Digital rights advocates, brace yourselves: Obama administration pushing for new cyber-laws


Well at least the article mentions “public interest advocates,” briefly, right there at the end. Wouldn’t it be amazing if, instead of convening a lot of cops and lobbyists, they actually asked security experts and constitutional scholars?

I know… science fiction.

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Goodbye, internet. You were nice while you lasted. :frowning:

OTOH, if there’s any chance of this not being messed up, Obama would be the one I’d trust with it. No telling what whatever Republican who wins the next presidential election would do with a bill like this…

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Soooo, how would these laws affect people in other countries trying to attack targets in the US?

And, how would these laws make it easier to track down the criminals, who are pretty good at covering their tracks?

Legislation cannot fix this problem since the ones breaking the laws (aka criminals) will simply ignore even more laws.

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Daedalus - You mean Valerie J, right?

When has Obama ever not 100% taken the side of the surveillance apparat?


Just today, I was installing PuTTY (an open source SSH client) on a coworker’s computer, and I was struck by the warning at the top of the download page:

“LEGAL WARNING: Use of PuTTY, PSCP, PSFTP and Plink is illegal in countries where encryption is outlawed.”

Remember, this is just secure telnet client. It’s hard to think of something more innocuous, unless your a vicious totalitarian, but it sure seems like there are plenty of those around.


Hmmm, let me think about this… No, no, no. NO! and N.O. What do I have to do make this stop?

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I´d rather trust a dog to take care of a baloney sandwich than trust Obama with anything, or any other politician for that matter. It´s comical how predictable all of these fuckers are.


It’s already what, 30 years old? I say let them have it and we can make something better.

Surprised not to see mention of this on BoingBoing today:


What? How?

I’d suggest to defend what we have, teeth and nails and dirty tricks, and having the Possible Future Improvements only as a vague additional hope until it materializes and takes off - then and only then we can actually start relying on it.

The internet was designed for security through redundancy, but not secure against malicious use. And it is difficult to anonymize.

As long as people have something that basically works good enough, things have go completely down the toilet before most decide to try anything better. And the internet is not anything we “have”, because in is not sufficiently decentralized. As soon as telcos got involved its days were numbered.

The how is easy(ish), succeed TCP/IP with a more modern, secure protocol. There probably already are some. It’s too late to take the corporate/government circus off the internet, even if they still let people camp out on it. Make a better network that they can’t play on. Then they can regulate their own crippled “internet” while we move on to the alternet.

The internet was designed as a fairly good, stable architecture. I’d be hard-pressed coming with something better. I thought but don’t have any idea that would scale. Mesh networking, maybe, but that is mostly for smaller-area networks and I am not sure how it would scale to meshes-of-meshes. Especially if dynamic; the routing overhead could get massive. And then you get the bandwidth limitations…

That is true. On the other hand, changes are rarely towards better, so a degree of skepticism/inertia is a good hedge against bad ideas looking good.

The decentralization is a tough cookie to do well. Economy and trouble with physical infrastructure and limited wireless bandwidth dictate that one fat fast line is cheaper to install than multiple lines of the same capacity in different directions. Hence the transformation of decentralized web to mostly hierarchical structure. I have no idea how to counter this without sacrificing lots of bandwidth availability, or lots of money. Lay down a fiber and you have a thick pipe. Any other alternative is grossly limited in comparison. And we live in the age of streaming HD videos.

Anonymization vs security is somewhat contradictory. If you can anonymize one side well enough, then the other side cannot block threats by their identity (usually IP address). And so on.

Which protocol? What specs? What to do with infrastructure in which there are huge sunken costs in the form of routers that are built to work with IP, how to upgrade it to the new protocol?

The corporate Net sucks. There is no reasonable way to avoid it for upstream; last mile can be served by small wireless ISPs, or even citizen collectives if they manage to get a fat pipe upstream for pooled money. If you know a viable alternative, I’d like to hear.

The users are what gets the corporate ISPs offering anything at all. It is overpriced, it is slow, it is the least they can provide for the most they can gouge. An alternative is sorely needed at the last mile. Telcos need to get thrown into real competition (not just dsl vs cable and often not even that), then it gets a bit better.

In principle, I agree. In practice, I have no viable-looking idea how to do this without leveraging the IP-based internet as at least an interconnection layer between local network islands.


Like, during empty campaign promises? Which is more than half of the candidates for president do.

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And by extension, murderers just disregard the law against murder, so why not repeal it? That’s another problem legislation can’t fix.

The purpose of legislation like that is to provide punishment for those that do something wrong. I fail to see how more laws will reach to people in other countries (or even people under the protection of other countries).


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