Stay anonymous online…

Hello,

Thanks for passing by here and read my post, I have not written any post since a while now.

Today I would like to  talk about the staying anonymous online. Unfortunately in many countries this right is being more and more under threat. In UK very recently the government is proposing to a new law to monitor all the traffic on your phone/emails/Twitter/Facebook for security purpose so the officials says.

U.S had done a very similar thing about 10 years ago after the most famous event. This was Patriot Act. I am not sure that this has been efficient on prevention of terrorism. Moreover this legislation did not made the U.S citizen any safer in my opinion but made their democracy under more threat than before.

If you had watch Loose Changes, there is a lot speculation on going which I don’t really agree with. In fact I am not interested to know the truth on these events. However what I can see that if someone famous on mass media says publicly that he don’t believe to the officials explanation of 9/11 events, he got censored and face a lot of pressure from all the media. To me that shows that something is wrong there because the Freedom of Speech is under threat, and that the U.S officials doesn’t want people to ask questions on this.

I feel we’re on a  society of consumption without any consciousness. We’re using technology without thinking of the impact it has on the society. It transform us all. Yet the global leaders of most nations underestimate theses changes and are trying to make law new without understanding the network itself, nor how the world change quickly for something that no one understand yet.

Anonymous appeared because they don’t believe in any form of officials explanations, that could be from company officials, countries officials, and many others. So they protest online ….DDoS attack are useless in my opinion only dissruptive. And that make the games of the politicians.Why do we feels that the government lie to us ? I guess this feeling is not new. The web have reduced the distance between me and you, and unofficial s ideas are conveyed in instants.

This is why it is important to have the right to publish on Twitter/Facebook/Blogging anonymously, the government need a watchdog to ensure that he acts for the people and not to tell them what to think. What’s better watchdog other than people themselves ?

Yet the safety argument is false argument to me because monitoring every form of communication would generate a lot of data to analyze in real time ,and I am not sure it would prevent from a terrorist attack. Does the CCTV have prevented crimes ? I would like to see the figures. The UK government have not said much how they gonna do it.

More pragmatically I have been to a famous shop in London few week ago and you can buy a hardware encrypted phone(Not a software one, such as app on Android or IPhone). You need a pair of them to make it work. I have asked to the representative the stupid question why people need to get such phone ? The person told me that some people requires confidentiality… Connect the dot now… Moreover I am sure the people who makes such legislation are not aware of how Internet works. On top of that if you go online , I just look for 5 minutes and I found a lot how to encrypt a an SMS text using your iphone : http://guyism.com/tech/black-sms-encrypts-your-text-messages.html. The text are encrypted in AES (Advance Encryption Standard), and anyone who has little knowledge in cryptography know that it is very difficult to decipher, especially in real time !

I don’t think such a law would prevent terrorism, nor makes people any safer, just taking away some of our privacy.

File sharing will never die….

On 19 th of January in the name of copyright infringement  a well known file sharing website have been seized by the authority.

I was shocked to see that the U.S authorities could arrest someone and stop a website out of their countries, without any trial before hand. There was also a “legal” use a file sharing, and some people still cannot access there data.  This has upset me. Where is the justice there ? All of that in the name of copyright infringement and piracy?

Anonymous answer have been to attack using DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) all website which have interest of the “Major”. In my opinion this won’t change anything, their website won’t be available for fews days, but that won’t force the major to change behavior towards us (consumers). I have just tried to access the MPAA, and the website work fine now several days afterwards.

The way to fight the lobbyist in my opinion would be more the legal way rather and these sporadic actions. Yes, some could say that Kim Dotcom made profits from the illegal distribution of copyrighted works. However any copyright holder could inform Megauplaod to remove the link of the copyrighted content. If you’re trying to read a bit more on this, he was arrested because he was about to launch a service called MegaBox,  and this service was trying to bypass the industry music or movie distribution as we actually know it. And obviously a massive threat for this industry. And yes this character unknown from the majority of people before 19 of January is described as controversial in the media. But that doesn’t mean he is not right about certains things. He wanted to compete with these majors. And there is nothing wrong with that. Shouldn’t the U.S. for be free market ?

Dear reader, don’t you see that this music /media/ movie industry is wrong and corrupted ?

Wrong because they trying to protect their job so they say, they ‘re saying piracy or files download illegally have cost them millions, billions of loss. But if you think differently, how much how could have made this industry if they understood the new digital world we are living in ? They should understand that file sharing is not crime, and it has never killed any artist. Kim.Dotcom understood our digital world and took the opportunity and created a market and something new.

Corrupted because as they see their interest threaten they’re trying to enforce law in their advantages, more than for the benefit of everyone. Do you know how long a copyright on a content last on the U.S ? According to the law Copyright Term Extension Act, someone who want to use a copyrighted work have to wait 120 years before it can go to the public domain. Was this law made to defend the interest of the creators, or trying to ensure revenue of people such as Walt Disney for life time ? Is this fair and for the benefit of everyone ?

They may have taken MegaUpload, but they will never stop filesharing

 

Free Culture

Dear reader,

Thanks for stopping by here. Today I would like to talk about a book Free Culture written by Lawrence Lessig. He essay’s is available there and it seems that his work has been quite popular in U.S. and it also seems that he has influenced a lot of people, on subject related to copyright.

I wonder whether Lawrence Lessig is known in Europe or in Asia. At least for sure he is not known by most of people, even if he went to study at Cambridge University around two decades ago according to Wikipedia. I am currently reading work and it’s really interesting to understand the impact of the copyright ideas into our world. Despite the title the author does not promote a piracy and is not against any form of the copyright. He explains the impact of the miss use of the copyright, and how it could affect the creativity in general.  Even if it’s available free of charge it doesn’t mean he promotes a culture where everything should be free. Unfortunately a lot of people miss understand the mean of Free Software. His book was heavily influenced by Richard Stallman work in which he wrote the foreword of his unique essay. You can find it there. Because Richard Stallman seems to be an activist, a lot of people have criticised Richard Stallman who wants to apply the use of free software to the extreme. (I shall discuss this on another post)

In the computing world would the people gather the same way and creates innovative software without the “Free Software Fundation” ideas ?  In the computing world I can names so many successful fundations (I will not list them as the list would way to long, and I may forgot/not know many them…) In my opinions one of the companies to pay tribute is RedHat. They have successfully set up their open source business since many years now. When Marc Ewing and Bob Young started this open source business they were taken of dumb and people taught they would disappear very quickly. People did not believe in the open source business model. Several years later their company is successfully established the open source model in the computing world is likely to be key player in the software industry for the servers for a long time.

The ideas beyond “Free Software” is that it enhance exponential the possibility of creativity and innovation, could then benefit the vast majority of us, instead of benefit a minority of us. People on vast majority does not acknowledge Richard Stallman nor Jimmy Wales, which I consider also of visionary.

Earlier the vast majority of us payed a tribute to this CEO who passed away recently,  but Jimmy Wales is not acknowledge by the vast majority of us. Why? To some extent that what makes me sad because this person has also influenced the world beyond much more in my view than this iconic CEO which have been elected by the Time magazine “The person of the year”.  If you ask people on the street if they know Jimmy Wales, or this CEO? I am going to bet that the majority know this CEO, but they don’t know who is Jimmy Wales. If you do not who is Jimmy Wales, you should know that you’re using all the time, and almost every day what he has launched in 2001: Wikipedia.

To conclude this post I would express my belief: The Free Software ideas have opened doors and made things possible which was not before and contribute to innovation and creativity much more that patent in the software industry.  Moreover the open source community have proven it was possible to do a sustainable business with the open source model.

It’s up to us to reinvent the world now. A world where knowledge is not kept to protect the interest of a minority but a world where knowledge is shared under certain conditions and enhance creation/innovation to the benefit of the vast majority of us : A world with a Free Culture.

The father of computing died…

Hello…

Few weeks ago a CEO of well know technology company has pass away, and the mediatisation over his death have been far too much in my opinion. And few days afterwards the father of computing died Dennis Ritchie. The mass media have not said much about him because he is almost unknown to everyone,  except the most of people who have studied computer science in the past three decades. Unfortunately people/media prefer to prise someone who wasn’t a programmer, nor a graphist, nor electronics engineer, but who began a simple technician, and who did not even graduate. Yes his has skills. His skill is that he knew how to persuade people he was right.

Dennis Ritchie contributed to create with Brian Kernighan and Ken Thomson  a computing language and UNIX operating systems which are the root of modern computing. The root of C language, and UNIX will remain for a very long time.You can read here an article from Wired which praise to Dennis Ritchie, as he should be praised.
Because I think it’s easier to remember someone who was very good communicator and persuasive, and which does let indiferent. It is also easier because people could associate his name, with the popular phone, tablet,  fancy colorfull computers his company was making.  People embrace him for his talent, his visionary, whereas they should praise the hard work of his employee rather him, and the employee of Foxcon in China.  UNIX  or C language are concepts which remains something difficult to understand, and you cannot make it cool it you’re not interested in computer science.

“UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity” [Dennis Ritchie]

That’s sad to remember someone who claim in 1994 who said without shame a sentence from Picasso “Good artists copy great artists steal”. Several years later his company became the most secret corporation ever, and claim intellectual property for everything they are making.

Do you know Linux Torvald or Richard Stallman ? Do you think they will be remembered like this famous CEO for what they have contributed to the computing world ? Richard Stallman the founder of the Free Software Foundation have been harsh towards him in the recent days, and have a been heavly criticized. Because Richard Stallman fought all his life against the principle of intellectual properties, yes I am not shocked when he said :
I am glad he would not be able to create any more “jails” to lock people in..

If you’re intersted in the Free Software community, I found a webpage there which is a give interesting critics over Richard Stallman, which I think is interesting if you want to read more about it . At least but not at last I found a blog at this page which at counter current despite everyone thinking these days, with more analysis than emotional tribute…

No unfortunately I do not admire him and is not a customer of his products….
Think different … (Stolen from a great company)

Privacy threats

Dear unknown reader

Since few days I have been looking to the Anonymous videos on line. I have been searching for a more construct pledge about their ideology, more than their campaign for their new operations such as Occupy Wall Street on 17 th September. We can agree or disagree with the mean they use to spread their ideas. I don’t feel belong to a group because I would like to keep my freedom of thinking and actions. For now I’m writing a blog with to share ideas.

I think this movement is growing and will be growing even further. Government cannot ignore this movement anymore. Everybody would like to be free. On the other way around when you feel oppressed it means that part of your freedom is taken away.  And we should protect our freedom that is why I am trying to spread the anonymous ideas .

I would like to emphasis some points which may have been not highlighted by the group before on this blog.

Google is taking seriously our right to privacy and so they say, no confidential will be used outside of the company. Eric Schmitt state few years ago

if there is something you don’t anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing in it the first place.

And moreover he says judgment matter. I remember to have a conversation with someone who told me he doesn’t care as he did nothing wrong in his life, and he think that’s not a problem if someone read private emails with his girlfriend. He has nothing to hide he says. The problem here, that  he doesn’t don’t think further in my opinion.

Eric Schmitt also said that his company must comply with United State law Patriot Act. It means that if the government may have access to information about you. People such as my friend would say that’s all right, I am not a criminal nor a terrorist so I don’t care about it. Indeed Judgment matters here.  Government may not want to look for individuals, such as my friend but may would like to survey civilian may not fit to system made for us. Recently Google agreed in 2010 to share information to the NSA to prevent cyber attacks, so they say. Check this link from the Whasington Post there

As our privacy goes away and it may become like 1984 from George Orwell without no one to notice it has happen. Everyone enjoys Google services, Facebook at what cost ? Dear reader let me ask you a question?

How much of privacy are you ready to trade off for Google services?

Think carefully about it the previous question. No one can answer for you. I believe that if part of your privacy goes away it is also part of your freedom which goes away.

Thanks for reading.