Info pirates seek an alternative internet
There are two articles, related, one is posted below and for the
other a link is provided.
Its quite clear that the debate about "various freedoms" is
intensifying and the response from most of the countries , whose
untidy beans are being spilled has been to do what they have always
wanted to do "curtail more freedom" in the name of better security.
and then go after the messenger. That in their pursuit of "so called
criminals " extraordinary efforts and political maneuvering is
undertaken only highlights the scare that wikileaks is causing among
the "affected" . Wish they would show the same sense of urgency when
it comes to all the criminals and murderers and scamsters who hide
behind political doors and corporate fences .
One wishes for a lot more Julian Assanges and a lot more
wikileblowers, but what seems s sure is that we should see a lot more
information being spilled onto the net now that people know that there
are ways and means and possibly more knowledge about how to do it
safely and anonymously, including the use of snail mail.
1. Info pirates seek an alternative internet
2. Wikileaks defended by Anonymous hacktivists
Info pirates seek an alternative internet
* 17:23 06 December 2010 by Paul Marks
After dumping thousands of secret US diplomatic cables in the public
domain last week, WikiLeaks ended up losing its web hosting company –
twice – and its wikileaks.org web domain to boot as providers got cold
feet about its content. But a plan being hatched by fellow travellers
in the file-sharing community may shield the controversial data dumper
from such takedowns in future.
It all started with a tweet on 28 November: "Hello all ISPs of the
world. We're going to add a new competing root-server since we're
tired of ICANN. Please contact me to help."
This missive, complaining about the Internet Corporation for Assigned
Names and Numbers, was from Peter Sunde, an anti-copyright activist
based in Sweden and one of the founders of The Pirate Bay website,
which tracks the locations of copyrighted movie and music BitTorrent
files. It instantly lit a flame among file-sharers. "That small tweet
turned into a lot of interest," Sunde blogged two days later. "We
haven't organised yet, but are trying to… we want the internet to be
uncensored. Having a centralised system that controls our information
flow is not acceptable."
Taken down on a whim
What's their beef? The file-sharers believe that ICANN, which controls
the internet's domain name system (DNS), takes down web domains at the
whim of politicians and industry bosses, if they are considered to
infringe the law. The DNS is effectively a phone book for the net, a
look-up table which converts a website's URL into a machine-readable
IP address that locates the relevant server and brings users their
requested page. The DNS comprises 13 large registry computers, called
root servers, dotted around the world. Each holds an identical copy of
the internet's master look-up table. If a domain is deemed illegal,
ICANN can render it useless by simply steering traffic away from it.
Sunde has lost at least one domain this way, seeing it taken over by
music trade body the International Federation of the Phonographic
Industry and, with others, faces a huge fine and prison for running
The Pirate Bay. The wikileaks.org domain name was lost last week when
the provider, EveryDNS, terminated it.
So activists, led by Sunde, hope to construct an alternative registry:
one that will initially work like existing systems, but which in the
long run will become a decentralised, peer-to-peer (P2P) system in
which volunteers each run a portion of a DNS on their own computers.
By breaking up the internet phone book and hosting it in pieces, they
will strip ICANN of its power. Any domain it tries to take away will
still be accessible on the alternative registry.
The exercise that Sunde and his colleagues are undertaking - if it
ever gets off the ground - is reminiscent of Search Wikia, an attempt
to make a distributed ad-free search engine to rival Google. Run by
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, the site aimed to be open and honest
about its search algorithm, so that advertisers couldn't exploit
loopholes in it for unfair advantage. But with its index spread around
a few thousand volunteer servers, it could not reach anything like
Google's scale or speed, and folded its tent in April 2009.
Oddly, Wikia - the parent company of Wikipedia - owns the domain names
wikileaks.net, wikileaks.com and wikileaks.us - for reasons not yet
clear. They expire in January.
Ben Laurie, a London-based security consultant and a former technical
adviser to WikiLeaks, thinks the alternative internet idea is
eminently feasible. "Technically, this is all pretty easy. What they
have put together already is really quite professional. Persuading
everybody to use it is going to be the difficult bit. Why should
people trust it more than ICANN's root server?"
He thinks WikiLeaks is the kind of premium content that could convince
people to take it up. If it works, a sort of "shadow internet" could
form, one in which legal action against counterfeiters and copyright
scofflaws would be nearly impossible.
Still, ICANN does a lot of work managing the 280 top level domains –
such as .com and .org plus the 248 national suffixes – and the
frequent changes made to them. "A lot of people think ICANN is a waste
of time, and I often agree, but it does some important things these
people will not be able to," says Laurie.
Indeed. The back story to all this is that Sunde and colleagues Carl
Lundstrom and Fredrik Neij, on 26 November lost an appeal in the
Swedish courts and face a £4.2 million fine - and prison terms varying
from four to 10 months - for running the Pirate Bay. They are now
making a final appeal to Sweden's Supreme Court.
Laurie feels ICANN's proprietorial attitude to the net needs
challenging. He recalls a manager from one of ICANN's political
overseers, the US Department of Commerce, collaring him at an Internet
Engineering Task Force meeting. "I've come to find out what you are
doing with my internet," she said. That's an attitude the P2P DNS
crowd will surely be hoping to change.
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