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Iran Getting Better At Filtering Web Traffic

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the practice-makes-perfect dept.

Censorship 68

Al writes "Rob Lemos reports that Iran's national ISPs seem to have recently gained the ability to filter large quantities of web traffic more effectively. Arbor Networks used data gathered from distributed network sensors to monitor the data going to Iran from the global internet. The firm found that all of the country's providers showed an enormous drop in traffic following the contested June 12 election, then nearly normal traffic patterns until June 26. After that, five of six national ISPs showed an 80 percent drop in traffic for approximately three weeks. The one internal ISP that continues to see significant traffic during those three weeks counts many government ministries among its clientèle. The picture painted by the data is of an ISP that is becoming increasingly skilled in filtering, says Craig Labovitz, chief scientist for Arbor Networks."

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68 comments

Tactics (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995241)

Iran's national ISPs seem to have recently gained the ability to filter large quantities of web traffic more effectively.

Quite good tactic. Instead of fighting, now every country and RIAA/MPAA wants to do business with Iran to implement these high-performing filters everywhere.

Obama's given Agaydinejad a golden noose yet ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995295)

You know, for all those "non-existent" gays, minorities and other undesireables in Iran ... After all, he's still congratulating him for killing (quite literally) dissent, falsifying elections and those general sorts of things socialists admire ? [npr.org]

Democrats ? Why are you all agreeing with this ? Can *any* democrat explain this to me ?

America ... land of the free my ass.

Lacking in two departments (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995347)

You know, for all those "non-existent" gays, minorities and other undesireables in Iran ... After all, he's still congratulating him for killing (quite literally) dissent, falsifying elections and those general sorts of things socialists admire ? [npr.org]

Democrats ? Why are you all agreeing with this ? Can *any* democrat explain this to me ?

America ... land of the free my ass.

Neither satirically funny nor troll worthy. The last line is bound to ensare loads of karma-hungry Slashdotters. Of course, they will all point out something along the lines of "You're missing the point. Iran is a soverign nation with their rules and regulations and the United States of America is a separate entity. You are confusing the two. It's not Iran... land of the free. Clearly." only with a more smug, more socially-awkward nerd tone.

A more interesting attempt at humor could have been to make a subtle case of the land of dichotomies that is Iran: ruled under a iron-deficient clad fist, yet with pervasive "Western" influences. Not going to do your homework for you, but worth a thought.

A better take on the troll angle would have been to concoct a whole series of web pages that purported several allegations that made mainstream media's lazy journalists publish details onto their front covers, which inevitably show up on Slashdot's "front page."

Re:Lacking in two departments (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995483)

The last line is bound to ensare loads of karma-hungry Slashdotters.

So how much karma can I get as an AC poster? Anybody who mods an AC is a FUCKING IDIOT!

Re:Lacking in two departments (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28996493)

So how much karma can I get as an AC poster? Anybody who mods an AC is a FUCKING IDIOT!

Only if you believe in karma.

Re:Lacking in two departments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28996897)

But I do believe in karma. Can I have my points now?
Oops I think I've gone schizo again.....

Re:Tactics (5, Interesting)

Shin-LaC (1333529) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995331)

Actually, they'll want to do business with Germany and Finland, since Iran's filtering systems were provided by a Siemens-Nokia partnership.

Re:Tactics (1)

Kinetix303 (471831) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995405)

Cite this. Then we'll publicize the hell out of it.

Re:Tactics (3, Informative)

vbraga (228124) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995441)

From a quick Google search:

Iran's Web Spying Aided By Western Technology [wsj.com]

Re:Tactics (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 4 years ago | (#28996061)

Can't we ban these companies form doing that kind of business with Iran, China, UAE, etc and any business that does do business with them from doing business with Europe and the US? It's not like this stuff is trivial and they could come up with it on their own tomorrow. I guess the wild card is Russia.

Re:Tactics (2, Informative)

plnix0 (807376) | more than 4 years ago | (#28996977)

How about we ban them from doing business with all governments? After all, From the WSJ article referenced by GP:

Countries with repressive governments aren't the only ones interested in such technology. Britain has a list of blocked sites, and the German government is considering similar measures. In the U.S., the National Security Agency has such capability, which was employed as part of the Bush administration's "Terrorist Surveillance Program." A White House official wouldn't comment on if or how this is being used under the Obama administration.

The Australian government is experimenting with Web-site filtering to protect its youth from online pornography, an undertaking that has triggered criticism that it amounts to government-backed censorship.

Of course, by definition, any government interested in using such tactics is oppressive. As for Obama, anyone with even half a brain and working eyes, ears, or sense of touch knows that NSA surveillance didn't stop with Bush.

Re:Tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28997977)

There is an old slashdot article about just that. A senator trying to limit the business we do with Siemens for this exact reason, but the reality is it's very difficult to limit that as Siemens is already used by all levels of government as well as everywhere in the USA.

The Grotesquely Ugly Truth (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28996361)

In the absence of an external interfering force (e. g., the army of the Soviet Union), the fate of a nation is determined by its people. Period.

After the Kremlin exited Eastern Europe, the peoples of each nation in Eastern Europe rapidly established a genuine democracy and a free market. Except for Romania (where its people killed their dictator), there was no violence.

In Iran (and many other failed states), no external force is imposing the current brutal government on the Iranians. The folks running the government are Iranian. The president is Iranian. The secret police are Iranian. The thugs who will torture and kill democracy advocates are Iranian.

If the democracy advocates attempt to establish a genuine democracy in Iran, violence will occur. Why? A large percentage of the population supports the brutal government and will kill the democracy advocates.

Let us not merely condemn the Iranian government. We must condemn Iranian culture. Its product is the authoritarian state.

We should not intervene in the current crisis in Iran. If the overwhelming majority of Iranians (like the overwhelming majority of Poles) truly support democracy, human rights, and peace with Israel, then a liberal Western democracy will arise -- without any violence. Right now, the overwhelming majority clearly oppose the creation of a liberal Western democracy. The Iranians love a brutal Islamic theocracy.

The Iranians created this horrible society. It is none of our business unless they attempt to develop nuclear weapons. We in the West are morally justified in destroying the nuclear-weapons facilities.

Note that, 40 years ago, Vietnam suffered a worse fate (than the Iranians) at the hands of the Americans. They doused large areas of Vietnam with agent orange, poisoning both the land and the people. Yet, the Vietnamese do not channel their energies into seeking revenge (by, e. g., building a nuclear bomb) against the West. Rather, the Vietnamese are diligently modernizing their society. They will reach 1st-world status long before the Iranians.

Cultures are different. Vietnamese culture and Iranian culture are different. The Iranians bear 100% of the blame for the existence of a tyrannical government in Iran. We should condemn Iranian culture and its people.

Re:Tactics (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995583)

UK and USA demand the same listening/spying features from their equipment, so this seems a bit hypocritical.

Not true (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995623)

How do you do this with a telephone switch?

To clarify: Nokia Siemens Networks has provided Lawful Intercept capability solely for the monitoring of local voice calls in Iran. Nokia Siemens Networks has not provided any deep packet inspection, web censorship or Internet filtering capability to Iran.

http://blogs.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/news/2009/06/22/provision-of-lawful-intercept-capability-in-iran/

Re:Tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995701)

It is a shame and a example of lacking work ethics. Siemens-Nokia workers and managers, I hold you responsible for making suppression and censorship effective in Iran. It is not in the hands of the user only.

I would hope that the countries of Germany and Finland pressure the companies to back out of the deal for the sake of integrity.

Re:Tactics (1)

andrea.sartori (1603543) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995433)

Iran gets richer, outscores the bordering countries, becomes strategically fundamental (again), gets invaded. Far-seeing tactics, dare I say.

No, they have not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995267)

Their suppliers have. The same companies which deliver our network infrastructure.

Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995305)

Perhaps Australia should seek advice on implementing efficient censorship technologies from both the Chinese and Iranian governments.

Filters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995307)

Will Iran find a new export market in the Western "democracies" like the USA and United Kingdom which also want to filter traffic so only "approved" (pro-government) content flies around the internet?

Re:Filters (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995323)

That would be a re-import.

Pointed to OpenDNS (4, Funny)

xzvf (924443) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995311)

Iran probably just pointed its Linksys router to OpenDNS.

The Grotesquely Ugly Truth (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28996423)

In the absence of an external interfering force (e. g., the army of the Soviet Union), the fate of a nation is determined by its people. Period.

After the Kremlin exited Eastern Europe, the peoples of each nation in Eastern Europe rapidly established a genuine democracy and a free market. Except for Romania (where its people killed their dictator), there was no violence.

In Iran (and many other failed states), no external force is imposing the current brutal government on the Iranians. The folks running the government are Iranian. The president is Iranian. The secret police are Iranian. The thugs who will torture and kill democracy advocates are Iranian.

If the democracy advocates attempt to establish a genuine democracy in Iran, violence will occur. Why? A large percentage of the population supports the brutal government and will kill the democracy advocates.

Let us not merely condemn the Iranian government. We must condemn Iranian culture. Its product is the authoritarian state.

We should not intervene in the current crisis in Iran. If the overwhelming majority of Iranians (like the overwhelming majority of Poles) truly support democracy, human rights, and peace with Israel, then a liberal Western democracy will arise -- without any violence. Right now, the overwhelming majority clearly oppose the creation of a liberal Western democracy. The Iranians love a brutal Islamic theocracy.

The Iranians created this horrible society. It is none of our business unless they attempt to develop nuclear weapons. We in the West are morally justified in destroying the nuclear-weapons facilities.

Note that, 40 years ago, Vietnam suffered a worse fate (than the Iranians) at the hands of the Americans. They doused large areas of Vietnam with agent orange, poisoning both the land and the people. Yet, the Vietnamese do not channel their energies into seeking revenge (by, e. g., building a nuclear bomb) against the West. Rather, the Vietnamese are diligently modernizing their society. They will reach 1st-world status long before the Iranians.

Cultures are different. Vietnamese culture and Iranian culture are different. The Iranians bear 100% of the blame for the existence of a tyrannical government in Iran. We should condemn Iranian culture and the Iranian people.

Helping Iran with freedom of speech (1, Interesting)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995359)

Can anyone provide some updates on this - helping Iran citizens get free speech on Internet?

Sorry I'm a bit rusty here. I know we can set up proxy servers, and modify our Twitter accounts, and so on (I use Google) but I'm not sure if the information is still accurate (especially the IP address filtering for proxy services).

Re:Helping Iran with freedom of speech (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995739)

Another interesting thing is that international TV is illegal in Iran as well. The police flies around with helicopters and later demolishes the dishes, and fines the owners. DVDs are illegal aswell. Young Iranians are fans of western culture though, and there is a lively black market. Fashion rules continuously loosened in the last decade.

I hope some day the momentum of youth is strong enough to overthrough the old peoples opinion and form government (which is very unpopular). Iran has a lot of potential as a nation. Would it refine its oil within the country instead of exporting it and importing petroleum, it would be a wealthy nation that could afford the best for its citizens.

I wish the Iranian young generation the best.

Re:Helping Iran with freedom of speech (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#28997789)

Young Iranians are fans of western culture though, and there is a lively black market.

Interesting. It could be argued that the west pushed capitalism on the USSR by making sure western greed settled into its impressionable youth in a similar way. And now, here we are with an oil-rich Iran full of evil people, but having spirited youth who will win the day.

Pawn, anyone?

Has Cisco delivered something for them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995375)

Maybe they bought some stuff from Cisco. You know, same stuff they've sold to China.

is it possible to do (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995381)

satellite wifi, just think if there was a satellite over iran that beamed wifi and radio & television on open channels & frequencies, that will sure get the ayatollah's panties in a bunch

Re:is it possible to do (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995435)

satellite wifi, just think if there was a satellite over iran that beamed wifi and radio & television on open channels & frequencies, that will sure get the ayatollah's panties in a bunch

Sure, because it's so damn hard for the Iran's authorities to spot satellite dishes. After all, they are only large, and have to be visible from the satellite (and therefore from air), so how would they ever be found?

Re:is it possible to do (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995497)

they just need to find a way to disguise them to not look like a satellite dish, just while i typed the first part of this comment i thought of making a satellite dish look like a bird bath would make a great disguise, then when you want to get online or watch tv / listen to radio just empty the water and set the azimuth...

Re:is it possible to do (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995709)

Yes, they might look good disguised as a camel or a roadside bomb.

Satellite dishes work pretty well from beneath wood and cardboard. Shielding it from view isn't so much a problem as the radio transmissions. Satellite technology is still "radio" and even when it is highly directional, it still produces a lot of signal that can be picked up by trucks with sensory equipment.

And yes, you can bet Iran will have official government "War Driving."

Re:is it possible to do (1, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995507)

Well, my only source is Marjane Satrapi's "Perseopolis" but apparently since several years Iranians have become experts at hiding satellite dishes during the day, only to uncover them at night.

Re:is it possible to do (1)

mo0s3 (1563877) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995773)

Owning a dish is illegal in Iran, but it is pretty widespread, and the authorities generally turn a blind eye to it. Iran also has its own satellite channels targeting Arabic-speakers, and also one in English. Apparently they did jam the BBC Persian broadcasts with the recent unrest.

Re:is it possible to do (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995995)

Owning a dish is illegal in Iran, but it is pretty widespread, and the authorities generally turn a blind eye to it.

I believe they stopped the blind-eye bit a few weeks ago. Saw a photo from Iran a few weeks ago of a truck full of satellite dishes that had apparently been confiscated by uniformed police or paramilitaries. Sorry I can't find the link for you. Looked through my browser history and it's not jumping out at me.

Operation AJAX (1, Insightful)

Conzar (1603461) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995399)

Iran has been attacked by foreign government's propaganda before (Operation AJAX) so the establishment are trying to protect their rule.

Re:Operation AJAX (3, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995539)

Why do people think that client-side JavaScript is the answer to everything?


P.S. It's REALLY amusing to me that Firefox' built-in spill chucker doesn't recognize the word "javascript".

Re:Operation AJAX (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995833)

Why should it? It also doesn't recognize Mozilla, Firefox. That is great, because Mozilla chose to not pollute the users dictionary with product names.

Re:Operation AJAX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28997379)

Why shouldn't it - that is, why would including common terms that people actually use be "pollution"?

I think the real reason why "Javascript" isn't included is that they wanted to cut down on the size of the thing by not including words that the average Firefox user wouldn't use. They're aiming to be a browser for Joe Sixpack and his grandmother, after all, first and foremost.

Re:Operation AJAX (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#28996859)

It's REALLY amusing to me that Firefox' built-in spill chucker doesn't recognize the word "javascript".

Try uninstalling the English - New Zealand dictionary.

Re:Operation AJAX (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#28997807)

Why do people think that client-side JavaScript is the answer to everything?

Because it's so annoying that no one would tolerate it unless it had superpowers?

Re:Operation AJAX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29014245)

Try "JavaScript"...

Lucky (0, Flamebait)

tony7531 (1605921) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995469)

We are so lucky we live in nations with free speech and free press. It helps keep the government honest.

Re:Lucky (1)

smallshot (1202439) | more than 4 years ago | (#28996279)

I don't know about the word honest there, I would say it helps keep the government less dishonest, at least here in America.

Re:Lucky (1)

uassholes (1179143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29001513)

Without stifling communication, the illegitimacy of the Fuckatollahs theocracy will become more apparent to their population.

What they should be using... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28995751)

is one of the marvelous products from Sandvine...

Before jumping to theories (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 4 years ago | (#28995929)

While there were reports of sites being inaccessible, I doubt that filtering is to blame for all of this traffic reduction.

How much was due simply to people being out in the streets protesting, instead of inside their houses watching YouTube videos?

- RG>

Re:Before jumping to theories (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | more than 4 years ago | (#28996017)

Considering that Iranians were complaining about incredibly slow bandwidth rates and blocked websites during the same time periods that traffic dropped by 80%, it is safe to say that filtering is to blame for the traffic reduction.

80% is a massive drop in traffic from protesting alone. It isn't like these kids don't have cell phone data plans and the ability to setup wireless access points on the fly. For some of them, protesting involved trying to organize and network via the internet and they have stated that they were unable to do so.

Example 1 [slashdot.org], Example 2 [slashdot.org], Example 3 [slashdot.org], Example 4 [slashdot.org]

Re:Before jumping to theories (5, Interesting)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 4 years ago | (#28997057)

I was in Iran recently. It was just before the protests. Internet connectivity in Tehran pretty sluggish. It's like stepping back ten years. Most people are using dial-up. Cybercafes brag that they're hooked up on a 1Mbps DSL.

For kicks, I thought I would dig up something on the CIA World Fact book. cia.gov is blocked. Imagine that.

There were many other sites which were blocked, but for the most part, the censorship on the net was pretty moderate. The real tool in the government arsenal is fear.

It's truly sad what the government is doing. Old technology, like yelling from rooftops seems to be all that you can muster. Apparently the possession and use of encryption technology is illegal, and the govenrment merely has to suspect you of doing something wrong for you to get into serious trouble. Remember too, that just asking your friends to gather at your home is also very suspicious.

Remember too that the government employs tactics like the German Stasi. They corrupt, influence and interfere with citizenry to turn your neighbours into spies. You can never be sure that the person you're talking to is legitimate. So the bad guys aren't aways wearing uniforms or beating people. And the bad guys are often good guys who are just trying to get themselves out of trouble. Your dial-up connection has your name on it and every cybercafe probably has somebody who's loosely in the services of the government.

The Internet is not safe in Iran. Not safe at all. I'm sure the phone systems are just as bad and satellite is, as other posters have pointed out, quite illegal, although comparatively lax in penalties.

The question is how do you create a decentralized kind of communication system which requires legally available technology?

Yelling messages of peace from rooftops is one way to get a message out and avoid being killed for it.

All this wasn't so bad when I was there. People are willing to risk a beating to spend time together and talk about slightly subversive topics, particularly with a foreigner. As a foreigner, I too had to be careful that the person I was talking to was not reporting to the government... else I could find myself... well, they'd probably arrest me, cancel my visa and take me to the airport. They're not too bad to foreigners.

Point is. No. I think they really did turn the screws on the net connections. The pipes in the capital are slow enough that modern technology could be doing automated deep-packet inspection and building databases correlating data on everything going in and out of the country.

A comment before the election was telling about the feeling of the average Iranian. "Not much is going to change... except we'll see an increase in the price of green paint."

That government needs reforms. Badly. And I can't see it coming about peacefully when the people aren't even allowed to talk to one another about it.

Re:Before jumping to theories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29000207)

There were many observers from different countries during the Iranian presidential elections, has anyone of the observers shown evidence that there were enough serious frauds to declare the election void?

Re:Before jumping to theories (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29000439)

"There were many observers from different countries during the Iranian presidential elections, has anyone of the observers shown evidence that there were enough serious frauds to declare the election void?"

This is a *very* important point. Mousavi *may* have lost. It might be true. Tehran probably voted for Mousavi, but there are a LOT of people in Iran who feel that Ahmadinejad is perfectly fine. Iran is a huge country and Tehran is only one small part. On the international stage, he sucks, but people generally read the national media, and he's not *that* bad internally. We're not talking about Iraq here. People still have jobs, healthcare, food, water, still practice Islam just fine. There's social mobility and all that in society. Not a lot of leisure time, and the people should probably be wealthier given the heritage of oil and culture.

I feel what makes Iran very hard to deal with is that despite all this terrible press, the country is *not* falling apart.

Where the government failed terribly, and where I feel that the people of Iran have a legitimate concern and *should* be protesting in the streets, is when the government shut down the foreign media, locked down the Internet, beat people in the streets, and started killing people for what I can only believe is to set an example and re-instill fear in the population.

Personally? I think Ahmadinejad may very well have won. Definitely NOT by the margins in the media, but there's a good chance that he did win and I think that the people of Iran would have accepted it. There would have been protests in the streets, a long vote-count, a re-count and a reasonably close margin. But as long as it wasn't a landslide and the government didn't open fire, then everyone would have gone back to work and said "bah. next time, there's hope".

I really hope Iran gets out of this. The world needs Iran.

Don't worry, it's "lawful intercept" (1)

plnix0 (807376) | more than 4 years ago | (#28996925)

From WSJ [wsj.com]:

Nokia Siemens Networks provided equipment to Iran last year under the internationally recognized concept of "lawful intercept," said Mr. Roome. That relates to intercepting data for the purposes of combating terrorism, child pornography, drug trafficking and other criminal activities carried out online, a capability that most if not all telecom companies have, he said.

I don't see what's the big deal? They're only blocking criminal activities; which is to say, dissenting from the government.

Of Big Red Flags (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 4 years ago | (#28997007)

The one internal ISP that continues to see significant traffic during those three weeks counts many government ministries among its clientèle.

This strikes me as a rather fundamental big red flag. When a government feels that otherwise public information is safe for government officials to view, but that the citizens must be forbidden from seeing it, there is a foundational problem.

We have a few such cases here in the United States (even outside the scope national security, which information is typically not "otherwise public"), but they are thankfully limited. We have done fairly well in this regard, and should continue to be diligent in fighting its spread.

Stolen elections or western propaganda? (1)

r45d15 (1543669) | more than 4 years ago | (#28997199)

There were many observers from different countries during the Iranian presidential elections, has anyone of the observers shown evidence that there were enough serious frauds to declare the election void?

tag practicemakesperfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28997581)

you want to

before we act smug, WE don't have unfiltered net (2, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#29000527)

yes, its true, the west has more information available to us. at least we think so.

and generally, we do have more.

but lets ask ourselves, how much info that our government(s) (collective, it is a world-wide effect, after all) have that we'll never see?

this isn't filtering of public vs public, its stuff our govs know that they withold. 'freedom of information' was a farce under bush, we all know that. this is the kind of thing I'm talking about; stuff we want to know about *ourselves* and yet we aren't allowed to. or we're lied to.

war on drugs, good example. its a case of our gov lying to us. there have been studies (gov funded! that's my point) that prove, time after time, that MJ is not harmful. just to pick one example that's pretty easy to research. nixon's people even told him that it was not a big deal, yet that's where the war on drugs pretty much started. even in the face of real data showing the opposite.

so what I'm saying is that we are given the impression that we are free and we have access to all the info we need. but its not true, its only that we're given *a lot* of info and the feeling of being able to research and find answers, but in many areas, we are intentionally kept dumb.

before we act all 'USA USA, we are free here!', we should examine how much we really can find out and how much is kept 'for national security'. these days, a 'national security letter' can squelch almost anyone from talking. the gov has that much power, now.

much of the important info is kept from us. so in a way, we are also very filtered by our own governments. not just at the internet level, but independant of the way you try to get the info, freedom-of-info letters take forever, if they're even honored at all. and if they're honored, are they going to be worth anything after all the edits 'for your safety'?

they give us a lot of freedom, and so we feel free. feeling free is not being free.

I know this is reduntant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29001195)

but this really annoys me. No government in the world can justify filtering information to their people. Its basically saying- 'i know YOU actually own this country, and YOU just choose us to run it for you, but you are just too stupid to know anything'. I live in the U.K., the worst big brother government in the west and I swear I will move out the day I find out they filter internet information.

what are they using to filter/proxy the content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29011821)

I'm betting they're probably using something like suid+squidguard and with shared caches. Does anybody know for fact what there filtering system is based on?

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