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New e-lobby to protect the Internet?

from RTAmerica:


The biggest names on the Internet are teaming up in hopes of influencing Congress: Facebook, Google, Amazon and eBay are uniting to advocate policy and legislation that’s in the best interest of their users. “The Internet Association” will be launched in September and according to their president their mission is to lobby for protecting a free and open Internet. Nicholas Merrill of the Calyx Institute explains what the new e-lobby is all about.


TYRANNY ALERT: NSA Wants “EZ Pass” Control for Internet

by Kurt Nimmo, Info Wars:


General Keith Alexander, the NSA boss, wants the government to centralize the internet and force users to use a system analogous to EZ Pass.

EZ Pass is an RFID transponder system used for toll collection on roads, bridges, and tunnels in the United States.

“What we need for cybersecurity is something analogous to that,” Alexander told the annual Def Con computer hacking conference in Las Vegas.. “Think of us as the EZ Pass on the highway.”

“When you go down the highway, and you go down the EZ Pass lane, what you’re doing is sending that code. That system is not looking in your car, reading the e-mail, or intercepting anything, it’s just getting that code,” he said.

In other words, the government should vet all users with a checkpoint. “All you need to pass is the fact of a signature and IP address in real time, and we can take it from there,” said Alexander.

The super secret cryptologic intelligence agency wouldn’t track and scrutinize your behavior on the internet, according to Alexander. The EZ Pass “system is not looking in your car, reading the e-mail, or intercepting anything, it’s just getting that code,” he insisted.

Read More @

Iran Nuclear Plants Hit By Virus Playing AC/DC

Ladane Nasseri
July 26, 2012

Iran’s nuclear facilities have suffered a cyber attack that shut down computers and played music from the rock band AC/DC, the F-Secure Security Labs website said.

A new worm targeted Iran’s nuclear program, closing down the “automation network” at the Natanz and Fordo facilities, the Internet security site reported, citing an e-mail it said was sent by a scientist inside Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.

The virus also prompted several of the computers on site to play the song “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC at full volume in the middle of the night, according to the e-mail, part of which is published in English on the website.

Read more


Do you trust the Gillard Government to know all your internet passwords?

Do you want them to read every email you send, ever post you make on facebook, every private message you send, every tweet you make?

And do you want them to store all your private online data for two years?


This is what the Gillard government wants to do. And this is what they WILL do unless we take action NOW!

The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence is set to approve one of the most draconian and invasive online surveillance regimes anywhere in the world: these are powers dictators could only dream of! If passed, they will have access to everything you have done online. Every website you have visited, every private tweet you have made, every email you have sent. And they will keep these records for two years!

The Gillard government says this is for “National Security”. But the wording of the proposal is clear: this doesn’t apply to just terror suspects – EVERY SINGLE AUSTRALIAN will have ALL of their online activity recorded and potentially monitored. And if you don’t give them your passwords – you will be forced to go to gaol – even if you haven’t committed any crime! Criminals will always be able to easily subvert this. It’s law-abiding Aussies who will lose out.

Just last week, a Department of Communications cybersecurity contractor lost 800 highly sensitive subscriber details because they didn’t bother to send it by secure post. If we can’t trust them to keep something so basic secure, what do you think will happen when they have access to everything?

Make no mistake: if this passes, online privacy is dead.

But it’s not too late. We can stop this from taking place

The Committee is calling for public submissions before August 6th. If enough Australians contact them and say NO – we will stop this outrage!

Fill out our form below, change the draft text to what you think (we can’t have everyone saying the same thing!) and tell your local MP, your State Senators, Committee Members, and the committee itself NO!

  • NO to Big Brother watching your every move!
  • NO to the Government recording everything you’ve done online for two years
  • NO to being forced to reveal your password!

Let Canberra know that we won’t take this lying down.

Fill in your details, change around the words in our draft sample, hit send and make your voice heard!

Fill out the form in the link below and TAKE ACTION NOW!

Stop Big Brother Australia

A virus will take thousands of Australian internet users offline Monday

by: Andrew Colley
From: AP
July 06, 2012 2:13PM
THOUSANDS of Australian internet users are expected to be knocked offline on Monday when the impact of a virus released a year ago will be felt. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said it believed that up to 7,500 computers had been infected by the virus.

The ACMA has been working with international law enforcement authorities to monitor the virus’s progress in Australia ever since it was discovered in an FBI sting operation late last year.

It was disseminated from servers run by Estonian hackers as part of an online advertising scam and at the time it was estimated to have hit nearly 600,000 computers around the world.

The virus, dubbed “DNSChanger”, gave the hackers control over the computers, by changing internet access settings on infected computers.

Until now those computers have been able to rely on dummy servers set up by the FBI to continue accessing the internet. The FBI will turn off those servers at 2 pm Australian time next Monday.

In March, the ACMA set up web sites that would allow Australian internet users to test whether they had the virus. It is urging Australians to visit

Warnings about the virus have been splashed across Facebook and Google, internet service providers have sent notices, and the FBI has also set up a special website.

About 50 Fortune 500 companies are believed to be among thousands of individual and company installations still infected by the virus.

According to the FBI, the number of computers that probably are infected is more than 277,000 worldwide, down from about 360,000 in April. About 64,000 still-infected computers are probably in the US.

The problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of more than 570,000 infected computers around the world. When the FBI went in to take down the hackers late last year, agents realised that if they turned off the malicious servers being used to control the computers, all the victims would lose their internet service.

In a highly unusual move, the FBI set up a safety net. They brought in a private company to install two clean internet servers to take over for the malicious servers so that people would not suddenly lose their internet.

And while it was the first time they’d done something like that, FBI officials acknowledged that it may not be the last, since authorities are taking on more of these types of investigations.

The temporary internet system they set up, however, will be shut down at 04.01 am GMT (1 pm AEST) on July 9.

Most victims don’t know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their online surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.

But popular social networking sites and internet providers have gotten more involved, reaching out to computer users to warn of the problem.

According to Tom Grasso, an FBI supervisory special agent, many internet providers are ready for the problem and have plans to try to help their customers. Some, such as Comcast, already have reached out.

The company sent out notices and posted information on its website. Because the company can tell whether there is a problem with a customer’s internet server, Comcast sent an email, letter or internet notice to customers whose computers appeared to be affected.

Grasso said other internet providers may come up with technical solutions that they will put in place Monday that will either correct the problem or provide information to customers when they call to say their internet isn’t working. If the internet providers correct the server problem, the internet will work, but the malware will remain on victims’ computers and could pose future problems.

In addition to individual computer owners, about 50 Fortune 500 companies are still infected, Grasso said.

Both Facebook and Google created their own warning messages that showed up if someone using either site appeared to have an infected computer. Facebook users would get a message that says, “Your computer or network might be infected,” along with a link that users can click for more information.

Google users got a similar message, displayed at the top of a Google search results page. It also provides information on correcting the problem.

To check whether a computer is infected, internet users can also visit a website run by the group brought in by the FBI:

The site includes links to respected commercial sites that will run a quick check on the computer, and it also lays out detailed instructions if users want to actually check the computer themselves.

The UN Wants Complete Control Over The Internet And That Would Mean Unprecedented Censorship, Taxes And Surveillance

from The American Dream:


One of the fastest ways to ruin the Internet would be to put the United Nations in charge of it. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the United Nations wants. The United Nations is now pushing very hard for complete control over the Internet. A proposal that has the support of China, Russia, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Iran would give control of the Internet to the UN’s International Telecommunication Union. This is perhaps the greatest threat to the free and open Internet that we have seen yet. At a UN conference in Dubai this upcoming December, representatives from 193 nations will debate this proposal. The United States and many European nations are firmly against this proposal, but it is unclear whether they have the votes to stop it. Unlike the Security Council, there are no vetoes when it comes to ITU proceedings. So the United States may not be able to stop governance of the Internet from being handed over to the United Nations. The United States could opt out of any new treaty, but that would result in a “balkanized” Internet. If the UN gains control over the Internet, you can expect a whole new era of censorship, taxes, and surveillance. It would be absolutely catastrophic for the free flow of commerce and information around the globe. Unfortunately, many repressive regimes are very dissatisfied with how the Internet is currently working and they desperately want to be able to use the power of the UN to tax, regulate and censor the Internet. Needless to say, that would be a disaster. International control over the Internet would be a complete and total nightmare and it must be resisted.

Read More @

Monday Mail Mayhem: Anonymous leaks 1.7 GB of Justice Dept data

SOURCE: | Published: 22 May, 2012    

The Anonymous hacker group posted 1.7 gigabytes of data on The Pirate Bay. The group says it obtained by hacking into the Justice Department Statistics website. The department also acknowledged that its web server had been breached.

A message accompanying the torrent uploaded by user AnonymousLeaks on The Pirate Bay states that the intention of the action is to “end the corruption that exists, and to truly make those who are being oppressed free.

Today we are releasing 1.7GB of data that used to belong to the United States Bureau of Justice, until now,” the statement says “Within the booty you may find lots of shiny things such as internal emails, and the entire database dump.

The Anonymous message also stated that the Justice Department tried to shut down its Statistics website, but that it was already too late, as the hackers had managed to get the data they wanted.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice admitted that one or more unauthorized users gained access to a server operating the department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics website, Reuters reports.

The Justice Department also released a statement to AFP, saying it was looking into the unauthorized access of one of its website servers.

It remains to be seen whether the data contains any incriminating evidence against the US government, as Justice Department Statistics’ website primarily contains criminal statistics data.

The leak appears to be part of a new movement created by Anonymous, dubbed “Monday Mail Mayhem”, or MMM for short, akin to F*ck FBI Friday.

Anonymous DDoS-attacked the Justice Department website earlier this year in response to the shutdown of file-sharing site Megaupload.

TPB The Pirate Bay gets censored in the UK

The Western countries of the world all complaints about the censorship in Iran, China, Saudi Arabia and so on. But they are really the worst culprits themselves, having double morals in doing an even worse thing themselves.

Today news was out that the UK high court has decided that TPB is “massively infringing on copyright”. The facts that no copyright is being infringed upon here at the site was not a welcome fact, so that was ignored apparently.

No one from TPB was invited to the court case, which would be normal to do in a democracy. This is not the first time this happens, it’s been the same in most countries we’re censored in. We have no right to speak since we’re not rich.

Five ISPs got sued by the record companies to force them to block us. This is particularily interesting since music released and promoted exclusively here on TPB is currently in the brittish top charts. We are simply competitors that they just managed to squeeze out of their market, in a maffiesque way.

As usual there are easy ways to circumvent the block. Use a VPN service to be anonymous and get an uncensored internet access, you should do this anyhow. Or use TOR, I2P or some other darknet with access to the internet. Change your DNS settings with OpenDNS. Or use googles DNS servers… we could go on…

But don’t forget that we can’t allow this shit to happen. Next time they’re coming for something else. And yes, there will be a next time if we don’t stop them. Write to your ISP and tell them to appeal the case. Write to your local MPs and tell them that this is not allowed. Make sure your voice is heard. Remember, we’re all the pirate bay, and we must stand united against the censorship from our opponents!



YouTube Sends Hundreds of Ron Paul Videos to Memory Hole

Kurt Nimmo
May 1, 2012

Google property YouTube has closed down a popular Ron Paul channel after “multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement,” most notably establishment media tool CNBC.



Most of the videos scrubbed from YouTube were not CNBC property.

The effort to reduce Ron Paul’s presence on YouTube follows the deliberate under-coverage of the Paul campaign by the establishment media during the 2012 primaries.

In October of last year, a study conducted by Pew Research Center confirmed that the establishment was terrified of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign gaining momentum. An earlier report by the polling organization revealed a concerted effort to ignore Paul.

As we noted in 2009, YouTube and Google are CIA assets. Both serve as gatekeepers for the establishment.

“Google is a corporate member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In late 2006, Google bought YouTube for US$1.65 billion in stock, so it is fair to say YouTube is also pushing the CFR’s one-world government agenda,” we noted at the time.

It makes sense that the CFR would send videos featuring Ron Paul to the memory hole. Ron Paul, after all, is a contagion for liberty and constitutional principles which send the elite into allergic paroxysms.

Hands Off the Internet!

Ron Paul
April 26, 2012

A Dear Colleague letter


Dear Colleagues:

Please join me in opposing the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (HR 3523), which will create a monstrous coalition of big business and big government to rob Americans of their protections under the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.

CISPA permits both the federal government and private companies to view your private online communications with no judicial oversight, provided they merely do so in the name of “cybersecurity.”  But America is a constitutional republic, not a surveillance state– and the wildly overhyped need for security does not trump the Constitution we all swore to uphold.

 “Cybersecurity” is the responsibility of companies that operate and make money in cyberspace, not taxpayers.  Those companies should develop market-based private solutions to secure their networks, servers, cloud data centers, and user/customer information.  The role of the US intelligence community is to protect the United States from military threats, not to provide corporate welfare to the private sector.  Much like TSA at the airport, CISPA would socialize security costs and remove market incentives for private firms to protect their own investments.

Imagine security-cleared agents embedded at private companies to serve as conduits for intelligence information about their customers back to the US intelligence community– while enjoying immunity from any existing civil or criminal laws. Imagine Google or Facebook reporting directly to the National Security Agency about the online activity of US citizens.  Imagine US government resources being wasted on a grand scale to “assist” private companies in the global market.  All of this this would become reality under CISPA.

Therefore I urge you to support internet freedom, support the 4th Amendment, and oppose corporatism by voting NO on CISPA!


Ron Paul, M.D.
Member of Congress

This post first appeared on Ron Paul’s House page.

House passes CISPA bill

The House passed the controversial CISPA cybersecurity bill on Thursday, defying a White House veto threat and throwing the issue squarely into the Senate’s lap.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the bill was “needed to prepare for countries like Iran and North Korea so that they don’t do something catastrophic to our networks here in America.”



The final tally was 248-168, enough to pass the bill but not enough to override the threatened veto. Forty-two Democrats voted for the measure, and 28 Republicans voted against it.

The administration and Democratic critics opposed the bill because of privacy and civil liberties concerns. The other main sticking point was that, unlike a Senate bill by Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), CISPA would not mandate new security requirements for a critical infrastructure network.

But the measure enjoyed support from some Democrats — who weren’t happy with their colleagues’ opposition to the bill, nor with the White House.

“It was disappointing, I think it could have been handled differently,” Rep. Jim Langevin, (D-R.I.), a CISPA co-sponsor, said of the White House move. “To do it at this stage I don’t think it was very helpful to get an information-sharing bill through.”

Langevin and other supportive Democrats say CISPA is needed to counter the possibility of a major cyberattack.

“This is not a perfect bill, but the threat is great,” Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Rogers’s chief Democratic ally, said on the House floor on Thursday.

Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that the White House was in “a camp all by themselves.” Nevertheless, most Democrats voted against the bill.

“CISPA would trample the privacy and consumer rights of our citizens while leaving our critical infrastructure vulnerable,” an administration official said Thursday in response to Boehner. “We need Congress to address this critical national and economic security challenge while respecting the values of freedom, privacy, openness and innovation so fundamental to our nation.”

The House adopted several amendments to the bill before passing it, including one by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) that added a five-year sunset to the bill.

But lawmakers voted to reject a motion to recommit by Rep. Ed Perlmuttter, who sought to add language specifying that nothing in the bill could be construed to allow employers and the government from mandating that employees and job applicants disclose confidential passwords without a court order. The defeated motion also would have added language saying that nothing in the bill could allow the government from blocking access to the Web through “the creation of a national Internet firewall similar to the ‘Great Internet Firewall of China.’”

The tech sector immediately applauded the House action on Thursday.

“We strongly urge the Senate to swiftly take up this issue because the United States cannot afford to wait to improve our nation’s cybersecurity posture,” TechAmerica CEO Shawn Osborne said in a statement. “Standing pat will only further risk our national security.”

But civil liberterians were unhappy with the outcome.

“Cybersecurity does not have to mean abdication of Americans’ online privacy. As we’ve seen repeatedly, once the government gets expansive national security authorities, there’s no going back,” ACLU legislative counsel Michelle Richardson said. “We encourage the Senate to let this horrible bill fade into obscurity.”

This article first appeared on POLITICO Pro at 7:13 p.m. on April 26, 2012.

Ron Paul Slams Internet Control Bill CISPA

“Big Brother writ” will allow feds to use corporate resources for “spying on the American people”

Steve Watson
April 23, 2012

In the week that lawmakers will vote on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CIPSA), Presidential candidate Ron Paul has slammed the legislation in an effort to raise public awareness of the dangers the bill poses to the free and open internet.

“CISPA is essentially an Internet monitoring bill that permits both the federal government and private companies to view your private online communications with no judicial oversight, provided, of course, that they do so in the name of cyber security,” Paul notes in his weekly Texas Straight Talk address.

“The bill is very broadly written and allows the Department of Homeland Security to obtain large swabs of personal information contained in your email or other online communications,” Paul urges.

“It also allows email and other private information found online to be used for purposes far beyond any reasonable definition of fighting cyber terrorism.”

Both the  Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) have noted that CISPA effectively legislates for monitoring and collecting online communications without the knowledge of the parties concerned and funneling them directly to the National Security Agency or the DOD’s Cybercommand.

In the past few days, the bill has attracted several new sponsors, bringing the number of CISPA co-sponsors to 112 members of Congress, up from 106 at the end of last month.

While the legislation has undergone some revision in the past few weeks, the core of the bill remains the same, prompting even the White House to issue a warning on the privacy implications for Americans.

“We should never underestimate the federal government’s insatiable desire to control the Internet,” Ron Paul notes.

“CISPA represents an alarming form of corporatism as it further intertwines governments with companies like Google and Facebook,” continues the congressman. “It permits them to hand over your private communications to government officials without a warrant, circumventing the well-known established federal laws like the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.”

“It also grants them broad immunity from lawsuits for doing so, leaving you for without recourse for invasion of privacy,” he adds.

Paul calls a “Big Brother writ” that cuts into “the resources of the private industry to work for the nefarious purpose of spying on the American people.”

“We can only hope the American people will respond to CISPA as they did with SOPA back in January,” concludes the congressman.

Listen to Ron Paul’s important update below:

This week will see up to four pieces of cybersecurity legislation reviewed in Congress, leading sections of the media to dub it “Cyber week”.

Aside from CISPA, the other bills up for review include the DATA Act sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul’s (R-Texas), and a computer technology research and development bill from Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas).

The History of File-Sharing

Last century filesharing was a fringe hobby, only for geeks who were lucky enough to own a computer that could dial into the World Wide Web. How different is that today, where filesharing has become daily routine for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In just a few years swapping files has become mainstream. Time to take a step back and see how it all came about.

Digital filesharing has come a long way since the early days of the floppy disk, starting with a 79.7 kB storage capacity in the early 1970s.

Two decades ago 3.5″ disks were the most sought after medium to distribute files. At the time, their massive 1.4 MB file size was more than enough to distribute files. But things got really interesting when people started to swap files on the Internet.


In just 2 score years, filesharing has evolved into an amazingly efficient process which has enhanced lives everywhere. It has brought great exposure to underexposed types of media and democratized distribution, making it possible for individuals to share files with the rest of the world at virtually no cost.

Let’s briefly examine how filesharing has become what it is today in a non-exhaustive overview.

BBS: The Early Days (70s-90s)

The BBS, or Bulletin Board System, has been largely attributed with the beginning of contemporary digital filesharing. Beginning with the Hayes Smartmodem, Bulletin Board Systems became automatic enough that Sysops (or administrators) were able to own and operate these mediums from their own homes as both a hobby and, later, as a business. Typically, the BBS was almost like an intranet in which users would dial-in with their modems to read/send messages, access news, and most importantly for us, share files.

Shareware became incredibly popular through the distribution provided by Bulletin Board Systems. From Wolfenstein to Commander Keen, users were able to learn about a BBS by word of mouth and, in its pinnacle, through printed magazines focusing on BBS’s. Many well-known software packages, including PKZIP, were made popular through the BBS. Many users today still use PKZIP’s .zip algorithm when compressing and decompressing archives.

There are still many traditional Bulletin Board Systems in operation today.

Usenet: Beginnings of Decentralization (Late 70s-Present)

Usenet or Newsgroups were similar to Bulletin Board Systems. However, they operated using UUCP and were able to transcend beyond the centralization of a BBS. Essentially, Usenet servers were able to receive files and re-distribute them amongst other Usenet servers effectively creating multiple copies of messages and files across hundreds upon thousands of servers. Usenet was the medium for discussions which gave birth to several projects, including the World Wide Web, Linux, and Mosaic, amongst other amazing projects.

While Usenet has been in existence since the late 70s, major filesharing did not typically occur until much later. In 1993, Eugene Roshal created RAR which allowed users to split files into multipart archives. Given the decentralized copy-nature of Usenet, this helped distribute files much faster and more efficiently, as corruption in file transfers no longer required files to be re-uploaded in their entirety.

Although many may disagree, Usenet is still very much in use today. However, it is used mostly for filesharing rather than for its original purpose of messaging, which has been mostly replaced by contemporary web forums and IRC.

FTP and FXP: Topsites and the ISO Scene (90s-Present)

Soon after, the underground filesharing scene gave birth to an intricate private network of FTP sites known as Topsites. These networks were based on invite only systems and adopted many of the features of Usenet.

Generally, release groups would upload new media to their release servers and create various kinds of announcements thereof (generally, IRC bot based). Then, couriers who had access to the release servers, as well as other servers, would transport or “race” new releases from one server to another, typically with the use of FXP. By doing so, they would earn credits (typically 1:3 ratio) for uploading files as long as the file was considered to be appropriate and unique (not a dupe — hence the racing).

Through this culture and rewards system, files eventually would make their way to topsites all over the world in this decentralized nature. Much like Usenet, split-file or RAR archives were utilized in order to further enhance the racing culture.

Of course, due to the private and closed nature of this distribution network, it was difficult for many users to gain access to these topsites. Topsites are very much still in existence today.

IRC (90s-Present)

IRC has been around for a long time and has played quite a role in society, both in filesharing as well as politics. Many IRC clients feature a DCC (direct client to client) protocol which allows users to do exactly as the name implies.

Through DCC, and later with advancements and bots known as XDCC servers, filesharing took yet another turn. Distribution groups who were able to get their hands on releases were able to serve files to the masses using these XDCC servers, which were typically hosted anywhere from powerful machines, brute forced Windows NT computers, personal computers, and university computer labs.

XDCC is still quite popular and a quick search through shows many active channels across many active IRC networks still utilizing XDCC for distribution. Additionally, IRC is still widely used for its original purpose of chat as well as a bootstrap mechanism for filesharing mediums which sprouted later.

Hotline (90s)

For a brief period Hotline was a very popular medium for sharing files. At first, Hotline was very mainstream with many mega corporations participating in the Hotline network. However, it quickly faded away due to many complications, including but not limited to the encrypting of source files on Hotline computers which essentially crippled the company.

Napster (Late 90s)

Napster arguably brought MP3 and filesharing to the masses. There are very few netizens who haven’t used or heard of Napster. The software operated as a peer to peer filesharing network strictly used for music. Napster’s database, however, was centrally located, which eventually helped lead to its shutdown and subsequent demise. However, not before it helped to spread the idea of filesharing, in its entirety, to the masses.

Gnutella, eDonkey2000 and Kazaa (Early 2000)

The centralized nature of Napster gave way to a single point of failure – or single point of shutdown. As such, many gifted developers researched methods to avoid such complications. Gnutella, eDonkey2000, and Kazaa were different implementations which all did quite well in their heyday. While their protocols were all different, they were each very similar in that there was no central server. However, each protocol ended up “failing” as they were rooted in commercial (and corporate) interest – which ended up becoming an attack point.

Gnutella, originally created by the Nullsoft people, was once the most used network thanks to LimeWire. The LimeWire client was sued by the RIAA and shutdown in 2010, which turned Gnutella into a ghost network. The original eDonkey2000 from Jed McCaleb was toppled as well, but clones have kept the eDonkey network alive. The Kazaa team later created Skype, which is a widely used VoIP/IM platform.

DC++ and i2hub

DC++ and i2hub were popular methods of sharing files in closed-networks. Both were highly used within the university and college scene where students would share hub/server addresses with each other in order to share files at very high speeds within the local college networks. The advantages provided within these was that outside agencies and other various third parties could not access the content found within these networks.

However, the RIAA found a way into i2hub and was able to shut it down. DC++ is still in active development today, but is not as common or widespread as it once was.

BitTorrent (2001)

Bram Cohen created BitTorrent, which almost anyone with an Internet connection today has used, knowingly or not. BitTorrent essentially took on all of the greatest properties of its predecessors and packed them all into one, easy to use file sharing platform.

Taking on the concepts of breaking files into multiple chunks (Usenet, Topsites) as well as the decentralized peer-to-peer distribution mechanism (Napster, Gnutella, eDonkey2000, Kazaa), BitTorrent has catapulted into a mainstream filesharing mechanism which is fast, efficient, and difficult to stop.

Early versions of BitTorrent required centralized trackers to operate, but have later become able to utilize trackerless “torrents.

Increasingly BitTorrent users have grown concerned with their privacy. Indexes such as have been able to maintain logs of every file downloaded by IP, which has raised significant awareness to whether it is safe to download files through BitTorrent. In addition, many ISPs have been known to cap speeds when detecting BitTorrent downloads.

As a result of these privacy concerns millions of BitTorrent users have signed up with Anonymous VPN services to mask their IP-addresses when downloading files

Filelockers and Forums (2000 to Present)

In recent years Megaupload, Rapidshare, Hotfile and other file lockers became quite popular. These file lockers provided the simplest means of filesharing when compared to all of their predecessors. Files are simply uploaded to the file locker, and a URL is provided to the file which is download through HTTP/HTTPS.

Generally, the URLs are shared through forums. Due to the affiliate compensations some cyberlockers offer to file uploaders on a per-file based download count, many files are distributed in split-file or RAR archives much like in the days of topsites and Usenet. This is mainly due to for-profit reasons as opposed to cultural or technical reasons as seen in the scene (topsites) or on Usenet respectively.

However, governments as well as special interest groups including the RIAA and MPAA have targeted file lockers leading to widely publicized lawsuits, including the arrest and destruction of Megaupload and Kim Dotcom.

Final Thoughts

Filesharing has come a long way, and with it, many industries have been born.

While it provides challenges to many of the big media conglomerates, it undoubtedly enriched the lives of many independent creators. Distribution is no longer something for the happy few, which shows as tens of thousands of artists share their work for free online every year.

Filesharing as a technology is good. Let’s make sure it stays around so that we may continue to share our thoughts, ideas, and art in order to better ourselves, our communities, and our earth. Anyone who is against that must obviously dream of world destruction, or at the least, wish for human progress to stop.

About The Author

Andrew is a long-time advocate of privacy and the conservation of the personal realm. He served as the brand manager for an internationally recognized best-selling product prior to co-founding Private Internet Access. Additionally, he co-founded of Mt. Gox Live which was acquired by Mt. Gox, the world’s leading Bitcoin exchange, and created their official mobile application.

Megaupload Trial May Never Happen, Judge Says
April 22, 2012

A US judge has put a bomb under the Megaupload case by informing the FBI that a trial in the United States may never happen. The cyberlocker was never formally served with the appropriate paperwork by the US authorities, as it is impossible to serve a foreign company with criminal charges.

The US Government accuses Kim Dotcom and the rest of the “Mega Conspiracy” of running a criminal operation.

Charges in the indictment include engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement.

While the prosecution is hoping to have Megaupload tried in the US, breaking news suggests that this may never happen.

It turns out that the US judge handling the case has serious doubts whether it will ever go to trial due to a procedural error.

“I frankly don’t know that we are ever going to have a trial in this matter,” Judge O’Grady said as reported by the NZ Herald.

Judge O’Grady informed the FBI that Megaupload was never served with criminal charges, which is a requirement to start the trial. The origin of this problem is not merely a matter of oversight. Megaupload’s lawyer Ira Rothken says that unlike people, companies can’t be served outside US jurisdiction.

“My understanding as to why they haven’t done that is because they can’t. We don’t believe Megaupload can be served in a criminal matter because it is not located within the jurisdiction of the United States,” Rothken says.

Megaupload’s lawyer adds that he doesn’t understand why the US authorities weren’t aware of this problem before. As a result Judge O’Grady noted that Megaupload is “kind of hanging out there.”

If this issue indeed prevents Megaupload from being tried in the US, it would be a blunder of epic proportions. And it is not the first “procedural” mistake either.

Last month the New Zealand High Court declared the order used to seize Dotcom’s property “null and void” after it was discovered that the police had acted under a court order that should have never been granted.

The error dates back to January when the police applied for the order granting them permission to seize Dotcom’s property. Rather than applying for an interim restraining order, the Police Commissioner applied for a foreign restraining order instead.

The exact ramifications of the failure to serve will become apparent in the near future.

Update: Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom responds, and he’s not happy.

SOPA mutates into much worse CISPA, the latest threat to internet free speech

Ethan A. Huff
Natural News
April 22, 2012

Just because SOPA and PIPA, the infamous internet “kill switch” bills, are largely dead does not mean the threat to internet free speech has become any less serious. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), also known as H.R. 3523, is the latest mutation of these internet censorship and spying bills to hit the U.S. Congress — and unless the American people speak up now to stop it, CISPA could lead to far worse repercussions for online free speech than SOPA or PIPA ever would have.

CNET, the popular technology news website that was among many others who spoke up against SOPA and PIPA earlier in the year, is also one of many now sounding the alarm about CISPA, which was authored by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.). Though the bill’s promoters are marketing it as being nothing like SOPA or PIPA, CISPA is exactly like those bills, except worse.

What CISPA will do, if passed, is remove all the legal barriers that currently stop internet service providers, government agencies, and others from arbitrarily spying on internet users. In the name of “cybersecurity,” a term that is undefined in the bill, CISPA will essentially allow internet users to be surveilled by the government without probable cause or a search warrant, which is a clear violation of users’ constitutional civil liberties.

Additionally, it will allow websites like Google, Facebook, and Twitter to intercept emails, text messages, and other private information that might be considered a threat to “cybersecurity.” The government can then demand access to this information, even if it has nothing to do with copyright infringement, which is one of the excuses being used for why such a bill is needed in the first place.

Internet users are already required to abide by the same laws as everyone else

“Just because you commit a crime on the internet doesn’t immunize you from liability just because it’s on the internet,” said Kendall Burman from the Center for Democracy & Technology, an internet freedom of speech advocacy group, to Russia Today(RT) in a recent interview. “Law enforcement has many tools to go after crimes that are committed anywhere, including the internet.”

And Burman is right. Contrary to what former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and others have inferred about the internet being an unregulated “free for all,” internet users are already required to abide by the same rules as everyone else. And those who commit crimes online are subject to the same legal obligations as those who commit them offline.

“When you talk about using information that the government receives that’s purportedly for the purpose of protecting cybersecurity, and you’re using it for law enforcement purposes or national security purposes that don’t have anything to do with cybersecurity, well law enforcement has tools already to go after those crimes,” added Burman. “And we very much fear that the information sharing machine that’s related to cybersecurity could very much become a backdoor wiretap or a surveillance program by another name.”

You can watch the full RT interview with Burman here:

In truth, there is no legitimate need to pass any “cybersecurity” bills because legal mechanisms to address internet crimes are already in place.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), another internet civil rights group, has created an Action Alert page where you can learn more about CISPA, and also petition your Congressmen to oppose it:

Sources for this article include:

Red Alert: We Must Resist CISPA Takeover of the Internet!
Friday, April 20, 2012

CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, is picking up sponsors and it looks like the legislation will make it to the House floor for a vote next week. Hosted by Alex Jones.

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