Der Spiegel and the internet blocking of the CCC

Der Spiegel reports on Three & Vodafone’s blocking of the Chaos Computer Club, with the headline, “British Porn Filter blocks the CCC web site.” This page is a Google Translate version in English as I cannot find their English language report. It refers to the open rights group’s http://blocked.org.uk site which documents the blocks. Continue reading “Der Spiegel and the internet blocking of the CCC”

Ruggedising the Internet

Mike Masnick writes a little article forecasting the engineers re-writing the single points of failure out of the internet. He entitles his article, Building A More Decentralized Internet: It’s Happening Faster Than People Realize. He cross references to two articles written by himself back in 2010, Operation Payback And Wikileaks Show The Battle Lines Are About Distributed & Open vs. Centralized & Closed and The Revolution Will Be Distributed: Wikileaks, Anonymous And How Little The Old Guard Realizes What’s Going On in which he, more accurately, recognises the current and future power of distributed and private networks. It should be remembered that these predictions all occurred before the Arab spring and the recent protests in Turkey and the state responses to the use of networks.

Masnick predicts that the judicial and informal non-judicial attacks on certain sites on the internet will lead to an engineering response and that the single points of failure will be remediated. He points at an article in the New Yorker, The Mission to Decentralize the Internet, which discusses the barriers to mass adoption of superior distributed solutions and some of the ideological history.

One of the responses to today’s challenges is at this manifesto for an Internet for the 21st Century, which is hosted at wauland.de, with the hashtag #ybti, an interesting identification of the inadequacies of even the best today. I also need to check out the key note proceedings of the 30C3, the Chaos Computer Club; not sure if any of these act as an alternative manifesto. The manifesto calls for,

Our concept for a new Internet is based on the following design principles:

• ubiquitous end-to-end encryption, removing the necessity to trust any third parties that might access our data while it is being transmitted or stored
• obfuscation of transmission patterns, preventing the analysis of social relations, behavior patterns and topical interests of the participants in a network
• decentralized authentication mechanisms, removing the necessity to trust centralized certification authorities that can be compromised
• multicast technology, because we need to interconnect billions of users without the need for centralized server farms
• distributed data flow and storage, making bulk collection of data economically unattractive
• consistent use of free and open software, putting the system under permanent public scrutiny and giving users control over their computation

The comments in Mike’s article are gratefully short of the usually bile about piracy and at least one contributor points at DNS as one of the choke points. A contributor called ninja says,

One of the next steps on the Internet that must take priority is the development of a decentralized DNS system that can be trusted. And encrypted. There are many developments in the DNS field such as the recent DNSSEC and that OpenDNS initiative to encrypt DNS queries (I’m using it but I honestly don’t know how to check if it works!). Then bittorrent will evolve into a huge cloud hdd making it virtually impossible to take down files from that big cloud. I’m guessing tor may evolve into something that will be used everyday too to ensure privacy and anonymity.

and so adds a storage medium to the list of SPOFs.

One of the replies to the comment about DNS points at Zooko’s triangle. I documented my researches on P2P DNS at this article on this wiki which like the New Yorker article point at Bitcoin’s name services, Namecoin.

Interesting initiatives obviously include TOR and the EFF pointed me at the Tahoe-FS, which has its home here…. The pirate browser and Diaspora suggest with TOR that peer-to-peer is the way to go but the stranglehold that the ISPs have on connectivity in the US and Europe will remain a choke point. Another initiative I discovered while writing this article is Project Meshnet. We or maybe our municipalities will need to build peer to peer connectivity, which may work well and easily in the towns, but will be harder to build in rural areas. DIY is hard since the use of the radio spectrum is highly regulated but I know that the anti-HADOPI campaigners and some US municipalities have considered building mesh networks from wifi or wifi max appliances; in the UK this is currently frowned on by the ISPs and inhibited by the Digital Economy Act although this is struggling to become Law. (I need to remember the story about someone switching their hub OS where they had originally used Linux because the radio spectrum regulator didn’t want the radio ASIC device driver source published because it allowed an illegal and unlicensed use of the spectrum).

While tidying up the office, I came across a ghard copy of this, “Decentralized Infrastructurefor Wikileaks”, which has some good ideas.

My personal experiences recently are firstly in moving into a flat in London, where I was legally able to piggy back of my neighbours connections using BT WiFi and alternatively, the difficulties friends living in more rural areas have found in getting connected. At the moment only massive multi-national corporations can afford the cable or satellite networks that alllow the internet’s connectivity but it’s possible the entry point is coming down, shown the way by Facebook’s purchase of Ascenta. to begin to execute on the vision expressed in this white paper by Mark Zuckerberg.

When will they give up with the Digital Economy Act? (It’s coming up to it’s 4th anniversary and they still have no time table for its implementation.)

ooOOOoo

Bruce Schneier points to Whatsapp’s adoption of end to end encryption for all content. The comments are as ever worth reading and don’t degenerate into foolish argument. I like, “Encryption is a honeypot”, encrypted broadcasting kills the usefulness of meta data and the idea of running Whatsapp over TOR. DFL 9 Apr 2016

I have installed the Related Articles plugin and between me and it, the following links might be useful.

P2P DNS

Looking at DNS and the attempt to P2P it.

Peter Sunde launched a project, reported at Computer World in an article called “P2P DNS to take on ICANN after US domain seizures”

It seems to have got stuck. This article dated 18 Oct 2011 and called Continuing the Distributed DNS System on Slashdot has some pointers. See also P2P-DNS taking control of the Internet  at memeburn.com.

The nearest successor seems to be namecoin, see http://namecoin.info/ , http://dot-bit.org/Main_Page & its wikipedia page

While researching this I came across a page on alternate roots at Wikipedia.

Twitter API V1.1

I missed the announcement that Twitter were upgrading their API. I only discovered it when they ran their “test blackouts”. It has broken. This means my ‘mingle’, friend feed and hence facebook feeds are now without my twitter goodness. The rest of this post lists then contemporary resources to help rescue the feeds. Continue reading “Twitter API V1.1”

Life after Google reader

So it’s finally going, should have left it when they swapped RSS pubication for Google Plus only.

Where to go?

Here’s the Google Blog, here’s the Google Reader Blog and here’s Life Hacker. Dave Winer says Good Riddance, and suggests you build your own river by checking his out.

Here’s Melange on how to get the OPML file.

Replacements

Here’s the Productivityist on his view on how to get off it as a Mac User, it’s part of a series and he decided that Google Reader was a step too far, although he talks about the obvious alternatives.

The one’s I have found by harvesting advice is below.

Not sure about Bloglines, it’s where I came from, but no-one is suggesting that one should go back!

Bloglines

So giving this a try, exported the OPML nad uploaded, that was easy. It has a widget and reader view. Need to get to grips with UI. Seems to be more difficult to dismiss the boring bits.

It has multiple widgets that give you massive choice of how each news feed looks and feels. The tags/folders correspond to pages.

It’s mobile/small scree interface is poor.

Can’t see how to make a forwarding feed.

Feedly

Getting in is easy; it has an Android version.

The blog has an, as yet unread, article on getting started for google reader exiles.

Both the screen and phone version will require a reorganisation of the hierarchy.

This is rather awesome, it has a share with delicious feature, a blog; it requires the installation of an addin/plugin, which I have done on my works laptop, using chrome, and home desktop using firefox. I ma not yet happy with the hierarchy, but I am sure I will.

The share with features are a good first step to recreating a news feed, but at the moment you have to use my Delicious or mingle.

Linksys WAG 54GS & Power Offs

Household Power Test

I tested the household power yesterday and turned the Gateway off for 2 hours.

Resetting Factory Defaults

When it came up the wireless wouldn’t work. So I rang Linksys and they talked me through resetting factory defaults.

For those of you following me, you must document your encapsulation and consequent parameters, your wireless settings and encryption passwords and any firewall ports that are open.

It seems that the reliability of a system boot after a sustained power down is not 100%.

Powering Down

I was recommended to power down the gateway by removing the power lead from the appliance. I assume using the switch on the wall plug is equally effective. Don’t use the power switch on the front of the box. This is a deeply flawed piece of UI design 🙁

Add This

I created this page to test scripts published by http://addthis.com. It was originally created on the Qube. See below, Early Experiments for what I wrote at the time, all probably useless now. I have installed their widget and so even lower down on this page, after the article , are add this’s sharing buttons. I returned to the issues they answer in Feb 2015. It should be noted that at that time on the blog I use custom code implemented in the child theme, since I moved to Nulis I am using a vanilla implementation of Add This, on the wiki. Continue reading “Add This”