Tag: Internet

Proposal To Establish HTTP Status Code 451 For Websites Blocked By Censorship

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

ietf-logoWith the increasing frequency of government censorship and take-down orders blocking content hosted on web servers, a consortium of internet stakeholders has proposed to the IETF an RFC Draft (recently published) proposing a standard error response given to clients that the web page or resource sought has been blocked for legal reasons.

The proposal uses the status code 451, a reference to Ray Bradbury’s book “Fahrenheit 451”.

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A Concerning Look At Privacy In Cloud Computing

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

300px-Rolling-thunder-cloudThere is an interesting video on Slashdot of an interview with Tom Henderson, principle researcher at Extreme Labs, Inc. He provides a primer into his well founded concerns on privacy in the world of cloud computing. His research has led him to the position of distrust of companies hired to store data on behalf of users as opposed to the advantages of these users self-storing and archiving. It is reminiscent of the convenience placed above privacy that is coming to a greater magnification today and likely to be more so into the future.

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Edward Snowden gives TED Talk on saving the Internet

by Charlton “Chuck” Stanley, weekend contributor

TED2014 Edward SnowdenFor those not familiar with the TED Talks, they were the brainchild of Richard Saul Wurman, an architect and graphic designer. TED was intended as a single presentation in Silicon Valley back in 1984. TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment, Design. The talks have grown from a handful of views and participants into millions of views. Presenters have come from every walk of life and culture, including entertainers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and educators.

TED has recently redesigned their website, hosting their own original content videos. What does that mean? They are immune from copyright takedown demands. Many people livestream and record the videos. That means it is virtually impossible for anyone to censor or take down a TED Talk. Copies are out there in the wild. At least, they are out there until the Internet is destroyed, but even then, they will be circulated on film and digital media much like the pamphleteers of long ago. I am sure everyone recalls those troublemakers Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin. I posted a story on February 1, entitled Edward Snowden Speaks. In that story, we discussed the mysterious takedowns of the German TV interview with Mr. Snowden on YouTube almost as fast as they appeared.

A few days ago, Edward Snowden was a guest speaker at the TED2014 annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The 2014 conference celebrated the 30th anniversary of TED.


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Net Neutrality Vote In Europe Stirs Debate On Internet’s Future

Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

European Pariament LogoThe European Parliament is considering the notion of Net Neutrality in Europe, similar to a debate present in the United States.

Net Neutrality is in general the practice of prohibiting Internet Service Providers, Telecommunications Providers, and Networking Services from giving favorable access or download speeds to entities they wish to give advantage via preferential treatment relating to agreements or other considerations. End users would under Net Neutrality be afforded with equal access to material unconstrained by their service providers.

The vote is scheduled for February 24th of this year.
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Satellites As A Free Speech Tool

Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

SputnikWith many reports becoming all to familiar with state sponsored censorship of internet traffic users in these nations are engaged in a cat and mouse game with a government that is showing increasing levels of sophistication and legislative muscle. The tactics often used include filtering objectionable material, firewalling targeted IP addresses, tracing data back to individuals and sanctioning those individuals, and creating a system of fear generally in which the public is dissuaded into engaging in free speech.

The common element in these electronic censorship measures is that the government controls access via the physical structure of the network. They are able to do this through land based infrastructure. But what if these physical vulnerabilities to free speech and press were removed and instead replaced with broadcast satellite systems that are immune from filtering and geo-locating individuals?
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