We have more news from the Snowden front as Der Spiegel reports one a joint NSA, GCHQ program dubbed treasure map. Although the program was originally revealed by the NY Times in late 2013 it was originally described as a network mapping program with no surveillance application. This claim is no longer holding up as more and more information come out about the two agencies plans to map the entire internet in real time.
Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPV6) has officially launched in certain areas of the globe. The replacement for the aging Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPV4) is said to have built in security, Encryption capabilities and a ridiculous number of address combinations making it sustainable for a very long time. The downside is that, as with many core technology updates, there are not many products that use it and the average home user is facing a pretty steep learning curve in getting things going.
In what can only be described as a “the pot calling the kettle” style move corporations, the US Congress and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) have all gotten together to keep the Internet Free. When we first read the headlines about the UN having a conference in Dubai to discuss the possibility of moving governance of some aspects of the Internet to them (actually the ITU) we chuckled a little bit. When we heard the garbage spewing from members of congress and the FCC we began to outright laugh.
The EU Parliament will be voting on ACTA this week. If you have been living under a rock lately ACTA (Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement) is a US backed bit of legislation that wants to establish better control over the internet for copyright holders. The agreement has been the subject of controversy not only for the oppressive terms, but also for the secretive way in which it has been presented. In many cases only certain members of a country’s government have been given access why the copyright lobbies have had full access and a hand in setting it up.
So Google is now adding a listing of takedown requests to their transparency report to show that they are working with copyright holders and the government in the war on piracy. If you remember back in the days of SOPA and PIPA Google was one of the only companies that was allowed to speak at hearings about the terribly written law. At the time Google was accused of only being interested in search revenues and of hindering efforts to combat piracy online.
Remember SOPA and how much of a stir it caused? Well it seems that we may face another round in the ring with a new law championed by the MPAA. At least that is what the indicators are at this point. We mentioned when SOPA was shelved that this was a distinct possibility and one that we should watch out for. This was right after MPAA CEO Chris Dodd made his now infamous threats to members of congress about not being there when they needed him.
SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, TIPA, and more acronyms than most people care to think about are what is in the news. All of these pieces of legislation are designed with one thought in mind; to control the Internet. Now this may sound like little more than a crazed conspiracy theory, but it is not. You see right now the Internet represents a real threat to many businesses (and governments).
A while ago we wrote a piece that talked (in simple terms) about how Anonymous could kill the internet through attacking the root DNS servers. The article was written with the intent to give a background on the system in place and how it works. We did not then, nor do we now believe that Anonymous would take down the internet. As with all of the threats to take down twitter, Facebook and other forms of communication it would be exceptionally counterproductive. If Anonymous were to take down the internet and prevent connecting to servers via DNS it would lose many of their followers and supporters for at least the length of the hack.
A new Anonymous splinter group has hit the scene with a name that is sure to bring back bad memories for the authorities. The name as many of you might have heard is LulzSec Reborn. If the name is any indication it means that either some of the old members of LulzSec are back or people that were sympathetic to the LulzSec cause have reincarnated the name for their own purposes. The question is; regardless of who is behind this new group, what are the purposes.
Facebook has not always been on the side of user privacy. In fact they have gotten into hot water about many of the features that they want to, and indeed have implemented. These are features like auto-tagging and facial recognition, the use of user pictures for their targeted ads. Storing user information after the user deletes it and even keeping deleted profiles after the user leaves Facebook. Now in what could be a PR move (and probably is) or could really be their concern over a new issue Facebook is telling users not to disclose their Facebook account passwords to employers, potential employers or during interviews.