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Pakistan Looking For Homegrown URL Blocking System

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the do-it-yourself-censorship dept.

Censorship 97

chicksdaddy writes "Tech-enabled filtering and blocking of Web sites and Internet addresses that are deemed hostile to repressive regimes has been a major political and human rights issue in the last year, as popular protests in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria erupted. Now it looks as if Pakistan's government is looking for a way to strengthen its hand against online content it considers undesirable. According to a request for proposals from the National ICT (Information and Communications and Technologies) R&D Fund, the Pakistani government is struggling to keep a lid on growing Internet and Web use and is looking for a way to filter out undesirable Web sites. The 'indigenous' filtering system would be 'deployed at IP backbones in major cities, i.e., Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad,' the RFP reads (PDF). It would be 'centrally managed by a small and efficient team stationed at POPs of backbone providers,' and must be capable of supporting 100Gbps interfaces and filtering Web traffic against a block list of up to 50 million URLs without latency of more than 1 millisecond."

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They just love hiding stuff in Pakistan (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153635)

Porn, websites that criticize the government, members of Al-Qaeda--that whole country is like a big ole' fun game of hide-and-seek. The government hides it, and you get to seek.

Re:They just love hiding stuff in Pakistan (2)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153673)

The Samaritans have outsourced their call centre to Pakistan. I phoned the other day and told them I was suicidal. They got excited and asked if I could drive a truck.

Seriously, who gives a fuck? They're fucked either way? The 'bad guys' will be using Tor and accessing stuff on the .onion fake tld and using Silk Road to sell drugs, buy guns etc anyway, so who gives a shit?

A government that seems to understand the Internet (4, Insightful)

ottawanker (597020) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153693)

The sad thing is that the governments in these oppressive countries seem to understand how the Internet actually works.. and manage to come up with actual requirements for filtering devices.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153909)

That's because their leaders(or at least many important people in the government) were educated in freer Western nations and exposed to what happens with the freedom of information. Bashar Al-Assad is an example of this.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (2, Insightful)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154067)

and they don't rot their brains watching oprah

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156363)

It's likely the world would have been a better if they had.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (5, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154107)

They remind me of our former communist politicians - thanks to their position, they got to visit the West, and they still didn't see. They went back home and continued vilifying things they had seen but hadn't grasped. This is such a similar situation that it's not even funny. Islam is the new communism is the new fascism.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155631)

Wow. I love what you wrote. It resonates.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (0)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157423)

I live in US since 1993, and I would rather live in USSR if it was not destroyed and turned into shit by people who "grasped" your myths.

Some people don't understand you because you are ignorant and stupid.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157635)

I live in US since 1993, and I would rather live in USSR if it was not destroyed and turned into shit by people who "grasped" your myths.

The Russians had very little chance grasping anything after the regime broke down, what with the half a millenium spent in real or virtual serfdom, first to samoderzhavie, then to the communist party, and now to the Russian style of government that is almost, but not quite entirely unlike samoderzhavie again. You can't change the spirit of the people overnight. My folks were in a better starting position, but we still have a long way to go and we're not ashamed to admit it (well, at least some of us). You have the right to remain bitter, and I'm not questioning that, just don't touch my right to remain an optimist.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39158981)

The Russians had very little chance grasping anything after the regime broke down, what with the half a millenium spent in real or virtual serfdom, first to samoderzhavie, then to the communist party, and now to the Russian style of government that is almost, but not quite entirely unlike samoderzhavie again.

So they are animals just like blacks and Arabs? I think, we have heard that crap already from other people.

My folks were in a better starting position, but we still have a long way to go and we're not ashamed to admit it (well, at least some of us).

Most immigrants to US are regretting ever stepping into a continent-wide snake pit you call a country, but they are too poor and mentally exhausted for another move across the globe, so they invent elaborate fantasies to justify their choice to come here. If you need any examples, just look at the Jewish immigrants from ex-USSR. All of them, myself included, faced mild discrimination based on their ethnicity not unlike Hispanics in US. Tiny percentage of them believed in any god, leave alone cared for any form of Judaism. Just look how most of them convinced themselves that they believe in an omniscient, but for some reason racist magical man in the sky despite 15-20 years of education absolutely incompatible with that idea. Want to know why they are so intellectually impotent? This is why, they have torn their brains apart with those delusions! It's painful for me to see those wrecks of human beings, especially considering that most of my relatives are in this category.

I do not suffer from those problems -- I came here because industry and science in all ex-USSR countries were destroyed, and remained in shambles for at least a decade. My choice to move into a country with functioning industry and dysfunctional society was justified despite being painful and despite my rejection of the most fundamental positions of its poisonous ideology.

You have the right to remain bitter, and I'm not questioning that,

I am not bitter. I hate you, I hate your masters, I hate your ideology, and I am perfectly content with my hatred toward people, organizations and ideologies who richly deserve it. It's your stupid American idea, a part of your brainwashing, that hatred is wrong yet somehow fighting enemies is good -- my position is the exact opposite, there is nothing wrong with rejecting and opposing something terrible and keeping it from entering your mind, but it would be a truly worthless kind of person if he can accomplish more by destroying what he hates rather than by building something he likes. That's right, in my mind all your heroes, politicians, criminals, businessmen and other "cool" or "powerful" guys are worthless and all those uppity engineers, scientists, mathematicians, artists and other geeks, are the best of the whole mankind -- how is that for a culture?

I find it ironic that despite this, you and your masters, along with everyone else, benefit from my work more than from any person that ever liked you or agreed with you. This became possible because I didn't have a single trace of greed in my motivation to study or to become an engineer -- I am free from the thing that taints your whole society, poisons your thoughts, destroys your education and derails your efforts. I may be talented and there are various circumstances of my life that ended up improving me in various ways, but it was purity of my motivation to study, that made my upbringing fundamentally different from all of you. It could not ever be done in US. It can't now be done anywhere. No one can reproduce the advantage I had because its source, a society that does not motivate people by greed and powerlust, is destroyed.

It was possible under a system that was destroyed by people like you. At some point it will become possible again, but it's very unlikely that anyone alive now, will ever see it. But when it will happen, modern Capitalism will be seen as something just as barbaric, offensive and incompatible with the idea of civilized society as slavery is seen now. USSR will be treated as an equivalent of one of the first attempts to establish a Republic in France -- definitely right idea, somewhat naive, poor and cruel implementation, denounced and destroyed by enemies of progress, forces of evil, scam artists and misguided idiots, replaced with restoration of the system that it already obsoleted.

just don't touch my right to remain an optimist.

Happily accepting a yoke is not an optimism, it's slavery -- not only it keeps you enslaved but helps your masters enslave others. Your whole culture is like that -- from happily voting for a "popular" guy (really just looking powerful) to happily running a "popular" operating system (really just made by a company that looks rich and ruthless). And when you are not happy enough, something must be terribly wrong, so you have to take some drugs to instantly fix this terrible, terrible deficiency. Want to know why you have so many drug addicts? That's why, you can't even get happiness of a slave, too many slaves, too few masters.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159417)

If the USSR was that cool than please explain 1956 or the Prague Spring.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159875)

If the USSR was that cool than please explain 1956 or the Prague Spring.

If the capitalism is so cool then please explain the Ludlow Massacre, the Kent State shootings, Vietnam war, and even OWS if you want.

And if you insist on counting military interventions in neighboring countries, the USA leads that list. The USA routinely installs and removes strongmen around the globe; sometimes with military force, sometimes with money that buys local agitators and hand-picked challengers. Why do you think Egypt arrested a couple dozen foreigners just a week or two ago?

No nation, no system is perfect. There is opposition within any system - at very least because the opposition wants to climb to the top and rule the roost. You cannot expect power-hungry people to remain docile.

At the same time, it is often dangerous to let those power-hungry people rule the country. The 20th century is full of examples, may they remain unnamed to prevent invocation of Godwin's Law. Who is to judge the potential ruler? Is he a new Vaclav Havel or a new Islam Karimov? That remains to be an unanswered question. The problem of this question is not in choosing the judges, the problem is that judges have no information to base their decision upon. Campaign promises do not count; recall is contingent on acquiescence of the parliament - which gets undermined first... human history is full of dictators.

In these circumstances it is often safer to keep the devil that you know instead of letting a new, unknown devil into your home.

In any case, the GP (Alex) is absolutely right. Ex-USSR people who were raised in best years of Soviet socialism and then got magically transported into the USA have tremendous advantage. They are not burdened with all the "education" that is dished out in US public schools; they are often not drafted into the herd mentality of US universities; they are not polluted with all the wrongs of this society. As a side effect, most graduates of USSR's universities are very well educated - and they have no debts to pay for half of their life.

The old USSR was not ideal. Life there was largely boring and bland. However it offered several advantages. For example, USSR guaranteed stability of your life. There were no worries about losing one's job. There were no worries about losing one's housing (though it wasn't that great to begin with.) You were guaranteed medical services (the most basic ones, by western standards.) You weren't paid much; you actually were only paid to buy food. But in exchange everything in your life was taken care of, one way or another. The USA is moving in this direction too.

Then USSR did not have millionaires. There were a few artists and a few other workers who got paid much more than other; but the entire country knew them and could count them on fingers of one hand. Most people were poor, but they were equally poor. The money went to the state, and the state was the only entity that was filthy rich. Those monies were spent on various projects that mattered to the whole country. The USA is raising taxes bit by bit, and the end will be the same - the working stiff will be left with only food money, but an extensive net of social services will take care of the rest. This is an ideal environment for adult children who are too afraid to take risks and to try new things.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163091)

"If the capitalism is so cool then please explain the Ludlow Massacre, the Kent State shootings, Vietnam war, and even OWS if you want. "

You're dodging the question, I never put America on a piedestal. It's just strawmen.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39165727)

You're dodging the question

There is no exact answer to your question because you postulated that "USSR is so cool" (that wasn't what the GP claimed) and then demanded proof of that statement.

No government can be "cool" for everyone. If the government protects me from being robbed, it necessarily restricts rights of the robber. Humans only can choose between several types of the government, from Somalia's anarchy to Uzbekistan's strict dictatorship, with every other country in between.

You can compare governments using different metrics. You can use freedom as a yardstick; then Somalia wins hands down. You can use employment and social stability as a measure; then Uzbekistan is a winner. Different groups of people (a.k.a. nations) choose and keep different styles of government based on what works for them. USSR fell when the government was no longer satisfactory to the society - and that happened because the decay of the society, built into the structure of USSR's socialism, damaged the country so much that there wasn't enough food to get by. The USA is falling because the decay of the society, built into the USA's capitalism, is eliminating the working class by encouraging employers to move out of the country (taxes are high, competition from China is strong, can't build anything in the USA.) By some estimates, half of americans receive government assistance at expense of the other half and of Chinese banks. This cannot continue forever.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#39166457)

I'm living in a post-communist country and have met a few half-Russian guys and they all have this rose colored view of communism.

The whole idea of communism was a half-baked mess, make-it-up-as-we-go. People with actual education were dismissed, sent to the Gulag, sometimes executed (someone wanted their flat e.g.), or just given unskilled work. The new intellectual elite was deliberately raised from the worker class, people with intellectual parents were banned from the field of humanities. People beggining from midmanagement level were expected to write regular reports to the national security. It was a paradise for snitches. And the party was keen to jail/execute its own people when they steered too far from the groupthink or even if they were just simply in the way of someone more powerful.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A1szl%C3%B3_Rajk#Trial [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%81rp%C3%A1d_Szakasits [wikipedia.org]
http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%A1lffy_Gy%C3%B6rgy [wikipedia.org] (sorry no English source)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_K%C3%A9thly [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imre_Nagy [wikipedia.org]

The soft dictatorship of the late 70ies and 80ies was a result of financial difficulties. That was when the people in power realized that the system cannot be sustained indefinitely and there's a need for smooth transition to capitalism.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39166655)

I'm living in a post-communist country and have met a few half-Russian guys and they all have this rose colored view of communism.

Then perhaps they know something that you don't? Many of your friends (and more people on Slashdot) have somewhat fond memories of the old USSR (of best parts of it, admittedly!) - are they all wrong, despite being there, and you alone are correct, even though you were (probably) living in Eastern Europe then, like in Hungary? Note that in USSR those countries were considered "a near abroad" and visiting you would be seen as a half-step toward going all the way capitalist.

The whole idea of communism was a half-baked mess

Absolutely. As a social system it was unsustainable. I don't think you can find many people who'd argue the opposite. By the way, your ideas about GULAG and snitching and jailing are a complete mess too; you might just as well recall Ivan IV "The Terrible" - and I will recall Vlad Tepes in return :-) As reported, they did lots of spying and snitching in East Germany, but not in USSR - not after Stalin died anyway. We are talking about half a century here. USSR in 1980's was extremely safe for living, and there was hardly anyone to spy upon (talks in kitchens with a bottle of vodka at hand don't count.) You'd have to go against the state to earn your three square meals per day on sunny beaches of Kolyma river. Attacking the state, peacefully or not, was not tolerated (see modern China.) Your links telling about Hungarian opposition only tell that Socialism in the Eastern Bloc was sustained by dictatorial methods. It can be easily seen why that was necessary - once the oppression was removed these regimes promptly fell.

So we have here a duality. On one hand, we have a society that is unstable by design, like a traditional, well known commune. On the other hand, life for most people was good enough in that commune (until the 1990s, at least.)

You cannot reconcile these two. People from the ex-USSR are selectively remembering the good parts, but most understand, logically, that the society that delivered those good parts could not possibly exist for long. It's pure nostalgia. Besides, there were bad parts too; I couldn't buy SciFi books anywhere; Stanislaw Lem was published in qty. 50,000 once per decade, in a 350M country! (But that's a minor problem, compared to 1+ hour travel to work in public transportation; bad living conditions; inferior medicine; etc.)

Perhaps you do not have much good to say about the socialist past of your country. I have no knowledge on that front, and it would be foolish of me to tell you, a citizen of that country, how you should feel about something. However life in the old USSR was not all bad. As the G*P poster (Alex) said, many curse Gorbachev and his Perestroika for what he did to USSR. A good half of the current population of Russia is of that opinion; that's why they vote for Putin - because he represents (and does) a movement toward those old ideals, toward a strong, stable, independent state. Also note that Communists are not getting much of the vote - only hopeless idealists vote for them.)

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#39166893)

" As reported, they did lots of spying and snitching in East Germany, but not in USSR "

I personally know people who told me that they had to write such reports. Most of these records were destroyed in 1989. The remaining parts got accesibble only in recent years, so you can look up what was written about you.

Even famous rock musicians had to write these reports (like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyula_Vikid%C3%A1l [wikipedia.org] )

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39167151)

As I said, I don't know what was happening in Hungary. A common Soviet man only knew who was the leader of the Communist party there. Those Communist parties were very young, and they were basically forced upon people (as I understand) so it is logical to believe that leaders of those parties didn't feel all too secure in their chairs. That was not the case in USSR; several generations changed in the country, and by 1950's all the positions of power were held by people who never saw Czar, never owned a business, never were allowed to travel abroad, and never paid (or were paid) in gold. In a way, USSR did create a new man - a member of the hive, who is only comfortable inside the box. Eastern Europe, on the other hand, was full of people who had other ideas in their recent memory. Perhaps some even lost a lot after Communists took over around 1945. So revolts 10 years later are very easy to understand.

But with regard to "people who told me that they had to write such reports," now you have my testimony that I have never needed to write anything like that or even knew how - and nobody ever approached me with such requests.

Perhaps it's a function of what friends one keeps. I'm sure that an otherwise unemployed lady who likes to visit restaurants in Moscow and establish liaisons with foreign visitors had a good chance of being talked to about such things. But if you are a machinist at a factory, or a farmer on a farm a thousand miles away from Moscow - what can you possibly tell, and about who? Secret police in USSR was not omnipotent; they had to use their limited resources wisely.

Regardless, it's all history now. All we can do is to know it and be sure to not reuse its worst parts in the future. The good parts will come naturally.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39168477)

Even famous rock musicians had to write these reports (like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyula_Vikid%C3%A1l [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org] )

Hungary is not USSR.

Accept it, all post-Stalin examples of egregious abuse by "Communists" that you know, are from outside of USSR.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174699)

I agree, but only because I'm not that familiar with the history of the USSR as of my own country.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39168447)

Absolutely. As a social system it was unsustainable.

Even USSR implementation of Socialism sustained itself pretty well for over 70 years, across various governments that made all kinds of stupid mistakes unrelated to the ideas of Capitalism and Communism. There is absolutely no evidence that is is "unsustainable", other than the fact that it was eventually destroyed, however since all social and economic systems are eventually destroyed, this is irrelevant.

"Communism is unsustainable" is a propaganda formula that is based on a dogma that claims, people can not do anything useful unless they are forced to do so under the pain of death, or by the greed. In its turn it is based on two religious beliefs -- about fear of Hell and eternal torture being the force that keeps people from sinning all the time (the list sins includes sloth), and about all people by their nature being sinners (and therefore motivated by greed), lacking virtues unless they dedicate their whole lives to service of God.

Like all beliefs about human nature that are based on religion, they are completely wrong -- humans evolved to form a healthy society, and therefore they already have a healthy balance of co-operative and competitive tendencies. This happened long before the invention of Capitalism, currency, property and government, and it's nothing short of insane to reduce humans' motivation to greed, powerlust and fear of death. Current Capitalist society over-emphasizes those forms of motivation, so almost everyone at the top of it is mentally deficient, with those motivations trumping everything else. Those people obviously want themselves to be recognized as "normal" humans, however in reality not only they are sick and dangerous, a society can not survive if it was possible for the rest of population to have such motivation.

Communism as a social system is based on the idea that in the absence of a threat, or recognition of power over other humans as an accomplishment, people would be motivated by their own desire to co-operate and participate in the functioning society. In a society that achieved abundance of material goods (that, I believe, mankind as a whole already did, in the end of 20th century), such society would be optimal because people would not waste their efforts and resources on damaging or destroying each other, but abundance would make it very easy and safe to develop new things without any additional motivation of greed and fear. However since Communism as a political movement started in 19th century, and the first government of Communists appeared in early 20th century in a very poor, war-devastated Russia, there had to be a compromise with government forcing and encouraging co-operation on people in the absence of abundance. Therefore Socialism, not Communism, had to be implemented, as only a society that promotes co-operation can reach the state when Communism is possible. I see no flaw is this decision -- it contradicts the idea of what is and isn't a "right" or "property" under US-style Capitalism, but those ideas are not even shared by all Capitalist societies. In USSR, Socialism managed to degenerate into Stalinism, however as it was clearly seen at the time after Stalin's death, that it was capable of returning to its intended direction once the deviation is over. Brezhnev's "Developed Socialism" was another (milder) deviation of the same kind, and there was no reason to expect that it would not be over if Gorbachev's Perestroika was not derailed into a Libertarian and pro-Capitalism mess that it was. The end of USSR was an accident -- there are many countries with all forms of government that were dissolved or had their social system changed in a similar circumstances. Capitalist countries aren't any more stable than this, Russian Empire certainly was not before Communists, as they succeeded in taking it over in the first place.

Just the fact that such society survived through almost the whole 20th century, shows that government enforcing greed and competition (Capitalism) and government enforcing co-operation (Socialism) both produce sustainable societies. However one of them (Capitalism) is a dead end because it continues enforcing greed and competition far beyond the point when material goods are in abundance, and labor is in such over-abundance, there is absolutely no way to accommodate most of the people to do any kind of productive work.

The current state of "intellectual property" demonstrates a condition when society is already operating beyond the area of applicability of the idea of "property", it just only applies to a small subsets of industries. We would have much more of production in that "beyond property" area (machines building machines starting with minimal amount of resources that are easy to obtain), however in such situation manual labor and power of the rich elite over population would be devalued. So currently the direction is not toward technology-enhanced industry but toward greater exploitation of the employed and greater harm to unemployed people. Complex technology is being developed almost exclusively for entertainment and military use -- a single iPad is probably more complex than, say, all construction equipment in a whole city combined. For the elite, there is no accomplishment in doing anything if it does not require power over huge numbers of people -- as I said before, Capitalist motivation is greed, powerlust and fear, and there is none of that in developing self-reproducing machinery that anyone can build, no matter how much it will serve your own material needs.

This is a dead end -- there is no process that converts modern society on Earth into something similar to one depicted in Star Trek (adjusted to realistic technology), that does not involve implementation of Socialism or Communism, because otherwise, with greed, powerlust and competition being enforced, we can continue exploiting and abusing each other forever. This will continue as long as elite, the people most infected with greed and powerlust, will prevent devaluing its "property" by retarding the development of technology or trying to establish new ways of controlling its use by imposing fear of poverty and baseless hope for the riches on everyone else. In other words, the path to a Star Trek replicator goes through Communism, and not the other way around.

If this scares you, I have a worse scenario for modern Capitalism. I have mentioned that society can not survive if all people will have the same motivation as your sick elite. Imagine that propaganda of greed and powerlust will remain effective, and a strongly inheritable form of sociopathy will appear as a mutation. In a few generations, everything else will be bred out of the population as only sociopaths will be perceived as attractive. Everyone will act like a CEO of a financial company, but without all the resources available. Forget "Idiocracy", all people were dumb by modern standards for hundreds of thousands of years, but imagine the disease of the elite infecting everyone.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39168675)

Socialism in USSR lacked the will to live. It was not energetic enough to compete on the international scene. Messages from abroad, with pictures of NYC city streets paved with gold, were not helpful.

Many problems could be prevented by stopping Gorbachev [lib.rus.ec] (you may want to follow this link.) There would be no Chechnya, for example.

In other words, the path to a Star Trek replicator goes through Communism, and not the other way around.

The path to any sane society goes through people who are moral. This is something that many societies lack. The US society is one of the worst in this respect, but the modern Russian society is also far from being healthy [lenta.ru] . Amoral people cannot build anything - and they don't; their domain is theft, consumption and destruction. Who builds things these days? Chinese, because they are honest workers.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183015)

Socialism in USSR lacked the will to live. It was not energetic enough to compete on the international scene. Messages from abroad, with pictures of NYC city streets paved with gold, were not helpful.

I agree with that, however I don't see Capitalism as having "will to live" at this point, either. There just isn't much of an opposition, and its propaganda is still effective.

Many problems could be prevented by stopping Gorbachev [lib.rus.ec] (you may want to follow this link.) There would be no Chechnya, for example.

As much as I would be happy if such a thing happened, it's not that simple. I can't claim that I know Gorbachev's motivation, but I have fairly good idea about what Communists, at least sane and smart ones, were thinking.

Let me elaborate on this, putting some things in modern terms and context.

Communists' theory claims that government, laws, social system, and the structure of society in general inevitably adjusts to reflect its foundation in economy. A major change, such as revolution, happens when the economic model forced upon the society by its current structure is inconsistent with the development of its economy, in particular when large segments of populations defined by their role in economy, have their interests in a conflict that can be resolved by changing the rules for their roles.

Most famous is the conflict between capitalists and workers in its original 19th century form -- society recognizes capitalists as exclusive owners of all means of production, workers can only support their lives by working for capitalists, getting only basic life support in return. At the very beginning of Capitalism, worker's efficiency was close to the efficiency of subsistence farmer, and only by pooling combined, organized efforts, they can sustain production and give the capitalist a modest amount of surplus product that he can sell -- most of the product had to be sold for food to feed the workers.

As the efficiency of the workers grew and their salaries did not, capitalists end up with greater and greater amount of surplus product. If workers for some reason happened to be in a position of effective collective bargaining, capitalists would have to increase salaries, thus reducing the conflict between themselves and workers. If capitalists for some reason happened to be in a position to enforce their will upon workers, they would be in a position to keep workers poor, or even keep workers in conditions that are certain to cause disease and early death. High concentration of workers and increased literacy can cause the former condition (workers organize strikes, form unions), but increasing efficiency cause the latter (capitalists become so rich, they can take over cities, control the only source of employment in the area reachable by a worker, control various forms of private armies, force politicians to pass laws, etc.) The second trend eventually outpaces the former, and workers are in a situation when the only way to improve their condition beyond basic sustenance is to strip capitalists of their control over means of production (a.k.a. "have nothing to lose but their chains"), therefore eventually there is a revolution that preserves workers' collective work but removes capitalists' ability to take away the products of their work.

As the history of 20th century shows, this scenario can be staved off by increasing the salaries to the level when workers do not have sufficient motivation to fight, guaranteeing legal protection of unions, etc., however as capitalists (or, now, companies as individual ownership became an obstacle for growth) compete with each other, their collective interest is still to keep workers as close to the poverty line as possible. Except before the problem was with chronically terrible conditions, and now it is with constant threat of unemployment that inevitably results with homelessness and death. So conflict is still alive, it is just being kept from flaring into violence.

Now, what does any of this have to do with the actions of USSR's top-level Communists in 1980's? None of them believed that Socialism is so much in conflict with development of underlying economic reality as to warrant a revolution or any other kind of system change. Certainly not toward Capitalism, as they were well-informed of its flaws, and of the amount of effort that has to be exerted to keep it stable. However there clearly was a relatively minor conflict between the condition of Socialist economy and their policies intended to fight anti-Soviet propaganda.

USSR economy was severely weakened by WWII, and its enemies in US and UK undertaken a massive propaganda effort intended to present USSR as a dangerous enemy domestically, and undermine its support abroad. Some of this spilled into propaganda directed toward USSR itself, however at the time it was more a way to feed their own hawks rather than a direct effort to destroy USSR. In a response, CPSU kept a massive censorship and barriers system, to keep anti-Soviet propaganda (or whatever they recognized as such) from reaching the population through government-approved and therefore implicitly trusted sources.

In 70's, USSR was clearly at the point when even under inept leadership and stagnating industry, it could easily keep people satisfied and secure. Censorship became more of a liability than anything else -- it pissed off intellectuals, who were recognized as the foundation of the progress in further development of economy. There was a conflict -- scientists, engineers, writers, artists, etc. had to be able to communicate, publish, exchange the ideas without artificial barriers between each other, and between them and their foreign colleagues, and without being constantly insulted by keepers of those barriers. Another problem was with government's own transparency. As the censorship procedures were also intended to limit the availability of facts that fueled anti-Soviet "editorials", it created the atmosphere of secrecy around the government itself. Foreign propaganda eventually solved this problem for itself by ignoring the facts altogether -- since no one knows the truth anyway, it became perfectly fine to obtain any single morsel of truth, ask some pissed off dissident for "interpretation", and build a huge moldy ball of lies around this core. In Communists' mind, this kind of propaganda was directed toward intellectuals, people who would be less susceptible to it if only they had access to more information from government's own sources.

I believe, that was the foundation of the beginning of Perestroika -- reduction of restrictions on political/potentially-political speech, and the policy of Glasnost (that probably can be best translated to English not as "openness" but as "government's transparency"). Be it Gorbachev's idea or not, it followed directly from Communist doctrine of society structure reflecting the economic relationships in it -- lack of significant hardships, increased numbers and increased role of intellectuals in the economy required tearing down the barriers for information exchange that were erected to combat hostile propaganda directed toward less-educated population. Brezhnev and Suslov just weren't smart enough or Communist enough to recognize it.

While it's the least controversial part of Perestroika, it caused some unexpected consequences. First, and most obvious, was dealing with all the crap related to Stalin. Of all things that Khruschev did, plenty were stupid, but his treatment of Stalin was, possibly accidentally, the best way of handling this kind of past. Khruschev had an established reputation of somewhat stupid, rude but well-intentioned person. Not unlike the image projected by Reagan and Bush the Second -- I would not be surprised if they indirectly and unknowingly imitated him. He basically jumped in front of the whole country and issued a "secret" report (that anyone even remotely associated with Communist Party is supposed to read) proclaiming a large chunk of Stalin's actions and policies to be terribly wrong, and giving all Stalin's supporters an easy excuse of being swayed by "cult of personalify" of Stalin. It was brilliant! People got a message that the very top of CPSU abandoned Stalin's worst abuses. Surviving victims lost stigma of "enemy of the people" and got their long-awaited apology (as it was an appropriate form of apology from a person with Khruschev's manners). Former associates of Stalin and defenders of its policy got a graceful way out. Remaining stubborn supporters of Stalin got sufficient warning -- pulling that shit again would likely get them shot, and no sane person would blink an eye.

Unfortunately for Khruschev, stupidity has a tendency to catch up with a person even after it occasionally saves his ass in a spectacular manner -- Brezhnev (and Suslov), both fond of Stalin, managed to replace Khruschev later. It became possible not because Khruschev was bad at discrediting Stalin, or allowed some kind of powerful conspiracy within CPSU but because Khruschev himself proceeded to PR disaster after PR disaster, with 20th Congress/end of Stalinism and Cuban missile crisis as two greatest successes that could not outweigh the rest. Brezhnev successfully used censorship and policymaking power to turn both Stalin and Khruschev into things "we don't want to talk about". It allowed him to re-establish some oppressive policies and suppress criticism without a danger of being compared with the dreaded "cult of personality". And if anyone made a great deal out of his personality post-Stalin, that was Brezhnev.

However in 1986, there was no such problem. All real Stalinists were dead, and imitators could be easily frightened into denouncing a 30-years-dead figure. The policy of openness and reduced censorship came from the very top, and could be justified by nothing less than Communist doctrine itself. The problem was, Stalin gathered an impressive mythology in the West, thanks to Brezhnev cutting all information and removing all capabilities to debunk anything said about him. All the shit about Stalin, truth and myth alike, was ready to pour from all sources, local and foreign. That was something that Communist doctrine, or experience with pro-Communist propaganda were NOT saying anything about.

The right solution was actually very simple. KGB had carefully preserved archives that could easily separate fact from fiction, point to sites, still-living witnesses, records made by other organizations, etc. If published then, it would blow Stalin myths on both sides out of the water. As long as CPSU would promise immunity to KGB dinosaurs who managed to dirty themselves with anything Stalin-related and still survived to 1986, there would be plenty of verifiable materials about Stalin and his repressions. It could be given to all forms of media. Not Pravda -- people read it to find out what is the weather in Kremlin -- but Izvestiya and Literaturnaya Gazeta. The last is actually very important because it was known to actually have credible investigative journalists -- they went as far as the system allowed, but had a reputation to always try do get as close to The Right Thing as they could. If they were allowed to talk about Stalin and dig through piles of papers, they would dig and produce the amount of material that will shout down everyone else -- not intentionally but by sheer amount of material produced. Solzhenitsyn and American "historians" would not dare to show their faces to see their lifetime work being beaten into oblivion.

However it was not done. KGB archives were opened only after USSR dissolution, and over the whole Perestroika USSR population was fed ridiculous Solzhenitsyn-invented, CIA-approved "guesstimates", tens if not hundreds times above actual numbers.

Another problem with openness was to prepare the population to deal with bullshit. USSR newspapers and magazines weren't independent organizations. Each of them, on the front cover, had to have a name of organization that it represents. Above mentioned Pravda, Izvestiya and Literaturnaya Gazeta were published by, correspondingly, CPSU, Soviets (legislature) and Writers Union. There were many well-regarded monthly magazines published by all kinds of government and government-supported places -- Unions, Academy of Sciences (in Russia and USSR it's the main body overseeing all fundamental science research), organizations dedicated to public education, medicine, etc. People expected that every such newspaper and magazine has a parent organization standing behind everything it publishes, and the organization is likely to be public-funded, public-supported. At "worst", it's a trade union or a branch of Communist Party. Censorship is not just implied, it's expected. I think, I have mentioned here before that if a magazine about medicine publishes an article about medical treatment or a drug, it is accepted at least at the same level of credibility as the advice of a doctor -- because it was widely known that such publications are vetted for public distribution by leading experts in relevant areas. No "ask your doctor if this is pure bullshit, we are not responsible if you die while using this knowledge" small print -- if someone thinks, it is not responsible to tell something about common cold to 300 millions people who trust you, it will be -- yes -- censored.

It's really sad how it happened -- if censorship of existing mass media was kept as it was for a few years, and only new, "parentless" papers were opened, people would recognize the difference and look into tabloids for rumors about palm readers and into Academy of Science publications about science. Then in 1995 Internet would happen, and all "untrusted" talk would move there while "old media" will stay censored. No sane person would complain, as long as censors will stop looking for anti-Soviet propaganda in every corner.

The above is what I consider to be a non-controversial part of Perestroika -- the ideas were solid and consistent with the Party's own doctrine, there were sane and foolproof methods of implementing them, and society would be improved without losing its Socialist nature. Implementation was botched by Gorbachev and his lackeys' incompetence, but I can't see any malice in it no matter how much I try.

Then, there was a "democratization" component. Despite using what became a dirty word due to US relentless attempts to "democratize" third world into submission, it was also not too far from the Communist doctrine, just taken in a somewhat more naive manner.

By now it's almost completely wiped out from the collective memory, but there was an attempt to literally give workers (what by the original Communist definition includes everyone doing work that results in products/services -- for example, I always was a worker because all I ever did was designing things and writing software as a part of my employers' operations) control of their means and process of production. There were multiple experiments where workers were supposed to have great amount of input on how the government-owned factory/company is run, elections for management positions, etc. It may sound crazy and naive because selfish groups of workers with great amount of local control will likely promote their local interests at the expense of other groups or company/industry as a whole, however I can see at least two sane ideas as a foundation. First, in USSR all companies are managed by Executive branch of the government. There is a clear, unbroken hierarchy from every worker to the Prime Minister of the USSR, usually through heads of group/shift, department, director of the factory, Ministry of corresponding industry on USSR-member Republic, same Ministry of the USSR, and at the very top Soviet of Ministers of USSR (that despite having "Soviet" in its name, usually reserved for legislature, is the top of the Executive branch). A combination of management being government representatives, and the idea of workers controlling their means of production, supports the idea of such control, just probably not at the level below the factory/company as a whole. Second, it mimics employee-owned company without actual ownership.

As I said, this form of "democratization" is not a great idea, especially how it ended up being implemented, however it's absolutely definitely a Communist and not Capitalist in its nature.

Then, there is "Khozraschet",one of the most Capitalist of all the original Perestroika's ideas. Basically, units or facftories/companies/... are treated as separate units in internal accounting and financial transactions, and are required to maintain some sane balance, or else. The important part is "or else" -- while being a giant money sink with insignificant output was supposed to flag the unit for being axed out or re-organized by people at the top, it was in no way automatic, and no actual bankruptcy, personal money loss or unemployment would result even if it was.

And most notably, "Khozraschet" is actually much older than Perestroika, the term and various degrees of implementation were seen in 1920's, 1960's, 1970's (!!!) and, finally, late 1980's.

Finally, the most Capitalist idea that had very little, if any, connection to Communist doctrine, was development of small "co-operative" businesses in 1987-88. The base idea was to introduce a very limited form of independent commercial entity, and control those entities so they would not interfere with the Socialist economy. This strikes me as Really Freaking Dumb -- not in its core, as such entities can exist, but because 1987 was the worst possible time for introducing anything of the kind. Government was not prepared to regulate a new type of entity, and it was clear that small businesses will collude with management of traditional government-owned companies to privatize profit obtained with public property and labor -- one of the worst aspects of modern Capitalism.

I can see its connection with Kolkhoz (that is actually an independent commercial entity, as opposed to government-owned Sovkhoz), however Kolkhoz has to be specifically agricultural, it has to be large to be effective by the nature of agriculture, and there is no realistic way for Kolkhoz to collude with Sovkhoz to "privatize" anything, as agriculture in USSR was heavily subsidized by the government and would be unsustainable otherwise. If someone is looking for sabotage, that's the point where it's most likely to be, however I think, it was incompetence, as all saner aspects were also handled in a consistently incompetent manner.

So here is the Gorbachev's part of it. I can go on about consequences of implementation of those ideas by Gorbachev and his administration, same Gorbachev and Supreme Soviet demonstrating their incompetence to the extent that he lost public trust and allowed three guys to dissolve the whole Union, and about other well-known events. But I think, I have shown that it's more plausible that he based his work mostly on Communist ideas but implemented them in such incompetent way, at some point he and his friends seen the damage and switched teams when they have seen the opportunity. Disgusting? Definitely. Calculated malicious sabotage? I don't think so.

In other words, the path to a Star Trek replicator goes through Communism, and not the other way around.

The path to any sane society goes through people who are moral.

"Moral" unfortunately is defined by many people and groups in all kinds of weird ways. It's easy to develop a set of rules for society of people who all agree on moral/ethical principles. In fact, almost any set of rules would do, even Libertarian ones, and they are almost custom-made to be thief-friendly. A much harder question is how to make a society that does not let one person with a tendency to become a crook poison the lives of billions honest people. Socialism robs the crook from the fruits of his exploits -- sure, you scammed some people, their lives are inconvenienced and soon back to normal, you have money that can't be spent on anything that elevates you over others, possibly gives you some comfort but you can't even brag about it.

Capitalism tries to exploit greed and powerlust through a "neat hack" -- you satisfy your desires and likely destroy lives of some people but not without making something useful for more other people. Like all "neat hacks", it stops working when someone makes a neater one to defeat it, and Capitalist society is now firmly in this condition -- companies compete on advertisement and not price/value of their products, concentration of wealth and power brings the position of social classes back to the times of robber barons, technology development is channeled into the area where it can not change the nature of economy and trigger the next step of social progress, etc. The hack is defeated, and the only way to improve is to remove its mechanism, stop pretending that over-motivation of competition (if not outright evil and parasitic behavior) serves anything positive. But telling people that their behavior is immoral when they are taught their whole lives that their society is supposed to be fueled by greed, is pointless. In their mind, it's immoral to be "altruistic", because Ayn Rand said so.

This is something that many societies lack. The US society is one of the worst in this respect, but the modern Russian society is also far from being healthy [lenta.ru] .

If I was superstitious, I would think, the place where that Cathedral is standing, is haunted by the ghost of Malyuta Skuratov himself, and is cursed to be forever the site of something offensive and inappropriate no matter what people try to do with it, so they were clearly using it for its original purpose.

Amoral people cannot build anything - and they don't; their domain is theft, consumption and destruction. Who builds things these days? Chinese, because they are honest workers.

I am sure, China has its share of dishonest people. Less than it seems to Americans, as Chinese simply don't recognize many rules that Americans believe to be important, but I don't think, any less than the world on average. What is different, Chinese government seems to have a somewhat reasonable plan that in the end should benefit Chinese people, even though it is painful for them now, and may be derailed by the combination of corruption inside and "liberators" outside. I see nothing of the kind in US government, and I really don't know if Russian one has any direction.

Personally, I made a choice to focus on development of technology that maybe will be useful for the future social progress. If I can fit it into supporting my life in the American society, so be it, but I feel no obligation to praise it. If I had a good reason to return to Russia or Belarus, I would, but I don't think my presence there would improve anything in the long run. It's a pity, I won't get a chance to teach people who are honestly interested in Physics, EE or CS -- now it's always either a way to make money, or an idle rich person's hobby. Yeah right, a lot of future accomplishments lie that way :-/

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39168821)

Also note that Communists are not getting much of the vote - only hopeless idealists vote for them.

Communist party in modern Russia has very little to do with Communist ideas and often associates with Nationalists (thus pissing off all intellectuals and ethnically non-Russian people), however it's still second most popular party just by association. The third place by popularity is split between Socialists (SR or "Just Russia") and weirdos (LDPR) that are basically bullshit-slinging clowns when it comes to any proclaimed ideology.

On the other hand, all prominently pro-Capitalism and Libertarian parties have truly microscopic amount of support (and this is why they whine to all their friends abroad before and after every election).

It's certainly more than a half of Russia (and even more if you count other ex-USSR countries) that sees dissolution of USSR as a terrible mistake, and Capitalism as the wrong direction. If it was "truly democratic" (and not just a balance of power between rich oligarchs and incompletely-corrupt politicians who refuse to destroy oligarchs but keep them in check), it would be back to USSR already.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39167779)

The soft dictatorship of the late 70ies and 80ies was a result of financial difficulties. That was when the people in power realized that the system cannot be sustained indefinitely and there's a need for smooth transition to capitalism.

You can't have "financial difficulties" in a country that is run as a giant nonprofit -- there is no place to lose money in the first place. This is just not possible -- not until there is some massive shortage of natural resources or population losing capability to work so production is lost, however neither of those things would be cured by Capitalism.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175389)

Hungary started to borrow from Western countries at that time to get some high tech stuff. (E.g. modernizing the Metallurgical plant in my hometown with Japanese industrial computers.)

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39167763)

USSR fell when the government was no longer satisfactory to the society - and that happened because the decay of the society, built into the structure of USSR's socialism, damaged the country so much that there wasn't enough food to get by.

There was definitely more than enough food there. Anti-USSR propaganda made plenty of effort to paint "starving Russians" picture, however it was completely baseless, food lacked variety for decades, but there would be heads rolling (well, not literally, but there would be people shot) if government allowed shortages, or anything unhealthy was allowed into the system. The only thing that resembles a "food shortage" was a shortage of sugar around 1989 (I may be a year off in either direction) -- something that happens in Russia and ex-USSR countries every time when people expect a problem in economy in the future, and try to stock up on something useful, valuable and potential material for making homemade alcohol drinks. That was well into the "liberalization of economy" that scared the poplation, and I am sure, no sane person would expect a genuine society-destroying food shortage to be limited to sugar.

Perestroika was not initiated by the population or society as a whole -- if anything, all dissidents' opinions were ignored, and they were not ever invited to be a part of the process. The problem was the same as with Khruschev -- Communist Party leaders making arbitrary decisions. In that case Gorbachev initiated long-needed liberalization, but had absolutely no idea how to implement it beyond proclaiming political freedoms, he would do better if he just stopped at that because that was the only area where he was somewhat competent. Economy was in a mild recession in late 80's (less of a recession than the rest of the world had a decade earlier), but it was a combination of irresponsible experimentation with economy, destruction of established links between USSR members, and attempted implementation of Libertarian ideas that caused a massive looting and collapse of early 90's.

I remember it very well because I have left in the middle of collapse, at the end of 1993, almost two years after USSR dissolution.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162573)

If you really think we all believe the bullshit fed to us by our masters, you are sorely mistaken. Don't let the media tell you we don't exist. We do, and we're sorry for what our hijacked country has done in our name. Please tell your family that I, personally, am sorry.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39168635)

I don't think, there are many people in US who truly realize just how much of what you are told is bullshit. Certainly I wouldn't know if I was born here.
It's not just what you recognize as "media". It's things that wormed their way into public consciousness by being the only depiction of ideas available. I would say, all Americans "knowledge" of alternatives to Capitalism are about as media-induced as depictions of pirates and ninjas -- the popular image of pirates being based on one actor in a movie, and ninjas... pretty much out of nothing but likely through a tradition of actors playing assassins in Japanese theater being dressed in black uniform used by stage hands (as in "this person isn't really here").

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (2)

Sigg3.net (886486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157677)

Painting Islam in broad strokes as fascism is not very helpful nor descriptive. Most muslims are moderate and/or secular.

Remember that Islam is some 80% jewish/christian theology at the least, and that it is regional culture and real world politics that prompted what we do recognize as fascist movements to grow.

You want the moderate and intellectual muslims, as well as like-minded jews and christians, on your side against totalitatianism.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (3, Interesting)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154151)

Maybe but URL filtering in under 1ms with any sizeable list of URLs is going to be pretty darn impossible. Its pretty tough to do much of any thing to traffic that requires any sort of lookup that fast. I mean DRAM fetch is 5+ns.

Even if you can search your lookup table fast enough keep in mind you are not just comparing values at fixed offsets like NAT and IP Access lists and similar need to you first have to figure out is this traffic http? Locate the host header and read until new line. Non of that is especially time consuming but its still going to be a chuck of that already tight ms.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (4, Interesting)

Zan Lynx (87672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154321)

1 millisecond is 1,000 microseconds or 1,000,000 nanoseconds. A 2 GHz CPU runs at least one instruction every nanosecond and usually more like 6-12 instructions. As you say, the DRAM fetch is significant, but a well-designed B-tree database already loaded in RAM reduces the impact because of good algorithm design.

It's like an eternity in CPU time.

Of course, you can't write the code in Python, Perl or Ruby. You have to use C++.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156665)

the fastest current routers (hardware based) will reroute traffic within 50ms, that's assuming the backup route is already programmed in hardware. URL filtering + trough the filter routing at 1ms is impossible i think.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157541)

That's fascinating, my ping to google.com is 21ms. According to your post there must be no routers between me and google.

Perhaps you mean microseconds instead of milliseconds?

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156917)

1 millisecond is 1,000 microseconds or 1,000,000 nanoseconds. A 2 GHz CPU runs at least one instruction every nanosecond and usually more like 6-12 instructions. As you say, the DRAM fetch is significant, but a well-designed B-tree database already loaded in RAM reduces the impact because of good algorithm design.

It's like an eternity in CPU time.

Of course, you can't write the code in Python, Perl or Ruby. You have to use C++.

Yeah but when you drink from the fire hose of 100 GB with an average of 56 bytes per http GET string request it is exteremely difficult if not outright impossible

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

Zan Lynx (87672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39186043)

If you were trying to filter a 100 Gbps stream you would certainly use a server cluster, a blade rack, or custom ASIC hardware. The problem is scalable so it can be solved by throwing money at it.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154329)

Not as difficult as it seems. A Bloom Filter of 60-million URLs would only take up 75MB. With only 64 gigs of ram, you could reliably blacklist billions of URLs in a deterministic amount of time.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156477)

With IPv6 and web sites capable of running multiple IP addresses literally thousands of them, you are talking billions of addresses.

They of course will take the easy route, forget black lists, they will go with white lists.

Block every IP and only allow cleared ones through. They are absolutely not interested in the benefit to the country or people, they are only interested in keeping power, psychopathically feeding their own individual ego and lusts.

White lists create their own problem, as does wireless and satellite. They wont really keep information out they will however generate a huge amount of frustration.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

I Read Good (2348294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39158009)

creating a national censorship scheme around a white list is a terrible idea. you'd be painting a target on ever site on the list. talk about making it easy for Anonymous and their skiddie freedom fighters to give you a hard time.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154561)

It sounds quite doable to me. All http requests are independent and thus can be evaluated in parallel by whatever number of machines they're willing to throw at the problem. Finding out if any single http request is in their database in 1ms should be trivial.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159927)

All http requests are independent and thus can be evaluated in parallel by whatever number of machines they're willing to throw at the problem.

It should be also mentioned that this evaluation can be done in hardware. A single FPGA can implement multiple matching circuits, and you can have thousands of FPGAs in the system. It is also perfectly scalable.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154807)

I say we take civilization away from them. Destroy all their major cities, erase their roads electric generating and transmission capacity, all wired and wireless telecommunications and station devices to destroy anything that looks like it might offend their sensibilities. Then using automation blockade any attempt to get into or out of the contry. Keep them in that state for 100 years then let them out. If they seem recidivist, put them back in for a 1000.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155643)

That sounds like a great result for the November election, but what do you propose doing about Pakistan?

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157491)

Many Pakistani people illiterate, and the educated ones are mostly in favour of the government, and they believe, their government is helping keep the purity of the nation and religion, so it is indeed a great result for the November elections.

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157885)

Just like US people !

Re:A government that seems to understand the Inter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156931)

Isn't that what happened to Afghanistan? Between the Soviets, local war lords, the Taliban, foreign "freedom fighters/insurgents", and NATO, that country was/is royally fucked for at least 100 years.
All we need to do is pull out NATO and mine the border.

Only Pakistan? (3, Insightful)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153743)

May be Pakistan is the only country that didn't manage to keep this secret. You wait for it and this will be everywhere. I wonder what country would love to block Wikileaks or The Pirate Bay, for example.

Re:Only Pakistan? (1)

shokk (187512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157303)

They'll block Wikileaks the way Westetn nations block South American cocaine and Afghan opiates. Better to just keep on prosecuting?!

Steve Jobs said it best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153845)

A quote that equated to the following: don't try to solve social problems with technology.

P.S. -- As a senior *IX and network administrator, I laugh at the idea of any device "capable of supporting 100Gbps interfaces and filtering Web traffic against a block list of up to 50 million URLs without latency of more than 1 millisecond". Keep on setting those unrealistic expectations, Pakistan! Maybe your head is in the Clouds... (see what I did there?)

Re:Steve Jobs said it best (1)

badran (973386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153953)

Sounds like a job for tomato.

Re:Steve Jobs said it best (3, Insightful)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154103)

don't try to solve social problems with technology

..."because my company is doing that and I don't like competition"

Keep on setting those unrealistic expectations

how about this for a famous quote:

"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it." - George Bernard Shaw

Re:Steve Jobs said it best (1)

LivinFree (468341) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154971)

> ..."because my company is doing that and I don't like competition"
Why bother to refute the claim itself when you can simply smear the supposed originator? The use of ad hominem remarks weakens your intended message.

I've long thought the same thing, without the use of clever quotes. Where I originally came to this realization was a volunteer librarian, upon hearing I worked "with computers", asking me how best to filter the local library internet connection. We spoke for an hour or so, and I finally became enlightened to my own arguments. You can't "solve" a problem like speech with 100% certainty without destroying the benefit of the remaining, uncensored, content.

> how about this for a famous quote:
>
> "People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it." - George Bernard Shaw

How about this?
"He who trains his tongue to quote the learned sages, will be known far and wide as a smart ass."
-- Howard Kandel

OK, ribbing aside, what point were you trying to make? Were you saying that there are technological solutions to social problems? Any that are actually and successfully in use? Were you arguing that he said something couldn't be done, or just bickering with an AC?

Also, as pointed out elsewhere in the comments, the performance balked at by the OP above is quite possible. It may not be as cheap or simple as we might imagine, but it's hard to say something is impossible, given enough time and effort (read: money). It's just a large transaction processor.

Re:Steve Jobs said it best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155447)

Were you saying that there are technological solutions to social problems? Any that are actually and successfully in use?

Are you saying there aren't technological solutions to social problems?

Weaponry would like to have a word with you.

Re:Steve Jobs said it best (1)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155891)

Why bother to refute the claim itself

the underlying meaning of my comment would be obvious to most such that further explanation or refuting isn't necessary (i was more or less stating the obvious)

Also, as pointed out elsewhere in the comments, the performance balked at by the OP above is quite possible. It may not be as cheap or simple as we might imagine, but it's hard to say something is impossible, given enough time and effort (read: money). It's just a large transaction processor.

most corporations don't spend a lot of revenue on R&D, because shareholders don't like it much and it is very risky (if another company rips off your invention, its difficult to take action without return on investment to fund the legal battle), so they spend government grants and rip off innovations resulting from government grants won by other corporations.

don't be surprised if multinationals apply for this grant so they can use it to develop technology that can be sold to other governments around the world. its not about solving any problems, its about making more money, but if developing a technology will make more money you can be sure something will be developed, and patented to boot.

there are many social problems, many caused by technology, but the definition of a social problem is a little subjective in itself; what some people perceive to be a problem may not be to others. i see people watching a lot of reality, soap opera, cartoons and talk shows on TV to be a social problem. the solutions to this problem could come from anywhere. all you need to do is lure these people away from their TV, but in doing so you may merely adjust the problem slightly. Some might argue that social networking has lured a large number of TV couch potatoes away from their TV sets, and while they may only be staring at a different screen, it is possibly better to have them in a more interactive experience than just soaking up one-way brainwashing from the idiot box.

Re:Steve Jobs said it best (2)

RebelWithoutAClue (578771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154179)

Don't worry, someone will come up with a half assed solution to extract some money from the Pak government.

Re:Steve Jobs said it best (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154303)

This is a country that effectively has two governments, neither of which actually controls large portions of the country.

One thing I can say with certainty. In two or three hundred years, historians will look on the existence of Pakistan as an independent state from India as one of the worst tragedies in 20th century history. It's the country that should never have existed.

(Not that India is much better with its own desire to control what its citizens see on the intertubes.)

Re:Steve Jobs said it best (1)

The Askylist (2488908) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157453)

I dunno - a box with a couple of Tileras in it and a good Btree implementation ought to be able to handle it - chuck a couple of hundred cores at what is after all a layer 7 routing problem, with 8 x 40 GB interfaces, and plenty of RAM, and 1ms should be achievable.

I wonder... (2)

singhulariti (1963000) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153863)

...what they could make of themselves if they used some of that brain power(and money) towards more constructive things.

Re:I wonder... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153959)

Very similar to the religious people in the US who seem to think that Sharia law is bad but keep pushing to have their religious beliefs made into laws. Things like anti-abortion rules, person hood laws, anti-gay marriage rules - you name it we could do a lot more constructive things here in the US if these people would quit trying to make their beliefs into laws.

Re:I wonder... (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157225)

Um dude , laws are based on beliefs.

You believe it's wrong to murder? Cool, so do enough of us to outlaw murder!

Some of us just hold on to the antiquated notion that the life in the womb is human, and as deserving of protection as you or I.

Re:I wonder... (1)

The Askylist (2488908) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157465)

Good laws aren't based on beliefs - or more to the point they have a justification that lies outside any belief system.

Murder is against the law because if it was not, it would be an acceptable solution to lots of life's problems, and would leave a lot of people significantly worse off either materially or emotionally.

If the only justification for a law is a belief system, then that law is automatically bad for those who do not subscribe to that belief system.

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159925)

Yes, thank you for explaining this. It's a thing called the philosophy of law.

Re:I wonder... (1)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154127)

...like marketing internet control technology to other countries, including the US?

seems like they're on their way to a winner, what with SOPA and PIPA and all that

They need web scale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153897)

Sounds like a job for MongoDB.

Re:They need web scale (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153979)

You mean Pick

Easy fix (3, Funny)

fred911 (83970) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153913)

Just append the urls determined to be unholly to the Koran.

They already have the infrastructure to punish infidels.

The US can donate some hardware for this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153943)

I'm sure uncle sam can give the pakistanis the hardware they need for free and preloaded with the software.... among other tracking software ;-)

Of course you realize.. (3, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154063)

...that this is one of our most important allies in the war on terror. I wonder how much of the billions we give them will be spent on this while we stand idly by. Remember the US of A and its allies have carte blanche to do what we tell others is wrong. Greed and hypocracy make the world go 'round.

Re:Of course you realize.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154099)

And if it works in Pakistan then a system like that could work in USA too. Freedom? Who needs it...

Re:Of course you realize.. (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155633)

The US government is under no allusions about Pakistan being an allie to the US in fighting terrorism or any other thing else for that matter. The bulk of their military and civilian aid has been on hold since shortly after the Bin Laden raid. The chance of the aid hold becoming permanent is very high right now. The majority of Americans from every political viewpoint wants an end to US handouts to anyone. Egypt, UN, Palestinian, and Pakistani aid is especially vulnerable. The Israeli aid is the only package that has delivered any benefits to the US. Access to their intelligence agencies plus 90% of their aid is for purchasing weapons from the US which benefits the US economy. The US State department is fighting tooth and nail to keep foreign aid flowing but cannot overrule Congressional directives. Hopefully the PLO will continue trying to join more UN programs that mandate the US cease funding automatically. And the Egyptians have giving the US the perfect political cover to stop paying them as well. Their aid is also already out a hold so we are half way there to eliminating all of it. Who cares about the Egyptians threat of not honoring the peace deal with Israel? Isreal is more than capable of handling Egypt by themselves should the need arise. Even though the amount of foreign aid is minuscule when compared against the entire US budget people have finally realized that the ROI is negligible and only produces complaints so why bother? If private US groups want to fund health or food related aid programs they are certainly entitled to do so but the government should not continue funding these types of programs. The US has it's own health care issues and poverty levels to deal with so that's where the government money should go.

50 million URLs (3, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154071)

Why not just block everything and only allow what's whitelisted? Examples to include in the whitelist are Corporations, Universities, and other governmental sites. All others seen as non-islamic get blocked outright. If you're not on the list, you simply fill out a form for internal review and hopefully added to the whitelist.

If they're going for total control, do it right. Better yet, just create an entirely new Pakistani network without any outside peering. A pakistani version of Wikipedia could be translated and updated via an air-gapped network scheme.

And no, I'm not the first person to think of this. I'm not that much smarter than everyone else :-P

Re:50 million URLs (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154115)

Given the state of the Middle East and the radical Islamic movement, I'm really surprised that an entirely new Islamic Internet hasn't already been thought of and joined by other islamic participating nations.

Two Internets. The rest of the world, and the Islamic one.

Re:50 million URLs (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#39158781)

Given the state of the Unites States and the radical Christian movement, I'm really surprised that an entirely new Fundamentalist Internet hasn't already been thought of and joined by other participating nations.

Two Internets. The rest of the world, and the religious nut-bag one.

TFTFY.
Seriously, it's not an "Islam" problem, and more than it's a Christian problem (or Judaism, or Pastfarianism, or etc.). Trying to force one set of superstitious beliefs (and yes, that is precisely what they are to everyone besides the "true believers"), whether the force be one of law or the point of a sword, on the rest of us is a recipe for disaster. Always. The great minds of The Enlightenment figured this out. They even managed to get that notion codified into the defining documents of a new republic. Sadly, that notion was never learned by a large number of people in the world. Worse, it is rapidly being unlearned by many in that very same republic. Every time some right-wing religious whacko suggests that we ought to codify his religious beliefs into our system of law and government, we edge closer to, oh... let's say, for example, a society where people get killed over the burning of a book. Fuck that. Fuck that and every religious extremist, of every stripe, who wants his version of "God's law" to be the law of the land.

Re:50 million URLs (0)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154183)

Why not just block everything and only allow what's whitelisted? Examples to include in the whitelist are Corporations...

My corporation makes automatic koran burners.

(NATO is a huge customer.)

Re:50 million URLs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154271)

Sometimes it gets really freakin cold in Afghanistan. Books happen to burn well. Especially the kind that have been heavily used, just like the koran.

Koran burning happens man. Sometimes, you just gotta burn one to keep warm. You know? It's just little burning. Maybe if I burn just a few pages they will be ok with it. They must learn to compromise while US soldiers are putting their ass on the line for them.

Re:50 million URLs (2)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156395)

I heard that some Afghanis burned a copy of K&R. I say we take to the streets!

Re:50 million URLs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155597)

If you're not on the list, you simply fill out a form for internal review and hopefully added to the whitelist.

And if the URL you have submitted for review is not added to the whitelist they'll send somebody round to cut your head off since you possess corrupt, forbidden, haram, impure, or un-Islamic knowledge.

BIT3H (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154111)

against vivgorous The wind appeared

What do they want to block ? (2)

Orphis (1356561) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154521)

So if they mostly blocked porn websites, it would be nice if they shared it with me so I can... ahem... train my parental control software ?
Yeah, right...

With so many illiterates (2, Interesting)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154795)

It's a shame to waste resources trying to stop the few who can read from doing so.

Re:With so many illiterates (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155051)

"If those books are in agreement with the Quran, we have no need of them; and if these are opposed to the Quran, destroy them."

- Caliph Umar, ordering the destruction of the Library of Alexandria

Re:With so many illiterates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155139)

On the other hand . . . [wikipedia.org]

Nothing is ever simple.

Mediterranean boater meets cable (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155099)

That dude with the wayward boat with the sharp propeller did a pretty good job of blocking sites. Is he for hire?

it's not going to work (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155617)

block 50 million urls, 100 million spring up the next day. block those, and 200 million more pop up. it's a game of whack-a-mole you can never win. so they'll waste all this money, instead of just letting their people be free. of course a lot of it is porn and thought critical of religion, and this is why they hate it. because it represents their end: the end of the thought control of an oppressive system, this one based on religion. they know what they are fighting: they are fighting their extinction. and by "they" i mean those who think you can control or dominate others, based on religion or whatever basis that unfortunately some in society still believe is right. it just makes your society weak and violent and cruel

Re:it's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159079)

This is why white lists are much more efficient...and repressive* in this regard. It would be much simpler to block by default and allow a short list of 100K sites to be allowed.

*Whitelists are not evil in and of themselves, but do make it much easier to be repressive.

DNS (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155781)

block outside DNS servers, override blacklisted DNS resolution to a blocked page. much faster than trying to scan and intercept in real time make the filter part of the infrastructure

Re:DNS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156853)

block outside DNS servers, override blacklisted DNS resolution to a blocked page. much faster than trying to scan and intercept in real time make the filter part of the infrastructure

Not going to work since they also want to filter paths for example allow facebook.com but filter facebook.com/asifzaradarisucks

Re:DNS (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39158651)

they are wasting their time and money, a site is either trustworthy or it's not

I feel for their citizens (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155983)

I feel for their citizens.....BUT nothing we can do.nor should we do anything until their citizens make a stand. If they are not willing to fight for their freedoms why should we help. When they don't even lift there own fingers

Tarkin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155985)

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."
        Princess Leia to Grand Moff Tarkin

Technology in Pakistan - Oxymoron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156399)

This country has not been able to build anything on its own. It begs borrows and steals and paints it green. The way the things are moving in Pakistan
Any cricket loss,gambling controverst ended up with breaking TV sets
Anything related to musical entertainment which does not resemble mullah's Karaoke, CD's music shops went up in smoke
Any outrage event ended up burning down KFC's & Pizza Huts, Oil tankers
Now this internet blockade - where will the unwashed and bearded abdul's will get their daily entertainment
The wimmen are already covered up head to toe and no one can be sure if there is a dude hiding inside.
If by any chance it is a wimmen under the burkha then they are already taken as the successful abdul speaks for at least 4 wimmen.
So what remains for entertainment in Pakistan?

Re:Technology in Pakistan - Oxymoron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156423)

Atleast they dont worship cows. Yeah, I know who you are.

Re:Technology in Pakistan - Oxymoron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39158773)

Don't you love the goats. it is still available for entertainment.

Re:Technology in Pakistan - Oxymoron (1)

The Askylist (2488908) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157483)

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your BJP newsletter.

Re:Technology in Pakistan - Oxymoron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39158863)

This could be a huge employment opportunity for the mullahs, they to work to visit each URL , see its contents and filter them as they know best what is good for the ummah. The mullahs get their daily entertainment and do good work to prevent spreading of immoral ideas.

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