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Censorship

Brewing Storm: Stealth, ISPs And Copyright 249

Posted by timothy
from the as-if-you-didn't-know dept.
Handulschteim writes: "As if nobody could have guessed, the Internet community has continued to circumvent the entertainment industry. According to this Reuters article, HavenCo has joined the action. It might be great marketing for them. But it might also be the beginning of the end if they attract the ire of their closest neighbor and its American buddies." (ruebarb contributes a link to the same story featured on MSNBC.) Since ISPs are going to face increasing pressure from the various 4-letter acronyms, it seems like the obvious next step for the the entertainment factories to lobby for would be a ban on all encrypted traffic for which no key is in escrow for easy policing.
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Brewing Storm: Stealth, ISPs And Copyright

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    In order words, Those Of the Four Letter Acronym are trying to ram their own policies forcefully up our own collective "back door".

    I say :P to the lot of them.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Japan might be free some day, but right now it's just less expensive than it used to be.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You see, a circle is defined as the set of all points lying in a two-dimensional plane which are equidistant from a single point, not the set of all points lying in a two-dimensional plane less than or equal to the radius r. Assuming the platform was not red to begin with, that sufficient slop is allowed to lay down non-infintesmally small drops of paint, that the surface is effectively two-dimensional, and that the concentric circles all have the same center, the parent poster's comment is sufficient to describe the requisite image for the humourous effect.

    In summary: you are the diet coke of pedants - just one calorie, not pedantic enough.

    - pedant nazi moderator
    "no pedant for you!"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:41PM (#255131)
    >What will happen to a slave-based economy when robots replace everybody,
    >i. e., when human labor, knowledge and expertise become worthless?

    Isn't it obvious? A relatively small number of individuals, I'm guessing at less than 25,000, will own everything. Those that own nothing, will have no tools to build anything that they might sell, nothing to build that someone might buy, etc etc. Some will be kept around as servants, but only for the power/humiliation of it, because machines will be so much more efficient. Others as prostitutes. Some as pets, even. Sooner or later, this will lead to genocide on a massive scale, but my guess is that will take more than a few generations. The last of the slaves might have a few hundred years, to ponder the question that you asked.

    Capitalism is a closed system, and eventually, it must devolve into complete stagnation. If humans weren't the technological animals that they are, the time it would take might be so long as to seem eternal, but at this rate, I expect to see it in my lifetime.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30, 2001 @03:06PM (#255132)
    They killed thousands of Iraqis so they could save a nickel on gas.
  • Consider: as more people started using Napster, record sales went UP. People spent MORE money on music. I'll bet you if the RIAA wins this battle, record sales will drop again, and not because of deliberate boycotting.

    --

  • by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3&phroggy,com> on Monday April 30, 2001 @03:42PM (#255134) Homepage
    There really isn't a business reason for the ISP to protect the user. After all, they don't have a time-based contract. The user can't sue the ISP (I think) for terminating them illegally, unless the ISP refuses to return any prepaid moneys or deposits.

    Any ISP that doesn't state that in their terms of service needs to fire their legal department, and probably upper management too. Try to find me an ISP that doesn't reserve the right to terminate accounts at any time for any reason. It's just a good idea, for the same reason supermarkets and other retail stores have little signs that say they reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

    --

  • by shogun (657) on Monday April 30, 2001 @05:59PM (#255135)
    Also Japan has made a concrete monolith out of a tiny island that was just about to subside into the sea so they can maintain territorial control over a vast area of sea that they want exclusive fishing rights to.
  • Yes, I'm quite aware of the fact that the electoral college elects presidents, but thats only splitting hairs. The majority did elect Al Gore. To claim otherwise is to argue about technicalities, and its those technicalities that are wrong, not the reality that the current president of the US of A was not elected by a majority. Furthermore, the Supreme Court just decided to stop counting in a close election. So, in this case, we'll frankly never know if the current president had a mandate from the people to be President, because the Supreme Court took that choice away from the people. All they had to do was say "Count em again".
    Python
  • by Python (1141) on Monday April 30, 2001 @03:34PM (#255138)
    If the very influencial LEA and Intel agencies failed to convince the US legislature / ANSI using the Four Horsemen argument (e.g. that nuclear terrorists, child pornographers, money launderers, and drug dealers, would flourish if crypto remained freely available) then what makes you think RIAA / MPAA can succeed by persuading congress with the argument that the latest movies are being copied illegaly?

    Simple, the RIAA/MPAA and entertainment industry in general make compaign contributions, whereas LEAs and intel agencies do not. The RIAA/MPAA and entertainment industry get to call the shots, because the congress-critters have to beg them for money, whereas the LEAs and intel agencies have to beg congress for money.
    Python

  • by Python (1141) on Monday April 30, 2001 @03:48PM (#255139)
    I don't think you understand. It's not who elects them, it's who funds them.

    People really need to get past this myth.

    What myth? Have you ever worked for a congress-critter? It is the people that fund a candidate that get attention. Sure, the constituents get attention, and if a large number of constituents get upset about something, the congress-critter does the right thing or gets caned. But for the most part, the apathy of the public keeps the scales nicely tipped in the favor of the big donors.

    Most people just don't care enough, no matter how much you or anyone else wants to lambast them for "believing in the myth". Its not a myth, this is the way the US Congress works. If you can't get enough constituents interested in a topic, you just write the congress-critter a check and you're guaranteed an audience with him/her.

    You might as well stay home on Election Day too, since you are so powerless.

    LOL! What an ironic statement. In the last elections the US had some of the highest voter turnouts in decades, for all the good it did. The Majority elected one candidate, and the Supreme Court selected the other candidate.

    Yeah, some power the people had that day. Thanks for the pep talk, but the US has serious problems that will not be solved by pretending that the system works, and that all we have to do is turn out to vote and send letters to our congress-critters. Did you happen to see the police state in DC on the inauguration day? And you think anyone in their right mind should not be turned off by the whole process when its pretty clear that corruption is seeping into the entire process in a way that doesn't leave any avenue for redress? The US needs serious electoral and campaign finance reform before you can even have the gall to insult someone for be disgusted at the whole thing.
    Python

  • by Python (1141) on Monday April 30, 2001 @03:08PM (#255140)
    He also drew an interesting parallel between weak crypto and regular mail: you trust that your letters will be private if you seal the envelopes. Sure, anyone can open them. But doing so is federal crime with heavy penalties. Hence criminalizing the breaking of weak crypto.

    Accept that its really a bad analogy. With a "ripped-open" envelope, you can tell its been opened and then you can, hopefully, use that law to try and find out who did it (assuming they left any useful physical evidence to trace them down). With crypto, you can't do this. Its always been possible to read poorly encrypted data without the owner being any the wiser (just look at the NSA, thats all they do). So how would you ever be able to enforce this law? Rhetorically, you can't, so its a big fat Red Herring. That law would be utterly useless. Its about the illusion of safety. The US Government would want you to think such a law would keep you safe. As if laws keep you safe now, which they don't. You have to be able to take action against a person that violates a law for it have any effect, and with crypto, its suprisingly hard to do that.

    Equally, using his poor analogy, its also possible to open envelopes without leaving any traces that most people be able to detect. So, criminalizing the opening of someone elses mail is not really a good means for preventing it from being opened. It can be opened, quite easily, without the recipent or sender being any the wiser.

    So even in the case of just envelopes, its a lowsy security model and of course anyone with common sense, the US government included, knows this. If you want to keep your secrets, you have to do more than just say its illegal to obtain it. This is really about the fact that the US government does not consider its citizens to have any legitimate need for protecting their privacy in any meaninful way (read: keep secrets). The US government thinks its the only ones that have "real" secrets to keep, so why would the silly little citizens of the US need real crypto? Just look at what the man is saying, basically that you and I don't need strong security models we just need weak laws that can't be enforced (read: weak security model). Envelopes and weaks laws should be good enough for us. Afterall, we don't have anything important to protect. (I could digress into the "what are you trying to hide" argument, but I doubt he's coming from there, I think he doesn't believe that)

    The operative response to his analogy should have been something along the lines of "So why doesn't the US government send all of its Top Secret material via the USPS in plain old envelopes or on postcards"? And then follow that up with a "So, is the US Government the only organization with secrets that needs good protection for its secrets?" And then watch him try to equivocate his way out of that one or cave.

    Bah... with the US Government, its all about double standards. They want to be able keep their secrets, even if its to the detriment of their own people, while the peasants^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H citizens have to allow the government to go on fishing expeditions into their private lives. Thats why the US Government and its elected officials need to be continuously reminded that US citizens have inalienable rights to privacy. This isn't some privilige the government can take away at a whim. If they pass laws that require the stipping away of those rights, then its a BAD law. And they need to go back and try again. Its that fundamental set of misunderstandings on the part of US officials that has created the entire crypto/CDA/DMCA/next_stupid_rights_stipping_act_he re mess.


    Python

  • by isaac (2852) on Monday April 30, 2001 @02:13PM (#255141)
    If the very influencial LEA and Intel agencies failed to convince the US legislature / ANSI using the Four Horsemen argument (e.g. that nuclear terrorists, child pornographers, money launderers, and drug dealers, would flourish if crypto remained freely available) then what makes you think RIAA / MPAA can succeed by persuading congress with the argument that the latest movies are being copied illegaly?

    Law enforcement and intelligence agencies don't have lobbying budgets, and don't make campaign contributions, where the sole purpose of "industry associations" like the MPAA and RIAA is to collectively represent the cartels' interests in politics. Also, while cops show up on the news occasionally, the ??AA member companies *are* the news (see ABCDisney, AOLTimeWarner (CNN), CBS/Viacom, etc.). No politician is willing to trash the media cartels, as long as they're dependent on them to get elected/stay in office.

    If the collective tech/electronics industries weren't so cowed by the ??AA's political muscle (and deathgrip on the media), they would have kicked big media to the curb as soon as they realized that more dollars were spent on CD-R/RW drives and media last year, alone, than the entire MPAA grossed at the box office, and that unlike the MPAA, CD/DVD-R/RW sales are still growing to the tune of 10-25%/year.

    -Isaac

  • For example, it is ILLEGAL in Japan to sell used video tapes, DVDs, and entertainment software

    Gosh, someone better tell that to the used video store next to my house.
  • by Squeeze Truck (2971) <xmsho@yahoo.com> on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:26PM (#255144) Homepage
    No, ISP's don't want to go to court. ISP's also don't want to go out of business. If all file sharing were stopped at the ISP level, people would find new ISP's -- one's that maybe "didn't have the resources" to go after every little violation.

    Fortunately, I don't have to worry about any of this. I live in Japan -- what you might call a "free" country.
  • The correct analogy would be a situation where many doors had keypad locks and someone came across a universal combination. Would it be a crime to posses that combination? To discuss it? To discuss a general weakness in that type of lock? It is a serious problem to have "burglarious tools" in your head. Short of removing your head, you are now constantly comitting a crime.

    What makes it evil is that Podesta is neither stupid nor incompetent. He knows the flaws in his analogy, and intentionally blurrs what should be a strong distinction between the physical and the intellectual (or ephemeral) for the purpose of enacting laws which are unprecedented in the way they operate, and not in a good way.

  • by Zigurd (3528) on Monday April 30, 2001 @03:11PM (#255146) Homepage
    Geez, did you catch the special shoes and tailoring to hide the cloven hoofs and barbed tail? What could be more evil than weak crypto plus a bunch of B.S. thoughtcrime laws that make it illegal to think about breaking it? Ick! make everybody who downloads a crack into a criminal, and provide "probable cause" to search anyone who could have downloaded a crack. That's why this is different than mail tampering, which requires physical contact.

    And did he understand at all that the horse has left the barn already on strong crypto? This kind of thinking at the highest levels of government (Didn't Web Hubbel have a hand in Clinton administration crypto policy? Ugh!) is scary.

  • Acttually, more worrying than this is that, let's say you get kicked off a small mom & pop ISP because they think you were trading something you weren't. To use your example, let's say you were sending home movies to your grandparents, but they kicked you anyway.

    Who's really left in the ISP business? Right now it's boiling down to AOL/TW and a bunch of large phone companies. Eventually those who are providing you access will be those who want to stop you from doing anything with their content, so even though they have the 'will' to fight, they're obviously not going to fight themselves.

    So, hold on to your small ISP for as long as possible, but eventually all content will be megacorp controlled.

  • by rdl (4744) <{ryan} {at} {venona.com}> on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:32PM (#255149) Homepage
    Just to let everyone know how things are going, since I'm sure people will ask:

    HavenCo has been doing pretty well recently -- the dotcom funding crisis means we're getting a lot more resumes, although we're not actively hiring.
    We're pretty much breakeven now, which is quite a relief given the current funding environment.

    We're focusing on a few key markets:

    * financial information and services (payment systems, stock information, etc.)

    * gaming (aka gambling)

    * outsourced email/IM/file servers, subpoena proof

    * reseller/VAR/OEM packages -- (ISPs that want to move certain clients offshore, ASPs, etc.)

    AFAIK fairtunes and other music services are still underway, but HavenCo itself isn't that actively involved in them. While I'm sure we can weather any storm caused by hosting an opennap server or other controversial information, it is simply better business for us to go after higher-paying, zero-hassle, high value financial and gaming servers.

    I apologize for not updating the website -- we've been very busy, and I have a new site with lots of photos and everyone else sitting in cvs, and at a staging URL, but it's not live yet. Hopefully soon, but unlike a lot of companies now on fuckedcompany, we're spending more time on actually selling products and supporting customers than on flashy websites...

    We have a pretty good referral program now, which hasn't been publicized or put back on the old website -- bring us a customer, and when they pay their sixth month's colo fee, you get it.

    I also got some netra X1's, and would like to host more of them -- we're discounting them substantially, since they're so easy to host, and people run solaris, netbsd, or sparclinux on them, rather than windows, saving us a bunch of hassle. We're charging about USD 6000/year to host on an X1 with minimal bandwidth, additional bandwidth to be purchased separately, vs. about USD 1500/month for a 1U or 2U intel/etc. type server with
    much more bandwidth.

    sales@havenco.com has info, of course. Buy servers, save money in regulatory and tax issues, and enable me to buy better food for Sealanders, and maybe a sushi chef.

    It's pretty obvious where we stand on free speech, privacy, copyright, etc. issues, but unfortunately we have a duty to shareholders, and the "donate service to all sorts of cool free projects, bring a bunch of controversy, earn the hatred of the established media industry, etc." is just not good business practice for HavenCo, regardless of what the Sealand Government wants to do. They are from a pirate radio background, after all!

    Interesting but fairly random stuff:

    I was actually speaking at the Jupiter Plug-In Europe conference with Aram, the analyst quoted in that piece -- he's a really interesting guy who taught me things about Napster I didn't know! I also met Bruce Ward of NetPD, who turns out to be much cooler in person than one would expect -- I totally respect his/NetPD's technical competence, and if anyone needs to track down child pornography or other illegal use of their own network, I'd definitely recommend NetPD. After meeting a bunch of music industry people, ranging from lawyers to artists (Howie B. even gave me his new unreleased album, which I promptly mp3'd and put on my rio...it's *excellent*, and speaking of rio, the CEO of Sonicblue was there, and everyone standing around the table with him pulled out different generations of rio!). Barcelona, by the way, kicks ass -- all the goodness of France and of Spain, combined. I saw a yacht in the bay which was bigger than Sealand!

    I was in San Francisco for RSA -- I'll be in Vegas for BlackHat and Defcon, but not much other than some events in Europe before then. Alas, 13 hour plane trips kind of suck. I had sushi just about every day. It was good. I was also on techtv, which people may have seen. Makeup artists are good at making ultra-pale geeks look suntanned.

    I'm working on some software and papers, will probably set up a personal havenco page to post them. So much to do, so little time.
  • Mmm, trolls. (ignoring the "do not feed the troll" sign)

    I dropped out to start a company in Anguilla: it was a simple financial issue, $30k out of my own pocket per year (no financial aid, no help from parents) vs. working on cool tech in the Caribbean, learning more every day than one would learn in a semester at university, and actually doing something meaningful for humanity and individual liberty.

    Simple choice :)

    I would have a *very* hard time justifying college if I were interested in 1) changing the world 2) computer practice, vs. theory. Aside from a few cryptography courses and advanced math courses, the most important aspect of university was meeting people and making contacts in industry; a lot of which can be done just as easily independently on the net.
  • I'm no huge fan of capitalism, but all-in-all, I feel it works for me better than so-called "socialism," the likes of which exist in China and in the former Soviet Union, would.



    China and the former Soviet Union practiced communism. Socialism is practiced by places like France and Sweden, and it's not generally associated with oppression. In fact, I would argue that it's associated with less oppression than capitalism, as stuff like the events of The Grapes of Wrath generally don't happen under socialist societies.

  • The problem with that is that they are a soveriegn nation. So effectively, the waters immediatly around/under them are not in fact international waters, but SeaHaven waters. You can't just go around blowing stuff up on the property of other nations. Now, on the other hand, what are they going to do about it. It would merely risk an international outcry, which I'm imagining would be fairly weak anyways.
  • by Rob Kaper (5960) on Monday April 30, 2001 @03:02PM (#255154) Homepage
    Worst case, the UK or US navy takes out the whole structure (after giving them time to evacuate).

    So don't evacuate. Would the US kill people because they allow others to break a copyright law?

    I would like to see what the rest of the world would think of *that*.

  • I'm just finishing a paper about the DMCA for a Political Science course. The DMCA was primarily crafted to implement the WIPO treaty. The WIPO treaty, in turn, is primarily intended to spread the concept of copyright that American corporations have to other countries (mainly, China). It's because of the huge amount of unauthorized copying going on in China. Of course, cracking down on Napster et al is another reason. ;-)
  • by Malachite (8328) on Monday April 30, 2001 @02:02PM (#255157) Homepage
    To quote the oft-used cliche, The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. However, the truth in that statement comes from the inherent chaos and lack of central control, not from laws protecting speech.

    P2P software such as OpenNAP will survive, but not because of Sealand. When Sealand opens a napster server the RIAA will send them a polite letter asking them to turn if off. They will not comply. Then the RIAA will send a similar letter to Sealand's ISP's - and Sealand will find themselves disconnected. ISP's are businesses and their duty is to increase shareholder value, not to protect free speech. (hint: fighting the RIAA in court doesn't increase shareholder value)

    Now, as I was saying, OpenNAP will survive. Think about how long it takes someone to configure an OpenNAP server and how long it takes the RIAA to litigate one out of existance. Perhaps the next linux worm's payload will be that it assembles an OpenNAP server network, who knows...

    As for encryption regulations, timothy's comment is sensationalist crap. Will politicians continue to outlaw things like strong encryption in order to save the children or something? Yes. Will the courts throw out the worst of them? Yes. Will it make any significant impact on the real world? No. In fact, I have a feeling that if they outlawed encryption actual use of it would increase.
  • The article states:
    Reigning in online piracy has become a crusade within the music and film industries...
    It certainly has. They don't just crusade, they reign in piracy! They rule, man.
  • by crovira (10242) on Monday April 30, 2001 @03:37PM (#255159) Homepage
    I work for a financial firm and their client banks who handle trillions of dollars per year and its ALL in encrypted traffic. Some transfers are small and some transfers are hundred's of megabytes in length.

    There is no way that ANY AA has the clout to make my employer or its clients hand over any keys. Fugged aboud id!

    The AAs come to the banks for money, not the othe way around, and if they step on the bankers' toes, they'll disappear like McCarthy did when he went after the army. Forgotten but not gone.
  • by xyzzy (10685) on Monday April 30, 2001 @04:44PM (#255160) Homepage
    So much for the expert -- Aircraft Carriers, Destroyers, etc., are most certainly considered sovreign territory. I have heard a US Navy Admiral describe them as "the largest mobile piece of the United States in the world".
  • The ship may be soverign but it is not its own country. It belongs to the US and is governed by the laws of the US and have all the priveledges the US has under International law and treaties.
  • by LL (20038) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:28PM (#255164)
    What is driving this change is the shrinking cost of storage, and subsequent improvement in bandwidth, both of which significantly reduces search costs. Traditionally in any media enterprise it was economical to archive all the masters and intermediate processing steps internally. Given the 90 years + life of author of artistic works, it made sense for companies to recycle old recordings and push recompilations rather than going through the hassle of actually supporting existing artists. The internet makes this store and forward model (record and broadcast for mass media) less attractive as compared with a publish and subscribe model. Unfortunately many businesses are in incredible debt due to buying up large content houses and they are seeing the value (and thus shareholder support) erode due to this fundamental shift in the economic landscape (P2P matcheses personal tastes better than radio). So Caute-like they are busily erecting legal sandcastles and counter-flooding the trenches in the hope that their exclusive hold (and subsequent control) on the store and fetch paradigm can be retained.

    However, those people with a half-a-clue are realising that alternative distribution models exists as software moves the relative power back to the artists and performers away from promoters and managers (unless they consolidate [salon.com] their distirbution channels and demand payola aka gateway fees). So what is likely to happen? I nthe long run you'll probably see more variety and different intermediatories but in the short term, its likely to be a scorched earth policy with ISPs being in the front line trenches squeezed between content holders (who want to pass the cost of enforcement onto someone else ... e.g. public law) and communications infrastructure providers who want to extract every last cent from providing bandwidth. In short the mom and pop UUCP and message boards are going to disappear as they don't have the intellectual or financial firepower to survive the coming firestorm (MS .NET initiative notwithstanding).

    Note that this is not new. Whenever a scarce resource becomes cheap, whoever's interest buildt on faulty assumptions starts screaming. For example, when radio stations were limited in NZ several decades ago, some entrepreneurs put raio masts on a ship outside the nautical exclusion zones and beamed "pirate" broadcsts inland. The internet is even easier as the infrastructure is outside the immediate juristiction and you cannot restrict people moving around except through controlling their access software (cough*AOL-AIM*cough).

    Maybe, just maybe, companies will actually support grass-roots artistic development instead of flogging over-hyped teenage boppers or overpriced dead rockers. On the other hand, cynics would note that money talks, bullshit walks.

    LL

  • by NeilO (20628) on Monday April 30, 2001 @07:23PM (#255167)
    I work in the movie industry. Here's a tidbit:

    Blockbuster movies cost 10's or 100's of millions of dollars to make, but studios rarely make a profit on US boxoffice returns alone. True, they usually net a little something after international distribution. But the real profit in the business is home video rentals and sales.

    So if Joe Sixpack can download a movie, and it's reasonably fast, and doesn't cost a lot to store on his drive (or burn to a CD-R/DVD-R), then he WILL download that song or movie. Right?

    And if a major movie studio invests $100 million in a summer blockbuster, but when the DVD comes out it's promptly pirated and P2P'ed all over the internet for free, then video rentals go down the toilet. And ultimately (here's the conceptual leap) the studio stops making movies because there's no way to be a profitable studio if you take home video out of the equation. Period.

    So P2P sharing via Napster/Gnutella is the virus that kills its host.

    Or am I wrong? Please tell me I am, since otherwise I am going to be out of a job.

  • When you signed up with your ISP did you sign a contract? I didn't. Not for any of my ISPs. One was five years ago - before this lawsuit mania. The cable ISP was two years ago and forgot to bring a contract when delivering the cable modem - I signed a receipt for the modem but that's it.

    The other ISP I signed up for I did over the phone with a credit card. With them, all I was told was that time was unlimited. That's it. No mention of any limitations.

    The Cable ISP's installer at least told me about some restrictions (no servers) but I could get around most of that because his wording was really vague. (He didn't read the contract, just said "We don't allow x, y, and z." Without any attempt at definition... ICQ can operate as a peer-to-peer server, is that covered?

    The other ISP doesn't even have that to go on. They didn't tell me any restrictions. If they terminate my account without warning (ie, they can refuse to renew it, but little else) I can sue them for a few things. (All fairly small, related to the costs of lost business and finding a new ISP.)

    Does anyone here actually have a binding contract with their ISP?

    btw: Contracts that disclaim all responsibility and state that service may be terminated at any time, etc. are not valid. (A service that can be terminated at any time is of no value, and a contract for a service of no value isn't valid.)

    That's Canadian law, and a rough view of it.
  • by Flounder (42112) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:06PM (#255172)
    Is it not obvious to nearly everybody that cutting HavenCo off from the rest of the net would be a very easy thing to accomplish, if the US and/or UK cared enough to do so?

    I read that HavenCo has multiple redundant connections to three or four separate companies in separate countries. I know at least France and Belgium have connections to Sealand. There's probably also a redundant satellite connection.

  • Don't hate the lawyers. They are the ones defending the ISPs, as well as the ones who are attacking. Remember that people *hire* lawyers to do their work. The lawyers don't go out on their own to go after ISPs. If you want to hate folks, hate the ones who are trying to enforce their "rights" at the cost of your basic freedoms.

    The easiest way to solve this problem is by supporting & giving money to groups like the EFF [eff.org] who'll go to court on behalf of the little ISP, and help them fight.

    For communications freedom support [eff.org] the EFF [eff.org], for Constitutional freedoms join [client-mail.com] the ACLU [aclu.org]. They're both very necessary

    Thalia

  • by Thalia (42305) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:11PM (#255174)
    The problem is that ISP's don't want to go to court. They can be threatened by the MPAA, and they're likely to cave, because if they don't, they'll end up spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on attorney fees. And most of them can't afford to do that.

    But the truly odd part of the story is that it says that ExciteAtHome has responded by sending e-mails telling Gnutella users their services will be terminated within 24 hours if their alleged movie sharing continues. Now, how "alleged movie sharing" continues is beyond me. How do they know that folks are sharing copyrighted movies? Maybe they're sending each other something else that requires large files. Maybe it's home movies.

    There really isn't a business reason for the ISP to protect the user. After all, they don't have a time-based contract. The user can't sue the ISP (I think) for terminating them illegally, unless the ISP refuses to return any prepaid moneys or deposits.

    Review your ISP contract. I bet it allows your ISP to terminate you "at will." But if it doesn't, the subscriber who hasn't been using it for illegal stuff and is terminated should sue. A few lawsuits like that, and ISPs will think twice about just kicking users off based on a nasty-gram from the MPAA or RIAA.

    Thalia
  • Interesting. jazman_777 gets modded up to 3: interesting while the post he is replying to gets modded down to oblivion during after a tug of war between 12 moderators. It's a beautiful thing to watch.

    You can take comfort from having inspired me to such great heights. I stand on the shoulders of Giants.
    --

  • by jazman_777 (44742) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:50PM (#255177) Homepage
    The first thing that pops into my head when the idea of key escrow is who do you trust to escrow keys and where do you keep them?

    Ponderous Microsoft PR Machine Moves Into Action...

    "Why Microsoft, of course! It's what customers want! Millions of people round the world already trust us with their data, storing their data in our proprietary but standards-loving formats (heck, even KOffice will import it!), on our proprietary but interoperable (no, I did NOT say 'inoperable'!) OSs! We are customer-focused. We LOVE our customers! It's a veritable love-fest here in Redmond!"

    Whoops, sorry, I'm a bit too close to Redmond to pass up a rant opportunity. I look out the window of my office, and see a foul dark cloud hanging over Mordor, er, Redmond; I get chills of fear.
    --

  • Intellectual property laws exist only because capitalism is a slavery system. Our livelihood depends on working for others so we can pay our taxes. The reason that we have to work for others is that 99% of people have been deprived of an inheritance in the land. Income property is owned by a few and the government. The others are slaves. Artists and inventors depend on their work to make a living. Can we blame them? With the exception of a few, we all do because we are all slaves and we are all disenfranchised. So now we are swimming in an ocean of laws and rules that take away our remaining liberties, one by one.

    I wouldn't say that capitalism is inherently a slave system... G.K.Chesterton, for example, had a vision of distributed property ownership, called Distributism (?), which basically addresses a major problem of today: the centralization of property and wealth. He was seeing this almost a century ago, so it's not a new problem.

    Right now in the US we have the Democrats, who love the state, working closely with Republicans, who love big business. Now both parties love both--what a deadly combo! Is there some way to slay this Statist Beast without a larger Statist Beast?
    --

  • Intellectual property laws exist only because capitalism is a slavery system.


    Balls.

    Our livelihood depends on working for others so we can pay our taxes.

    Okay, Mr. Smarty, move out someplace and don't interact with anyone, but be totally self-sufficient. Because when you trade with people, you are "working for others."

    We should all demand a truly free system where everybody is guaranteed to inherit income property by virtue of being human, a piece of the pie, so to speak.

    Uh, you demand that. I'll be asking for actual freedom, not slavery as you are. You want everyone to have "a piece of the pie" "by virtue of being human." Something for nothing? Who's going to provide the something? The people making it. Who's going to provide the nothing? The people receiving the something under your black-is-white system.

    This is not a handout from the government

    Oh, really. Who's it from, then?


    - - - - -
  • by 1010011010 (53039) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:06PM (#255182) Homepage
    Sealand authorities painted several large patterns consisting of concentric red circles on their island.

    - - - - -
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Monday April 30, 2001 @02:22PM (#255183)
    > What does a given country or company have to gain by capturing a "data haven" at this point in the history of the internet, honestly?

    Several terabytes of pseudo-random numbers? ;-)

  • by Tackhead (54550) on Monday April 30, 2001 @02:31PM (#255184)
    > Until the people decide (the only body allowed to decide, according to the constitution) en masse that they want to change from a free society to a police-state, run by corps with lots of money, then there really isn't anything to debate here, is there?

    ...and now that, judging from the legislation of the past 8 years and the current crop of Congresscritters sittin' on the hill, the people have decided they want the police-state ("for the chiiiildrun!"), we discover that you were right: there really isn't anything to debate.

    At least, nothing that can be debated without the debaters being threatened by lawyers.

    > The only thing that is needed to produce real art is the artist and the consumer, in this case the listener. Most everything else [e.g. RIAA] is excess baggage.

    Four words for you: "I want my MTV".

    Dire Straits was poking fun at themselves and the rest of Top-40. Unfortunately, they were also right.

    Money for nothin', indeed.

  • by Illserve (56215)
    If you're trying to set up a data haven for illegal things, doing it in some random country through bribery and other traditional techniques would be far easier than physically assaulting Sealand
  • by Illserve (56215) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:55PM (#255186)
    Ok, I'm thinking about what sort of entities would already be taking advantage of a data haven... haven't really come up with much, sorry. What does a given country or company have to gain by capturing a "data haven" at this point in the history of the internet, honestly?

    I think you are greatly overromanticizing the importance and protection of Sealand. Sure things have worked out well so far, but I doubt any country would stand up for them, which means a single destroyer class ship is capable of "conquering" it. While there may be connections to positions of power in Britain, those are severely weakened by the departure of its founder.

    Yea it's nice to be your own country, but the flip side of that coin is that NO ONE else in the world is obligated to protect you.

    I expect that the only reason (apart from some sterling bravado in the 1978 war) Sealand is safe so far is that it hasn't been a big enough thorn in anyone's side to pluck out.

    And finally ask yourself this: If the big media are "small potatoes" why was Jon Johansen apprehended?

  • The British have a soft spot for eccentrics and kooks and they'll let the "Royal Family" have their fun as long as they're not doing any harm.

    What??? He said it's "...just not good business practice for HavenCo...". That doesn't have anything to do with the British or US government, but profitability. It's pretty hard to make money by giving away free services to a bunch of hungry leeches, as evidenced by all the failed and failing dotcoms based on that business model.

  • We may never know, but we can make an awfully good guess. Based on independent recounts of the Florida ballots, it is pretty clear that if the US Supreme Court had not stepped in, and the Florida Supreme Court's recount order had been carried out, Bush still would have won.

    The problem is that 'The Supreme Court stole the election' is now an article of faith among many disappointed voters, and no amount of evidence will persuade them otherwise.
  • Perhaps at some time in the past, the the UK government did 'recognize' Sealand as not part of the UK. Even so, there's nothing to prevent the government from changing its mind now.

    No other country would lift a finger to stop the UK from reclaiming Sealand, if it chose to do so. The only thing that might stop it would be if the UK courts ruled it illegal. Even in that case, the courts could be overruled by an Act of Parliament. If the ??AA can buy an Act of Congress (the DMCA), an Act to extinguish Sealand should come relatively cheap.
  • Great idea! I know I've got a patent application around here somwhere ...

    C&D - I had it first. See you in court.

    Mike.

  • It's a problem with brain-damaged langauges that expose the underlying machine limitations unnecessarily.
    (dotimes (j (expt 2 2048)) (format t "Here's one of my keys: ~d~%" j))
    Once again, Common Lisp [slashdot.org] rules.
  • Or...
    The greater you tighter your grip, the more galaxies will slip through your fingers.


  • by geomon (78680) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:22PM (#255195) Homepage Journal
    I don't see any legislation getting through the Congress that would ban encryption w/o public keys because there are plenty of companies who need to send their email and other business traffic securely over the web.

    The thought businesses would agree to the RIAA or any other organization having exclusive rights to screen private information for potential copyright violations will never fly.

    Do you really think IBM or Chevron will agree to anything that gives the RIAA permission to read their email?

    They will shit on this quicker than seagulls at a beachside picnic.

  • by Chairboy (88841) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:08PM (#255198) Homepage
    HavenCo claims that they're perfect for this stuff because they're in Sealand, but despite legios on Cryptnomicon fans slavering at the potential of this data haven, the simple fact of the matter is that HavenCo simply does not have enough bandwidth.

    The articles are about thwarting media companies. By virtue of the nature of the media, you must have thick, fat pipes to run your data through, and HavenCo simply cannot do this with their current or prospective future systems.

    Their only economical way to become a player would be to load up on satellite transmitters, and even that could be ambushed by mega-companies simply cutting off access upstream. All it takes is one TimeWarnerMcdonaldsSony conglomerate to stop accepting packets from electronic 'disputed zones' to trample this business model.

    I'm not saying these companies should stop trying, but using hype to sell abilities you don't have is harmful to your credibility and reduces data havens to science fiction staple.
  • by BierGuzzl (92635) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:01PM (#255199)
    ... is yet another "Zero knowledge system". We've got enough already -- let's stick with what's out there. Otherwise we'll end up with these new entities coming into that field with commercial interests of their own, not necessarily in tune with the original intent/philosophy.
  • by jpatokal (96361) on Monday April 30, 2001 @06:41PM (#255200) Homepage
    Whose copyright law doesn't even recognize a right of "first sale." For example, it is ILLEGAL in Japan to sell used video tapes, DVDs, and entertainment software.

    What!? Within minutes of where I work in Tokyo there are multistory department buildings devoted solely to selling used video tapes, DVDs and entertainment software, I've bought quite a few myself. There are, however, restrictions on how recently released used stuff may be (usually no newer than 1-2 years), which are usually respected as part of an agreement between the content production and retail industries.

    Cheers,
    -j.

  • by yerricde (125198) on Monday April 30, 2001 @05:27PM (#255220) Homepage Journal

    If all file sharing were stopped at the ISP level, people would find new ISP's

    Once you're booted off both your local cable provider and DSL provider for running a bandwidth-hogging server (even if you're serving up Free content) on their severly oversold network, the only option left is to move to another area. This can cost six figures [pineight.com] (or, in your case, eight Japanese figures).

    I don't have to worry about any of this. I live in Japan

    Whose copyright law doesn't even recognize a right of "first sale." For example, it is ILLEGAL [google.com] in Japan to sell used video tapes, DVDs, and entertainment software.

  • by legLess (127550) on Monday April 30, 2001 @12:59PM (#255221) Journal
    a ban on all encrypted traffic for which no key is in escrow for easy policing.

    Great idea! I know I've got a patent application around here somwhere ...

    question: is control controlled by its need to control?
    answer: yes
  • by legLess (127550) on Monday April 30, 2001 @03:06PM (#255222) Journal
    then what makes you think RIAA / MPAA can succeed by persuading congress with the argument that the latest movies are being copied illegaly?

    Sorry to say this, but they're not using arguments, they're using MONEY, which is the most persuasive argument of all for a Congresscritter. The Intelligence agencies et al were relying on old-fashioned arguments and words and things, and most Representatives can't sit still long enough to listen. Money, however, speaks very fast and in very small words (like "one" and "zero" - lots and lots of "zeros").

    question: is control controlled by its need to control?
    answer: yes
  • by mini me (132455) on Monday April 30, 2001 @03:32PM (#255224)
    This isn't as easy as it sounds, what is to stop Sealand from using RFC1149?

    Or will the world's population of pigeons mysteriously become extinct?
  • "it seems like the obvious next step for the the entertainment factories to lobby for would be a ban on all encrypted traffic for which no key is in escrow for easy policing."

    Hang on: The NSA, FBI, CIA, DEA etc etc have lobbied congress for over a decade or so to try and get un-escrowed crypto banned and have failed miserably in all attempts. I'd recommend the excellent book Privacy on the Line [mit.edu] by Diffie and Landau for a complete review of the history of escrow in America.

    They also lobbied ANSI [vpnc.org] to get Clipper escrowed technology implemented in banking systems in place of triple-DES but failed miserably.

    If the very influencial LEA and Intel agencies failed to convince the US legislature / ANSI using the Four Horsemen argument (e.g. that nuclear terrorists, child pornographers, money launderers, and drug dealers, would flourish if crypto remained freely available) then what makes you think RIAA / MPAA can succeed by persuading congress with the argument that the latest movies are being copied illegaly?

    Suddenly my permanent .sig is on-topic ;)

  • Is that why use North Americans can use 128-bit encryption, but only allowed to export 56-bit? I would have thought they'd have just told everybody to use 56-bit.

    This information is out of date - companies can now export 128-bit encryption to non-embargoed countries (see for example here [microsoft.com]).

  • by HerrGlock (141750) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:01PM (#255234) Homepage
    U.S. Gov't wants to ban everything, encryption-wise, that they do not have a back door for. The MPAA, RIAA, LMNOPA, et al want to ban encryption of which THEY don't have back doors to. Seems Joe User is just about screwed no matter which way it goes. The Federal Gov't will just not allow them to BE an ISP or the TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms, four this time) will SUE them until they give in or go broke, whichever is fine with them.

    Just say no to back door mandates.

    DanH
    Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]
  • by Dyolf Knip (165446) on Monday April 30, 2001 @03:48PM (#255236) Homepage
    will switch to technological means of protection

    Fine by me. Attempting tech solutions puts them on the same level as us. Furthermore, and I wish they'd realize this, a successful tech solution gets applause from the /. crowd, while sicking copyright lawyers on 2600 earns our eternal hatred. Witness the DirectTV affair a little while ago; worked great and not a word of ire from anyone on /.

    But they'll have to be very, very clever to come up with a foolproof solution to their problem. Anything purely software based is toast (hence the dongles, right). And it only takes one uncontrolled copy of controlled media to circulate and make the whole exercise worthless.

    Plus, there's a limit as to how dongle-ized computers can get. I can just imagine a yard-long dongle 'stick' coming out the back of a computer. Need one for my Pink Floyd cd's, Orbital, Fluke, Queen, etc, etc...

    Really, the only problem with the AA's trying for tech fixes is that they simultaneously get legislation passed making it illegal to use anything but their undoubtedly crummy protection schemes.

    --

  • by Dyolf Knip (165446) on Monday April 30, 2001 @02:28PM (#255237) Homepage
    Pressure from the music industry fostering privacy tactics is a good thing compared to other pressures. By developing privacy technology now to prevent corporations from tracking us, we're also developing the means to prevent the government from doing the same thing. I'd much prefer the pressure from music and movies than government regulations

    There's a problem, though. What kind of pressure are the industries going to exert? They apparently don't think that technical solutions by themselves will suffice (probably correct in that regard, since SDMI has worked so well), so they also resort to legal pressure. Hence the DMCA.

    Really, the whole cause of these problems is the government giving legal force to the demands of the media industries.

    There's a Heinlein quote that describes the situation perfectly: "There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law."

    --

  • by Abreu (173023) on Monday April 30, 2001 @04:40PM (#255240)
    A Canadian slashdotter said:

    I think you mean "Americans", our southerly neighbours...

    Lo siento, pero creo tu tambien generalizaste demasiado. Solo los gringos estan (o estaban) asi de capados... Nosotros en Mexico regularmente usamos encripcion pesada. Para un ejemplo chequen Linuxppp [linuxppp.com] una distribucion de linux que surgio por la falta de encripcion pesada en las distros gringas.

    Translation: Sorry, but I think you overgeneralized too. Only the gringos are (or were) so emasculated... We at Mexico regularly use heavy encription. For an example see Linuxppp [linuxppp.com] a Linux distribution that emerged due to the lack of heavy encription on gringo distros.

    ------
    C'mon, flame me!

  • by dannywyatt (175432) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:14PM (#255243) Homepage
    On this note, I went to a panel on privacy and crypto last week. It included Michael Rabin (Turing award winner, inventor of vanishing key encryption), Whitfield Diffie (co-inventor of public key crypto), Steven Levy (author of Crypto), and John Podesta (Clinton's chief of staff).

    Anyhow, Podesta was very candid about how the tight enforcement of export controls was meant to hinder the spread of strong crypto until the NSA could recover from the clipper chip fiasco. So, no, I don't think gov't key escrow will rear it's head again in that form.

    He also drew an interesting parallel between weak crypto and regular mail: you trust that your letters will be private if you seal the envelopes. Sure, anyone can open them. But doing so is federal crime with heavy penalties. Hence criminalizing the breaking of weak crypto. But he also said the MPAA deserved what they got. So go figure.

    The whole thing is archived on-line [columbia.edu] (alas, WMP only).

  • by Golias (176380) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:02PM (#255244)
    Is it not obvious to nearly everybody that cutting HavenCo off from the rest of the net would be a very easy thing to accomplish, if the US and/or UK cared enough to do so?
  • by Golias (176380) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:17PM (#255245)
    All land-line connections, even to France, probably pass over (or under) British land. A backhoe could make short work of them. Signal jamming would also be easy enough for the satelite signal.

    Worst case, the UK or US navy takes out the whole structure (after giving them time to evacuate).

    I think concepts like FreeNet offer a lot more promise.

    William Gibson's "Walled City" concept could also be adapted to vpn technology, if the file-sharing crowd were so inclined.

    HavenCo's problem is the have a physical presence (a.k.a. "a target")... in international waters no less. The Chinese recently reminded us all about how much you can get away with in international waters. If a submarine were to "accidentally" bomb the shit out of that oil platform, what could anybody do about it?

  • by Golias (176380) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:41PM (#255246)
    I don't think you understand. It's not who elects them, it's who funds them.

    People really need to get past this myth.

    The only reason why politicians accept funding is so they can spend it persuading people to vote for them.

    According to a recent column I saw in Newsweek, the typical Congressional candidate spends about $3.00 per vote. For some sentators, it has been as high as $7.00 per vote.

    So, if you make me a donation of $30,000 (actually, you can't make a donation that large to me under current campaign finance law... but you can donate that to my party or spend it on ads bashing my opponent), there is no way I am going to return the favor by doing something that costs me 15,000 votes, no matter how corrupt I am.

    Unfortunately, people with your attitude never bother to let your elected leaders know what it is that you want. When that Big Donor tells them that Bill x is a Good Thing, and they are not hearing otherwise from their constituents, they are more likely to listen to the guy who is helping their next campaign.

    But hey, you just go ahead and keep telling yourself how 1337 you are for knowing better than to bother. You might as well stay home on Election Day too, since you are so powerless.

    Meanwhile, pardon the rest of us while we continue to tilt at windmills, blissfully unaware of the hopelessness of our situation.

  • by Alien54 (180860) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:58PM (#255247) Journal
    (I don't want to retype this, and what I wrote originally seems to fit here. so pardon me for a quick cut/paste/edit)

    In an earlier thread someone posted the following:

    Why would individuals encrypt their emails and other correspondence to each other? What is the rational explanation? The only reason I can see for day-to-day use of encryption is personal emails is that you have something to hide or you have a bad case of paranoia. No offence people - but what makes what you say so interesting that you are so concerned about other people reading it? If you are doing something illegal, or you are concerned about maintaining secrecy because other people may steal your original (and so far unpatented) ideas then maybe there is a point - but I have met some people who refuse to exchange email unless it is PGP encrypted - what's up with that?

    My response was:

    The issue is one of Privacy.

    If you do not belive in privacy, then I can recommend a glass house for you.

    After all, you are not doing anything illegal? And if all houses were made of glass we would be able to catch criminals alot easier. We could just watch them all of the time with TV cameras.

    What are you doing that is so important that it would require secrecy and privacy 24 hours a day? You must have a criminal frame of mind, not wanting to live in a glass house. This obsession with privacy is merely paranoia, y'know, and is easily fixed with one of several medications. Let us recommend a nice doctor who would be very willing to help you with medications.

    I think this is very easily applicable to the Media companies. Let's open all of the books of all of the companies, and of all of the executives, because after all, They have nothing to hide at all, Right? Right?

    [There have been so many rumors of associations with criminal elements, we need to make sure that everything is on the up and up]

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander. The Media Moguls deserve the Glass House treatment. Since they are acting in a way that seems so criminal to many of us, how about actually investigating them for other crimes? What are the odds that someone would find something?

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • by Nakoruru (199332) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:14PM (#255252)
    The first thing that pops into my head when the idea of key escrow is who do you trust to escrow keys and where do you keep them?

    This may not be a big problem for domestic network traffic, but it becomes a huge problem for international traffic.

    Considering that the European Community is very suspicious of the so-called Epsilon system spying on its businesses, how likely are they to trust keys that are escrowed in the US for doing business with Europe? Of course, the sword cuts both ways.

    No one should trust encryption key escrow anymore than they should trust the government to have all the guns. I guess that statement only applies to the US, just try to take away guns from US citizens! People should react the same way to the privacy rape thats going on now.

  • by milo_Gwalthny (203233) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:35PM (#255255)
    I used to work for one of the largest consumer ISPs in the US. Our lawyers loved to list potential legal problems with pretty much anything we wanted to do or not do. But, we knew that any infringement on what our users had come to expect from the service, no matter how small, would cause a great hue and cry and numerous defections. Given our always precarious financial situation, we cared more about losing a paying customer today than a lawsuit tomorrow.

    On a side note, running an ISP has to be the worst job in the world. Even when we did things like change pricing plans from $25/unlimited to $20/unlimited we would get protests. It's hard to teach PR to a bunch of telecomm guys, I guess.

  • In an information age, maybe the information should be "free".

    Free in the sense the creator of the idea gets a limited monopoly on said idea, limited to about 10 years, and after the time ends, it becomes public domain.

    I understand such a statement undermines the economic structure we have now, but in the past IP laws did not last as long as they do nowadays and everything worked just fine.

    People will survive, books will still be written, music will still be produced; they were in the past and we will all move on. Trying to control all the information will provide to costly to our diginity and it will take away from time we could be working towards other ends.

    I doubt the people starving to death in the USA and the world have much interest in this debate. Maybe they should. The RIAA, the MPAA and others are dropping millions of dollars into lawsuits. Maybe that money could be used elsewhere.

    "If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it.

    Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

    That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property." - Thomas Jefferson

  • by mad_clown (207335) on Monday April 30, 2001 @02:44PM (#255264)
    "...because if they don't, they'll end up spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on attorney fees."

    THIS is the problem... you've hit it right on the head! THIS is what we need our representatives to stop. I don't want to say I hate lawyers... But it's lawyers who take a well-meaning law such as the DMCA (say what you will... but the DMCA wasn't meant to be a way for big business to strong-arm people, ISP's, and weaker institutions), and turn it into a weapon for the moneyed-folk. It's lawyers who charge exorbanant fees that make ISP's and people unwilling to go to court to defend their rights.

    I don't really know what to do to fix the problem. Sometimes I just hate money... bleh.

  • by mad_clown (207335) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:59PM (#255265)
    Well... you have a point. However, people won't stand for it for long. Joe-sixpack LIKES Napster. No government ban, no RIAA/MPAA/DCMA whining will ultimately stop him. If Napster dies, he'll use something else.

    Combined with the power of the ACLU, the EFF, and similar organizations, Joe-sixpack, whether he's doing the right thing or not by stealing content, is a potent force against the growing anti-privacy movement now engulfing the internet in the name of intellectual property.

    The battle continues, but people, sheeplike as they may sometimes appear, posess the power to halt this kind of thing in its tracks, and when the public becomes outraged... its all over for these corporate chumps and their pit of vipers... err, I mean lawyers.

    As always: contact your representative, write editorials, hold your own well-publicised media events (really, who's stopping you?).... Protests don't have to be a bunch of dirty hippies rioting and spraying "Die pig" on overturned cars. The battle can be won, but it must be won in a way that makes our side look better.
  • by pcidevel (207951) on Monday April 30, 2001 @02:15PM (#255268)
    Have you got a link for that?

    It's in the Sealand History [sealandgov.com] under the Initial Challenge to Sealand's Sovereignty heading. Read all about it! :) There is also information about Sealands first war on that page.. very interesting read!

    International waters or not, ocean platforms belong to the organization (or, in this case, military) that built them.

    This is VERY correct; however, you seem to have forgotten a very important point, your quote should read: International waters or not, ocean platforms belong to the organization (or, in this case, military) that built them, until they abandon them., Which is exact what happened, that is how Sealand was able to claim the land!

  • by atrowe (209484) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:07PM (#255270)
    HavenCo doesn't seem like the best situation. HavenCo is nothing more than the dark alley of the Internet, where thuds and w4r3z d00d5 roam. If we continue to avoid the music and movie industries, and duck underneath the grasp of their dubious laws, they're only going to lobby harder in congress and further tighten the noose around our necks.

    I say we need to stand up against the corporate monopolies and start our own campaign against the rape of our constitution. Most of us geeks are content to sit back and bask in the false sense of security provided by our ROT-13 and PGP keys, while all the while, the corporate superpowers are documenting our evasiveness and using it as reason to pass even more restrictive legislation.

    Stop pussyfooting around the issue, and send a letter to YOUR government representative today. Request, nay DEMAND that information be free, and that our rights of ownership are stripped away from the corporate behemoths and restored to the hands of the common man. Remember, WE are the ones who elected these people, and WE are the ones who will decide if they are re-elected, so they have a great incentive to heed our demands.

  • by update() (217397) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:50PM (#255273) Homepage
    It's pretty obvious where we stand on free speech, privacy, copyright, etc. issues, but unfortunately we have a duty to shareholders, and the "donate service to all sorts of cool free projects, bring a bunch of controversy, earn the hatred of the established media industry, etc." is just not good business practice for HavenCo, regardless of what the Sealand Government wants to do.

    Clearly the HavenCo people have more sense than do the Neuromancer-obsessed geeks who genuinely believe Sealand could function as an independent sovereign entity. The British have a soft spot for eccentrics and kooks and they'll let the "Royal Family" have their fun as long as they're not doing any harm. But if you seriously think they could function as a high-profile base for copyright infringement, you need to read more newspapers and fewer Gibson novels.

    Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

  • Easy. As widespread pirating becomes common, movie studios are going to have to be a little more conservative during the planning stage. Tom Cruise will only do this movie for $22 million. Sucks to be us, but we'll have to get someone a little less in demand. Gertrude? Get on the phone and find out what Drew Carrey's schedule looks like.

    The next phase will be to harness the power of Beowulf clustering to move more of the production process onto computers. Instead of having Tom Cruise do the movie, you get someone who kinda looks like him, scan him into a computer, and use a combination of voice talent and guys with ping-pong balls duct taped to their butts. Best of all, you don't have to deal with whiny actors.

    Finally, twenty years down the road, when multi-gigabyte downloads are as quick as a megabyte download is today, they'll fire the motion capture guys (yep, "The Blue Group" will be out of work yet again), dump the Beowulfs, and sell the movie cameras to the pr0n industry. The directors will lock themselves in the archives, and all new movies will be created by splicing together old movies.

    The American people, their brains having already been turned to mush by such intellectual endeavors as the XFL and an interminable string of Britney Spears clones, will fail to notice that anything has changed.

  • by Dave Rickey (229333) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:16PM (#255277)
    Err, for obvious reasons HavenCo doesn't discuss who their clients are, but consider the political and diplomatic muscle it took for them to reach their current status. Consider how much money just maintaining the physical plant and all that armed security (armed with what? Don't even ask)entails. Think about what sorts of entities would *already* be taking advantage of a "data haven". Then ask yourself if you really think it would be that easy to roll over Prince Roy, or cut off Sealand. In the leagues they play in, "big media" is small potatoes. --Dave Rickey
  • by room101 (236520) on Monday April 30, 2001 @02:07PM (#255279) Homepage
    The only question to ask here is: is America still a free society? If so, then there is nothing really to debate, is there?


    Until the people decide (the only body allowed to decide, according to the constitution) en masse that they want to change from a free society to a police-state, run by corps with lots of money, then there really isn't anything to debate here, is there?


    I think it is ludicrous to believe that this is what the people of this nation would want: to give up freedom so some out dated, over advertising, overbearing corporation can sell us something we don't really need: their prepackaged version of somebody else's idea of art.


    The only thing that is needed to produce real art is the artist and the consumer, in this case the listener. Most everything else is excess baggage. Some extra things are required (like a media, player, etc.), things that enable this tranmission of art. Other things, like the RIAA, et al. are not needed, in fact they hinder art, thus need to be eliminated.

  • by arfy (236686) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:49PM (#255280)
    Could the corporations get a ban on all encrypted traffic for which no key is in escrow for easy policing?

    I'm beginning to think that corporations can get just about anything they want in the U.S. I'm trying not to be cynical, but the U.S. Supreme Court has been handing down increasingly bizarre decisions with hardly any public comment against it. Last week's decision gutting the Fourth Amendment, for example: do a majority of U.S. citizens really think it's OK for the police to stop, handcuff, arrest, mugshot and jail a woman for not wearing a seatbelt? In a state where the maximum penalty for this "crime" is a $50 fine?

    This from a court that says money is speech, innocence is no defense against the death penalty and there's no need to finish counting votes in a close election.

    The only way the RIAA, MPAA et. al. can fully protect what they perceive to be their property is if society allows a police state to develop. The Fourth Amendment was lost last week; we're on our way.
  • by joshyboy (237516) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:06PM (#255281)
    Chris Hansen, the guy at Earthlink knows what's going on and the Un-'napsterization' of the internet is fruitless. He states "The stronger the protection, the stronger the attack,"
    --
  • And if a major movie studio invests $100 million in a summer blockbuster, but when the DVD comes out it's promptly pirated and P2P'ed all over the internet for free, then video rentals go down the toilet. And ultimately (here's the conceptual leap) the studio stops making movies because there's no way to be a profitable studio if you take home video out of the equation. Period

    The answer of course is laughably easy: If the studio is certain that it can't recoup a $100 million investment, it will set a lower budget for the movie. If this happens industrywide this will lower the demand for expensive actors, and undertalented people finally stop being able to charge pornographic amounts of money for their services.

    Supply and demand. Problem solved. Film at 11

    Mart
  • by shyster (245228) <brackett@ufl . e du> on Tuesday May 01, 2001 @08:17AM (#255291) Homepage
    And tell what is so wrong about protecting ones revenue? I mean, if we think that making profit is illegal then it should be said openly and without this snipping around the edges. It very much reminds me of Democratic Party tactics whenever tax cut issues comes up: in all their rhetoric there is that unspoken hint (sometimes more than hint) that these "rich" people are villains and it is us against them. Where does this stuff come from? Isn't this country about exactly that. Freedom to pursue ones dream and making as much as possible out of ones abilities?

    Not to get too far off-topic here, but I have to say the "American Dream" is a bust. The unfortunate part of most "American Dreams" is that 1,000 or more people must be stepped on in order to claw yourself to the top.

    So, are all the rich villains? No, probably not. Are a great many of them? Absolutely. Employing slave labor in 3rd world countries, buying laws to minimize taxes, holding communities economic hostage in order to bring (usually low-paying) jobs, massive layoffs when VP's and higher are pulling in 6 figure bonuses, unabated environmental pollution, outright lies to the public, deceptive and insidious advertising, and the list goes on and on. These are all villianous acts.

    Is there anything illegal about this? No, I guess not. But that's only because they write the laws. Is it unethical (which is where laws are supposed to originate from)? Absolutely.

    So, you want me to tell you what's wrong with protecting one's revenue? It's because you have to crush people in order to praise the almighty dollar.

    Not to mention the purely economical aspect of the wealthy getting wealthier and the poor getting poorer. Eventually, that causes the death of consumers. Oh, and also the oh-so-practical view that a small minority of rich people with a large majority of poor and oppressed wage-slaves will sooner or later lead to a bloody revolt.

  • by truthsearch (249536) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:04PM (#255292) Homepage Journal
    Pressure from the music industry fostering privacy tactics is a good thing compared to other pressures. By developing privacy technology now to prevent corporations from tracking us, we're also developing the means to prevent the government from doing the same thing. I'd much prefer the pressure from music and movies than government regulations.

    ---
  • by H310iSe (249662) on Monday April 30, 2001 @03:55PM (#255294)
    "...Joe six-pack likes napster..." True but can Joe six-pack work encryption, or even figure out how to use gnutella or work with freedom network? I've been thinking alot about this lately - now I'm not the fastest fish in the sea but I work w/ computers for a living and it takes me an hour or two to figure some of these systems out. Napster is Joe six-packs favorite because, IMHO, it's the only easy to use file sharing system out there, completely monkey proof; more importantly it feels easy to use. It's a friendly site that Joe six-pack can figure out even after the first three beers.

    Which reminds me that a friend judges ease of use by how drunk he can be and still figure out how to use it. I actually like this as a test...

    So I've been thinking alot about how we can get friendly, easy to use (not the same thing, remember) access to all these neat-o technologies like MP4, anonymous encrypted filesharing, etc. (MP4s - anyone try to figure out how to make a @#$!%# MP4 with flask and then make, say WMA (heheh) play it? It's not brain surgery but it's most _definately_ drunk-proof, at least it was 4 months ago when I was drunk and trying to figure it out).

    o-u-t-r-e-a-c-h
    Since this is also an issue w/ linux in general I thought there might be some ideas out there. Are there any groups trying to make more cutting-edge technologies in the web more friendly? I'd voulenteer to do monkeyproof hand-holding documentation and tutorials in a second.

  • by Proud Geek (260376) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:41PM (#255305) Homepage Journal
    Why is Havenco at risk? They're just another company out to make a buck. They don't care one way or the other about copyright.

    Sure, they will provide service for copyright violators, even blatant ones. But for that to take place, there has to be someone with a business plan involving copyright violations. "Give other people's stuff away for free," sounds nice in theory, but you have to survive off of it also. To do that, you have to be pretty public, so why bother with stealth? Second, that means a lot of bandwidth, and for all Havenco is, they aren't a provider of cheap bandwidth.

    I'm sure the fight will heat up, but I doubt Havenco has much stake in it, one way or the other.

  • by Rory_O (260852) on Monday April 30, 2001 @02:05PM (#255308)

    Almost all /.ers know that the current state of the net was born out of the hard work and research of mostly public and a few private academic institutions.

    During the late 90s, we all know that changed, mostly for the worse

    Now we're seeing the clash of the 'geeks' who have had their last haven against the extreme capitalism invaded, and we're not taking this lightly at all.

    Problem is, there is so damn few of us to matter...

    But to stay on topic... what crossed my mind is: I'm seeing the current 'net floating towards a balance of 2 seperate entities: the aolmsnyahootimewarner.megacom variety, and the berkelyslashdot.orgu.

    Capitalism can have their side, nobody here cares about that if they stay on their side of the fence. But what happens when the 4-letter acronyms start invading our home turf Universities, the havens of intellectualism. The slashdots, kuro5hins.

    As an aside, some universities are driven by some corporate entities to some extent, mostly out of necessity to keep admission and tuition costs from inflating to unreachable heights. A state university here is well known to have its biology department almost totally funded by a select few multinational drug corporations, mostly to keep its head afloat. Now, the biology department has mostly turned into a cheap research lab for those companies.

    So what does this mean for our last fortresses of defense? What I'm fearing is the 4-letter acronyms start attacking the universities after they have done cleaning up the blood of non-conformant ISPs wishing to take a final stand for their users rights (or greed, whichever is fine by me). Oh, well we all know they have done half-hearted attempts before, but nothing very serious. I think they're waiting until they're finished testing where they can push the government and the people before the final 'battle' will begin.

    I can't see where it will go from here. All I can see is a horrible bloody mess between the 4 letters and the multinationals that run some universities, with the rest trying to hold out on their own. The outcome? I can't say... just years and years of hurtful words, damaged egos, broken spirits and one side not willing to give into the other. After it all clears, possibly, the best will stand and can say "we are standing because we are here for what is right"

    But we can't do it at the corporate level. Fighting with ISPs, organizations and such all take money. We simply can't even to begin to raise enough money to even put up a decent fight [see: napster, et al]. What we can do is take a stand at the intellectual, thoughtful, insightful level. Win with ideals, not money. Its the only chance we have.

    *Off soapbox now

  • by Sarcasmooo! (267601) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:45PM (#255320)
    I agree that they'll cave simply because it's in their best interests to, but they're not going to sue themselves [mediachannel.org]. Internet users have fewer and fewer choices; the broadband market is dominated by AOL-TimeWarner and AT and as far as alternatives go, the big fish are eating the little fish [sfgate.com]. Most people connect to Napster to download music that is copyrighted by the music division of their own ISP's 'corporate-mothership'. AOL-TimeWarner will keep 'Road Runner' and @Home users on a short leash on behalf of 'Warner Bros Records', 'Walt Disney' will keep AT&T users on a short leash to protect 'Walt Disney Pictures' and 'Walt Disney Records'.
  • by SomeoneYouDontKnow (267893) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:26PM (#255321)
    Agreed! I've said this before, and I'll say it again. The only way to stop the destruction of our fair use rights, as well as the patent and IP madness, is to make a stand. Get out there and fight like hell. Bring the battle to the forefront of the news as often as possible, and turn up the heat on the greedy corporations whenever possible. Speaking of copyrights, The New York Times has a column [nytimes.com] by Lawrence Lessig on just that subject. I strongly suggest everyone here go and read it. And after you're done, write a letter to the editor on this subject and mail it in. The Times is an influential newspaper, and any issue that can get traction within its pages is going to find its way into other media sooner or later. Here's the opening. Anyone care to take advantage of it?
  • by EllisDees (268037) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:46PM (#255322)
    All you have to do is send a letter to your isp stating that you aren't trading any copyrighted materials. Then they are obligated to keep you connected - you have removed the liability from them. Of course the next step the studios would have to take after that would be filing suit against you...fuck em!
  • by dachshund (300733) on Monday April 30, 2001 @03:30PM (#255323)
    people would find new ISP's -- one's that maybe "didn't have the resources" to go after every little violation

    That's great if you do your sharing over a 56K modem connection (ugh), but it really sucks if you have broadband. I have what's considered a lot of choice of broadband ISPs in my neighborhood, and it basically comes down to 2 cable companies and a rapidly shrinking handful of DSL providers (each of which would charge a large activation fee and take a few weeks to switch.)

    The RIAA and MPAA probably aren't going after too many modem users. They don't need to in order to put a crimp in Gnutella usage. They're going after people with high-speed connections, either through their ISP or their college/company. Either way, it has the same effect. Modem-to-modem Gnutella bites, especially if you're interested in sharing movies.

  • by gus goose (306978) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:12PM (#255325) Journal
    ... It is a big jump from going from the article's text to key escrow.

    It is in the interests of many people/organisations to use encryption. Further, systems like Gnutella do more than just music / mp3 / copyrighted material transfers. The problem is in proving the content of the transfer, rather than the fat that the transfer occurred. Further, much of the sting of these "interested parties" disappears outside the USofA.

    Let's face it, PGP is equally capable of transferring sensitive / copyrighted material as Gnutella, Freenet, etc.

    Still, the point is that there is no link between the article and key escrow. Tha article only points out that the RIAA, and others are looking at alternative "Napster's".

    Now, if FreeNet had Linux clients....
  • by bumski (308461) on Monday April 30, 2001 @02:36PM (#255327)
    Comparing laws protecting weak crypto with laws prohibiting mail tampering is interesting, but flawed. A law, narrowly drafted to protect a very specific service, might, IMHO, be good or at least acceptable. Too bad that in order to protect the mail, we now find it necessary to prohibit:
    • studying individual envelopes, to determine whether they might be openable,
    • opening envelopes, even if used for purposes other than mail delivery, and
    • teaching others how to open envelopes.

    BTW, manufacturing letter openers is now a federal offense. Also, we're considering criminalizing the manufacture of envelopes that are too difficult for government employees to open and re-seal surreptitiously.

  • by screwballicus (313964) on Monday April 30, 2001 @04:19PM (#255330)
    Havenco may not be the haven it claims to be, in the end. They've come out and said that they will not allow servers hosted on Sealand to be used for spam [havenco.com]:

    All of our contracts give HavenCo the right to cancel at will if the customer's web site or service is endangering our access to Internet connectivity, reasons for which spam is typically #1. Our advanced technical anti-spam and anti-attack techniques will prevent all customers from using our services for this purpose, and we will respond promptly to any complaints of spam.

    While I think we can all agree with their choice to ban use of servers for spam on the basis that it could seriously endanger their business, what does this imply about their provision of other taboo services? If someone sets up Napster2 on Sealand, will it be shut down on this same basis, that it "is endangering [their] access to Internet connectivity"?

    Sealand could face some major flak if they serve as a safe-harbour to exiled Internet services and they may simply not be willing to allow that flak to threaten their operations, as Spam would.

  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday April 30, 2001 @07:27PM (#255338)
    Let me give you a little thought experiment:

    Let's say we live in a paralell universe where the government has outlawed any encryption technology they themselves can't crack.

    What makes you think that ONLY the American government will be able to get into it? With a hole in security that well-documented, the only thing between Iraq/China/North Korea and IBM's/Lockheed Martin's/General Motors' latest military technology is a little bribery to grease the gears. Who needs to hang on to an EP-3 when you've downloaded all you ever wanted to know about it half a decade ago?

    Even if defence contractors like the ones above were given "real" encryption instead of what the general public uses, there are still commercial secrets that are a major part of our economy. What would have happened to Boeing if Airbus got their hands on the schematics of the 777 while it was still being designed? If Samsung "stumbled" upon the blueprints for the Pentium IV three years ago?

    The US economy would take a nose-dive, along with national pride as everybody BUT us comes up with all the great ideas. We'd be left with having to import just about everything (because all the good ideas are from outside the US) with no meaningful exports (why would they import US goods when they have them already?). Let that simmer for a decade without fixing it in a major way, and you have a civil war.

    I'm not saying that the feds aren't actively trying to break into our encryption schemes, but I AM saying that it is in their own best interest to make sure that what they're trying to crack is as hard as possible. Attempts by federal bodies to weaken commercial encryption is at worst their way of trying to find a "happy medium" for themselves, where they and only they have access to our information.

    Before you accuse the feds of being too stupid to have the foresight to realize how important commercial encryption is to the US, remember that developing strong commercial encryption has been a stated goal of the NSA since before their existance was made public. It's not just PR.

  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:08PM (#255339)
    "U.S. Gov't wants to ban everything, encryption-wise, that they do not have a back door for."

    Is that why use North Americans can use 128-bit encryption, but only allowed to export 56-bit? I would have thought they'd have just told everybody to use 56-bit.

    Is that why part of the NSA's mission is to develop new encryption algorithms to keep confidential American information (government or otherwise) confidential? After all, that IS the NSA's reason for trying to code SE Linux.

    If everybody in the government wanted what you're suggesting, it'd be done by now. Now, maybe if paranoids like you came out of their armed camps every once in a while to have a look-see, you might notice this.

  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:59PM (#255340)
    Nevermind, found my own. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_778000/ 778267.stm [bbc.co.uk]
    But (Roy Bates') plans were dealt a blow in 1987 when the UK extended its territorial waters from 3 to 12 miles.

    Now Sealand sits inside waters that Britain claims as its territory.

    A spokesman for the Home Office said it had no reason to recognise Sealand as a nation. "We've no reason to believe that anyone else recognises it either," he added.

    ...

    (John Bates, an expert on sea law and piracy) said because Sealand was man-made there was little chance that it would be recognised as a nation. "I don't think structures of that kind count as territory," he said.

    So it would seem what I said earlier still stands: The only reason they're still there is because the Brits haven't had reason to shut them down.
  • by haruharaharu (443975) on Monday April 30, 2001 @02:18PM (#255353) Homepage
    Sealand is not in international waters, it is itself a nation.

He: Let's end it all, bequeathin' our brains to science. She: What?!? Science got enough trouble with their OWN brains. -- Walt Kelly

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