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Pirate Party of Canada Promises VPN For Freedom 98

Posted by timothy
from the at-least-we-don't-need-it-in-the-u.s. dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Pirate Party of Canada has announced that it will extend a VPN originally set up to allow people in Tunisia to browse freely while internet censorship was imposed there. Canada may soon be added to that list since the ruling Conservative Party has vowed to introduce a bill that would provide unprecedented systematic interception and monitoring of Canadians' personal communications. So the Pirate Party of Canada has announced it will extend that service to Canadians."
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Pirate Party of Canada Promises VPN For Freedom

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  • FOR GREAT JUSTICE!

  • by unity100 (970058) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @07:35AM (#35914058) Homepage Journal
    See, non-conservative parties also perpetrate shit. but, they do not take their filth perpetrating and public-enemyness to a level of 'vowing' for something that is so anti-people.

    but you cant go wrong with conservative. they will even vow to take away your freedoms and do not flinch in the process. if you challenge them, they will say they are doing the right thing.
  • ...1984 will seem like a utopia to us.
  • I dont see the benefit of this VPN.

    Given any slightly savvy government or ISP can intercept all traffic you send down a VPN or HTTPS connection using a simple man in the middle attack with easily available commercial software, whats the big deal?

    Sure they could provide a VPN, which could then be easily broken by either the ISP or Govt, so its not of much use is it?

    • Re:Whats the use? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2011 @07:56AM (#35914154)

      That's not true, if the VPN _doesn't_ use a cert from one of the major SSL cert providers (which may already be compromised by governments) and you check the cert. It's trivial to use openssl (possibly with a wrapper like TinyCA) to issue your own certs, so if the VPN provider is doing that, it's much harder in some ways for a government to MITM (in fact, if they do manage it, it means either (1) they've compromised the VPN provider itself or (2) RSA is broken)

      This is why gpg security is "better" in some ways than SSL CAs - no central CA authority to compromise. It's weird that we haven't seen a gpg encryption option for TLS yet though, there's no technical difficulty I can see.

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        Gives the end users a feeling of been safe, protected and encrypted. The question about who is paying and who gets to see the 'plain text' logs would be good.
        Recall TOR and the "The International Broadcasting Bureau" "InterNews Network" https://eta.securesslhost.net/~pgpboar/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=435&sid=a3285ad3d6319c80dfad3c29fe704fde [securesslhost.net]
        Honey pot, color revolution?
      • If I remember correctly, CA Cert had a web-of-trust method of verifying X509 certificates, which can theoretically be used for TLS. Additionally, you can probably write a simple program that uses GPG to verify a certificate and then import that certificate into your browser's certificate DB (GPG can export X509 certificates, I think).
      • It will be our own SSL CA, initially the launch will only support OpenVPN, but other technologies might be added later if we're confident that they are secure.

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @08:38AM (#35914304) Journal

      What is the use of one man standing in front of a tank? That one man stood. You would have folded. That man may be dead but he is a man. You are not.

      Sometimes a symbolic action has value. Just to show not all people fold as easily as you do.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Mod parent way up.

        There are two kinds of humans:
        1. NPCs/cattle/sheeple
        2. Leaders / real humans

        The former always use circular reasoning to excuse their own cowardness.

        Wey,re at war. And WE will win.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Desler (1608317)

          Yeah, I'm sure the politicians are quaking in their boots over you "real humans" who write all this screed from your parent's basement while not actually doing anything.

          • by Skidborg (1585365)

            And being mocked by fat guys who sit in their parent's basements and don't even talk about doing anything because even the idea scares them too much.

            You should encourage these people, that way when the time comes they'll be confident enough to stand in front of tanks so you don't have to.

    • It is true that a VPN can be intercepted by a MITM attack unless keys are first exchanged via a secure channel. But that does not mean it's an easy thing to pull off - the hardware requirements mean it's prohibitative to go trawling with this method. You can't just statelessly intercept all traffic and search it for interesting data like bittorrent requests. Intercepting VPNs is something that a law enforcement agency could do, but they arn't going to do without a good reason to go to the expense - eg, if t
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Good luck, I'm behind 7 proxies!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can someone please provide a link to where the Conservatives "vow" to introduce this bill? Just more FUD from the losing parties.

    • by davecb (6526) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Saturday April 23, 2011 @10:03AM (#35914752) Homepage Journal

      First mention of bundling "lawfull access" (aka monitoring) and crime bills for passage within 100 days.
      http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Conservative+majority+would+bundle+crime+bills/4580146/story.html [vancouversun.com]

      Link to Conservative platform containing the promise
      http://www.conservative.ca/media/ConservativePlatform2011_ENs.pdf [conservative.ca]
      Search for "100 days"

      Subsequent comments:
      http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/blogsection/0/126/10/10/ [michaelgeist.ca]

      "The first prong mandates the disclosure of Internet provider customer information without court oversight. Under current privacy laws, providers may voluntarily disclose customer information but are not required to do so. The new system would require the disclosure of customer name, address, phone number, email address, Internet protocol address, and a series of device identification numbers.

      While some of that information may seem relatively harmless, the ability to link it with other data will often open the door to a detailed profile about an identifiable person. Given its potential sensitivity, the decision to require disclosure without any oversight should raise concerns within the Canadian privacy community.

      The second prong requires Internet providers to dramatically re-work their networks to allow for real-time surveillance. The bill sets out detailed capability requirements that will eventually apply to all Canadian Internet providers. These include the power to intercept communications, to isolate the communications to a particular individual, and to engage in multiple simultaneous interceptions."

      • I searched the sites you gave and I could not find the content you mentioned. Perhaps they have retracted those comments?
        • No, it's all there, as davecb stated. The Conservative platform is disturbingly vague (I'm sure details would dampen the spirit of many who currently support the ideas), but page 50 of it is what you are looking for. You need to expand the story on Geist's site to see the more detailed info about what is intended.

          • This is what I see on page 50 of their platform I think you are referring to: "Give law enforcement and national security agencies up-to-date tools to fight crime in today's high-tech telecommunications environment;" Your right, its kind of vague but it also does not say anything about monitoring internet traffic of individuals as lead to believe. It isnt the bible where people interpret passages in their own way and state them as fact.
            • by lonecrow (931585)
              The text of the first reading of the bill is here: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Docid=4740653&file=4 [parl.gc.ca]

              It says that officers can intercept private communications without a warrant if they fell that an offense is or would be committed immediately. (this part is probably in response to a real world case where officers were witnessing a child being molested in real time via internet video and needed to track the offenders location through ISP's in a hurry in order to stop the
              • Finally, we get some meat on the subject. Thanks for link. Now only if I had the brain power to understand it. Is there any non-biased interpretation anywhere? I have my own opinions on it, which are meaningless if I don't understand it completely.
                • by lonecrow (931585)

                  Is there any non-biased interpretation anywhere

                  Sadly there is no such thing. People are welcome to beleive any interpretation of the law they like and act accordingly. Any law is simply a prediction of how a judge will rule so if they think they can convince a judge of their interpretation that's it..

                  On the positive side, any un-warranted surveillance has to justified after the fact. Law enforcement is required to report actions taken which can then be audit by the courts. Not excusing this bill i

    • What a sad attempt at spreading FUD that site is. I feel embarrassed that that site exists in my Country, and even more sad about the obviously uninformed people commenting (not that I'm a political expert). But seriously, don't too me not to vote for Harper because he has pictures of himself in the Government lobby? WTF !
  • PPoC is a joke (Score:4, Insightful)

    by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Saturday April 23, 2011 @08:52AM (#35914380) Homepage

    Having sat on one too many IRC meetings, I can quite firmly state that the Pirate Party of Canada is a joke, a very profound disappointment. Every single moment I've spent on their web site or in a chat room has felt like a colossal waste of my time. Nothing but a bunch of overgrown children fussing over inane trivia, trying to sell memberships and merch, and refusing to agree on any sort of official stance or direction. They can't promise shit, because they're too busy arguing over who's going to pay for the next batch of business cards. Appoint a goddamned treasurer, throw fund raisers and awareness rallies, take out ads in the paper or on progressive TV channels, you know, the usual political song-and-dance.

    To put things into perspective, the non-partisan OpenMedia group has had great success in the battle against UBB (usage based billing), by leveraging those very same activities. They send an email, maybe once a month, asking for donations and listing off any upcoming meets in my area, and they have delivered RESULTS! If the PPoC put in one tenth of the efforts and professionalism demonstrated by the OpenMedia group, they'd have far more credibility and pull.

    Even non-geeks tend to have the opinion that the PPoC are just a bunch of freeloading cyber-hippies, and that's insulting to hippies.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The problem with the PPoC is two-fold:

      1. Canada has an undemocratic 'first past the post' system for their federal elections. This means you can get about 10% of the popular vote, but next to zero seats in parliament (= no representation, which you would have in a real democracy).

      2. Pirate Parties around the world are one-issue parties, so even for geeks that are fully informed about this one issue, it needs to be sufficiently pressing to not care about something else. In this Canadian election, in ridings

      • Re:PPoC is a joke (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Nimatek (1836530) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @10:38AM (#35914974)
        "Pirate Parties around the world are one-issue parties"

        This is incorrect. The scope of the Pirate Party movement differs from country to country. In countries like Sweden and Germany they evolved from being one-issue parties and worked out programs that cover a whole range of political issues, while their membership and electorate keep growing steadily. Here is the party program of the German Piratenpartei, for example: http://wiki.piratenpartei.de/Parteiprogramm [piratenpartei.de]

        You can't have a 'traditional' party right from the start, there need to be certain levels of momentum, manpower and support, for it to be able to branch out and compete with the established parties on their turf. The cool thing about new parties is that you can take part and contribute to shaping the program and course significantly, which is exactly what they need. If you agree with their general aims - contribute. Pirate Parties won't magically materialize out of thin air and change politics by people just waiting for them to do so.
      • by Skidborg (1585365)
        The thing is that technically you're supposed to be electing individual people to Canadian government, not parties. If we were doing it the way you suggest, then some ridings would end up represented by a candidate that 90% of the people in that riding did not vote for.
        • It's supposed to be electing individuals in the US too. Doesn't mean it works out that way. I have pondered before some form of politics that bans parties altogether, but concluded it would just result in 'unofficial' parties appearing - groups of politicians of similar stance who just happen to share campaigns, offices, staff and money and who support each other's efforts at advancement, but remain seperate on paper.
          • Take a look at how well this has worked municipally. There are still essentially parties, but no one bothers to vote anymore.
        • by Tideflat (1858480)
          No, They would merely be represented by a candidate that 90% of the people didn't have as there first choice, instead they would be represented by a candidate that was their second or third choice, because more people agree with that candidate that with any other.
          • by matunos (1587263)

            You're talking about a ranked ballot system, which is more or less a modification on "first past the post", because the winner of a district is still the person who got at least 50%+1 votes. The difference is that voters are (theoretically) more likely to cast their first vote for a third-party candidate, because their second vote can be the backup for if/when the third-party candidate doesn't win. It resolves the problem of vote-splitting.

            If a candidate still only had 10% support in a district, they'd be a

            • by kvezach (1199717)
              There's such a thing as a PR ranked ballot system. The most well known one is the single transferable vote [wikimedia.org], but Schulze (for which the election method used by the German Piratenpartei is named) has devised a proportional representation variant called Schulze STV [wikimedia.org], too.

              Unlike first past the post, STV does work in providing competition. When New York tried it in the late thirties, it proved to work so well that the corrupt machines had to red-scare it to death [mtholyoke.edu].
      • Even though it looks like one issue, these issues reach deep into the other more mainstream issues.
        Just in Quebec, faster generics can save at least 3 billion$ (that's a pessimistic estimate) on the cost of providing the publicly funded drug plan. That's all money that can be reused elsewhere.

    • by TrevorB (57780)

      We Canadians are kings of strategic voting: voting for the candidate most likely to beat the person you like the least. Voting for the Pirate Party really is (almost) a vote thrown away. Three things though:

      1) Not all "3rd party votes" are wasted. The NDP looks like they may be surging into second place ahead of the Liberals. Watch your local polls carefully and make an informed decision [electionalmanac.com]
      2) If someone calls up your house for polling purposes, by all means reply "Pirate Party".
      3) If you *really* like the

      • by Anonymous Coward

        where you have a bloc quebecois whose mandate is to basically scream at who ever is in charge and do nothing else.

    • Re:PPoC is a joke (Score:4, Informative)

      by psema4 (966801) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @12:00PM (#35915550) Homepage Journal

      Hi Billco. I'm a member of PPCA (PPoC was dropped as the acronym quite some time ago) and would like to address a couple of your concerns;

      First, most of the time the IRC channels are full of unstructured discussion - but not always. We have structured meetings on a regular basis as well, something that has improved in the last few months. As we development continues on our meeting bot, it'll get better.

      Second, we're a young party in Canada and many of us are not professional fund raisers, political science majors, or lawyers. We don't have a war chest, so throwing around what money we do have isn't something we want to do in a wanton fashion. I'm sure that as we grow and attract those with backgrounds (hint, hint) that include these skills, we'll be able to do the "usual political song-and-dance."

      Outside of our core concerns, our "party line" (if you will) is to make sure that we represent local constituents the way they want to be represented. Not promise things we can't deliver.

      At first, I was somewhat taken aback by your tone and perspective... A look at the big red warning your about page on fnarg.com help me understand though. Maybe you'd be up to stopping by IRC in the future and looking me up? I'd be happy to discuss your concerns further.

      Cheers,
      - Scott (PPCA Clerk)

      • by billcopc (196330)

        You know what, Scott ? I'll take you up on that. It is only fair that I take another look and see what's changed over the past 12 months. I would love nothing more than to be proven wrong and reverse my negative stance, because I do believe this country has a pressing need to be informed and sensitized on the many topics largely ignored by blue, red, and orange.

    • by metacell (523607)

      I'm sad to hear that. The Swedish Pirate Party has had more success. They've managed to agree on an a party line, built up an organisation, arranged funding from the government as a non-profit political organisation, won two seats in the European Parliament, won a number of seats in local (county) elections, and so on. I wish Canadians luck in the future.

  • More info (Score:5, Informative)

    by a whoabot (706122) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @08:53AM (#35914382)

    The Conservatives Commitment to Internet Surveillance [michaelgeist.ca]

    Interestingly: "None of this is to say the Liberals would be any better. They introduced their own lawful access package many years ago and the reaction of MPs like McTeague in 2009 was "what took you so long." The Liberals point to protection from digital threats in their platform, but do not specifically discuss lawful access. They should be asked about where they stand now (so too for the NDP which marshalled opposition in 2009)."

    Looks like NDP are the ones to support on this issue.

    • Canada was bought and sold along time ago.

      Mel hurtig - the truth about canada
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8D67YiLcOM [youtube.com]

      Oh canada our bought and sold out land (download torrent)
      http://www.ohcanadamovie.com/ [ohcanadamovie.com]

      The unmaking of Canada (Book)
      http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&source=hp&biw=740&bih=520&q=the+unmaking+of+canada&aq=f&aqi=g-v1&aql=&oq=&fp=23bbcb7fee7f599c [google.ca]

      Mel hurtigs blog
      http://melhurtig.ca/ [melhurtig.ca]

      You have to understand all this is happening because canada is the last nation on ear

      • by dcw3 (649211)

        Canada is being assaulted covertly and not so covertly by interests both domestic (US) and foreign.

        Yes, you better run for cover. We've secretly sent a team of commandos to steal the secrets to making a decent beer.

        In all seriousness, take off the tin-foil hat, or come up with some evidence to back up your claim. I've heard other Canadians make similar unfounded claims in the past. I really believe it's mostly a love-hate relationship. We mostly love Canada, and you mostly hate us.

        And a disclaimer...I have family on both sides of the border.

        • I doubt you have more then a passing interest in Canadian politics and Canadian/US relations. The liberals have been chipping away at Canadian social programs after Trudeau. The privatized national debt to foreign bond holders was the whole reason Bob Rae could not keep his promises regarding social spending (this is documented in the ohcanadamovie by elizabeth may on record but there are also other official sources besies may that also say the same thing).

          A good place to keep up on the bs of the right.

          ht [blogspot.com]

          • by dcw3 (649211)

            Okay, I didn't read your links, but is there evidence of your previously claimed assault by the U.S. somewhere in there? That's what I was responding to, not Canadian politics, or "the bs of the right". If so, it's something that most Americans are totally unaware of, and would most likely not be pleased with.

            • "but is there evidence of your previously claimed assault by the U.S.?"

              Sigh.. the book by George Grant DOCUMENTS instances of the canadian government giving in such as american nuclear weapons on canadian soil (how we totally bowed to US pressure) another one was the NAFTA agreement. There is ABUNDANT evidence of the US exerting pressure on us, there are sections of the upper classes in parts of the US and canada that despise our humanitarian welfare state, which isn't even all that humanitarian anymore si

              • by dcw3 (649211)

                I don't know where to begin, so forgive my rambling a bit here.

                You're linking to a book that was written over 46 years ago, and claiming that it's documenting the U.S. assault on Canadian interests? Did the U.S. negotiators hold a gun to the Canadians heads, or did they get something in return for the agreement they made? I'm doubting that it was a one-sided deal.

                As for NAFTA, the majority of Americans were against it to begin with. And, from Wikipedia:
                Canada gained the most from NAFTA with Canada's GDP

                • I don't do ideology. But I do believe in protecting the weak from the strong and anyone who believes ideology (especially free market ideology) is the solution to all problems clearly is incapable of doing evidence based analysis. One should always do scientific (empirical analysis) and NEVER approach something in an ideological manner.

                  More importantly just because you have anecdotes of knowing business people 'working hard' doesn't mean anything there are plenty of other reasons people succeed or get rich

                  • by dcw3 (649211)

                    Okay, well you seem to be implying that since I believe in the free market, I'm somehow "clearly incapable of doing evidence based analysis". I'll let that slight go by, and let you know that I'm an engineer by training, so I tend to have a very rational, logical, based opinion. If you can point out flaws in my logic, I'll gladly acknowledge them. I'm not a hardline lassie faire capitalist, otherwise the system becomes ripe for the abuses you're so concerned over. Certainly, while I tend to be in favor

            • by tlhIngan (30335)

              Okay, I didn't read your links, but is there evidence of your previously claimed assault by the U.S. somewhere in there?

              The CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association) is made up primarily of the big 3 US labels. The Canadian labels have withdrawn from CRIA a few years ago after CRIA expressed interest in suing music pirates. CRIA's also the big sponsor of the Canadian DMCA (which thankfully is kept out because of minority governments and elections).

              When the Canadian labels have withdrawn from a Canadian

              • by dcw3 (649211)

                Kind of off-topic there. Those companies are not the US government, and are doing what any other business would do if they could to make money...not that I agree with any of it. Your own laws are what either allow them to do it or not.

    • by DarthVain (724186)

      I found this also. The Liberals for being the "Official Opposition" didn't really do too much opposing. Mostly I suspect because they were too afraid to force an early election (or its stuff they really don't care that much about). So when Harper and is cronies were spouting off all sorts of batshit crazy ideas and bills about the internet, privacy, and IP, the Liberals were oddly quiet. It was only the NDP that would make a stand on camera as to what their opposing views were. The Liberals would argue that

  • is one of the reasons I will not be voting Conservative while I firmly believe in Conservative values - small government and low taxes (as possible). (I also believe in pro-choice and GBLT equality. Call me a Social Liberal / Fiscal Conservative.) Stephen Harper's government has been doing everything they can to stay in power while acting almost New Democrat in spending - two things I cannot accept. I also will not be voting Liberal (I don't think Michael Ignatieff will be any better in his role as PM), the

    • It's a shame that Canada doesn't have a party that is simultaneously Progressive and Conservative. Card in my wallet says such a thing existed once upon a time.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Conservative party != fiscal conservatives

      Conservatives inherited a 20 billion surplus from the Liberals. The proceeded to rape that surplus, before the entire "recession". When end of 2008 hit, they managed to dig us into another 50 billion deficit position. That's 70 billion swing (about 700 billion equivalent if it was US).

      We are fucking lucky they didn't have majority in 2005 or around there, as they have already proceeded to deregulate the banking sector but they didn't have time or majority needed to

    • I think you need to vote NDP. The greens have no hope in hell of forming a government. We need to get a shit load of NDP seats to make the other two parties wake up and get theirs heads out of their collective asses.

      So - I think an NDP government would be short-term pain for long-term gain. And NDP minority government would be almost perfect.

  • It's not like they will actually have to fulfill their promises. I'd be quite willing to put even money on that, if I thought that anybody who had the integrity not to welch if they lost would actually take the bet.

    The only hope in hell they have of even getting a single seat, let alone elected, is to change their name... The term "pirate" sounds hopelessly juvenile in this day and age, and can't be taken any more seriously by the general public than the Rhino Party (which, I might point out, is also

  • Has anyone here tried the proxy service Cocoon? https://getcocoon.com/ [getcocoon.com] I like using it so far, but it does slow my browsing down a little (not much but it is noticeable).
  • by mauriceh (3721) <maurice&harddata,com> on Saturday April 23, 2011 @10:11AM (#35914808) Homepage

    The decision to intercept and monitor all internet traffic actually happened in the US and Canada shortly after 9/11.
    They had decided well before that to plan for it, and once they had the boogey-man of terrorism to pave the way,
    it was put it into place.
    This has nothing to do with "Harper", "The Conservatives" or any party.
    This is done by our military, our security establishment, and will not be disturbed by politics.

    FYI the whole intercept technology was upgraded last year, and this is already in place and operational now.

    • I have no doubt that all internet traffic in and out of the US is monitored, but the sheer volume of it makes any form of real-time processing impossible. The only thing the government can do - and I mean technologically, not legally - is specify individual hosts to sift from the multi-terabit stream and pay attention to. They won't be running a fishing trip for pirates. It'll be more along the line of 'This is Joe. Joe's brother's roommate's father has been talking with a known agent of the Taliban. We nee
      • by mauriceh (3721)

        We were discussing monitoring of Internet traffic in CANADA..

        In USA we assumed that this was already in place.
        However, I have no doubt that monitoring all of it is possible
        Nothing that a lot of computing resources and money can not handle

        • US, Canada. Same thing, really. Both are countries with huge amounts of traffic. In theory you could search for keys phrases, but unless it's something very obscure you'd find it impossible to sort through the results. You can't even hunt for people transfering a specific file, because each packet only has a small piece and the lengths and offsets are unpredictable.
  • I don't care about posturing by 'pirate parties' or any others.. the fact that we allow this gross violation of basic liberties and freedoms to pass without a huge roar is SHAMEFUL.. And no 'if you've got nothing to hide' arguments either.. I can't believe people still use that as an excuse.. Why isn't this on the news headlines?

If it's worth hacking on well, it's worth hacking on for money.

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