×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Coders Develop Ways To Defeat SOPA Censorship

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the causing-the-law-to-break dept.

Censorship 449

Hugh Pickens writes "The Atlantic reports that one developer who doesn't have much faith in Congress making the right decision on anti-piracy legislation has already built a workaround for the impending censorship measures being considered, and called it DeSOPA. Since SOPA would block specific domain names (e.g. www.thepiratebay.com) of allegedly infringing sites, T Rizk's Firefox add-on allows you to revert to the bare internet protocol (IP) address (e.g. 194.71.107.15) which takes you to the same place. 'It could be that a few members of Congress are just not tech savvy and don't understand that it is technically not going to work, at all,' says T Rizk. 'So here's some proof that I hope will help them err on the side of reason and vote SOPA down.' Another group called 'MAFIAAFire' decided to respond when Homeland Security's ICE unit started seizing domain names, by coding a browser add-on to redirect the affected websites to their new domains. More than 200,000 people have already installed the add-on. ICE wasn't happy, and asked Mozilla to pull the add-on from their site. Mozilla denied the request, arguing that this type of censorship may threaten the open Internet."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

449 comments

Good move (5, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447272)

So it's like MafiaaFire/FireIce for SOPA, just like a little custom HOSTS file in the form of a browser addon.

Technically not brilliant but a good political move, to demonstrate the futility of this legislation.

Re:Good move (5, Funny)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447322)

We'll make our own Internet! With blackjack, and hookers!

Aikon-

Re:Good move (5, Funny)

Marc Madness (2205586) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447386)

... in fact, never mind the Internet and blackjack!

Re:Good move (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447656)

Ugh. You absolutely butchered that line.

"In fact, forget the internet"

Re:Good move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38448084)

Actually later in the episode the line was repeated also forgetting the blackjack

Re:Good move (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447336)

Do you realise what you've just done?

Now, I don't know if people of other countries are aware, but there are some things you just don't do because of what you might summon [wikipedia.org]

You realise that just simply mentioning the file in which hosts can be defined means you have probably cursed this thread with the summoning of APK, the hosts file troll?

Cue a thread or two of people winding the poor dumb bastard up, as he continues to list his random achievements from 2002 whilst gloating about being a graduate from some non-university no one has ever heard of, with a random littering of grammatically dire pre-written copy and pasted statements including random use of bold text.

Look, you just can't go around using the name of said file in vain, there are consequences.

Re:Good move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447600)

I do not understand your rant about mentioning the HOSTS file. Can you please be more to the point? Who is this poor dumb bastard from 2002?

Re:Good move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38448066)

You just had to repeat the cursed phrase didn't you? Well, now you can see for yourself as his summoning has occured:

http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2584140&cid=38447776 [slashdot.org]

He's even linked to his previous posts, as he so often does, so you can go and follow the link to get an even greater dose of his idiocy.

Feel free to google Alexander Peter Kowalski if you wish, he is the hosts file troll native to more than just Slashdot.

If you really want to see him in full effect, try replying to him telling him he's wrong, try it as many times as you wish and he will continue to return and respond to you.

My post was not a rant, it was a warning, and you just didn't listen!

Re:Good move (5, Funny)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447422)

It's not futile: it's Congress spurring innovation! Yeah, on workarounds for the law, but innovation nonetheless.

GameBoyRMH - "not technically brilliant" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447776)

"Technically not brilliant" - by GameboyRMH (1153867) on Wednesday December 21, @08:17AM (#38447272)

If it WORKS? It's brilliant: & HOSTS files work for MORE THAN JUST "ANONYMITY" PURPOSES!

HOSTS files give you more speed, security, AND ANONYMITY online (bypassing DNSBL's & DNS request logs)

In fact? HOSTS files do what this FF browser addon does, as well as the MAFIAAFire FF browser addon too, from a SINGLE EASILY EDITED, CONTROLLED, & FILLED file - HOSTS!

Plus & this is COMMON KNOWLEDGE around here?

Everyone on /.'s seen ME post the mechanics of HOSTS files for years here now and TONS of times - this FF browser addon? No different & even YOU noted it, vs. hosts files!

I even posted on the same thing YOU JUST DID, here today in this very thread in fact -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2584140&cid=38447574 [slashdot.org]

However:

"Getting used to it", as being "common-place" around /.?

That doesn't mean it's not brilliant - because again, IF IT WORKS?? It's pretty brilliant...

(It only means YOU'RE USED TO IT from my rampant posts on HOSTS files' versatility around here on /. no doubt... too bad the rest of the world's not, because HOSTS files are very versatile & work (and have been with us forever on any OS with a BSD based IP stack)).

HOSTS files work for:

---

1.) "Better Anonymity" (for this circumvention of DNSBL's or even DNS request logs)

2.) For more speed online (blocking adbanners + hardcoding hosts-domain names to IP addresses)

3.) Better security (blocking out malicious sites/servers online that bear various forms of threats like maliciously scripted adbanners, malware, malicious scripts etc./et al)...

---

APK

P.S.=> No questions asked...

... apk

Re:Good move (4, Insightful)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38448012)

So how long before these measures are deemed to be a "Copyright protection system" under the DMCA, rendering any attempt to circumvent them (even by typing in raw IP's) a crime?

Firefox Plugin (2)

kilo_foxtrot84 (1016017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447280)

If SOPA passes, this might actually make me switch back to Firefox from Chrome. Of course, I'd have to download the plugin before it got stomped by a SOPA claim.

Re:Firefox Plugin (3, Interesting)

d4fseeker (1896770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447468)

Couldn't you just use alternative DNS servers or use a tool which hardcodes it in the 's hosts file or am I missing the point?
Switching browser due to an extension which hackishly has a static hosts file seems kinda odd for a tech site.

Re:Firefox Plugin (2)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447542)

alternative dns servers would be deemed illegal under sopa..

Re:Firefox Plugin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447626)

Rent VPS in foreign nation. Setup DNS on it. ??? Profit!

Re:Firefox Plugin (3, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447856)

But everyone knows that pirates STEAL movies because they don't want to pay for them. Renting a VPS would go against this.

Re:Firefox Plugin (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447918)

Really? I know several people running their own DNS servers. How can they make a DNS server illegal?

How Is This an Add-On? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447286)

What's to stop me from entering the IP address without the add-on?

Re:How Is This an Add-On? (5, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447384)

What's to stop me from entering the IP address without the add-on?

Several things.

First, you have to know the IP address. The point of one of the the plug-ins, as far as I understand it, is that it automatically gets the list of known seized host names and IP addresses for you.

Second is that entering the IP manually presumes that an IP address only has one web host on it. This is far from true - with dynamic hosting, lots of domains share the same IP address. It's by the browser sending "Host: www.somewhere.foo" in the header of the request that the web server knows which host's content to serve you. "Host: NNN.NNN.NNN.NNN" is likely only going to give you the hosting provider's web page, or even just a generic "Welcome to Apache" page for those who haven't configured it.

Oh, and third, have fun entering IPv6 addresses that way...

Re:How Is This an Add-On? (4, Insightful)

cpghost (719344) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447438)

Second is that entering the IP manually presumes that an IP address only has one web host on it. This is far from true - with dynamic hosting, lots of domains share the same IP address.

Nothing prevents a plugin from sending additional HTTP headers (e.g. the Host: header) once the TCP connection has been established to the IP address. No DNS intervention is needed for this.

Re:How Is This an Add-On? (0)

mattdm (1931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447488)

+1! Sheesh, slashdot, why do I have mod points all the time when I don't need them and then they're gone when there's something actually worth voting up?!

Re:How Is This an Add-On? (5, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447516)

Nothing prevents a plugin from sending additional HTTP headers (e.g. the Host: header) once the TCP connection has been established to the IP address. No DNS intervention is needed for this.

Um, you didn't read the post I was replying to, did you? That was exactly my point - a plugin can do that, but manually entering the IP address instead of using a plugin won't.

And no, the Host: header isn't an additional header - it's a required header (for HTTP/1.1 and above). So a plugin have better replace the Host header that the browser sets, not add one.

Re:How Is This an Add-On? (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447562)

The obvious solution to this is to register domain names at a rate faster than the government can ban them. Do this until all possible combinations of words have been used and there are no free domain names.

Re:How Is This an Add-On? (3, Interesting)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447674)

Do this until all possible combinations of words have been used and there are no free domain names.

Heh... I was actually musing about how to do this with music. After all, there are only so many combinations of notes - why not have computer programs just generating all possible single measures, then all possible combinations of those measures, and publishing them all online with a claimed copyright? (In the US at least, you don't have to spend money to register a work to obtain a copyright - you actually inherently have the copyright. Registering does have benefits though - but it's not required.)

Essentially, beat them at their own game. (And at the same time prove the silliness of it all. You could probably do the same with works of text as well by using a grammar generator to get legitimate sentences.)

Re:How Is This an Add-On? (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447886)

You only infringe upon copyright if you actually copy. If you come up with the same melody by chance, it is not a violation of copyright. I am sure the MAFIAAs lawyers can argue that their song is not derived from your database.

Re:How Is This an Add-On? (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38448022)

I am sure the MAFIAAs lawyers can argue that their song is not derived from your database.

Though woe betide you if your algorithm happens to generate a song that is already held by them. Because of course that is totally different and you owe them a billion dollars.

Re:How Is This an Add-On? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447668)

So put them in my hosts file then?

Re:How Is This an Add-On? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447418)

What's to stop me from entering the IP address without the add-on?

On each IP address/physical server there might be tens or hundreds (maybe even thousands) of sites. When you send a request to a server, you also specify what domain name you are requesting. By just entering the IP address in the browser, you will get the default website on that server.

Even worse.... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447294)

My sources tell me that evildoers possess advanced ICMP technology that would allow a pirate to verify whether or not a forbidden server is active, among other criminal surveillance, from anywhere in the Homeland!

Re:Even worse.... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447318)

I order you to delete this dangerous terrorist-aiding information from the Internets RIGHT NOW, citizen!

Re:Even worse.... (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447926)

My sources tell me that the real evildoers are using the same ICMP technology server side or in transit to discover whom is actually attempting to visit said forbidden servers; This new technique is dubbed: Internet Control of Users Protocol (ICUP).

The resistance is responding by creating a decentralized content store: HTTP over BitTorrent.

Who didn't see this coming? (3, Insightful)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447302)

Honestly, there really is no way to stop people from getting around every roadblock you put down. Walls can only stretch so far. The only way to prevent them from doing what they want is to either destroy the internet or kill everyone in the country. The first could even be worked around with possibly WiFi meshes or usb drop locations.
If the government decides to do the second, well, can't exactly get around that when you're dead.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (1)

d4fseeker (1896770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447492)

You could build a ABC-proof shelter and stock enough food for the next 50 years.
However you'd need an EMP-proof satellite dish for internet uplink, since your resistance would be futile otherwise

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447536)

Point is not to prevent every single person. Just enough of them to kill momentum.

Point is to make it too bothersome for average person. Which this particular countermeasure is - it is hard enough explain how to torrents downloaded in ideal conditions.

The fact is that it can very easily switch even geeks. I seriously do not want to waste time researching latest blocking techniques and some more time geting around them.

If stuff behind lock was something i would not really want to spend money on, i do not bother getting it for "free" anymore anyway. If it is something that matters, actually buying it sounds much more economic.

Also, it helps to realize that world does not owe you free shit.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38448016)

Two Questions:
0. Do you feel entitled to have free speech?
1. How much did you pay slashdot to host this comment?

Realize that you can have either free speech or censorship&copyright/patent laws, but not both...
Also realize the best things in life are free; Ergo: The more things that are free the better life is.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (4, Interesting)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38448078)

that world does not owe you free shit

That was the second goal of copyright when it was written. After a fixed period of time, art goes into the public domain.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (1)

jovius (974690) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447748)

If the government decides to do the second, well, can't exactly get around that when you're dead.

True, but they won't do that because there wouldn't be any consumers left. The revenue sources need to be kept alive and in control.

IP-level blocks (4, Interesting)

cpghost (719344) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447306)

If meddling with DNS doesn't work, network operators will simply be forced to block at the IP level, e.g. by withdrawing the BGP routes to the censored sites. Good luck circumventing this kind of blocking (still possible with proxies, and maybe distributed anonymous p2p proxies, but a nuisance anyway).

Re:IP-level blocks (4, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447334)

I don't know why sites threatened by this legislation don't already have a darknet presence, what are they waiting for? They should have .i2p and .onion sites online by now.

Re:IP-level blocks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447660)

No idea. Imagine if all the clients and sites came to an agreement on a hybrid anonymous P2P system, open source.
It would be unstoppable outside of making it entirely illegal, but that will only dent it slightly.

Of course, more people would need to come to accept that these systems of 100% freedom also come with a price.
Yes, you are going to see things you don't like if you browse these networks, and you won't be able to do anything about it but try to ignore it.
And you will probably still see said content because people will likely use it as the new Shock Content of these networks for the years to come. (much more so than it is used now because most of the time these people get tracked down for posting such content, unless they are behind 10 different kinds of proxies in some country that doesn't give a crap)

Re:IP-level blocks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447732)

They do. You're not invited.

Re:IP-level blocks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447908)

Do your sites have darknet presence? Because the big problem with deliberate censorship, legally requiring DNS be made less secure, and having a system so overwhelmingly biased in favor of any accuser, is..

... sites threatened by this legislation ...

..we are talking about every single site on the internet. If SOPA weren't a threat to everyone, and people thought it was really an anti-piracy bill, the entire world wouldn't be bitching about it.

Re:IP-level blocks (4, Funny)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447522)

If meddling with DNS doesn't work, network operators will simply be forced to block at the IP level, e.g. by withdrawing the BGP routes to the censored sites. Good luck circumventing this kind of blocking (still possible with proxies, and maybe distributed anonymous p2p proxies, but a nuisance anyway).

Wait. Did you just state that there was a way to reliably block sites, sarcastically wish people luck, and then parenthetically note how to defeat your invented scenario?

In that case: They could isolate all servers with blocks of hardened, compressed layers of dried pasta. Good luck circumventing this kind of blocking (still possible with trained mice who can pull ethernet cables through their tunnels, and maybe wifi on frequencies not blocked by pasta, but a nuisance anyway).

Kind of fun. Now somebody else go!

Re:IP-level blocks (4, Informative)

cpghost (719344) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447628)

Wait. Did you just state that there was a way to reliably block sites, sarcastically wish people luck, and then parenthetically note how to defeat your invented scenario?

It may look paradox, but that's exactly how it is because that's the way routing in IP backbones is working. Suppose e.g. that your provider is Level-3 based, and Level-3 withdraws the BGP route to TPB to comply with SOPA. However, TPB can also connect to another tier-1 backbone that doesn't filter out its routes. You, behind Level-3 won't be able to access TPB directly, but via proxies, you could exit Level-3 and reach that other backbone, hence reach TPB. Of course, that scenario is more something for techies as it requires constant updating of alternative routes, but the 99.99% of the masses won't be able to circumvent Level-3's IP-level block, and that's all the MAFIAA cares about.

Re:IP-level blocks (5, Insightful)

cybergrue (696844) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447658)

It has been said that the Internet routes around problems (censorship), however there are plenty of choke-points (transoceanic cables for example) where a reverse DNS look-up could be used to filter the IP addresses of the packets going through. And before you say encrypted VPN, the technology already exists and is being used to detect and block encrypted traffic (Pakistan and Turkey) on the network.

Yes it is possible to get around these countermeasures, but it will not be easy and probably result in a significant decrease in transmission speeds (sending and receiving). And when these techniques become widely known, they will be blocked in turn.

In short, this legislation will break the Internet. Laughing at the dumb politicians who don't understand technology is a dangerous thing to do because there are no simple workarounds that will keep the Internet working the way we know it if this passes.

Re:IP-level blocks (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38448042)

still possible with proxies

I used to work at a place that had pretty draconian blocking policies. They used Websense [wikipedia.org] at full lockdown. Websense would not only block at the IP level, but it also actively blocked proxy sites and proxy lists too. And by "actively," I mean it updated every hour. It was VERY difficult to circumvent.

The point is, if your ISP really wants to block you (and if the government threatens them with jail time if they don't), they can. Even if 1% are clever enough to stay a step ahead of them, 99% will be blocked.

Now the race begins (4, Interesting)

timmy.cl (1102617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447326)

Or maybe now we'll see the race to buy "easy" IP addresses. "Visit us at 12.34.56.78".
Now, thinking again, that could actually halt the long-awaited migration to IPv6. Who'd like to see an ad like "find our products at http://200147023aef0/ [200147023aef0]. Please remember the square brackets or you won't reach our website. And the double colon between 470 and 23. Unless you want to fill the omitted zeroes."

Re:Now the race begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447460)

I love that slashdot stripped out the IPv6 address separators.

Congress vs the world's 10-million geek army... (4, Funny)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447346)

Guess who will win?

Re:Congress vs the world's 10-million geek army... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447446)

Well, that's where it gets scary. It's not a big stretch to imagine these add-on programmers getting shut down for "circumventing copyright protections" on a mass scale. Oh! Did I say "mass" scale? Could writing the add-ons also land you in indefinite detention if Al Queda makes some money from sites you help people find?

Re:Congress vs the world's 10-million geek army... (4, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447452)

Congress. Because they have more resources and weapons at their disposal than all the geeks in the world combined.

Here, let me give you another example. Do you know why the Berlin Wall fell? No, it wasn't because Reagan gave a speech at the Brandenburger Gate. Or because he managed to fool the USSR into bankrupting itself. It was because when push came to shove, Honecker and Krenz refused to shoot their own people on a scale similar to what China, North Korea or Syria did.

Oppressive regimes only fall if they're forcibly removed from power, or if they decide that there's a threshold of violence they won't cross.

Re:Congress vs the world's 10-million geek army... (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447508)

And what will Congress do about three hackers in Kazakhstan who decide to write something that gets around any restrictive laws and post the code to thousands of blogs, boards and so on? How much money canvthe USA expend on this? It's the equivalent of the Vietnam war in cyberspace, a guerrilla war where you *can't* win.

Re:Congress vs the world's 10-million geek army... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447638)

And how many citizens will actually know about that law?

And how many citizens who know will actually care about that law?

The fact that countermeasure exists does not mean anything because only "lost cases" will use it. Or do you expect people to happily download some kind of obscure tool so that they will be able to follow some links they can as easily just ignore?

Most people will propably give you "oh, its like hintfoil hat, but for your computer." if you try to explain them evils of sopa and tool by kazachi hackers.

Re:Congress vs the world's 10-million geek army... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447528)

Or because he managed to fool the USSR into bankrupting itself.

I prefer to call it a game of economic chicken. First one to brake or crash loses!

Re:Congress vs the world's 10-million geek army... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447572)

"Do you know why the Berlin Wall fell?"

Lots of people pushing at it combined with the fact East German builders haven't got a damn clue about installing a foundation for free-standing structures? Close?

Re:Congress vs the world's 10-million geek army... (4, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447622)

Congress. Because they have more resources and weapons at their disposal than all the geeks in the world combined.

Congress has more resources, but when it comes down to it, who ends up doing all the technical work? The geeks.

I hope it doesn't come down to it, but let the geeks implement exactly what the law requires/dictates. As the summary already indicates, the whole intent of the law has been circumvented with trivial workarounds. Pirates end up essentially unaffected and go on pirating, but the internet in general ends up dealing with the consequences when YouTube, Facebook, et al end up blocked/banned/hijacked.

Yeah, because that worked so well in China. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447758)

And in China, Saudi Arabia, etc, when you want unfiltered Internet, there is no way to get it... Riiiight.

Sorry mate, NOTHING in the world is gonna stop somebody who knows there is free porn and he can get it. ^^
The church couldn't stop wild sex after centuries of censorship, inquisitions, torture, terror, the whole dark ages and every horrible thing you can imagine.
The government still have a long way to go to reach that level of evilness.

PROTIP (from someone who actually has friends in such countries): There are companies that specifically cater to victims of censorship, and offer $5/month full-speed (faster than your ISP) VPN proxies, so easy to use, your grandma could do it.
And everyone who has the money, Internet and wants it (read: everyone who wants to watch porn (read: EVERYONE)) has such a VPN. Often multiple ones. (In poor countries, they simply share one, or their Internet cafe unofficially has one.)

And they even have physical world versions of this: P.O. boxes. So you can order stuff at US shops and have it sent to that box, which then transfers it to you for cheap.

Re:Yeah, because that worked so well in China. (4, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38448018)

You misunderstand. I wasn't saying that generic Internet access is impossible in those countries. Even porn in countries like Iran isn't something that's hard to get. What is really, really hard to get is an Internet connection that won't prompt the visits of various burly men in street clothes if you decide to talk about how much better the country would be under a new political system.

VPN proxies are nice, but are the first things to be stopped when things get hairy (and yes, I also have friends in the countries I listed - except NK).

Finally, you are also operating under the assumption that countries won't be able to cooperate on these matters. Look at the US: it's implementing the same technologies that the most repressive countries are implementing. Yes, the goals are still somewhat different, but I can guarantee you that once these legal structures are available in all countries, the Internet will not be able to route around damage, because the damage will be applied to the entire Internet.

Read Lessig's book Code is Law. It makes the interesting observation that code is law - and that consequently, law is code.

The only alternatives will be encrypted darknets, private nets and other things, but those are not the Internet anymore.

Re:Congress vs the world's 10-million geek army... (1)

kikito (971480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447832)

"Congress. Because they have more resources and weapons at their disposal than all the geeks in the world combined."

It's not only the raw number that matters - effectiveness is also very important. If you need hundreds of millions of dollars to get rid of hundreds of afghans ... and you want to get rid of 10 million people... that doesn't look very well).

"Do you know why the Berlin Wall fell? No, it wasn't because Reagan gave a speech at the Brandenburger Gate. Or because he managed to fool the USSR into bankrupting itself. It was because when push came to shove, Honecker and Krenz refused to shoot their own people on a scale similar to what China, North Korea or Syria did."

Dude, no. That was David Hasselhoff's concert.

Guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447772)

The man with the guns. Same as it's always been.

Lesson here: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447356)

You can't beat geeks at their own game in their own world.

Hollywood would get a lot farther trying to win the hearts and minds, and not using brute force, ineffective merthods. They come off looking like jerks, which just makes folks unsympathetic to their position, and everyone suffers.

Touchingly naive (4, Insightful)

GauteL (29207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447434)

"So here's some proof that I hope will help them err on the side of reason and vote SOPA down"

Eh... no. If the war against drugs/piracy/terrorism has taught us anything, it is that if the law makers were made to understand that it won't work, they would just try more draconian measures.

By all means, petition them in terms of freedom of speech, cost or restricting innovation, arguing that "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through" will simply make them tighten their grip further.

Re:Touchingly naive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447606)

By all means, petition them in terms of freedom of speech, cost or restricting innovation, arguing that "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through" will simply make them tighten their grip further.

Yes. But it isn't my star system the grip is on. I don't live in the land of the 'free'.

a few? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447484)

"'It could be that a few members of Congress are just not tech savvy and don't understand that it is technically not going to work, at all"

Most congress critters don't have even a clue as to how the internet in general works. Honestly the lack of education with these idiots is staggering.

Congress today is a large group of poorly educated, self serving, sociopath children.

Re:a few? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447630)

I'm pretty sure it wasn't members of congress that wrote this bill they just attached their name to it.
I would also assume that this is just the first of many steps / plans to basically ruin the internet.
I'm just waiting for the day when congress passes a bill requiring Internet User Permit like a drivers license and require any device to auth before connecting to internet.

Re:a few? (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447692)

Most PEOPLE don't have even a clue as to how the internet in general works. Honestly the lack of education with these idiots is staggering.

FTFY. Ok, but not everybody gets to decide on internet encumbering laws either, but this is the same kind of thing that happens all over the place. Crazy policies made up by pointy haired bosses that network admins need to implement, even though they don't accomplish much to anybody remotely educated in how these things work. But it stops most people . I have a neighbor, who isn't the most tech savvy person, but isn't someone I would consider completely computer illiterate either. He was telling me about this BitTorrent thing his friend just showed him. I've been using that for 7 years, and people are just now discovering this. It's like somebody walks up to me, and says, hey, did you know you can send Instant Messages to people on the internet. If they block DNS for these sites, I can bet that will stop 99% of people from accessing the sites, because most of them frankly wouldn't even know what to type into Google to solve their problem. And whatever thing they are likely to type into Google will be link farmed by scammers to get them to install virus/malware/trojan so that they can get their precious torrents.

I LIKE PINEAPPLES IN MY ASSHOLE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447546)

This ^^

I GOT A GREASED UP YODA DOLL SHOVED UP MY ASS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38448058)

GO LINUX

resolv.conf (1)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447568)

Just point your DNS to 8.8.8.8

Re:resolv.conf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447678)

i'd be amazed if google, as a US company, wasnt ordered to change their dns service record to accomodate sopa

NOT MUCH DIFFERENT than using HOSTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447574)

Except it doesn't WORK AS WELL AS HOSTS FILES, because it's only for FireFox!

* Because HOSTS files work across all webbrowsers, email programs, e.g./i.e.-> ANY WEBBROUND PROGRAM, etc./et al

APK

P.S.=> I suppose I've been "beating SOPA" for decades now then (since 1997 here I've been a 'serious' user of custom HOSTS files)...

... apk

Re:NOT MUCH DIFFERENT than using HOSTS (-1, Troll)

ZeRu (1486391) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447802)

HOSTS file exists only on Windows machines, so if you're on Mac or Linux, you're better using the addon.
Besides, I don't have to know piratebay's IP address to use an addon.

WRONG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447928)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_(file) [wikipedia.org]

"HOSTS file exists only on Windows machines, so if you're on Mac or Linux, you're better using the addon." - by ZeRu (1486391) on Wednesday December 21, @09:10AM (#38447802)

HOSTS files exist on ANY OS that uses a BSD derived IP stack (even ANDROID bearing smartphones for example)... & you're NOT "better off" using the addon for many reasons!

---

1.) Better Anonymity: HOSTS files can circumvent DNSBL (DNS block lists) &/or DNS request logs (like this FF addon can) but, HOSTS work for ANY WEBBOUND APP THERE IS (not just browsers, but email & other webbound apps).

2.) For more speed online (blocking adbanners + hardcoding hosts-domain names to IP addresses)

3.) Better security (blocking out malicious sites/servers online that bear various forms of threats like maliciously scripted adbanners, malware, malicious scripts etc./et al)...

---

Per the URL @ the top of my posting? You can see there how many OS' have HOSTS files... i.e.-> ANY that are using BSD derived IP stacks (most all in fact nowadays).

* There you go, hope that helps & that you LEARNED A NEW THING or two..

APK

P.S.=> It's not a wasted day if you do the latter... apk

Re:NOT MUCH DIFFERENT than using HOSTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447954)

Your right. On Linux machines, it's hosts (actually /etc/hosts), not HOSTS

The irony.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447604)

Isn't it ironic the fact that 'SOPA' in greek means 'be silent'?

Re:The irony.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447836)

Isn't ironic that in Portuguese, "SOPA" means "soup"?

Shattered Net (4, Interesting)

SpinningCone (1278698) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447608)

I suspected someone would do this since they were basing blocking on domain. essentially SOPA will kill DNS.

people will begin passing raw addresses/ports to each other and you will end up with another dark-net, one where there are no domain names or to access it you have to get a hold of a domain file for a plug in.

soon there will be sites dedicated to the pirate DNS then there will be assholes who distribute bad DNS files leading to pages with drive by attacks. peges will be fighting over their old domain names since there will be no registrar for this dark net.

this security issue will likely push the P2P DNS efforts already in place.

or (1)

fredan (54788) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447610)

we in the rest of the world could stop using american resources on the internet.

and yes, that includes me no to visit slashdot.org anymore.

Re:or (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447702)

we in the rest of the world could stop using american resources on the internet.

So American websites will start moving abroad. And frankly, why not, if the environment there is becoming so hostile? They already outsourced industrial production, why wouldn't they outsource websites? En masse? To protest SOPA et al? The day we hear that Google Inc. moved all its technical infrastructure to Iceland (or some other internet-friendly place), it would be a giant leap for freedom on the Internet. That's kind of sad, because in the days of old, the US used to be the place of choice for websites from all across the globe who sought real freedom of speech. Amazing how things have slipped.

Good old hosts.txt (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447662)

Back to the good old hosts file.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_(file) [wikipedia.org]
Maybe we will create cron-jobs again to download the newest hosts file from some trusted source.

Hosts has no ".txt" extension (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447838)

See subject-line above, because it's VERY IMPORTANT if you use one...

APK

Re:Good old hosts.txt (3, Interesting)

shish (588640) | more than 2 years ago | (#38448038)

This. I wonder if the govt will be publishing a list of banned domains and IP addresses, so the cycle from blocked to unblocked could be fully automated...

What we need is a new DNS system (4, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447694)

This legislation, combined with the recent domain seizures by ICS, highlights a weakness in the current DNS system: it's far too centralized and way too subject to censorship by governments. Rather than individual, browser-based workarounds, we need a completely new DNS system that is based on some form of distributed computing and lacks a central point of failure. Given the presence of existing protocols like BitTorrent, Tor, and Bitcoin, this should be possible to do.

Strange thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447770)

It seems unlikely this will motivate anyone to vote against SOPA. It might, however, motivate someone to brand T Rizk a terrorist and throw him in a dungeon for the rest of his life.

Full DNS database? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447944)

Speaking about DNS blocking and DNS names. How large would a full dump of the whole DNS system actually be? From the numbers I could gather it be in the low GB range for all the top level domains and easily fit on a DVD, i.e. a rather trivial size in the days of movie streaming. How much bigger would it get by including all the subdomains (I assume you'd need a spider to actually gather those)? How big would daily updates be? In essence would it be possible to just completely bypass the classic DNS and move to one big hosts file on the local computer? Also is it possible to actually publicly download the TLD zone file? Verisign seems to offer it [verisigninc.com], but not publicly.

Don't be a pussy, Send $10 to your Tea Party (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38448028)

Don't be a pussy. Sure we can shoot down drones, but the best solution is to fight in the courts. Send a couple bucks to the Tea Party. They will fight, not hide in the routers.

Here is my best Tea Party story. In Oakland TN where I live the police wanted a raise. The Tea Party tooks turns speaking and said, "the Tea Party can not allow a tax increase". The measure was defeated. They got no raise. (I think they wanted 4% but got 0.5%). The town councils want a reason to curb spending. You must help them. They have to pork everything up or they won't get reelected. Help them!

Text safer while you speed, yea I said it... [goo.gl]

Are torrents really a big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38448050)

Yeah I've done (read: do) a fair bit of downloading. TV show mostly, a movie here and there, and the occasional music album (but modern music is pretty much crap these days, but that's another discussion). I stopped using torrents a few months ago, probably during one of the many tracker issues that TPB experiences every once in a while. I got a usenet account, $30 bucks for unlimited transfer, downloads run at line speed (saturating a 50mbit downlink with one download? not with a torrent), AND since I'm using an ISP with a monthly cap, the fact that I never need to seed anything back is a big plus (at least I don't feel guilty anymore when I stop the download as soon as my copy is complete). I love it, I'll never go back.

What strikes me odd is that everyone kind of ignores usenet down-loaders. I guess this is because the laws are worded such that the uploaders (the ones making the content available) are the ones seen to be doing wrong. Is that right? I don't really know.

But why? I mean, sure, there are more people using torrents because they're free. But think of it this way: content makers are always bitching about lost revenue from piracy. If you're trying to torrent it for free, its probably not something you wanted bad enough to pay for anyway. Sounds like a wash to me. But take someone like me, who shut off his Netflix account because my usenet account let me download my entire queue in an afternoon. I'm spending money to do that, $30 a month goes to Giganews instead of netflix or hulu or whoever, who would then fork over a cut to the content makers.

If it were my business, I'd be less worried about people getting it for free: they aren't going to buy it from me anyway. What I WOULD worry about is people paying someone else for my content.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...