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US Funding Stealth Internets to Circumvent Repressive Regimes

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the under-the-radar dept.

Government 289

snydeq writes "The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy 'shadow' Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks. According to a report from CBS News: '...by the end of the year the State Department will have spent $70 million on efforts to provide alternate pathways for dissidents to access the Internet and telecommunications services. One group received $2 million to develop an "Internet in a suitcase" that could be easily carried and set up in a foreign country.'"

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Is it just me... (5, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418320)

...or doesn't this seem a little hypocritical in light of how the whole Wikileaks thing has been handled?

No it's not just you.. (5, Insightful)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418348)

What would happen if there were, just for arguments sake, dissident Americans........
Pause..

Re:No it's not just you.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418514)

They're not supplying freedom, they're supplying a means of communication that makes monitoring/shaping/manipulating events abroad easier and safer.

Re:No it's not just you.. (5, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418594)

we'd call those terrorists, and patriot-act them.

Re:Is it just me... (5, Insightful)

gilbert644 (1515625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418354)

Every government limits freedom, its inherent to its role.

Re:Is it just me... (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418576)

Indeed. Government is a necessary evil. That government is best which governs least. The kind of thing you don't hear much anymore as it's gone out of style.

Re:Is it just me... (3, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418648)

It hasn't gone out of style, it's just plain wrong. The world is a different place then when Thoreau wrote that (and it wasn't too close to the mark then). Do you honestly think there is anything else besides a strong central government that can stand up to mega-corps? Do you honestly want those few mega-corps (and their oligarch CEOs, kings of the new millennium) running things. Power is going to concentrate whether you like it or not. I'll take my chances with Obama over the Koch brothers any day.

Re:Is it just me... (2, Insightful)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418744)

I think the inherent issue here is approaching government as a "us vs them" issue, rather then considering that government, at least in a representative democracy (take the "it is a republic" somewhere else), is by the people for the people. As such, it is there to uphold the rules that the majority of the nation agrees upon (you anarchists and libertarians can keep quiet for now). The last couple of decades however it appears that corporations and other special interest groups have managed to co-opt this system. As such we are seeing laws being written that will make the majority of the people criminals. Did we not learn a thing from the failed attempt at prohibition?

Re:Is it just me... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418952)

Actually, we weren't set up to be a majority rule country. Read the Federalist Papers, I think #10 is where Madison argues against the evils of what he calls "tyranny of the majority".

"Stand up to the megacorps" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418756)

What country does that? Russia, maybe, because it outright steals all of their assets and jails owners, but I can't think of other examples.

Throughout history, money buys power. The political process is the auction mechanism for gov power.

If you want to control corporations, and I do, you have to minimize gov power so the corps must concentrate on their economic position relative to competition. I can deal with corps by not buying from them, unless they have purchased some 'power of the gun' that eliminates my options.

Putting the government back inside the Constitution is the only meaningful reform. Everything else is impossible, because we citizens don't have the concentrated focus to challenge the oligarchy's ownership of government, or a 'give me more power, I will fix the problem' reform that plays into their hands.

Even putting the gov back inside the Constitution (a technology of government, not a Holy Book), is probably impossible for the first of those reasons. The oligarchy is using all of the tools and knowledge accumulated through more than 100 years of increasingly-scientific practice of propaganda/advertising, and so it requires very critical thinkers to keep focused on the important issues.

The important issue for most countries in the world is that their oligarchy has enough power to close their political systems, convert to seriously authoritarian government, complete with gulags, torture, extra-judicial killings, ... The USofA is very far along this path.

Re:"Stand up to the megacorps" (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418852)

Russia, maybe, because it outright steals all of their assets and jails owners,

If you take something from me, I get to take it back - even 20 years later. That's what's happening in Russia.

you have to minimize gov power so the corps must concentrate on their economic position relative to competition.

So the corps can fight it out to be the new government.

I can deal with corps by not buying from them,

Yes, if you have a large amount of fertile land and various survival skills, and are prepared to forego the luxuries of modern life, that's no problem.

Re:"Stand up to the megacorps" (1)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418930)

I can deal with corps by not buying from them...

You really can't though. Really. You not buying those Nike sneaks does not stop the slave factories, and whatever cell phone you bought, some black kid probably had to crawl through a dark whole to get the Rarebit-ium. 'Not actively supporting' is not the same as 'dealing with'...

Re:Is it just me... (-1, Troll)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418850)

Ha! The United States government is owned and operated by mega-corporations, the banking cartel foremost of those. Obama is a puppet with the mega-corporations pulling his strings, which is why he continued the bailouts, why he continues war without end or reason, why the healthcare bill had no robust public option but instead will further enrich big healthcare and big pharmy and big insurance, why we increase our use of fossil fuels, why the patriot act and other acts that took away our freedoms continue.

Guns. (1)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418902)

Do you honestly think there is anything else besides a strong central government that can stand up to mega-corps?

I think people with guns can stand up to most megacorps quite nicely.

Re:Guns. (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 3 years ago | (#36419008)

True, but most people think that civil wars like you had in Central America in the 70's and 80's are a pretty extreme option and that others are preferable. But if you like living in the bush and being hunted for 20 years, good luck with that. Especially if you live in the central USA plains.

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418926)

kill yourself

Re:Is it just me... (1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418836)

Id mod ya up if I hadnt already posted in here..

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418356)

...or doesn't this seem a little ************ in light of how the whole ********* thing has been handled?

FTFY!

SILENCE CITIZEN!

Re:Is it just me... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418376)

Not really. You just have to understand their motives. The Federals love chaos in other countries because it makes it easier to get their way. I just Wonder if we will be able to use this new Internet technology when they start censoring us.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418626)

We must get a better foothold in the Middle East so that we can wrest control of the oil supply and transform repressive regimes from the inside-out.

The Islamic savages will be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418748)

Hell, I'd settle for the 19th. We can work on 20th and 21st Centuries after the comprehend basic civil rights.

Re:Is it just me... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418450)

No, but they should also support dissidents in their own country wanting their privacy too.

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418732)

what do you have to hide?

Re:Is it just me... (3, Insightful)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418452)

At first blush yes. But what they don't tell you is they have a back door into this system so it won't work in the US.

Re:Is it just me... (0)

MakinBacon (1476701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418562)

...or doesn't this seem a little hypocritical in light of how the whole Wikileaks thing has been handled?

When you think about it, they haven't really handled Wikileaks at all. All they've done is take legal action against Bradley Manning for leaking sensitive information (which any organization, Government or private would do). Pretty much everything else that's happened (with Amazon, Mastercard etc) has been accomplished through bitching and moaning, not censorship and coercion.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418644)

Pretty much everything else that's happened (with Amazon, Mastercard etc) has been accomplished through bitching and moaning, not censorship and coercion.

The bitching and moaning pretty much amounted up to coersion... (i.e.: stop this shit or else...)

Keyword 'funding' (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418608)

it's free money for somebody's buddy. Seriously, 'internet in a suitcase'? It's probably one of these [oldcomputers.net]

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418662)

No, it's not hypocritical. You're just comparing apples to oranges. The Wikileaks thing is about leaking private (secret) documents to the public. This project, on the other hand, is about providing public access to the public Internet.

Re:Is it just me... (3, Informative)

rodarson2k (1122767) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418812)

Would the oppressive regimes not claim that their "police actions" are state secrets?

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418890)

it would be comparing apples to oranges if it's US government who got to decide what is public and what is private for its people as well as for the whole world.

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418790)

It's certainly not just you; Slashdot is teeming with like-minded twits.

However, the US is not a repressive regime, nor does its response to Wikileaks resemble the action of a repressive regime. Thus the development discussed in this post will seem "a little hypocritical" only to the above-mentioned like-minded twits.

-Legal Troll

Re:Is it just me... (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418828)

Having the freedom to communicate does not mean you are without responsibility for what you communicate. Wikileaks is a great example. US Gov't officials are not happy about the various leaks of confidential information being discussed openly in the press. But not a single Congressman has stepped forward to dismantle the US press. Manning, however, is likely to suffer for his actions if, in fact, he is the leak.

I wonder.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418330)

What would happen if the tech made it here? In the states communication seems like the most difficult obstacle of dissent since we're always being monitored and logged. That and we can be locked up for an indefinite amount of time for saying something that sounds fishy to someone.

Er what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418336)

Isn't an Internet in a suitcase technically a router with clients? Am I missing something here?

Re:Er what (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418394)

I assume it also includes a sat uplink. The tricky part must be making it discrete. Ideally it should look just like a briefcase to a casual inspection, even if opened. Electronics built under a false bottom, antenna in the side.

Re:Er what (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418494)

*discreet

Re:Er what (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418896)

no, it will be made with transistors, diodes, SCRs, inductors, capacitors and resistors. The integrated chip-chauvinist powers that be will never recognize it as a digital computational device!

Implement the bundle protocol on all mobile phones (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418346)

Or something similar to it.

Use say cheap phone -> phone messaging as an excuse.
 

how about we in the USA? (2, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418350)

is someone making a package for us to circumvent our ever-repressive government in the Demokratik Polize State of Amerika ?

Re:how about we in the USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418412)

I came here to post this very question.

How can our President support an Internet kill-switch at home, and employ this at the same time, and do both with US taxpayer money?

Down with the US gov't in it's entirety, IMO.

THIS IS FLAMEBAIT MOD THE FUCK DOWN NOW!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418470)

The parent comment is the very definition of flamebait and must be moderated down as such.

Moderators do you fucking job and mod that faggot motherfucker to oblivion right now. Anybody modding that cocksucker up should have their moderation privileges revoked for life.

Re:THIS IS FLAMEBAIT MOD THE FUCK DOWN NOW!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418572)

u mad?

Re:how about we in the USA? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418628)

Here in the US, we have plenty of access to the tools to do this exact same thing (or at least achieve similar general concepts). And, in fact, these sorts of projects have been ongoing for decades now. There are those who raise eyebrows at these sorts of things and mumble and grumble about how dark and scary they may be. But they can and have done little to prevent it.

Re:how about we in the USA? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418672)

those tools can only work through government controlled, regulated and monitored pipes. In the final analysis, futile.

Re:how about we in the USA? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418840)

Depends on the tool. Not all tools involve government controlled, regulated and monitored pipes.

Re:how about we in the USA? (4, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418660)

The sad thing is recent behaviour of both democrats and republicans show that it doesn't make a difference which party rules. They just screw their population in slightly different ways, unless you have the cash to pay to screw.

The recent problem has been the heavy handed shutting down of sites without due process. Given the number of problem sites I can understand why they want to do this, but at the same time shouldn't there be some sort of transparency. Also, it would be nice if the US crack down of sites only affected sites in the USA and didn't impact what other countries see.

Umm.. didn't they just say.. (5, Interesting)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418370)

This kinda thing is an act of war?

Re:Umm.. didn't they just say.. (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418434)

I think it's time to seek citizenship elsewhere... *sigh*. This is just getting ridiculous.

Well, rather, this has been sustained and increasing ridiculousness for a while but semantics aside...

Re:Umm.. didn't they just say.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418998)

But where can we go that isn't as bad or worse?

Starting messages in the subject line is lame (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418444)

Umm.. didn't they just say..
This kinda thing is an act of war?

No. This is no more of an attack than facebook, twitter or even TOR are "attacks."

Re:Starting messages in the subject line is lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418532)

Umm.. didn't they just say..
This kinda thing is an act of war?

No. This is no more of an attack than facebook, twitter or even TOR are "attacks."

So it's worse than war?

Re:Umm.. didn't they just say.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418446)

This kinda thing is an act of war?

No, that only applies to the terrorists. This help is for the freedom fighters who aren't terrorists yet. We have to arm them to justify the war against them in a few years/decades.

Note to self: buy some shares in "cybersecurity" companies.

Re:Umm.. didn't they just say.. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418632)

In Soviet Russia cybersecurity buys shares in you!

Re:Umm.. didn't they just say.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418498)

Do as i say, not as i do.

Re:Umm.. didn't they just say.. (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418678)

Please show where NATO described establishing an isolated network as an act of war.

The hyperbole around this "act of war" meme is amazingly dense. NATO simply pointed out that espoionage in the digital age was just as much a potential act of war as espionage in the analog age. Granted - my concern is the difficulty of accurately identifying the actors of any given attack and therefore an accurate portrayal of an "act of war". But that is a far cry from screaming "act of war" whenever Government and computers are mentioned in the same sentence.

Here ya go (1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418808)

Re:Here ya go (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418864)

Yes. Very good. That's a link to a story about the Pentagon's statements. Nowhere in that entire article does it support the concept that a stand-alone network is an act of war. Feel free to provide a quote if you disagree.

Re:Umm.. didn't they just say.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418814)

This kinda thing is an act of war?

Seriously, the Slashdot hivemind is just going to do whatever it takes to lay hate on absolutely and ultimately anything the US ever does, won't they? If it were a US firm that discovered a universal cure for cancer and released it patent-free with no strings attached to the entire world, all we'd hear about on Slashdot is how they used Windows to do it, or about the one guy in the firm who didn't want it to be open to everyone. If the US established a colony on Mars and advanced science and technology by leaps and bounds and offered those developments to everyone, we'd just hear endless bitching about how people "need" to buy all the new higher-tech products and how their own experience has fallen behind, thanks to the US. If someone on Slashdot were kidnapped by separatists forces, flown out to a third-world tinpot dictatorship hellhole, nearly killed on tape by beheading, and saved by US military special forces, that person would do nothing but launch into an armchair general tirade about how "sloppy", "substandard", and "inefficient" the rescue was, how it was so clearly inferior because it was by the US, and the commenters on Slashdot would sympathize with the anarchist kidnappers and desperately search for whatever facts they can, as much of factual reaches as they can get, just to say how much the third-world tinpot dictatorship hellhole is so much "intellectually better and more open" than the US because one guy on a stealth internet connection installed by the US was able to download a new movie for free without getting arrested.

You really are never happy, are you? Not that I'm complaining, mind; you idiots are the most amusingly and ironically closed-minded collective I've seen on the internet. Hell, I've seen "TITS OR GTFO" trolls more open-minded and less one-track-minded than you people.

US government claims responsibility.. (2)

biodata (1981610) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418386)

for anon attacks on foreign governments. It was only a matter of time.

InternetS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418388)

OMFG they said "internets" that means they are stupid!!!!

What's good for the goose (4, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418396)

I've read that parts of Anonymous also work on projects in this same vein. And that same facet of Anonymous is who carries out the DDoS attacks and other various distressing things. I wonder if the irony of sharing goals with Anonymous is completely lost on the US government. I expect probably so. Freedom abroad, a slow slide towards facism at home, that'll be the way of it.

Re:What's good for the goose (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418538)

Yes, I was wondering if either the government or someone (like Anonymous) has or is thinking about deploying a 'shadow internet' within US (maybe Mexico & Canada, too?) borders. The gov already has separate hardlines, so who's to say that those 'Verizon' workers putting in new fiber are actually working for Verizon instead of putting in new hardlines for the gov? Or using reserved frequencies for wireless communications? As for non-gov groups, there are also other channels to use. Wonder if the gov would bother tapping old-style modem to modem comms? VPNs, encryption, anonymizing nodes, extra-US nodes...

Re:What's good for the goose (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418566)

Wonder if the gov would bother tapping old-style modem to modem comms? VPNs, encryption, anonymizing nodes, extra-US nodes...

I wonder how cheaply a microwave relay station could be built? I've sometimes thought a network of those across the nation in private hands using PSK-based encryption to talk to each other would be nice insurance against having the mainstream network infrastructure cut.

Re:What's good for the goose (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418700)

And here I was wondering if anyone in Anonymous could wipe their asses without assistance.

Re:What's good for the goose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418552)

regarding your sig: why the fuck would you shorten/obfuscate an address that is in an <a href="..."> tag? You're just being disrespectful to people who might want to visit your link but don't like being redirected who-knows-where.

Re:What's good for the goose (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418770)

read mine

Re:What's good for the goose (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418868)

regarding your sig: why the fuck would you shorten/obfuscate an address that is in an tag? You're just being disrespectful to people who might want to visit your link but don't like being redirected who-knows-where. [slashdot.org]

Because Slashdot allows at most 120 characters for a signature, and that includes information in tags that is not directly visible, like the href attribute. I think URL shorteners are a necessary evil, and I avoid them most of the time, but for this I don't really have much of a choice.

Re:What's good for the goose (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418870)

Because the full length link doesn't fit within the sig length limit?

Re:What's good for the goose (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418670)

Perhaps it's their way of discrediting Anonymous. "Hey guys, anonymous was us all the time". Nothing like smearing anon as a US government plot to cut down its popularity around the world.

Re:What's good for the goose (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418838)

There is Freenet - it's not a separate internet, but a network of caching nodes running on the internet that makes communications untraceable. Such a thing could be shut down easily enough by just shutting down the internet entirely - but really, that's still a win, as it would incite further unrest in itsself. I don't know how many Anons use it, but I know it was used to publish Scientology documents, so probably at least one.

Re:What's good for the goose (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418956)

I wonder if the irony of sharing goals with Anonymous is completely lost on the US government.

Strange bedfellows are nothing new in politics or statecraft (or espionage for that matter).

I expect probably so. Freedom abroad, a slow slide towards facism at home, that'll be the way of it.

Slow?

Great News! (4, Interesting)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418422)

Now we'll have a way to circumvent ICE copyright censorship, attempts by government officials to target critical bloggers, and of course everyone's favorite restrictions on videos/recordings of police actions. Let's boot this baby up and see what it can do....

localhost$shadowtubez start
==Welcome to ShadowTubez==
Fight the Power, with the help of the USA!
(Connecting to shadowtubez.us.gov to establish freedom fighter credentials...)

Doh!

PROTECT IP (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418424)

So, will we Americans be able to use this shadow internet and mobile phone networks to access what PROTECT IP tries to block?

America the Land of Liberty! (3, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418456)

America the Land of Liberty*. Freeing the people from oppression**

*Note: Liberty is only available other countries.

**Does not count for people living in America

Re:America the Land of Liberty! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418524)

Exactly what people do you believe are being oppresed in America?

Yeah I thought so. There aren't any. You just making shit up.

I win. Checkmate.

Re:America the Land of Liberty! (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418908)

You must like getting your junk freedom-fondled at the airport.

Re:America the Land of Liberty! (2)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418758)

You are free to speak your mind, just not using anything copyrighted, patented or trademarked by our corporate elite.

Re:America the Land of Liberty! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418910)

My mind is copyrighted, patented and trademarked by our corporate elite, you insensitive clod!

And NATO sad "persecute"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418480)

It's an act of war, unless the US does it. Or is NATO feels threatened by its own citizens. Not sure I'd trust it completely, given their hypocrisy -- what's to stop the US from tracking those that use these tools and selling them out? Trust the cypherpunks at Telecomix.org just do some research, train yourself, train your community, and trust yourself instead.

Pot, meet kettle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418490)

Yes, this is definitely a big steaming crock of hypocrisy.

Pfft. (2)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418568)

I have five internets in my briefcase right here. Why, just the other day my secretary sent me an internet. Typical government waste. Next thing you know they'll want to build a bridge to nowhere.

what about cp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418582)

can we has delicious cheesepizza in there?
maybe? prettyplz?

The revolution will be broadcast... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418586)

As the article says "The revolution will be broadcast...", but it leaves out "straight to the US govt who will then decide if they want to a)let you carry on in your attempt to self govern (provided the US can profit from it) or b)arrange for a leak of information that will crush you"

propaganda (3, Interesting)

julian67 (1022593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418598)

This is pure propaganda. The very last thing the US wants is for genuine freedom of information. What it does want is failsafe communication with its own sympathisers, clients and agents. People make comments along the lines of "what about if they start censoring us?" Did you not notice? Will you consider your news media uncensored simply because nobody puts a 2 minute ad on national TV or a full page ad in the NYT explaining that it's already happened? Wake up. Did you not notice that you are never allowed to hear or read your enemies' words directly or in full? You are only allowed to digest small pieces, decontextualised and presented by public relations people masquerading as journalists. You can identify the real journalists if you have a good memory: they are the people who used to ask hard questions, who were also unafraid to cross frontlines and ask hard questions of the enemy, who are no longer welcome, whose access is rescinded and whose names and reputations are slandered and traduced and who are finally ignored. In their place you have the shame and disgrace of "embedded" journalists, people who are a do not deserve to be called journalists and who have made a compact to deceive you. The English language media is now a rather glossy and expensive upgrade of Pravda. Why on earth would the government legislate censorship when it can be outsourced, bought and paid for? This is how free speech and an uncensored media works in a country with free speech enshrined in the constitution and tested and protected in law. How well do you think it will work in projects funded and controlled by the CIA? Does anyone truly believe these projects exists to counter repression? They exist to promote one kind of repression over another.

Re:propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418862)

So, to be clear, you *are* allowed to hear *and* read your enemies' words directly, generally speaking. Just not on the news.

Shocker, you have to go and make an effort to find information if you want it to be colored solely by your own prejudices, not those of others. A novel concept for sure.

Comment Subject (1)

eL-gring0 (1950736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418618)

Is this really any different than trying to deliver an insurgency some form of weapons or armaments? I don't think this lets the US keep its hands any cleaner when interfering.

I'm more curious to see which is more effective - arming the equivalent of some mujahideen or rebels or even just citizens, versus getting them on Facebook. I think we've seen the blowback arming groups can result in. Could spreading rogue Internet connections be a mistake the somehow US regrets in the future? I mean other than roaming data charges.

This, Jen, is the internet... (1)

derblack (1076557) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418652)

Internet in a suitcase? I had to immediately think of The IT-Crowd: "and this Jen...", shows her a little box , ".... is the Internet!"

Re:This, Jen, is the internet... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418872)

I may have to actually build one of those. An Internet.

It's for a training course. The curriculum needs internet access, but the organisation won't permit the class to hook up to the site LAN, and as those on the course are minors we can't let them connect to the public internet without going through an elaborate government-approved anti-porn filter... which they only allow on the LAN. Thus I suggested I make them an Internet - a netbook-in-a-box that provides a simulated little internet. Just a DHCP server, network interface configured to look like a router, DNS and a webserver to browse to.

Shut down the US Internet but circumvent another.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418714)

That's great... the US will stop its own Internet http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/24/power-shut-internet-court-oversight/ [rawstory.com] but it will make Internet in a suitcase (LOL) for those big desert countries.

Let's keep spending US taxpayer dollars to protect the rights of people out there in other countries, while our own Supreme Court says police can ignore the 4th amendment. http://blogs.kansascity.com/crime_scene/2011/05/supreme-court-ruling-lets-police-break-down-doors-to-save-evidence.html [kansascity.com] ...while we pay for them to take our rights and hand them to others.

What's next, China owning the US? http://www.prisonplanet.com/meet-the-new-boss-china-owns-the-united-states.html [prisonplanet.com]

Lou

US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418738)

Sweet, can we get one for the US?

Per Vernor Vinge (2)

F34nor (321515) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418784)

In Rainbows End the Army rains down networking nodes on a site that they want to control. I have been talking about doing this as a 501c. Make off the shelf Meraki style nodes with a mix and match of bands. E.g. 900mHz backbone and 802.11b/g with every 10th or so with a satellite uplink. Make them cheap enough to carpet bomb out of a b52. Give them a solar panel or a easy connect to a car battery or a 110/220. When ever someone tries to "turn off the internet" just drop a new one. The peer to peer cell phone also has a hand in this a Motorola f4 style phone or even a Belkin Skype phone could be dropped at the same time. TerraNet was already covered on /. http://snapvoip.blogspot.com/2007/09/peer-to-peer-mobile-phones-by-terranet.html [blogspot.com]

DNS and the world of wonders.. (1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418788)

I often wonder what would happen if a group of nerds..like ourselves.. decided to start our own root DNS.. I would suspect that it would be shut down by the FCC in short order under some new or trumped up mangled misinterpretation of some law.

Re:DNS and the world of wonders.. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418886)

Unlikely. What would actually happen is simpler: No-one would use it.

Re:DNS and the world of wonders.. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418922)

you still have to operate over government controlled, regulated, and monitored pipes, to end nodes that are subject to search and seizure. don't waste your time.

Re:DNS and the world of wonders.. (1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418946)

Very good point. Tip o the hat to ya.

Why is it the US' business to do this? (1)

substance2003 (665358) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418844)

I haven't read the article but my issue with what is being said here is that the American tax payer is being forced to foot the bill for this.
It may only be millions in a government spending level of Billions/Trillions but still, is it really something they should be getting involved in to begin with?
What do others here think of this? Are you alright with this?

Get real everyone (1)

Doug77 (1872710) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418894)

I can't believe all the negative comments on this. It seams to me that people are so jaded with themselves for not taking responsibility for their own media consumtion that they blame the government for censorship. What the hell is everyone talking about? None of the "down with government" posts are censored here. None of my paranoid friends have mysteriously disappeared. We live in a great country and you should wake up and realize that. maybe wikileaks did have a positive effect. Maybe the government, though reluctant at first is warming up to the fact that free and open communication is the only way to grow this world into a better place. I find this article inspiring and hoe others do too.

In other words ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36418912)

... Net Neutrality is some sort of munitions. If we (State Dept/Pentagon) decide to attack an undesirable regime, we'll drop it on them. But try to have it at home and you might as well be asking for a machine gun.

What's Good for the Goose ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36418954)

Should China deploy an alternative network in the United States to allow software/music/movie pirates to undermine repressive copyright laws, or is that somehow "different"?

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