If you’re following the WikiLeaks debacle you have no doubt heard of the group being called “Anonymous” although they are more of a phenomenon than an actual group or organisation. Anonymous have been launching Distributed Denial of Service Attacks against Mastercard, PayPal. Dubbed “Operation Payback” this loosely connected band of idiots are attempting to bring down websites and services that have refused to do business with WikiLeaks under the misguided view that they are standing up for Freedom of Speech and ‘Defending the Internet’.
However nothing could be further from the truth because Anonymous have even attempted to bring down Amazon for refusing to host WikiLeaks. Of course with Amazon being one of the largest service providers in the world Anonymous failed miserably, although they still attempted to bring down a service that hosts tens of thousands of servers. Such an attack on so many innocent people is not standing up for Freedom of Speech. Knocking someone’s service provider offline has the same effect as adding them to a government censorship filter; they are silenced.
Amazon has been lined up as the next victim of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack by the group of online vigilantes known as Anonymous, which has already taken down the web sites of MasterCard, Visa and PayPal, as the WikiLeaks controversy continues.
A Twitter update from one of the accounts used by the group, @Op_Payback, read an hour ago: “TARGET: WWW.AMAZON.COM LOCKED ON!!!”. Subsequent updates gave followers instructions on how to turn their computers into part of a mass botnet set to launch the DDoS attack in two hours.
I had expected to receive at least some half baked ideology in response to justify the DDoS attacks but instead it seems these Script Kiddies are not interested in discussion.
As I type this the IRC has come to life; they are gearing up for another attack. I will be watching this out of interest but I refuse to assist any of these idiots. Because these morons are not defending the internet. Instead they are crippling it and stamping on the Freedom of Speech that they claim to protect. Despite what the media tell you these are not hackers because all these individuals are doing is abusing the core fundamentals of the Internet. Packets of information are routed indiscriminately to their destination so a DDoS attack requires no expertise to carry out. All you need to do is send traffic to a target and the Internet does the rest.
If like me you support WikiLeaks but condemn Operation Payback and the idiots behind it then say something on Twitter, Comment forms or the Anon-ops IRC (But don’t expect a warm welcome.)
In 2008 a short but highly controversial film produced by Dutch politician Geert Wilders, was released. The purpose of the film was to show how the Qur’an acts as a motivative tool for Islamic terrorism. Due to the nature of this film there are many attempts to have it censored.
I am self hosting it because it’s too long for YouTube and other services keep deleting it. If there are any issues with streaming this video I can be contacted at Dan@danscomp.net You can also download the .avi here.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants to talk about euthanasia, a topic that is banned from discussion under the Australian Government censorship regime.
Julia Gillard has opened the way for a fresh debate on legalising euthanasia after the Greens leader, Bob Brown, nominated it as one of his top priorities.
While three state parliaments wrestle with euthanasia legislation, the Prime Minister and Senator Brown are expected to discuss the Greens’ demand for the repeal of legislation preventing territory governments from legalising voluntary euthanasia. –Sydney Morning Herald
Dr Philip Nitschke founder of Exit International has had his book titled The Peaceful Pill Handbook added to the Australian Governments ‘secret’ blacklist. The book is available online here and because our internet is currently uncensored we can access it. However a quick check of the blacklist shows that the (un-)Australian Government is very much against it’s citizens having access to euthanasia material.
Part of the ACMA Blacklist; peacefulpillhandbook.com is highlighted in green.
I think Labor’s proposed National Broadband Network is bullshit. Not because we don’t need faster broadband but because Labor is offering it as bait to try and win back the voters. Having seen how fast Highspeed Broadband in mainland China is I am happy to say ‘no thanks’ to Labor’s National Broadband Network. Because while a faster Internet may seem tempting the idea of being restricted to government approved sites and services via Internet Censorship makes it a pretty raw deal.
Yes, Australia needs faster Internet but I believe there are better ways to achieve it. One of the reasons Conroy wants the ability to censor at the ISP level is because content providers; including Australian Citizens and Businesses often place their websites on United States based servers in order to avoid take down notices from Australian Authorities.
I believe the key to upgrading our infrastructure is to encourage more companies to set-up their data centres over here and the only viable way to do this is to abolish the regime of censorship that our nanny-state of a country has embraced for so long. (We don’t even have R18 for games.) Nobody is going to place servers in Australia if they think there is even the slightest change of being ordered to shut it down. I am not talking about the proposed ISP level censor here but rather the existing censorship that comes from ACMA in the form of take-down notices and $11,000 per day fines. This type of censorship has been around for many years but fortunately the Internet has help liberate the Australian people by giving them a means to speak out. The Internet has given the people a voice and freedom of speech like never before and the Australian Labor party wishes to silence it by implementing mandatory service provider level censorship. This combined with the plan to monitor the Internet usage of all Australian Citizens is destroying our digital economy and moving us towards George Orwell‘s Nineteen Eighty Four.
Labor will chase any would be investors away with even more draconian Censorship. In order to move forward we need to become a safe haven for freedom of speech and freedom of information. That combined with our own investments into the infrastructure will provide an incentive for overseas and Australian companies to run servers in Australian data centres which ultimately means they will be investing in Australia’s communication infrastructure and economy.
When it comes to Freedom of Speech Attorney General; Robert McClelland simply doesn’t get it.
FREEDOM of speech only goes so far and it does not stretch to racism, Attorney-General Robert McClelland says.
In a speech to a cyber-racism summit in Sydney, Mr McClelland said the Government was tackling the difficult world of cyber bullying and online protection of children.
“It may well be appropriate to set some limitation to public expression of hateful material,” Mr McClelland said.
He said cyber-racism was a growing area of concern for the Human Rights Commission. Eighteen per cent of racism complaints handed to the Commission in 2008-09 were about racist internet material, up from nine per cent in the previous year. –News.com.au
When it comes to Freedom of Speech you cannot simply pick and choose what speech is acceptable and what speech is not, because that is the complete reverse of Free-Speech. You don’t need to agree with the opinions of others but unless you are prepared to defend their right to say it you cannot call yourself a supporter of Free-Speech and nor can you reasonably expect others to respect your rights when you do not extend that courtesy yourself.
Most people don’t understand what it actually means to “Support” Freedom of Speech. When you support Free Speech you often find yourself defending many unpleasant things that you disagree with because all the other so called “supporters” have turned out to be fakes just trying to get some positive credit for a value they do not really hold.
A Jewish person defending Free-Speech needs to support the rights of holocaust deniers just as an African American person defending Free-Speech needs to support the rights of the Ku Klux Klan despite the content of that speech. Given in this context it is easy to see why there are so few real supporters of Free-Speech around.
When supporting the Freedom of Speech content is irrellivent and if you want your rights to be respected you must extend that respect to the freedom of others no matter who they are.
We have all seen Senator Conroy harp on and on about how you can’t get certain content on DVD and so that makes censorship ok. Well I would like to point out that hardly anything is available on DVD these days. The vast majority of content is available online only. Content delivery via physical mediums is dead; very little content ever makes it to DVD or Print in comparison to the wealth of information available online.
Can you hold a conversation on DVD format?
Can you organise highly controversial but legal events such as “The Rise of Atheism” using DVDs?
Can you organise political action via DVDs?
No, physical mediums are useless for all of these things. The Internet has given us the greatest freedom imaginable; the freedom to communicate. Before the rise of the Internet people had to rely on the corporate media for information. Today anyone can be a Journalist; everyone can access and distribute information, there are no barriers. Unless of course Conroy gets his way and and this newfound freedom is revoked and Conroys secret committee, Immune to Freedom of Information Requests steps in as the Gatekeeper.
The Internet is much more than simply another form of Media. It has taken on a life of it’s own and now serves as a primary communication in our society. It’s time to start calling Conroy out on his false analogies.
Comedy Central has censored the latest episode of South Park amid fears of reprisal from Islamic terror groups. The shows 200th episode depicts the Muslim prophet Muhammad wearing a bear costume the result of which is a death threat from Islamic Extremists warning that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone will be murdered.
So much for the “Religion of Peace”
In the 200th episode of South Park, which was broadcast last week, a proposal to bring the Prophet Mohamed to town is met with short shrift at a community meeting. “Are you nuts?” one character says. “If Mohamed appears in South Park we get bombed!” “We don’t know that,” another replies. “Maybe enough time has passed that now it’s OK to show Mohamed.”
As it turned out, that hope was a forlorn one. The American broadcaster Comedy Central this week censored the programme after the episode’s depiction of the Prophet Mohamed dressed as a giant teddy bear drew a warning on an Islamist website that the show’s creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, would be murdered. –The Independant
There seems to be a new trend of terrorism popping up in the western world where anything that might offend Muslims needs to be censored for fear of reprisal. This is by it’s very definition an act of terrorism.
There is little question the “freedom of speech” is a human right, but what about the tool that enables that right?
A study conducted by the BBC has concluded that as many as four out of every five people believe that access the Internet is a fundamental Human Right. I for one agree with them. The Internet has given our society a level of freedom unmatched by any other revolution in history and it is no surprise that the governments of the world fear there citizens newfound freedom, especially if they are addicted to power and authority. (I’m looking at you China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Australia)
Almost four in five people around the world believe that access to the internet is a fundamental right, a poll for the BBC World Service suggests.
The survey – of more than 27,000 adults across 26 countries – found strong support for net access on both sides of the digital divide.
Countries such as Finland and Estonia have already ruled that access is a human right for their citizens.
International bodies such as the UN are also pushing for universal net access. -BBC News
With the governments of the world fighting to control and limit their citizens speech and access to information I believe we are on the verge of a new revolution. If we wish to keep our freedoms and uphold our democracy we must fend off every attack against the tool that enables them, starting with the Australian Governments Internet Censorship. So long as there are power hungry tyrants with no respect for Human Rights we will need to continue defending our Internet from such attacks or risk a long downhill slide towards totalitarianism.
Do Neo-Nazi’s, White Supremacists or Jihadist Muslim groups have the right to free-speech?
In my opinion they absolutely have the right to speak no matter how hateful or offensive their speech may be. However that does not mean I have to agree with them nor lend them my platform to speak from. However if I do not respect their right to freespeech then I cannot reasonably expect society to respect my right to freespeech in return. It is not alway’s easy to defend the rights of people that we so thoroughly disagree with but supporting those rights does not mean we have to agree with them and can in turn exercise our own rights when we speak out against opposing view points.
When we deny free-speech to one particular group of people we eradicate the justification for our own and the downward slide towards totalitarianism begins. First we block the neo-nazi’s then the white supremacists and who’s next, Atheist’s? we do have allot of religious politicians so is it really that far fetched to expect that Atheist websites may one day find their way onto the blacklist.
Who is going to decide what should or should not be added to the blacklist? What if the person adding sites to the blacklist has an opposing opinion to that of your own, what if they are a Muslim and you are a Jew, what if they find violent video games offensive but you enjoy playing those games, what if you hate opera but they love it. This list is potentially limitless, the Human race is so diverse that any attempt to have a Human decide what is or is not desirable content is a complete failure of logic. The blacklist is inherently flawed due to the vast differences in interest and opinions within Human society.
Censorship is cumulative it may well start by blocking only the “worst of the worst” but is it really that hard to imagine a gradual expansion of the list, especially with all the special interest groups lobbying like crazy to have their personal dislikes added? I find it especially alarming, although not surprising that the Australian Christian Lobby has been very pro-censorship and has an especially powerful influence over religious politicians. This is demonstrated by the fact that Senator Conroy, a Catholicprovides the Christian Lobby with special privileges.
This is only the beginning of Australia’s landslide towards totalitarianism.