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UK ISPs Consider VPN To Avoid Piracy Crackdown

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the privacy-piracy-eh-what's-the-difference dept.

Privacy 133

Mark.JUK writes "Broadband internet providers in the UK are considering whether or not to follow the example of a Swedish ISP, Bahnhof, which recently put all of its customers behind a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) in order to circumvent new European Data Retention and Internet Copyright Infringement laws. By doing this, it makes their logs less useful to outside forces (e.g. rights holders) and allows customers to use the internet anonymously. However, several UK ISPs, including business provider AAISP (Andrews and Arnold), have suggested that there may be better solutions than sticking everybody behind a costly VPN. AAISP's boss, Adrian Kennard, claims, 'something ISPs will be doing anyway, carrier grade NAT, will create a similar anonymity as there is no requirement to log NAT sessions.' Meanwhile, Timico's CTO, Trefor Davies, warns, 'It would be a pretty costly project for all ISPs to implement such a system. It would also bring with it risks – suddenly it becomes a lot easier for governments to start monitoring all your traffic because it all goes through a single point (or at least a few points) on the network.'"

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133 comments

Interesting (4, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041720)

So the public don't like the law because they can get ratted out.
The ISPs don't like the law either

Why is there this law again?

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041736)

Y'see, it is a very simple one, the reason why pretty much any other law hated by everyone is around: money from media companies.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041814)

Money from the media companies is the cause of speeding tickets and jaywalking fines? Care to explain?

Re:Interesting (4, Informative)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041934)

We don't have "jaywalking" laws in the UK. The whole idea that you can be arrested for crossing the street in the wrong place is as laughable as it is Kafka-esque.

Re:Interesting (4, Interesting)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042036)

Well, sort of. See Highway Code rule 18 [direct.gov.uk]. It is an offence to loiter on a crossing.

Which means you can potentially enjoy criminal sanctions for crossing where you should be crossing, but not for crossing where you shouldn't. And this, m'lud, is why I never cross at crossings.

(It's like those stupid pavement railings close to crossings. It just means you have to make the extra effort of jumping the railing or hugging the kerb on the road side until the railing ends, which is far more dangerous than if they weren't there.)

Re:Interesting (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042828)

Which does seem odd from one point of view, but makes sense from another. In the US you have right of way if you step out in front of a car (possibly not in every state) and they must stop. So the Jaywalking laws are to stop you from abusing that power.

There are no Jaywalking laws in the UK, but if you step onto the road it is your responsibility not to get hit - it is not the responsibility of the car to stop. Of course if they are driving with due care and attention then they shouldn't run you over if they have enough warning, but that is a separate matter.

Crossings are a different kettle of fish: if you stop onto a crossing before a car gets there then it is their responsibility to stop. Doesn't matter about timing or speed. Because this gives you a huge power to stop all traffic on a road, section 18 can be broadly interpreted as "don't be a dick".

It may seem weird at first glance, but it is just a simple asymmetry in responsibility between pedestrian and driver.

Re:Interesting (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35043814)

"Which does seem odd from one point of view, but makes sense from another. In the US you have right of way if you step out in front of a car (possibly not in every state) and they must stop. So the Jaywalking laws are to stop you from abusing that power."

Well, within reason. I mean, if you're driving down the road....no crossing zone there, and you're doing the speed limit, etc....if someone suddenly jumps out in front of you, and you hit and even kill them, you're not gonna get busted for that.

Re:Interesting (2)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042142)

In conditions not suited for it, excess speed carries increased risk of accidents and death in accidents, which is one of the reasons speed limits are imposed and also ostensibly why they are enforced. By contrast, infringements on music and movie copyrights don't generally kill or injure people. (Insert Battlefield Earth joke here.)

Re:Interesting (2)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042198)

In conditions not suited for it, excess speed carries increased risk of accidents and death in accidents, which is one of the reasons speed limits are imposed and also ostensibly why they are enforced.

Consider that "exceeding the speed limit" and "driving too fast for conditions" are two entirely separate violations (the second is much more severe). The latter really does make sense as a safety issue. The former is a revenue generator for the state that has nothing whatsoever to do with safety.

Re:Interesting (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042658)

So what you're saying is that, if some kid were to walk out into the road completely unexpectedly from behind a parked car, the fact that you were doing 40mph rather than 30mph wouldn't make it more likely that you kill them?

Lots of laws are preventative, like the one which stops you building an atom bomb in your back yard. Think of the car as the most dangerous weapon most people ever get to control.

Re:Interesting (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042906)

It is not technically against the law to build your own nuclear weapons; it, however, is against several international treaties.
Now I don't know if fissile material is considered a regulated substance, I suspect it might be.

Re:Interesting (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 3 years ago | (#35043358)

Y'see, it is a very simple one, the reason why pretty much any other law hated by everyone is around: money from media companies.

Ah yes, how could we possibly forget: entertainment is the best, nay, only reason to give up civil liberties. Why if it weren't for those billions of relatively small payments we give to media companies, each representing that we only care a little about their content but we're happy to have SOMETHING, where would the economy be?

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041850)

Else the terrorists would have won.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041938)

If it's a law that is routinely broken with no social stigma, why is it a law?

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041942)

And who is making the laws and controlling internet, media industry? Who gives them the right to decide about internet architecture.

Re:Interesting (4, Insightful)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042008)

There's a law because intellectual property is the only major export most Western nations still have. However unpopular this sort of thing is they're all far too afraid to risk losing that economic base, so they don't want to change the equation too much. Hence laws to preserve the status quo.

Re:Interesting (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042082)

"intellectual property is the only major export most Western nations still have" - That statement is in dire need of a citation.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35042216)

Citation?
You're just making a joke right? Just trollin to be a dick?

Have you not been paying attention for the last decade or what?

Re:Interesting (1, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042728)

Yes a citation, show me that IP sales are the major export for ANY western country, let alone MOST of them. From what I can find the GLOBAL revenues from IP add up to about $100 billion, the US alone exports $1200 billion in goods and services.

Re:Interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35042224)

"intellectual property is the only major export most Western nations still have" - That statement is in dire need of a citation.

No, that's not how this works when you're not editing an encyclopedia. If a comment about a topic has piqued your interests, it is now up to you to research that topic. If you find information that contradicts someone else's position, let them know.

Re:Interesting (0)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042618)

"No, that's not how this works when you're not editing an encyclopedia."

Actually it is, it's up to the person making the claim to back it up, otherwise it's just a bald assertion. For example, if he claimed unicorns exist it's not up to me to disprove the claim since it is logically impossible for me to do so.

So let me be blunt, I call bullshit on the OP. I did some cursory research before my first post and found global revenues in the ten's of billions for movies, music and video games, clearly this is insuficient revenue to support the OP's claim. The OP is welcome to jump in any time and justify his bald assertion with some evidence.

Re:Interesting (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042932)

Actually it is, it's up to the person making the claim to back it up, otherwise it's just a bald assertion. For example, if he claimed unicorns exist it's not up to me to disprove the claim since it is logically impossible for me to do so. .

You mean unicorns don't exist? I've been grossly misinformed.

Re:Interesting (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042238)

s/Most Western nations/The USA?/

Re:Interesting (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042660)

USA's top exports are civilan aircraft and military equipment.

Re:Interesting (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042830)

Do you know where "IP" products list after those two? But I guess could be a matter of lobbying rather than actual export value?

Re:Interesting (2)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35044082)

"IP" isn't on the list, as it isn't a physical product that goes through Customs.

Take Apple for example. They go down on the list as an importer of goods from China. However, the design of their products and the software that runs on them is carried out in the USA, and their products go from China to all over the world. That is a major IP export from the USA.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35044122)

well, that and grain.

Re:Interesting (4, Insightful)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042102)

The funny this to me is:

Sean Hannity (can't stand him, but listen sometimes on my way home from work just to get mad lol) had Joe Lieberman on and had they talked about this and that. Two days later Hannity has two foreign people on talking about what's going on in Egypt, with each person having different views. He then asked the one if the current President of Egypt (or whatever that position is called) is a Dictator, and kept hounding the point. After the lady wouldn't agree or say, Sean said something along the lines of "well look, he had the internet shut off, which makes him a dictator".

Well if that's true, then Lieberman is a dictator for having come up with the internet kill switch for the US, as well as anyone else who agreed on the bill.

It's funny how one action someone else is evil and "makes someone a dictator", yet the same or similar actions else where are just fine.

It really makes me sick

Re:Interesting (2)

symbolic (11752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35043184)

Exactly - and you see Obama crowing about the rights of the Egyptian people, but then you wonder - what would happen if the same events were occurring here? I'm willing to bet that Obama would be singing an entirely different tune. Further, the initial intent of the "kill switch" was to mitigate damage in the wake of cyber warfare. However, just like everything else the federal government has done in the name of "national security" since 9/11, it *will* be re-purposed for other non-defense uses.

Re:Interesting (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042408)

So the public don't like the law because they can get ratted out.
The ISPs don't like the law either

Why is there this law again?

The usual: too long time since the last total overhaul of the ruling class.

Great story by timothy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041724)

What an excellent, fact-loaded, quote-heavy, informative summary! Oh wait, that's all the submitter...this story doesn't suck because for once timothy didn't add his own ignorant editorial comments.

Any side effects of NAT? (3, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041738)

I'm not all that familiar with the nitty gritty details of NAT.
Would a site like /. rate limit posts coming from multiple users behind a NAT?

IIRC, one spammer behind a NAT can get everyone else blacklisted.
Talk about havoc for that ISP's customers.

A VPN sounds like the smarter of the two ideas.

Re:Any side effects of NAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041754)

NAT does not necessarily mean that there is a one to many mapping. one to one mapping is not unheard of for NATed networks. (For example I have seen that used for GPRS connections.)
NAT is just a network address translation, you rewrite the address in the packet to a new one.
There are problems with it. If a protocol requires that the IP address is sent within the payload then the device that performs the translation will have to understand that protocol.

Re:Any side effects of NAT? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35043082)

Pretty much all P2P protocols don't do this anyways. There are a few older ones; IRC and FTP come to mind, that do this, but even very low-end NAT routers can fix that as well. As to the single point argument, well, most ISPs only have a few such points anyways and I'm sure governments can find excuses to monitor them, whether the gateways open up on to public or private IP spaces.

Re:Any side effects of NAT? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041768)

NAT is already done by certain ISPs who don't have enough addresses for all their customers. If you (say) map 2 people onto the same IP address you can pay for less addresses.

If you map a bunch of people to the same address every session, and you don't store the routing table, I think you can safely call it 'anonymous' - because you're introducing uncertainty.

Re:Any side effects of NAT? (4, Informative)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041894)

The side effects of a NAT (not all NATs, but the IP masqerading one which has become synonymous with it) are that you lose the ability to accept incoming traffic. Pretty much all Peer-to-peer protocols depend on that in some measure.

Some can cope (I believe Skype has some server-based way of negotiating a direct connection between two firewalled computers, though I don't know the details), while others like BitTorrent keep some limited functionality (you're limited to connections you initiate), and still others (tor, probably - as a node, not a client) will stop working entirely.

Re:Any side effects of NAT? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042470)

With Skype, the two endpoints both negociate with the server to agree on a UDP port - then send to each other via UDP. They are basically tricking the NAT routers at each into thinking the other end accepted a UDP connection. It works surprisingly well.

DO NOT WANT (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35043998)

It doesn't work with a NAT like Linux NAT. Why? Because outgoing connections are mapped on port *and* destination. If both sides are behind same type of NAT, it is impossible to connect the two together.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_address_translation#Types_of_NAT

Most NAT is symmetric, at least by default. Remember when Skype stopped working and all hell broke lose? The cause was NAT. Without NAT, supernodes (skype servers) would not be necessary and Skype would have continued to function.

Anyway, of course ISPs would *love* to put everyone behind NAT. They would claim it is for our own good and illiterate people will believe that. But then all peer-to-peer communication does NOT work anymore. Skype would be basically dead, at least direct connections. SIP does not work at all - so no competition to $1/min long distance. You want send some 1kB text file to someone via IRC? Well, you are SOL (so out of luck).

If you believe that massive centralization of power is good for you, then you are most likely for NAT "protecting you". If you know history, you realize that this is not a solution, even if you are technically-challenged.

I've installed IPv6 and I can't be happier. Direct connections work. I can have sane firewall setup. It's like the internet that should be. And if you think that someone can't track you because of NAT, you've got to be kidding yourself. As soon as carrier grade NAT is rolled out, ALL connections will be logged. And you are tracked via google/facebook/website cookies/flash/etc... all the time anyway. Even here, my "anonymous coward" status is anything but.

Re:Any side effects of NAT? (1)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041920)

I might have dreamed this, but I thought ipv6 doesn't use NAT so it would be a short-term solution at best.

Re:Any side effects of NAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041984)

IPv4 doesn't support NAT either. NAT is something that you can do to IPv4 packets and, if you write the software, to IPv6 packets too. There is some contention on the topic of "standardizing" NAT. The people in favor argue that standardized NAT allows application developers to write their protocols with one clearly specified form of NAT in mind. The objection is that standardizing NAT legitimizes the use of NAT, which is undesirable on an end-to-end internet.

On the topic of using VPNs to avoid anti-piracy crackdowns: The VPN provider would have to be outside of the jurisdiction which compels ISPs to identify their users, or the VPN operator would themselves be compelled to identify the users. If there's a legal loophole where they don't have to now, that loophole will soon be closed. The media companies are lobbying full force to fend of their certain demise.

Re:Any side effects of NAT? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042488)

IPv4 wasn't designed to use NAT at all. NAT is an improvised technique that allowed IPv4 to continue to grow far beyond it's original design specifications. Networking professionals do not like it, because it breaks a lot of protocols, but it's the only way the internet can continue to function right now. The alternative is IPv6, but that is a very expensive thing to deploy and would bring many troubles of it's own during the transition period. So the options are to either continue deploying NAT, which is cheap and reliable at the expense of breaking a lot of protocols and crippling the internet in future, or deploying IPv6 which will produce a far superior internet in five years but in the meantime result in customers asking why things arn't working properly. There isn't a business case for IPv6, because the RoI period is so long - the IPv4 internet isn't going to collapse just yet, though it will inevitably happen one day.

Doesn't matter... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041980)

Next year there'll be a new law requiring logging of NAT sessions.

The RIAA already knows who to bribe so the next round of laws will go through quickly.

Re:Doesn't matter... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35043100)

I'm sure any log retentions rules would apply. The problem for anti-piracy investigators is that about all you can tell by sniffing the packets is that pirating is being done behind the NAT router. If that ISP has, say, 500,000 users, the investigators can't tell which ones are pirating, and the logs would become considerably less useful. There might be key indicators, like number of bytes downloaded in a given period, if the logs have that kind of detail, that might point to specific users, but I'll wager in most jurisdictions it would be considerably harder to get a warrant where the smoking guns have that little smoke.

Re:Any side effects of NAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35042120)

Basically, if you're behind NAT, you're on a LAN with a gateway (/gatekeeper) to the internet, **NOT** actually on the internet. Selling you this as "internet" is false advertising. Not that false advertising has ever stopped ISPs, with their "unlimited" broadband.

Re:Any side effects of NAT? (1)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042588)

Basically, if you're behind NAT, you're on a LAN with a gateway (/gatekeeper) to the internet, **NOT** actually on the internet.

There is no difference between public and private addresses technically, it's just an agreement that we are allowed to use 10.x.x.x, 192.168.x.x and 172.16.x.x inside our own networks and don't route these ranges to the outside. Even if you have a public address from your provider, you still have a gateway.

Selling you this as "internet" is false advertising. Not that false advertising has ever stopped ISPs, with their "unlimited" broadband.

My provider sells "access to Internet", not "Internet".

I'd pay about $5 extra (5, Interesting)

KuRa_Scvls (932317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041750)

I'd pay about $5 extra if everything I do with my current connection could be behind VPN without any need for configuration from my side.

Re:I'd pay about $5 extra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35042526)

I've been using VPNs like Relakks & SwissVPN to hide my downloads for about 4 years now. It works great.

Why do people worry (2, Insightful)

gmthor (1150907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041758)

Why do people worry about wire trapping?

I've got nothing to hide. \end{cynical}

Re:Why do people worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041878)

I propose all comments going forward similar to the one above be proceeded by all that persons user names and passwords for all online activity.

Re:Why do people worry (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041904)

"Why do people worry about wire trapping?

I've got nothing to hide."

Because, unlike you, they're aware of history and basic civil rights principles.

Re:Why do people worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35042460)

Privacy == concealment, this if you believe and use privacy on any level one can't logically have nothing to hide. [P ^ ~P = F, not T]

Re:Why do people worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35042850)

Why do people worry about wire trapping?

I've got nothing to hide. \end{cynical}

Why, it's called the right to privacy. Supreme Court decisions over the years have established that the right to privacy is a basic human right, and as such is protected by virtue of the 9th Amendment.

I have nothing to hide, I also don't want people in my business either.

Re:Why do people worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35043244)

Because animals caught in wire traps can suffer and starve for days.

Re:Why do people worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35044128)

I think you should be hiding that you use LaTeX. What is this, 1982?

Happens Already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041760)

It would be a pretty costly project for all ISPs to implement such a system. It would also bring with it risks – suddenly it becomes a lot easier for governments to start monitoring all your traffic because it all goes through a single point (or at least a few points) on the network

Because that doesn't already happen on the major trunks anyway?

Why workarounds ? (4, Insightful)

cdp0 (1979036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041778)

Instead of searching for technical workarounds, we should try to block such laws. Workarounds are just that, and sooner or later the law will workaround workarounds.

What will happen if encryption will become illegal for the general public ? Today this might seem far-fetched, but we are slowly giving in, and it might be a tad too late when we'll realize what we lost (and I'm not talking about the regular /. guy, but about the general public).

Re:Why workarounds ? (5, Interesting)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041782)

The people who want these laws are the kind of people who have enough money and influence to ensure that these laws stay the same way.

I mean, you saw the whole Net Neutrality debate in the US. It had misdirection on one side which triggered the American Native "I DON'T WANT NO GUBBERMENT" reaction.

When we're talking about media - you can expect to see commercials detailing how 'favourite artist' supports this law because it protects their music, how the world would be horrible without them. Then you have government lobbying (also known as bribes) and stuff like that.

If we had an infinite pool of politicians, enough floating voters and a way of determining who supports these crap laws, you'd see the world change pretty quickly. Not the case either.

At least you can rest on the fact that laws usually take ages to fix. So this 'workaround' is great until they patch the law up in a few years' time.

Re:Why workarounds ? (2)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042334)

I mean, you saw the whole Net Neutrality debate in the US. It had misdirection on one side which triggered the American Native "I DON'T WANT NO GUBBERMENT" reaction.

The problem was the other side of it, that was salivating over all the possibilities to insert more government control into the legislation for net neutrality. You weren't ever going to get real net neutrality, you were going to get something like it, plus a whole lot of political meddling.

Re:Why workarounds ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35042966)

Did you read the bill proposed by the "other" side? Where is the political meddling?

http://cantwell.senate.gov/news/012511_Net_Neutrality_bill_text.pdf
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/01/senators-bash-telecom-oligarchs-drop-strict-net-neutrality-bill.ars

Re:Why workarounds ? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#35043456)

So this 'workaround' is great until they patch the law up in a few years' time.

At which point, we're stuck with NAT and all its disadvantages, rather than a far superior IPv6 option, because the technically inferior version happened to be more convenient legally until the law was fixed.

Re:Why workarounds ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041804)

Instead of searching for technical workarounds, we should try to block such laws.

Which is what many people have tried to do with lobbying and public rally calls, etc. As far as I remember a couple of ISPs have even gone to the lengths of getting a Judicial review of portions of the Digital Economy Act. Unfortunately, half the reason that act got through in the first place was because it wasn't scrutinised enough in parliament and if that's a problem in the first place then trying to block laws will probably go the same way: for whatever reason, due to excessive lobbying on one side, being a little too close to special interest groups or just plain not caring, alterations to the law intended to be reasonable and for the benefit of the average person just don't seem to happen every time they should.

Safe for how long? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041780)

""suspected" unlawful file sharing p2p activity from publicly available IP details; a feat that is already extremely unreliable."
"as there is no requirement to log NAT sessions"?
1. Log data as file is shared, downloaded.
2. Get legal advice in the UK.
2.5. Another private dinner with members of the Rothschild banking dynasty at the family's holiday villa on ....
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/aug/25/file-sharing-internet
3. A UK court asks "happy joy isp will not log NAT sessions.co.uk" about downloaded data.
4. You face an "amnesty" letter to pay a "low" amount or risk facing a court?
The good part is your exchange?/small one road town has its ip hidden from all users.

Internet is not a curiosity anymore (1, Troll)

hardtofindanick (1105361) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041812)

Entire corporations are now being run purely on the Internet. It is not ok to break the law and not be held responsible for it.

Re:Internet is not a curiosity anymore (3, Insightful)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041838)

I don't understand how you got from point A to point B in your post. Are you saying that because the Internet is quite important nowadays, we need to screw it up with overzealous copyright enforcement?

Re:Internet is not a curiosity anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041840)

Do not confuse law with morals.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states;
* No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, famil, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."

The wiretapping law is obviously immoral.

Re:Internet is not a curiosity anymore (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041898)

Did you forget this part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Article 29

      1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
      2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
      3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

In other words, once you get your hoped for one-world government, your rights may just disappear in a flash if politicians decide the "collective's" rights are more important than yours. Enjoy!

Re:Internet is not a curiosity anymore (2)

FourthAge (1377519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042016)

Not just some "one-world government". Any government.

Human rights declarations always have a term in them that says "the government can suspend this when it wants to". For example, the ECHR's article 2 prohibits the death penalty, but provides an exception for "action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection."

But then, this is probably for the best, because as citizens, subjects or (more accurately) peasants, we have basically no power to oppose the government at all. The idea that some magical charter or declaration has granted us "rights" that save us from tyranny is laughable, a fool's hope for the gullible. The laws are always made by those who can enforce them, and we should always remember this. The ECHR does a great service by putting it in writing.

Re:Internet is not a curiosity anymore (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042610)

It depends on the government. The nuclear armed ones, assuming they have the will to nuke their own citizens, can probably never be opposed. As for the others, the possibility of defeating the government is there, given a large enough percentage of the population in revolt, but it wouldn't be very pleasant.

Re:Internet is not a curiosity anymore (1)

FourthAge (1377519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35043560)

True; but that's actually a different case of the same rule: if the citizens form a mob that is sufficiently powerful that it can make the laws, then it becomes the government. It is tough for citizens to become more powerful than professional soldiers with real weapons - but the military might join the rebellion...

Re:Internet is not a curiosity anymore (1)

FourthAge (1377519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042044)

Indeed, it's important not to confuse law and morals. But piracy advocates do this all the time. For instance, on OS News, Thom Holwerda cannot resist mentioning that "downloading is perfectly legal in The Netherlands and many other European countries" [osnews.com], a matter he has mentioned before [osnews.com]. He says this as the ultimate answer to any question about whether piracy is right or wrong. But heating on your wife is also legal in The Netherlands, and that doesn't make it right.

Also, the view that file sharing is moral, and attempts to stop it are immoral, are actually quite contentious. I refer you to Slashdot user "Cliffski", an independent game designer whose games have been widely pirated, because he has the opposite view. To him, sharing without permission is immoral, along with the attitude that excuses and permits it. I find it difficult not to see his point.

Re:Internet is not a curiosity anymore (1, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042316)

Slashdot is something of an echo chamber. There's an entire world out there that isn't filled with people trying to proclaim piracy a moral action, but the group think in this place is extraordinary. You see similar things in articles about Microsoft.

Re:Internet is not a curiosity anymore (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35044274)

For instance, on OS News, Thom Holwerda cannot resist mentioning that "downloading is perfectly legal in The Netherlands and many other European countries", a matter he has mentioned before. He says this as the ultimate answer to any question about whether piracy is right or wrong.

Really? That's what you took away from that article? I guess when I read your post all I see is someone looking to over-simplify the debate in order to rationalize their own "morals" which are really just a form of gussied up bias.

Re:Internet is not a curiosity anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35042570)

So because they were stupid enough to base their entire existence on a public network we should suffer? Fuck em.

The outcome is predictable. (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041836)

If any major ISP does this, then next legislative session some politician will just propose a law to make it illegal, on the grounds that it makes it impossible to track down pedophiles. The bill will pass on a unaminous vote with support from all parties, because no politician wants to be seen defending said pedophiles.

Hmm... carrier-level NAT would also make tracking people online next to impossible. Could we have finally found something that will convince non-technical types of the need to move to IPv6? 'Deploy the new protocol, or the evil pedos will never be caught?'

Re:The outcome is predictable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35042012)

A significant chunk of mobile data services do this already in the UK and there's an exemption for it in DEA.

Re:The outcome is predictable. (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35043128)

Banning NAT and VPN would take down a huge amount of the infrastructure out there. NAT routers, from cheapo consumer-grade hardware right up to some pretty expensive equipment, is installed all over the place, and various forms of VPN are very prevalent in the corporate world.

What they might require is far greater detail in logging; packet types, translation tables, but man oh man, I cannot imagine the amount of storage you would need if you were a large ISP with hundreds of thousands or millions of customers. Imagine all those mobile and wireless data providers, most of which run behind NAT, having to store this kind of data.

Re:The outcome is predictable. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35043906)

I doubt it'd be a ban. It'd just impose extremally extensive logging requirements. Not by refering to technology, but just requireing all ISPs have the ability to uniquely identify any user given a time and IP address. How the ISPs go about doing that is their problem. It could be done for NAT at some expense, but for PAT it'd be completly impractical - it'd just leave the ISPs with no choice but to not use PAT, even if that means finally moving to IPv6.

Re:The outcome is predictable. (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35044126)

All of the cellphone networks in the UK do it. There are 80m cellphone connections for a population of 62m, and there is no way they could get enough IP addresses to go round.

Also, two-tier internet (4, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041882)

With a simple DSL access, possibly using a push-based dynamic DNS service, you can become a server right now. You can even serve out of a local NAT by forwarding a few ports in your router. Without renting a server, you can host a small website, provide an FTP share, seed a torrent, and host a tor node. Particularly in the last case, many small users with their own computers are what tor thrives on.

If your computer has to share its global address with hundreds behind a NAT at the ISP level, this becomes basically impossible (just try asking your ISP to forward a port for you!). The internet will be split into two halves made up by the content providers who can afford a globally accessible address, and the content consumers who sit behind a glorified television.

Re:Also, two-tier internet (1)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041976)

The problem being that the ISPs realize that even with public addresses, most (an overwhelming majority?) of their customers are just that -- "content consumers who sit behind a glorified television."

Re:Also, two-tier internet (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042020)

Those customers will still be very annoyed when their IM file transfer services stop working. Though I imagine if it becomes a significent problem, The major IM network operators will revise their protocols in some way - maybe mutual UDP connections like Skype uses.

Re:Also, two-tier internet (1)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042654)

Those customers will still be very annoyed when their IM file transfer services stop working.

What's IM? The current generation of youngsters has no idea of such a concept. To them, IM = Facebook and Twitter.

Tor (1)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35043878)

You had the answer in your examples of what can be done on a simple DSL connection; Tor facilitates this exactly. Users can't be traced if users are required to use tor, with any configuration of exit nodes (all customers, some customers, ISP-level, third-party). If all customers are required to use tor as exit nodes, traffic bounces around the network and jumps out anywhere, perhaps not even in the same ISP. There would be no way to know where traffic comes from (with respect to IP addresses, anyway), so the logs would be useless.

As to requiring NAT or IPv6, that doesn't matter as much as long as tor were a requirement. Adding tor to a properly-run non-NAT'd system would allow technical users to run servers without issues (the servers wouldn't need to use tor, though this would result in logs). Perhaps if ISPs using tor becomes a common thing, hosting .onion sites wouldn't be that problematic (they are already available outside tor through proxies like tor2web [tor2web.org]).

Anonymity or ISPs running out of addresses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35041916)

Hopefully ISPs will migrate fully to IPv6 and address allocation won't be a problem.

Then I can imagine ISPs offering to put you behind a NAT router for anonymity for an additional fee.

question about summary (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042034)

I notice the summary mentions a VPN being "expensive".

What makes a VPN expensive?

I'm not trying to be a smart-ass, I really don't know the answer.

Re:question about summary (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042068)

It increases server load, with each connection being encrypted. If you look at say DD-WRT on a linksys router, the thru put drops a lot when using VPN with encryption. To combat this, you can use a dedicated VPN point, say one made by Cisco, but they aren't cheap and IIRC there's a license limit to the # of VPN connections you can provide. (I may be wrong on the license part though). I know Penn State uses it for people who want to connect from home and for access over certain WiFi networks on campus. That all was setup before I started in the department I'm in, so I have no clue the cost to set it up and maintain it, plus it's managed by Central IT and not within the department I'm in.

Re:question about summary (4, Informative)

Casandro (751346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042230)

It's no problem for you at home, as your small router surely can cope with a few megabits of data. However on the ISP side you will suddenly have multiple gigabits of encrypted data you need to decrypt. You need fast and therefore expensive computers for that.

NA(P)T is no solution (1)

Casandro (751346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042220)

Once NA(P)T is in place, ISPs will surely be forced to log it. Even if they aren't forced to do so, the data visible to them via NA(P)T is just far to valuable for them to be left unused.
Essentially when they implement NA(P)T they will have to keep track of all your current TCP connections. It's only a small step to log those and will give you far more detailed information than just the IP-Address the user used to have at any given time.

Furthermore NA(P)T breaks most services like VoIP, FTP or E-Mail. Without the possibility for incoming connections those services wouldn't work properly.

Re:NA(P)T is no solution (1)

Imagix (695350) | more than 3 years ago | (#35043770)

Furthermore NA(P)T breaks most services like VoIP, FTP or E-Mail. Without the possibility for incoming connections those services wouldn't work properly.

Um, the NAT problem for FTP got solved a while ago with passive transfers and SPI firewalls. Even less of an issue for email. And also not a problem for certain types of VoIP. The clearer answer is that NA(P)T messes up stuff that requires an inbound connection. Stuff such as SIP-based VoIP the way it was meant to be (where the SIP endpoints talk to each other directly, not with some phone switch-like thing between them). Trying to run one's own email gateway. Trying to put up a VPN gateway into your own network. That sort of thing. Don't get me wrong, I think NA(P)T is a bad thing and the ISPs should all get off their collective posteriors and deploy IPv6 already. Everybody gets a /56 to the home. Everything could have a unique IPv6 address. Yes, that is still trackable.

one huge NAT (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042318)

a NAT per ISP instead of per user.... well, I suppose something has to be done about the imminent shortage of IPv4 addresses :)

Spam haven (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042426)

Sending all your users through a single point of transmission, and thereby making all your users look as though they have the same IP address, makes your ISP a haven for spammers.

If you have enough legitimate users behind your single IP, forum/blog/game/whatever admins will be reluctant to block that IP, since they'd be blocking a lot of real potential users as well. Reporting spammers to you becomes more difficult as well, since all their reports will list that single IP, and neither they nor you will have any means for determining which of your customers was actually spamming.

The result is that spammers will be able to use your ISP with relative impunity.

IPv6 (2)

Natales (182136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042468)

Or they could implement IPv6 using anonymous address interface identifiers [microsoft.com] as described in RFC 3041 [ietf.org] to provide an increased level of anonymity.

In addition to that, IPSec encryption is a standard part of the protocol, so just by implementing it you get instant security. Older OSs could use a 4to6 interface that wouldn't break older apps that have not yet been updated to support the protocol.

IPv6 is much closer to be a reality now than ever before. It's about time that some ISPs start taking the lead on this instead of going the VPN or NAT route. It will happen any way and they could get some good PR out of it while addressing the issue they are trying to solve.

Re:IPv6 (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 3 years ago | (#35043086)

The privacy extensions wouldn't provide any more privacy than you typically now get with IPv4. In IPv4, you typically get a /32 which identifies you - in IPv6, you'll get a /64, /56 or whatever. The privacy extensions only affect the last 64 bits - you can still be identified by the prefix that you were given by your ISP.

No! (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#35042936)

Doing this will break so many things... On top of making people unable to be hosts (FTP, SSH, etc.) or to participate in certain P2P activities, it would also make it just about impossible to block offending users from websites. What exactly can you do about an idiot DoS'ing your site when his IP is shared by thousands?

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