Collaboration

Shadow DNS is in the works: Do we need a second Internet?

In the wake of WikiLeaks troubles and battles over net neutrality, one of the founders of The Pirate Bay proposes a parallel Internet. Do you think we need one?

When the Internet was first created under the auspices of academic and military institutions in the United States, part of the design goal was decentralization so that it could survive damage to arbitrary sections of the complete network. A big concern at the time was the ability of the nascent Internet to continue functioning as a whole even after key sites had been destroyed by nuclear attack.

Years later, in a 1993 TIME interview, EFF co-founder John Gilmore said "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." This has, to some extent, proven true over the years. When small, regional organizations try to impose censorship controls on segments of the Internet, technology seems to almost magically find ways to bypass those controls.

Gilmore's quote makes things sound a lot more one-sided than they have appeared to be in recent years, however. China gets a lot of press for its "Great Firewall of China", by which a lot of Internet traffic available around the world is filtered out of availability for residents of China. Some savvy Internet users find ways to get around the filtering, but many do not -- and those who do run the risk of getting in trouble with a government widely recognized to treat peaceful protest as a crime. China has reinforced its international reputation with high profile activities like cracking Google security to gain access to information about dissidents.

China is not the only nation-state that has been imposing Internet censorship controls and getting a little bit of press about it. Australia has been subject to some news attention over the ACMA imposition of national Website blacklist filtering, essentially copying China's national firewall approach. Meanwhile, the US government has taken a different approach, doing things like outlawing gambling sites and having WikiLeaks shut down.

Perhaps the biggest problem with Internet censorship is the central role played by ICANN, a California-based organization whose job it is to perform Internet administrative tasks on behalf of the governments of the United States and other countries. It is nominally independent, but in practice, easily subject to pressure from governmental entities. As the final arbiter of the Domain Name System, and as the top-level policy setter for IP address assignment, ICANN effectively has the ability to shut down any Website it likes. In general, the danger of ICANN interference in the operation of a Website is limited to domain names, because ICANN's control over IP address assignment is not nearly as fine-grained as its control over domain name resolution.

In the wake of recent troubles surrounding WikiLeaks, it looks like we may get to see a more substantial case of Internet technologies being leveraged to route around "damage" in the form of censorship. Peter Sunde is one of the founders of The Pirate Bay, and his colleagues Carl Lundstrom and Fredrik Neij are joining him in appealing to the Supreme Court of Sweden to overturn a recent judgment against them on issues related to their involvement with The Pirate Bay. In late November, Sunde posted a message to his Twitter account that expresses his disappointment in ICANN:

Hello all ISPs of the world. We're going to add a new competing root-server since we're tired of ICANN. Please contact me to help.

He later posted more on the matter in a new Weblog, P2P Dns, in a "hello world" entry:

We haven't organized yet, but trying to. The background for this project is that we want the internet to be uncensored! Having a centralized system that controls our information flow is not acceptable.

By using existing technology for de-centralization together with already having a crew with skilled programmers, communicators and network specialists, an alternative system is not far away. We're not going to re-invent the wheel, we're going to build on existing technology as much as possible.

There will be a press release shortly with more details.

If you're interested in talking to us, we're at the IRC channel #dns-p2p on EfNet.

A number of similarly distributed DNS replacements have been proposed, and in some cases even implemented -- as in the case of TOR's .onion top-level domain resolution -- but for one reason or another each has failed to catch on enough to have any hope of rivaling the widespread usage or even recognizability of ICANN's TLDs. Timing, and the growing recognizability of the Sunde name, might give it a leg up in the search for success by a competing domain name system.

The question, of course, is whether we need a second Internet. Taking a personal look at it, I favor the proposal: yes, we absolutely do need a second Internet. It seems like about every three or four months lately that the United States Congress debates the passage of yet another bill that would effectively censor the Internet in one way or another -- including so-called "net neutrality" legislation that achieves nothing like what most advocates of "net neutrality" want, measures that allow the US Executive branch of government to shut down all Internet name service and peering within national borders, and other disturbing ideas. As my significant other puts it, "I don't want them to screw up the Internet."

Of course, the technical details of trying to create a "shadow" domain name system are subject to the restrictions of reality. Time will tell whether a truly distributed system is entirely compatible with the kind of organization it takes to have a name resolution system that works. Given the tendency of centralized management as represented by ICANN to undermine the very principles on which the Internet was founded -- principles of distributed management and persistence in the face of attacks on its infrastructure -- the very existence of the Internet as we know it, as a universally accessible medium for information exchange, may depend on an alternate domain name system's success.

About

Chad Perrin is an IT consultant, developer, and freelance professional writer. He holds both Microsoft and CompTIA certifications and is a graduate of two IT industry trade schools.

357 comments
eric_harris_76
eric_harris_76

If the only problem you need to fix is the removal of certain mappings to IP addresses, MafiaaFire Redirector takes care of that. What ICANN taketh away (at the insistence of commercial or governmental interests), an add-on can restore. They may try to suppress it and the modest infrastructure needed to support it, but they won't succeed. Or am I missing something obvious?

eternal_life
eternal_life

Using dialup connection at first, before the LAN entered, and I have some good memories what it FELT like surfing the OPEN internet as a "pilot". This following I type, may NOY make sense to the readers still I want to share one of my experince I had year 96/97, I was online connected using my US robotics Modem, using a Netscape own buildance ( lots of rebuildanace and asjustments to keep my 'ship' in fit shape, when I set my netscape UP i got the feeling as if I was a commander of an old wreck next to those seen in the Matrix film ( not yet production film) One late evening I get a VERT ODD sensational feeling as IF MY netscape was a very small sailboat, like a 24 feet or similar and the it CAME A HUGE SHIP holding the Size of TITANIC, and I was RIGHT about to sail into that, I had to take action as if I was on seas and very fast make a complete 'turnover" ELSE I would have been HITTED, and KILLED I got warning, it was real scary. Then the LAN came and I slowly adopted to not be able to navigate on oceans no more, just locked in. Locked inside something, and IT ahs nothing to do with my Internet settings. ODD but REAL

mtnman28715
mtnman28715

What we need is for Big Brother (Sister) to keep their hands off the Internet and let freedom flow. Assange is a hero and is being made a scapegoat for corrupt politicians that got caught acting badly. Do we really want the government controlling the Internet? What is this - China?

JCitizen
JCitizen

as you managed to make such mundane tasks seem exciting! Of course - when I went online in 1986, it was indeed exciting; that CompuServe site was so new and fantastic, I was literally gob-smacked! :O I felt the power coming on; the power of information! He who has it - rejoice! Woe to he that does not.

mtnman28715
mtnman28715

This exchange is awesome and it proves us geeks aren't sitting in dark rooms with our laptops with our head in the sand about what's going on in the world around us. I'm lazy - I limit my user's 'right' to access the network and even their PC because they'll do something to harm themselves or my network, which I then have to fix! So yes, I limit their 'freedom'. The more control we give government to interfere with our lives, the less freedom and Liberty we are left with. Government is only supposed to derive it's power by the consent of the governed. It only has the control and power over us we allow it to have. This current mess is not the governmental system the Founders had in mind. Assange may be only a puppet - but whose puppet? Might this 'crisis' of information leaks be the catalyst to more government control over communications and the Internet in the name of safety and security? We already have telescreens going into Walmarts with DHS messages about reporting your neighbor's 'suspicious' behavior ... Like Orwelle's 1984 ...

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

Anyone who knowingly and improperly obtains classified information from *any* country's government would be considered a spy by that government. Publicizing that information adds to the charges that would be brought. In some countries conviction would mean a death sentence. Believe me, Assange did not act out of any sense of indignation over the material. The were apparently no major matters of national security involved. Most of the material consisted of exchanges among embassy personnel and ambassadors. By internationally accepted protocol this information is to be kept confidential, some secret. The release of this information is a matter of international concern as it violates the agreements.

deepsand
deepsand

His pontifications re. "transparency" are belied by his own refusal to be open about his organization; and, more importantly, his threat to release additional information [b]if[/b] he is "harmed."

JCitizen
JCitizen

then you have to agree there are limits to free speech. Not very many of course; and the strength of the freedom should have greater weight; but taking damaging data that can get our troops killed is just not right no matter how you cut it. I will never cotton to that idea. I really think some of these folks think there should be out right chaos in the way they conduct investigative reporting - I completely disagree. Freedom of the press should have great weight, but not kind of weight that makes one king of the mountain at any cost!

apotheon
apotheon

Who smacked you in the gob?

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

because they'll do something to harm themselves. Now if you're concerned about the safety of your net, your OK. You're supposed to keep your system up and running. But is protecting your users from themselves your rightful responsibility? If your or a member of your staff were endangered, Yes. However, I doubt this is the case. It sounds more like your are concerned for your user's safety, and that's good, but if you exercise authority over them by limiting activities not otherwise prohibited by your company, you are usurping *their* rights. Moving along: Do you not elect the representatives to Congress, so that you (as planned by the Founding Fathers) have a say in the way or country is governed? Then: Does Wal-Mart (or any other business)not have a right to put surveillance in their own building? And: If you saw someone who appeared to be trying to accumulate materials for a bomb, or collecting an armory of high-power weapons, would you A) Mind your own business and tell no one, because you don't trust some people in Washington, or - B) Stop him yourself and demand to know what he is up to, or - C) Notify public safety personnel of the activities and let them check it out, or - D) Call a church and ask them to pray for us?

JCitizen
JCitizen

I avoid it like the plague! They've never been the same since Sam Walton died. He ran it right! That corporation seems like the complete anti-thesis to the original American way now! Of course the detractors will always scoff at high ideals anyway.

apotheon
apotheon

One person's spy is another's whislteblower. That applies to corporations as much as to government.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

After all, he didn't get the data, he only facades the organization that received and disseminated it. This is a new trend, the "going postal" with files instead of uzis... I'm holding back on judgement.

JCitizen
JCitizen

He made himself out as a blackmailer at least, if not a terrorist himself. However, I'm not yet convinced there was any damage done. I'm willing to let the system run with that. If they can't find damage to our troops or allies, I could care less, and as far as I'm concerned, it could all blow over from there. This leak does continue to prove my point that our government is one of the worst in the practice of web/LAN/data security. They could use a lesson from industry on this.

SmartAceW0LF
SmartAceW0LF

And let's use our newly created ace-in-the-hole -Patriot Act- andor other International Law to bring citizens of other countries before our courts. While I totally agree with you regarding the need for responsible journalism, (hell at this stage ANY journalism would be a welcome change) lets not overlook the entity sharing the larger blame here. i.e. Our own military can't keep this sort of data safe? Surely you must smell a rat with all of this hoopla surrounding Wikileaks. Seems to me the long and the short of it is that we are killing the messenger here. After all, what has Assange done that our own Congress isn't guilty of? All of this reeks to me.

apotheon
apotheon

Revealing information about troop movements that can embarrass those who have ordered those movements when the movements are no longer subject to the damaging effects in the field that might result in dead soldiers is not the same thing as what Jane Fonda did. Shutting down WikiLeaks is a goal of US government officials to protect their own careers -- not to protect US troops.

mtnman28715
mtnman28715

It's OK to yell fire in a theater if there is a fire! Who makes the rules for what is allowed and what is banned speech? The government? If we give the government the authority to ban certain speech then be prepared to have your speech banned in the future. Giving up freedom in the name of security gets you neither.

SarcasmDoesn'tReadWell
SarcasmDoesn'tReadWell

Freedom of speech only works if it does not harm others. And I dont mean hurt their feelings, but actually cause harm because of it. If you yell fire in a theatre, likely it is going to cost the theatre money, and someone might get hurt. If you release secrets keeps soldiers safe, you might as well pull the trigger yourself. Not that I am saying the wikileaks will get soldiers killed, but it if could, that should not a considered a freedom or right.

JCitizen
JCitizen

right in the chops! HA! Now it seems so mundane, but then was yesterday.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

1:For government to be successful, government must be unnecessary. 2:For government to be legitimate, government should do no more than is necessary. Of course I use nonboolean parameters for this. Then, an action is legitimate if it increases the unnecessariness of government (gutting [more] illegitimate competitors comes in here). So this handily puts all enforced military dictatorships in the "less legitimate" pile, on account of them having to do all sorts of things to sustain their unsuccesful government (on account of amount of government necessary to sustain the government).

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

as you can see:p. Has to do specifically with how I read - I don't spend much time with the appearances of things.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

It works on my screen... I added an F, does it work now?

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

حدد من هنا This message hidden in plain sight إلى هنا.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

... your posts are starting to look pretty suspicious. حتى أكثر إذا كان الأمر كذلك نضيف بعض العربية

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Bomb-making stuff looks like groceries. Poison gas-making stuff too. Drain-cleaner and desinfectant...

mtnman28715
mtnman28715

I wouldn't know what bomb-making material looks like so I couldn't say if someone were buying it or not. Walmart already has surveillance in their stores - that's not the same as having a direct pipe from the government spewing propaganda at citizens at the checkouts.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

form in the folds of my cerebrum when I'm forced to get my footwork in shape... gotta shake them out. Like that one. There's been some interesting exchanges lately. I see the edges of selfdeceits blurring when the stealthing is stretched. I think an epiphany is coming...

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

... how easily the masses can be swayed. Those in this country may remember with fondness the rampant "patriotism" of the days immediately after 9/11. What rights might we not have been willing to give away then in the name of stopping terrorism? What acts might we have been willing to condone? Invasions of other sovereign nations come easily to mind, but insipid and insidious were the invasions of individual liberties.

apotheon
apotheon

I rather like that line: "For government to succeed, it must be unnecessary." There's one other requirement, though: it must also act no more than is necessary.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

is never the solution... universal gelding however, shows promise :)

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Nope. Not my "we" at least. Excepting when it comes to the get. The pups get special treatment, at least sometimes. Have you, by the way, this weapon? nowyouseeit??

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

"For government to be successful, government must be unnecessary" Chad, I think you'll find it compatible with that taoist saying you quoted; although not necessarily with the interpretation of same that you yourself might be partial to.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

to the minute manipulations of the discourse that precedes the oppressive ascension. It's scary because it's most often not a deliberate action blamable on anyone. Someone starts negotiating the outer_threat-inner_threat mindset, and if the times are ripe for it, it spreads. Some people start independently resonating with this "zeitgeist", and slowly the enormous amorphous group consciousness that we call "culture" or "discourse" starts slipping in one direction more than in others... and when the discourse moves - even a little - everything changes, and radically.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

but some of us try to see what the other person's point might be, so you don't have to go quite so far. For example, we all know that a person can't do itself harm on the internet without incurring a similar risk to the network they're on while doing it. So there's little point in building on those two words out of that post. I do think it is a very dangerous thing when a company engages in the kind of paranoia-fomenting brainwashing that Walmart was reported to do. I'd boycott the zuckers if they were around here ;)

santeewelding
santeewelding

Not, "provide", for the general welfare. Walk the plank.

apotheon
apotheon

To exactly the same extent that anarchy requires people to subordinate short term self-interest to a respect for rights of others, if not more so, government relies on people who are given power over the lives of others subordinating short term self-interest to a respect for the rights of others as well. It's quite a quandary. Of course, if there is a system in place -- whether emergent or formal -- that automatically encourages respect for the rights of others specifically because it also serves self-interest to act in accordance with that respect, anarchy can work just fine. The problem is inducing that to happen, which could be tricky (and that's why, while in theory I'm just as happy with anarcho-capitalism, in practice I'm a minarchist).

apotheon
apotheon

I think the chilling changes being observed here in the US are not being compared to political agents, but rather to campaigns that encouraged people to turn in their own parents and children, neighbors, friends, enemies, and co-workers in the PRC and USSR. One of the greatest threats to liberty under an oppressive regime is the mass of people who will go along with the government just because it's the government.

apotheon
apotheon

> It would not provide for the general welfare, That term's use in the US Constitution has been the source of more trouble in terms of government violating individual rights than almost anything else in the Constitution. The commerce clause might beat it -- I'm not sure. > It would not provide for defense, For many purposes, central command of a standing military is scarcely -- if at all -- necessary. I won't say it is unneeded for all purposes, largely because proving a negative is what we might call "nigh-impossible". > It would not provide mail, money, patents or copyrights, Between email and private shipping services, I'm not sure we need federal mail. It's becoming more of a burden than a help. Government management of money has proven disastrous. Luckily, money can work without government at least as well as with it. Government did not invent money. As for patents and copyrights -- good riddance. > It wound not provide for recognition among the countries of the world What does that buy us? Add a couple bucks, and it'll buy me a coffee. > I know of anarchy and other anti-government schools of thought. What other school of thought is there that is specifically "anti-government" than anarchy? > For those who say we're losing or freedoms, look at most other countries of the world. The fact another place is worse does not mean this place is good. For a long time, I have lamented the fact that there does not appear to be anywhere else in the world that is better, even though here is getting worse all the time. > as yet we have not defaulted our legally binding control over our government. We will hold that control *only* as long as we are willing to learn what the issues are, what the facts really are and VOTE. Those of us who actually take such a responsible approach are a shockingly small minority, and getting smaller relative to the whole. > Indeed we have lost some degree of control over our individual rights and responsibilities full stop

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Each person in society must subordinate self-interest when it conflicts with the rights of others. Unfortunately, humanity is currently incapable of such. The object of government is to control those who cannot or will not show this consideration. As for voting, the problem we have now is that too many, while willing to find out what the issues are, are unwilling to consider that anything they disagree with can actually be fact.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

That keeps cropping up. An anarchy would need no president, no congress an no elections, It would not provide for the general welfare, It would not provide for defense, It would not provide mail, money, patents or copyrights, It wound not provide for recognition among the countries of the world I'm stopping here. Any reasonably intelligent adult knows the benefits of having a national government. I know of anarchy and other anti-government schools of thought. To me it's just an attempt to completely deregulate society and allow despots to rule. For those who say we're losing or freedoms, look at most other countries of the world. Indeed we have lost some degree of control over our individual rights and responsibilities, but as yet we have not defaulted our legally binding control over our government. We will hold that control *only* as long as we are willing to learn what the issues are, what the facts really are and VOTE.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

... but on those few occasions I have looked, I've never knowingly seen that ad. I am aware that the TV's (I wouldn't really call them "monitors" because of their application) are there for advertising purposes and therefore I pay them no attention. I think I may be an exception by degree, but I think most people have a similar opinion. For this reason alone, I think that such a campaign by Wal-Mart would be basically ineffective. However: Is the whole idea any worse that the "Neighborhood Watch" programs operated by local governments to get a handle on crime any different? I personally don't connect such a program with that of the Nazi's internal spying network like so many imply. That was entirely for the purpose of reporting political dissent among the entire populous. To be reported by one of these *appointed Nazi Party members* could result is imprisonment or death. This is ENTIRELY different from encouraging all citizens to report possible terrorist activity which could result in the death of thousands of innocent people. This a form of SELF-DEFENSE that people are reacting to, in no way can it be accurately construed as a means of supporting the political status-quo in Washington. As for a company's right to control the use of it's own computers, no contest. But mtnman said *he* (not his company) was concerned that his people may do harm to themselves. I didn't see it as company policy, but even then I think the company need only be concerned with what affects *them*, not some perceived danger to the individual employee. This is not to say that the employee has a right to engage in activities not associated with their job, such would of course be prohibited, but that's not what he said. Well, despite the size of my nose, I will try to stop jousting with windmills.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

"But is protecting your users from themselves your rightful responsibility?" The business's network is private property belonging to the business to enable it's business processes. Staff are voluntarily employed by that business to perform parts of it's business processes. Staff are free to seek employment elsewhere or start there own business. Obviously, IT policy should be management approved and in line with the business strategy and goals. If your admin is arbitrarily limiting users then that's between management, HR and the IT admin. Unless they are breaking a law though, you can only ask them to seek employment elsewhere. " Do you not elect the representatives to Congress, so that you (as planned by the Founding Fathers) have a say in the way or country is governed? " The founding fathers actually meant the US to be much more of an Anarchy (not to be mistaken for chaos); the individual governs themselves provided they do not hinder others, the town governs itself provided it does not hinder others, the states govern themselves provided they do not hinder each other and so on. Even had an Anarchist president. The top-down dictatorship based on marketing campaigns every four years was not as intended.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

First of all; discern between rights and privileges! A private network is a service and a tool, using it for something beyond it's purpose, is a privilege. Privileges are grantable, and removable. Only if the not-granting or removal of a privilege amounts to unlawful discrimination is there a problem. Scale that up to the whole internet, if you can. Keep in mind "purpose". Wal-mart: He didn't say surveillance, he mentioned that they have orwellian indoctrination ads broadcast on screens there. If you don't have a problem with a private organization indoctrinating the masses to "remember to spy on the neighbours, keep them in line"... then I think you've been widely misjudged around here... think about what it leads to, in a democracy too. People are only as free as their minds are, you know? I don't think that's the case though, I'm thinking it's probably a reading glitch.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

Yes, I can attest that Chad can out-clever me when he wants to -- but in these discussions he often eschews cleverness in favor of clarity. I suspect his seeming bafflement on this occasion was partly feigned, as a way of expressing appreciation for Ansu's response.

apotheon
apotheon

I come to TR for the technical subject matter. Ask Sterling some time about my enjoyment of pun-chain conversations.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Your brief stream of manipulated consciousness, above, struck me as completely and rarely out of character.

apotheon
apotheon

I'm a big fan of clever wordplay -- when circumstances call for it.

santeewelding
santeewelding

You're getting there -- loosening your white-knuckle grip of the language.

apotheon
apotheon

I may have to use that. Do you, uh, mind if I use -- err, use my statement in the future? Damn. This is very strange. I feel like I'd be using your idea, but I'm the one who said it. Whatever.

deepsand
deepsand

The former, as used here, has a specific legal definition; the latter, not so.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

[i]"How the hell would I know? I have never worked for WikiLeaks." [/i] - is pretty awesome... it can be used for any question about any topic. The embafflement factor is enormous, especially in topics unrelated to wikileaks, of course. :D

apotheon
apotheon

I never worked for WikiLeaks. I did work for the Wikimedia Foundation, which is something else entirely. That's Wikipedia, not WikiLeaks. The Wikimedia Foundation holds no trademark on the term "wiki". > Or will you answer by saying "that doesn't matter, they did nothing wrong"? I answer by saying "How the hell would I know? I have never worked for WikiLeaks."

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

So tell us: How is it run? Is Assange in control or not? Who would have ultimate editorial control?, If Wikileaks was found at fault by a politically neutral court, what position would be held responsible for the leaks? Or will you answer by saying "that doesn't matter, they did nothing wrong"?

j-mart
j-mart

Proper evidence, correct legal procedure and much " trial by rumor and media manipulation ".

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

the quality of such "proof" will always be suspect.

deepsand
deepsand

If that proves to be true, he will properly be branded a spy.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

...we can see beyond any shadow of a doubt that this crew new perfectly well that was a news crew, and were out to kill them. Sure. OK. The actions of that crew were inexcusable. There was no real indication the target was the enemy, they had no right to fire, nor to follow up. The rescue crew should have provided all help and support to the child in the van. Yes, no argument. It was murderous. But the problem to me is that this crew was not sufficiently trained in recognizing the enemy from the air. This is not a science, but a life-or-death guessing game, fraught with the danger of fatal error. It is wrong to assume that our nation is purposefully targeting civilians or press. It is an unfortunate fact of war that innocents often die by accident, and through no fault of their own. It is not always a matter of being "in the wrong place at the wrong time" but of mistakes made by the military. This happens on both sides of any war. The problem with this war against an insurgency is that they don't wear uniforms, don't move as troops, use unmarked civilian vehicles and *purposefully* mix with innocent civilians to complicate decisions as to *who* and *where* the enemy is. This was a tactic used very successfully against our troops in Viet Nam. It works. There are always heavy civilian casualties as a direct result. Combatants mixed with civilians has deniability that can be and is heavily used to undermine the determination of our troops and of our nation. We as Americans loathe to see innocents die, but due to this tactic by an enemy who does not value the life of anyone, this is what we face. Personally, I think the war is unwinnable since we cannot reliably estimate the strength of the enemy, we may (as happened to "W") tend to declare victory only to find the enemy still in power. If we stay, we waste American lives daily and make no real difference, we pour millions upon millions of dollars we can't afford into a money pit, and despite our best efforts and heroism, this insane enemy will return, having never really fled. Over.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

...but apparently you're right. I have heard numerous report regarding the breakup of the Soviet Union and the chief cause was the economic load placed on them by the perceived need to "out gun" the United States. Reagan's strong rhetoric though the media served to exacerbate the situation, and stirred up feelings within the USSR that we were unbeatable (We didn't think so ourselves, hence our own expenditures). Economic pressures grew out of control and eventually undermined support for communism as a whole. The system completely collapsed, largely influenced by the enormous popularity of Ronald Reagan, even within the Soviet Union itself.

Zwort
Zwort

And crazier than a sheit house rat if my reading is correct. The link below is a multi link, in thumbnail preview mode, you can choose safely: http://minmu.net/Julian/ I don't know which part I find more interesting, but I think the man is a self opinionated, paranoid, self elected, self important, mission-oriented 'revolutionary'. History is littered with the bodies of people who knew better than the rest of the world, and it is littered with the bodies of those they slaughtered. This man ought not to be allowed any more power than he has taken, and ought to lose it, ditto his friends.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

morally reprehensible.. Unlike some of the various government actions exposed by Wikileak.. Quick, the Rueter's guys have cameras.. shoot them down!!!

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

we can't know how ultimate his control is if we don't know how his outfit works, can we?

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

...and is therefore responsible for it's actions. If he can prove that this was was done without his approval, he may have a defense. I don't know whether or not he has placed himself as *editor-in-chief*, but nevertheless he has ultimate control over his company's policies. Whether or not he is held *legally* liable doesn't really matter so much to me, though, because I find his actions to be *morally* reprehensible, and he should he held accountable by a civil society, and his publications shunned until some kind of amends are made.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

and crazy as a fox, too... I strongly suspect that the Soviets were scared to death of him, and thought he was completely mad, and that he would push the button the second his "star wars" program would come online. He knew the media very well, that's for certain.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I'm not convinced it has truly affected our people in the GWOT. In fact it could all be a diversionary tactic, to confuse our enemies. If this were the case, someone in the intel services deserves a raise! We used all kinds of dirty tricks and tactics like that in WWII; I can't imagine DOD is so dumb they can't implement at least a psychological campaign of some sort! Ol' Ronny Regan used to use the news media against themselves occasionally. He was a lot foxier than they gave him credit for.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

That's that minarchy, right? In finnish there's a regular derivation suffix to create a word for a "pertinent set" of something. So committeesto would be the set of committees that be. I.e. government.

apotheon
apotheon

It's not quite so blatant as "a government of vultures"; it's "a committee of vultures", which is almost exactly the same thing.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

A parliament of owls A government of vultures

apotheon
apotheon

That sounds like the unspoken motto of government, actually.

deepsand
deepsand

One whose mantra is "Do as I say, not as I do."

JCitizen
JCitizen

I waiting for the courts to decide if the information the soldier downloaded is even damaging to US soldiers or allies. If they can prove that it is, without a doubt, using proper due process; then that soldier should be put up for firing squad. If they can prove Wiki-Leaks conspired with him to gain this information, then somebody over there needs their butt kicked - at the very least! So far I'm not convinced any true damage was done. There are no reports by my friends that any thing is happening in the GWOT so far to harm our allies or our troops. We'll see.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Accurate or not, that attitude appears to prevail among the majority of voters in most congressional districts. I have had a congressman who did work in his constituents' best interest, while I was on active duty and still voting in NY. My current congressman is Mr. Joe "You lie" Wilson. 'Nuff said. Still thinking about Cleveland. I wouldn't have picked him, but I wouldn't have looked back that far.

apotheon
apotheon

> If you didn't already know it, "It's those other people that need to replace their representatives. Ours is doing a good job, and so is our Senator." This does not apply to me. I have no representative in Congress. I never have. I have never lived in a district, so far as I recall, whose official representatives in state and federal legislatures have to any reasonable degree actually represented my interests or, for that matter, even those of the people who voted for them. The only governmental officials for whom I have ever had any respect are those who have not repeatedly boned their constituents, lied and double-dealed and in some manner been caught at it. Obama broke campaign promises during the campaign before the election ever came to pass, sometimes quite blatantly, and the honeymoon with the voting public still didn't end for a couple years after that. > Grover Cleveland? Really? I'll have to think about that a bit. Cleveland was a President who did very little, opposed a lot, and apparently kept every public promise to the best of his ability. Much like any other amongst the paltry few "politicians" in this country who have truly earned any respect from the 1890s onward, he was someone who bucked pretty much every trend, was targeted by vicious attacks by mainstream political opponents, and did not toe a "party over principle" line.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

If you didn't already know it, "It's those [u]other[/u] people that need to replace [u]their[/u] representatives. Ours is doing a good job, and so is our Senator." Expand that attitude through 435 Congressional districts in 50 states and you get what we've got at the national level. Grover Cleveland? Really? I'll have to think about that a bit.

apotheon
apotheon

> You know that when we elect non-responsive people to WORK FOR US, we get what we deserve. We get what the idiots who voted for them deserve. I sure as hell didn't vote for people like Obama, GWB, Pelosi, Boehner, and so on. I, unfortunately, get what you deserve (where "you" is the idiots who vote for those evil critters, whether you are personally one of them or not). > You have to clean your own back yard, and we must clean ours of self-serving, vote-buying mud-slinging politicians ourselves, and place more responsible people in office. I've been trying to convince people of that for years, but nobody's willing to recognize the fact that about 98% of Congress fits that description, and every Presidential term in office has been more evil than the preceding term in my politically conscious life. I don't even think we've had a good President since Cleveland.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

assumes that there *is* no fire. It's a public safety matter. What little restrictions we have on speech in this country are based on the need to protect the public from dangerous practices by and individual or a group. We have the right to carry arms, but not to shoot anybody except in defense of the innocent. The police are under the same restrictions. Who makes these rules? You would like to hear someone say it's that crooked, authoritarian government that came out of nowhere and took over, wouldn't you? But you know better than that. You know that when we elect non-responsive people to WORK FOR US, we get what we deserve. Quit listening to what the self-interested say about the candidates, check them out for yourselves. And you realize, of course, that people in Alabama can't vote out of office a crooked Senator from Michigan. You have to clean your own back yard, and we must clean ours of self-serving, vote-buying mud-slinging politicians ourselves, and place more responsible people in office. Then maybe you won't have to worry about an independent 'net.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

would be [i][b]IDIOCRACY[/i][/b] :p ;) Srsly!

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

But they left a LOT of descendants... B-) True social anarchy is very difficult to achieve. The closest we have come so far is chaos. The problem is that too many people see self-restraint as no restraint.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

is harming the basic liberty of another. Conflicts and Arbitration lies that way. As it harms none, do as thou wilt, schmott guy!

apotheon
apotheon

Frankly, some forms of anarchy would be preferable to the current system. Others, of course, would not. The fact is that we have already given up too much freedom. This oppressive status of government must be rolled back. Your implication that eliminating some unjust laws is tantamount to eliminating any and all order in society is really the biggest hunk of "facile and superficial" argument you present. > You would say it was acceptable for them to shut down a crime ring on the internet would you not? As far as you have stated it, I have no problem with that. I do, however, have a problem with government getting involved in underhanded, criminal activity for the sake of spying on and restricting the legitimate activities of people who have done nothing wrong. The power to violate the rights of people who are not hurting anyone is not a power that should ever be exercised, even if it is done in the name of security and public safety -- especially in the name of security and public safety. > You talk as if you have nothing to learn apotheon. I have much to learn. The fact I disagree with you and do not turn my position around 180 degrees just because you want me to does not mean I am not open to learning something. > You think all these people before you were idiots for what they have done with government and the rules in place. I believe mistakes have been made. That is not the same as believing they were all idiots. In fact, Thomas Jefferson was brilliant -- and still made mistakes. I am sure I would make mistakes as well in a similar position. The fact that, in hindsight, it is easier to see that things decisions were mistakes, and that I would like to patch those bugs in the system now, does not mean that I value the contributions of the brilliant, principled men and women who came before me any less.

apotheon
apotheon

I do not want the rights and liberties of my friends and family violated any more than I want them dead. Sacrificing rights and liberties for mere physical safety is a great way to reduce the value of that safety, and to ultimately damage that safety thanks to the negative effects on safety of a desperate, oppressed public made up of people denied the right to protect themselves during the half hour it takes police to respond to an emergency call.

apotheon
apotheon

The point appears to be that freedom must be limited to the extent that it stands in the way of government monitoring and controlling things in the name of security. This is not the same as freedom being limited to the extent that it interferes with the freedom of others.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

We've never been able, as a species, to pull it off for more than a couple of hours at a time. It quickly gives way to follow-the-leader which leads to one form of despotism or other.

SarcasmDoesn'tReadWell
SarcasmDoesn'tReadWell

We already have limitations on our freedoms. That is what I am talking about. They are there for a reason, is my point. The reality of the world is, we cannot live in anarchy. You would say it was acceptable for them to shut down a crime ring on the internet would you not? Maybe one stealling all of our identities? Or even worse, posting that online for anyone to see and use. No, you would want that shut down in a heartbeat. And you would expect your law enforcement to be able to do something about it. But are they not free to post whatever the f they want online? freedom of speech right? freedom of press? whatever freedom you want to quote, it is limited in its rights, such as by doing harm to others. Did I leave anything else out in my "Facile and superficial" arguement? You talk as if you have nothing to learn apotheon. You think all these people before you were idiots for what they have done with government and the rules in place. Sure, the system isn't perfect, but a system for everyone will never be. I bet you think you could design a better system though.

SarcasmDoesn'tReadWell
SarcasmDoesn'tReadWell

We are protecting the safety of our selves and our loved ones. Maybe there is a reason, besides possible fixing of the vote, that Bush was voted in twice. He sells a war on those who plan to hurt us and do evil. As stupid as his tactics are, that touches with most people who at the end of their day, truly only care about their freinds and family.

SarcasmDoesn'tReadWell
SarcasmDoesn'tReadWell

You are right Nick, if what you say is true, I did chose a bad example. I did not know that about vikings. However, I think the idea behind my statement still stands true.

deepsand
deepsand

His point is that, like all rights, said freedom is limited to the extent that it does harm.

deepsand
deepsand

"Freedom of speech" does [b]not[/b] trump "right to privacy." Freedom of speech is [b]limited[/b] by the extent to which it does harm.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

You have extensive knowledge of Viking history and society do you?

apotheon
apotheon

What are we protecting with our security measures if not liberty (edited: used to say "security", which was a silly error)? What guarantee do you have that giving up freedom will buy you greater security? Your arguments are facile and superficial.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Viking society was based on mutual respect. No Viking cowered in the presence of another. And any Viking who defaced somebody's shop like that, no matter how drunk, would lose all respect among his peers.

SarcasmDoesn'tReadWell
SarcasmDoesn'tReadWell

If you think you can have complete security and complete freedom. You give up people's freedom all the time as a network administrator in the name of security. How else could you do it? Trust people? You can yell fire if there is a fire, just like you can yell bomb on a plane... if there is one. But if there isn't, it's a crime. If you don't think so, try it. A moron once said "if you think you are free, try walking into a deli and urinating on the cheese". Well who wants to live in a world where people can just urinate all over your cheese and have no repercussion? In a world like that, such as back in the Viking times, the largest brute is "free" the rest must cower in his presence. We came up with certain rules in society so that we could all get along. Would you rather those rules didn't exist? It is written and known that there are limitation to the first amendment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech

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