / 0) (#12)
by PotatoError on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 07:36:32 PM PST
A country can block its own citizens from accessing any site easily enough but a country cannot prosecute the owners of any site because global law doesnt yet exist.

In some countries computer laws are virtually non-existant. Even some forms of hacking we call illegal here are legal in these countries so its doubtful that any country is going to shut down a trivial site just because it breaks US law.

Remember the creator of the Lovebug virus that infected millions of peoples computers? He was never prosecuted because the Philipeans had no computer law to prosecute him with. Even with the US pissed off they couldnt jail a man who had broken no laws.

If you cant get law to be international on such basic matters then you might as well give up on the hope of censoring site content.

You must also realise that if international law did ever exist, it would not be a one way thing. Other countries would also make requests that certain sites were shut down. The US might only ask to shutdown sites because it considered it bad for national security but other countries might ask for all sorts of reasons.

For example in Singapore its illegal for public sites to campain for any political party. If law was international they would request the US removed any sites made by US citizens which broke this law. Just imagine a US where a citizen can be jailed for putting up a site campaining for a phillipean political party but is perfectly allowed to put up one campaining for a US one!

You might also get China asking for the US to remove certain data about itself too...all references to that tiananmen square incident for example.

Because at the end of the day every country will have something it wants removed and if law is international the US would have to comply. You cant make rules like "the US laws are more important and stupid requests of other countries will be ignored" or else the other countries would simply ignore the US too. It would have to be full cooperation or nothing.

Therefore practical international internet law will not work.

<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

your days are numbered (none / 0) (#15)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 08:28:11 PM PST
In some countries computer laws are virtually non-existant.

Yes, yes, just like the internet. Look, I dont understand your argument. Why are you pretending a description of the present constitutes refutation of change? History is riddled with an absence of laws that exist today. Do you also expect society to instantaneously overcome institutional inertia and turn on a dime?

China, Singapore, etc

Who cares? AOL is not my brother's keeper. The US Government only has to forbid peering with rogue states. It makes the Internet smaller. We can do that with networks, you know. What are you going to do about it -- sink a thousand miles of fiber a mile below the ocean? The Navy will sever your cables. Send a satellite into orbit? The Air Force will turn it into a shooting star.

You cannot win. You will not win. More importantly, you must not win because The People arent sympathetic to your Lunix politics at all. They just want their email without the terrorism.


You've misunderstood me (none / 0) (#18)
by PotatoError on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 09:17:38 PM PST
"The US Government only has to forbid peering with rogue states"
Thats BLOCKING sites which WILL work. It is easy to do too.

I was talking about SHUTTING DOWN sites which WONT work. For example the US cant shutdown a site based in Germany just as the German government cant shut down a site based in the US.
But the US can block sites from germany.

This is what China does to keep its people unknowledgable about the outside world.

Im trying to win nothing. Im just trying to keep the internet whole and uncensored. Powered by The People as you put it. It will always be so too.

"The US Government only has to forbid peering with rogue states"
So you will block all sites hosted in Iraq? The bad news is that some resistant people in Britain might choose to mirror certain Iraqi sites, therefore allowing US citizens access to it. See?

I guess if you get really paranoid you could just cut off access to every country outside the US. Then the US would have its own internet and the world outside would have its own internet. Wonder how microsoft will cope when noone can access its servers? Surely you are forcing the world to choose linux instead.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
And the countdown runs... (none / 0) (#25)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 06:11:22 AM PST
The US Government only has to forbid peering with rogue states. It makes the Internet smaller.

Who will want to, will get the access. Only the barrier to access will temporarily get slightly higher. The genie is out of the bottle and sneering at the idea of being stuffed back in.

We can do that with networks, you know. What are you going to do about it -- sink a thousand miles of fiber a mile below the ocean? The Navy will sever your cables. Send a satellite into orbit? The Air Force will turn it into a shooting star.

Set up a network of caches and mirrors in the very heart of the "Free World", feed them with content periodically broadcasted on long-range low frequency transmissions? Ionosphere is our friend. Or maybe wideband microwaves bounced from the Moon or even from the commercial satellites? Or maybe good old couriers? Never underestimate the bandwidth of a hard drive in a briefcase. Remember, you need to ship the data only once - then after they are fed into FreeNet and mirror networks, they stay available forever.

You cannot win.

We can.

You will not win.

We already won. Now we just have to hold the positions; which is not so difficult with all the possibilities we have in our disposal.

More importantly, you must not win because The People arent sympathetic to your Lunix politics at all.

So we'll just not ask them.

They just want their email without the terrorism.

Sorry to tell you, but your email is a package deal; the underlying technology has way too many interesting uses by its very principle.


dumber than leftovers (none / 0) (#29)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 10:16:16 AM PST
Who will want to, will get the access.

Yeah, so? Who wants to, will commit murder. What's your point -- that most of us are murderers?

Set up a network of caches and mirrors in the very heart of the "Free World", feed them with content periodically broadcasted on long-range low frequency transmissions?

Well, I dont precisely understand how any of that will mirror Chinese web sites, but it doesnt make a shred of difference to me whether you're imprisoned for "long-range low frequency transmissions" or "tin cans strung together by cotton fiber". Apparently, the stupidity of geeks is only rivalled by their bravery and powers of invisibility.

We already won.

Yeah, right. What did you win -- the DMCA? Thanks for that, by the way, we're much obliged to suffer for your thieving habits. Listen, you cant even get people to download Lunix for free. Understand what that means: YOU CANT GIVE AWAY FREE STUFF! (0.24% presence on the desktop... Sigh, you're all legends in your own little LUG meetings, arent you.)


what the fuck are you talking about? (none / 0) (#38)
by PotatoError on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 04:12:08 PM PST
you make no sense.

You talk about imprisonning...what if I dont live in the US you fool? then you cant imprison me. Yet I can still mirror chinese sites for you to access.

The DMCA is a load of junk too. Many countries in the world freely put up pirated material on the internet because it isnt illegal in their country to do so. The DMCA only exists in the US a few other western countries.

Why would I bother to download linux for free when I can buy it on CD? Its cheap and it saves time.

However I refuse to pay $15 for a music CD when $14 of it goes to people who never made the music.


<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Duh (none / 0) (#45)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 05:41:20 PM PST
You talk about imprisonning...what if I dont live in the US you fool?

Then your network wont connect to AOL America and you can do whatever you want. For example, you might live in China and I've just finished telling you we wont be peering with China. Duh.


Very clever (none / 0) (#57)
by PotatoError on Wed Mar 13th, 2002 at 06:39:22 AM PST
So you are going to sever internet links with every country in the world huh? China, Russia, Britain, France, Australia, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, etc, etc

Do you understand the effect that will have on your economy? and the even worse effect of secluding America from the rest of the world?

The technology driving the internet that rest of the world uses would develop independantly of the American one.
Microsoft would have no purpose outside the US and its importance would slowly fall in Europe and Asia.
You wont be able to find as much information on the US internet as the larger non-US one.
You wont be able to set up Web conferencing abroad.
American companies will suffer as they cant use the internet to trade with the rest of the world.
And god knows how the dollar is supposed to trade in the world economy.
People living in the US will not be able to send email to relatives abroad and vice-versa.
And STILL the terrorists and hackers who have will to do so will still find ways round the problem...So what you've blocked the internet?
Terrorists can still use letters in the post or the telephone to communicate. You gonna ban those too?

Who would want to live in an oppresive and backward country like that?

<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
Hmrph. (none / 0) (#44)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 05:31:15 PM PST
Yeah, so? Who wants to, will commit murder. What's your point -- that most of us are murderers?

Partially. Everyone is a potential murderer. And, more important, everyone is a potential target.

Well, I dont precisely understand how any of that will mirror Chinese web sites, but it doesnt make a shred of difference to me whether you're imprisoned for "long-range low frequency transmissions" or "tin cans strung together by cotton fiber".

The thing is, you transmit where the data are legal, you receive where they are illegal. But you apparently don't have experiences with ie. Radio Free Europe. Transmitters are easy to find. Receivers are nearly undetectable ("nearly" means "with big and very expensive and hard to operate equipment"). Once you get the data out over where the wires aren't, then it's on protocols designed for covert data transport - FreeNet being the best known one, and myriads of experimental geek toys in various stages of development. One of them even backed by a local university. And if you will try to ban these, it will just get an implementation layer for tunneling over "legitimate" protocols.

And even if this fails, there are good old ways of physical transport of CDs. No cops can search all the briefcases in the world. Especially when every garage-band CD can contain up to 10% of its capacity of "illicit" data without noticeably affecting the music (especially when it is metal or industrial, though labeling these as music could be considered a matter for separate discussion).

Apparently, the stupidity of geeks is only rivalled by their bravery and powers of invisibility.

Invisibility is a tricky art. Steganography gets close, when properly done.

Yeah, right. What did you win -- the DMCA? Thanks for that, by the way, we're much obliged to suffer for your thieving habits.

Minor obstacle. And the only way why I am going to deal with ie. satellite underground is that I want access to raw downlinks from news agencies (the uncut ones, snippets right from the field crew cameras, the ones that are preceded with color patterns or agency logo, label "Prepare your equipment" or so, and a countdown), which a private person who isn't a TV station can't get on the official market anyway. If it can be openly bought for end-user prices, it isn't interesting for me. What's the purpose of having access to next to any DivX movie I can ever want when I have no time to watch them?

Listen, you cant even get people to download Lunix for free. Understand what that means: YOU CANT GIVE AWAY FREE STUFF! (0.24% presence on the desktop... Sigh, you're all legends in your own little LUG meetings, arent you.)

I don't even know if there is a LUG in my city. I don't care much, I don't need them as long as I have consultants on email.

Also, can you explain, when it's so bad, why people ask me for help and Linux CDs all the time? Note that I don't advertise myself (and don't charge unless hte person is obnoxious), only answer requests of friends. So either your percentages are skewed, or will be invalid soon, or I have smarter friends than is the average.

I have no deep experiences with Xwindows-based interfaces; I learned dealing with machines when commandlines were common thing (oddly, back then it wasn't apparently too big problem for the users). I still prefer doing things in console mode, so I can't comment much on user-friendliness of X. I don't like to deal with the end-users. I prefer server stuff.

The dumb users - sadly, the majority - are stuck with mouse, icons, spontaneous reboots, and blue screens. I prefer dealing with the smart ones; they typically don't want me to lead them step by step over the phone only to find the machine isn't plugged into the wall (and if, they react with "duh" and don't act insulted when I laugh at them).

And as we followed a tangent and got here, I call - again - for basic courses of elementary computer literacy. (And little certificates for graduates, which would be mandatory for calling techsupport, or - more accurately - whose absence would be an universally acceptable reason to refuse help.) But this is a topic for a diary entry on its own.


I think I can help. (none / 0) (#53)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 09:32:55 PM PST
Also, can you explain, when it's so bad, why people ask me for help and Linux CDs all the time?

For the same reasons many of us reply to your posts.


h? (none / 0) (#60)
by PotatoError on Wed Mar 13th, 2002 at 02:32:35 PM PST
"For the same reasons many of us reply to your posts."
which is?
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
The law also isn't effective. (none / 0) (#23)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 03:27:24 AM PST
A country can block its own citizens from accessing any site easily enough but a country cannot prosecute the owners of any site because global law doesnt yet exist.

A country can't block even its own citizens, when they don't wish to and have an accomplice "outside".

For example, I run a small proxyserver physically located in East Europe, for friends from China, Saudi Arabia, and UAE (and couple other friends who are locked behind restrictive firewalls of the corporations they work for). Their governments decided to limit their access to the Net, I don't consider it right, so I took the more effective steps than to protest the laws - make them ineffective. If my government will get so stupid to think they can limit *my* access, I expect friends from other countries will do the same service for me.

Civil disobedience is the only way that gives desired results in acceptable time.


You're taking it a bit far (none / 0) (#26)
by PotatoError on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 09:40:05 AM PST
For the average person if they cant hyperlink to "www.secretstuffaboutUS.iq" then they wont bother trying.

Yes, determined people will find all kinds of ways round - that is the nature of information and an international network. But your average "Joe six pack american" only wants to check his mail and download porn.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
why cant you pay attention? (none / 0) (#31)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 10:48:44 AM PST
For example, I run a small proxyserver physically located in East Europe,

You wont be able to do that when the conduits between China and the West are severed. When that happens, no one will ask for your permission. When that happens, you wont be able to find a reliable connection to China. When that happens, you will finally understand what a network means. Do you also think you have internet access in a country without internet access? Well, the same set of physical principles will apply when backbone routers in the West stop peering with China.

Yes, you can save up your tech support salary and put up a google cache of Chinese websites behind an instantly traceable DSL connection. How you fill that cache is a bit unclear under the circumstances, but that's your problem and I further fail to see why such an activity must, in and of itself, convince law abiding citizens to inconvenience themselves in order to break the law. For that matter, why not just sell CDROMs of chinese content?

Face it, if China is off the net, only criminals will seek out chinese websites. And that's all we want, to legally demarcate hackers and moral, law abiding citizens. Let me be clear: up and coming anti-hacker, anti-terrorist internet legislation will not be an excuse for you to lecture us that prisons are full of "innocent" people, it will be a mandate to put hackers in prison.


huh? (none / 0) (#39)
by PotatoError on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 04:21:30 PM PST
1) China isnt in East Europe

2) "You wont be able to do that when the conduits between China and the West are severed"
What the hell are conduits? Stop watching Star Trek and get to the real world. Maybe you mean telephone lines...yea I think that would really help the world if we severed all the telephone lines to China.

3) "How you fill that cache is a bit unclear under the circumstances"
maybe your chinese friends just mail you a letter containing the html source of the page. Or hadnt u thought of that?

4) "Face it, if China is off the net, only criminals will seek out chinese websites"
Nope hackers will legitimately put Chinese content back onto the net, allowing people to see it again.

I dont entirely see your point anyway - even if you block terrorist sites from US citizens, these terrorist sites are still available to all non-US citizens.




<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

at least you write less than Mad Geek (none / 0) (#47)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 05:56:45 PM PST
which means I can be bothered to read for entertainment. Very civil of you.

What the hell are conduits?

Potato head, ip is carried in a conduit; ip isnt magic, and ip packets dont magically know what path to travel if they're allowed entry in these conduits.

maybe your chinese friends just mail you a letter containing the html source of the page. Or hadnt u thought of that?

How useful is high tech if there isnt any tech in it? If you have to do that, we've already won! You're no longer a threat. Your propaganda has lost all its ability to compete with the State and it's constantly updated, easily searchable World Wide Web of Truth. Mail me a letter! Wow, will technological wonders never cease?

even if you block terrorist sites from US citizens, these terrorist sites are still available to all non-US terrorists.

Exactly! Why is that a problem?


thanks (none / 0) (#58)
by PotatoError on Wed Mar 13th, 2002 at 06:53:54 AM PST
Yea sure IP doesnt know where its going..what routers are for..so when you say cut all "conduits", you mean sether all lines of communication?
You planning to do this with every country?

"How useful is high tech if there isnt any tech in it?"
Quite, why bother having a US internet if it isnt connected to the world one?
Microsoft will go down the drain if their servers cant be accessed from outside the US..many US companies that rely on the internet for world trade will also suffer. And do you really think that people in the US shouldnt be able to chat with or email relatives abroad and vice-versa? What a nice world that would be. Resurrection of the Iron Curtain.

"Exactly! Why is that a problem?"
Because id be more bothered about preventing terrorists from reading terrorist sites, not legal US-citizens from reading them.

With the letter thing: I, in the US, post a letter containing the contents of "UnitedStatesSecrets.com" to my friend in Britain. He then puts it all up on the Non-US internet. Now grandma still cant read email from her niece in Australia but foreigners can still get access information you dont want them to. A very effective system huh?
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
Over my cold dead body. (none / 0) (#4)
by The Mad Scientist on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 12:55:52 PM PST
Surely we will give up a little bit of the utility of our own tools in order to ensure public safety?

What about giving up screwdrivers too? Gangs use them as weapons. (By the way - excellent ones, better than the best knives.)

What about banning Springles? Potato chips are dangerous hacker tools.

When an information is released once, it should stay out. It's natural state of things. If it poses danger, well, it only means that the system itself has a weakness that should be addressed. Full disclosure, anyone?

Whoever wants can drive around a city in a car and see where the power lines are and then orchestrate a coordinated attack on them; tear down enough of lines at the same moment, and NYC is in the dark. Informations are out, it's often by far enough to just walk with open eyes. If you feel safe, you're naive.

Regarding "containing" the informations spread: Freenet. P2P. Encryption. Steganography. Covert channels. Cypherpunk. Any attempt to counter these forces is doomed to fail before it even begins.

Which is good. Imagine the impact if some scum would be able to erradicate any "dangerous" (read: critical to them) news. From Pentagon Papers to Pentagon's Papers.

In short - touch my tools and I will touch you.


careful what you wish for (none / 0) (#10)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 06:33:51 PM PST
Over my cold dead body

Well, that can obviously be arranged. If only all terrorist organizations were as accommodating as their hax0r cells.


Hax0r and terrorist are different (none / 0) (#13)
by PotatoError on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 07:38:35 PM PST
One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.

One mans hax0r is another mans hax0r.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

what a shame (none / 0) (#16)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 08:46:04 PM PST
One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.

Yeah, well, that insight isnt going to bring the Mad Scientist back to life. You liberalists love to hear the sound of your voices pronouncing important words, dont you. What do categories matter? There's only going to be a single winner. It doesnt make a shred of difference whether you call yourselves freedom fighters, penispuppets or Madame Bovary. They'll all be synonyms for "the losing side".


Free for all huh? (none / 0) (#19)
by PotatoError on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 09:18:48 PM PST
You admit your government is liberalist? During the Kosovo War the KLA were all freedom fighters according to the Whitehouse.

Yea what do catogories matter? they matter greatly - if you are known as a freedom fighter the US gives you weapons and money. If you are known as a terrorist the US kills you. Very different I think.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

you're almost there (none / 0) (#28)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 10:02:23 AM PST
If you are known as a terrorist the US kills you. Very different I think.

What part of "the losing side" dont you understand? It's not the category that died, it's the flesh and bones freedom fighter or, if you prefer, terrorist. It doesnt matter what you call Bush because he is more than a label. Similiarly, it doesnt matter what you call Ossama because he too is more than a label.

It's typical of the liberalist to confuse the word of Caesar with that of God.


*sigh* american... (none / 0) (#35)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 03:47:40 PM PST
What part of "the losing side" dont you understand?

the "losing" bit. several million 3rd-world citizens lost. the terrorists (or the us gov, if the popular theory is true) didn't lose. you think osama bin laden will die for his crimes? then your wrong on several levels. there's still no concrete evidence against him, he's stll alive (which for the US resources, says a lot) and his goal worked in several ways. a fascist dictator with no respect for democracy (dubya) is still inoffice and more popular than ever. laws that limit what makes the US great are falling (ex. freedom of speech, freedom of the press) and, to top it off: every leader in sep.11 walked off free.
-osama isn't cought
-if you think the people in the planes were the leaders, you bring whole new meaning to the *dumb4$$ american* stereotype.
-and, of course, the people who benifited most of all (who happen to be in the US gov) are more popular than ever.

-canadian in the mist...


3rd world citizens... (none / 0) (#48)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 06:14:58 PM PST
are terrorists in training. Or freedom fighters, I dont care. Mr. Canadian, all people -- Muslims and Americans alike -- fight for the way of life that defines their very identity. Explanations for why they fight dont matter because the explanations arent meant to be heard by the enemy. Bush makes speeches to Americans, not evil terrorists. But why does he do that -- it's not Americans who are committing acts of terror against the USA, is it? He probably talks to Americans because they're the ones prepared to believe terrorists are evil. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict terrorists dont think they're evil, quite the contrary.

Watch the news with the volume *off*. It's the only way to escape the corrupting influence of rationalism, the source of all evil.


..are people who live in a third world country (none / 0) (#59)
by PotatoError on Wed Mar 13th, 2002 at 02:30:53 PM PST
hardly their fault. mcveigh didnt live in a 3rd world country did he?
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
Better idea (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by Stretch on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 02:27:01 PM PST
Lets re-open the Office of Strategic Influence and use it to edit all of Google's cached information to misled those wacky terrorists. Wouldn't it be neat if they thought they were bombing a critical dam but the map they found online, in google's cache, led them to a babbling creek with a beaver-made dam?

Boy, would those terrorist's be red faced, if they are even capible of that.

I am not sure why this is up for discussion, however. I thought we were going to surrender. When did our plans change? I need to be CC'ed on these memos.

Anyway, I would definately feel safer knowing our water supply and nuclear power plants locations could not be found online. How else could those terrorists know where they were? Now we just have to find a way to keep the Taliban and Al Quieda off the internet permanantely. I have this theory we can somehow convince them technology and western civilization is wrong, especially computers and the internet. Let me know if you would like to hear more.


Better idea (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 07:48:55 AM PST
I propose a 'CounterNet' where all the the information is wrong, outdated, or posted by people who really don't know sh*t from shinolla. Connections are slow, links are broken, windows pop up faster than you can close them. Viruses run rampant and hackers have a free reign.

Uh, wait a second...never mind.



 
First (none / 0) (#7)
by PotatoError on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 03:34:50 PM PST
Start by removing road signs pointing to nuclear power plants. Then have a load of dogs ready in case they drop paratroopers..or run in some desolators :)

On a serious note - nuclear power plants should be impenatrible using current technology. Surely there are thousands of failsafes that can be built into hardware and software in such facilities and I would expect them to have installed many backups too. If any nuke plant goes down in the US the first thing you should think is "someone hasnt done their job properly".
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

And if there is ONE thing you can be SURE of... (none / 0) (#11)
by dmg on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 06:52:17 PM PST
...in today's world, it is that someone somewhere is not doing their job properly.

It does not help me sleep easy in my bed.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

holy shit dude (none / 0) (#17)
by PotatoError on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 09:04:48 PM PST
When I read each of those articles on their own I was like "Oh no, well it'll be sorted"

A different matter when you cleverly put them all together. Shit someone really isnt doing their job properly - especially at airports.

Then again how do you spot explosives in a briefcase? Snifferdogs wont find it unless you've spilt some..proper terrorists would wash the bags well after filling them.
Xray machines wont pick up explosives...unless you put a timer on them ;)
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Detection of explosives (none / 0) (#24)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 03:42:15 AM PST
Then again how do you spot explosives in a briefcase? Snifferdogs wont find it unless you've spilt some..proper terrorists would wash the bags well after filling them.

There are good ways to detect nitrate-based explosives. I don't remember exactly how it works, but I think it's based on irradiating the target with neutron flux and watch the emissions. Materials with high content of nitrogen (most of explosives) are detected. Together with false alarms caused by some organic materials.

Commercially made explosives typically contain some volatile components, to be detectable by sniffers. Early versions of Semtex hadn't these additions, so naturally became immensely popular. Well-prepared homemade explosives are dangerous in this resort - they don't contain any such additions (except as reaction byproducts, which can be alleviated by proper purifying of the product).

Of course there are peroxide- and perchlorate-based explosives which can't be detected this way. I predict rise of their popularity in next years as the nitrogen-based explosives detectors will become popular (despite of their high costs).


So as you can see (none / 0) (#27)
by dmg on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 10:01:00 AM PST
Mad Scientist has demonstrated clearly that terrorism is a technical problem, waiting for technology to catch up and provide us with a technical solution.

So that's alright then. So long as the almighty USian empire does not have to reflect on its own bizarre foreign policies.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Yes and no. (none / 0) (#33)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 02:56:42 PM PST
Mad Scientist has demonstrated clearly that terrorism is a technical problem, waiting for technology to catch up and provide us with a technical solution.

Not exactly. Detection of explosives is technical problem. Designing reliable systems (buildings, networks, infrastructure...) resistant to damage (both from accidents and terroristic actions - as I like to say, floods and earthquakes are the most dangerous terrorists) is technical problem. But terrorism itself is a political problem.

So that's alright then. So long as the almighty USian empire does not have to reflect on its own bizarre foreign policies.

They will have to. Technical solutions are possible, up to certain degree, but never will be perfect. (Can be brought to near perfection, for a cost, but then the terrorists will just find another way; if they can't go through they will go around. And the cycle of research-deployment-workaround will repeat again, as in such systems the balance is always dynamic.) But they have to be permanently kept up to date and it is getting more and more expensive.

And "money" is the keyword for America. One day the cost of antiterrorist measures will be higher than the oil profits. Then the American strategy will change.

The best way to fight Middle Eastern terrorists would be a well-scaled R&D of non-oil based energetics. Hydrogen (alcohol, fuel cells...), anyone?


agreed (none / 0) (#40)
by PotatoError on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 04:33:57 PM PST
If america doesnt start researching alternative fuels soon, it will collapse.

Sure there might be shit loads of oil in the world but only a small fraction of that oil can be mined. Even with advances in technology a point will be eventually reached where drilling oil becomes too expensive to be worth it. Prices are already rising - and towards the end they will begin to rise exponentially.

At this point all the countries sitting on oil supplies in the middle east will simply stop selling and instead keep it from themselves.

No doubt this will prompt a messy but pointless invasion by Western nations. Oil would burn and people would die. The war wouldnt just be in the middle east - terrorism would be in our back yards too.
And yet oil would still run out and Western civilisation would collapse. No cars? No plastics? No fertilisers? No more aircraft? All these require oil and little research has been done to find alternatives. One thing is for sure, aircraft will certainly become a thing of the past. You can run cars on electricity but you cant run aircraft on electricity. Also we might never be able to launch space rockets again. A pity but it will come true.

The problem is Capitalism. Sorry to all you advocates out there but it is. The oil companies use their rights under capitalism to by up all patents to alternative fuel methods. They then dont bother researching them in case they make breakthroughs (as breakthroughs might prompt rival interest in the field). They are simply protecting their industry and profit. Unfortunately capitalism doesnt make any allowances for future effects on humanity which in this case will be severe if alternative fuels arent researched decades before oil shortages begin.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Hydrogen (none / 0) (#46)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 05:53:35 PM PST
If america doesnt start researching alternative fuels soon, it will collapse.

Which will be a source of great fun for all the observers around.

<snip> No doubt this will prompt a messy but pointless invasion by Western nations. Oil would burn and people would die. The war wouldnt just be in the middle east - terrorism would be in our back yards too.

Freedom fight. If a country invades another country in order to seize (or, to use the language of American politics, "secure access to") its natural resources, it's an aggression. Then terrorism against the aggressor becomes freedom fight, according to international principles, regardless that certain big country doesn't respect them.

And yet oil would still run out and Western civilisation would collapse.

I disagree here. Run into serious problems, yes. Collapse, maybe close to but not entirely. The necessary technologies often passed the proof-of-concept stage. Rumours are there are lots of patents about alternative technologies, safely hidden in the depths of oil corporations, behind vaults of steel and lines of sell-the-environment-for-few-bucks lawyer scums.

No cars?

Fuel cells. Alcohol fuels. Hydrogen, stored in metal hydrides. More possibilities.

No plastics?

Return to cellulose as the basic material. More paper than thermoplasts. Genetically engineered plants producing biomass with desirable properties.

No fertilisers?

Maybe cycling the "production" plants with "fertilizer" ones? Good old method used for centuries.

No more aircraft?

Couple years back I heard about a successful test flight of a prototype of a hydrogen-powered cargo jet plane.

All these require oil and little research has been done to find alternatives. One thing is for sure, aircraft will certainly become a thing of the past.

The smell of kerosene fuel, yes. The aircrafts, no.

You can run cars on electricity but you cant run aircraft on electricity.

The only problem here is the energy density of the fuel. Batteries can't cut it. Hydrogen can.

Also we might never be able to launch space rockets again. A pity but it will come true.

One of best known rocket fuels is hydrogen-oxygen one. No oil required.

The problem is Capitalism. Sorry to all you advocates out there but it is. The oil companies use their rights under capitalism to by up all patents to alternative fuel methods. They then dont bother researching them in case they make breakthroughs (as breakthroughs might prompt rival interest in the field). They are simply protecting their industry and profit.

Sad, but true.

Unfortunately capitalism doesnt make any allowances for future effects on humanity which in this case will be severe if alternative fuels arent researched decades before oil shortages begin.

They can't even if they would want. A corporation will try, it will put them to a disadvantage against a rival (ie, because of draining the money otherwise used for "market expansion"), the share value will lower by few cents, the Shareholders will be displeased, the Investors will put their money into the other corporation that wasn't thinking a decade into the future but a half year only. Thinking too far into the future is apparently something that is a Bad Thing&trade.


BOOM (none / 0) (#61)
by PotatoError on Wed Mar 13th, 2002 at 02:33:56 PM PST
I dont trust hydrogen but if its the only way to go..

Splitting hydrogen and oxygen from water would be the best way. Still dont think the technology is efficient enough yet though.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Hey (none / 0) (#67)
by hauntedattics on Thu Mar 14th, 2002 at 06:45:30 AM PST
Are you two having fun with your fantasies about economics and international relations? I hope so, 'cause I sure am entertained.



 
KERBLAM (none / 0) (#69)
by budlite on Thu Mar 14th, 2002 at 07:34:49 AM PST
One of best known rocket fuels is hydrogen-oxygen one.

Therein lies the problem. You start sticking tanks of hydrogen in cars, no matter how sturdy, you're going to run into problems. A simple car crash could take out entire streets if we're not careful.

It's a good, clean fuel, but it's too volatile to use in cars, methinks.


Solid-state storage (none / 0) (#70)
by The Mad Scientist on Thu Mar 14th, 2002 at 08:36:58 AM PST
Therein lies the problem. You start sticking tanks of hydrogen in cars, no matter how sturdy, you're going to run into problems. A simple car crash could take out entire streets if we're not careful.

Hydrogen isn't *as* explosive. To take out an entire street, you would need to let it mix with air first and then ignite. More likely scenario is the mixture ignition while there is still surplus of hydrogen, so the blast will be by far not as powerful. And after all, we're sticking tanks of flammable liquid inside our cars now anyway.

It's a good, clean fuel, but it's too volatile to use in cars, methinks.

It's too volatile to use in cars in its liquid or gaseous form. So we'll convert it to solid form - let it soak into a suitable alloy, and form metal hydride. Development is underway. See ie. here.

Another way is to store onboard a liquid fuel with high hydrogen content - maybe an alcohol - and make hydrogen from it "on-fly".

Hydrogen as a car fuel has one huge advantage; it can be converted directly to electricity, which is then used to power the car. Then, while braking, the kinetic energy of the car isn't wasted by heating the brakes, but can be partially recovered by switching the motors to act as generators - so called recuperation. Then the cars will act as de facto electromobiles, carrying onboard their own power plant, uniting the advantages of both "conventional" electromobiles and the high action range of "normal" fossil-fuel-powered vehicles.


hang on a sec (none / 0) (#76)
by PotatoError on Tue Mar 19th, 2002 at 11:13:58 PM PST
"Then, while braking, the kinetic energy of the car isn't wasted by heating the brakes, but can be partially recovered by switching the motors to act as generators - so called recuperation"

For such a thing to work well the brake pedal would simply become a switch to change between motor and generator - basically the same effect as just taking your foot off the accelerator. Any forced braking would waste "generator time".

For example how many wheel revolutions will you get on a sudden brake? I would hope it was no higher than 1. Even on a light break I want the car to slow down reasonably quick - especially when on a hill. I dont just want the car to naturally slow down while producing electricity from the wheel revs - I want the car to slow down relative to the pressure im putting on the pedal.
Therefore you are still going to need a break working every time you hit the pedal.

So such a generator is likely to get very few wheel revolutions dedicated to it and minimal power produced. So you have to ask is it really worth the cost of installing such a mechanism in the first place. Why not just have rechargable batteries and let the more efficient power plants produce the electricity.

<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

you are wrong. (none / 0) (#77)
by nathan on Wed Mar 20th, 2002 at 08:10:27 AM PST
From this site:
The significance of regeneration becomes apparent when one considers that approximately 60 percent of the total energy spent in urban driving goes to overcoming the effects of inertia, and theoretically, up to half of this energy can be reclaimed on deceleration.
Or have a look at this one. Do you ever read anything, or do you just sit around all day, mulling stuff over in your head? The last one doesn't work even if you are Einstein, by the way. Any engineer would have sneered at your out-of-the ass criticism, and even though I am a Babbling Musician it made me blink and start looking for sources.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

you misunderstand (none / 0) (#78)
by PotatoError on Thu Mar 21st, 2002 at 03:40:03 AM PST
Your quoting sites that are talking about hybrid cars but this conversation was about purely electric powered cars.

"Traditional friction brakes are necessary, as well as a ****consistent strategy for smoothly blending the two braking mechanisms****"

My argument was that the implementation of such a strategy isnt cost effective. Just because energy is being wasted doesnt mean it has to be captured.

Why not just recharge your vehicle's battery when it runs down? How much longer is the battery going to last if you use this regenerative method and at what price? maybe im wrong though but I was only expressing my thoughts.

Even if that quote of "approximately 60 percent of the total energy spent in urban driving goes to overcoming the effects of inertia" is true, I dont agree that up to half of this energy can be reclaimed. That is rubbish simply because these figures imply that this regenerative system is more efficient than generator in a power station which cannot be true as much of the heat energy "wasted" by the brakes is a by-product of much needed friction which is needed to slow down the car - ie some friction is needed.

Isnt it cheaper to just recharge the batteries from a more efficient generator (ie your local power plant) when you get home?
You will use much more electricity to drive up a hill than you can generate by going free-fall down the other side.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

A note (none / 0) (#79)
by The Mad Scientist on Thu Mar 21st, 2002 at 05:31:30 AM PST
How much longer is the battery going to last if you use this regenerative method and at what price?

In some conditions up to 30% longer. For the price of a few of power semiconductor parts, because the electromotor in such setting doubles as a generator. The braking force can be pretty high; I had a device for rewinding of casette tapes that I made from a dead two-engine taperecorder, and one of the engines was shorted through a resistor to give the tape the right tension, to serve as an electromagnetic brake.

Recuperative braking is already used for ie. trams.


 
you are a moron. (none / 0) (#80)
by nathan on Thu Mar 21st, 2002 at 01:53:45 PM PST
For more, see what The Mad Scientisthas to say about regenerative braking.

Face it - you are just full of shit on this one.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

ok (none / 0) (#81)
by PotatoError on Thu Mar 21st, 2002 at 02:41:06 PM PST
fair enough I am wrong on this one but will you admit you are wrong about AMD chips?

see what The Mad Scientist has to say about AMD chips.

When I heard Mad Scientist say about turning braking back into energy I thought he was talking about the future...therefore I didnt bother checking up on it as I thought it didnt yet exist. Even when I found it did exist, Its only present in very expensive hybrid cars. Hence my argument about value for money. I mean if they were that economical why hasnt everyone got one?
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

holy shit! (none / 0) (#82)
by nathan on Thu Mar 21st, 2002 at 07:32:59 PM PST
Hence my argument about value for money. I mean if they were that economical why hasnt everyone got one?

I'd never thought of that! Regenerative braking must be a preposterous liberal myth!!!!

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
the internet architecture is the real problem (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by foon on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 07:46:07 PM PST
The internet was never intended to be used by the public. It was designed to be decentralized in order to withstand nuclear attack, which for the government computers originally connected was a good thing. Unfortunately, thanks in part to the efforts of pro-communist unix hackers, it was extended to the public. It has none of the features needed for a public network, such as effective content control and centralized access limitations. Not only does this mean that music and movies can be pirated freely, undermining our economic fabric, but it means that any al-qaeda operative or terrorist sympathizer can run their own server with whatever information that they want, and search-engine companies like google can cache copies of web pages without any permission from the original content provider. With a digital rights management system in place on all information allowed to travel on the internet, there would never be a problem with these caches in the first place, because only information (such as advertisements) which the contents providers allow free copying of would be allowed to be cached in the first place, and any attempt at circumvention could be prosecuted under the DMCA.


Looks like we just might see... (none / 0) (#36)
by Ernest Bludger on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 03:54:24 PM PST
just how well the internet does stand up to a nuclear attack, going by recent (& ongoing) developments in the so-called "middle east", and the USAs nuclear hitlist.

It's kinda nostalgic; I remember when as a youngster we genuinely thought older idiots would blow the world up. Not much changes, huh. Except the older idiots aren't that much older anymore. God, imagine when it's the "kids" we need to worry about. No, hang on, wait a second. Oh we're all doomed. I'll just make myself a macchiato, to help get my blood pressure up to the level need to cope with modern day living.


I remember that too. (none / 0) (#50)
by dmg on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 07:25:00 PM PST
I remember when as a youngster we genuinely thought older idiots would blow the world up.

Its like the late seventies all over again. But this time, instead of being at war with Oceania, we are at war with Islam.



time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Was I a baddie? (none / 0) (#54)
by Ernest Bludger on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 10:17:27 PM PST
But this time, instead of being at war with Oceania, we are at war with Islam.

Damn. Now that's a good example of the problem of misinformation or even propaganda. I was told (back when I was a youngster) that that danger lay with the Russians, not Oceania. Probably because I was in Oceania at the time. Now I know I should have been worried, if I was (or near) the enemy.

Of course, if I had internet access back then, I would have been able to verify who the enemy was. No doubt about that.


 
no, there is no problem (none / 0) (#37)
by PotatoError on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 03:58:16 PM PST
What problem? The world needs a communication system like the internet. It allows free communication between people and breaks down such things as country borders. If some governments cant handle this then maybe they should just admit they are facist dictatorships which dont agree with human cooperation and free speach.

Yes music and movies can be pirated freely..so what? its not blowing down the system is it?

Digital rights management systems dont work. They always get cracked.

When given a stream of data its near impossible to tell what it represents. A picture? music? a movie? text? or any other of a million things. If you cant tell what data represents how can you control it?
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

no problem? (none / 0) (#42)
by foon on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 04:46:32 PM PST
It allows free communication between people and breaks down such things as country borders.
Well, if you ask me, thats part of the problem. You really think al-Qaeda operatives in the caves of afghanistan should be able to access everything on the internet?
Digital rights management systems dont work. They always get cracked.
Efficient prosecution of those suspected of circumvention could easily prevent this.
When given a stream of data its near impossible to tell what it represents. A picture? music? a movie? text? or any other of a million things. If you cant tell what data represents how can you control it?
Well, with tcp/ip and unmanaged files without licensing data, you're absolutely right. But there is no reason that this can't be attached as metadata, along with proper encryption and hardware-level protections to ensure that only those who are authorized by the content provider to access the information are able to do so. There is no restriction on the freedom of anybody to access information that should be publicly available, having paid the proper usage fee if necessary. On the other hand information which should not fall into the hands of terrorists, even if mistakenly released on a public network, will not be accessible to any unauthorized persons.


No problem. (none / 0) (#49)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 06:28:54 PM PST
Well, if you ask me, thats part of the problem. You really think al-Qaeda operatives in the caves of afghanistan should be able to access everything on the internet?

If it's the cost of me having the same level of access, I will pay it.

Efficient prosecution of those suspected of circumvention could easily prevent this.

It will only cause moving of it underground. The teenagers wanting to get respect, recognition, or money of their peers will add it to the list of their methods, together with drug dealing. As far, everything I seen deployed was possible to circumvent with devices that are so within my reach that I don't even need to leave my chair.

Well, with tcp/ip and unmanaged files without licensing data, you're absolutely right. But there is no reason that this can't be attached as metadata, along with proper encryption and hardware-level protections to ensure that only those who are authorized by the content provider to access the information are able to do so.

So a sound card will refuse to digitize sound containing watermarks. Big deal. $5 chip, USB port, and voila - you have a dedicated 44.1 kHz two-channel 16-bit ADC built from scratch; with fast enough electronics a sawtooth generator, a comparator, and a 16-bit counter (having to run on 3 GHz, but ECL logic can get you this high even now) latched by the comparator is all you need; this is the simplest construction possible, there are much better (and harder to describe) ones in EE textbooks. If you will not be able to get the dedicated ADC-on-chip parts, you will make them from lower-integration parts, like when the everythin-on-single-chip weren't available. Similar - easier - the other way, for DACs. The computers and peripherals are developing so fast that by the time efficient-enough "protection" systems will be widely deployed, simple countermeasures will become possible just by emulating the "protected" components by brute force. Very easily possible.

Then the data will be recompressed and encapsulated in something that the network will consider to be ie. an encrypted videophone talk. Or any other suitable container. Voila - a friend got the data and no tracks were left.

There is no restriction on the freedom of anybody to access information that should be publicly available, having paid the proper usage fee if necessary. On the other hand information which should not fall into the hands of terrorists, even if mistakenly released on a public network, will not be accessible to any unauthorized persons.

...And as a side effect, we will live in constant surveillance, every moment we accessed any data will be forever recorded in one of The Databases, ready to be pulled out to blackmail us when convenient. No, thanks!

There is no scheme able to withstand focused effort of determined attackers. Again, the dynamic equilibrium.


 
Still you talk fantasy (none / 0) (#56)
by PotatoError on Wed Mar 13th, 2002 at 06:29:56 AM PST
"You really think al-Qaeda operatives in the caves of afghanistan should be able to access everything on the internet?"
Do you honestly think you can make security that "detects" that someone is al-Qaeda and disconnects them? They're hardly likely to broadcast the fact are they?
What about the al-Qaeda operatives in the US? What controls will be in place for them?

"Efficient prosecution of those suspected of circumvention could easily prevent this"
Again you are not listening. How do you intend to prosecute non-US residents who do this?
Remember Dimitri Sklyarov? He was never prosecuted by the US because he was outside US law. You can only prosecute your own people - non-residents of your country are perfectly able to circumvent digital rights management for the rest of us.

Your solution doesnt really make sense. The government can already encrypt their data if they dont want other people to read it. The whole thing with the google cache just shows you that once you release sensitive data publically you cant recall it back.

Having authorisation by content providers would be ridiculous. The main problem: it would only exist in the US.
Now, I assume you will still allow us to communicate freely with Britain and Australia even though those countries would have no content authorisation system. Then all I have to do is forward off web data to them and they can forward it off to Mr Al-Qaeda. That blows the entire system. Even if you monitor what im sending you cant be sure what it is. I can simply encrypt or scramble some US secrets and send them off to my counterparts in Europe.
The only way such a system would work was if you blocked access from the entire world. Not much of an Internet then.

In reality you simply have to keep secret information off the internet.


<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

more rubbish (none / 0) (#62)
by foon on Wed Mar 13th, 2002 at 02:34:07 PM PST
Do you honestly think you can make security that "detects" that someone is al-Qaeda and disconnects them? They're hardly likely to broadcast the fact are they? What about the al-Qaeda operatives in the US? What controls will be in place for them?
Well, it is simple enough to detect if the host is connecting from an afghan network. And again, with an improved network protocol designed to support DRM and encryption from the ground up, this information would be built into every piece of data transmitted.
Remember Dimitri Sklyarov? He was never prosecuted by the US because he was outside US law. You can only prosecute your own people - non-residents of your country are perfectly able to circumvent digital rights management for the rest of us.
No, he was not prosecuted because he made a deal with the prosecution. In fact he was not "above US law", and indeed he could have been prosecuted if the government had not felt it would be bad publicity. Indeed, given the importance of Russia's support in the War Against Terrorism (despite their preference for communism) it was probably politically motivated.
Now, I assume you will still allow us to communicate freely with Britain and Australia even though those countries would have no content authorisation system. Then all I have to do is forward off web data to them and they can forward it off to Mr Al-Qaeda. That blows the entire system.
First of all, forward looking countries such as Britain and Australia are already looking to follow the American lead in protecting the rights of content providers. But if at some point the technology to control access is built into the network infrastructure this becomes a moot point. Even pro-socialist countries such as france and sweden which might not be quite as interested in protecting the rights of content providers would, by blocking DRM-enabled networking, essentially be blocking their internet users from participation in the larger, pro-rights internet. So they would not do this. And of course this would all start in America, where most of the world's computer users still reside. The American government, which has been willing to take a strong stand against terrorism, could easily mandate this kind of protection through legislation, and then it would just be a matter of time.


Funny :) (none / 0) (#63)
by The Mad Scientist on Wed Mar 13th, 2002 at 03:17:09 PM PST
Well, it is simple enough to detect if the host is connecting from an afghan network.

Proxy, anyone? It's easy to defeat location-based authentication, and it's extremely easy when the location is a whole country. Been there, done that, became "weapon smuggler". Remote cosysadmining of machines in other countries has its perks.

And again, with an improved network protocol designed to support DRM and encryption from the ground up, this information would be built into every piece of data transmitted.

Again. easy to defeat using a proxy. The easiest and universal way is to have a machine within the "allowed" country, and control it over terminal services, VNC, PCanywhere, or any other kind of remote control. Myriads of ways exist.

No, he was not prosecuted because he made a deal with the prosecution. In fact he was not "above US law", and indeed he could have been prosecuted if the government had not felt it would be bad publicity. Indeed, given the importance of Russia's support in the War Against Terrorism (despite their preference for communism) it was probably politically motivated.

Sklyarov made the tactical mistake of believing the US propaganda about freedom.

<snip> The American government, which has been willing to take a strong stand against terrorism, could easily mandate this kind of protection through legislation, and then it would just be a matter of time.

...And, as every bad solution, it will have more holes than a swiss cheese, and only inconvenience the "legitimate" users, while presenting a tasty snack-style problem for everyone with basic technical skills.


weapon smuggling (none / 0) (#65)
by PotatoError on Wed Mar 13th, 2002 at 09:30:42 PM PST
done a bit of that myself lol
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

It's so easy... (none / 0) (#66)
by The Mad Scientist on Thu Mar 14th, 2002 at 04:44:45 AM PST
...it is almost boring :)

I wonder why they even try to regulate software. It's wasted effort :)


no (none / 0) (#68)
by PotatoError on Thu Mar 14th, 2002 at 06:48:37 AM PST
no sorry I was talking about real arms smuggling. I got 15 years for trying to get five ak47s into the US.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
Actually you are wrong about Dimitri (none / 0) (#64)
by PotatoError on Wed Mar 13th, 2002 at 09:29:23 PM PST
He made no <A HREF=http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/weblog/view/wlg/983>deal with the prosecution</A> - you can go look his statement up elsewhere too. It was lies made up just because they couldnt prosecute him. He was released unconditionally.

Just because he is in america doesnt mean he can be imprisoned for no reason. The "crime" he committed wasnt a crime where he did it. There does exist international law and cooperation - to imprison a national for something which he did legally in his homeland is internationally illegal. Ie if the US went ahead with it then they wouldnt have much ground to stand on if some other country decided to do it to US citizens would they?

But what is the point of this DRM internet anyway?
If you've cut off access to the rest of the world then only US citizens can access it anyway. So So what is the purpose of this DRM internet?
If its to allow only authorised people to view certain data then why not just use the normal internet but encrypt and password sensitive data? This is what is already done. Why bother with DRM?

On the other hand if DRM is to allow only americans to view sensitive data then why bother with DRM at all? You've already cut off the rest of the world so its only americans who can view the internet.

"of course this would all start in America, where most of the world's computer users still reside"
Actually your taking figures from 3 years ago - the US holds just over one third of all internet users worldwide today and this will shrink. The US is basically at its max whereas internet use in lots of countries in the world is still increasing rapidly. This is a good thing - it just means the internet is still growing.
So in fact your "pro-rights" internet, by the time it is installed, would consist of less than 25% of the larger internet itself. Ie the internet which france, britain, japan, australia, middle east, africa and the rest of the world used would be 3 times larger than the US one.

So, as you argued, size means popularity so no country wouldnt take up the idea of a "DRM" internet.

Even with DRM you can always use a proxy as mad scientist said - I would prefer using multiple proxies as it limits the chance of them tracing you backwards or forwards thru the chain. I guess they could ban proxies though..stop people from being able to run them but to be honest they could also theoretically stop people from talking on the street too.


<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
re: no problem? (none / 0) (#74)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 19th, 2002 at 11:25:33 AM PST
-Well, if you ask me, thats part of the problem. You really think al-Qaeda operatives in the caves of afghanistan should be able to access everything on the internet?

Then why not just kill the entire internet, and all businesses that rely on it, afterall, if terrorists dont need access, who does? or maybe we can just kill the terrorists and leave it at that?

-Efficient prosecution of those suspected of circumvention could easily prevent this

circumvention will always exist, its an uphill battle (for regulation)..

all this stuf is rediculous, maybe we should get national ID badges that we wear on our foreheads, have everyone get crewcuts and make it illegal to have beards, so we can have our names tatooed on our chins.. great, we can be totally 1984! doesnt sound too bad.. does it? after all, what are rights anyways? who needs em?

Give me liberty, or give me death!


Psst! (none / 0) (#75)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue Mar 19th, 2002 at 11:55:47 AM PST
Give me liberty, or give me death!

Quieter! Someone from Dubya's administration could hear you.


 
But there is a problem. (none / 0) (#71)
by walwyn on Fri Mar 15th, 2002 at 06:21:10 AM PST
Free communication between people is the last thing we want. When people can communicate 'freely' the first thing that breaks down is not country borders but tempers. We well know what the phrase a 'free and frank discussion' is an euphemism for.

Most of material on the internet would not be said in the physical presence of people as it is mostly inflamatory and would be likely to end in bloody noses or worse. There is also lot to be said for snail mail as there is a limit to the amount of invictive that can be packed into 60gms.


 
Nuclear Power Plants (none / 0) (#20)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 12:39:39 AM PST
Here in Germany, they're shutting down and dismantling all of the nuclear power plants. This takes a potentially juicy target out of the equation. Crashing a plane into a giant windmill just doesn't have that same ring of terror.


They should be built underground (none / 0) (#41)
by PotatoError on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 04:35:31 PM PST
Nuclear power is the way forward. Once fusion reactors have been perfected we will have radiation free power.
Still meltdowns are a problem. But to be honest if any nuke plant melted down cuz an aircraft hit it I would say it was a pretty shit nuke plant.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

They should be built underground... (none / 0) (#73)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 07:52:20 AM PST
...what, windmills?


yea (none / 0) (#83)
by PotatoError on Fri Mar 22nd, 2002 at 09:34:08 AM PST
I heard it was very windy down there.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
The terrorists have already won (none / 0) (#22)
by because it isnt on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 02:35:51 AM PST
thanks -- or rather, no thanks -- to the Wayback Machine.

Take, for example, the biography of Thomas E. White, secretary of the Army. On first glance, innocuous enough. But a visit to the terrorists' wayback machine and suddenly Mr Whiter-than-White is sullied by a subversive addition to his page:
Prior to his appointment as Secretary of the Army, Secretary White served as Vice Chairman of Enron Energy Services, the Enron Corporation subsidiary responsible for providing energy outsource solutions to commercial and industrial customers throughout the United States. Mr. White was responsible for the delivery component of energy management services, which included commodity management; purchasing, maintaining, and operating energy assets; developing and implementing energy information services; capital management; and facilities management.

Secretary White also served as a member of Enron's Executive Committee and was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Enron Operations Corporation. He was also responsible for the Enron Engineering and Construction Company, which managed an extensive construction portfolio with domestic and international projects.
Obviously, this is the terrorists' propoganda. Secretary White has never been part of the disgraced Enron Corporation. Don't you think it would be mentioned in his biography if he was?
adequacy.org -- because it isn't

 
Sorry but it had to be done... (none / 0) (#51)
by marko on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 09:01:36 PM PST
Google cache of this story

You're one of a kind, but you're not alone.

 
They don't.... (none / 0) (#52)
by marko on Tue Mar 12th, 2002 at 09:05:08 PM PST
"But, as the 9/11 attacks themselves prove, terrorists don't use tools especially designed for their use to create their vicious attacks." No, greedy power-hungry white people do. Hell, they MAKE the tools.

You're one of a kind, but you're not alone.

 

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