Monday, January 31, 2011

What’s Fueling Mideast Protests? It’s More Than Twitter | Danger Room | Wired.com

What’s Fueling Mideast Protests? It’s More Than Twitter

[Updated at bottom, 7:15 p.m. EDT, with fresh info from Cairo on communications clampdowns.]

Don’t call it a Twitter revolution just yet. Sure, protesters in the Middle East are using the short-messaging service — and other social media tools — to organize. And yes, there are sporadic reports coming out of Egypt that the Mubarak regime has shut off internet access — despite Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call “not to prevent peaceful protests or block communications, including social media.”

But don’t confuse tools with root causes, or means with ends. The protests in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen are against dictators who’ve held power — and clamped down on their people — for decades. That’s the fuel for the engine of dissent. The dozen or more protesters that self-immolated in Egypt didn’t do it for the tweets.

“It’s about years of repression and dictatorship. Revolutions existed before Twitter and Facebook,” Issandr el-Amrani, a Cairo writer and activist, said in a telephone interview from Tunisia. “It’s really not much more complicated than this.”

Only about a quarter of the Egyptian populace is online, el-Amrani estimated. So street protests have grown the old-fashioned way: by leaflets and spontaneous amalgamation.

“I’ve seen a lot of small groups of people wandering the streets and people spontaneously joining them. At every house, they would yell, ‘Come down,’” said an expert on Middle Eastern censorship in an interview from Cairo.

The source, who requested anonymity out of fear of retribution, added: “This is much, much bigger than Twitter and Facebook.”

Still, it’s no secret that Facebook and Twitter are playing a role. But technology has always been involved in modern revolutions.

“In the last two decades or so, most of the political upheavals had some distinct link to communications technology,” political scientist Alex Magno of the University of the Philippines said in a 2002 interview.

Text-messaging helped spawn a revolution a decade ago in the Philippines. After television broadcasts of President Estrada being acquitted of corruption, residents took to their mobile phones texting their outrage. The streets of Manila quickly filled, forcing the president to resign.

The 1979 Iranian revolution was “closely linked” to the audiocassette, Magno said. Tiananmen was called the “Fax Revolution” because “the rest of the world was better informed than the rest of the neighborhood, because of the fax machine.”

Now, there’s Twitter and Facebook. Clearly, those tools have aided this year’s uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen — despite access to them being limited or suppressed.

Consider that at least 80,000 people confirmed on a Facebook page they would show for a Friday protest in Egypt.

“Twitter and Facebook helped, but people here were not discovering a new reality through social media,” el-Amrani said. “Maybe the rest of the world has.”

[Update, 7:15 p.m. EST]
Spencer Ackerman here. I just spoke with Freedom House’s Sherif Mansour, who’s been in constant contact with Egyptian sources over the last few days. That’s about to come to an end, he said, as the Egyptian government has shut down the internet, blocking SMS and is clamping down on cellphone coverage. All that is to disrupt the anticipated protests tomorrow.

“People are scared,” Mansour said. While reports have circulated that Egyptian protesters were finding ways to get to blocked sites like Facebook or Twitter and setting up Tor protocols, “a lot of the circumvention tools and resources people have been developing were dependent on having some sort of internet exposure.” Mansour hears that sporadic cellphone outages have been spreading from protest-prone areas of Cairo and may go nationwide imminently. “The only way for transferring information is through Bluetooth,” he said.

Maybe we’ll still be able to get information live from the protests, but Mansour isn’t so optimistic. “Not before tomorrow afternoon can we expect the internet to come back,” he said, “unless people here in the U.S. are able to pressure the government to do something different.” Hear that, President Obama and Secretary Clinton? Twitter alone may not be fueling these protests. But if internet access is (even partially) taken down, it’s going to be a lot harder for the rest of the world to find out how they’re unfolding.

Photos: Muhammad/Flickr

See Also:

Conversation :: Unauthorized status @firetow

Mike Dammann (@firetown)
2011-01-31 06:28
@911_insidejob the problem is not mubarak, the issue is what's after

Pssst! Block him ! He's so damn obvious - pfft. You probably won't listen anyway but one of these days you will wish you had'

edd, edm

Hacker Challenging Court Order to Surrender Computer Gear to Sony | Threat Level | Wired.com

Hacker Challenging Court Order to Surrender Computer Gear to Sony

Hacker George Hotz must surrender his computer gear to Sony next week

The lawyer representing a hacker who published the first major PlayStation 3 jailbreak on the internet said Sunday he would challenge a federal judge’s order requiring his client surrender his computer gear to console-maker Sony.

New Jersey’s George Hotz, well-known in the jailbreaking community for unlocking the iPhone and other exploits, had published the jailbreak code on his website and on YouTube a month ago.

Sony, the maker of the 4-year-old console, sued Hotz in San Francisco federal court demanding a judge order him to remove the code. Sony also requested that the 21-year-old computer consultant surrender “any and all computer hardware and peripherals containing circumvention devices, technologies, programs, parts thereof, or other unlawful material, including but not limited to code and software, hard disc drives, computer software, inventory of CD-ROMS, computer diskettes, or other material containing circumvention devices, technologies, programs, parts thereof, or other unlawful material.”

The judge’s Thursday ruling (.pdf) did not sit well with Hotz’ attorney, Stewart Kellar of San Francisco.

“The information sought at issue is less than 100 kilobytes of data. Mr. Hotz has terabytes of storage devices,” Kellar said in a Sunday telephone interview. “Impounding his computers, it’s like starting a forest fire to cut down a single tree.”

Within days, Kellar said he would petition U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to reconsider her ruling — which came in the form of a temporary restraining order requiring Hotz surrender the equipment next week. Hotz, he said, has already abided by Illston’s decision ordering him to remove the code from his website and YouTube.

That said, the code has spread like wildfire. Yet Illston appears to be ordering Hotz to make sure all the code is eliminated from the net.

The defendant, Illston ruled, “shall retrieve” code “which he has previously delivered or communicated.”

Kellar said that was impossible. “Mr. Hotz can’t retrieve the internet,” he said.

Hotz, who goes by the online handle “Geohot,” accessed the so-called “metldr keys” or root keys that trick the PS3 system into running unauthorized programs, like pirated or homebrewed games. It was the first, full-scale root-level firmware hack of the console.

Sony, in its lawsuit, alleged the console jailbreak breached the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other laws, and would eat into game sales for the 41 million PS3 units sold. Illston agreed that Hotz’ activities likely violated the DMCA, and made her order pending more litigation in the weeks-old case.

The DMCA makes it either a civil or criminal offense to traffic in wares meant to circumvent devices protecting copyrighted works. Ironically, performing a similar hack on a mobile phone is lawful. The U.S. Copyright Office exempted cell phone jailbreaking from being covered by the DMCA.

“At the heart of this whole issue is whether you truly own the device you purchased,” Kellar said.

Illston also tentatively agreed with Sony’s complaint that Hotz likely breached the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by acquiring unauthorized access to the game console, access that Sony forbids.

That act, too, can be either a civil or criminal violation. It was unsuccessfully used to prosecute Lori Drew in the country’s first cyberbullying prosecution in 2009.

Sony, which is seeking unspecified monetary damages, has just released a firmware update designed to nullify Hotz’ code.

Photo: Courtesy of George Hotz

Amid Street Protests, Twitter Shuttered in Egypt | Threat Level | Wired.com

Twitter confirmed Tuesday evening that its microblogging site has been shuttered by Egyptian authorities. This came hours after widespread reports that access had been cut off, as Egyptians took to the streets in what many hope and some fear would be a sequel to the revolution in Tunisia last week.

The day’s speculation that the Mubarak administration might have pulled the plug on Twitter underscored the power of the site and other social networks as tools to both coordinate and disperse news of a citizen uprising. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube were widely used in Tunisia’s recent uprising and in Iran last year.

But it remains an open and hotly debated question about how much of a role these tools actually play in real-world social movements, with some critics rightly pointing out that it becomes tempting for analysts to give more credit to the new and sexy tools than they actually deserve.

“We can confirm that Twitter was blocked in Egypt around 8 a.m. PT today. It is impacting both Twitter.com @applications,” the company tweeted from the handle @twitterglobalpr.

Earlier in the day, Twitter seemed unsure. ”We’re not experts on how Twitter is being used in highly developing situations 1000s of miles from our comfortable HQ in SF,” the company tweeted from the same handle. In a separate tweet, San Francisco-based Twitter added, “the experts are those using Twitter on the ground and those coordinating with them around the world.”

One of the leading authorities on Middle East censorship, who is based in Cairo, said in a telephone interview that his Facebook account was accessible but not his Twitter account. His ISP, he said, is TE Data, that nation’s largest internet service provider.

The source, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, said some Egyptians using the Nour ISP were getting access to Twitter.

“Twitter, it’s almost across-the-board inaccessible in Egypt,” he said. “Given the size of the crowds we saw in the streets, I wouldn’t be surprised the outage was from the government. There’s been calls to censor the internet here for ages.”

ABC News reported from Cairo that Twitter was down and that as many as three people were killed as tens of thousands of protesters hit the streets demanding President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year reign come to an end.

Vodafone, using the handle @VodafoneEgypt, had tweeted “no blocking from our side!” It speculated that the outage may have been from “overload.”

Jillian York, who compiles a crowd-sourced ledger of unavailable websites across the globe for the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, said the center had received about a dozen reports of Twitter being inaccessible inside Egypt.

“We cannot confirm for sure if twitter.com is blocked,” she said in a telephone interview early Tuesday.

Photo: The Associated Press

See Also:

Egypt’s Last-Standing ISP Goes Dark | Threat Level | Wired.com

Egypt’s Last-Standing ISP Goes Dark

A small Egyptian ISP that continued sputtering along after the government ordered Egypt off the internet Friday is now offline.

Security researcher Renesys said Monday the Noor Group, believed to be the last Egyptian ISP in operation, had provided access to the aviation, banking and financial sectors — including the Egyptian stock market.

“They are completely unavailable at present,” Renesys wrote of the ISP.

Egypt’s major providers — Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr — and all their customers and partners, went dark Friday. Renesys said the Egyptian government’s actions were “unprecedented in internet history.”

The Egyptian net began going out Friday as Facebook, Twitter and other online forums helped fuel large-scale protests against President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. Mobile-phone communications have also been shut down.

Egypt has also closed Al Jazeera’s office in Cairo, arrested a half-dozen of the news outlet’s reporters, and seized their equipment.

See Also:

Mubarak’s Going to Saudi Arabia, CIA-Backed Forecasters Say | Danger Room | Wired.com

Mubarak’s Going to Saudi Arabia, CIA-Backed Forecasters Say

Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule of Egypt is probably coming to an end, and that means he’ll likely leave Egypt right after he leaves power. (Dictators don’t usually stick around the countries they dictated.) So where would Mubarak flee? One data mining company, backed by the investment arms of Google and the CIA, has an educated guess.

Recorded Future scours tens of thousands of websites, blogs, and Twitter accounts to find the so-called “invisible links” between people, actions, and events. In this case, the company turned its tools on Mubarak’s travel patterns to find clues to his next moves. The guy isn’t exactly posting his post-regime plans on his Facebook wall. But, by looking at public documents about where Mubarak has been and who he hangs with, some likely destinations for his exile emerge.

“If you want to know where he’s going next,” says Recorded Future CEO Christopher Ahlberg, “you’ve got to know what he’s done in the past.”

The reasons why he travels matter, too. Mubarak flew both to Germany and France last year: once for cancer treatment, and a second time for suspected health reasons. It suggests that the 82 year-old leader would rather land in a country first first class medical facilities (at least for former strongmen).  Some of Mubarak’s other destinations this year — like Libya, Sudan, and Algeria — don’t really fit that bill.

On the other hand, European countries — especially ones with large Arab minorities — might be a little skittish about taking such an unpopular figure. So Germany or France might not be the best choice for Mubarak’s retirement home.

Saudi Arabia is another frequent Mubarak destination. He was there in January, 2009, huddling with King Abdullah, and again in July, 2010, talking about the Lebanese political crisis. Mubarak and King Abdullah were supposed to meet again in November — although Abdullah called off the trip at the last minute, because of health issues.

A few days ago, the Saudi ruler blamed “intruders” for allegedly “tampering with Egypt’s security and stability… in the name of freedom of expression.” And earlier in the month, Saudi Arabia took in ousted Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. No wonder, then, that one chant in Egypt goes: “Hosni Mubarak, Hosni Mubarak, the plane is waiting, the plane is waiting. Saudi Arabia is not far!”

Recorded Future’s analysts believe that Saudi Arabia is Mubarak’s next destination, too.

The company attracted millions of dollars from Google Ventures and from In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the U.S. intelligence community, based on the promise that it can forecast coming events automatically. The company’s scouring of present and past information is supposed to feed predictive algorithms, which offer likely future outcomes.

But in this case, “humans put it together. No predictive model. No data models,” Ahlberg says.

If that’s not a ringing endorsement of Recorded Future’s predictive powers, consider the performance of one potential competitor. An Air Force-funded firm, Milcord, used a statistical model to put together a list of the 37 countries most likely to see political violence by 2014. Egypt was ranked #36, just ahead of Belgium.

See Also:

Did Egypt’s Army Just Throw Mubarak Under The Bus? | Danger Room | Wired.com

Did Egypt’s Army Just Throw Mubarak Under The Bus?

It looks like Egypt’s dissidents got a major boost for their emerging revolution. The Egyptian Army reportedly issued a statement saying it will not crack down on the thousands of protesters, ahead of a planned general strike tomorrow that seeks to put a million Egyptians in the streets.

The Army says it “will not use force against the people,” the BBC reports, citing state television, which has shown a sanitized version of the uprising thus far. Al Jazeera’s English broadcast is blasting “Egyptian Army says it will not use force against protesters around the country” across TV screens worldwide.

That’s huge. The Army has acted with restraint thus far: journalist Issandr El Amrani posted the above video today, which shows a one-star general assuring protesters it’s not his job to suppress the protests or prop up the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. But there has been ambiguity about the Army’s intentions. Low-flying helicopters and fighter jets have circled above protest epicenters, raising questions as to whether a possible confrontation was in the works.

It also ought to cause a big sigh of relief at the White House. Top Obama administration aides told a group of D.C. think-tankers this morning that they were in “constant dialogue” to “restrain the Egyptian military from using violence,” according to a participant who asked for anonymity to discuss the private meeting.

“They want to see an orderly transition,” the participant said. “They understand they can’t just say Hosni has to go. They want to make sure the transition isn’t just to a military government.”

If the Army is essentially siding against Mubarak, he may not have much more time in power.

See Also:

She's calling the clones. Take her out ! #illuminati l@AADRR, 2011-01-31 17:28


ALISSA (@AADRR)
2011-01-31 17:28
Shout out to@ElyssaD !!!!

edd, edm

I identified her yesterday. She is calling the  #Monarch sleeper cells and waking them out of their slumber. 

Take her out because she is working with other "captains" to create  chaos and confusion and global disaster. 

They are sending #CIS MKULTRA Monarchs to every corner of the earth because they WANT to confuse the sheeple. 

Because while you guys are busy fighting over food and basic necessities to survive the global elite will make there move  and most  people I know are so damned apathetic and self absorbed that I almost think they don't deserve to know what that point of entry is. 

Haha!  I'm sick of sheeple.  Dumb fucks who still question, challenge or scrutinize every move I make. 

I may not have much now- but I do know that you are going to be in the same, If not worse position soon. At least I know how to survive.   

Too stupid to be part of my club! Fire !!'


Bernadette T. Reed (@BernaVig)
2011-01-31 18:22
@ElyssaD Thanks! I am following you now
Elyssa Durant (@ElyssaD)
2011-01-31 16:35
@tetka @dirtygarnet @bernavig @radana @aadrr @shake_em_uk @phicar @piperbayard @lucyrl
Tetka Rhu (@tetka)
2011-01-31 16:12
pleasure RT @dirtygarnet: Thanks for the mentions! @BernaVig @RADANA @AADRR @Shake_em_uk @PhiCar @ElyssaD @PiperBayard @tetka @lucyrl...

edd, edm

Manufactured Mentions? Fools Next?

Morgan (MIC) Shamy (@Morgan_Shamy)
2011-01-31 18:35
@PiperBayard <---right back at'cha! @elyssad @crocolmagnam @falloutgrrl
Piper Bayard (@PiperBayard)
2011-01-31 18:30
@ElyssaD @Morgan_Shamy @crocolmagnam @Falloutgrrl Thanks for the mentions. =)

edd, edm

@BernaVig not if I can help it' ACCESS DENIED

Bernadette T. Reed (@BernaVig)
2011-01-31 18:22
@ElyssaD Thanks! I am following you now
Elyssa Durant (@ElyssaD)
2011-01-31 16:35
@tetka @dirtygarnet @bernavig @radana @aadrr @shake_em_uk @phicar @piperbayard @lucyrl
Tetka Rhu (@tetka)
2011-01-31 16:12
pleasure RT @dirtygarnet: Thanks for the mentions! @BernaVig @RADANA @AADRR @Shake_em_uk @PhiCar @ElyssaD @PiperBayard @tetka @lucyrl...

edd, edm

Search Warrants Executed for ‘Anonymous’ Attackers - The New New Internet

Search Warrants Executed for ‘Anonymous’ Attackers

FBI agents yesterday executed more than 40 search warrants throughout the United States as part of an ongoing investigation into recent coordinated cyber attacks against major companies and organizations.

According to a press release by the bureau, Anonymous has claimed responsibility for these distributed denial of service attack, saying the attacks were conducted in protest of the companies’ and organizations’ actions. The attacks were facilitated by the software tools the group makes available for free download on the Internet.

The FBI is working with its international law enforcement partners and others to mitigate these threats, including authorities in Europe. The National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance also is providing assistance, and major Internet security software providers have instituted updates so they will detect the Low Orbit Ion Canon tools used in these attacks.

The U.K.’s  Metropolitan Police Service yesterday arrested five people for their alleged role in the attacks.

http://www.thenewnewinternet.com/2011/01/28/search-warrants-executed-for-anon...

Anonymous Attacks Tunisian Government for ‘War on Free Speech’ - The New New Internet

Anonymous Attacks Tunisian Government for ‘War on Free Speech’

Web activists attacked and temporarily crippled several Tunisian government websites in an act of protest against the country’s embattled leadership.

At least eight websites were targeted, including those of the president, prime minister, ministry of industry, ministry of foreign affairs, and the stock exchange, Al Jazeera reports. The attack, which began Sunday night, coincided with a national strike, planned to take place Monday.

The current administration has curbed the flow of information out of Tunisia since widespread protests began Dec. 17, following a university graduate’s suicide attempt after police confiscated the fruits and vegetables he sold without a permit. However, reports of civil disobedience and police action made it out on Twitter on Monday, with some users reporting the use of tear gas by security forces, Al Jazeera said.

The loosely organized hacktivist group Anonymous claimed responsibility for the cyber attack, which it called Operation Tunisia. In a manifesto circulating online, Anonymous said it had cyber attacked the Tunisian government because of its “war on free speech.”

“This is a warning to the Tunisian Government: violation of the freedom of speech and information of its citizens will not be tolerated,” the statement said. “Cyber Attacks will persist until the Tunisian Government respects all Tunisian citizens rights to Free Speech and Information and ceases the censoring on the internet.”

Operation Tunisia came just days after a similar attack on Zimbabwean government websites in which Anonymous targeted President Robert Mugabe’s administration for withholding information about the thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables WikiLeaks has released.

http://www.thenewnewinternet.com/2011/01/04/anonymous-attacks-tunisian-govern...

Anonymous Attacks Tunisian Government for ‘War on Free Speech’ – The Citizen Lab

Anonymous Attacks Tunisian Government for ‘War on Free Speech’

“Web activists attacked and temporarily crippled several Tunisian government websites in an act of protest against the country’s embattled leadership.

At least eight websites were targeted, including those of the president, prime minister, ministry of industry, ministry of foreign affairs, and the stock exchange, Al Jazeera reports. The attack, which began Sunday night, coincided with a national strike, planned to take place Monday.”

From The New New Internet

Web activists attacked and temporarily crippled several Tunisian government websites in an act of protest against the country’s embattled leadership.

At least eight websites were targeted, including those of the president, prime minister, ministry of industry, ministry of foreign affairs, and the stock exchange, Al Jazeera reports. The attack, which began Sunday night, coincided with a national strike, planned to take place Monday.

The current administration has curbed the flow of information out of Tunisia since widespread protests began Dec. 17, following a university graduate’s suicide attempt after police confiscated the fruits and vegetables he sold without a permit. However, reports of civil disobedience and police action made it out on Twitter on Monday, with some users reporting the use of tear gas by security forces, Al Jazeera said.

The loosely organized hacktivist group Anonymous claimed responsibility for the cyber attack, which it called Operation Tunisia. In a manifesto circulating online, Anonymous said it had cyber attacked the Tunisian government because of its “war on free speech.”

“This is a warning to the Tunisian Government: violation of the freedom of speech and information of its citizens will not be tolerated,” the statement said. “Cyber Attacks will persist until the Tunisian Government respects all Tunisian citizens rights to Free Speech and Information and ceases the censoring on the internet.”

Operation Tunisia came just days after a similar attack on Zimbabwean government websites in which Anonymous targeted President Robert Mugabe’s administration for withholding information about the thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables WikiLeaks has released.

http://www.thenewnewinternet.com/2011/01/04/anonymous-attacks-tunisian-govern...

YouTube, Twitter: Weapons in Israel’s Info War | Danger Room | Wired.com

YouTube, Twitter: Weapons in Israel’s Info War

Idf_tank_610xDays after sending aircraft to strike Hamas militants in Gaza, the Israeli government is launching a campaign to dominate the blogosphere.

Among other things, the Israeli military has started its own YouTube channel to distribute footage of precision airstrikes. And as I type, the Israeli consulate in New York is hosting a press conference on microblogging site Twitter. It’s pretty interesting to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reduced to tweets of 140 characters or less ("We hav 2 prtct R ctzens 2, only way fwd through neogtiations, & left Gaza in 05. y Hamas launch missiles not peace?"; "we’re not at war with the PAL people. we’re at war with a group declared by the EU& US a terrorist org").

The Jerusalem Post quotes Maj. Avital Leibovich, the head of the Israeli Defense Forces’ foreign press branch on the digital media campaign. "The blogosphere and new media are another war zone," she says. "We have to be relevant there."

It appears, however, that some of the YouTube posts have already been scrubbed. A note on the page of the pro-Israel YouTube channel reads: "We are saddened that YouTube has taken down some of our exclusive footage showing the IDF’s operational success in operation Cast Lead against Hamas extremists in the Gaza Strip. … It is also worth noting that one of the videos removed had the highest number of hits (over 10,000) at the time of its removal."

[PHOTO: Reuters via Daylife.com]

ALSO:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/12/israels-info-wa/

Secret Plan To Kill Internet By 2012 Leaked?

by Paul Joseph Watson

Prison Planet

June 11, 2008

from InfoWar Website

 

Some question if report that pay-per-view system to be introduced is a hoax, but wider march to regulate the web is documented

 

ISPs have resolved to restrict the Internet to a TV-like subscription model where users will be forced to pay to visit selected corporate websites by 2012, while others will be blocked, according to a leaked report.

 

Despite some people dismissing the story as a hoax, the wider plan to kill the traditional Internet and replace it with a regulated and controlled Internet 2 is manifestly provable.

"Bell Canada and TELUS (formerly owned by Verizon) employees officially confirm that by 2012 ISPs all over the globe will reduce Internet access to a TV-like subscription model, only offering access to a small standard amount of commercial sites and require extra fees for every other site you visit.

 

These other sites would then lose all their exposure and eventually shut down, resulting in what could be seen as the end of the Internet," warns a report that has spread like wildfire across the web over the last few days.

The article, which is accompanied by a YouTube clip, states that Time Magazine writer "Dylan Pattyn" has confirmed the information and is about to release a story - and that the move to effectively shut down the web could come as soon as 2010.

Watch the clip...

 

I POWER - Net Neutrality Pt.3
 

 


People have raised questions about the reports accuracy because the claims are not backed by another source, only the "promise" that a Time Magazine report is set to confirm the rumor.

 

Until such a report emerges many have reserved judgment or outright dismissed the story as a hoax.

What is documented, as the story underscores, is the fact that TELUS wireless web package allows only restricted pay-per-view access to a selection of corporate and news websites. This is the model that the post-2012 Internet would be based on.

People have noted that the authors of the video seem to be more concerned about getting people to subscribe to their You Tube account than fighting for net neutrality by prominently featuring an attractive woman who isnt shy about showing her cleavage. The vast majority of the other You Tube videos hosted on the same account consist of bizarre avant-garde satire skits on behalf of the same people featured in the Internet freedom clip. This has prompted many to suspect that the Internet story is merely a stunt to draw attention to the group.

Whether the report is accurate or merely a crude hoax, there is a very real agenda to restrict, regulate and suffocate the free use of the Internet and we have been documenting its progression for years.

The first steps in a move to charge for every e mail sent have already been taken. Under the pretext of eliminating spam, Bill Gates and other industry chieftains have proposed Internet users buy credit stamps which denote how many e-mails they will be able to send. This of course is the death knell for political newsletters and mailing lists.

The New York Times reported that,

"America Online and Yahoo, two of the worlds largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from 1/4 of a cent to a penny each to have them delivered. The senders must promise to contact only people who have agreed to receive their messages, or risk being blocked entirely."

The first wave will simply attempt to price people out of using the conventional Internet and force people over to Internet 2, a state regulated hub where permission will need to be obtained directly from an FCC or government bureau to set up a website.

The original Internet will then be turned into a mass surveillance database and marketing tool.

 

The Nation magazine reported in 2006 that,

"Verizon, Comcast, Bell South and other communications giants are developing strategies that would track and store information on our every move in cyberspace in a vast data-collection and marketing system, the scope of which could rival the National Security Agency.

 

According to white papers now being circulated in the cable, telephone and telecommunications industries, those with the deepest pocketscorporations, special-interest groups and major advertiserswould get preferred treatment.

 

Content from these providers would have first priority on our computer and television screens, while information seen as undesirable, such as peer-to-peer communications, could be relegated to a slow lane or simply shut out."

Over the past few years, a chorus of propaganda intended to demonize the Internet and further lead it down a path of strict control has spewed forth from numerous establishment organs:

  1. Time magazine reported last year that researchers funded by the federal government want to shut down the internet and start over, citing the fact that at the moment there are loopholes in the system whereby users cannot be tracked and traced all the time. The projects echo moves we have previously reported on to clamp down on internet neutrality and even to designate a new form of the internet known as Internet 2.

  2. In a display of bi-partisanship, there have recently been calls for all out mandatory ISP snooping on all US citizens by both Democrats and Republicans alike.

The White Houses own recently de-classified strategy for "winning the war on terror" targets Internet conspiracy theories as a recruiting ground for terrorists and threatens to "diminish" their influence.

The Pentagon recently announced its effort to infiltrate the Internet and propagandize for the war on terror.

In a speech last October, Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff identified the web as a "terror training camp," through which "disaffected people living in the United States" are developing "radical ideologies and potentially violent skills." His solution is "intelligence fusion centers," staffed by Homeland Security personnel which will go into operation next year.

The U.S. Government wants to force bloggers and online grassroots activists to register and regularly report their activities to Congress. Criminal charges including a possible jail term of up to one year could be the punishment for non-compliance.

A landmark legal case on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America and other global trade organizations seeks to criminalize all Internet file sharing of any kind as copyright infringement, effectively shutting down the world wide web - and their argument is supported by the U.S. government.

A landmark legal ruling in Sydney goes further than ever before in setting the trap door for the destruction of the Internet as we know it and the end of alternative news websites and blogs by creating the precedent that simply linking to other websites is breach of copyright and piracy.

The European Union, led by former Stalinist and potential future British Prime Minister John Reid, has also vowed to shut down "terrorists" who use the Internet to spread propaganda.

The EU data retention bill, passed last year after much controversy and with implementation tabled for late 2007, obliges telephone operators and internet service providers to store information on who called who and who emailed who for at least six months. Under this law, investigators in any EU country, and most bizarrely even in the US, can access EU citizens data on phone calls, SMS messages, emails and instant messaging services.

The EU also recently proposed legislation that would prevent users from uploading any form of video without a license.

The US government is also funding research into social networking sites and how to gather and store personal data published on them, according to the New Scientist magazine.

"At the same time, US lawmakers are attempting to force the social networking sites themselves to control the amount and kind of information that people, particularly children, can put on the sites."

The development of a new form of internet with new regulations is also designed to create an online caste system whereby the old internet hubs would be allowed to break down and die, forcing people to use the new taxable, censored and regulated world wide web.

Make no mistake, the internet, one of the greatest outposts of free speech ever created is under constant attack by powerful people who cannot operate within a society where information flows freely and unhindered. Both American and European moves mimic stories we hear every week out of state controlled Communist China, where the internet is strictly regulated and virtually exists as its own entity away from the rest of the web.

The Internet is freedoms best friend and the bane of control freaks.

 

Its eradication is one of the short term goals of those that seek to centralize power and subjugate their populations under tyranny by eliminating the right to protest and educate others by the forum of the free World Wide Web.
 

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_mediacontrol26.htm

Egypt Shut Down Its Net With a Series of Phone Calls | Threat Level | Wired.com

Egypt Shut Down Its Net With a Series of Phone Calls

Traffic to Egypt fell to a trickle, after the country's decision to shut off the net on Thursday, according to this graphic from Arbor Network. Reprinted with permission from Arbor Network


Egypt’s largest ISPs shut off their networks Thursday, making it impossible for traffic to get to websites hosted in Egypt or for Egyptians to use e-mail, Twitter or Facebook. The regime of President Hosni Mubarak also ordered the shut down of mobile phone networks, including one run by the U.K.-based Vodafone, all in an attempt to undermine the growing protests over Mubarak’s autocratic rule of the country.

While the world has seen net filtering and disruption in places like Burma and Iran following social and political unrests, Egypt’s decision to shutter it is different, according to Craig Labovitz, the chief scientist at Arbor Networks, a computer security firm that has nearly unequaled real data on international internet traffic.

“What’s different with Egypt is the scale,” Labovitz told Wired.com. “By that I mean that Egypt has fairly significant internet infrastructure with a diversity of paths — satellite, microwave and fiber links — a number of large providers and hundreds of smaller providers. It is one of the more significant internet infrastructures in the Middle East and certainly within Africa. Egypt has a very well-developed economy with a significant reliance on the internet, this is very different from Burma.”

So how did Egypt shut down the net? Did someone in the government hit a giant stop button?

Not quite.

“I do like the image of a big red switch sitting on a desk somewhere, but Egypt has a significant infrastructure,” Labovitz said.

But it’s still small enough that just a few phone calls probably sufficed.

“There are a handful of big providers you would need to coordinate with and they are all licensees of the state telecom, so they are all beholden to the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, so your license is dependent on following the rules,” Labovitz said.

That comports with the data published by Renesys, a net monitoring firm, which saw individual ISPs go dark within minutes of one another.

“First impressions: this sequencing looks like people getting phone calls, one at a time, telling them to take themselves off the air, ” wrote Renesys’s chief scientist James Cowie. “Not an automated system that takes all providers down at once; instead, the incumbent leads and other providers follow meekly one by one until Egypt is silenced.”

Still at least one ISP, the Noor Group, remains active, providing connectivity to Egypt’s stock exchange and some government ministries, according to Renesys.

The cutoff was quickly criticized by the D.C.-based Center for Democracy and Technology.

“This action is inconsistent with all international human rights norms, and is unprecedented in Internet history,” CDT president Leslie Harris said. “Egypt’s actions will only fuel unrest and make peaceful resolution of grievances far more difficult.”

There’s been some confusion in the media about people being able to get around the block using proxies or other anti-snooping tools, according to Labovitz. These won’t work when the ISPs have simply shut down.

“No amount of cleverness of tunneling will help you if you don’t have a dial-tone,” Labovitz said.