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Internet Defense League: A Bat Signal For the Internet

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the immediate-blackout dept.

Censorship 101

mikejuk writes "Following the successful defense of the Internet against SOPA, website owners are being invited to sign up to a project that will enable them to participate in future protest campaign, the Internet Defense League. The banner logo for the 'bat-signal' site is a cat, a reference to Ethan Zuckerman's cute cat theory of digital activism. The idea is that sites would respond to the call to "defend the Internet" by joining a group blackout or getting users to sign petitions. From the article: 'Website owners can sign up on the IDL website to add a bit of code to their sites (or receive code by email at the time of a campaign) that can be triggered in the case of a crisis like SOPA. This would add an "activist call-to-action" to all participating sites - such as a banner asking users to sign petitions, or in extreme cases blackout the site, as proved effective in the SOPA/PIPA protest of January 2012.'"

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101 comments

Unfortunate choice of name... (4, Interesting)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129069)

In the UK this is going to be reminiscent, for a lot of people, of the English Defence League - a bunch of neo-nazi football hooligans who stage rallies against 'Islamists' in English town centres, as a shallow pretext to harass and attack people with dark skin.

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129093)

Should have gone for Internet Defense Force [www.idf.il] .

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (0)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129115)

I go batshit for catburger!

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129247)

I do not support the Israel Defense Force

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129859)

A lot of people does not support that immoral occupation army, but it is good that the word is spreading.

Captcha: Angelic

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (0)

KublaKhan1797 (1240934) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129963)

Should have gone for Internet Defense Force [www.idf.il] .

IDF or EDF makes no difference they are both a bunch of racist bastards. At least the EDF doesn't bulldoze people alive or use children as human shields.

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40130731)

Watch out for your news sources there, Reuters has been documented fabricating all sorts of events like that. Not that Israelis aren't by and large complete assholes, but the reporting has also not been honest. There seem to be Google Scholar [google.com.pa] articles to that effect.

I would have Chosen the Acronym "LOSIAYM" (2)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129181)

for "League of Self-Important Angry Young Men."

And thanks, I'll pass...

Re:I would have Chosen the Acronym "LOSIAYM" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129323)

for "League of Self-Important Angry Young Men."

Yeah, those pesky angry young men... They resist and don't just bend over and take it, unlike the rest! God I hate them!

Re:I would have Chosen the Acronym "LOSIAYM" (2)

McFadden (809368) | more than 2 years ago | (#40132003)

Yeah, those pesky angry young men... They do anything as long as it doesn't involve more than a couple of mouse clicks

FTFY

Re:I would have Chosen the Acronym "LOSIAYM" (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135331)

why should signing a petition be complicated, or amount to work? wtf is your point? sure you even have one?

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (4, Informative)

penix1 (722987) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129295)

Naming conventions aside, petition campaigns, especially form petition types have never worked in the past. They require the receiving party to actually give a shit about the petitions and set aside their own self interest and those of the ones funding them. Blackouts and demonstrations of the proposed nasty are far more effective. And it needs to be the big boys doing it first. That would be Google, Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia. that is what stopped SOPA. Not some silly form sent to individual representatives. It prompted Joe Blow to actually call and write DIRECTLY to their reps expressing in their own words how they feel. That is way more effective than getting the same form over and over again. And even then, there will be politicians that won't set aside that self interest.

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131243)

The problem with online petitions is that they send a clear message: someone cares precisely enough to click a button anonymously on the Internet - and not one iota more.

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129307)

Would you have preferred "Internet Command" [kickstarter.com] ?

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (2, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129609)

Would those be the same islamists who were spitting on people, harassing women, and posting their "anti-gay/anti-homosexual/anti-western stuff" along with general hate speech, as defined by UK law? I'm just curious, I mean the UK does seem to have a serious problem with islamists, captain hook(Abu Hamza al-Masri) comes to mind, but there are plenty of others and plenty more of them on the government welfare dole too.

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129779)

Yes, there's assholes on all extremes of the social/political/religious spectrums (sprectra, spectri?).
The fact that there's asssholes on the other extreme doesn't make you less of an asshole.

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40136757)

spectrums or spectra

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40137465)

Yes, there's assholes on all extremes of the social/political/religious spectrums (sprectra, spectri?).
The fact that there's asssholes on the other extreme doesn't make you less of an asshole.

This is true. Though there seems to be, more so of them, and in turn much a much higher coordinated movement of them doing so.

Muslims in the UK attacking their fellow students? Done [henryjacksonsociety.org] , running mass scale sex grooming? Well that one's done too. Ensuring that there's a culture of PCness and fear in legal circles so that law looks the other way? Done. You have been paying attention to that right? Claiming victimization when committing rapes, and stating that "it's a part of their religion" yep they've done that one too. Muslims attacking other religions, and claiming victimization when caught? Hey...would you look at that. And I haven't even left the UK yet. Links are freely available via google.

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (2)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130915)

The EDL don't target Abu Hamza (whose level of physical threat can be assessed based on the fact he blew off both his hands through his inept bomb making attempts) - they target law-abiding UK citizens who happen to look different, wear different clothes, or generally look at the fucking psychos in the EDL the wrong way.

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135209)

No, those people are too unafraid for the EDL, they might even get their butts kicked.

EDL goes after regular muslims instead.

Maybe they should go to America and rough up certain Christian anti-gay pastors... wait, the neo-nazi EDL are anti-gay too.

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131033)

In the UK this is going to be reminiscent, for a lot of people, of the English Defence League - a bunch of neo-nazi football hooligans who stage rallies against 'Islamists' in English town centres, as a shallow pretext to harass and attack people with dark skin.

I'm assuming this Internet Defense League will be a bunch of neo-commie nerd malcontents who stage protests against Internet 'censorship', as a shallow pretext to harass people about and attack capitalism and private property rights. I.e. the usual.

But that still points to the problem. If you're a typical Slashdotter, sure, then they're in perfect alignment. But for others, w.r.t. any activist group for that matter, say even a Tea Party one, how much do you really know about them (and how they might evolve), to the point of being willing to provide them with an auto-takedown trigger and/or the ability to plaster their message all over your site(s).

I wouldn't even give my church that privilege.

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131977)

Nice propaganda there traitor, hope the muslims get you soon as your corpse at their hands is the only way you will add any value to this world.

The EDL and even the BNP has plenty of non-white support including among people of middle eastern origin who have already fled islam once. They won't tell you because they can smell what you are from a mile away.

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40133517)

With its logo et al, the name seems to me to be more of a parody of the Jewish Defence League http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Defense_League. Think of it as a Jewish equivalent to Nation of Islam.

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40133553)

a bunch of neo-nazi football hooligans who stage rallies against Muslamics [youtube.com] in English town centres

FTFY. Don't you dare give the impression that the average EDL member can engage in coherent speech, never mind cogent discussions and debates.

Re:Unfortunate choice of name... (1)

xenobyte (446878) | about 2 years ago | (#40139795)

In the UK this is going to be reminiscent, for a lot of people, of the English Defence League - a bunch of neo-nazi football hooligans who stage rallies against 'Islamists' in English town centres, as a shallow pretext to harass and attack people with dark skin.

Stupid wording... The Islamists are real and the regularly breed fanatics with bombs intented to kill 'infidels'. It's just too sad that hooligans use the valid threat as an excuse to go out and commit violence against anyone looking a bit foreign... Muslim or not.

needs technical measures (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129121)

The internet really needs better built in, automatic, technical measures to protect anonymity and protect against censorship.

End to end encryption as standard for everything. Censorship resistant technologies.

We can try to defend it against legal attacks, but those attacks only have to succeed ONCE, where the defence has to succeed EVERY time. I don't know exactly how and of course there will be many problems to solve, but I think technical measures are the only thing that can protect the internet in the long run. We must ensure that politicians and legal systems simply do not have the ability to damage it. of course that cannot be done in a perfect way, but that doesn't mean that moving in that direction is without use.

Re:needs technical measures (2)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129269)

The internet really needs better built in, automatic, technical measures to protect anonymity and protect against censorship.

No technical measure can protect against men with guns, The ISPs must cooperate with the governments. They have no choice.

End to end encryption as standard for everything. Censorship resistant technologies.

There is no resisting rubber-hose decryption.

We can try to defend it against legal attacks, but those attacks only have to succeed ONCE, where the defence has to succeed EVERY time.

Laws can be repealed.

Re:needs technical measures (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129367)

There is no resisting rubber-hose decryption.

They cannot rubberhose *everyone*. If encryption is the standard, ubiquitous, then do you honestly think that is not a much better situation to guard against wiretapping than we have today?

Laws can be repealed.

Right... because governments are always so quick to give up a power once it has tasted it.

No technical measure can protect against men with guns,

The history of the internet shows you to be wrong. Ever heard of the Streisand Effect?

Men With Guns: "Take that off the internet right now!"

The Internet: "Umm, it doesn't work like that. It's out there now, and there's fuck all anybody can do about that. Deal with it."

The more you let the men with guns have a single point of control, the more susceptible the whole thing becomes to censorship.
 

Re:needs technical measures (1)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135123)

"Men with guns" have to sleep and eat somewhere. Implying more of the obvious is scary these days.

Re:needs technical measures (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129461)

"There is no resisting rubber-hose decryption."...

You are engaging in the fallacy often seen on /.: thinking that because a thing is not perfect, that it must have no use whatsoever.

Something can be imperfect, and still much, much better than the present state. Encryption is like that. Sure, if someone is willing to break your knees, they can get your data, but for the 99.999% case, encryption is a huge win.

Re:needs technical measures (1)

cffrost (885375) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131025)

End to end encryption as standard for everything. Censorship resistant technologies.

There is no resisting rubber-hose decryption.

That's not always the case; torturing me for SSL/TLS session keys would be painfully futile. This holds for >50% of my web traffic, thanks in part to EFF's plug-in, HTTPS Everywhere [eff.org] .

When you have 1,000 domains on an IP (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131575)

I see the value in HTTPS Everywhere for sites big enough to run on a dedicated server. But TLS as it is implemented today requires a separate IPv4 address per domain, and this won't change until Windows XP and Android 2.x are no longer in use. What's the best practice to secure a smaller site on a budget shared hosting plan, one that shares its IPv4 address with upwards of 1,000 other sites?

Re:When you have 1,000 domains on an IP (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40133245)

1,000 other sites on a single IP address? What kind of budget hosting plan are you using, $2/year?!? Every hosting company i've seen has at least 1 static IP per account and you can buy additional ones for like $2/month.

Re:When you have 1,000 domains on an IP (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134005)

1,000 other sites on a single IP address? What kind of budget hosting plan are you using

Go Daddy's entry-level paid plan, about $4.50 per month.

Every hosting company i've seen has at least 1 static IP per account and you can buy additional ones for like $2/month.

Which hosting company would you recommend for a small site run as a hobby, especially in this IP shortage?

Re:When you have 1,000 domains on an IP (1)

cffrost (885375) | more than 2 years ago | (#40151127)

I'm sorry, I can't answer your question. I haven't hosted a site; my reference to traffic coverage was in reference to personal use, as a requester. However, many small sites in HTTPS Everywhere's large default list use self-signed certificates. (They are noted as such, and disabled (from having HTTPS auto-enforced) by default). You can find many more by using HTTPS Finder [google.com] , a complimentary plug-in that (quickly) auto-checks for HTTPS support and adds new rules for HTTPS Everywhere.

Ratchet effect (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131563)

Laws can be repealed.

But in practice, they aren't. Restrictions on the public tend to have a ratchet effect [wikipedia.org] , becoming tighter over time. When was the standard term of copyright rolled back in the three-century history of copyright?

Re:needs technical measures (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40133279)

There is no resisting rubber-hose decryption.

Yes there is. You use multiple key-pairs. You have main keypair (Foo) whose public key is well known and trusted (or signed by a CA of some kind). Then for each connection you generate a temporaray keypair (Bar). You then sign BarPublic with Foo and use Bar for the actual encryption.

Now if they ever rubber-hose you, all you would literally* be able give them is Foo. Foo was only used for signed Bar (which did the encryption/decryption) and Bar was only ever kept in memory and is long since gone.

Note: this only works for live-only encryption (sms, voip, etc) and wouldn't work very well for e-mail since there is no two-way communication involving your public key. But you can (and should) still use that system for your smtp/imap/pop3 connections (not end-to-end mind you).

* see folks, THAT is the proper use of the word "literally"

Re:needs technical measures (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129285)

Any time you move to central control, you have the risk that that control can be used for purposes like censorship or manipulation of public opinion by choosing what people are presented with. The internet started off with decentralized control and it could have kept going in that direction. It could have become the strongest force against thought-police and censorship that the world has ever known. Unfortunately, that didn't last long because central control is exactly what people want. They WANT a single site like Facebook to control all their communications, and basically tell them what they should do and not do. They want Apple to protect them from the big bad internet by controlling what software they are permitted to run on their own computers. People WANT that. Censorship is a feature to them, not a bug.

When people think it's a good idea to give a private for-profit company like Facebook the ability to snoop and control their communications, good luck getting anybody to care about abstract concepts like "freedom".

Re:needs technical measures (1)

snakeplissken (559127) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130923)

The internet started off with decentralized control and it could have kept going in that direction. It could have become the strongest force against thought-police and censorship that the world has ever known
i see asynchronous connections and dynamic ip addresses as one of the root causes of this centralised control, if from the beginning, anyone so inclined was able to host their own data easily, we might have had a very different approach to home servers. they could have become the norm for households, everyone hosting their own pages with companies offering akamai-like services for those who became popular, with householders managing the dns for their static ip and domain names in coooperation with their isp.
everytime an idea such as facebook or msn or whatever came along, the community would have developed addons for the home servers that allowed distributed versions of these things to work from day one. of course it could be argued that there woulod have been no facebook/twitter etc. without the prospect of big money from centralised control but i think that there would eventually have been their equivalents, just taking a bit longer to arrive on the scene. and perhaps that wouldn't have been a bad thing?
there are efforts out there to create things like diaspora and such but i fear that until some philanthropists decide to start spending megagroats on bounties for a whole range of distributed, encrypted, easy to use tools to replace the social media tools prevalent today we will see an increasingly centralised, intrusive, and exposed internet.

Re:needs technical measures (1)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135273)

Seriously? I feel sorry for you. You sound intelligent, which puts you at odds versus the average Internet user. Look over the shoulder of the jock in any particular school at what they are doing with this technology, particularly Facebook and try hard not to strangle them. Ironically, it's not produced brilliant minds like one would hope, but instead it's help stupid people concentrate their stupidity. The tech is intelligent, but the users aren't, nor are they ever going to change; it only gets worse from here.

Now stupidity gets to advance and multiply. Don't think so? Look at our political clime. Sara Palin, what can I say? She's the dead canary in the coal mine of intellect. Watch the movie Idiocracy, it's a horrible movie, but the message in it is disturbing. God save us from the stupid and those that control them. The stupid will hand over their freedoms, they always do. This experiment in overt freedom is doomed and coming to an end. It will have to go underground. It's just a matter of time. Like the poster above you said, they have to win just once, and we have to win every time.

That is unless we make horror story, cautionary tales out of politicians who betray us. If we are going to do that, we have a lot more to grind that ax over than just the Internet. I doubt we would have any left when we are done. Come to think of it, is that really a bad thing? I am sure "they" will tell you it isn't as they water-board you at Gitmo or some place like it. Enjoy these kinds of free thinking conversations while they last, I am sure they are soon to end.

the internet does not live in the ether (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129379)

cables can be cut, power can be switched off, frequencies can be jammed

the health of the internet is merely a reflection of the health of society. so focus your efforts on the keeping society's attitude healthy. that's your best, and only defense, to keeping the internet truly free

there is no such thing as a technical fix to a sociological problem

Re:the internet does not live in the ether (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129419)

cables can be cut, power can be switched off, frequencies can be jammed

True, yes, but not without getting the masses up in arms.

Right now, it's too abstract. "So WHAT if every single keystroke I type, every site I visit, is logged by my government? I'm not doing anything wrong!" Outside of a tiny minority, people don't care.

But take away their internet by cutting the cable, and they WILL care. Governments generally can't do that. They CAN engage in censorship and widespread surveillance without getting the population up in arms though, which is why technical measures against those things are needed.

Re:the internet does not live in the ether (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129731)

"there is no such thing as a technical fix to a sociological problem"

Hitler might disagree.

Re:the internet does not live in the ether (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129835)

Maybe that's why Hitler lost

Re:the internet does not live in the ether (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130701)

Hitler lost because he was not a good strategist/tactician and repeatedly ignored/refused the suggestions of his generals... and because he significantly underestimated the resolve and/or manpower pool of the Russians.

He also lost in part because Japan did something stupid, and provoked the US from joining into the fun. (for those of you who just can't resist, I'm not saying the US won the war. I'm saying the US did become a major player, and may not have done so till much later (if at all) had Japan not bloodied our nose)

Re:the internet does not live in the ether (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131007)

Oh, that's interesting. No doubt Hitler will be glad to know he didn't lose because he was seeking a technical fix to a sociological problem.

Re:the internet does not live in the ether (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131053)

He also lost in part because Japan did something stupid, and provoked the US from joining into the fun

I'm guessing the US attacked Hitler becuse he formally declared war on the US, not because the Japs 'king hit' the US in the Pacific parking lot.

Re:the internet does not live in the ether (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129901)

I view waging war as more sociological than technical. Indeed, Hitler thought it was more important to nationalize people than banks or factories.

Re:the internet does not live in the ether (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129861)

"There is no such thing as a technical fix to a sociological problem."

I just wanted to say, that's the most aha-light-bulb quote I've ever seen on /., and I've been reading it since the '90s. I'm putting that on a T-shirt.

Re:the internet does not live in the ether (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130089)

there is no such thing as a technical fix to a sociological problem

Sure there is! Rip out everyone's brains and replace them with computers! Much easier to keep in line, easier to keep happy, and probably more productive to boot.

Hell, why bother keeping the fleshy meatbags? Kill all the humans, replace with robots. Problems. Solved.

Even if problems do arise with that, it's all code and technology. Release a patch, or come out with a new version. BAM. Sociological problems. Technical fixes.

Re:the internet does not live in the ether (1)

yanom (2512780) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130161)

Except this is a sociological fix. It's not new technology, it's a new application of technology.

Re:the internet does not live in the ether (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40130493)

there is no such thing as a technical fix to a sociological problem
You obviously haven't seen the matrix :)

Re:the internet does not live in the ether (1)

phluid61 (2501032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131961)

The Matrix is sort of the opposite -- a technological perpetuation of sociological problems. I was thinking more along the lines of Terminator.

Re:the internet does not live in the ether (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131941)

there is no such thing as a technical fix to a sociological problem

If the technical fix is good enough, there is.

Re:needs technical measures (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130187)

The internet really needs better built in, automatic, technical measures to protect anonymity and protect against censorship.

I couldn't agree more... even though I was one of those people who believed that you can't fix social issues by technical means. Why I agree? Imagine if the Internet was from the ground up based on a pure anonymous p2p technology (say, something like Freenet, just more user-friendly). Any attempt to censor one site would mean that the authorities would have to kill the whole system. If an entire economy was based on that system, they couldn't kill it, lest they destroy their entire society. Too bad our current architecture was built by naive technologists who foresaw atomic attacks on big cities, but never imagined a global assault on the Net by legalistic means. Had they foresee this, the Internet as we know it now would have been very different and much more censorship-resistant.

Re:needs technical measures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131359)

TLS?

Um, No? (2, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129133)

Website owners can sign up on the IDL website to add a bit of code to their sites (or receive code by email at the time of a campaign) that can be triggered in the case of a crisis like SOPA. This would add an "activist call-to-action" to all participating sites - such as a banner asking users to sign petitions, or in extreme cases blackout the site, as proved effective in the SOPA/PIPA protest of January 2012.

Are they nuts? I don't want any outside site having control over my clients' sites. If they are hacked this would give the hackers a quick way to affect any site that signs up with them.

Well intentioned (I hope), but count me out.

Re:Um, No? (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129143)

Maybe like a banner ad that loads from a 3rd party server like ads currently load from advertising networks?
I'm hoping the blackout will have to be done manually though

Re:Um, No? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129167)

That would depend on how the code is implemented. It's not available yet. They could design it so that you get an email which then opts you into a campaign for instance upon your approval. Maybe that means they send you a link to your own site /activate_campaign.php and that then pulls the content which will display as well as set dates for when the campaign ends. You would never even have to give any control to them of your site. Of course you would be linking to them. However a 'hacker' couldn't display some random message or deface your site in any way.

Re:Um, No? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129179)

It shouldn't be hard to rewrite the code so that it only activates with your consent.

summary is wrong (surprise) (5, Informative)

million_monkeys (2480792) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129221)

Website owners can sign up on the IDL website to add a bit of code to their sites (or receive code by email at the time of a campaign) that can be triggered in the case of a crisis like SOPA. This would add an "activist call-to-action" to all participating sites - such as a banner asking users to sign petitions, or in extreme cases blackout the site, as proved effective in the SOPA/PIPA protest of January 2012.

Are they nuts? I don't want any outside site having control over my clients' sites. If they are hacked this would give the hackers a quick way to affect any site that signs up with them. Well intentioned (I hope), but count me out.

I think the summary is wrong about how the system is supposed to work. From the actual IDF site: "First, sign up. If you have a website, we'll send you sample alert code to get working in advance. The next time there's an emergency, we'll tell you and send new code. Then it's your decision to pull the trigger."

Sounds like they give you a sample code in advance so you can make it fit with your site, then if something comes up, they send you a version specific to whatever the issue is. If you don't think it's important, you can just ignore it. If you do want to include a message, you can pop it on your site. And it shouldn't screw anything up because you've previously tested/customized the code for your site. That's slightly (completely?) different than the summary which implies they give you code allowing them to automatically add alerts to your site whenever they want.

I'm still not convinced it's worthwhile, but it's not the "no way in hell I'm doing that" method that the summary describes

Abbreviation in my comment is wrong (surprise) (1)

million_monkeys (2480792) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129245)

And of course I meant IDL (Internet Defense League), and not IDF (Israel Defense Forces). But i had just read this post [slashdot.org] and had IDF stuck in my mind...

Re:Um, No? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129243)

What we need right now is some way to get the people involved so we don't have anyone threatening to take centralized control of our websites, ruining the entire idea of the internet! So quick, everyone, submit to us taking centralized control of your websites!

Where's everyone going? Come on, this is important and stuff!

Re:Um, No? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129385)

Are they nuts? I don't want any outside site having control over my clients' sites. If they are hacked this would give the hackers a quick way to affect any site that signs up with them. Well intentioned (I hope), but count me out.

I was thinking the same thing:

Me: (reading).....bat signal for internet... "that sounds good"..... participate in future protest..... "great!".....sites would respond to the call to "defend the Internet".... YES!....... "add a bit of code to their sites "...... um, ok, ya, sure, banner or something, i can see that........... " in extreme cases blackout the site"............ WTF NFW [urbandictionary.com]

Are they serious? They lost 99% of their support from that one line, "in extreme cases blackout the stie". There is no way in HELL anyone would add any code to their website that would black out the website automatically .

but according to their website that's not how it works: [internetde...league.org]
"we'll send you sample alert code to get working in advance. The next time there's an emergency, we'll tell you and send new code. Then it's your decision to pull the trigger."

... what? So, every time there's an emergency, i'm updating code? What sense does that make? LOL come on guys! You can do better than that! First it's blackout site, now it's update code every time? Just automatically trigger a banner or something, don't make this more difficult than it has to be.

Re:Um, No? (2)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129421)

Just automatically trigger a banner or something, don't make this more difficult than it has to be.

or better, send me an email with a link I have to click to activate the banner, because honestly, you might be protesting something someday that I dont wanna protest. Yes, SOPA bad, and Internet Defense League sounds frickin awesome (do we get t-shirts or costumes?!?) but i don't know who's going to be eventually running it, Evil Mega Corp might take over the IDL and trigger the banner for Evil purposes, so while I'd like to add the code just one time and leave it there, I'd also like to be given the option to activate the banner when I want to.

We have the code, we can rebuild it

Re:Um, No? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131085)

So, every time there's an emergency, i'm updating code? What sense does that make? LOL come on guys!

It's Monday morning here, the above quote eloquently describes the rest of my week.

Re:Um, No? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129401)

Yay for voluntary botnet! :)

Re:Um, No? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129405)

Summary is, in efect, wrong

"First, sign up. If you have a website, we'll send you sample alert code to get working in advance. The next time there's an emergency, we'll tell you and send new code. Then it's your decision to pull the trigger."

Re:Um, No? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129793)

Indeed.

It's not just government that is easily corrupted by power.

How about setting up a mailing list to alert all those who sign up, instead of asking them to hand over control of their websites?

Re:Um, No? (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130291)

I was thinking the same thing. A league is an alliance between a group of people. This is more like the Borg and they get to be the queen issuing the orders to all the drones.

An alarm system where information and activities is coordinated against laws and censorship sounds like a good thing, but that does not require site code controlled by other entities. It can be just a website where you have a membership and a mailing list, which has been pretty effective for a large number of things.

Now, a link on the site to such a website might not be a bad idea if you, or your client, strongly supports those ideals.

Loading remote code on a site has never seemed like a good idea to me anyways. Most of it is not secure, meaning that its authenticity is verified. I have seen plenty of websites that link to remote code for Javascript plugins from just about anywhere. One of Google's domains I might I understand, but not Joe Everybody.

Re:Um, No? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131111)

An alarm system where information and activities is coordinated against laws and censorship sounds like a good thing

They already exist, EFF, Grok law, ACLU, collectively they are known as lobbyists.

meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129137)

...it's hard to imagine the usefulness of a bat signal that goes off all day, every day. The scary truth is that we know of new plans to encroach upon out net neutrality every day, if not more frequently.

At least... (3, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129155)

it isn't called "League of the Extraordinary Websites".

Re:At least... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130371)

I prefer the 1336 of 1337 Gentoomen.

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misleading summary (5, Informative)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129277)

This is not a piece of code that you put on your site and they flip the switch for you whenever they feel like it (although that is an option too if you really don't care). They basically send you an email about the current threat and YOU flip the switch if you want to participate. The code is just so that everybody's banners look the same.

Israel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129311)

They've been doing this for ages. They have the JIDF and megaphone, which is like an app for announcing polls and bury brigades for social news sites. They use it to go and "improve" the overall opinion of israel's daily murders any time they pop up in the news.

I've been tempted to install the thing and see how repugnant it is, but, unsurprisingly, I've always found better stuff to do than wallow in shit.

This guys are trying to do the exact same thing, but more amateureshly, since they don't have US war funding to do it. I can't see how this could be free of corruption and misuse.

Not sure this will work as expected: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129313)

1: everyone integrates this code
2: an anonymous group hacks the control server
3: half the Internet goes dark thinking there is a "threat"

I don't think I'll be signing up for the automated version. I can come up with links to petitions and banners without anyone else's code. I've been doing it for 10+ years at this point.

The logo is terrible. (1)

flargleblarg (685368) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129325)

That cute smiley cat logo has got to go. Not because it's cute, but because it's smiling. If you're going to use a cute cat for this, make it look sad or worried, but not happy. There is no sense of danger communicated by this logo. If this signal goes active and people see a smiling cat, then it looks like people are happy and are celebrating.

Re:The logo is terrible. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129955)

...it's also a pretty ugly logo. I mean, really, whose sense of cuteness is that supposed to play into? I don't think it works in the same way photographic feline appeal does.

Bad idea (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129345)

Sounds to me like the perfect way to troll millions of people at once

Blackouts? (2)

kubernet3s (1954672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129439)

You know, not a single site I went to on "SOPA day" actually blacked out. Wikipedia put a lame ass banner frame that could be circumvented by pressing escape soon after the page loaded, and that was about the most aggressive I saw.

newsflash (1, Insightful)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129519)

Governments, particularly that of the United States, do not give a shit if you black out your website or put a passive-aggressive post-it note at the top of each page. SOPA got killed because a bunch of multinational megacorps that spend millions on lobbying collectively had a quiet word with their "clients".

Just kidding, it was probably that thing on petitiononline.com, no, really it was.

Re:newsflash (1)

Scorch_Mechanic (1879132) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130305)

You don't get it. Of course the Governements will ignore this "Bat Signal". That's not the point of it. The point is for popular websites to be able to easily inform their viewing public about legislation like SOPA and CISPA and what all. So that their viewing public can raise a ruckus at the gub'mint and get the gub'mint to back the fuck down.

The Bat Signal didn't tell criminals to pack up and go away, it told Batman to swing by and find out about the criminals, so he can go make the criminals pack up and go away.

Re:newsflash (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130345)

It might not be that simple.

Politicians are incredibly self-serving. When huge websites went down it made the Plebs get angry because their bread and circuses were being fucked with. That is historically a bad thing.

While I am sure that some big corporations who were fighting for their own interests, which only temporarily aligned with the best interests of The People, had some large influence on the outcome, it was not the only major influence in the room.

There was the Pro, the Con, the Intelligence Community, and mass public unrest from the Plebs. In this particular instance the math just happened to add up in our favor. Note, The People's interests once again were not even a variable.

I'm afraid that persistence wins (3, Insightful)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129525)

And the internet will lose eventually.

The problem boils down to attention span. The SOPA/PIPA protest was something new. The threat was very in-your-face. It was easy to get the internet to pay attention for these reasons. Congress has learned from that mistake. The new bills are all going to end in the same situation, but they will be smaller and sneakier. The internet has already expended its attention span. It will be impossible to muster the same protest again, unfortunately.

Re:I'm afraid that persistence wins (2)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129767)

A coordinated effort to rapidly identify and track sneakier efforts could get the word out. That alone would make this effort valuable. In fact, if there was simply a way to collect and display bills (and precisely who was behind them) - that would be pretty effective. They could even take a page from sites like ActBlue, and raise funds for primary and general election challengers to bill sponsors.

Plus, part of the reason SOPA failed was a few big internet companies jumped in. So in addition to being sneaky, new censorship laws would have to avoid angering these relatively new economic powerhouses as well.

All in all, with the right effort, I remain optimistic the fight is not a doomed one.

Re:I'm afraid that persistence wins (3, Insightful)

guises (2423402) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130811)

It's always a mistake to play a defensive game like this. It isn't enough to oppose bad laws, it's necessary to pass good ones that preclude further bad legislation. It's much harder to undermine a good law than it is to legislate something new.

So, in other words, we need to identify something positive and back that, or write our own. I've heard some good things about the OPEN act - the *AAs oppose it, for one thing, that's a solid win. It hasn't had a whole lot of press though.

Re:I'm afraid that persistence wins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40132519)

OPEN act is awesome, but Ron Wyden couldn't pass legislation if he'd swallowed it.

Re:I'm afraid that persistence wins (1)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 2 years ago | (#40133015)

This needs to be modded way up. I couldn't agree more. With solid legislation in place, creepy bad laws would be impossible to pass. As it is now, its a war of attrition, and the enemy loses absolutely nothing if their bills are shot down. They just go back to the drawing board and separate that unsuccessful bill into smaller sneakier pieces until it all passes into law.

Where's your attention span? CISPA passed house (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40136121)

CISPA already passed the house. Nobody's paying attention to it even on slashdot, as far as I can see from this discussion.
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120426/14505718671/insanity-cispa-just-got-way-worse-then-passed-rushed-vote.shtml

Re:Where's your attention span? CISPA passed house (1)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 2 years ago | (#40136691)

Case in point. This proves my point.

Yeah, but ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40129785)

... who controls the switch for this bat signal? Do they have an underlying agenda? Will we all be called to action to support one of their pet political initiatives once they've got us trained to respond reflexively to their cute graphic?

Political power is all about amassing a support base of voters, activists, etc. that you can use when negotiating your position. Who is behind the IDL? And given a large enough membership list, what can we expect them to lobby for? Given a large enough membership list, they don't necessarily have to put up their cat banner to use their clout. So we might not see its misuse.

Never going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40129811)

Sigh. It won't work because some assholes will see any blackout as an opportunity to be taken advantage of. Some marketing D-bag will say "Look, all the X websites are down, now is time to promote ours".

Crying wolf? (1)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131273)

Given the prevalence and frequency of attacks on our freedoms, (Internet or otherwise), I'm afraid these 'bat signals' will occur so often that even people who would otherwise be sympathetic, concerned, and involved will sooner or later simply start to ignore the warnings while the equivalent of 'compassion burnout' sets in.

The people in power understand this natural tendency, and will continue to up the ante until the overwhelming majority of netizens will respond to the latest warning with nothing more than a shrug. Then the Douche-IAA's, mega-corporations, and government agencies will go ahead and do what they always do anyway, which is to concentrate power and wealth into their own hands at our expense.

The Middle Class is an endangered species. When it comes to the four boxes of liberty, we've passed the soap box stage, the ballot box has proved to be pretty much ineffective, and the jury box is useless if the real criminals are never brought to trial. We're getting damned close to the time when we'll have to choose the ammo box, or face extinction.

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I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40132113)

when fox news or msnbc says or does something knee jerk in response to national events and politics they have hoardes of people tuned in to THEIR agendas ready causing massive discontent

When it comes to the internet, all of them are quiet. We need to make civil action outside of the mainstream media a reality. This is a good start, if only for a narrow band of intrests.

Am I the only one that sees an owl? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40133343)

You can call it an opened cat's mouth, but I'm pretty sure that's a beak

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