Thursday, December 30, 2010

BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down

The whistle blower website Wikileaks.org has been taken down by U.S. based host, Amazon.com, after it was pressured by the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee. According to the Christian Science Monitor:

The website WikiLeaks.org is no longer functioning, after its US-based domain host on Thursday terminated service for the controversial site. The expulsion forced WikiLeaks to relocate its domain name with a Switzerland-based domain name host, and the website is now found at WikiLeaks.ch.

Perhaps fittingly, WikiLeaks' new domain name host is the Swiss Pirate Party, which the Associated Press calls "a political group formed two years ago to campaign for freedom of information and sensible technology policy." The New York Times reported that the party is a branch of the Swedish Pirate Party, according to the website whois.com.

Former domain name host EveryDNS.net, a subsidiary of New Hampshire-based web host Dynamic Network Hosting, said in a statement on its website that it booted WikiLeaks at 10 p.m. EST on Thursday.

"The interference at issues [sic] arises from the fact that wikileaks.org has become the target of multiple distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks. These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the EveryDNS.net infrastructure, which enables access to almost 500,000 other websites," the statement says.

Multiple distributed denial of service attacks [DDOS] are completely illegal, and completely disruptive to the world wide web and very costly because they operate by creating massive amounts of bogus Internet traffic in an effort to jam up one site. That traffic has to be handled and hundreds of Internet engineers must stay up all night trying to figure out just what the hell is going on. Just as hundreds of Internet engineers spent last weekend trying to figure out what was happening to these 82 domains. When our government fails to play by the rules [ and the rules of the Internet require openness about just how everyone is handling traffic ] there is no end to the disruption it can cause.

DDOS attacks are not trivial to pull off because they typically require the control thousands of computers on the Internet. I hope the organization behind this DDOS attack is found and prosecuted. But given the nature of the attack and it's target, I suspect that in this case our government is carrying out Internet crime rather than solving it. So don't wait for Eric Holder to announce arrest warrants of those who are behind these recent DDOS attacks on WikiLeak's U.S. host.

When the Obama Administration seized 82 domains over the weekend, the Daily Kos largely ignored the issue. I wrote a NYTimes website publication of that story just 6 hours after Eric Holder announced the seizure of domains of an unprecedented magnitude served to obscure the really important breaking news in the area network neutrality. How can we seriously talk about network neutrality if we allow the government to determine what information can even be distributed on the Internet?

Now they have pressured Amazon to taken down WikiLeaks. Will there be at outcry here now?

Also it should be noted somewhere that Assange is being taken down now, not to stop him from dropping dime on the Wars or America, which he has already done, or the State Dept. of America, which he has already done, it is being done just in time to stop him from dropping dime on the Bank of America.

Interesting.

UPDATE: An Open Letter to Amazon.com Customer Service from Daniel Ellsberg, rec'd 10:30pst
Dear friends:

I hope you will join me and others in boycotting Amazon--inconvenient as that may be--to provide some counter-pressure to efforts by Senator Lieberman and the Administration to demonize, hound, block and prosecute Wikileaks, and ultimately to control whistleblowing and dissent on the internet.

Note: After sending this letter to Amazon.com and to the websites below, I looked on Google News and found that antiwar.com had already launched a boycott effort, citing reasons that I share: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/antiwarcom-launches-boycott-of-amazoncom-after-retailer-drops-wikileaks-111205949.html Moreover, I hadn't yet read this terrific column by Glenn Greenwald, http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/01/lieberman/index.html (I read Greenwald every day, but I'm in the grip of a bad cold at the moment.) If you need more background, check out antiwar.com and Google News on Wikileaks, Assange, Amazon, etc.

I don't take it for granted that all my friends will agree with me about Wikileaks or Amazon. For those who do, this looks like a useful action."

[Note to editors: I hope that any sites that now encourage their readers to make purchases through amazon.com will consider ending this arrangement as antiwar.com has done--publicizing the reason for it to your readers-- even though I know that it means a loss of much-needed income for your operations. Let's not leave it to Joe Lieberman to call on a boycott! It's not only Wikileaks that is now under threat, and not only from Congress or Republicans.

Yours,
Dan Ellsberg

UPDATE 2: Government Sanctioned Private Seizure of Domains?

In checking the various WikiLeaks outlets as listed in wikileaks.info I noticed that wikileaks.com is replaced by a graphic that says "Sorry! This site is not currently available." This image is hosted at http://images-pw.secureserver.net/images/unavailable.jpg which is a GoDaddy.com server. This raises the troubling possibility that GoDaddy is holding a domain that doesn't belong to it.

Cosmos Engineering is the computer company I started in 1984. CosmosEng.com is the domain I purchased in 1996. At that time there was only one registrar, Network Solution. Fortunately, that monopoly got broken up and the annual fee dropped from $35/year at NS in 1996 to $10/yr. at GoDaddy today. Before I had GoDaddy as my registrar, I used Gandi.net out of France for $12.00 euros/yr. Now I'll be moving it offshore again because GoDaddy doesn't own that domain, I do, and if they are going to start taking advantage of the trust I have put in choosing them as my registrar, by seizing domains on anybody's orders, I will take my business to a land were liberty is still valued!

UPDATE 3: Reporters Sans Frontières [Reporters without Borders] issues statement, it read in part:

This is the first time we have seen an attempt at the international community level to censor a website dedicated to the principle of transparency. We are shocked to find countries such as France and the United States suddenly bringing their policies on freedom of expression into line with those of China. We point out that in France and the United States, it is up to the courts, not politicians, to decide whether or not a website should be closed.

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on this subject:
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal

FCC Internet Rules! It's Not About Net Neutrality

The whistle blower website Wikileaks.org has been taken down by U.S. based host, Amazon.com, after it was pressured by the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee. According to the Christian Science Monitor:

The website WikiLeaks.org is no longer functioning, after its US-based domain host on Thursday terminated service for the controversial site. The expulsion forced WikiLeaks to relocate its domain name with a Switzerland-based domain name host, and the website is now found at WikiLeaks.ch.

Perhaps fittingly, WikiLeaks' new domain name host is the Swiss Pirate Party, which the Associated Press calls "a political group formed two years ago to campaign for freedom of information and sensible technology policy." The New York Times reported that the party is a branch of the Swedish Pirate Party, according to the website whois.com.

Former domain name host EveryDNS.net, a subsidiary of New Hampshire-based web host Dynamic Network Hosting, said in a statement on its website that it booted WikiLeaks at 10 p.m. EST on Thursday.

"The interference at issues [sic] arises from the fact that wikileaks.org has become the target of multiple distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks. These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the EveryDNS.net infrastructure, which enables access to almost 500,000 other websites," the statement says.

Multiple distributed denial of service attacks [DDOS] are completely illegal, and completely disruptive to the world wide web and very costly because they operate by creating massive amounts of bogus Internet traffic in an effort to jam up one site. That traffic has to be handled and hundreds of Internet engineers must stay up all night trying to figure out just what the hell is going on. Just as hundreds of Internet engineers spent last weekend trying to figure out what was happening to these 82 domains. When our government fails to play by the rules [ and the rules of the Internet require openness about just how everyone is handling traffic ] there is no end to the disruption it can cause.

DDOS attacks are not trivial to pull off because they typically require the control thousands of computers on the Internet. I hope the organization behind this DDOS attack is found and prosecuted. But given the nature of the attack and it's target, I suspect that in this case our government is carrying out Internet crime rather than solving it. So don't wait for Eric Holder to announce arrest warrants of those who are behind these recent DDOS attacks on WikiLeak's U.S. host.

When the Obama Administration seized 82 domains over the weekend, the Daily Kos largely ignored the issue. I wrote a NYTimes website publication of that story just 6 hours after Eric Holder announced the seizure of domains of an unprecedented magnitude served to obscure the really important breaking news in the area network neutrality. How can we seriously talk about network neutrality if we allow the government to determine what information can even be distributed on the Internet?

Now they have pressured Amazon to taken down WikiLeaks. Will there be at outcry here now?

Also it should be noted somewhere that Assange is being taken down now, not to stop him from dropping dime on the Wars or America, which he has already done, or the State Dept. of America, which he has already done, it is being done just in time to stop him from dropping dime on the Bank of America.

Interesting.

UPDATE: An Open Letter to Amazon.com Customer Service from Daniel Ellsberg, rec'd 10:30pst
Dear friends:

I hope you will join me and others in boycotting Amazon--inconvenient as that may be--to provide some counter-pressure to efforts by Senator Lieberman and the Administration to demonize, hound, block and prosecute Wikileaks, and ultimately to control whistleblowing and dissent on the internet.

Note: After sending this letter to Amazon.com and to the websites below, I looked on Google News and found that antiwar.com had already launched a boycott effort, citing reasons that I share: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/antiwarcom-launches-boycott-of-amazoncom-after-retailer-drops-wikileaks-111205949.html Moreover, I hadn't yet read this terrific column by Glenn Greenwald, http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/01/lieberman/index.html (I read Greenwald every day, but I'm in the grip of a bad cold at the moment.) If you need more background, check out antiwar.com and Google News on Wikileaks, Assange, Amazon, etc.

I don't take it for granted that all my friends will agree with me about Wikileaks or Amazon. For those who do, this looks like a useful action."

[Note to editors: I hope that any sites that now encourage their readers to make purchases through amazon.com will consider ending this arrangement as antiwar.com has done--publicizing the reason for it to your readers-- even though I know that it means a loss of much-needed income for your operations. Let's not leave it to Joe Lieberman to call on a boycott! It's not only Wikileaks that is now under threat, and not only from Congress or Republicans.

Yours,
Dan Ellsberg

UPDATE 2: Government Sanctioned Private Seizure of Domains?

In checking the various WikiLeaks outlets as listed in wikileaks.info I noticed that wikileaks.com is replaced by a graphic that says "Sorry! This site is not currently available." This image is hosted at http://images-pw.secureserver.net/images/unavailable.jpg which is a GoDaddy.com server. This raises the troubling possibility that GoDaddy is holding a domain that doesn't belong to it.

Cosmos Engineering is the computer company I started in 1984. CosmosEng.com is the domain I purchased in 1996. At that time there was only one registrar, Network Solution. Fortunately, that monopoly got broken up and the annual fee dropped from $35/year at NS in 1996 to $10/yr. at GoDaddy today. Before I had GoDaddy as my registrar, I used Gandi.net out of France for $12.00 euros/yr. Now I'll be moving it offshore again because GoDaddy doesn't own that domain, I do, and if they are going to start taking advantage of the trust I have put in choosing them as my registrar, by seizing domains on anybody's orders, I will take my business to a land were liberty is still valued!

UPDATE 3: Reporters Sans Frontières [Reporters without Borders] issues statement, it read in part:

This is the first time we have seen an attempt at the international community level to censor a website dedicated to the principle of transparency. We are shocked to find countries such as France and the United States suddenly bringing their policies on freedom of expression into line with those of China. We point out that in France and the United States, it is up to the courts, not politicians, to decide whether or not a website should be closed.

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on this subject:
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal

WikiLeaks Revelations Spur UN & US Internet Takeover Plans!

A lot has happened in CyberSpace since the FCC last addressed the questions of Net Neutrality and it's authority to regulate the Internet. It will do so again today. For month's now, the advocates of Net Neutrality have been demanding that the FCC assert unprecedented authority over the Internet for the purpose of protecting Net Neutrality. Now they will be shocked, shocked to find that the FCC has seized unprecedented authority over the Internet and then did little to insure Net Neutrality. While FCC Chairman Genachowski has kept the exact wording of the proposed new Internet regulations from the public, what has been leaked sounds as though they offer even less protection for network neutrality than the legislative proposal Google/Verizon made in August. However that is besides the point. It is my thesis that the current U.S. debate about the exact nature of FCC regulations around Net Neutrality misses and even obscures the much more fundamental question of jurisdiction: What right does the U.S. government, or any government for that matter, have to regulate the Internet? Another important question: Where does the main threat to Internet freedom come from?

While the commercial interests of corporations do pose a long term threat to our Internet freedoms, including the principle that all data is treated the same without regards to source or destination, i.e., network neutrality, those companies are neither the most powerful nor the most immediate threat to our Internet freedom. That is what the FCC lobbyists that have turned Net Neutrality into a fetish, would have you believe. That is because in a period in which increasing economic hardship will necessarily leads to greater social upheaval and growing political unrest, the greatest and most immediate threat to our freedom on the Internet comes from the authoritarian state. At a time when we are being lied to like never before, the free Internet allows us to get at the truth. At a time when we are being controlled as never before, the free Internet allows us to organize a collective resistance. This is why the government needs to bring the Internet under its control now.

Most likely the word "WikiLeaks" won't even be spoken at the FCC hearings today, but you can be sure that it will the represented by an antonym in any regulations proposed by the FCC. That antonym is "lawful" as in these laws give the Federal government the power to protect "lawful" Internet content which also means giving it the power to ban 'un-lawful' Internet content. The problem arises because it is the same government that determined that the cold blooded mass-murder of a group of civilians in Baghdad, including 2 Reuters journalists, as revealed in the WikiLeaks released video "Collateral Murder", was a lawful killing. That same government will determine that the WikiLeaks exposure of it's crimes constitutes 'un-lawful' Internet content and will ban it as they are already trying to do now outside the law.

The U.S. government has been demanding and taking greater and greater control over the World Wide Web in 2010. In April the Federal Court of Appeals strong response from the hacker community, WikiLeaks stayed up, Mastercard went down and a new form of the old struggle was born on the Internet.

The Internet has always operated as an file a complaint here. The Chinese didn't even try and neither did the U.S. government.

And there's the rub. This is where the U.S. government has had an unfair advantage as compared to the Chinese government or the House of Saud. For historical reasons, the root name servers are located here in the U.S. The Internet first came alive in 1969 as a network between 3 U.S. based computers. In the past, ICANN has always let the contract to run the root name servers to American companies, but it has always been the World Wide Web. The fact that some of the vital Internet infrastructure is located in the U.S. doesn't give us ownership of the Internet, any more than the location of the UN headquarters in New York gives us ownership of that international organization. It's location here is a trust. It is a trust which the Obama administration violated by serving court orders on the companies that work for ICANN.

This particular U.S. advantage is likely to be short lived. Just as I 87 Internet engineers predicted in their letter, and as many other knowledgeable observers have predicted, alternatives to the unified, but U.S. based, name server system are already being planned and some websites are taking steps now to end their dependence on what is looking more and more like a U.S. government controlled DNS system. This is the disaster that is facing the Internet now. This is what is ending the Internet as we have known it now. It is the attempt by the U.S. government to take unprecedented control of the Internet that is the greatest threat of our freedom in that media.

Those that think the main issue for the Internet now is "Net Neutrality" have turned the phrase into a fetish. They have a very narrow and limited view of how the Internet works and the freedom and domination issues it is really facing.

Those that call for the FCC to declare it has authority to regulate the World Wide Web under the Communications Act of 1934 are feeding our Internet freedoms to the jackals.

FCC's Trojan Horse

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on this subject:
WikiLeaks Revelations Spur UN & US Internet Takeover Plans!
BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal

No American TV News for War Opposition?

I just thought it should be noted somewhere that yesterday there was a pretty big anti-war demonstration in front of the Whitehouse led by Veterans for Peace. 131 people were arrested including a number already well known to the MSM including Daniel Ellsberg and Ray McGovern, two-thirds of those arrested were veterans and I couldn't find any TV News mention of this event.

Civil Resistance to Wars at the White House on 12-16-10

Also yesterday, the Obama administration released it's review of the war in Afghanistan, which meant that every national TV news program ran an Afghan war segment yesterday.
OLBERMANN: The president‘s report is released. We‘re right on track to achieve our goals in Vietnam—Afghanistan. Sorry, sorry. Afghanistan.
Olbermann then goes on to say "According to the “Washington Post”/ABC News poll, released today, a record 60 percent of Americans believe the war in Afghanistan is, quote, not worth fighting." Of course that doesn't mean that he will say word one about the opposition expressed by a major veterans group outside of the Whitehouse that very day or the mass arrests that resulted. Which brings me to my poll question: Is Keith in on the fix?

I saw no such coverage on ABC Evening News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams last night. No mention of the VFP demonstration or the arrests, just as there was no mention of Afghan civilian casualties in their discussions of the war. Ditto with Keith Olbermann on Countdown last night or the Morning Joe podcast this morning. I didn't catch CBS last night and thanks to our glorious economy, I can no longer afford cable so no CNN or Fox News (they should pay me!).

So I'm asking other Kossacks to fill me in on the coverage I missed, because at this point I'm beginning to believe that the American MSM is involved in a criminal conspiracy of silence to cover up not only the true costs of our wars, but the very real opposition to them.

There's a YouTube video David Swanson did of the event:



My graphic from last Christmas is still good for another year:
The Ghost of Presidents Past

BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!

This Just In: Sunday Morning and Mastercard is down again.
Guess they picked the wrong season to screw with the Internet.

The notice at the top of the new Anonymous web page says,
11 dec - We have moved to anonops.eu
The host for AnonOps.net shut us down and told us to "prove we used legal money".
Bring the PAIN!

This means one of the main communications hubs for Operation Payback has been forced to move again and the company that is hosting it at the new address is already coming under pressure to drop the site. Website owner Maksims Sadovskis explains in this post that his hosting company has already received a complaint from Mastercard lawyers demanding that they delete this page, claiming that it is "cyber crime targeting the financial services industry."

"Bring the PAIN!" is a call for supporters to aim their Low [Earth] Orbit Ion Cannons or LOICs at the hosting company for AnonOps.net and bring it's operations to a standstill.

This was posted from the old address:

The major shitstorm has begun

LOIC is the current weapon of choice in the hackers offensive being lead by Anonymous against WikiLeak censorship. According to this Guardian blog it has been downloaded more than 32 thousand times and the graph of the downloads looks like a hockey stick laying down. But the much more reliable SourceForge statistics show it has been downloaded 68,619 times from that site alone, 27,686 times on Dec. 9th. Downloads have been sharply upward in the past week.

It is a fairly simple computer program that it designed to be aimed at a specific web address and then bombard that site with a lot of bogus traffic. This is small caliber by hacker's standards. One observer commented:
I was surprised though to see such an old technology put to use at such a crucial time. I was expecting the "big guns" to go into action, and "boot & nuke".
Like many weapons, it has a legitimate use as a tool for stress testing websites. It is rumored to have first been developed as a way of punishing lawyers who were suing thepiratebay.org and it is rumored to have been very good at it.

While the Linux and Java versions of LOIC have to be loaded with the target IP addresses by the user manually and this information is available on a specific IRC [Internet Relay Chat] Channel, the more popular Windows version that is now being download in the tens of thousands, uses Hivemind to allow it to be automatically controlled through an IRC channel. When the output of thousands of computers running LOIC is turned on to a single Internet host, that host is toast!


This battle represents something very new in the historic struggle for freedom and justice. It is a new form of class struggle between the workers and the owners. Most of those that are carrying out the Anonymous campaign are or will be worker bees in the giant corporate infrastructures that monetize the Internet. They are taking up what may be the most strategic battle of our time: Our right to freely use the Internet to access all of humanity's knowledge and communicate with people anywhere without being censored or stifled by governments.

In A Letter from Anonymous publish on an Indymedia website, the group warns "The recent news of our campaigns has been, at best, misinformed." and then goes on to say:

At this time Anonymous is a consciousness focused on campaigning peacefully for Freedom of Speech. We ask the world to support us, not for our sake, but for your own. When governments control freedom they control you. The Internet is the last bastion of freedom in this evolving technical world. The Internet is capable of connecting us all. When we are connected we are strong. When we are strong we have power. When we have power we are able to do the impossible. This is why the government is moving on Wikileaks. This is what they fear. They fear our power when we unite. Do not forget this.
...
Anonymous‘ intentions are to change the current way the governments of the world and the people view true Freedom of Speech and The Internet. Anonymous is willing, ready, and able to campaign for the freedom for all. We are campaigning right now as you read the news, watch the television, fight with your significant other, love your children, hate your neighbor, criticize the man or woman next to you. We are campaigning. The goal is simple: Win the right to keep the Internet free of any control from any entity, corporation, or government. We will do this until our, proverbial, dying breath. We do this not only for our selves, but for the world and its people at large.

Anonymous has also posted this video statement on line:



The Low Orbit Ion Cannon is actually pretty mild stuff. It makes no attempt to keep the user anonymous by using well known techniques like IP spoofing to hide the identity of the attacker. Your IP address will show up in the target's log. It also doesn't destroy data or do any permanent damage. It merely blocks a website by flooding it with traffic. LOIC may actually be the least offensive of the dozens of Internet weapons in the now widely circulated Dangerous Kitten hacker toolkit. For all these reasons, some have called this action a digital sit-in. Anonymous has many ways to up the ante and up it's game. What has happened so far is more like a warning shot across the bow than a desperate fight.

Also it is widely believed that Anonymous is composed of teenage hackers and as one Guardian commenter points out, the big dogs on the Internet have yet to weigh in:
it's the core group of admins at the moment - the 1337 ("elite") group if you like - they're the ones who can cause serious havoc. You only have to look at the experiences of Mary Bale (the woman filmed placing a cat in a bin earlier this year). Within several hours they'd ID'd her, then went on to find her facebook profile, email, employer, her bank, address, the lot. Their computer skills shouldn't be estimated and right now they're a lot more upset about Julian Assange than they ever were about Mary Bale.
and suggests that the U.S. government should try to make a deal:
If the US government had any sense, it would try to strike a deal with Wikileaks - accept the publication of most of the leaks in exchange for keeping back the most damaging of all. Anonymous would back off then.
And while one reader welcomes the struggle:
This is the world war www1. Let battle commence.
and another places high hopes on Anonymous, saying:
Those who lie and manipulate, sorry, practise diplomacy' are generally doing so not for the benefit of their populations in the mass but rather to serve the narrow self-interest of other members of their transnational elite. Wikileaks is but the first shot in the ongoing war to take management of the world and its resources into the hands of those who are and have ever been excluded.

A group like Anonymous will evolve and develop into something we've never really seen before - a highly effective, hierarchy-free amorphous and transnational counterweight to the entrenched power interests who exploit us all.
While another commenter in the know warns that not everything can be discussed in open forums:
A quick tip - if you need to ask, don't go there. You will get more than your fingers burnt. The darkweb is where most of the stuff is going on anyhow. It's not far off walking through Detroit with some new Nikes and a bag of weed; if the gangs don't get you the police will.
And what are darknets? Let me just put it this way. If the Internet you know is the Matrix, then a darknet is like Morpheus, Neo and the Nebuchadnezzer operating invisibly beneath the surface of the Internet, but coming up every once and a while to raise hell.

UPDATE! UPDATE! BREAKING! TURD EXPOSED!!

A so-called "hacktivist" by the name of Gregg Housh has been widely quoted in the MSM as a former member of and expert on Anonymous. This piece from the Christian Science Monitor is typical:

One of the earliest followers of Anonymous, Gregg Housh, is intimately aware of, but claims no participation in, the latest Anonymous offensive, titled "Operation Payback." It managed this week to take down the websites of MasterCard, Visa, and the Swedish government over their refusal to support WikiLeaks or Mr. Assange.

Mr. Housh sat with the Monitor on Dec. 10 – in what he said was his 37th interview of the day – to explain how, and why, a couple thousand kids have crippled some of the world's most prominent companies' websites. They have done so with an unprecedented voluntary botnet, a network of thousands of computers working in tandem to simultaneously bombard a website with hits.

But his credentials to speak for anyone but the U.S. gov't are seriously questioned by information and documentation exposed on http://hacker.us/. It seems that Gregg Housh got busted by the Feds for his Internet activities and has traded co-operation for a reduced sentence, the perfect person to explain Anonymous to us. Since these are hackers, they provide both the proof and the art work.

The Matrix is strong with the hackers, they get it.Proof? We got proof - its public record:

His (Gregg Housh's) plea agreement - in writing (and signed by him [Gregg Housh]) that he (Gregg Housh) will cooperate for reduced sentence.

Government's 5K1 motion - they file this after you've helped them, and they get you a reduced sentence. (1)

His (Gregg Housh's) Booker motion - he (Gregg Housh) didn't feel he (Gregg Housh) got enough time off, so he (Gregg Housh) files asking for probation, whine whine whine this, i don't deserve it that.

His (Gregg Housh's) Judgment and Commitment order - go to jail, get lots of probation and conditions.

*** These documents are public record. Anyone can access/get them. Don't like it? Don't get caught.


UPDATE: I just sent the following email to JOHN F. BURNS and RAVI SOMAIYA of the NY Times:
In your article of 12/8 you say:
Anonymous claimed responsibility for the MasterCard attack in Web messages and, according to one activist associated with the group, conducted waves of attacks on other companies during the day. The group said the actions were part of an effort called Operation Payback, which began as a way of punishing companies that attempted to stop Internet file-sharing and movie downloads.

The activist, Gregg Housh, who disavows a personal role in any illegal online activity, said that 1,500 supporters had been in online forums and chat rooms organizing the mass “denial of service” attacks.
Are you aware that in 2005 Gregg Housh was prosecuted for Internet crime and traded co-operation for a reduced sentence as documented here? He is widely considered to be a snitch in the hacker community. Don't you think this is something your readers should know if you are going to use him as a source on Anonymous?

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on this subject:
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal

Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'etat

The Internet may already be starting to break apart. IT World writes two days ago:

Regardless of the supposed criminal intent of the affected systems, the seizure without notice of these domain names by US authorities sent shock-waves around the Internet world. It got people's attention in a much stronger way than version 1 of this enforcement operation had — the first iteration late last June seized the names of nine sites selling pirated first-run movies. Many people woke up to the reality of how vulnerable the DNS is to government meddling.

(More recently, the uproar caused by the WikiLeaks publication of US diplomatic cables — and subsequent attempts to censor the site and/or to hound it off the Internet — have resulted in what developer Dave Winer calls "a human DNS" implemented "in a weird sneaker-net sort of way," via Twitter and ad hoc bulletin-board sites.)

Within days of the ICE/DHS seizures, at least three separate initiatives to work around the DNS had been announced, and several existing alternatives were highlighted in the ensuing discussion.

The article then goes on to discuss the details of the various new substitutes for the single unified international, but U.S. based, domain name system that has served the Internet for 25 years.

Back in August, after Google & Verizon announced a joint legislative proposal on network neutrality, certain people predicted disaster for the Internet. One cause, Net Neutrality, was substituted for the many aspects of Internet freedom and one phrase seemed to be on everyone's lips:
Amy Goodman's Democracy Now "could spell the end of the Internet as we know it."
Craig Aaron at Huffington Post, "pact to end the Internet as we know it"
Countdown with Keith Olbermann "an end to the Internet as we know it"


In a September diary,
Obama's Internet Coup d'état, I wrote:
This is a most important "technical" detail because ultimately for the U.S. government to be successful in enforcing these controls on the Internet it must either wrestle control of the root domain name servers [DNS] from the international ngo's that have been running them, ICANN and InterNIC, or corrupt those organizations to it's will. That is why I think it fair to call this a coup d'état and nothing less than an attempt by the U.S. government to takeover the Internet.
The now famous Senate Internet Blacklist Bill, they said:
These problems will be enough to ensure that alternative name-lookup infrastructures will come into widespread use, outside the control of US service providers but easily used by American citizens. Errors and divergences will appear between these new services and the current global DNS, and contradictory addresses will confuse browsers and frustrate the people using them. These problems will be widespread and will affect sites other than those blacklisted by the American government.

Now this is exactly what is happening!

The cliché is coming true and we just may be witnessing the end of the single unified Internet we have known. Obama just may give Bush his Internets! Soon we may be saying: The Internet is Dead, Long Live the Internets!

I also wrote in that diary:
Speaking as one of the peons, let me say we have labored, in some cases more than a quarter century, to build the Internet as a tool for human liberation, and to do this we have build organizations that I believe represent the absolute best in international cooperation and a body of excellent software, freely available to all, that has made the dream of instant, multimedia, global, lowcost and secure communications a reality. We will not go quietly into that goodbye!
Let the Cyber War Be Joined!

Viva WikiLeaks!

Viva Anonymous!

Viva Operation Payback!

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on this subject:
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal

Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks

The opening shot of the First Cyber War was fired when the Obama administration informed a number of Internet companies that had business relationships with WikiLeaks that the whistle blower website was to be boycotted. In short order Pay Pal, Visa and Mastercard ended their relationships with the group, EasyDNS turned hard and Amazon was singing "Hey, You, get off of my cloud!"

At the same time a mysterious series of Denial of Services attacks began to plague the various WikiLeaks websites. These attacks, in which a website is flooded with bogus traffic to block it up, is the kind of thing the government has called cyber terrorism, but given the circumstances and the target, it is hard not to conclude that the government is ultimately behind it. At the same time, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was hounded and ultimately arrested in an 'unrelated' rape change that, excuse my language, doesn't past the sniff test. And Senator Diane Feinstein called for this un-American to be prosecuted for espionage because he has done what the Washington Post did with the Pentagon Papers.

In the latest counter attack the hacker group Anonymous has organized Operation Payback as a hacker respond to those companies that figured the easiest thing to do under the circumstance was to throw WikiLeaks under the bus. Think again! In it's opening salvo, Operation Payback brought the Mastercard and Visa servers to their knees today. In response, Facebook and Twitter shut down Operation Payback's accounts. That'll stop them! As if those accounts were at all important to the groups operations.

Today a new WikiLeaks release went out on schedule and a representative said that the only way the gov't could stop further releases was to shut down the whole Internet, but they can't even do that!

So they thought shutting down WikiLeaks would be easy did they? I know my people. Visa and Mastercard are going to have a very interesting Christmas season. Pay Pal too. Especially Pay Pal. This begins the first serious Cyber War. The Internet will never be the same.

Welcome to the Matrix!

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on this subject:

The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal

The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next

Last week we saw an unprecedented attack on the freedom of the Internet by our government. It begin with the seizure of 82 domains by the DoJ and ended with a whole variety of moves, both legal and extra-legal to bring down WikiLeaks or block access to it. Clearly the U.S. government has launched a new campaign to control the Internet and what we can access with it.

Monday's Diary: BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
Friday's Diary: BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!

They have been able to seize domains, as oppose to only block domains, China style, because they are taking unfair advantage of the fact that at present, the root domain servers, although run by an international NGO, are located in the United States and can be served by an American court order.

The Domain Name System [DNS] is that network of servers that converts a domain name, say DailyKos.com to it's IP address, in this case 208.122.51.48 which is how it is found on the Internet. In order to seize domains, the Federal government must 'seize' the top level domain servers or bend them to their will, that's why I have referred to this as an Internet coupe d'etat.

But as any Internet hacker can tell you, and the Feds found out last week, screwing with the DNS system and 'seizing domains' isn't everything it's cracked up to be. Many of the websites that Eric Holder claimed were selling counterfeit good were up and running under new domain names even before he had his Monday morning press conference. You can register a new domain name and point it at your website in less than an hour. The situation was much the same when they pulled the plug on wikileaks.org. Within hours it was available as wikileaks.de, wikileaks.nl, ljist.org and a host [no pun intended] of others. Before Friday was over some Kossacks had even included the wikileaks IP addess in their signatures.

Which brings me to the question of search engines. While the DNS system was designed as the first and most basic way we humans can find things on the web, it has largely been replaced or supplemented by the search engines. Hell, to tell you the truth these day, even when I know the domain name, I don't type it into the browser navigation bar, I type it into Google, let it correct my spelling, figure out if it's a dot com, dot net or dot whatever and find it for me. How do people find counterfeit goods or any goods on the Internet for that matter? They Google for them. How do you find documents like the Wikileaks if you don't know the website? You Google for them!

Which brings me to the point of this diary. As you can easily see, all of the Federal government's violation of international trust and our rights with its draconian seizure of domains and attacks on domains will come to naught if Google continues to do what it has always done, deliver us search results as it finds them, without fear or favor.

I don't for a moment consider the other major search engines. Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo all bent over for the Chinese government without even being kissed first, I don't think the Obama Administration will have any trouble out of them. Google on the other hand, just might pose somewhat of a problem. They are coming from a different place. They have their roots in the Free Software Movement and they have opposed this sort of thing before with China and the Bush Administration. And most importantly, of all the forces that may oppose the Obama Internet takeover, Google has the money and the technical clout to make it a real ball game.

Therefore you can bet that the pressure will be on Google big time to 'play ball.' I have seen all this coming for a long time. I know the government has been planning these moves for a long time. And I know that they know that Google could be a problem. That is why, apart from the fact that the Google/Verizon legislative proposal on network neutrality of August, really wasn't that bad, I considered this summer's attacks on Google to be preemptive strikes. It is also why I have been and continue to be so strong in my support for Google and have been and continue to be very suspicious of those, including Free Press, Huffington Post, Democracy Now, and the DailyKos, that were in panic mode in August, requesting that their followers sign petitions demanding "Google Don't Be Evil" and begging for the Federal government step in and protect the Internet. Again I ask of these organizations, the question I asked then.

Are you fools or tools?

See also Wikileaks Allies Mirroring Site All Over the World
Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on this subject:
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal

China in 1978, a Slideshow

I had the honor of leading the second China Study Association tour of 50 American educators to mainland China in 1978. Nixon's historic visit to China happened in 1972 and by 1978 China was just starting to open up to western tourist. As such, we were given first class treatment. We flew into Beijing via Belgrade on July 14th. We spent 8 days in Peking, we still called it Peking in those days and stayed at the best hotel in the city, the Peking Hotel. We had breakfast on the train to the Great Wall and were given a banquet by Mr. Pi of the China Travel Association at Pei Hai.

After a week in Beijing, we traveled around a bit. In fact we became the first western tourist to visit Harbin in the north and Shenyang in the west. All too soon our time in China was over and we exited via Hong Kong at the end of July and a few days later took the big bird back to America.

While I was there, I took lots of pictures. I shot 35mm color slide film on a Leica G3 in those days and afterwards I put together a slide show of 80 of the best slides about the trip. Because tourists were very rare in China in those days, I have often thought that these photos of China some 32 years ago, half-way between its revolution in 1949 and where it is now, might be of some general interest and value. One of the projects I have been meaning to get to forever has been get those slides out of the box and up on flickr were they might be of some value. Now I have actually done it. So, I present to you my 1978 China trip in pictures...


The Big Lockerbie Bomber Lie

Today the MSM is using Tuesday's release of a U.S. Senate report on the humanitarian release from a Scottish jail of Abdelbesset al Megrahi, also widely known as the Lockerbie Bomber, to stoke the fears of terrorism, further support for Homeland Security and many other things besides. It is a propaganda campaign that is worthy of 1984, the book not the year.

This whole propaganda campaign is based on the solid assumption that Megrahi is definitely the Lockerbie Bomber. This is a very shaky assumption. All the best available evidence points to his innocence. He was the victim of a frame up. The MSM has been united in leaving out a few details that might trouble their narrative.

On June 28, 2007 the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission allowed Megrahi's appeal and granted him a new trial. It's 800 page report on the case determined that "a miscarriage of justice may have occurred". This new trial began on April 28, 2009 and was plagued by so many delays that Megrahi's lawyer Maggie Scott complained "There is a very serious danger that my client will die before the case is determined." In August of 2009 Megrahi dropped his appeal and was granted a compassionate release because he was expected to die within three months, if he remained in a Scottish jail. Outside of jail, his prospects were much better.

I won't bore you with all the minutia starting with Megrahi's first trial in 2000, in which his co-defendant was found not-guilty, and so on. You can read the 800 page report for yourself, or if you want to go the Cliff's Notes approach, I recommend this Wikipedia article. Let's just say there is a lot to point to Megrahi's innocence, and these facts are beyond dispute: Megrahi has been granted an appeal. That appeal had not yet been resolved.

So one narrative about the Lockerbie Bomber's release might be that the Scottish Courts used Megrahi's illiness as an excuse for granting compassionate release because in doing so they could cancel the appeal and avoid the embarrassment of having to admit that they had convicted an innocent man. But these inconvenient truths get in the way of the narrative that is being spun for our consumption and so they play no role in it. They have been completely excluded from the story as it is being told by the American Media today.

This diary has been prompted by today's Morning Joe on MSNBC on which I watched four supposedly knowledgeable individuals, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Mike Barnicle and Richard Hass discussed yesterday's report on the Lockerbie Bomber. There was plenty of outrage to go around but nobody mentioned the appeal or even hinted that some people thought he might not be the Lockerbie Bomber after all. Since I find it very hard to believe that whoever wrote that segment is that ignorant about the facts of the case, I would call it a conspiracy of silence, but then some would accuse me of having a theory.

The Telegraph thinks that "conspiracy theories" are at work. This is how they characterized the Senate report:
the senators produced a very poor piece of work that demonstrates the incredible ignorance evinced by these four conspiracy-theorists
The MSM really started pushing this story anew in the middle of the Gulf Oil spill. At the time, the "breaking news" was that BP had used it's influence to gain the terrorist's early release in return for business opportunities with Libya. BP was made the centerpiece of the story, and since everybody was already in hate BP mode, that made it easy to swallow. The outrage was directed at BP. They had helped a terrorist go free to better their profits. There was no reason to look for other motives behind the Scottish Court's actions, let alone the actual guilt or innocence of the man at the center of the controversy.

Now Senator Robert Menendez's (D-NJ) report on the 22nd anniversary of the bombing gives a new cause for propaganda making around this issue. This time the issue of BP is pushed more to the background and we are left with the outrage against a terrorist and the Big Lie that Abdelbesset sl Megrahi is the Lockerbie Bomber.

In my travels this morning I was most disappointed to see that the Huffington Post has also omitted these important facts from their story. In today's story Lockerbie Bomber Release Not Medically Justified, Says Report, Dean Praetorius mentions nothing at all about Megrahi's appeal, saying "The Lockerbie Bomber, as Megrahi has come to be known, was responsible for the deaths of 259 people aboard the Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and 11 others on the ground."

So now I must ask Dean Praetorius of the Huffington Post just what he means by the phrase "has come to be known [as]"? Is this suppose to stand in for the fact that some very serious questions have been raised about his guilt? Is this in lien of mentioning the SCCRC review or the new trial? Is it because the Huffington Post doesn't want to trouble it's readers with too many facts? Or is it that the Huffington Post is just part of the herd?

Bank of America Buying Abusive Domain Names

I wasn't going to go a diary today, but I just picked this up off of Slashdot and it is too juicy not to share, besides why waste a day?

Nite_Hawk writes "From the Article: 'Bank of America has snapped up hundreds of abusive domain names for its senior executives and board members in what is being perceived as a defensive strategy against the future publication of damaging insider info from whistleblowing Website WikiLeaks. According to Domain Name Wire, the US bank has been aggressively registering domain names including its board of Directors' and senior executives' names followed by "sucks" and "blows."'"
What follows are selected comments from this post on Slashdot.org. If you are following the WikiLeaks or Internet stories, you really own it to yourself to get familiar with this site.

Good luck grabbing every possible abusive word and all variations. "Sucks" is hardly the only word in existence that can be used to mean you smoke cock or gobble knob.
The owner of sucks.com should start selling subdomain redirects for $~3/yr.
BrianMoynihanVacuumsRoosters.com looks available.
Yeah, did they also register bl0ws? blo.ws? sux.ck?
I'm proud to report that a friend of mine grabbed http://www.bankofamericasucks.org/ [bankofamericasucks.org] before BoA got to it. Currently it's just a redirect to an IT World article, but oh, the possibilities ... especially since she works for a hosting company.
Yesterday [boingboing.net] it was noted that they can do this but getting all of those available will exceed their available cash. Seems like a waste of time and energy.
Maybe they're just preparing themselves for some future "truth in lending" legislation.

To Big Too Fail?

FYI here is a torrent from thepiratesbay.org that will get you everything that WikiLeaks has released since June 2010. It's about 20GB so it will take a few days to download. This does not include the cablegate releases. This torrent will get those.

Also for your information and contrary to the report in Cablegate: All 250,000 Cables Leaked to Paper. Get the Truth now, the Norwegian paper does not have an exclusive on the unredacted versions of the cablegate memos. I have them also. In fact, they are available to anyone who can navigate thepiratesbay.org and use git.

Merry Christmas

UPDATE 5:01 PST Venice Beach
After so much rain, it's nice to see the sunset again.

UPDATE - a late comment from Slashdot that I really thought should be included:
What I don't understand is why they think this is even necessary in the new world we just entered a month or so ago.

Why should they have to buy up domain names?

Why not just have their friends at Visa/Mastercard deny the ability of anyone to buy a domain name which could (potentially) be used to engage in "illegal activities"?

Or have their friends in Obama's office of imaginary rights enforcement [cybercrime.gov] seize the domains for trafficking in stolen property?

Or have the host (Amazon or whoever) drop the websites? Paypal refuse service? EveryDNS drop the domain records [google.com]?

Sunset over Venice Beach atfer the Rains 12/23/10

UPDATE Xmas Eve 10:20PST Wells Fargo Sucks Too!

I can't believe this. I just got off the phone with my business banker. This morning I went on-line to check my balance before doing a last run of Xmas shopping and noticed a $25 deduction on Dec. 15 for something labeled:
MERCHANT BNKCD FINCL ADJ 101214 481310888997 COSMOS ENGINEERING COM
So I called my banker to find out who they gave my $25 to and why. After 30 minutes of getting the run around, being put on hold, told to call around and try to find out for myself and talking to several Wells Fargo departments. Here is the short story:

I was charge $25 on Dec. 15th because the Merchant Account that I had closed on Aug. 2nd wasn't "PCI Compliant" in October. The Bank apologizes for the error, my $25 will be returned to my account before the end of the year. They just receive a memo on Dec. 1.

How can you consider an Account that has been closed "out of compliance"? No answer, we're sorry. How can you continue to charge fees to an account that has been closed? No answer, we're sorry. How many other fees have you charged me from this closed account? Sorry, that information isn't on my system because the account is closed.

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on this subject:
BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal

Let a 100 Websites Blossom, Let a 100 Rooms of Chat Contend! Hotlist

2010 has been a tumultuous year, 2011 promises more of the same...

Happy Holidays and Happy New Years from Linux Beach

I hope you and yours are enjoying these holidays and are already well prepared for the new year. You have weathered the storms of 2010 so may 2011 bring you fair breezes and smooth sailing. But just in case, please prepare for a hurricane. Most of all I want you to be safe in this coming year.

2010 has been an eventual year at Linux Beach...

Vietnam: American HolocaustOur flagship film, Vietnam: American Holocaust was seen by far more people worldwide than ever before. One YouTube segment toped a half a million views this year. With worldwide over-the-air broadcasts on Russia Today TV and Free Speech TV, festival showings, on-line screenings, community and group expositions, bittorrent downloads and DVD sales through our own website, Amazon and others, the film is starting to have an impact on the dialogue about war and peace worldwide. Thanks to work of Nquyen Minh Y and Fred Nguyen we now have Vietnamese and French translations. And, yes we still sell through Amazon and accept donations through PayPal, even though I have been very strong in my support for WikiLeaks. I remember my father saying something about not cutting off your nose to spite your face.

The sequel, Vietnam: People's Victory is in the heart of formation at this time. Vietnam: People's VictoryWe have been able to make great progress on this documentary telling of how the Vietnamese won the war, with the support of the Peace movement and G.I. resistance, and showing the society they have built since. Finally the necessary updates to hardware and software are in place to handle the HD footage shot in Vietnam by Fred Nguyen and myself in 2009 and by Buddy Clark on a return trip in 2010. I am now happy to say that we are now editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, on an quad core system with 8GB of ram. Our Linux server now has 9TB of space for the job. I am writing the screen play now as I assemble material for a rough cut, looking for the footage we still need, etc. The Vietnam War may seem like an old story to some, but somehow there is always "breaking news." For example, some of the WikiLeaks Cablegate memos go back as far as 1966 and we have yet to integrate those into our knowledge base. We are still on track to release Vietnam: People's Victory in 2011 but it will be more towards the end of the year.
Viva WikiLeaks & Anonymous!!!
People who know my past know that I have a long history in the hacker community. I took Computer Science 101 in 1966. More to the point, I founded Linux Users Los Angeles in 1996 and was its president for 8 years. [LUG Pres Resigns Over Military Linux Use] I am proud to be considered an O.G. in the Linux community, which if you don't know it already, is pretty much the hacker community. I have partied with the Slashdot folks [Member of the 5 Digit UID Club] and the BlackHat crowd. I consider these hackers my people and I have been so proud and happy about the role my people have played in the world of political struggle this year!

2010 will be remember as the year that the hackers emerged as a powerful new social force and a good one at that. Julian Assange was a hacker, so was Bradley Manning. WikiLeaks is a product of the hacker community and it was that community that took an Anonymous shape to defend WikiLeaks. For every WikiLeaks site taken down, they put up a hundred mirrors. WikiLeaks stayed up and Mastercard.com went down! As the Obama adminstration struggled to put more controls on the Internet, a brand year form of class struggle was born and the Cyber Wars of the 21st century were begun!

I have been following this struggle and a few others at the DailyKos. Here are some of my most recent diaries:

Operation Payback
Bank of America Buying Abusive Domain Names
The Big Lockerbie Bomber Lie
FCC Internet Rules! It's Not About Net Neutrality
WikiLeaks Revelations Spur UN & US Internet Takeover Plans!
No American TV News for War Opposition?
BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next


If you really want to dig into the WikiLeaks material, you don't have to wait to be spoon fed it by the likes of the NY Times or Washington Post. Just about all of the material they've release is available on the Internet as bittorrent downloads. Here are a few sources. thepiratesbay.org is the best place to search.

This torrent will get you everything they've put out since June 12, 2010 except the cablegate memos. It's a very big download, about 20GB and might take you a few days but it is an amazing collection. This torrent will get you the first released cablegate memos [53MB]. This one will get you the Iraq War Logs [355MB] alone. This one will get you the Afghan War Dairy alone [152MB]. If you want to help protect WikiLeaks, here is the insurance file [1.4GB]. Here is the gun camera video "Collateral Murder". WikiRebels is a very good documentary on WikiLeaks. If you haven't seen it, it is well worth the watch. You can see it on-line here. The unredacted cablegate memos are also available if you know how to work with a git repository but you'll have to find a link to that on your own.

Have fun prospecting! With so much material there are a lot more gems to be found.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

WikiLeaks Revelations Spur UN & US Internet Takeover Plans!

In my dairy, I have already given extensive coverage to attempts by the U.S. government to control the Internet. Now it would seem that other governments want a hand on the controls too, but only governments, thus taking control away from the non-government international organizations that have run the Internet so far.

A United Nations initiative is developing that attempts to put multiple governments in charge of the Internet but only governments. On Friday, Vint Cerf, who is generally considered the father of the Internet, and is currently Google's Chief Internet Evangelist, wrote in the official company blog:
The beauty of the Internet is that it’s not controlled by any one group. Its governance is bottoms-up—with academics, non-profits, companies and governments all working to improve this technological wonder of the modern world. This model has not only made the Internet very open—a testbed for innovation by anyone, anywhere—it's also prevented vested interests from taking control.

But last week the UN Committee on Science and Technology announced that only governments would be able to sit on a working group set up to examine improvements to the IGF—one of the Internet’s most important discussion forums. This move has been condemned by the Internet Governance Caucus, the Internet Society (ISOC), the International Chamber of Commerce and numerous other organizations—who have published a joint letter (PDF) and launched an online petition to mobilize opposition. Today, I have signed that petition on Google’s behalf because we don’t believe governments should be allowed to grant themselves a monopoly on Internet governance. The current bottoms-up, open approach works—protecting users from vested interests and enabling rapid innovation. Let’s fight to keep it that way.
These existing Internet governance groups such as ICANN and ISOC are also expressing concerns. Most recently the World Information Technology and Services Alliance weighed in, with John Higgins, Public Policy Chairman writing:
I was saddened and disappointed to learn that the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) Bureau, at its extraordinary meeting on December 7, 2010, decided to limit participation in the new Working Group on Improvements to the Internet Governance Forum to governments only.

I therefore strongly urge you to set aside the December 7 decision to block participation from business and civil society in the new working group. In order for the working group to be effective in improving the Internet Governance Forum, it must provide for an open and inclusive process that ensures a mechanism for the full and active participation of governments, the private sector and civil society from both developing and developed countries.
IT News for Australian Business believes this new initiative has been spurred by WikiLeaks. Noting that a number of countries, including China, India and Saudi Arabia have already expressed support, under the subtitle WikiLeaks sparks push for tighter controls., they say:
At a meeting in New York on Wednesday, representatives from Brazil called for an international body made up of Government representatives that would attempt to create global standards for policing the internet - specifically in reaction to challenges such as WikiLeaks.

The Brazilian delegate stressed, however, that this should not be seen as a call for a "takeover" of the internet.
Of course not! Why would governments want to takeover the Internet?

Meanwhile back in the United States, the FCC is planning to seize more power on the Internet this week when it votes on it's so-called Net Neutrality rules. A Google/Verizon proposal for back in August. Reuter's describes the FCC rules this way:
The Federal Communications Commission will vote on Dec. 21 on whether to adopt regulations that ban the blocking of lawful traffic but allow Internet service providers to ration Web traffic on their networks.
So actually worst than the Google/Verizon proposal since if ISPs can ration web traffic on their networks, Net Neutrality pretty much goes out the window! But note that it will ban the blocking of lawful traffic.

Another way of saying that is to say that it will allow the blocking of unlawful traffic. And what is "unlawful" traffic? WikiLeaks is certainly at the top of the list. So would the 82 domains unilaterally seized by the U.S. gov't a few weeks ago, so would much of what has been done recently in support of WikiLeaks, and so would a growing list of blacklisted websites in an increasingly controlled Internet.

While Free Press has had nothing to say about the seizure of 82 domains by DHS for 'piracy' or attempts to block and censor WikiLeaks and it's supporters on the Internet, they are back on the beat for Net Neutrality and the FCC vote this Tuesday, asking supporters to send this letter:
Dear President Obama:

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski needs to hear from you right now. He came into office last year promising to fulfill your pledge to protect an open and neutral Internet from blocking and discrimination.

But he’s now pushing a rule that betrays your promise...
I think that on many fronts it should already be clear that Obama has broken his "pledge to protect an open and neutral Internet from blocking and discrimination." How can Free Press continue to ignore these broader issues of Internet freedom and press forward their very narrow campaign for what they define as Net Neutrality?

Again I ask, Are these people fools or tools?

Fight Internet Censorship!

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on this subject:
BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal