Order from chaos...while you wait.
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The people who run this world want to run it in secret. Things like Wikileaks interfere with their plans. The US government is currently working hard to shut down Wikileaks and intimidate anyone in government employment who reads the leaks, even though the NYT and other news services are reporting the leaks. The government has intimidated Amazon into shutting off access, EveryDNS and Paypal have denied access to Wikileaks. It's unknown whether the latter two succumbed to direct or indirect pressure. It's my guess that the Wikileaks incident will be used by the government to take more control over the internet and further restrict freedom of information. Support Wikileaks
. Follow Wikileaks on Twitter to see where it's still available.
The Streisand Effect Part 2.
Pakistan has told ISPs to block access
to YouTube, apparently because of this
video, which is considered blasphemous. Personally, I think a bit of blasphemy is a good thing, but I guess the Pakistani officials don't agree. The problem for them is that now an obscure video by a comedian has become a cause throughout the world. At last count, the video had 33 million views; the Streisand effect
Wikileaks and the Streisand Effect
I was only vaguely aware of Wikileaks
before yesterday when yet another US court decision tried to shut it down.
Wikileaks has published a number of important leaked documents, including Rules of Engagement
for Iraq, the 2003
and 2004 Guantanamo Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures
, and evidence of major bank fraud in Kenya
[see also here
] that apparently affected the Kenyan elections. Wikileaks has upset the Chinese government enough that they are attempting to censor it, as is the Thai military junta.
A California court has granted an injunction
requested by a Cayman Islandís Bank. It seems that the bank is trying to keep the public from accessing documents that may reveal questionable dealings. Wikileaks
was not represented at the hearing.
Although, Wikileaks is an important site, most people hadn't heard of it. The judge did not order the site taken down. Rather, it ordered its DNS record removed. Of course, you can still access it by its IP address 184.108.40.206. Thanks to /. and any number of other sites, that IP address is all over the web. A perfect example of the Streisand effect
What did Yahoo know and when did they know it?
Shi Tao was sentenced to prison by a Chinese court in 2004. The court's verdict, just like the verdict cited evidence that Yahoo! handed over Shi Tao's identification information, including his anonymous internet user ID, as well as the location from which he had sent his e-mails. Yahoo!'s cooperation with Chinese authorities led to Shi Tao's arrest, detention, and long-term imprisonment. Shi Tao is currently serving ten year sentences for his expression of free speech via the internet in China.
Yahoo! General Counsel Michael Callahan told a U.S. Congressional hearing on February 15, 2006: The Shi Tao case raises profound and troubling questions about basic human rights. Nevertheless, it is important to lay out the facts. When Yahoo! China in Beijing was required to provide information about the user, who we later learned was Shi Tao, we had no information about the nature of the investigation.
However, Rebecca MacKinnon's blog
reports that the Beijing State Security Bureau's request to Yahoo!'s Beijing office for information about the Shi Tao's e-mail account. The request states: According to investigation, your office is in possession of the following items relating to a case of suspecting illegal provision of state secrets to foreign entities that is currently under investigation by our bureau. In accordance with Article 45 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the PRC, [these items] may be collected. The items for collection are: Email account registration information for email@example.com, all login times, corresponding IP addresses, and relevant email content from February 22, 2004 to present.
It's pretty obvious from that request that Yahoo! China knew that Shi Tao was being investigated for espionage, a charge sometimes used to stifle dissidents and assisted that Chinese authorities.
Cox Breaking Internet Protocol to Battle Zombies
Cox Communications, my ISP when in Providence, is reportedly diverting attempts to reach certain IRC channels by hijacking the Cox DNS server. When a request is made to DNS for a channel such as irc.mzima.net, the DNS server responds with the IP address of its own IRC server (220.127.116.11). That server then sends commands to the computer that attempt to remove malware. Wired
has more details.
While some folks on /.
seem to think this is a good thing, I think this might lead to problems. The purpose supposedly is to police the IRC channels that are use to control botnets. Interesting approach, but how long before some malware does the same thing. As pointed out in the Wired article, the tactic shows why DNS lookups should be digitally signed to show their authenticity. This is reminiscent of the Verisign
hijacking misspelled domain names..
Is Chinese web censorship failing?
According to Wang Guoqing
, a vice minister with the information office said: the internet and mobile phones have undermined attempts by China to control the news. Mr Wang cited a recent slavery scandal, when local officials attempted to conceal the used of forced labour at brick kilns in north-central Shanxi and Henan provinces. Thsi sounds good. Let's uope it's true. However, Reporters Without Borders
describes the Chinese Government as an enemy of the internet
. In its annual report in February, it said China spearheaded an increasingly sophisticated movement to restrict the internet.
Wikipedia says no to censorship
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, vowed
he would not do a Google and bow to pressure from China to censor sensitive articles. Wales said he is eager to make the encyclopaedia accessible on the mainland, but will not sacrifice its independence or its culture of allowing users to add to and modify its pool of knowledge.
BOING BOING'S GUIDE TO DEFEATING CENSORWARE
BOING BOING, one of the best sites on the net, is being blocked in the UAE and elsewhere. Here's how to get around that: BOING BOING'S GUIDE TO DEFEATING CENSORWARE
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