Tor Asks For Help In Keeping Net Anonymity As An Option For Anyone, At Any Site

from the making-the-NSA-cry dept

Before Snowden, Tor was an important but rather obscure tool, mostly of interest to those living under oppressive regimes who wanted to access the Internet freely without risking imprisonment or worse. Post-Snowden, things are more complicated. On the one hand, it is clearly one of the key tools that we can all use to thwart attempts by intelligence agencies to monitor what we are doing online. On the other hand, for that very reason, Tor has been the subject of serious attempts by the NSA, GCHQ and the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs to compromise it so that they can gain information about its users. The fact that, as far as the NSA and GCHQ are concerned,Tor -- "The Onion Router" -- "stinks", as one of the slides leaked by Snowden puts it, is an excellent reason for people to support its recent "call to arms":

We used to think there are two main ways that the Tor network can fail. First, legal or policy pressure can make it so nobody is willing to run a relay. Second, pressure on or from Internet Service Providers can reduce the number of places willing to host exit relays, which in turn squeezes down the anonymity that the network can provide. Both of these threats are hard to solve, but they are challenges that we've known about for a decade, and due in large part to strong ongoing collaborations we have a pretty good handle on them.
But lately, the people behind Tor have realized there is a new problem they must deal with:
We missed a third threat to Tor's success: a growing number of websites treat users from anonymity services differently. Slashdot doesn't let you post comments over Tor, Wikipedia won't let you edit over Tor, and Google sometimes gives you a captcha when you try to search (depending on what other activity they've seen from that exit relay lately). Some sites like Yelp go further and refuse to even serve pages to Tor users.
The rest of the post explores possible solutions to this growing rejection of Tor, such as technical mechanisms that allow anonymous users to interact with websites, and social mechanisms -- using a community to help police problems with anonymous users. But as the post notes, these haven't worked too well in past. It therefore suggests a third approach:
The solution I envision is to get a person who is both technical and good at activism to focus on this topic. Step one is to enumerate the set of websites and other Internet services that handle Tor connections differently from normal connections, and look for patterns that help us identify the common (centralized) services that impact many sites. At the same time, we should make a list of solutions -- technical and social -- that are in use today. There are a few community-led starts on the Tor wiki already, like the DontBlockMe page and a List of Services Blocking Tor.

Step two is to sort the problem websites based on how amenable they would be to our help. Armed with the toolkit of options we found in step one, we should go to the first (most promising) site on the list and work with them to understand their problem. Ideally we can adapt one of the ideas from the toolkit; otherwise we'll need to invent and develop a new approach tailored to their situation and needs. Then we should go to the second site on the list with our (now bigger) toolkit, and so on down the list. Once we have some success stories, we can consider how to scale better, such as holding a conference where we invite the five best success cases plus the next five unsolved sites on our list.
It's good to see such a key project both identifying problems and coming up with possible ways to tackle them. The post contains further details of future plans, the people and organizations involved -- and even an offer of funding for those who want to help ensure that The Onion Router's stink continues to make the people at the NSA and GCHQ cry.

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Filed Under: 3rd party services, anonymity, privacy, tor


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  • identicon
    PRMan, 5 Sep 2014 @ 9:59pm

    Really?

    "Tor was an important but rather obscure tool, mostly of interest to those living under oppressive regimes who wanted to access the Internet freely without risking imprisonment or worse."

    I thought it was for child pornographers and people trying to get away with spamming Wikipedia and review sites.

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    • icon
      Whatever (profile), 5 Sep 2014 @ 10:33pm

      Re: Really?

      You hit the nail on the head.

      More than that of course, Tor faces the uncertain legal reality of what is starting to happen to exit node operators, who are finding that there is some potential they may be responsible for what goes through their service. They may not be liable, but it looks like some of them are going to have to go to court to try to prove it.

      There is very little that can be done to make Tor look good. It's too obvious in it's uses.

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      • icon
        RonKaminsky (profile), 6 Sep 2014 @ 12:41am

        Re: Re: Really?

        > There is very little that can be done to make freedom look good. It's too obvious in it's uses.

        There, now. Fixed that (the conceptual mistake, not the grammar one) for you...

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        • icon
          Whatever (profile), 6 Sep 2014 @ 2:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Really?

          That isn't what I said. Freedom looks very good, but freedom used mostly to break the law isn't. Tor has the problem that the perception is that it's a tool to break the law, and not anything else.

          It also has the problem of shifting liability to the exit nodes. It's very likely that an individual willingly sharing his internet connection with unknown people could end up in big legal trouble. It's hard to call yourself an innocent service provider when you know generally what Tor is used for.

          Darknet yourself :)

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          • icon
            G Thompson (profile), 6 Sep 2014 @ 2:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Really?

            Pistols, Shotguns and other firearms are all MOSTLY used to break the law too. Though it seems Americans are not willing to remove those? But to you TOR is different because 'the internet'

            Vehicles are mostly used to break the law too, so are masks, and even... WORDS! Which one will you decide to ban next?

            Or like the Sony doctrine is the justification that it could be used for nefarious purposes overridden by its legitimate usages for you?

            Think carefully, because us who have been in the industry of both IT, Government & law enforcement for a long long time know what WILL occur if people like yourself get there way and restrict usage to things that are too easily controlled and abused by those with power, egos, and evil intent to control the serfs.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 3:40am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really?

              Pistols, Shotguns and other firearms are all MOSTLY used to break the law too.

              More than 100 million animals are reported killed by hunters each year. That number does not include the millions of animals for which kill figures are not maintained by state wildlife agencies.

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            • icon
              Whatever (profile), 6 Sep 2014 @ 7:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really?

              Though it seems Americans are not willing to remove those? But to you TOR is different because 'the internet'

              Well, Americans are an exceptional case in that regard, the are intent on arming themselves to the teeth in the odd belief that it makes them safer. It's sort of like the old mutually assure destruction thing. It's stupid, but easy to convince yourself it's good.

              Thankfully, the "right to break the law" isn't in the constitution, so it doesn't stand in the same stead.

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              • icon
                orbitalinsertion (profile), 6 Sep 2014 @ 7:14am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really?

                The right to break what law?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 7:30am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really?

                The way to enforce the law is to catch the criminals, and not to removes the tool that some criminals use along with honest folk. Doing the latter punishes honest people while being a minor inconvenience to criminals.
                An example, the UK has banned hand guns, which means anyone wishing to compete in Olympic pistol has to be able to commute to the continent to practice. Meanwhile criminals still use guns in the commission of crimes. The ban has not inconvenienced the criminals at all, because they were already getting their guns through illegal channels.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 10:00am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really?

                  2010 UK Firearm deaths per 100,000 population: 0.25

                  2011 USA Firearm deaths per 100,000 population: 10.3

                  Guess all of those gun-toting British criminals must be really lousy shots.

                  This has fuck-all to do with TOR, though.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 10:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really?

              Indeed. Where is the outcry for the banning of guns and making it illegal to possess one as they can are used to kill and murder people with. The outcry is sadly deafened due to the enormous outcry of the copyright brigade shouting their demands to do everything and enforcing laws to stop people from making a copy of a DVD.

              I guess its way far more important to bring in tougher laws to stop a person from copying a DVD to protect copyright then it is to ban the sale of guns that is used to kill and murder people. some people morals are sadly displaced if they believe that protecting copyright is far more important than protecting a life.

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              • icon
                Whatever (profile), 6 Sep 2014 @ 5:52pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really?

                I don't think guns have anything to do with Tor - except perhaps that it is sometimes used by people who want to obtain them illegally.

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            • icon
              Eldakka (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 8:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really?

              Pistols, Shotguns and other firearms are all MOSTLY used to break the law too.

              Citation?

              There are hundreds of millions, BILLIONS of firearms in existance. I would think that most firearms are used for lawful purposes, whether that be hunting, those used by the (para-)military forces, or just hanging on a wall and never used at all.

              Sure, MANY are used for illegal purposes, but when you are talking billions of firearms, a few thousand (or even hundred thousand) a year may be many, but it is far, far away from most.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 6:38am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really?

                I took his comment to be a deliberate exaggeration, mimicking Whatevers comment about Tor being mostly used by child pornographers.

                Are there any actual statistics on how much Tor traffic is used for unsavory means? Every article I read about Tor (here and elsewhere) always states that it's used by people under oppressive regimes, then in the comments there's always someone who states it's only used by child pornographers, so why do we need it anyway.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 5:25am

        Re: Re: Really?

        There is very little that can be done to make Tor look good. It's too obvious in it's uses.

        Its more a case that the bad uses of TOR get headlines, while the good uses are ignored. "Oh look people are using TOR to bus drugs makes a good headline". While TOR used to let the world know hat a repressive regime is doing is ignored in favor is ignored in favor of "Oh look what that bad regime is doing to its people".
        Demonizing TOR does little to stop illegal trade in drugs and guns or child porn etc, the buyers and sellers will just move their activity elsewhere, it does however help to silence those most desperately in need of anonymity, those living under a repressive regime.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 6:19am

          Re: Re: Re: Really?

          Publishing information about the benefits of something does not sell.

          Publishing information about "OMG!!! we're all gonna die" sells like hotcakes.

          Sad but true.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 12:15am

        Re: Re: Really?

        So given that some time ago you claimed to be a Tor user - with your IP address looking as if it came out of Canada - you're now saying you're obviously using it for nefarious purposes.

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      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 5:23am

        Re: Re: Really?

        I'm sure people called you for your bullshit (again) but it doesn't hurt to add experience. I was baffled when I first used Tor to find a wealth of academic sites and communities there. I came to assume after a while that they do it to avoid the intellectual property nightmare. Surely Tor has illegal uses but I actually had to put effort into searching for such illegal content to find it. Simply put it's not "go into Tor and be offered marijuana and stolen nuclear fuel".

        It would be good to you to access Tor and hang around before talking about it. Also, the post you replied to seems to be an attempt at irony (at least from previous comments from the same guy/girl). But I'll forgive you for that failure, it must be hard to you to identify such humor with your head deeply and firmly stuck in your ass.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 6:20am

      Re: Really?

      "I thought it was for child pornographers and people trying to get away with spamming Wikipedia and review sites."

      This is sarcasm - right?

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  • identicon
    John Smith, 5 Sep 2014 @ 10:37pm

    Hypocrisy much?

    I was temporarily blocked by a captcha earlier today on techdirt while browsing through tor. Please fix.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 6 Sep 2014 @ 5:45am

      Re: Hypocrisy much?

      I was temporarily blocked by a captcha earlier today on techdirt while browsing through tor. Please fix.


      Where is the hypocrisy? We're pointing out that this is an issue, and highlighting that Tor is looking for ways to try to deal with it.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 9:55am

        Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

        Pointing out the "rejection" of Tor by other sites, while rejecting it yourself, is hypocrisy.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 10:01am

          Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

          Using a captcha to check for a human is NOT blocking access from TOR, but a measure against bots using TOR. It does not destroy anonymity, nor is it a major impediment to using this site.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 1:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

            It requires the use of JavaScript, thus attempting to defeat the anonymity provided by Tor. Proprietor is insidious.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 10:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

              That part is a problem, especially because it is perfectly practical to use a server-side script for a CAPTCHA.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 11:15am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                So - does TD use the javascript version or not?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 12:16am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                  Easy enough to test.

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                  • icon
                    That One Guy (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:07pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                    The above was mine, via Tor, with javascript disabled. While it went to moderation, give it's here now, the answer seems to be 'no'.

                    On the other hand, I didn't see a CAPTCHA when I posted, so it could be a choice of 'No javascript, comment goes to moderation' and 'Javascript enabled, CAPTCHA allows you to bypass moderation step'.

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      • icon
        antidirt (profile), 6 Sep 2014 @ 11:18am

        Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

        Where is the hypocrisy? We're pointing out that this is an issue, and highlighting that Tor is looking for ways to try to deal with it.

        But aren't you being a hypocrite? Over the past few years, I've had many, many posts routed to your spam filter when I tried to post through Tor. When posts are routed to your spam filter, sometimes it takes hours until they show up and sometimes they don't show up at all. So your site is a part of the "third threat to Tor's success: a growing number of websites treat users from anonymity services differently." I know for a fact that you have treated posters using Tor differently. Do you deny this? (Since you deny that you're routing posts from my home IP to your spam filter, I'm sure you won't respond. Sadly, integrity and honesty don't appear to be your strong suit.)

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        • identicon
          anon, 6 Sep 2014 @ 3:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

          It's not hypocrisy for techdirt to be one of the sites that presents captchas to some or even all TOR IPs. The fact that they do only means they are one of the sites Tor needs to approach in Step two:

          Step two is to sort the problem websites based on how amenable they would be to our help. Armed with the toolkit of options we found in step one, we should go to the first (most promising) site on the list and work with them to understand their problem. Ideally we can adapt one of the ideas from the toolkit; otherwise we'll need to invent and develop a new approach tailored to their situation and needs.

          Currently, techdirt clearly has some sort of problem that arises from Tor IPs. Techdirt has implemented a solution of their own devising and which matches Techdirt's values. That solution is captchas. I'd guess the problem is likely comment spam, though I can't be sure. But that solution is entirely reasonable if Techdirt wants to minimize comment spam without the need for heavy costly human powered moderation, while permitting most comments to appear in real time.

          It's likely Tor as an entity either doesn't know problem Techdirt is experiencing with Tor is or Tor a notion but don't have a solution they can offer techdirt or the 'solutions' some Tor supporters offer does not solve Techdirt's problem as defined by techdirt. (The above grumbling which seems to suggest that a user being presented a captcha is somehow unacceptable also suggests that some Tor users simply do not recognize that Techdirt might actually have valid reasons to test whether a particular connection is or is not a bot.)


          I think Tor is wise to decide to implement their stage 2 and begin to ask those running sites (e.g. Techdirt, Wikipedia, google) what problems they are seeing, and apply Tor's own resources to trying to find solutions help Tor's customers (i.e. "Tor users") get the quality experience Tor customers hope for. Working to improve the experience for Tor users should be Tor's responsibility, not everyone else's.

          Meanwhile, those running their own sites (e.g. Techdirt) can spend time protecting their own sites from the sorts of things one does see over over anonymous proxies of all sorts-- including Tor -- and from some service providers with bad reputations--- like automated sign up bots, comment spam, hack attempts, unauthorized vulnerability testing (done to find exploits) and other things that do happen over Tor. To the extent that Tor is sometimes used for these things, Tor IPs will be blocked altogether, presented captchas or treated differently from IPs associated with providers that cancel access of those customers that indulge in these sorts of behaviors.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 6 Sep 2014 @ 6:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

            You made a big long post to prove that Techdirt isn't being hypocritical, and in the end you prove the point.

            Techdirt is all pro-anonymous, pro free speech. Yet the service they say is perhaps the strongest way to protect free speech is blocked, restricted, or otherwise shackled by a combination of an over enthusiastic edge cache system (cloudflare) and local systems rules. Forcing people using Tor to turn on java in order to be able to access the site isn't a very good way to do things.

            Perhaps all of this is just an admission that truly anonymous access leads to bad behavior. It's not what anyone wants to say, but actions speak louder than words sometimes!

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 10:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

            There's also a difference between applying captchas to IP ranges with lots of reported posts, and actively banning TOR IPs.

            OTOH, using a javascript captcha (or worse, Java, as someone suggested TD is using) is bad.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 12:17am

          Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

          Over the past few years, I've had many, many posts routed to your spam filter when I tried to post through Tor.

          Consider the possibility that you're triggering the spam filter because, surprise surprise, you've been spamming.

          That's really not shocking. "Mike Masnick just hates it when copyright law is enforced" is the cleverest thing you copyright boys think you have to say, and you routinely post on articles even when copyright isn't involved.

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            icon
            antidirt (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 6:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

            Here's the hypocrisy: Tor identifies a "third threat to Tor's success," namely, that "a growing number of websites treat users from anonymity services differently." Mike absolutely treats users from Tor differently.

            I just ran a test. I did a clean install of Tor, and selected "New Identity" to get assigned a random IP. Here are the results:

            1. 171.25.193.131 / Germany / captcha / spam filter
            2. 89.207.132.76 / anonymous proxy / captcha / posted
            3. 37.221.161.235 / anonymous proxy / captcha / spam filter
            4. 178.175.139.140 / Belgium / captcha / couldn't post because captcha
            5. 178.63.154.93 / anonymous proxy / captcha / spam filter
            6. 5.104.224.246 / anonymous proxy / captcha / posted
            7. 77.109.141.138 / anonymous proxy / captcha / spam filter
            8. 37.187.39.124 / anonymous proxy / no captcha / posted
            9. 81.89.96.88 / Germany / captcha / couldn't post because captcha
            10. 77.95.231.11 / anonymous proxy / captcha / posted

            So, 9/10 posts were caught by the captcha filter. 2/10 posts could not be posted at all because captcha wouldn't display the captcha image. 4/10 posts were routed to the spam filter. And only 4/10 posts were posted immediately.

            Mike lambasts others who lack transparency, yet he won't give us an explanation of why he treats Tor differently. Mike claims to believe that anonymity is sacred, yet he punishes those who use Tor. When posts don't show up immediately, either because they're routed to the spam filter or trapped by the captcha image failing to appear, he makes it so that anonymous users using Tor can't take part in the conversation on Techdirt.

            In typical Mike fashion, Mike tries to brush this off: "Where is the hypocrisy? We're pointing out that this is an issue, and highlighting that Tor is looking for ways to try to deal with it." The hypocrisy, Mike, is that Glyn's post makes it appear that Techdirt supports Tor's efforts to make Tor more attractive for users. But the fact that you yourself are part of the problem that Tor identifies means that you're not part of the solution.

            Why not be a man and admit you're part of the very same problem this article is about, Mike? Take responsibility for your own actions. Give us some of that transparency you demand of others.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 6:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

              2/10 posts could not be posted at all because captcha wouldn't display the captcha image.

              The image not displaying strongly suggests that you have either bandwidth problems to Techdirt, and/or problems with DNS resolution. Because of a marginal broadband connection I can suffer the same problems, which probably include IP address changes, and have noticed that this results in page elements going missing, and also tripping of the spam filter. Some of your problems could be due to a poor quality connection to Techdirt.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                antidirt (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:05am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                The image not displaying strongly suggests that you have either bandwidth problems to Techdirt, and/or problems with DNS resolution. Because of a marginal broadband connection I can suffer the same problems, which probably include IP address changes, and have noticed that this results in page elements going missing, and also tripping of the spam filter. Some of your problems could be due to a poor quality connection to Techdirt.

                I hit refresh a few times, and the entire page would reload yet the captcha image was never displayed. For whatever reason, that particular Tor connection wouldn't display it. But this just demonstrates the problem Tor is identifying as a threat to Tor's success. If Mike wasn't treating Tor users differently, I wouldn't have had the problem posting on Techdirt.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                antidirt (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:06am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                The image not displaying strongly suggests that you have either bandwidth problems to Techdirt, and/or problems with DNS resolution. Because of a marginal broadband connection I can suffer the same problems, which probably include IP address changes, and have noticed that this results in page elements going missing, and also tripping of the spam filter. Some of your problems could be due to a poor quality connection to Techdirt.

                I hit refresh a few times, and the entire page would reload yet the captcha image was never displayed. For whatever reason, that particular Tor connection wouldn't display it. But this just demonstrates the problem Tor is identifying as a threat to Tor's success. If Mike wasn't treating Tor users differently, I wouldn't have had the problem posting on Techdirt.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 10:32am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                  So far you have demonstrated that there were some problems, but not what the root cause is. A poor connection in a TOR route causing problems does not make it this sites fault that the page would not load properly.
                  As to comments being trapped as possible You have listed problems, without any supporting evidence, spam, that could well be because of their content, such as being total gibberish, and that could be the problem, rather this sites handling of TOR.
                  Yes you have had problems, but no you have not given enough evidence to demonstrate the root cause, but rather jumped to blaming the site.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    antidirt (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 11:13am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                    So far you have demonstrated that there were some problems, but not what the root cause is. A poor connection in a TOR route causing problems does not make it this sites fault that the page would not load properly.
                    As to comments being trapped as possible You have listed problems, without any supporting evidence, spam, that could well be because of their content, such as being total gibberish, and that could be the problem, rather this sites handling of TOR.
                    Yes you have had problems, but no you have not given enough evidence to demonstrate the root cause, but rather jumped to blaming the site.


                    Mike tacitly admitted that he uses captcha for Tor users, so I think that's settled. As far as posts through Tor being sent to the spam filter, I suggest you test this yourself. I notice that Mike isn't denying it, nor is he giving us any transparency about how he handles Tor. For a guy that claims to promote anonymity and transparency, you'd expect better than this. Where's the transparency? Why does he treat Tor users differently if he really believes that anonymity and Tor are important?

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Whatever (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 5:12pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                      First off, I want to say I wasn't surprised to see your comment go from "insightful" and top of the page to blocked as the usual crew come in to deny reality. Yes, there is another case where the masses have tried to silence a good point using the report button.

                      The second part is the issue at hand. Techdirt uses Cloudflare page cache / CDN, which often uses various devices to detect if someone is human, including CAPTCHA. The original image that someone posted up early was in fact the Cloudflare CAPTCHA. There are options within Cloudflare to disable that or make it occur less often.

                      Beyond that, Techdirt itself has code in place to stop posts from being posted directly to the site, and instead automatically flags them for "moderation". That moderation queue is checked maybe once per business day, which means that if your comments fall into that bin, you are pretty much censored off the site, your comments are generally added long after the discussion is over.

                      Combine all that with the aforementioned use of the report button to block or shut off unpopular comments, and you have a situation where there are plenty of ways on Techdirt for "undesirable" comments to not make it onto the site.

                      The solution for Techdirt is pretty simple: Adjust Cloudflare (or drop them) to get rid of the CAPTCHA issue. Get rid of the automatic moderation filter. Make the effects of the moderation button to add a "please check this comment" flag for moderations to look at the comment, but do not disable it.

                      That would remove many of the things that contribute to semi-unintentional censorship.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 5:25pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                        What does that to do with the topic at hand and who is this usual crew that denies reality?

                        Inquiring minds want to know.

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                          Whatever (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:16pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                          It has to do with the topic at hand because on one side, Techdirt "supports" Tor and free speech, yet on the other hand there are many things about the way Techdirt operates that make the site less than up to the standards they push. "Do as we say, not do as we do".

                          As for the "usual crew" I don't know the exact number, but it only takes a very clicks on the report button to banish a post. It seems that the same sorts of posts generally get canned. While not proven, it's pretty reasonable to assume the same people are offended each time - or at least think they are doing the right thing by getting rid of the offending discussion.

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                            antidirt (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:39pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                            As for the "usual crew" I don't know the exact number, but it only takes a very clicks on the report button to banish a post. It seems that the same sorts of posts generally get canned. While not proven, it's pretty reasonable to assume the same people are offended each time - or at least think they are doing the right thing by getting rid of the offending discussion.

                            Right. The "report" button says it's for comments that are "abusive, spam, trollish, or otherwise inappropriate." Yet his users treat it like a downvote on a post they don't agree with. And is there any leadership from Mike reminding his flock that dissenting views should be encouraged? Of course not. He's glad his critics get shut down. He can't stand the criticism.

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                            Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:50pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                            "less than up to the standards they push"

                            This is interesting, care to expound upon details or would that be too difficult for you?

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                              Whatever (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 12:31am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                              Sorry, I am not your lap dog. I don't roll over on command.

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                                Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 1:12am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                Of course. Because giving details is beyond you, which is why you get downvoted time and again. Your attitude that you're too good, too important, too right to explain yourself is the problem.

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                        antidirt (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:17pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                        Combine all that with the aforementioned use of the report button to block or shut off unpopular comments, and you have a situation where there are plenty of ways on Techdirt for "undesirable" comments to not make it onto the site.

                        Yeah, for all of Mike's talk about how important dissenting views are, he goes out of his way to shut down dissenting views on his own blog. He really can't take any criticism, and he runs from debate faster than anyone I've ever met. Heck, he blocks my IP and he even deleted my old user account, yet he won't even acknowledge that he's done this. Transparency? Nope. Leadership? Hell no. I love it when he posts about the importance of the search for truth with journalism like he did this week. I wonder if he actually believes that's what he does. You'd think someone searching for truth would at least stand behind his own words. You'd think he'd welcome debate on the issues. But say something "bad" about Mike or dare to challenge his views, and you're shut down. That's Techdirt for ya.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:53pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                          "he goes out of his way to shut down dissenting views

                          Is it Mike or the "usual crew"? This is so confusing.
                          Lots of accusations, little evidence. Sounds like bullshit to me.

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                        • icon
                          Mike Masnick (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 2:58am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                          Yeah, for all of Mike's talk about how important dissenting views are, he goes out of his way to shut down dissenting views on his own blog.

                          Simply untrue. But if you wish to post lies, go ahead. Most sites completely ban users. We have never done that.

                          He really can't take any criticism, and he runs from debate faster than anyone I've ever met.

                          We've answered you on this front many times. I'll post this again, even though I thought we were done with this. Did you go away for a while and then come back with a new account pretending people would forget this?

                          https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-te chdirt.shtml#c1210

                          And that reminds me, that you usually go on these idiotic diatribes claiming I'm not responding during weekends when I'm away from my computer. Note to you: I tend not to be at my computer on weekends. I'm not avoiding you, I'm living my life.

                          Heck, he blocks my IP and he even deleted my old user account, yet he won't even acknowledge that he's done this.

                          Neither of these things are true. Can you tell me what account you think was deleted? And as far as I know we've never blocked an IP.

                          As I've explained to you and others in the past, we use a series of tools and filters to protect the site. We currently use a combination of a different anti-spam tools to protect the site from the well over 1000 spam comments that try to get through per day. If you're getting caught in the spam filter, perhaps it's because of your own actions. Either way, we do go through the spam comments multiple times per day and release any legit comments.

                          And we recently did start using Cloudflare after someone hit us with a DDoS and tried to extort us to stop. So we needed some increased DDoS protection, and Cloudflare appeared to offer the best solution. I'm looking into the issue of people getting CAPTCHAs to see if we can tweak it to make that happen less.

                          But, again, there has been no hypocrisy here. In both cases, we're relying on third party services Cloudflare and a few different anti-spam comment filters, and those often recognize that bad users come via tor. We recognize that's an issue, which is why we thought this was a good post -- and are happy that tor is looking for ways to deal with this issue. We wanted this posted because we're hopeful that there are better solutions as well that will help allow the good actors through while still stopping the bad actors.

                          Either way, your claims that I am somehow hypocritical on anonymity are false. We have always allowed anonymous posting. We are looking for better ways to deal with good users of Tor, which is a big part of why we posted this story. But we need to do basic levels of protections against bad actors or there would be no site here at all.

                          You'd think someone searching for truth would at least stand behind his own words.

                          I do. And your misleading attacks, which we've debunked before, don't change any of that.

                          You'd think he'd welcome debate on the issues

                          As always, we have always welcomed debate and continue to. The problem is that you don't "debate." You do this kind of bullshit: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-techdir t.shtml#c1210

                          But say something "bad" about Mike or dare to challenge his views, and you're shut down. That's Techdirt for ya.

                          Simply not true. The fact that you are still posting (and, that you had to lie in claiming we shut down your account) kinda proves that you're full of it. You have not been shut down, and you have not been interested in legitimate debate. Every time I've tried to have a conversation with you, you bring out your lies and "strawman mike" in which anything I say that doesn't agree with the strawman mike you've built up in your head must be me being dishonest. Then you throw a tirade in the comments, often disrupting plenty of other interesting conversations.

                          I told you years ago that if you stopped acting like a toddler then perhaps people would treat you with more respect. But don't turn around and pretend that people treating you like a toddler throwing a tantrum is due to anything other than your own behavior (which we've detailed many times before, but most completely here: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-techdir t.shtml#c1210 )

                          As per in the past, this will be my last comment to you on this particular topic. And, no, it's not because I'm "running away" though I'm quite sure you will make that false claim. The reasons are detailed in that link. I have and will debate with lots of people who disagree with me. I have debated with you in the past. What I will not do is engage repeatedly with a toddler throwing a tantrum. I explain myself firmly and then go away, hoping that, maybe, one day, the toddler will grow up. Unfortunately, it appears that in the years since we wrote that comment you have chosen not to grow up, and have now added lies about us deleting accounts and blocking you from the site. Neither is true.

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                            Whatever (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:19am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                            So Mike, in the spirit of open discussion and fairness, will you please remove the "report" button from the discussions, or at least not make it lead to posts being automatically blocked? While it may not be your intention, the reality is that it's being used as a tool to censor people who's opinions are not popular. That accomplishes something you are publicly against, which is the stifling or limiting in any manner the free speech of people who visit your site.

                            Also, while TO YOUR KNOWLEDGE no IPs are blocked, I can tell you that you have staff members who actively engage in blocking people they don't like. I have made the tests, and discovered that automated blocks were put in place based on post IP, post name, and so on. Those are not anti-spam blocks (I don't spam), but rather put in place to stop me (and others, I gather) from posting. So while it may not be your intention, I can tell you that from the outside looking in, it appears that someone is using the tools you have provided to accomplish something that you appear to be against.

                            I will also say that I have had accounts on Techdirt in the past that while not technically shut down, were moved into the "hold post for moderation" level, which essentially means that any post made would be held for moderation for 24-36 hours. Again, while it's not technically shutting an account down, it's limiting the speech of those you (or your staff) don't want to hear from. Sort of a Techdirt version of prior restraint.

                            What I will not do is engage repeatedly with a toddler throwing a tantrum.

                            I think the problem here is that while you feel you have explained yourself firmly, for many of us we can read a large amount of wiggle room in your statements. So when people who don't agree with you call you out on them, you shouldn't be surprised. Again, I understand that you feel you have completely and unequivocally explained yourself but from the outside looking it, it's just not all that.

                            It's not to harrass or annoy you, it's just to point out that what you feel is statements in absolute generally don't read that way. As an example:

                            It's not okay because I don't think it's okay. You're asking a moral question. There is no answer to a moral question other than "that's what I believe." I don't think it's right to ignore the wishes of a content creator.

                            But that, of course, is entirely separate from what that content creator can do to deal with the fact that many (perhaps most) others have a different moral view on the issue.

                            Arguing over morals is a waste of time, because it doesn't move the discussion forward.


                            The problem here is that you haven't said much. You basically said that an opinion in this area is about morals, and morals don't matter. You may not think it's right to ignore the wishes of a content creator, but within a few posts of this you are offering up ways to profit from piracy. So even on a moral level, you don't think it's right but you have no problems profiting from it (see the contradiction?).

                            So again, while you may feel that you answered the questions completely and given a full answer, you didn't really accomplish that. It's sort of "drugs are bad, but here's my business model for importing heroin". That leaves you a whole lot of space to work in, don't you think?

                            This isn't to argue. it's only to point out to you that what you believe you have done may not jibe with what is seen.

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:45am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                              So Mike, in the spirit of open discussion and fairness, will you please remove the "report" button from the discussions, or at least not make it lead to posts being automatically blocked? While it may not be your intention, the reality is that it's being used as a tool to censor people who's opinions are not popular. That accomplishes something you are publicly against, which is the stifling or limiting in any manner the free speech of people who visit your site.

                              What you are demanding is not free speech, but rather a demand that people must listen to your rantings. Free speech does not guarantee an audience, but goes along with other peoples rights to ignore speech, or mark it as probably not worth reading.

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                                Whatever (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 6:18am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                The true miracle of true free speech is that as long as it's not illegal, you should not impede it. Anything less is just a more or less subtle version of censorship.

                                Remember, you always have the right to ignore those you don't like. However, your dislike doesn't give you the right to make them shut up.

                                The report button initially had a good use. Now it's become a "I don't like this person's opinion" button, which leads to the hypocritical problem we have this weekend, where antidirt's test of Techdirt using Tor was the featured quote at the top of the story for a while until enough people decided to censor his post. It seems enough people found it insightful as to mark it so, but the "report" button over rode that choice.

                                It's a subtle form of censorship that people who claim to support free speech can use thinking they aren't denying anyone their rights.

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                                • identicon
                                  Jason, 8 Sep 2014 @ 9:17am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                  The true miracle of true free speech is that as long as it's not illegal, you should not impede it. Anything less is just a more or less subtle version of censorship.

                                  Remember, you always have the right to ignore those you don't like. However, your dislike doesn't give you the right to make them shut up.


                                  There's a certain point to that in other contexts (specifically in areas of government-restricted speech) but this isn't one of them. The owners and commenters on Techdirt have every right to place whatever limits they like on comments that, for whatever reason, they feel don't contribute to the kind of community they're trying to cultivate.

                                  The Popehat comment policy says it best:

                                  "This is our living room, not your living room. You comment as a guest, so please act like a guest we'd like to invite over again."

                                  For my part I've never seen any examples of any comments being squashed unfairly. (Simply because they take an opposing point of view, for example.) Moreover, anyone who wants can still read the flagged posts; I often do just that, to gain context, even though I almost invariably find myself agreeing with whoever clicked the report button. But flagging and collapsing comments doesn't violate anyone's right to free speech. It's nothing more than the other speakers/listeners collectively observing that they aren't interested in hearing it any more, and giving anyone who follows the ability to quickly skip it. (But still read it if they choose.)

                                  Or, to make the same basic point with stick figures: https://xkcd.com/1357/

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                                    John Fenderson (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 9:37am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                    "For my part I've never seen any examples of any comments being squashed unfairly."

                                    In fairness, I have seen this happen from time to time, but it's fairly rare. What's much more common is that the "opposing viewpoint" is expressed along with abusive language, outright lies, is spammed or offtopic, or other legitimate reasons to report the post.

                                    The "report" button is imperfect, but short of implementing a full-fledged reader moderation system (like, for example, Slashdot does), it's not a terrible solution to a very real problem: those types of comments detract from real, valuable conversations and debate and tend to drive readers away.

                                    The report button is nothing like censorship. Most sites would just engage in real censorship: deleting comments and banning trolls. Techdirt has come up with a compromise that lets them avoid such censorship without letting the comments become so poisonous that they are worthless.

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                                    antidirt (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 9:45am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                    For my part I've never seen any examples of any comments being squashed unfairly. (Simply because they take an opposing point of view, for example.)

                                    Then you haven't been looking. "Whatever" has a post above that's being hidden: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140904/09583328416/tor-asks-help-keeping-net-anonymity-as-option -anyone-any-site.shtml#c976

                                    What does he say that deserves the post being reported?

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                            antidirt (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 8:05am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                            Simply untrue. But if you wish to post lies, go ahead. Most sites completely ban users. We have never done that

                            You do not create a hospitable environment for dissenting views. You run from debates. You won’t stand behind your posts, no matter how ridiculous your claims. You offer no leadership when your minions “report” any posts that disagree with you. If you want to prove that you don’t run from debates, then debate me. You pick the topic. You have all your minions jumping in and ganging up on me. I don’t care. I’m happy to do it.

                            We've answered you on this front many times. I'll post this again, even though I thought we were done with this. Did you go away for a while and then come back with a new account pretending people would forget this?

                            https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-te chdirt.shtml#c1210

                            And that reminds me, that you usually go on these idiotic diatribes claiming I'm not responding during weekends when I'm away from my computer. Note to you: I tend not to be at my computer on weekends. I'm not avoiding you, I'm living my life.


                            I created a new account because I was unable to log into my old account. It told me there was no such account. I see that I can log in to that account now, so thank you for restoring it. I’d love to go through that post you always link to sentence by sentence. But something tells me you have no interest in that. Wouldn’t want the truth to come out, right?

                            Neither of these things are true. Can you tell me what account you think was deleted? And as far as I know we've never blocked an IP.

                            You know which account it is. Again, thanks for restoring it. And you know that my home IP is flagged so that my posts originating from it go to the spam filter. You could fix that if you wanted to, but you don’t want to. Not sure of my IP? I’ll gladly supply you with that info privately. Just tell me where to send it, and we could have this issue fixed today.

                            As I've explained to you and others in the past, we use a series of tools and filters to protect the site. We currently use a combination of a different anti-spam tools to protect the site from the well over 1000 spam comments that try to get through per day. If you're getting caught in the spam filter, perhaps it's because of your own actions. Either way, we do go through the spam comments multiple times per day and release any legit comments.

                            You know exactly what happened last summer. I was critical of your assessment of the charges against Kim Dotcom. I posted a lengthy explanation of why you were wrong. My home IP was routed to the spam filter. Less than 24 hours later, my phone’s IP was routed to the spam filter. I’d log in with a proxy and criticize you, and that IP would be routed to the spam filter. It was a game that went on for a couple of weeks where each new IP I used would be routed to the spam filter. Don’t play dumb. You know I’m your biggest critic, and you know exactly what you did to silence my criticism.

                            And we recently did start using Cloudflare after someone hit us with a DDoS and tried to extort us to stop. So we needed some increased DDoS protection, and Cloudflare appeared to offer the best solution. I'm looking into the issue of people getting CAPTCHAs to see if we can tweak it to make that happen less.

                            Thank you for the explanation. I don’t think the captcha thing is that bad, though it is inconvenient for users of Tor.

                            But, again, there has been no hypocrisy here. In both cases, we're relying on third party services Cloudflare and a few different anti-spam comment filters, and those often recognize that bad users come via tor. We recognize that's an issue, which is why we thought this was a good post -- and are happy that tor is looking for ways to deal with this issue. We wanted this posted because we're hopeful that there are better solutions as well that will help allow the good actors through while still stopping the bad actors.

                            The fact remains that many posts from Tor are being routed to the spam filter, and this makes it difficult if not impossible for users of Tor to participate on Techdirt. You are part of the very same problem Tor identifies since you treat Tor differently. Own up to it.

                            Either way, your claims that I am somehow hypocritical on anonymity are false. We have always allowed anonymous posting. We are looking for better ways to deal with good users of Tor, which is a big part of why we posted this story. But we need to do basic levels of protections against bad actors or there would be no site here at all.

                            You have referred to me in a personally identifiable way in the comments. You have revealed that certain posters are posting from Washington DC to discredit them. You have quoted my anonymous posts here elsewhere. When someone is critical of you, you don’t completely respect their anonymity. And you do in fact send posts from Tor and many other proxies to your spam filter. That’s hypocritical. Own up to it.

                            I do. And your misleading attacks, which we've debunked before, don't change any of that.

                            Again, you pick the topic and we’ll have a talk. Let’s see you actually give honest answers without weasel words. You won’t.

                            As always, we have always welcomed debate and continue to. The problem is that you don't "debate." You do this kind of bullshit: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-techdir t.shtml#c1210

                            I know you think that link is your “get out of the debate” card, but all you’re doing is giving excuses for why you won’t have a debate. Stop stalling. Stop making excuses. Again, I’m happy to go through that post line by line to explain myself. But you don’t want that. I get it. You’re scared of me.

                            Simply not true. The fact that you are still posting (and, that you had to lie in claiming we shut down your account) kinda proves that you're full of it. You have not been shut down, and you have not been interested in legitimate debate. Every time I've tried to have a conversation with you, you bring out your lies and "strawman mike" in which anything I say that doesn't agree with the strawman mike you've built up in your head must be me being dishonest. Then you throw a tirade in the comments, often disrupting plenty of other interesting conversations.

                            No one’s throwing a tirade. Debate me right now and prove that you’re right. Of course, you’re just giving us excuses on why you won’t. Maybe one day you’ll be able to link to the post where you actually had a conversation where you supplied direct and honest answers to direct and honest questions. Wouldn’t that be better?

                            I told you years ago that if you stopped acting like a toddler then perhaps people would treat you with more respect. But don't turn around and pretend that people treating you like a toddler throwing a tantrum is due to anything other than your own behavior (which we've detailed many times before, but most completely here: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-techdir t.shtml#c1210 )

                            Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. I’m not acting like a toddler. I’m criticizing you. I know your only defense is to attack me personally, since you can’t actually discuss the merits of anything that actually matters.

                            As per in the past, this will be my last comment to you on this particular topic. And, no, it's not because I'm "running away" though I'm quite sure you will make that false claim. The reasons are detailed in that link. I have and will debate with lots of people who disagree with me. I have debated with you in the past. What I will not do is engage repeatedly with a toddler throwing a tantrum. I explain myself firmly and then go away, hoping that, maybe, one day, the toddler will grow up. Unfortunately, it appears that in the years since we wrote that comment you have chosen not to grow up, and have now added lies about us deleting accounts and blocking you from the site. Neither is true.

                            Oh look. More excuses. Just personal attacks. Why are you scared, Mike? I suspect it’s because you know you don’t have the goods. Prove me wrong? Not likely. Sadly, all you can do is attack me personally. Again, you pick the topic and I’ll be there. No childishness. No running away. No personal attacks. Let’s talk about the merits. This talking about talking about it but not actually talking about it is dumb. Is this the best you can do? I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. I know it was the weekend, and I wasn't thinking your were running away. There's no need for all the personal attacks, and no need for the excuses. Unless, of course, excuses are all you really have.

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 8:32am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                              Keep moving those goalposts.

                              You don't need your anonymity; you regularly shit on it by posting the same things over and over again.

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 8:39am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                If the person wanted Anonymity they wouldn't be posting from an actual profile with a username but posting as Anonymous Coward without a profile. So Anonymity can't really be that important to them.

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                                  antidirt (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 9:02am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                  If the person wanted Anonymity they wouldn't be posting from an actual profile with a username but posting as Anonymous Coward without a profile. So Anonymity can't really be that important to them.

                                  Answer me this: Do you think Mike demonstrates a respect for posters' anonymity when he comes into the comments and explicitly links my current username to my old username? I don't. It shows a complete lack of respect for my anonymity. And funny too how he only does this sort of thing with his critics. Mike's not hard to figure out. You just have to open your eyes.

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                                  • identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 9:08am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                    That isn't my because I don't have a problem with posting comments.

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                                    Mike Masnick (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 10:01am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                    Answer me this: Do you think Mike demonstrates a respect for posters' anonymity when he comes into the comments and explicitly links my current username to my old username?

                                    On this one point: I did no such thing. You identified yourself as the same comment via your comments. It's obvious to anyone who is reading the comments that you are the same person. As far as I know, you may be using different email addresses and IPs. I would have no way of linking any two accounts anyway, other than by the obvious: that you gave it away by your comments.

                                    Separate from that, I have not revealed who you are, meaning that you are still anonymous.

                                    Finally, despite your repeated LIES, we did not delete your account. We did not block you. I did not "reinstate" your account. Hell, I don't even know if there's a way to do such a thing in our system.

                                    You have a sick desire to blame your own problems on me, and I don't know why that is. But I do know that it is simply yet another example of why engaging with you is futile. I have, do and will engage with people who can debate without throwing a childish tantrum. That, unfortunately, is a set of people that apparently does not include yourself.

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                                    • icon
                                      antidirt (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 10:28am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                      On this one point: I did no such thing. You identified yourself as the same comment via your comments. It's obvious to anyone who is reading the comments that you are the same person. As far as I know, you may be using different email addresses and IPs. I would have no way of linking any two accounts anyway, other than by the obvious: that you gave it away by your comments.

                                      I did not ever say I'm the same person who has posted under another user account. People may have suspected it, but I never said it explicitly. You, however, did. You said, "Did you go away for a while and then come back with a new account pretending people would forget this?" and then you posted a link which connects this new account to my old one. You confirmed for anyone who suspected as much that it's true. That's not respecting my anonymity. And of course you did it only so you could attack me personally (rather than have a substantive discussion on the merits, which is all that I want).

                                      Separate from that, I have not revealed who you are, meaning that you are still anonymous.

                                      Respecting your posters' anonymity means more than not simply giving out their real names. I know you don't get it, but that's my point. Thanks for confirming that you think anonymity only means someone's real name. That's sad, but I'm glad you admit it.

                                      Finally, despite your repeated LIES, we did not delete your account. We did not block you. I did not "reinstate" your account. Hell, I don't even know if there's a way to do such a thing in our system.

                                      This is so sad it hurts. I was being blocked left and right last summer and you know it. My home IP is currently being routed to the spam filter. You could fix this today if you wanted to, but you don't want to. Why don't you just work with me to fix it if you don't think my home IP shouldn't be routed in this way? Let your actions speak for themselves if you really want me to not be blocked. It is a fact that I could not login to my old account before, yet now I can. Of course you deny it. You can't even admit what went down last summer. Maybe that wasn't you. Maybe that was one of your flunkies. But you know it happened. I could dig up the links if you really want me to. I don't really care about that, though.

                                      You have a sick desire to blame your own problems on me, and I don't know why that is. But I do know that it is simply yet another example of why engaging with you is futile. I have, do and will engage with people who can debate without throwing a childish tantrum. That, unfortunately, is a set of people that apparently does not include yourself.

                                      There's no childish tantrums. That's just an excuse you pull out over and over rather than have a discussion about something that matters. Want to prove me wrong? Then have a meaningful discussion with me where you don't dodge the tough questions. That's all I want and you know it. But you will never have that conversation, will you? And it's not just me. There's certain tough questions you won't answer no matter who asks them, and you know it. Instead of pretending like I don't want a substantive discussion, why don't you engage in that discussion with me. You won't do it. And it has nothing to do with me. You just don't want to talk about those things. It would be so incredibly easy for you to prove me wrong, yet all you do is put out sad excuses for why you won't even try. Imagine how glorious it would be if you attempted to have that discussion and I then turned it into something else. Rather than pretending like I don't want that discussion, you could prove it. But you won't even try because you don't want to talk about it.

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                                      • icon
                                        Mike Masnick (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 10:55am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                        I did not ever say I'm the same person who has posted under another user account. People may have suspected it, but I never said it explicitly. You, however, did.

                                        Just to clarify, since you continue to want to play idiotic games: If I were revealing something private, you may have a point. I did not. Your comments under this alias are nearly identical to your comments under a previous alias and also (much more commonly) to your comments as an AC. I did not reveal anything that YOU DID NOT REVEAL PUBLICLY. The "connection" is the same one that plenty of other commenters noted. I did not look to see if the comments are coming from the same email address or IP address. It's simply obvious. Hell, for all I know you COULD be a mimic. My "confirmation" is based on nothing but public information -- public information you revealed.

                                        Only *you* go off on your stupid lies claiming I have to "debate you." There was a whole meme on here for a while "why won't you debate meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" based on your childish behavior. It's obvious who you are.

                                        Revealing info that you yourself are making public is not violating anyone's private information. Apparently you didn't take your time away from the site to actually mature, huh?

                                        Again, it's these childish games which shows why you are not worth debating with.

                                        I will not check this thread again. I have actual work to do.

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                                        • icon
                                          antidirt (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 11:04am

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                          Just to clarify, since you continue to want to play idiotic games: If I were revealing something private, you may have a point. I did not. Your comments under this alias are nearly identical to your comments under a previous alias and also (much more commonly) to your comments as an AC. I did not reveal anything that YOU DID NOT REVEAL PUBLICLY. The "connection" is the same one that plenty of other commenters noted. I did not look to see if the comments are coming from the same email address or IP address. It's simply obvious. Hell, for all I know you COULD be a mimic. My "confirmation" is based on nothing but public information -- public information you revealed.

                                          Only *you* go off on your stupid lies claiming I have to "debate you." There was a whole meme on here for a while "why won't you debate meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" based on your childish behavior. It's obvious who you are.

                                          Revealing info that you yourself are making public is not violating anyone's private information. Apparently you didn't take your time away from the site to actually mature, huh?

                                          Again, it's these childish games which shows why you are not worth debating with.

                                          I will not check this thread again. I have actual work to do.


                                          You explicitly did link "my current username to my old username," as I indicated. That you deny doing this is hilarious. And sad. Everyone can see that you did it. That you can't have a substantive discussion on the merits about anything that actually matters is sadder still. I don't bite. I promise. You really shouldn't be so scared of me. But, yeah, keep making excuses. I'm sure the dumber folks are buying it. All I want is for you to be explicit as to your personal beliefs about copyright. Let's get to the bottom of whether you're really anti-copyright and/or pro-piracy. But you don't want to have that conversation. Hmmm. I wonder why.

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                                          • icon
                                            John Fenderson (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 11:26am

                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                            "You explicitly did link "my current username to my old username," as I indicated. That you deny doing this is hilarious. And sad. Everyone can see that you did it."

                                            Yes, he did. In exactly the same way, using exactly the same evidence as the rest of us already made that link quite a while ago. Your protesting on this point is just silly.

                                            "That you can't have a substantive discussion on the merits about anything that actually matters is sadder still."

                                            He can't have a substantive discussion with you for the same reason that nobody else can have a substantive discussion with you: you're apparently incapable of engaging in such discussions.

                                            "All I want is for you to be explicit as to your personal beliefs about copyright. Let's get to the bottom of whether you're really anti-copyright and/or pro-piracy."

                                            Oh, good lord, not this again. This statement is a prime example of why having a substantive discussion with you is impossible. This discussion has already been had, more than once, and Mike has explained his stance multiple times, sometimes in talking with you but more often (and more completely) in his articles.

                                            The problem is that Mike's stance isn't as black-and-white as you want it to be -- you're wanting him to say "I am for/against copyright", when his actual stance is more nuanced than that. If you really want to know his stance, read what he wrote. He hasn't hid anything at all.

                                            Your asking if he is pro-piracy -- a question he has answered unambiguously (he's against it) is also fascinating, and feeds into my strong suspicious that all you are really trying to do is maneuver him into a rhetorical trap.

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                                            • icon
                                              antidirt (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 11:42am

                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                              Oh, good lord, not this again. This statement is a prime example of why having a substantive discussion with you is impossible. This discussion has already been had, more than once, and Mike has explained his stance multiple times, sometimes in talking with you but more often (and more completely) in his articles.

                                              The problem is that Mike's stance isn't as black-and-white as you want it to be -- you're wanting him to say "I am for/against copyright", when his actual stance is more nuanced than that. If you really want to know his stance, read what he wrote. He hasn't hid anything at all.

                                              Your asking if he is pro-piracy -- a question he has answered unambiguously (he's against it) is also fascinating, and feeds into my strong suspicious that all you are really trying to do is maneuver him into a rhetorical trap.


                                              I'm sure he thinks it's a trap. He's only answered at a very general level, and he won't get into the specifics. I've been trying for four years to have this conversation with him. You see how much he freaks out when it comes up. He'd rather have any other conversation in the world. I think the reason is obvious: He doesn't want to admit the specifics about what he believes. I've waited four years. I can wait many, many more. Funny how this thread got turned into this conversation. I really only wanted to point out that he's doing the same thing to Tor users as the folks at Tor have identified as a new problem. And of course Mike can't simply admit that either. The man does not take criticism well.

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                                              • identicon
                                                Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 12:11pm

                                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                                The only thing you've tried to do for years is have him answer questions on your terms.

                                                I've seen your version of "debate me". It's essentially, "Here is my question to you mike. [inserts question here] Now, you can answer it. Just keep in mind your answer has to be either [inserts Answer Choice 1 here] or [inserts Answer Choice 2 here]. Those are your only possible choices. Anything else is just 'weasel words' and a sign that you refuse to answer my question honestly or debate me."

                                                I stopped visiting this site for over a year or two.

                                                I hadn't seen you again until the other day, the moment I read your comments I knew right away who you were. Mike doesn't out you, you out yourself.

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                                                • icon
                                                  antidirt (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 12:25pm

                                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                                  The only thing you've tried to do for years is have him answer questions on your terms.

                                                  I've seen your version of "debate me". It's essentially, "Here is my question to you mike. [inserts question here] Now, you can answer it. Just keep in mind your answer has to be either [inserts Answer Choice 1 here] or [inserts Answer Choice 2 here]. Those are your only possible choices. Anything else is just 'weasel words' and a sign that you refuse to answer my question honestly or debate me."


                                                  Here's a simple question that he won't answer: Mike, do you believe that authors should have any exclusive rights to their writings? He won't answer that question. I'm not trying to get him to answer on my own terms. I just want a straightforward answer to a simple question. He can answer it anyway he wants. I'd be happy so long as when he's done, we all know the answer. But he will not answer that question in any way. Ask him yourself. It doesn't matter who's asking. He won't discuss it. He pretends like he won't answer it because it's me asking. That's him dodging a question he doesn't want to answer. This isn't hard.

                                                  Mike doesn't out you, you out yourself.

                                                  I may have implicitly "outed" myself. But the fact remains that Mike explicitly "outed" me. It's hilarious how you guys spin this. Mike absolutely and explicitly connected my old account to my new account. Pretending like he didn't is dumb. And of course, he only does this sort of thing with critics. It's sad. Good grief.

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                                                  • identicon
                                                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 2:09pm

                                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                                    In this thread: whiny, harrassing manchild believes Mike owes him answers after refusing to accept them the first 5 dozen(+) times

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                                                      icon
                                                      antidirt (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 2:22pm

                                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                                      In this thread: whiny, harrassing manchild believes Mike owes him answers after refusing to accept them the first 5 dozen(+) times

                                                      If he's answered it so many times, what's the answer to my question? All I see is Mike stomping his feet and making more excuses. And let me ask you this: Do you agree with me that Mike treats Tor users differently, thus making TD part of the very same problem the folks at Tor are identifying? If not, why not? Let's have some substance.

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                                                      • icon
                                                        Karl (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 9:54pm

                                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                                        what's the answer to my question? All I see

                                                        ...and there's your problem. Mike has answered every single one of your questions. You just refuse to see that he's answered them.

                                                        Seriously, you and I used to have some pretty involved debates, where I learned a lot (by reading the source material, and realizing that you're wrong, but still...). I was incredibly disappointed when I realized that you were the idiotic "moo, quack" dope who obviously was nothing more than a reactionary troll.

                                                        Incidentally, I'm pretty sure I know who you are in real life. I know this not because of IP addresses or anything like that, but because of information that you voluntarily revealed here in your comments, and because your legal arguments are so completely off the wall that only you could make them.

                                                        I won't reveal who I think you are, unless you tell me to guess. But trust me - your loony tunes style is unmistakable.

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                                                        • identicon
                                                          Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 11:29pm

                                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                                          Charles Carreon?

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                                        • icon
                                          antidirt (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 11:08am

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                          Oh, by the way, since I am a financial contributor to you and your site, the least you could do is take a few seconds and take my home IP off of whatever list it's on that causes all my posts to go to the spam filter. I donated because I actually value your site. I read it everyday. Don't confuse my desire for you to be clear about your views of copyright for hate or childishness. I'm genuinely curious what you think. If you need my IP address so you can help me out, just email me. Of course, I'm sure you can figure it out without my help. Thanks, Mike. I hope you'll do me that solid as a gesture of good faith. (And I hope the gear I ordered comes soon! It's been a couple weeks already!)

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                                          • identicon
                                            Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 3:13pm

                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                            antidirt says>> I donated because I actually value your site.

                                            That's quite obvious from your choice of user names.

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                                            • icon
                                              antidirt (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 3:34pm

                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                              That's quite obvious from your choice of user names.

                                              You'd have a better argument over my avatar, since "antidirt" could just reflect my desire for cleanliness. Regardless, I did in fact donate to the site because I value it. I've been an avid reader for several years, so I'm happy to help out. I no longer read anything by "the Tims" or Leigh, but I do value Mike's posts--even though I often disagree with his take. I wish this site was more open to opposing views. Sometimes there's good discussions in the comments, but not as often as there would be if Mike set a better example, IMO.

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                                              • identicon
                                                Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 5:35pm

                                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                                Wow, you're seriously resorting to the "I'm not touching you, am I?" gimmick?

                                                And you wonder why everyone except for the copyright cocksuckers treat you like a kid.

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                              • icon
                                antidirt (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 8:48am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                Keep moving those goalposts.

                                You don't need your anonymity; you regularly shit on it by posting the same things over and over again.


                                How did I move the goalposts? Tor identified a problem where sites treat Tor users differently. Mike admits that he treats Tor users differently by using captcha and routing some posts through Tor to the spam filter. This makes it so that Tor users have trouble participating on Techdirt. I'm sure Mike has legitimate reasons for doing this, but it's also clear that he can't simply admit that he's part of the very same problem Tor has identified. As per usual, he takes no responsibility for his own actions. He's part of the problem.

                                And Mike has again proved here that he doesn't respect my anonymity. Rather than own up to being a part of the problem Tor identified, he made sure that everyone knew my old login so that he could attack me personally. If he truly respected anonymity, he wouldn't have done that. When it comes to his critics, he doesn't respect anonymity. He's only proved that again in the very comment where he denies it. I'm not hiding the fact that I changed usernames. But that doesn't mean it's right for Mike to say it explicitly. He just had to get those personal digs in, so my anonymity didn't matter any more. He had to post that link (the one he never wants to address directly) to discredit me because that's sadly all he can do.

                                He knows for a fact all of things that happened last summer. It was a ridiculous game where, for example, posts that contained certain words were routed to the spam filter because I would use those certain words. He was so desperate to keep me from criticizing him. It was hilarious. And of course he can't admit to any of it. I wouldn't want to admit to it either. The lengths he went to to silence my criticism of him were incredible, yet he pretends like he doesn't know what I'm talking about so he can save face with you guys. I love it. It makes me smile. But the one thing he can't do is ever just have an honest discussion on the merits where he doesn't dodge the tough questions. I suspect he never will. But I didn't intend for this thread to turn into that conversation. I just wanted Mike to admit that he's part of the problem that Tor identifies. Of course, Mike can't just admit that. He could unblock my home IP so my posts don't go to the spam filter today if he wanted to, but he doesn't want to. He likes that his critics have trouble criticizing him. If he could stop me from posting completely, I believe he would in a second. But he knows it's futile.

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                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 9:08am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                  For a spammer, you have an incredibly bloated, over-inflated sense of self-importance.

                                  You're like a dog that shits over everything, playing a funny little game by yourself. If people get annoyed and clean up your shit, you win. If people don't clean up after you, you win. That behavior doesn't get you taken seriously; it gets you filtered just like any decent human would do with something undesirable and anti-social. There's no dealing with you, because you don't want to be dealt with in anything other than what you consider to be a victory, tantamount to little more than a playground bully screaming "Neener neener neener."

                                  That you think this is an achievement is just pathetic, and the fact that you keep coming back for more, spamming through multiple computers and IP addresses - like what your side claims only pirates would do - makes it worse.

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                                  • icon
                                    antidirt (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 9:17am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                    For a spammer, you have an incredibly bloated, over-inflated sense of self-importance.

                                    You're like a dog that shits over everything, playing a funny little game by yourself. If people get annoyed and clean up your shit, you win. If people don't clean up after you, you win. That behavior doesn't get you taken seriously; it gets you filtered just like any decent human would do with something undesirable and anti-social. There's no dealing with you, because you don't want to be dealt with in anything other than what you consider to be a victory, tantamount to little more than a playground bully screaming "Neener neener neener."

                                    That you think this is an achievement is just pathetic, and the fact that you keep coming back for more, spamming through multiple computers and IP addresses - like what your side claims only pirates would do - makes it worse.


                                    How is it spamming? I think it's hypocritical of Mike to publish an article by Glyn about a new problem identified by Tor when Mike himself is part of that same problem. He wants to be seen as a friend to Tor, but his own actions show that he's part of a problem Tor is facing. He won't own up to it. That's not spam. That's criticism. I know criticism isn't welcome here, as you yourself are making clear. But there it is.

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                                    • identicon
                                      Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 5:45pm

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                                      You seem insistent on equating shit-flinging to criticism. It's small wonder no one listens if all you're going to is shit into every listening ear.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 1:09am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                      Because a high volume of Tor access to certain sites are robots posting ads. The captcha does not identify you as anything more than a human at the keyboard. Look at the exit points to see what your problem is. It's not Mike.

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          • icon
            antidirt (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 6:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

            That's really not shocking. "Mike Masnick just hates it when copyright law is enforced" is the cleverest thing you copyright boys think you have to say, and you routinely post on articles even when copyright isn't involved.

            By the way, I'm not the one posting that. Though, I do think it's funny and it makes a good point. Mike absolutely hates it when copyright law is enforced, yet nothing makes him more scared than having an honest discussion on the merits about his personal views of copyright. He wants so desperately for people to think he's not anti-copyright or pro-piracy, yet he runs from any conversation trying to establish exactly what his position is. Everyone knows what he really thinks. Why can't he just say it explicitly?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 11:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

              Since, apparently, you like copyright enforcement - what is you view on extortion attempts sent to individuals in the hope they pay rather than fight? You know, the ones where the recipient is obviously not involved in the infringement they are accused of. Do you love it when granny who does not own a computer is sent a threatening settlement letter?

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              • icon
                antidirt (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:02pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                Since, apparently, you like copyright enforcement - what is you view on extortion attempts sent to individuals in the hope they pay rather than fight? You know, the ones where the recipient is obviously not involved in the infringement they are accused of. Do you love it when granny who does not own a computer is sent a threatening settlement letter?

                I'm not a fan of the "trolls," but I do think they represent a problem. Rightholders are up against thousands if not millions of people violating their rights with no financially reasonable way to do anything about it. I think pointing out the occasional "granny" who gets a questionable notice is disingenuous. I know Techdirt loves to do that, but in my opinion it takes things out of perspective.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                antidirt (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                Since, apparently, you like copyright enforcement - what is you view on extortion attempts sent to individuals in the hope they pay rather than fight? You know, the ones where the recipient is obviously not involved in the infringement they are accused of. Do you love it when granny who does not own a computer is sent a threatening settlement letter?

                I'm not a fan of the "trolls," but I do think they represent a problem. Rightholders are up against thousands if not millions of people violating their rights with no financially reasonable way to do anything about it. I think pointing out the occasional "granny" who gets a questionable notice is disingenuous. I know Techdirt loves to do that, but in my opinion it takes things out of perspective.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:58pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                  So, bottom line - you think the end justifies the means?

                  Things get so out of perspective when there is collateral damage. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone simply overlooked the few people who get trampled and instead looked at the glorious justice that has prevailed.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 5:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

              You think spamming the same message on multiple topics, regardless of relevance or application, is funny and insightful?

              Wow, and you wonder why no one takes you seriously.

              By the way, according to your usual talking points (your in the plural sense of you dickheads with a hard-on for copyright), TOR users are filthy pirates. Hello, filthy pirate.

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              • icon
                antidirt (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:09pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                You think spamming the same message on multiple topics, regardless of relevance or application, is funny and insightful?

                Wow, and you wonder why no one takes you seriously.

                By the way, according to your usual talking points (your in the plural sense of you dickheads with a hard-on for copyright), TOR users are filthy pirates. Hello, filthy pirate.


                Yes, it's funny because it's true. Mike does hate it, and he hates anyone asking him why he hates it even more. In my experience, Mike can't stand criticism, and he doesn't really value anonymity nearly as much as he claims. Hence his desire to treat Tor differently, while his blog pretends to value Tor.

                I'm actually a Tor supporter. I used to run an exit node. I got in trouble with my ISP, so I moved my node offshore. I haven't been into it in a long while though. I paid my Tor dues. That's why I think it sucks that Mike treat Tor users in this way. You'd think he'd be leading the way with Tor, but that's not how Mike rolls. And of course his fanboys can't even criticize him over it.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 8:33pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

                  You and Whatever seriously need to get a room; there doesn't seem to be a brain cell to share between the two of you. You'd rather waste your time spamming the same shit on every article. That doesn't prove your point, that makes you look like an obtuse cunt.

                  For all the ranting you pinheads make about Tor usage to hide your tracks, you seem intent on masking yourselves to make sniping comments and giggle like giddy schoolyard bullies. How mature of you.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Karl (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 8:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

          When posts are routed to your spam filter, sometimes it takes hours until they show up and sometimes they don't show up at all.

          For the record: my posts are being "held for moderation" as well. And I have no inkling whatsoever that Mike, or anyone else on Techdirt, bears the slightest grudge against me.

          Sometimes this stuff just happens. Deal with it.

          It's not like Techdirt has any obligation to provide you with a forum for your stupid rants. And Techdirt is much, much better than most sites, which nowadays require you to link to Facebook or something. And he's not even remotely as bad as Trichordist - where Lowery not only blocked my emails and deleted my comments, but hunted down my school email address, and implied that I would get sued.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      John Smith, 13 Jan 2015 @ 2:18pm

      Re: Hypocrisy much?

      Greetings again. I was blocked by a captcha again today while browsing through tor. It was great for a while. Please fix again.

      Screen shot: http://picthost.net/image.php?di=PG86

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tor User, 5 Sep 2014 @ 11:00pm

    Blocked for using TOR

    I was block from reading this article about websites treating TOR users differently, for using TOR.

    Screenshot of Techdirt blocking TOR users: http://oi62.tinypic.com/a1thy9.jpg

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      alan turing, 6 Sep 2014 @ 8:10am

      Re: Blocked for using TOR

      that's before you even got to techdirt, blame the googles

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      icon
      antidirt (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:11pm

      Re: Blocked for using TOR

      I was block from reading this article about websites treating TOR users differently, for using TOR.

      Screenshot of Techdirt blocking TOR users: http://oi62.tinypic.com/a1thy9.jpg


      Yep, Mike "I love Tor and Anonymity" Masnick makes it hard for users of Tor to be a part of Techdirt. Just don't ask him about it. What hypocrisy? LOL! This guy's unreal.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2014 @ 11:10pm

    dont be fucking retards

    TOR IS CLASSED AS A TRANSPARENT PROXY THOSE AGENCIES ARE SEEING YOU, THEY WANT YOU TO BE LULLED INTO THINKING YOUR SAFE.

    This is the last fucking time i will say this....you retards out there go on be all you can be....remember those anon guys used tor and lolsec and they all got caught

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Techanon, 6 Sep 2014 @ 12:20am

      Re: dont be fucking retards

      That's not directly TOR's fault. If you have poor opsec you will be caught sooner or later regardless.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 6 Sep 2014 @ 7:19am

      Re: dont be fucking retards

      Don't be a bigoted jerk?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Violynne (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 3:49am

      Re: dont be fucking retards

      You apparently don't use TOR, because TOR explicitly states users are not anonymous using TOR alone.

      Tor simply masks IP addresses over secure connections. That's all it does.

      The reason governments hate it comes down to its three hop system, making tracking difficult, but not impossible.

      Other tools are required to remain completely anonymous, such as flashing Linux USB drives, modifying browser add-ons to hide a uniqueness, never using a username that can be tracked to you, and software such as TAILS.

      Even all these doesn't guarantee being anonymous because most users do the worst thing they can do: use their home connection.

      TOR, in it's simplest form, is one of the best tools one can use to mask IP addresses.

      The unfortunate part is companies are purposely blocking IP addresses not registered with ISPs they're familiar with. CAPTCHA being the worst. This isn't just a minor inconvenience as most sites are doing it.

      This is the problem TOR is trying to resolve, and make no mistake, it IS A PROBLEM because several VPN users are also starting to see this block as well.

      I don't know about anyone else, but it makes me uncomfortable as hell a company like Google or Cloudflare are using these techniques to block IP addresses they don't like or can't recognize.

      That's fucking scary indeed. It wasn't like this a few years ago. So what in the hell changed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:05am

        Re: Re: dont be fucking retards

        I don't know about anyone else, but it makes me uncomfortable as hell a company like Google or Cloudflare are using these techniques to block IP addresses they don't like or can't recognize.

        That's fucking scary indeed. It wasn't like this a few years ago. So what in the hell changed.

        Three letter agencies gaining more and more control over corporate computer systems.
        /conspiracy theory

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:51am

        Re: Re: dont be fucking retards

        "It wasn't like this a few years ago"

        You sound convinced, is this based upon fact or supposition?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      anon, 1 Oct 2014 @ 4:10am

      Re: dont be fucking retards

      they didnt get caught through tor...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 1:12am

    Here's a tip for Tor users. A new circuit through Tor's network is randomly chosen every 10mins by default. But if a TCP connection is held open by an IRC program or large download, then that Tor circuit is held open and never closes or changes, until the download finishes or you close the IRC program and disconnect from the server.

    Then there's javascript exploits, iframes, cross-site-scripting and all kinds of other exploits just waiting to bypass Tor. So yes, how you use Tor has a lot to do with your own security.

    I personally use Tor to exercise my first amendment right, without fear of ending up a like a Facebook user who's foolish enough to attempt the same thing. I feel bad for UK citizens. I've been reading about them getting arrested left and right for daring to speak their minds on the internet.

    I recently read a story about a mob descending on a household and killing the entire family for posting blasphemous material on Facebook.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/28/us-pakistan-islam-murder-idUSKBN0FX0GF20140728

    It' s tragic Tor wasn't there to save these people's lives.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Whatever (profile), 6 Sep 2014 @ 7:15am

      Re:

      Yeah, Tor is amazing, it rights all the wrongs!

      Seriously though, Tor saving them is a band aid on a gaping wound, that of intolerant societies. You aren't going to fix that with a few anonymous facebook posts.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 7:38am

        Re: Re:

        Eliminating tools that help people to remain anonymous while telling the world what such regimes are up to only makes it easier for intolerant regimes to eliminate those that they do not like. Unless a problem can be made known, and people organize themselves to resist intolerance, such regimes will only increase their power.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Whatever (profile), 6 Sep 2014 @ 9:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Lovely sentiment, but not really backed up with reality. A regime who really wants to shut people off does just that. In such a country, connecting via Tor would be seen as a crime in and of itself, and dealt with accordingly.

          it's why countries like Iran have essentially a closed internet within their country with very limited outlets. Yes, some people get past it but they are pretty determined to keep the lid on things. Getting caught connecting via proxy to get outside of the country has been dealt with in a very harsh way in the past.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 12:18am

        Re: Re:

        Ah, here you are with your usual "The law is the law" postings.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 11:24am

        Re: Re:

        "that of intolerant societies."

        You mean like the US of A ?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 5:04am

        Re: Re:

        "Yeah, Tor is amazing, it rights all the wrongs!"

        I didn't say Tor rights all wrongs. I said it saves lives.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 2:29am

    i appreciate that without the 'Snowden leaks' we would know almost nothing of the ways we, the ordinary people, have been and still are being spied on. the thing that really pisses me off though is why all this came about, what actually started it and you come back to, as is so often today, to the disgraceful way the entertainment industries have demanded to know what every single person is doing on the internet, eg, what sites they are visiting, whether uploading or downloading is being done at which IP address. this thirst for knowing about everyone, everywhere, at all times is something that no 3rd party should have the right to, let alone have governments falling over themselves to help in any way possible, but usually from installing new laws that further aid this industry to remove our privacy! Tor needs help and i hope it gets it from legitimate sources.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 2:33am

    Sidestepping

    Actually, the ONLY solution is a new, decentralized, and community-based phantom web not beholden to the politico-corporate complex. Keeping out spammers, smutters, snoopers, and saboteurs is the responsibility of the users, not the providers. Please wake up

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 6:25am

      Re: Sidestepping

      Yup, that will solve everything

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 10:04pm

        Re: Re: Sidestepping

        Nope. But it's a start. Better than sarcasm, anyway.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:01am

          Re: Re: Re: Sidestepping

          It's a start ... the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 10:03am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sidestepping

            I'm curious. Do you have any constructive ideas to contribute?
            A clever man once said: “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
            Einstein was his name. Maybe take some inspiration from that...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 11:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sidestepping

              In your efforts to "improve" something it usually ends up being degraded, intentionally, by the nefarious folks who offer to help you. I suggest that people stop fucking with it.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 4:58am

    "Google sometimes gives you a captcha when you try to search"

    Techdirt usually gives me a captcha too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 6:45am

    Until our data becomes our personal property 100% we're all pretty much screwed , it's not just the internet , gotta wonder how info is being shred when you fill out an application send a resume , use your credit /debit card tax records ,every single element of our lives is being spied upon , It's short sited to focus on a tiny piece of the puzzle .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 10:06am

    Tor + stolen user data

    A few years ago, I worked for a relatively sleazy "lead generation/advertising" company briefly. They would be forwarded user registration data and user traffic from bottom-feeder quiz sites and shady download sites, and try to sell folks $20/month ringtone subscriptions and other crap. We saw about 10 million unique users a day, with over half of it from outside US/Canada/Europe.

    When I left, a growing problem was Tor traffic that was also (apparently) using a crappy anonymizer add-on to fill in form data. We would regularly see 5 or 10 thousand distinct users registering with identical fake/stolen data. Sometimes the name would be common or made up, and the address would match a postal drop, like a MailBox Etc. store, but sometimes, rarely, it would be a real person's name and address and phone number. Either way, it was always a California address.

    Also, the choice of names would switch every day at what was 2am Beijing time, with a transition overlap that suggested a browser addon that periodically polled a central server for the credentials. We had other several other reasons to believe this was primarily traffic from China. Also, page view timing strongly supported the idea that form auto fill was being used.

    It was a problem for us in part because they were a disproportionate percent of "buyers" of the "product". About 75% of this traffic "bought", versus about a quarter of a percent from US/UK/CAN source IPs, but our partners usually ended up demanding refunds on these Tor "leads".

    God, I'm so glad I no longer work there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2014 @ 1:56pm

    Funny, but I'm finally getting used to seeing Federal US agencies listed among the usual Enemies of Freedom.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anon, 6 Sep 2014 @ 10:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

    Techdirt is all pro-anonymous, pro free speech. Yet the service they say is perhaps the strongest way to protect free speech is blocked, restricted, or otherwise shackled by a combination of an over enthusiastic edge cache system (cloudflare) and local systems rules. Forcing people using Tor to turn on java in order to be able to access the site isn't a very good way to do things.
    I don't consider cloudflare 'over enthusiastic'. I use cloudflare. It saves resources which I would otherwise have to spend when running my site. The message shown is consistent with Techdirt's system submitting the IP to cloudflare and having cloudflare block it. It's not Cloudflare's decision and so has nothing to do with their enthusiasm or lack thereof.

    Also, there's no reason to believe techdirt's local system was over enthusiastic. You have no idea why the IP that was blocked at cloudflare got blocked. The IP blocked at Cloudflare may have been detected doing something fairly obnoxious-- vulnerability scanning, rfi injection and so on. Hackers and script-kiddies using bots do use Tor for these sorts of things. Even if administrators all understand that IPs are not connected to individuals and that Tor IPs are quickly cycled among users, local rules temporarily blocking IPs after detecting these sorts of behaviors are purdent. Those using Tor may then make a decision to fill out a captcha or not. They can return later. Or they refresh their IP and find one that is not blocked. Or they can post their comments in some other venue where people can read them. These things may be inconvenient; the tor user may prefer other options. But that small inconvenience hardly limits free speech and claiming it is only makes those complaining sound like whiners.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      anon, 12 Sep 2014 @ 7:34pm

      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?

      I wanted to mention that my comment

      "anon, Sep 6th, 2014 @ 10:17pm

      Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy much?"
      Was posted using Tor. I was not presented a Captcha. There seems to have been a delay before it appeared, but I was able to post.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:05am

    hypocrisy

    Thought I would post this, because some folks here seem to not know what the definition is.

    hy·poc·ri·sy
    The behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do.
    Bhavior that does not agree with what someone claims to believe or feel

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypocrisy

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      antidirt (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:26am

      Re: hypocrisy

      Thought I would post this, because some folks here seem to not know what the definition is.

      hy·poc·ri·sy
      The behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do.
      Bhavior that does not agree with what someone claims to believe or feel

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypocrisy


      Are you serious? Mike pretends like he thinks it's important to protect anonymity online in many of his posts.

      For example:

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070118/160351.shtml
      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/201 40130/16415926056/importance-anonymity-wonders-youtubes-saddest-comments.shtml
      https://www.techdirt.c om/articles/20060220/1132247.shtml

      Why does Mike hate Tor? Why does Mike hate free speech? Why does Mike hate dissenting views?

      This isn't hard. He talks the talk, but he doesn't walk the walk.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 11:37am

        Re: Re: hypocrisy

        That is quite a jump to conclusions.

        1) Is it even possible to be anon online?
        2) If you think so, you might want to look again.
        3) If not, what do you mean when referring to the condition?
        4) Is it a matter of degrees?
        5) What exactly is non-anon?

        If you are going to toss out accusations, perhaps others would be interested in why.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          icon
          antidirt (profile), 7 Sep 2014 @ 7:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: hypocrisy

          Point taken. There's no perfect anonymity. But for a guy who pretends like Tor and anonymity are really important, Mike goes out of his way to make those things difficult on his own blog. And when challenged, he plays the "we're just reporting on it" card. That's bullshit. He wants to be seen as a big supporter of Tor and anonymity, but his actions speak louder than his words. In my experience, Mike can't take any responsibility for his own actions. Question a post? He says his errors are OK since the comments will sort them out. God forbid he actually do his homework before posting. Question him? You get your account deleted with no admission or explanation. I've never seen anyone like him. (Thank God.) There's no transparency. No responsibility.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2014 @ 8:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: hypocrisy

            So points taken but Mike is still an ass - got it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 12:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: hypocrisy

            Your double-standards are fascinating.

            On the one hand:

            I think pointing out the occasional "granny" who gets a questionable notice is disingenuous.

            Yet on the other:

            God forbid he actually do his homework before posting.

            So post an article without being 100% right(impossible unless you're talking about pure math, given differing views on things and events)? Terrible, and mock-worthy.

            Send a legal shake-down letter to someone based upon flimsy, faulty evidence? No problem, and it's disingenuous to point them out, after all, it's 'just an accident'.

            Good to know which you consider more important between a legal threat, and an article on a blog.

            You get your account deleted with no admission or explanation. I've never seen anyone like him.

            And yet, here you are, still posting, still whining about how hypocritical Mike is for having an anti-spam system that requires a simple CAPTHCA to bypass for those that use TOR to post.

            Or put in simpler terms: [CITATION NEEDED]. If you've got proof, provide it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Whatever (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 2:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hypocrisy

              No problem, and it's disingenuous to point them out, after all, it's 'just an accident'.

              No, it's disingenuous to use exceptional cases to paint an entire process as a problem. For every "granny" getting a notice, how many decent and valid ones went out? Your heart surgeon would love to have that sort of success rate.

              It's a common problem. Many of the discussions of copyright and patent here are based on taken exceptional, egregious cases and using them to try to define the entire system. There have been more than 7 million patents, a few hundred have been used by patent trolls, so clearly the patent system is broken! There are untold thousands (if not millions) of copyright images, works, and recordings created every day, but every time there is a single case of copyright used in any other than a perfect way, we are told that the copyright system is obviously defective and must be removed.

              Or put in simpler terms: [CITATION NEEDED]. If you've got proof, provide it.

              Techdirt has an automated system that filters posts by IP, browser, cookie, and a few other things... and will automatically put posts from that person / computer / IP into moderation rather than adding them directly. It's a known fact and a given. If you post from an IP from Russia, China, or a number of other places, you are pretty much doomed to be "moderated" to death.

              Techdirt uses Cloudflare. Cloudflare is a very good system, but their default settings include CAPTCHA and others methods for users from common IPs to have to whitelist themselves to get access to sites, and that generally resets every 15 minutes. If you are using TOR and changing exit nodes regularly (as you should), you will almost certainly hit a captcha on every page load. Cloudflare's system does not play well with open relays (which Tor appears to be for all intents and purposes).

              The nature of Tor (changing exit nodes) and Cloudflare together mean that posts may not make it to Techdirt at all, and may not be processed. Those who are processed may get caught in the Techdirt filters.

              No citation is possible, except to say go turn on Tor and try it. I know, it's hard for a non-technical person, but I suspect you can hack it.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 3:17am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hypocrisy

                No, it's disingenuous to use exceptional cases to paint an entire process as a problem.

                Strawman argument. Pointing out 'exceptional'(but common) cases of the system being abused isn't painting the 'entire process' as a problem, it's showing where it fails. If you would like to link to where Mike or one of the other TD writers have stated that the entire DMCA process is a failure, be my guest.

                'The first step to fixing a problem is knowing it's there', you know, that saying?

                Pointing out that there is absolutely zero penalty for filing a clearly bogus DMCA claim? That's showing a problem.

                Pointing out that the DMCA can, and is used to censor sites/comments/critics/anyone you don't care for? That's showing a problem.

                In fact, here, have some reading regarding that one:
                https://www.techdirt.com/search-g.php?q=copyright+as+censorship

                There are untold thousands (if not millions) of copyright images, works, and recordings created every day, but every time there is a single case of copyright used in any other than a perfect way, we are told that the copyright system is obviously defective and must be removed.

                And again, strawman argument. Either provide citations as to where Mike and the other TD writers are claiming that 'the copyright system is obviously defective and must be removed', rather than just pointing out it's problems and where the system is broken or defective, or admit you're putting words in their mouths.

                Techdirt has an automated system that filters posts by IP, browser, cookie, and a few other things... and will automatically put posts from that person / computer / IP into moderation rather than adding them directly. It's a known fact and a given.

                Indeed, and I don't believe anyone is claiming they don't have that system, but the issue is that antidirt, you, and several others see malicious intent to silence your contrary opinions(opinions that still get posted, but lets just ignore that little detail shall we?), whereas others, myself included, see a spam filter.

                Tor is used by spammers and bots. Rather than block every single comment that comes from a Tor connection, as they could, TD instead provides a simple CAPTCHA system so that the comment can be verified to be coming from a human being, rather than a bot. It's really that simple.

                Now, can it sometimes take a while for a comment to make it through moderation? Yes. But unless you're willing to offer your time wading through every single comment that gets caught in moderation, weeding out the actual comments from the spam, complaining that it sometimes takes a bit for those at TD to get to it is petty at best. They've got other things on their plates as well you know.

                No citation is possible, except to say go turn on Tor and try it. I know, it's hard for a non-technical person, but I suspect you can hack it.

                That comment, coming from someone who can't tell the difference between a spam filter and a nefarious plot to block out contrary comments(something dis-proven by the simple fact that you're still posting)... yeah, I really don't think it's your place to be making condescending comments regarding technical anything.

                However, as a matter of fact I did try just that, in order to test an above question as to whether or not java is required to post here via Tor. My test comment was sent to moderation.

                Did I automatically assume it was a sinister plot by the people at TD to silence my test-post? Not being paranoid and/or believing that those at TD are out to get me, I did not. Instead, I assumed it was a combination between the post itself being extremely short('Easy enough to test'), which has gotten comments of mine when signed in sent to moderation, and being posted via Tor.

                If you'd care to look at what's actually happening, rather than just assuming, you might not jump at so many shadows and imaginary plots against you.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Whatever (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 7:13am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hypocrisy

                  Sorry, but cases cannot be exceptional and common.

                  That comment, coming from someone who can't tell the difference between a spam filter and a nefarious plot to block out contrary comments(something dis-proven by the simple fact that you're still posting)... yeah, I really don't think it's your place to be making condescending comments regarding technical anything.

                  Tell you what. I will register 50 Techdirt accounts, crank up Tor, and every time you post I will "report" you into the weeds, because I disagree with you. Would that be censorship? Or would that just be a spam filter at work?

                  If you'd care to look at what's actually happening, rather than just assuming, you might not jump at so many shadows and imaginary plots against you.

                  Congradulations for regurgitating the party line verbatim. The Techdirt staff will give you a gold star. I hope one day you learn to think for yourself.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 7:54am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hypocrisy

                    Tell you what. I will register 50 Techdirt accounts, crank up Tor, and every time you post I will "report" you into the weeds, because I disagree with you.

                    Another reason why not to take you seriously.

                    Remember that by using Tor, you're a filthy pirate, as claimed by all the copyright supporters that make the system work.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    That One Guy (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:24pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hypocrisy

                    Hence why 'exceptional' was in quotes, those that believe the DMCA cannot be abused always like to claim that any such abuses are nothing more than 'anomalies', not worth paying attention to, despite the fact that they are quite common, and range from 'could have been a mistake', up to 'blatant abuse of the system'. And since there's absolutely no penalty for either, it will just keep getting worse and worse as time passes unless the system is fixed.

                    Tell you what. I will register 50 Techdirt accounts, crank up Tor, and every time you post I will "report" you into the weeds, because I disagree with you. Would that be censorship? Or would that just be a spam filter at work?

                    Neither, that would be a child pretending to be an adult throwing a tantrum and lashing out against anyone who dares make then angry/annoyed.

                    Congradulations for regurgitating the party line verbatim. The Techdirt staff will give you a gold star. I hope one day you learn to think for yourself.

                    So holding an opinion on something contrary to yours is an indication that someone can't think for them-self. That an interesting standard you've got there(I might also go with 'egotistical', 'laughable', and 'wrong').

                    Here's a little tidbit you may not be aware of: People other than you can hold valid opinions, opinions that while contrary to yours, can still be correct. You don't have the monopoly on truth or knowledge.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 7:57am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hypocrisy

                  Until these cases actually go to court and have a proper standard of proof, your question of "how many decent and valid" will never get an answer.

                  As far as we know only two of such cases occur. Scared people unwilling to risk lawsuits and coughing up several thousand dollars because wealthy labels threatened them with financial ruin doesn't count as "decent and valid". It just proves people will do anything to get out of the way of a loaded gun.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 5:03am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hypocrisy

                "For every "granny" getting a notice, how many decent and valid ones went out? "

                The collateral damage is ok in your opinion, I doubt granny is in agreement. Your flippant disregard for basic human dignity is duly noted.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 3:25pm

    We should ban cameras

    You know what else should be banned, which facilitates child porn and terrorism? Cameras. That's right- cameras!
    How is child porn made? With a camera.
    Remember the video by ISIS where the terrorists were beheading a journalist? Made with a camera.

    Like people are saying, just because there are good uses for the technology, it should be banned if bad people use it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 8:24am

      Re: We should ban cameras

      "How is child porn made? With a camera."

      Not always. In the US, even drawings of children in sexual situations is forbidden as child porn. So we have to add pens, pencils, crayons, paper, etc. to the list.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 5:33pm

    My final comment on all of this.

    I will also point out something many people might not know. Mike, in his usual deceitful manner, has also made it so that if a comment is reported and blocked, that the original poster will never know because the comment still shows up when they view the site. It remains the same if you log out or even use another browser, which suggests that it's not just user based but also IP based.

    So if you thought the report button was in part there to "educate" offenders, forget it. Mike would rather that those who offend talk themselves rather than actually address the issues.

    There are plenty of things about Techdirt that have nothing to do with encouraging the free speech that he rails for every day. Free speech is great, as long as it's not actually on Techdirt.

    G'nite from here. Now you know more abouttechdirt that you wanted to. Did your opinion change?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 5:38pm

      Re:

      So you're masking your IP address to spam the site?

      You and average_joe seriously need to get a room and talk about all your little mancrushes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 7:32pm

      Re:

      You are still free to speak as you please, no one is stopping you - certainly not the government.

      Your first amendment right to free speech has to do with limitations upon government action(s), it says nothing about freedom from the speech of others who may be in disagreement.

      Happy trails to you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 6:31am

      Re:

      I will also point out something many people might not know. Mike, in his usual deceitful manner, has also made it so that if a comment is reported and blocked, that the original poster will never know because the comment still shows up when they view the site. It remains the same if you log out or even use another browser, which suggests that it's not just user based but also IP based.

      This is a lie.

      I post comments to this site rarely. But, in an article a while back, in a moment of anger at AJ (the very troll puking in the comments right now), I posted a very questionable comment in response to one his comments. That post of mine was reported by the community, as it should have been, and eventually it was collapsed like so many of yours and AJs are prone to being. And, most importantly, I knew that it had been reported because I saw the results of it and it let me know that I'd commented in a way that was not appreciated by the community that I have respect for.

      Whatever, you and AJ (antidirt or whatever he wants to call himself this time around) have your comments reported by the community not because you disagree with Techdirt or other commenters here. No, your posts are reported because you frequently or exclusively (in the case of AJ) engage in trollish behavior.

      I don't even read AJs rantings, or respond to him in any way, because, if you lay down one of his posts from this article and compare to any of his comments on any previous article to date, they are simply nothing but whiny, deceitful, abusive and trollish comments. I instantly hit the report button on any comment he makes and feel no regret or guilt in doing so. Nor will I start in the future feeling regret or guilt in doing so. AJ has lost my respect and will not get it back short of issuing an unconditional apology to every member of this community, in writing.

      Your comments are frequently whiny, deceitful, abusive and trollish as well. But, unlike AJ, I don't automatically report your posts. You have not yet reached the level of AJ trollishness and you can sometimes actually disagree and articulate that disagreement in a way that does not rise to the level of trollishness. But, in the day that I cannot get through the comments of an article where all your comments are totally off the rails, you'll start getting default reported by me.

      Other folks here in the comments may be willing to tolerate and engage with the two of you. I, on the other hand, have no patience for either of you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:17am

        Re: Re:

        I post comments to this site rarely. But, in an article a while back, in a moment of anger at AJ (the very troll puking in the comments right now), I posted a very questionable comment in response to one his comments. That post of mine was reported by the community, as it should have been, and eventually it was collapsed like so many of yours and AJs are prone to being. And, most importantly, I knew that it had been reported because I saw the results of it and it let me know that I'd commented in a way that was not appreciated by the community that I have respect for.


        antidirt pointed to a comment of mine earlier in this thread as having been "reported" to death. Yet for me, that comment was completely visible, with no indication of it being reported. As far as I could see reading the thread, the comment was still live and still visible, even when viewed with a different browser and on a different device.

        I, on the other hand, have no patience for either of you.

        Not to worry, I won't miss ya. Seriously, if hearing the other side of the story, hearing the devils advocate view, or hearing something you just don't want to deal with is going to get you upset, then yeah, you need to skip my posts. I agree with Mike sometimes, but I often find that he sees things a certain way and has a sort of willful blindness to reality. Some of his "staff writers" try even harder, so you can imagine how that reads.

        It's all in how you view things. You can except what is shoveled at you, or you can question it. I'm not eating what's on the shovel.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 5:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You're responsible for half of the things that are on that shovel. antidirt, average_joe or whatever name he wants to post off his wife's laptop and cheat the spam filter is responsible for the other half.

          It's clear that you two still won't learn that shit-flinging does not constitute criticism; it's shit-flinging.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 8:27am

      Re:

      "if you thought the report button was in part there to "educate" offenders, forget it"

      Who thought that? I thought it was just to make the comment section easier to read for everyone else, while still allowing people to read all the comments if they wish to.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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