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  • Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:21am

    This is another waste of resources

    The FBI thinks it can wiretap everything simply by strong-arming ISPs into providing "back door" access to all communications. But not all communications which transit an ISP is subject to an ISP back door. Email secured by third party certs like Comodo, Globalsign, SwissSign, .... etc are not vulnerable to any ISP back doors, nor to FBI authority. Files attached and encrypted by a whole host of encryption schemes like PGP/GPG and TrueCrypt are likewise not vulnerable.

    So, the FBI's push for these back doors will have no effect on those who want to keep their communications secret from the FBI. It will only be a privacy intrusion to those who have no want or need for privacy.

    From a law enforcement perspective, this push by the FBI is a useless waste of effort and resources. I thought the FBI had graduated from being "Fabulous But Incompetent". Criminals have, and will continue to have, access to secured communications via existing Internet infrastructure. That genie is out of the bottle, and can't be put back in. What the FBI is thinking here is beyond me. Perhaps I am missing something?
  • Jul 2nd, 2012 @ 9:39am

    Re: Tracking

    Governments are incapable and corporations are unwilling to provide any online privacy. So, you have to take personal responsibility for your own privacy. Like most everything else in life if you want it done right do it yourself!

    Do Not Track Plus Blocking tracking @

    5 companies tracking you:
    5 blocked
    Google Analytics
    Comscore Beacon

    1 ad network tracking you:
    1 blocked

    Tracking blockers, Judicious cookie controls, plus the use of an off-shore VPN, keeps my systems PRIVATE. I see little hope for any regulations or "declarations" replacing what each of us can do for ourselves. In today's climate of rapacious capitalism, where money sets the paradigm and writes the laws, looking to corporations or to governments is simply a waste of time, and will only lull you into a false sense of security.

    If you don't like to be tracked, don't allow it!
  • Mar 21st, 2012 @ 6:16am

    It's your "friends" fault. Sue them too!

    When I send an email to a friend, it does NOT come with my permission to publish my personal information to the world!

    In the good old days, when names, phone numbers, birthdays, addresses, email addresses .... were kept in those nice leather-bound address books, one could become righteously pissed if your "friend" posted copies of your information in a newspaper! Modern address books contain LOTS of data, from voice phone numbers, to cell numbers, to fax numbers .... to home addresses, work, job title ..... When you give this information to "friends" or to associates, there is a fair expectation that they keep it private, and for their personal use.

    I am not on any of these social nets, and yet, I get spammed regularly by them. Why? Because stupid and inconsiderate "friends" have divulged MY information to these spammers without MY permission.

    Yes, get pissed at the app makers, at the social nets, but I get more pissed at these "friends" who have published my personal information without MY permission.

    Every idiot who uploads other people's personal data to third parties should be named in these class action suits. They are as, or MORE culpable than the spamming companies they deal with. When an app asks for your permission to upload your address book, not only is YOUR permission required, but the permission of everyone in your address book is required as well. What gives you the right to publish MY personal information, which I gave you in confidence?

    The Cyclops
  • Dec 17th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    (untitled comment)

    > But that doesn't mean it won't do a ton of damage before it dies.

    In my opinion, the damage will be sustained by the industries pushing this. I see them doing irreparable damage to themselves, and to their paid congressional shills. If you see your enemy running towards a cliff, it's tactically advantageous not to warn them.

    The backlash to this and similar crap is already evident. Popular resistance is never born out of comfort, but rather out of discomfort. Make the American people a bit more uncomfortable, put the screws to them a bit harder, and they are more likely to get off their asses and resist. I see SOPA as another thorn of discomfort, a pinprick in their lazy butts, nothing more.

    Fundamentally, SOPA is merely another symptom of the larger problem facing us. Benito Mussolini, the father of modern fascism, put it succinctly when he wrote: "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."

    Therein lies our core problem. Corporate power has subjegated and corrupted our democracy, our economy, and our culture. We the people no longer rule ourselves, corporations do. Science and facts have become irrelevant. The methods by which SOPA/PIPA have, at great financial expense, been purchased in congress is further testimony to that fact.
  • Dec 17th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Unbelievable

    > The government could ... also make VPN
    > ILLEGAL if it wanted to.

    They could also make toilet paper illegal; that would be just as unenforceable, and won't stop folks from using it.
  • Dec 17th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Re: Alternate DNS?

    > I'm surprised no one mention adding a foreign DNS server
    > IP as your "alternate DNS" in your network settings.

    No, It's trivial for your ISP to block all traffic destined for port 53 (DNS) outside their domain. The same way many ISPs block outbound port 25 access except to their servers.

    The ONLY away around ISP meddling (for any service) is to tunnel outside their networks via a VPN.
  • Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:50pm

    Re: Re: Much to do about nothing

    > They'll just get VPNs banned or something, calling it a tool
    > solely used for infringing .....

    These laws are fundamentally unenforceable. The genie is out of the bag, and can't be put back in. E-Commerce, banking..... depend on encryption. Corporate access and work from home depend on VPNs..... In the end, the network will not allow itself to be crippled in order to prop up an ancient and outdated business model of a corrupt industry. These attempts will fail, just like the attempts to stifel player-pianos, cassettes, and CDs, failed.

    The Internet is International. The idea that the U.S. will be able to stop it's natural development is absurd. These trogolodites are shooting themselves in the foot. They will simply drive business off shore, and all for what? To preserve an out-dated method of distribution?

    This is the 21st century. It's as absurd to think that the entertainment industry can force us to go back to buying vinyl records, 8-tracks, or DVDs, as it is to think they can force us to NOT obtain content on the Internet. THEY must move on with the times, or be left behind, and ruined.

    They can evolve, or they can go extinct. I see no enforceable set of laws, which can stop progress. "Piracy" (and I really don't like that term in this context) only exists because there is a market out there, a vacuum for content, which the entertainment industry is not filling. Until they do, no law will stop the fulfillment of the demand.

    They need to take a look at the lessons learned about prohibition, and what it wrought upon our society before it was repealed. This is no different, and it's end will be the same. These laws are an exercise in futility.
  • Dec 16th, 2011 @ 4:47pm

    Much to do about nothing

    Really! SOPA/PIPA is technically impotent on arrival. It requires U.S. based ISPs to falsify DNS records bound to their subscribers, and possibly falsify routing tables as well.

    They can't bugger with the actual Country-Code secondaries, nor with off-shore routers, as the U.S. doesn't have legal or physical access to them. These kinds of "blocks" are trivially easy to circumvent. Why howl over something so innocuous? Why not let the fascist bums spin their wheels and squander their time and money?

    All these laws are likely to accomplish, is to spark more extensive use of VPNs, encryption, private/local DNS servers, and Darknets, which in these days of Big Brother government, and corporate greed, would be a good and healthy practice SOPA or not.

    I have been using VPNs for years, mainly to circumvent DPI, port-blocking, and DNS re-directs.


    I can vouch for these!
  • Dec 16th, 2011 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Unbelievable

    > I'm not going to give ideas to anyone about how to do it,
    > because that's not my goal.

    Actually it's only $8.00/Month. See:

    You can connect/exit from any of the listed countries at will on your one account. When connected, you are DHCP'd to a foreign IP and DNS server.

    I have been using them for a couple of years. Reliable and fast! You can be Japanese one minute, Polish the next, Dutch!...... any of the 10 countries in which they have exit nodes. Oh, and they keep no Logs.
  • Dec 15th, 2011 @ 9:47am

    Re: Piracy

    > You don't support piracy, do you?

    That all depends on your definition of piracy. I do not accept the term as defined by the MAFFIA. I do not approve of locking up our culture under the guise of copyright for the purpose of pure greed. Copyright law has gone wild; Micky Mouse is still copyrighted! That's INSANE! See -- as is a lot of our culture.

    Copyright was designed to give temporary exclusivity to creators, and then the creation was supposed to pass into the public domain. "Piracy" is merely a reaction to the perversion of copyright.
  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    (untitled comment)

    > If I live in Michigan, buy from a company in Texas,
    > which ships the product out of Indiana,
    > o my gift recipient in New Mexico,
    > which tax rate applies?

    This is a perfect example of why this is totally unenforceable.
  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:09am

    Re: sales taxes are for buyers, not retailers

    > The buyers pay the sales tax, and get the
    > infrastructure benefits in the local jurisdiction.
    > Retailers only act as the collection agent

    Wow! Don't you think the retailers should be paid for their new job as tax collectors / collection agents? They should work for free on behalf of the state? Really?
  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Re: The complexity is unworkable

    IP addresses do not necessarily identify an individual, or their location. Because of the rampant DNS/Search re-directs and ISP DPI snooping, mainly for profit, I run my Internet connection through a Canadian VPN. For all intents and purposes I am in Toronto Canada, and not in NYC. How is a sales-tax law supposed to target me based on my IP? It can't!

    IP addresses are irrelevant! This "law" is total bullshit, and can never be enforced. If I was to purchase a big-ticket item, I would do it on-line via an out-of-country VPN.

    It would seem congress is totally clueless when it comes to the Internet. How have we elected such idiot Dunsels?
  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:23am

    Re: Jurisdiction

    I agree with everything you have said! What I don't understand is how any federal statute, allowing states to collect out-of-state sales taxes, can possibly be enforced. It seems impossible on it's face.

    Here in NYC we are supposed to declare all out-of-state, out-of-city purchases on our tax returns, and pay the difference between the sales tax paid to the selling state and the NY state/city sales tax differential. I don't know of anyone who does this. I certainly never have! It would not be possible for me to do so even if I wanted to. I drove to the Bronx for many years transiting from NY through NJ, where gas and sales taxes were lower than in NY. I bought all my gas in NJ. Am I supposed to keep a record of all the NJ gas purchases and declare them to NY? I am not a crazy fool! Of course not!

    Not one part of this proposed legislation is enforceable. It's DOA! It matters not if it were to be passed. There is no way this could be enforced.
  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 6:25am


    Does the city of NY have jurisdiction to enforce tax collection on an out-of-city/out-of-state business? I don't think so!

    How could this possibly be enforced? I can see mega-businesses like Amazon voluntarily acting as out of state tax collectors, but what about the small business? The independent musician? What can a state, city, or municipality do when these small businesses simply refuse to collect taxes for them?

    I see this proposal as largely unenforceable.
  • Jul 6th, 2011 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re:

    The entertainment industry has become the abuser. This "piracy" is an appropriate, massive, popular reaction to their abuse and greed.

    Copyright was supposed to protect owners AND the public sphere. It was implemented fairly as a fourteen year exclusivity right, so authors can make money, and then the public could freely enjoy the fruits of society.


    Don't/can't watch a TV show when freely aired? PAY ME

    Want to replace a scratched dvd movie or a song you already bought 4 times (on vinyl, on cassette, on 8-track, on dvd)? PAY ME AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN and AGAIN for 70 years past the owners death.

    Want to watch your TV in another room? PAY ME MORE

    Want to see it on your phone? PAY ME EVEN MORE

    Want to watch it on your computer? Gimigimigimi MORE MORE MORE

    Want to hear a 40 year old song, which should have been in the public domain decades ago? PAY PAY PAY.

    And if you don't like all this, tough shit, we will extort reams of money from you like the mafia does, with the help of our bought and paid for courts.

    This kind of behavior deserves a severe public reaction. The very reaction it is getting.

    You say Rojadirecta isn't doing well. That's to be expected, as they were one of the first to be hit with this. However, look at all the biggest P2P sites like ThePirateBay, and IsoHunt, they are not only thriving, but growing, and untouchable by ICE and IP-PROTECT. Things like Mafiaafire redirector, and the increasing use of off-shore VPNs, and international domains, will make it impossible for this to be stopped. Only the entertainment industry can stop this, no one else, and not by thuggish mafia-like tactics either. They have to start serving their audiance in the way their audience wants to be served.

    What "better and more efficient ways" are there to deal with the problem? Make good quality entertainment easily available on-line at a fair price. The solution is totally in the entertainment industry's power to implement, only greed is preventing them. Look at iTunes! It's profitable, and fair. It used to be that I could buy a single song on a 45RPM record, now if I want that song, I have to buy a CD with 90% crap on it for a lot more money. Why should I have to buy a dvd with commercials on it, when all I want to buy is a single movie? Keep your dead fragile plastic media sell it to me on-line at a fair price.

    The trouble is that the entertainment industry refuses to evolve with a changing technology and audience, and for this they will fail. At every technological turn they have fought tooth and nail. They opposed the sale player pianos, of reel to reel tape recorders, cassette players, dvd burners..... now with this new technology, they are stymied and are trying to keep a terribly dated business plan alive by censoring the entire world wide web. They will fail, and they deserve to fail.
  • Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    (untitled comment)

    > Or, the bill gets passed, the courts uphold it
    This is very likely.

    > the internet doesn't break
    By definition returning invalid DNS information is breaking the Internet

    > sites that are dedicated to infringement disappear
    There is nothing in this bill which will accomplish this. It merely gives legal cover to what ICE has already been doing. That program has been an utter failure. The most notorious sites are alive, thriving, and well. What makes you believe that codifying a failed system into law is going to work any better? Bear in mind this law only applies to the U.S. and has no effect outside our borders. There are better and more efficient ways to deal with the problem.

    > the sky is not falling
    No, the sky is not falling. We are simply giving an already corporate-corrupted government unnecessary powers which are ineffective to the stated goal, and which they will only abuse.
  • Jul 6th, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Bottom Lines

    First: Taking punitive action against someone based on an allegation is not constitutional. We still live by the rule of law; by the rule of innocent until proved guilty. Worse, taking federal government law enforcement action against someone based on a civil complaint violates due process. So this piece of shit is not legal, and should die in the Supreme Court. However, given this Court's propensity to side with big business and greed, I won't be holding my breadth.

    Second: It simply will not produce the desired results. The U.S. government does not control the Internet. Dot Com and Dot Net yes, because Verisign is a U.S. entity, but the Internet is far wider.

    Third: Those who feel threatened, or affected by this (whether rightly or wrongly) will simply register abroad. Overseas DNS providers and VPN operators, search engines, advertising companies, and financial processing firms, will see a boon in their business, and U.S. jobs will be lost.

    This law will do nothing to thwart copyright infringement, but merely move a portion of the Internet out of this country. Not only that, but faced with the very real possibility of being shut down on a mere accusation (by a competitor for instance), many other businesses will flee preemptively. Overseas Domains, collocation facilities, and bandwidth providers will benefit, we will lose. Proof of this can be seen when we look at the ICE take-downs. Nuked sites came back up almost immediately, only they came up overseas, with safe domain names. It's sad that the very country which invented the Internet will be seen as an unsafe place!

    Fourth: This is a very slippery slope. Once you give any government, or industry in this case, the power to silence communication, it will inevitably be misused for other purposes. Don't like the political or religious views of someone? Simply accuse them of infringement, and they are gone without recourse. This thing will open a Pandora box of censorship. We may find ourselves behind the great Internet wall of America, just like China.

    Finally: Breaking the very foundational technology which makes the Internet work, simply to protect an industry which stubbornly refuses to keep up with the times, and innovate, is absurd. The Internet is all about innovation, new ways of doing things, new business models, new freedoms and opportunities for the twenty-first century. This law will stifle innovation in America, and we will be left behind in yet another area.

    The Cyclops
  • Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright law, especially in the US, has gotten way out of hand. It does far more harm than good, and needs an overhaul. A good documentary on the subject can be viewed here:

    This is a great film!
  • Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > The government can't do anything about it, nor
    > you, nor anybody, but you want others to do it
    > for you anyways?

    This is a technical fact. COICA, even if implemented can't stop file sharing. First, the Internet is International, and no US law has jurisdiction over all of it. Second, if DNS is altered to not point to blacklisted sites, lists of blacklisted IPs will simply circulate via USENET, Email, or websites. In fact, what you will have created is a concise directory of infringing sites, making infringing even easier than it is now.

    The Genie is out of the bottle, and there is no way to stuff it back in. Look at the hilarious side-show with respect to the pirate bay. It's a funny whack-a-mole game, and they have actually expanded without so much as skipping a beat.

    Every time the entertainment industry goes on a rampage, technology (private trackers, off-shore VPNs, encryption, etc...) steps in to obviate the attack; while making more and more fans of their content pissed enough at them to actually begin pirating. This simply can't be stopped by laws or by technology. What the entertainment industry has to do is adapt their business model to take advantage of what is current reality.

    COICA may be DOA, but even if it isn't, all it will do is create another useless and impotent government bureaucracy which will have the opposite effect from what it was intended to do.

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