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More Trouble Expected When Egypt Comes Back Online 175

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wait-till-china-gets-the-word dept.
schliz writes "Net activists at Telecomix are preparing darknets, encryption, proxies and VPNs to protect Egyptians' online freedom when the Government-imposed Internet blackout ends. Today, Telecomix regarded Egypt as being on "the same level as North Korea and Burma in internet censorship" amid rumours that Egyptian phone lines were to be shut down. Analysts and the Internet Society have also warned of technical and business difficulties to come — including BGP churn and commercial fears of doing business in Egypt."
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More Trouble Expected When Egypt Comes Back Online

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  • A Straw Vote! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @02:46PM (#35071484) Journal

    Who's all in favor of modifying the constitutions of every Western country to read:

    "Any attempt by government to in any way censor or limit or shut down the Internet will lead to immediate execution of said members of the Executive and Legislature by having their heads repeatedly smashed in by a circa-1995 Cisco router."

    • Absolutely not; for similar reasons to why advocating political murder of JA and circumvention of due process are frowned upon.

      • Ah, but this would be an amendment to the constitution. It would simply the immediate and permanent elimination of any politician who tries to foil civil liberties. You would have them on record as either having introduced the bill or voting for it, or from the Executive end of things, passing the bill into law. That would be a matter of public record. Should be enough for the amendment to allow the splattering of their brains over the pavement.

        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by Suki I (1546431)

          Try that one against the Muslim Brotherhood/CAIR after they take over Egypt. If you think the government there was "mean" before, you just watch and see what a *mean* version of Iran is like. They don't beast you with routers and the AK-47 bullets are metal, not rubber.

        • by skarphace (812333)

          It would simply the immediate and permanent elimination of any politician who tries to foil civil liberties

          Oh cool, defend civil liberties by taking people's civil rights. Great solution, dude.

        • (I know the original was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but the power-hungry politicians will find ways to get around it):
          The politicians will just try to (a) tax it to death (either the companies or the subscribers), (b) regulate it "in order to make sure it is free and non-discriminatory," or (c) have "voluntary" codes that ensure that access by children (and other protected classes) aren't shown "inappropriate content."

          The power to tax is the power to destroy and the power to regulate is the power to control.

      • circumventionn of due process?

        did we do that 200+ yrs ago fighting england? we didn't like the way things were, we fought back and this included guns and violence.

        we look at it as a symbol of freedom.

        but now, you wont allow a new one if its NEEDED and called for?

        how sad. you have learned nothing from our history.

      • by sjames (1099)

        Fine, they get their trial where the people must show that there was an attempt to shut down, censor, or limit the internet and that the person was at that time a member of the Legislative or executive branch. Then we smash their head in. If they can show a strong and substantive effort to prevent the damage to the internet, we could consider it a mitigating circumstance.

        • by sumdumass (711423)

          So it takes messing with your internet to get you fired up.

          Perhaps it would be easier to just pay attention more and not vote the asshats into office in the first place?

          Perhaps death and physical harm is not what's needed but a recall option to which any politician can be removed from office upon a certain set of criteria and be barred from serving office for a set amount of time would be more appropriate. At least then you wouldn't have a mess created by a governor who got thrown out just to get reelected

          • by sjames (1099)

            You must admit, a political attempt to disrupt the speech of the people is a rather serious threat to the Constitution.

            I like many many others do try to avoid electing asshats, but it seems that mostly asshats are running and the media filters most non-asshats out of the debates.

            Honestly, the death penalty is a bit much, and there are a lot more things that should get a politician sanctioned. For one, I would like a 3 strikes (or perhaps 2) law barring anyone from office if they vote in favor of any legisla

            • by sumdumass (711423)

              You must admit, a political attempt to disrupt the speech of the people is a rather serious threat to the Constitution.

              Not really. I don't see the constitution protecting all forms of speech. I'll skip past the entire fire in crowded movie theater stigma seeing how the nature of the alarm and panic is lost on the safer modern theaters. But how about when someone consistently threatens and berates someone, perhaps even when they are a witness or victim to a crime and the speech is an attempt to coerce them

              • by sjames (1099)

                I'm sure we could craft a law that takes into account such things as the classic yelling fire in a movie house or fighting words. It's all theoretical anyway since none of the asshats in office are going to vote in a law that will push them out.

                Truthfully, in American politics, we havn't voted for the best guy or non-asshat in a long time. We

                When you can't get something good, you try to make do to the extent that you can.

                I would agree if we didn't have the thread of judicial activism around. And no, I'm not talking about the we read the constitution and my side lost activist, I'm talking about the entire "we will create a right where one didn't exist" activism like the California supreme court did to defeat the voter approved gay marriage ban. If you read their argument on over turning it, you will see that they didn't cite law or constitutional issues, they cited fairness and other things that had nothing to do with the law or constitutionality.

                You know the Constitution is explicitly NOT an exhaustive list of rights, yes? Fairness is part of the foundation of law. Without it, there can be no justice. Of course, since it was a r

                • by sumdumass (711423)

                  I'm sure we could craft a law that takes into account such things as the classic yelling fire in a movie house or fighting words. It's all theoretical anyway since none of the asshats in office are going to vote in a law that will push them out.

                  Agreed!

                  When you can't get something good, you try to make do to the extent that you can.

                  Yes, I understand that. However, I was more trying to point out that more then voting for the right guy was going to be needed. Unfortunately, I don't have an answer to that

                  • by sjames (1099)

                    Fairness may not be part of the law in practice (for that matter, the right to an attorney, due process, and many other things are constructively denied), but it is there at least in principle. I certainly won't fault the one judge who remembers that once in a while nor would I decry it as activism.

                    I just do not see how you can entirely escape the judicial activism.

                    You don't entirely escape, unfortunately. However, if the various state superior courts or federal Supreme court get too far out of hand (especially if they start abusing their power in personal vendettas), there

                    • by sumdumass (711423)

                      Fairness may not be part of the law in practice (for that matter, the right to an attorney, due process, and many other things are constructively denied), but it is there at least in principle. I certainly won't fault the one judge who remembers that once in a while nor would I decry it as activism.

                      I wouldn't fault them necessarily either but I also don't think I would call it judicial activism. Perhaps some cases might border that line.

                      You don't entirely escape, unfortunately. However, if the various st

          • Perhaps it would be easier to just pay attention more and not vote the asshats into office in the first place?

            Oh, I do. The millions of other people residing in this country do not, however, despite my attempts to convince ones within my reach otherwise.

    • having their heads repeatedly smashed in by a circa-1995 Cisco router.

      We're gonna need a lot more circa-1995 cisco routers...

    • by h00manist (800926)

      "Any attempt by government to in any way censor or limit or shut down the Internet will lead to immediate execution of said members..."

      I vote for it. Including under "censor" the categories of copyright, trademarks, and defamation.

      • Copyrights give creative people a reason to do what they do. Writers, musicians, artists, etc. need to eat, too.

        Trademarks protect the consumer as much as the business. Without trademarks what stops somebody from selling bottles of piss and marketing it as Mountain Dew?

        Defamation completely throws me for a loop. You have a problem with people suing other people for making up lies about them?

        • by russotto (537200)

          Copyrights give creative people a reason to do what they do. Writers, musicians, artists, etc. need to eat, too.

          Trademarks protect the consumer as much as the business. Without trademarks what stops somebody from selling bottles of piss and marketing it as Mountain Dew?

          Defamation completely throws me for a loop. You have a problem with people suing other people for making up lies about them?

          You're considering the advertisement for these things rather than reality. In reality, copyrights are used to _shut d

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            You're considering the advertisement for these things rather than reality. In reality, copyrights are used to _shut down_ creative people for using the wrong three notes, or for writing the wrong computer program. Trademarks are used to remove words from the language (e.g. "monster") or to quell criticism. Defamation law is also used to quell criticism, e.g. trade libel claims against negative reviewers.

            Copyright is not worth arguing about with the zealots here on slashdot, but if you abolished trademark and defamation laws, all you would do is give the richest and most powerful corporations even more freedom to ride roughshod over competitors and consumers alike.

            Think about it, Microsoft could saturate the market with lying adverts trashing Linux as much as they could afford, and even poison the well by releasing crappy products and calling them Linux with no comeback whatsoever.

      • by tehcyder (746570)
        I can't tell if you're ridiculing the OP's argument by using the reductio ad absurdum method, or whether you are serious, but insane.

        As this is slashdot, sadly the later is more likely.

        • I can't tell if you're ridiculing the OP's argument by using the reductio ad absurdum method, or whether you are serious, but insane.

          As this is slashdot, sadly the later is more likely.

          I indeed desire the whole copyright, trademark and defamation laws to be gone. Political reality displays it is unrealistic to expect soon, but my opinions remain. Mentioned within an article to pass legislation favoring death penalties by cisco router beating seems entirely appropriate. If you disagree however, you can sue me on Cisco's behalf for making such statements, arguing unauthorized use of trademark. Perhaps they won't authorize the case out of concern for negative PR consequences, but the case

    • by Tharsman (1364603)

      Who's all in favor of modifying the constitutions of every Western country to read:

      "Any attempt by government to in any way censor or limit or shut down the Internet will lead to immediate execution of said members of the Executive and Legislature by having their heads repeatedly smashed in by a circa-1995 Cisco router."

      Sir, if you run for president, I'll vote for you.

    • add wellfleet and proteon and I'll be onboard with that.

    • by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @03:43PM (#35072284)

      I'm not in favor of that at all. It's a horrible idea. How dare you suggest doing such violence to circa-1995 Cisco routers!

    • by G00F (241765)

      You have my vote.

      Free people are people who can overthrow a government should it wish it. A tyrannical government is one that makes it impossible for the people to overthrow it.

      • Hmm... but it has become de facto impossible to overthrow the government with nonviolent means. Does that mean that violence is justified?

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          Hmm... but it has become de facto impossible to overthrow the government with nonviolent means. Does that mean that violence is justified?

          What I really, really love is that the very same people who advocate armed/violent overthrow of the US government for daring to tax them/limit their access to Nazi propaganda are the same ones who criticise Lenin and Mao for using violence to overthrow genuinely anti-democratic systems.

    • You didn't think this through, obviously. That router can be put to better uses, using it to bludgeon that heads with it is a horrible waste of valuable resources (at least compared to the head).

      Use a stone for the operation suggested.

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      I second that motion.

    • by Teancum (67324)

      "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

      I think the details and principles are there, although I do like the idea of specific legislation that somehow makes it a criminal offense for a government official to be specifically prosecuted for censorship in violation of these princi

      • The problem is that there are no meaningful consequences, and because it can take considerable effort to defend liberties against attack by the legislative or executive branches (far more effort than often goes into the attack itself), there should be an amendment that creates severe consequences for violating the Bill of Rights.

        That's where bashing their brains in with a Cisco router comes into play. I frankly think that legislators and the executive ought to be in terror for their very lives at the thoug

    • by tehcyder (746570)
      How about "any attempt to propose execution as a suitable punishment for non-capital offences shall automatically mark the proposer as criminally insane and liable to permanent incarceration in a secure establishment"?
  • What'a a darknet? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @02:46PM (#35071486) Journal

    I have a feeling we'll need one in the US very soon (sometime this decade).

    TOR: Congress prepares to follow Egypt with internet kill switch
    http://www.itnews.com.au/News/246707,egyptians-turn-to-tor-to-organise-dissent-online.aspx [itnews.com.au]

    "Appelbaum, a high-profile associate of the Wikileaks whistleblowers' site, said the "irony was rich" in how the US Government that supported the pro-democracy protesters treated him on his return to the country and the experiences of an Egyptian democracy activist who was harassed on his return to Egypt as revealed in a Wikileaks cable."

    • by toygeek (473120) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @03:03PM (#35071730) Homepage Journal

      "What's a darknet? I have a feeling we'll need one in the US very soon"

      Typical. You don't know what it is but it sounds cool so we need one. Right.

    • Re:What'a a darknet? (Score:4, Informative)

      by mob)barley (1377683) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @03:04PM (#35071736)
      It's a standalone network that is not physically connected in any way to the public networks we know of as the Internet. Learned that from a Gibson novel.
      • It's a standalone network that is not physically connected in any way to the public networks we know of as the Internet. Learned that from a Gibson novel.

        It's also used to refer to the allocated but unused IP space in the existing internet. It is a term used by security researchers who are looking for subsets of traffic directed randomly by malware and misconfiguration. It is a good place to find internet worm traffic if you're trying to do research on traffic levels or find new worms.

        • Why so much hassle? Just look up the IP ranges for China and filter for that. Presto malware traffic.

          • Why so much hassle? Just look up the IP ranges for China and filter for that. Presto malware traffic.

            Your sarcasm notwithstanding, Chinese IP space is primarily valid traffic. Darknet traffic has no real legitimate traffic; just traffic targeting indiscriminate space and erroneous configurations of valid software.

    • by h00manist (800926)

      I have a feeling we'll need one in the US very soon (sometime this decade).

      Irconically it may be that in Egypt they won't need it after all. US envoy has told Mubarak they recommend him not to run again, not to participate in transition.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/02/world/middleeast/02transition.html?emc=na [nytimes.com]

      • by timholman (71886) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @03:23PM (#35071946)

        Irconically it may be that in Egypt they won't need it after all. US envoy has told Mubarak they recommend him not to run again, not to participate in transition.

        There's no way the Egyptians will accept half measures from Mubarak at this point, and I doubt Mubarak is foolish enough to think they will.

        Mubarak is trying to buy time while he empties out his bank accounts and hides his loot. He'll be headed to Saudi Arabia before the week is out.

        • It's hard to get any kind of truth out of all of this, but the rumor flying around now is that his son Gamal and other members of the family have already left the country. And I doubt he's scrabbling to gather together cash. In all likelihood he's been squirreling it away for decades, just like Ben Ali and his kin did in Tunisia.

          • by Teancum (67324)

            Most likely, the cash is already in Switzerland... just like all good dictators do with their money.

            Now if you send me a $1000 for assistance in releasing that money, properly sent to a bank in Nigeria, I'll make sure you can help in laundering that money for the Mubarak family to keep that out of the grubby hand of western governments. Those Nigerian bankers are very good at that thing, you know. You can even take online classes [universityofnigeria.com] about how to ethically help out failing dictatorships.

            I expect a branch camp

        • by h00manist (800926)

          Mubarak is trying to buy time while he empties out his bank accounts and hides his loot. He'll be headed to Saudi Arabia before the week is out.

          Let's hope you're right. Either he's gathering up his money from the closed banks, or he's being foolishly hard headed, which is what I heard commenters say.

  • Does it matter? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Snaller (147050) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @02:52PM (#35071580) Journal

    I just one of our national stations have flow their news people to Egypt and set up a studio broadcasting live from the place and interviewing people on the street.

    Seems any attempt at blocking anything has long since failed . And the military are just look on, they are on the side of the protesters.

    • Re:Does it matter? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @02:56PM (#35071620) Journal

      I don't think they're on the side of the protesters so much as they're on the side of whoever wins. Which, in a way, seems an appropriate thing for an army to do in a case of popular revolution.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        I don't think they're on the side of the protesters so much as they're on the side of whoever wins. Which, in a way, seems an appropriate thing for an army to do in a case of popular revolution.

        Egypt has mandatory military service.
        The people protesting and the soldiers on the ground are not mutally exclusive groups.

    • And the military are just look on, they are on the side of the protesters.

      They're not so much on the side of the protesters as they are not on the side of Mubarik. (The military has been increasingly dissatisfied with him for some time now.)

      By taking what appears to be the moral high ground by appearing to side with the protesters, they're setting themselves up as kingmakers as this continues to shake out. They're demonstrating that their loyalty is not to government or constitution - but to whoev

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @03:06PM (#35071782)

    How can you possibly run a business in a place where the government might shut off a crucial resource at any time?

    • by dave562 (969951) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @03:41PM (#35072248) Journal

      How do American companies function every day? The company that I am working for is actually losing business because our clients do not want to store their data on our servers here in the United States. Everyone is concerned about the PATRIOT Act and the power it gives the government to compel disclosure of what should be private and confidential data. Although it is not exactly the same as being shut down, it goes to show that the effects of government policy are not just related to dictators in African countries.

      • Everyone is concerned about the PATRIOT Act and the power it gives the government to compel disclosure of what should be private and confidential data.

        That's a pretty weak fear though compared to having NO ACCESS to your own data.

        I think it's wrong to equate the two things since one is about access by third parties and the other is sheer existence. If the government ends up spying on you, you've lost nothing.

        • Well, I know businesses who would be more concerned with outsiders gaining access to their data than them being cut off from said data. Think off-site, emergency backups. If you happen to lose contact with your off-site backup place, you open a new one and everything continues running smoothly. If that data is sensitive and gets out, the damage is hard to measure, it may as well shut down your business.

  • You say 'when', but perhaps what you mean is 'if'? Perhaps Egypt will simply slide back into the 'Dark' Ages again? Then the Amish could vacation there.

  • by microbee (682094) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @04:03PM (#35072568)

    They just used up their monthly data caps. They will be here in the next billing cycle.

    An AT&T spokesman said.

  • Dear Egypt (Score:3, Funny)

    by rudy_wayne (414635) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @05:04PM (#35073350)

    Dear Egypt,

    All IP addresses previously assigned to you have been revoked and given to others, since you apparently don't want them anymore.

    Thank you for helping us with the dwindling supply of IPv4 addresses.

    Sincerely,
    ARIN

    • by Imagix (695350)
      Signed by the wrong people.... you're thinking of ICANN. Those IPs wouldn't go to ARIN anyway... they'd go to AfriNIC.
    • I think you may be a bit off: (from another post the other day)

      "OK, now a lot of people have been wondering how Egypt managed to isolate itself on the Web. There are principally two ways this is done, first physically forcing the individual ISPs (ASN level) to halt all in and out-going IP traffic, but the second way is probably how they accomplished it. Let this be a warning to all who try.

      They would have had the site which is their top-domain registry, or .eg registry, perform editing of their country's

      • by 0x000000 (841725)

        I am probably missing something funny here. Egypt did not remove their top-level domain entries, that wouldn't accomplish anything. Egypt stopped announcing their ASN, and thus all of the routes for their assigned IP addresses.

        Removing just the top-level domain would still allow people to use IP addresses to communicate over the network, and would still allow outgoing traffic as well.

  • I think i wont be alone, if i say that, you are really doing some good shit, with what you are doing, as of this moment. Tho i rarely show proper appreciation for things that are good in my life, i will take the time to say this : Well done, we appreciate that.
  • The flame war begins! Imagine the epicness of a flame war that's been suppressed for a week while people had legitimate cause to rant about! My God... Life on Earth might not survive...
  • Sounds like it's time to cut off Mubarak from *his* communication and see how he likes it. How hard would it be to cut off his TV, phone, etc links to the outside world?

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill

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