Someone just shared this with me this morning so I thought I’d put it here so I can come back to it. The map represents DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacls from data gathered by Google…
Freedom House, a human rights group has published their 2013 Report of Internet Freedom, and being some of the major developments this year it is worth reassessing where we think we stand:
1. Blocking and filtering: In 29 of the 60 countries evaluated, the authorities blocked certain types of political and social content over the past year. China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia were the worst offenders, but filtering in democratic countries like South Korea and India has also affected websites of a political nature. Jordan and Russia intensified blocking in the past year.
2. Cyberattacks against regime critics: Opposition figures and activists in at least 31 countries faced politically motivated cyberattacks over the past year. Such attacks are particularly prevalent during politically charged events. For example, in Malaysia and Venezuela the websites of popular independent media were repeatedly subject to DDoS attacks in the run-up to elections.
3. New laws and arrests: In an increasing number of countries, the authorities have passed laws that prohibit certain types of political, religious, or social speech online, or that contain vague restrictions related to national security that are open to abuse. In 28 countries, users were arrested for online content. In addition to political dissidents, a significant number of those detained were ordinary people who posted comments on social media that were critical of the authorities or the dominant religion.
4. Paid progovernment commentators: A total of 22 countries saw paid commentators manipulate online discussions by discrediting government opponents, spreading propaganda, and defending government policies from criticism without acknowledging their affiliation. Spearheaded by China, Bahrain, and Russia, this tactic is increasingly common in countries like Belarus and Malaysia.
5. Physical attacks and murder: At least one person was attacked, beaten, or tortured for online posts in 26 countries, with fatalities in five countries, often in retaliation for the exposure of human rights abuses. Dozens of online journalists were killed in Syria, and several were murdered in Mexico. In Egypt, several Facebook group administrators were abducted and beaten, and security forces targeted citizen journalists during protests.
6. Surveillance: Although some interception of communications may be necessary for fighting crime or combating terrorism, surveillance powers are increasingly abused for political ends. Governments in 35 countries upgraded their technical or legal surveillance powers over the past year.
7. Takedown and deletion requests: Governments or individuals can ask companies to take down illegal content, usually with judicial oversight. But takedown requests that bypass the courts and simply threaten legal action or other reprisals have become an effective censorship tool in numerous countries like Russia and Azerbaijan, where bloggers are threatened with job loss or detention for refusing to delete information.
8. Blocking social media and communications apps: 19 countries completely blocked YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or other ICT apps, either temporarily or permanently, over the past year. Communications services such as Skype, Viber, and WhatsApp were also targeted, either because they are more difficult to monitor or for threatening the revenue of established telecommunications companies.
9. Intermediary liability: In 22 countries, intermediaries—such as internet service providers, hosting services, webmasters, or forum moderators—are held legally liable for content posted by others, giving them a powerful incentive to censor their customers. Companies in China hire whole divisions to monitor and delete tens of millions of messages a year.
10. Throttling or shutting down service: Governments that control the telecommunications infrastructure can cut off or deliberately slow (throttle) internet or mobile access, either regionally or nationwide. Several shutdowns occurred in Syria over the past year, while services in parts of China, India, and Venezuela were temporarily suspended amid political events or social unrest.
The original content of this post is now on the following page.
An old proverb: You don’t defeat nations with armies, you defeat them with ideas; Its a sad state of the internet when one nation spends more money on defence than all nations on earth combined, and consider the digital realm to be their battleground.
As a term, information warfare, or IW, remains in use worldwide, in the militaries of other countries as well as in some of the U.S. military services. The Navy now has an IW officer position, which it advertises as involving “attacking, defending and exploiting networks to capitalize on vulnerabilities in the information environment” (U.S. Navy, undated)…
…Social networks, as part of the information environment, are also a part of such conflicts or struggles. As noted by LTG Michael Vane, “Army forces operate in and among human populations, facing hybrid threats that are innovative, networked, and technologically-savvy” (TRADOC, 2010a, p. i). Internet-assisted social networking is now a part of the operational environment, as events in Egypt, Moldova, Iran, and even Pittsburgh have made clear. Social networks are a growing and increasingly relevant element of the information environment…
…Harkening back to the birth of the information operations concept out of command and control warfare in the late 1990s, this doctrine aggregates the areas of electronic warfare (EW), computer network operations (CNO), psychological operations (PSYOP), military deception (MILDEC), and operations security (OPSEC) as core capabilities, despite the fact that some of these concepts are quite dissimilar.
As net citizens, as world citizens; we need to fight this war on ideas with bigger and better ideas. The IP is mightyer than the sword.
Some folk are still end-users of the 20thC technology known as television, I dont hold too much animosity to those users as we cant always be connected to an IP. Anyway, those folk may have seen a program Underground on one of the networks last night, about a young software developer and activist known as Julian Assange.
Not being one to make use of the broadcast protocol, I will wait for the story to come out on eBook in the past.
From the Forward (Pastward?)
By releasing this book for free on the Net, I’m hoping more people
will not only enjoy the story of how the international computer
underground rose to power, but also make the journey into the minds
of hackers involved. When I first began sketching out the book’s
structure, I decided to go with depth. I wanted the reader to
think, ’NOW I understand, because I too was there.’ I hope those
words will enter your thoughts as you read this electronic book.
Copyright © 1997, 2001 Suelette Dreyfus & Julian Assange
I’m intending to spend a good deal of the day researching Australian Defamation laws involving politicians… because I dont have enough experience in that already.
Yesturday the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security released the Hansard form the Potential reforms of national security legislation hearing. Im still reading thru it but I still feel the need to share as these potential reforms will change our information landscape.
There are many ways to classify things but there are perhaps three ways of classifying here. There is content such as telephone calls, which is at the top level, that requires the most privacy and the highest degree of scrutiny and a warrant before interception occurs. Then there is content such as short message services—text messages—which are short things, which of technological necessity will be retained for a short time and perhaps often will not be as private as spoken phone calls, although that may reflect my age. Then there is the metadata of which you speak, which, if I may draw an analogy, is a bit like a phone bill. I would think that many citizens would want far more privacy protections for the content of what they actually say on the telephone than for the contents of their phone bill. Privacy applies to both, but perhaps there is a need for a graded set of regulations that recognises the difference. I am certainly not arguing that telephone calls—people’s spoken words—and analogous things should be recorded at all. There is room for a short period of retaining some content data like SMSs—that would be the highest and there may be some lower forms of data. Metadata is in a different category altogether, one would think, when trying to strike the balance.
Back when I was a student I aspired to work in the glamours world of the music industry, needless to say that didnt happen, but here is one of the many gigs I filmed at the time.
It was shot on a Canon XM1, but as you can see this upload has been thru the codec blender (blame the producer, not me. I didnt upload it)
More info can be found on the producers MySpace page (Im mentioned by name on this site…)
Google charts is an amazing piece of API, the data is there for you to use however you want. Supporting SVG and HTML5, this is a great tool to integrate within any site to display metrics visually.
The idea that remote control planes are attacking civilian targets worries me, the idea that they are attacking anything worries me. So you can only guess my reaction when I read this in wired:
A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America’s Predator and Reaper drones, logging pilots’ every keystroke as they remotely fly missions over Afghanistan and other warzones.
The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying their missions overseas. Nor have there been any confirmed incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source. But the virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech’s computers, network security specialists say. And the infection underscores the ongoing security risks in what has become the U.S. military’s most important weapons system.
what really worries me on reading the article is that the USAF dont seem to be that concerned about it and that they are relying on instructions found on Kaspersky’s website. Surely one of the most hi-tech organisations would have better tech support than that?
So is it a harmless keylogger virus or is there something more sinister at play here? What groups would have an interest in this kind of information (well that list is a long one) and whould have the skillset to perform such an attack on a closed system? Given that Kaspersky was mentioned in the article; would it be Russian hackers working for…? one can only speculate.
but given this breach, it would also be wise if the USAF grounded their drone fleet. infact even without the breach they should ground those birds..
I have previously posted before, our democratic freedoms are being circumvented online by an organised campaign against progressive ideals. This is no surprise to anyone who has been trolled out of online debates by neo-conservative posters zealously upholding the status quo.
So it should also be no surprise that this kind of Social Engineering is being utilized by corporate interests to manipulate the clean energy debate. As this report from The Montreal Gazette states:
The marketing has involved professional bloggers working for M THIRTY, a Toronto-based communications firm, who actively use social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter to simulate or kick-start online conversations with a consistent message promoting the views of their clients.
In the above instance it was stated the client was the Ontario Power Workers’ Union, however this type of faux user-generated content is available to any corporation or NGO who is willing to fit the bill. A price for opinion, so to speak.
The problem with this kind of assault of our freedom of expression is that it is a divide and conquer method to exponentiate any internal disputes within the groups where misinformation like this is posted. A reader of such a debate who is trying to learn the issues surrounding the topic is bombarded with this type of disinfo in such a way that they are unable to discern the truth from the marketing.
So how can the general public be expected to know the difference between a PR campaign and actual User-generated content? here are some of my thoughts:
Marketing professionals use marketing language–such as “weasol words”, pejorative words and phrases to cause an emotive response with the reader. Logic is reason, not emotion.
What are antagonists doing in the forum in question?, if they have a negative view of the topic in general, then why are they even concerned to join in the debate.
Who are these people blaming for the problem?. if there is a clear target of blame then is it congruent with the views of the forum which it is posted?.
- Ganging up:
Often it is more than one profile attacking a thread, look into those that are quick to support the questionable postee, are their views in line with those of the forum?.
there are other ways to tell an agent provocateur however one must remember that no checklist is fool-proof. There are a over a billion people on the web, and some of those people are idiots, trolls or even just ill-informed. But its good to know that the “shills” (as they say on conspiracy websites) do exist, and will try to manipulate your ideas.
Be forever vigilant. The internet is serious business.
In a follow-up to my post from earlier re: Political Trolls, last night the ABC’s Four Corners aired this piece on the climate change debate called “The Climate Wars”. I think the following quote from Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi really sums up the current political climate over new media:
I’ve always sought to build a movement, not an empire. I want as many, you know, like-minded groups out there advocating for what they think is important – not what Cory Bernardi thinks is important.
If they’ve got a good idea about a blog or you know an activism initiative that they want to pursue, if I’ve got the money and the resources to help them, I will do that.
Now, I don’t necessarily have to agree with everything they do or everything they say. I just want people to get out there and have a go.
The entire article is below (thanks to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
So basically yes, the fascist dogs are manipulating the media to their own agenda, and its up to us to do something about it… then this morning the ABC aired a programme about Phone Phreaking and the early days of hacking–maybe the ABC is trying to manipulate me to go after these shites!. (BTW: the Sydney Morning Herald is a sharepoint driven site so dont even bother going after Andrew “Im a fuckwit” Bolt.
After all, it was those inflammatory remarks from right-wing retards which caused me to disable my Facebook.
READERS NOTE: This is my original work was originally posted on my no-longer active Murdoch blog on April 14th, 2010.
I have decided to post my MCC124 essay here on the blog so you may comment and critisize it. Its fairly short of the required 1500 words so I dont expect to be given a high mark for it. Before I paste it into here I would like to share a quote from the song “Evolution” by 311:
Evolution has expontential timing it’ll be
Half as long til the next breakthrough that
blows are mind
It’s up to the people to brave on with
Move forth the species by using our
But can we handle it
Could we dismantle it
Or should we fear the void and just be
If it’s understood it could be used for good
If you will believe in all we can conceive
Describe the impact of piracy, p2p and/or file sharing on the digital distribution of media.
In 2007 Radiohead, a popular musical act released their seventh studio album, In Rainbows in a way not seen before from such a well known musical, act: They made their album available to download, at a cost decided by the consumer, from the bands website—as well as making a hard copy available to be purchased by fans in conventional music stores1. It was big music conceding defeat in the digital distribution war.
The distribution of media through piracy, even p2p is not a new phenomenon. Video piracy was widespread with the consumer availability of VHS recorders, software piracy plagued developers since programming shifted from hard-coded chips to the floppy disk, and music piracy was no different2. With technological advances come new methods of breaking the law, it must follow then that legislation needs to keep up-to-date with emerging technological trends.
Digital distribution of music was not a new concept for the music industry3 in 2007, the time this white surrender flag was waved. By 2007 the case of Napster was long in the past and Apple’s iTunes store was now five years old. The music listening public had made their choice and it was up to the artists and record labels to catch up—people were not going to stop downloading music, (no matter what the cost?).
Not so much that’s it was the musicians themselves, as most of them shared their voice with the people in the battle cry for digital distribution, Acts as diverse as pop music’s Moby4 and Prince; New Metal band Slipknot; and the anti-establishment political rap group Public Enemy5 had been long advocates of digital distribution; In the case of Public Enemy, this stance put them up against their own label: Def Jam6. The record label, the face of the enemy.
Recording companies were the biggest opponents of digital distribution, primarily because it was seen to undermine their position in the music industry heavyweights, the generals and brigadiers leading their elite squads of musical acts in the pursuit of money and fame. The record companies saw digital distribution as synonymous with piracy and responded with legal actions against its proponents—both those end users downloading music, but also those that put in place the infrastructure to accomplish this.
Sony was one recording company that had tried, and failed horribly to counter digital distribution in 2005 with their DRM software7. People who had brought compact disks legitimately, were the casualties, a root-kit installed on a users computer once the CD was inserted into the optical drive, making the users computer vulnerable to malicious code. It was the wrong approach, for the kids of generation Y, downloading music was seen as a rebellion against an over-zealous corporate establishment8. Punishment for rebellion would only prove counter productive.
Apple, makers of designer electronics, had taken a different tact. Unlike Sony, Apple did not see digital distribution as a threat to their existing business model. Apple may not have had the massive back catalogue of music it owned rights to, but it did have dominance over the MP3 player market, so the choice to embrace digital distribution with its iTunes store could be seen as less of a risk. By October 2007, Apple had secured rights to distribute “digital” boxed sets from 1970’s super group Led Zeppelin9, people would still download music, even if they did have to pay for it.
Legislation was seen as something that needed to be brought into line with the emerging technologies, legislation that was fair to both user, creator and publisher. After the Napster case hit US courts, a “Digital Recording Act” was proposed10. Without a legal framework corporate interests would still look at digital distribution with an eye of mistrust, they needed a guarantee of return-of-investment on their stockpile of music11.
What the success of the Apple model of distribution, over Sony’s DRM failure taught musicians was that the old paradigm of selling music was becoming obsolete, and it followed that the record companies themselves were obsolete. Artists could do away with the corporate drill, and take on their own means of getting their music to their audience. Bands had taken on this endeavor before, as militant anti-government rap group Public Enemy had done. But popular music had yet to free itself from the corporate hierarchy—that was until an internationally known pop band Radiohead released “In Rainbows”, in its first month online over a million copies were downloaded taking US$3 million, from 40% of those users choosing to pay. At an average of $6(US)12, proving digital distribution can still be lucrative for the artist.
What the significance of In Rainbows had to the digital distribution of media was not a technological one, but a larger cultural paradigm shift. Indy bands, and militant rappers had embraced the technology before, but this was confined to smaller sub-cultures. The mass adoption of digital distribution had been proven effective, and it wasn’t until In Rainbows was this acknowledged by anyone from within the corporate music mainstream. This act meant not that the battle lines had been redrawn, but that the war was finally over.
- Wikipedia, “In Rainbows” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Rainbows
- Kembrew McLeod, 2005, “MP3s Are Killing Home Taping: The Rise of Internet Distribution and Its Challenge to the Major Label Music Monopoly”
- Sean Ebare, 2004, “Digital music and subculture: Sharing files sharing styles”
- Moby, “Napster” 2001 www.moby.com/journal/2001-01-29/napster.html
- John Borland, 2000, “Rapper Chuck-D throws his weight behind Napster” news.cnet.com/2100-1023-239917.html
- MTV News, 2000 “Public Enemy Leaves Def Jam, Will Distribute Next Album Online” www.mtv.com/news/articles/1427080/19990114/chuck_d.jhtml
- Molly Wood, 2005, Cnet News, “DRM This!” www.cnet.com/4520-6033_1-6376177-1.html
- Carrie James, 2009 “Young People, Ethics and Digital Media”, Page 53, MIT Press
- Apple Co, (Press Release) 28th October 2007, “Led Zeppelin Digital Box Set…” http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/10/23itunes.html
- Raymond Shih Ray Ku, 2001, “The Creative Destruction of Copyright: Napster and the New Economics od Digital Technology”, University of Chicago Law Review.
- Jeevan Jaisingh, 2004, “Piracy on file sharing networks: Stratergies for recording companies”, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology.
- Wired Magazine, 12.18.2007, “David Byrne and Thom Yorke on the Real Value of Music”, http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/magazine/16-01/ff_yorke?currentPage=all#ixzz0jlXr4Ley
Most dont like to admit it, but we all have our political opinions. Its when a general election comes around that we tend to more vocal of said opinions, and a federal election is slowly approaching. People have expressed their view on politicians in numerous and sometimes hilarious ways, from the political cartoons that satire those in power, to having a one on one discussion with a friend or collegue. The advent of New Media had broadened our outlets of dissent (or compliance?).
Social Networking Sites are one such avenue. Using the example of Facebook; we can make a politicaly charged status update, join “groups” of people with similar convictions, engage in legitimate discussion, or even troll. As voters there is little restriction on what we can and can not say, as we are mearly exercising our opinion. Governments however, have restrictions imposed on what they can say to the media.
An example of restrictions on government announcments I would like to cite is “Caretaker Mode”. I wont divulge into detail, but basically means Ministers and their respective departments can NOT introduce or announce any new policy once the election has been called. There are also restrictions on political/campaign advertising, tho these are less stringent.
But where does the line get drawn?. Joe Citizen, of no political persuasion is entitled to voice his concerns regarding current political and social issues, and this is important to democracy so those on the campaign trail can hear the voices of their constituents, or would be voters. However there are citizens who have a political agenda, and who are Members of registered political parties. These party faithful have the same rights to express their opinions as those of the laity. In the old-media paradigm the party faithful are easily spotted: The double breasted suits of clean shaven conservatives are easy to differentiate from the Bearded, Che Guavara shit wearing Socialist Alliance–even without the visual aids, the language used by these groups is un-mistakable. We, the undecided Joe Citizen*, can tell what lies are told by whom.
New Media presents us with some new issues. The ability to remain anonymous over the tubez is one such problem, without an identity how do we identify the lies we are told?. Another issue, which is related to the former is that of Trolling. A user has the ability to pretend to be someone else, and enter into an online political discourse of those whos views are dissimilar to that of their own and disrupt the dialog by inserting false, misleading or even defamatory comments with the intent to create political divisions between other users.
One only needs to look at the comments on the Facebook posts of Triple J’s radio programme Hack, to see the evidence of YLNP trolling. A traditionally left, youth orientated public broadcaster, would not be expected as an online hangout for Australia’s young conservatives, but the comments testify otherwise.
Not only are the posts misleading but they are often irrelevant and hinder any legitimate political discourse–not to mention the impact they could have on first time voters. If this trolling were limited to one or two disruptive individuals, it would have little to no effect on the discussion. However, it is obvious this is not the case, clearly this trolling is organised politicaly. On researching the profiles of the trollers it reveals that most of the white noise, political red-herrings and neo-con retoric comes from the mouths/keyboards of party faithful.
As more people take up social media, one can only expect the more politically motivated trolling will occur. It follows then that the more trolls there are, the less REAL discussion there is on relevant political and social issues. Adapting or creating legislation to curb this trend may seem like a necessity, tho this action may indeed backfire, as how do we determine those that are political trolling, and who are just politically challenged.
I think its time we looked back at Voltare:
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
Voltaire, (Attributed); originated in “The Friends of Voltaire”, 1906, by S. G. Tallentyre (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)
French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694 – 1778)
but I think its time we modify it to this day and age:
I may not agree with your words but I will still listen and let you have your say, that does NOT mean I wont ridicule you for being an idiot.
It is important people have a voice–especialy a political one, so legislation is not the appropriate modus operandum. Better action would be to have the logical, moral and intellectual upper-hand, and let these idiots make their cries from the dress-circle because the rest of the audience are here for a show.
And it helps to “block” your profile from known trolls so they can not see your fluid, rational and well thought out argument…
* Im trying to be impartial, tho I can not hide the fact I am on the left of the political spectrum.