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P2P News Syndication?

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the reinventing-usenet dept.

The Media 266

Buggernut writes "According to an article at BBC, news may be the next major item to be passed around through P2P networks, thereby escaping the grasp of the censors' attempts to control the spread of forbidden information."

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266 comments

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One Word: (1)

Baricom (763970) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821661)

Weblog.

Re:One Word: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821673)

Hooray for trusted news sources.

Re:One Word: (4, Insightful)

Angry Toad (314562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821707)

Problem is that I no longer trust the "trustworthy" news sources. CNN tries to sound balanced but just ends up repeating whatever the US administration said today. FOX is so absorbed in jingoist dogma that they repeat whatever the administration said today and then gush about how wonderful it is. ABC/CBS/NBC/whatever don't cover enough actual news to be worth noticing.

Honestly, for all their faults I'm finding weblogs of various sorts more directly valuable than TV news (too politically charged and beholden to advertisters to be truly objective) AND print news (too late, and too beholden to advertisers to rock the boat).

Re:One Word: (5, Insightful)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821847)

It's okay to read mainstream American or otherwise Atlanticist news. But don't read just it. That's how you fall victim to the propaganda. Read some news from other countries. Try reading some from India or Germany. The stuff's not poison people. And just because it says things that contradict what you hear on CNN and the BBC doesn't mean you should stop reading it just to keep your cognitive dissonance low. It was former CBS president Richard Savant who said:

"Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have."

Re:One Word: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821888)

That's because if they did start exercising free speach, they might be shut down like the news paper described here. [csmonitor.com]

Re:One Word: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821907)

Hmm... one interesting thing in that article - In one way Bush seems to be the greatest peacemaker of all time - Noone else has ever been able to unite both the Shiites and the Sunis in Iraq as effectively as Bush just did. Not to mention how he united Germany and France.

Re:One Word: (4, Insightful)

DietVanillaPepsi (763129) | more than 10 years ago | (#8822013)

Problem is that I no longer trust the "trustworthy" news sources. CNN tries to sound balanced but just ends up repeating whatever the US administration said today. FOX is so absorbed in jingoist dogma that they repeat whatever the administration said today and then gush about how wonderful it is. ABC/CBS/NBC/whatever don't cover enough actual news to be worth noticing.

I don't consider any news source trustworthy. I simply have to gather the "facts" from as many news sources as possible and then formulate an opinion. I may watch Fox (although I try to avoid doing so at all costs, the people I live with love it and I hear it in passing), CNN, and BBC News; read the Guardian, Le Monde, NY Times and The Daily Mail or Telegraph (UK) in order to examine an issue.

Each newspaper has an agenda. American journalism aims to be objective which makes for dull reading. I love to read the Guardian because of its blatantly left-leaning nature, for example. The agenda is always there, even in so-called "objective" news sources, it is just not as blatant.

Re:One Word: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8822026)

There are plenty of news sources outside the US borders! Such as:
http://www.thelocalpapers.com/by_country.html
www.cbc.ca
www.bbc.co.uk
they aren't all towing the US line!

Re:One Word: (5, Informative)

GAVollink (720403) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821826)

Excuse the dumbness here, but
...can't web site's be blocked (by places like China, and work networks)? Distributed news through P2P is unstoppable. Even if you run P2P on some of these campuses, you'll never be noticed if you never share but a single news feed.

The only reason why Music sharing has slowed down is that it's static (the same 100,000 songs are shared over and over again, and are easy to write programs to search for). News is different every couple of days. So as long as people find a way to look for news, then there's little chance it will be able to be blocked and stopped.

Speaking of news feed, USENET is also difficult to trace and block as well. It's been around for much longer than P2P, and has not yet been campaigned against on a large scale. It's problem is awareness and a total lack of decent (neat) client programs for USENET.

Re:One Word: (1)

TyrranzzX (617713) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821829)

4 words: DMCA

fp (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821663)

fp

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821682)

fuck... denied.

YOU FAIL IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821783)

That's right... dooooooooooooooom.

News? Oh my!!! What's next? (-1, Troll)

jabbadabbadoo (599681) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821665)

News? Oh my!!! What's next?
pr0n?

Re:News? Oh my!!! What's next? (4, Funny)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821793)

My goodness. this would mean news being promulgated by illiterate, ignorant, uninformed, panderers after obvious political or social agendas instead of the current newspapers and electronic media which ..... hey now! wait a minute...

In Soviet Russia... (FP) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821666)

Major items are passed through YOU!

Remember the article troll? (5, Interesting)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821677)

Remember the poster(s) not too long ago who would post the "complete article text in case of /.'ing" and then subtly replace/add words in the actual text? How'd you like to get your news that way, and not even know it?

Re:Remember the article troll? (5, Insightful)

Raindance (680694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821699)

One might say that's not terribly different than what some news organizations already do.

Re:Remember the article troll? (2, Insightful)

UnknownQ (84898) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821702)

GPG signing. Problem solved.

Re:Remember the article troll? (1)

gfody (514448) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821713)

PGP
(pretty good protection).. for second I thought you were talking about GPGP (gordon's pretty good protection), a proprietary scheme I developed for one of our apps

Re:Remember the article troll? (1)

anotherone (132088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821739)

I think he's talking aboug GPG, the Gnu PGP workalike.

Re:Remember the article troll? (1)

platipusrc (595850) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821758)

Or he might have been talking about Gnu Privacy Guard (Free program similar to PGP)...

Well, maybe not! I bet he was talking about General Purpose God [acronymfinder.com] !

Re:Remember the article troll? (1)

benna (614220) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821810)

That's Pretty Good Privacy

Re:Remember the article troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821850)

Pretty tricky to prevent altering the article and then re-signing it. Needs a lot of trustworthy infrastructure...

Re:Remember the article troll? (1)

gfody (514448) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821703)

we pretty much do already

Re:Remember the article troll? (4, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821709)

What we need is a system with PGP signatures. That way, a reporter can build a reputation over time. If a news article is signed by a source reporter that you trust, you can warrantedly more secure of its validity. Just ignore crap that is unsigned, be cautious with stuff from a newbie, and give as much credence as warranted from someone who hasn't steered you wrong in the past.

Re:Remember the article troll? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821764)

But how does this reporter know the source is trustworthy? A real web of trust always has leaks..

Re:Remember the article troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821878)

The BBC have covered reputation schemes for online news media [bbc.co.uk] in the past.

Re:Remember the article troll? (1)

Jim Starx (752545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8822065)

There's too many reporters in the world to keep track of.

Public Keys (2, Interesting)

mar1boro (189737) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821740)

P2P news syndication would be the perfect venue for public keys and signatures.
Find a journalist you trust? An entire news organization maybe?
You could check the validity of source every time.

Re:Public Keys (1)

System.out.println() (755533) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821759)

I guess it would depend on how the keys work (which I don't claim to be an expert on in any sense) but how possible is it for someone to write a program which adds text to the end of a given string to make it match the given key?

Re:Public Keys (1)

platipusrc (595850) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821817)

It's not really possible unless you manage to gain possession of the (sometimes very large) private key. Something that just added text would probably take a huge amount of information to try to match up text to a previous signing.

Re:Public Keys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821827)

That would basically defeat the entire purpose of using public keys to sign messages.
In other words, it can't be done (in theory, or at least not without breaking the mathematical algorithm, or brute-forcing the key).

Re:Public Keys (1)

gilrain (638808) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821927)

Unfortunately, I imagine that once a news source has posted enough reliable news to be trusted, it is too big to keep hidden simply by using this P2P scheme. At the point it's done enough work to be trusted, and thus make a PGP key useful, it has also probably done enough to be located physically by whatever government is interested and shut down that way. If it were news sensitive enough to warrant that, anyways -- and if it weren't, the elaborate P2P scheme probably wouldn't be necessary.

Your one-stop source for news... (5, Funny)

some2 (563218) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821681)

Naked News. Now showing on your local P2P network. :)

Re:Your one-stop source for news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821883)

That's one service that is definitely worth every penny!!!

Re:Your one-stop source for news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8822019)

Bah, I get that on my regular TV. You prudish americans dont know what you're missing. Over here in Yurrup, us peons get to see naked chicks every day ;D

credibility? (0, Redundant)

gradedcheese (173758) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821684)

and how does one know this "forbidden information" is from a credible source rather than just placed in there by someone who made it up?

Re:credibility? (2, Insightful)

d3m0n_11ama (606684) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821716)

Equally, how does one know this "media sanctioned information" appearing on the T.V. screen is from a credible source rather than just placed in there by someone who made it up?

Re:credibility? (2, Insightful)

Angry Toad (314562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821788)

I think the sins of the news media today are mostly ones of omission, rather than active misinformation.

Most news reporters still like to think of themselves as objective seekers of the truth - but they also know what is "appropriate" or "practical" to talk about and what "crosses the line". This is the real ghost in the machine - the unspoken areas of omission. They're often pretty critical to understanding context.

Re:credibility? (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821900)

Fox News.

Re:credibility? (1)

42forty-two42 (532340) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821726)

Use an OpenPGP signature to validate it, and its web of trust to determine if the key's good. You'd need to modify it to use credibiliy instead of accuracy of identification, but the principle's the same.

Re:credibility? (1)

zaphod8829 (754076) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821781)

I'd buy that for a dollar.

Seriously, though, this is a good idea.

Mod Parent Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821742)

This type of news dissemination will always stay underground for the reason the parent points out: credibility. Anonymity != ( credibility || newsworthy)

Re:Mod Parent Up (1)

I_Love_Pocky! (751171) | more than 10 years ago | (#8822009)

Anonymity != ( credibility || newsworthy)

Much like your post I suppose?

Re:credibility? (4, Informative)

TyrranzzX (617713) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821896)

Over time news sources build credibility. For example, I don't trust CNN to give me the whole truth about the Iraqi war, so I also goto AlJazeera. I tend to trust more for that kind of news since they're local and since the US has bombed them a few times for not helping the US's media and reporting what they're told. I don't see our US officials bombing CNN now do I? I wouldn't trust Aljazeera for technical advice since theirs is horrible (they said mydoom took up over half of the internet traffic).

Not only that, but large reports and scienfitic reports, video's, and recordings are extraordinarily difficult to counterfeit. Many documents reach over 1000 pages if not more and many recordings are hundreds of hours long. Much of what's reported by thememoryhole.com , for example, can be trusted. Other things, like documents of Bush's or Kerry's service records are difficult to determine since they're much shorter and much more easily fudged with.

Not only that, but anyone with $100 US can pick up a cheap digital camcorder. You can photoshop images, but it's far more difficult to photoshop a video of some Iraqi kid videotaping a bunch of americans blowing the crap out of their parents or police searching through a house with a search warrent to consficate your computer and then consficating all the electronic equipment in the house. Go onto a P2P app and type in "UFO", there are lots of home video's I doubt are faked (although some are, and it takes a keen eye to see it). Cameras and portable flash memory is getting cheaper, so much so that soon cameras the size of a minimaglite will be available with 12 hours of recording for a couple hundred bucks.

And as some of the DRM technologies get incorperated into P2P apps (such as measures to ensure someone throwing something up is throwing that thing up has a name and an address and is the same person who can be trusted before) people can build trust relationships on websites and accounts.

This may accelerate the outlawing of p2p (3, Interesting)

Trespass (225077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821687)

It's one thing to rip off musicians and publishers, but when this has some chance of actually being used for samizdat, you'll see it demonized and outlawed as a tool of terrorism.

Very perceptive of you (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821925)

Indeed it would be demonized, but that hasn't stopped sites like What Really Happened [whatreallyhappened.com] or Turning the Tide [zmag.org] , even though they are quite popular.

Then again, they don't reach millions of people with video, which for some odd reason works more convincing on most people.

The problem isn't censorship (3, Insightful)

Gogl (125883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821691)

The problem is lack of attention. Censorship is a problem too, but there certainly are sources out there, albeit obscure ones, that cover all sorts of stuff that "mainstream" sources don't touch.

The problem is lack of attention and publicity. Mainstream sources cover mainstream things because that's what the mainstream wants: it's what sells. While stories are sometimes neglected due to their being taboo, I'd say the main obstacle is lack of interest. The stories may be taboo at CNN, but they're probably being covered elsewhere. It's just the elsewhere (Indymedia, foreign sources, what-have-you) is unpopular: people aren't interested.

A P2P news network might ironically solve that problem, though, as it would likely get a fair amount of press in and of itself.

Re:The problem isn't censorship (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821754)

The problem is lack of attention. Censorship is a problem too, but there certainly are sources out there, albeit obscure ones, that cover all sorts of stuff that "mainstream" sources don't touch.

Even with a P2P news network, the problem will still be lack of attention.

It's easy to get a bored young web surfer with a broadband connection to let his/her PC be a stopping point for popular music, 1337 warez, or hot pr0n. But what's the chance of getting said netizen to give up valuable MP3 space for the latest news from CNN?

On the other hand, plaintext news won't take nearly the storage and bandwidth of pirated music files. I guess if 1% of P2P'ers are socially minded, they could satisfy the need... since a picture's worth a thousand DWORDs.

Re:The problem isn't censorship (4, Insightful)

1029 (571223) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821852)

Not that I take CNN/NBC/CBS/etc.. as the Word of God, but...

The day I take the likes of Indymedia to be an actual news site is the day I'll basing my opinions on the rants of the insane downtown homeless guy that sells magic wands.

Re:The problem isn't censorship (1)

FlyingOrca (747207) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821892)

Sometimes the problem IS censorship. Look at the story of Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, fired from Fox News for trying to get out an important investigative piece on bovine hormone technology from Monsanto.

That being said, though, I agree that often the news is lost in the noise. I've wondered whether that's part of the reason for all the negative stories one sees on US news - pure distraction.

Re:The problem isn't censorship (1)

Almost-Retired (637760) | more than 10 years ago | (#8822041)

Sometimes the problem IS censorship. Look at the story of Jane Akre and Steve Wilson,

I must have slept thru that one, can someone bring me up to speed?

That said, the obvious bias occasionally shown, and the "don't cover that, its either verboten or so far off the beaten path its not worth the ink" thats so obvious from the big 6's network news operations. The big 6 being CBS,ABC,NBC,CNN,FOX and PBS.

None of those organizations exist for *any* reason but to sell commercial time, with 4 to 6 commercials in between every story. A 1 hour news program often has only 18 to 20 minutes of real news, driving one to run down the remotes batteries at this residence because my "commercials in a row" tolerance is plumb used up at the end of 2 and the clicker plumb drowns out Jimmy Mays regardless of where in the block he is. I sometimes wonder if the people who hire him really understand just how obnoxious he really is?

Even the local news gets a fair bit of censorship. Just how far do you think a news story that involves a major advertising client is going to get? No place at all, sometimes even if the local paper gets it into ink, but thats rare, because that same client is also spending a goodly amount of his adv budget with the paper too. Doing so would be finacial hari-kari when that client, and 4 of his friends each pull 50k$ a month off the air.

As far as real news, I have NDI where to get it. Frankly, with your bull shit filters in place and tuned up, slashdot comes as close as any other place I scan for my nightly hit of information that covers the things I'm interested in. My hat is often doffed, with a short bow in your direction over something I've read, or found the link to, here on /. So keep on keeping on folks, its a winner IMO.

Cheers, Gene

Re:The problem isn't censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821898)

"mainstream sources cover the mainstream things because that's what the mainstream wants" -- this assumes you don't buy in to Chomsky's 'Propoganda Model', which suggests that mainstream sources cover things in a manner that makes their advertisers happy, NOT necessarily the mainstream/reader-base.

web (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821692)

Isn't this already happening in the world wide web? (which by the way is the first p2p system)

Actually. That honour falls to Usenet News. (3, Informative)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821824)

It existed long before the web and is a true distributed peer to peer system lacking centralised control.

Re:web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821911)

Yup - for those people who don't understand what "peer", "client" or "server" mean.

Web/USENET are NOT P2P [Re:web] (1)

j.leidner (642936) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821992)

No, sorry, I believe you are wrong here; both the Web and USENET are client-server based.

Web: Your Web broser (e.g. Mozilla) is a client, which sends requests to the Web server, which is a, well, server (nomen est omen).

USENET: Your newsreader, e.g. gnus is a client, the USERNET news server, is, again, what the name says: a server.

The fact that there is data replication between servers doesn't make them a P2P system. For a scenario to be P2P, both parties need to be able to submit requests to others AND answer requests with responses.

Re:Web/USENET are NOT P2P [Re:web] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8822042)

Usenet is a peer-to-peer system between the servers. Which is what matters for the purposes of this discussion. The NNTP protocol does also contain client-server commands, however, when the client is just used as a last step to sift through the information on the server.

Saying Usenet isn't p2p is analogous to saying Fasttrack or eDonkey isn't, because you use a filesystem client (the Mac Finder, Windows Explorer, Unix shell) to retrieve the files from a server (a filesystem driver in a kernel).

SMTP is also p2p btw, even though it's also used by clients to submit messages to a server (MTA).

(in other words, whether something is p2p isn't always a simple distinction, and it's likely to get less so)

I will believe it will happen... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821694)

...when I read about it on P2P.

Freenet (5, Informative)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821695)

Isn't this the exact purpose of Freenet? It's simply more anonymous than your average P2P application to prevent people from being forced into self-censorship.

Re:Freenet (0, Troll)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821755)

No.

As all true patriots are aware of, the purpose of the freenet is to promote piracy and computer hackery. Nothing but porn and warez.

Re:Freenet (5, Insightful)

mar1boro (189737) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821785)

Anonymity is not the key though. I personally don't want my news reporters
to be anonymous. I want them to be accountable. A reputation tied to public keys
is what we need. I suppose an anonymous news reporter could eventually
build up a reputation as credible. That would be tough.
(The public key thing was discussed above, but seemed pertinent here.)

Re:Freenet (4, Insightful)

RPoet (20693) | more than 10 years ago | (#8822037)

Critical reporting often mandates anonymity, especially in oppressive countries like Iran, China and Italy. I like to think that anonymous writers could post news and opinions online and build up a reputation and be heard, like Locke and Demosthenes in "Ender's Game".

However, Freenet is not necessarily about anonymity. People could still post on Freenet using their full names and sign cryptographically. An equally important part of Freenet is censorship resistance. Once something has been posted, it cannot be taken offline as long as there is demand for the content. That's information availability, a cornerstone of democracy.

Wasn't this the purpose of anonymous remailers? (0)

David Hume (200499) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821879)


Isn't this the exact purpose of Freenet?


Wasn't this the purpose of Anonymous Remailers [efga.org] , Mail to News Gateways [dizum.com] , and Usenet [google.com] ?

Then again, will the use of P2P to disseminate uncensored news be subject to the same vulnerabilities as the above -- e.g., spam, legal (and possible physical) attacks on "servers," etc.?

Or does the more highly distributed nature of P2P effectively immunize it from at least the legal attacks (while perhaps more effectively empowering spam...)? Or will it just serve to get more people harrassed, arrested and in some places, shot?

Yup (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821926)

There's even a news-over-freenet application. See JTCFrost [freshmeat.net] .

Re:Freenet (1)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821989)

It's also a real pain in the ass to setup and maintain with a dynamic IP and a firewall/router (ie, for 95% of users), requiring the user to search through text config files (even though it has preferences accessible through the gui, the most important setting is missing) to input the IP address and the use of dyndns or whatever since it only likes static IPs. I gave up fairly quickly, and I'd expect anyone else who doesn't have extensive sysadmin experience to do the same.

The fact that it was dog slow (I never even got the index site loaded to see what was on it) the only time I got it working for a while is a relatively minor flaw.

Re:Freenet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8822049)

That project would probably take off more if they released some non-Java client. Java stuff is oftentimes a pain to install.
Release some native Unix/Windows/Mac client, or hell even a Perl version. Then maybe more people will run it.
Well maybe they have by now... I haven't checked recently. *shrug*

article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821697)

File-sharing to bypass censorship

By Tracey Logan
BBC Go Digital presenter

The net could be humming with news, rather pop, swappers
By the year 2010, file-sharers could be swapping news rather than music, eliminating censorship of any kind.
This is the view of the man who helped kickstart the concept of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing, Cambridge University's Professor Ross Anderson.

In his vision, people around the world would post stories via anonymous P2P services like those used to swap songs.

They would cover issues currently ignored by the major news services, said Prof Anderson.

"Currently, only news that's reckoned to be of interest to Americans and Western Europeans will be syndicated because that's where the money is," he told the BBC World Service programme, Go Digital.

"But if something happens in Peru that's of interest to viewers in China and Japan, it won't get anything like the priority for syndication.

"If you can break the grip of the news syndication services and allow the news collector to talk to the radio station or local newspaper then you can have much more efficient communications."

'Impossible to censor'

To enable this, Prof Anderson proposes a new and improved version of Usenet, the internet news service.

If there's material that everyone agrees is wicked, like child pornography, then it's possible to track it down and close it down

Ross Anderson, Cambridge University
But what of fears that the infrastructure that allows such ad hoc news networks to grow might also be abused by criminals and terrorists?

Prof Anderson believes those fears are overstated. He argued that web watchdogs like the Internet Watch Foundation, which monitors internet-based child abuse, would provide the necessary policing functions.

This would require a high level of international agreement to be effective.

"The effect of peer-to-peer networks will be to make censorship difficult, if not impossible," said Prof Anderson.

"If there's material that everyone agrees is wicked, like child pornography, then it's possible to track it down and close it down. But if there's material that only one government says is wicked then, I'm sorry, but that's their tough luck".

Political obstacles

Commenting on Prof Anderson's ideas, technology analyst Bill Thompson welcomed the idea of new publishing tools that will weaken the grip on news of major news organisations.

Such P2P systems, he said, would give everybody a voice and allow personal testimonies to come out.

But the technology that makes those publishing tools accessible to everyone and sufficiently user-friendly will take longer to develop than Prof Anderson thinks, added Mr Thompson.

Prof Anderson's vision underestimates the political obstacles in the way of such developments, he said, and the question of censorship had not been clearly thought through.

"Once you build the technology to break censorship, you've broken censorship - even of the things you want censored," said Mr Thompson.

"Saying you can then control some parts of it, like images of child abuse, is being wilfully optimistic. And that's something that peer to peer advocates have to face."

Re:article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821999)

I demand that this unauthorised posting be removed immediately.

I expect an excessive amount of… (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821708)

...Stephen King obituaries in this brave new world of news.

Remember... (3, Interesting)

y2imm (700704) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821712)

Desert Storm 1. The CNN guys using IRC to get info past the Iraqis.

Re:Remember... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821956)

Heh. I remember quite well. At the time I was enlisted, in a very technical MOS (diagnosed/repaired communications equipment down to the component level). A lot of our gear wasn't all that advanced (some of it was Vietnam-era tech) but it was milspec certified and it worked -- most of the time anyway. But our old-ass tech was so far ahead of Iraq's that we could basically intercept all the communications and blindside them at any time of the day or night. Which we did. I don't think they even knew WTF IRC was. ;-)
Now, the NSA on the other hand... Those guys are the reason why P2P networks like Freenet must be deployed...

oh goody (1)

Johnathon_Dough (719310) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821723)

Exactly how I want to get my news.

Corrupt
Incomplete
Poor Quality

or possibly even think I am getting news, I open it up and get:
"Durty, S1uts with farm animals !!!"

yay.

Re:oh goody (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821756)

... or possibly even think I am getting news, I open it up and get:
"Durty, S1uts with farm animals !!!"

I share your pain. Everyone knows that clean sluts are better than dirty ones. And you just can't do that sort of thing with farm animals and not get dirty.
Yes, in that sense of the word, too.

Re:oh goody (1)

skitzoid (moomoo) (769245) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821816)

Exactly how you get your news now. I saw all the weapons of 'mass destruction in iraq' I also saw a a 10KG pig fly naked in my bedroom. The news is turning more into a relay for goverments to spread their propaganda and bullshit. I for one welcome the option of having an alternative source of news. What does a piece of spam offering a penis enlargment product differ to George Bush broadcasting a speech on a news channel No difference because it's all shit talk. Mod this as flamebait if you wish, but i'm sick of your American news bullshit hitting our overseas shores.

In case of slashdotting..... (3, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821734)

The site is going a bit slow, so heres the Torrent [slashdot.org]

thought police alert (-1, Troll)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821741)

"They" might not have been "able" to stop the theft of music, but Ashcroft will certainly put a stop to this.

I don't get it (3, Insightful)

Funkitup (260923) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821743)

The whole reason why news works is because people trust newspapers. I know it's stupid, but there are people out there that trust FOX!

P2P news doesn't really seem to have that same trust value. Personally I am happy with the Guardian newspaper in the UK to generally get things right. It is their job to go out and read stories from around the world and present the facts to me in a way that I feel is relatively objective. I know they like (think it's their job) to screw the british government so I take that into account.

I can't see how p2p would be any better. I would just get a massive influx of information that I don't have time to sift through. News syndicates not only do the sifting job for us, but they hopefully do it in a trustworthy fashion.

Re:I don't get it (3, Insightful)

Johnathon_Dough (719310) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821809)

You also get to know a news sources biases, as you mention the Guardian's out-to-get-it-ness for the Brit Govn't

Once you have compared a couple of news sources, you learn pretty quick how they slant their story's. So, even if it isn't the whole story, you will at least have a general idea of what was omitted or skewed based on that source's leanings.

If your news comes randomly from all over, you will never know the angle someone is pushing, nor ever the whole story.

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

The-Dalai-LLama (755919) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821984)

It is their job to go out and read stories from around the world and present the facts to me in a way that I feel is relatively objective.

I think you make an excellent point about the reliability of the major news services; they do the job better than I ever could, and since there are so many eyes looking at them they're subject to to at least some review.

I like the idea of P2P-style (which is to say decentralized) news sources, however, because on this side of the pond our mass-media outlets are becoming increasingly concentrated into the hands of an ever-shrinking pool of owners (I'm too hungry to find links, google for your own evidence - if I'm wrong I'll concede the point). Most of us still trust them, but when all of the radio stations, television stations, and newspapers are owned by the same three or four grandparent corporations (which may not have happened yet, but probably isn't too far away) their motives and their objectivity become increasingly suspect.

Particularly when those organizations do a lot of heavy lobbying to influence the government they are supposed to be watchdogging.

The Dalai LLama
...just my .02 - IANAJ (I am not a journalist)...

Reputation (1)

Raindance (680694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821766)

I think this would work if one takes into account some already-implimented p2p features- mainly the ability to rate a file/thing for completeness or quality.

If someone passes bogus news, they get a bad reputation. More importantly, if someone consistently passes 'good' news, they get a good reputation and lots of folks download their news.

Like another poster suggested, news releases could be GPG-signed so that
1. Known-good news sources could be identified, and
2. Mean folks couldn't change the news the known-good folks wrote.

RD

worse than linux on dead badger (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821774)

This is the stupidest fucking thing I've ever seen on slashdot. There's plenty of news sites, RSS feeds, and other outlets on the net.

P2P is great for what it does now, but this just seems like some type of technology overkill. They're called newspapers, are are the most read medium in the world.

Truth (3, Insightful)

dj245 (732906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821784)

I would be worried about if what I was actually getting was the truth. /. covers some pretty obscure items, but 364 days out of the year I am pretty sure that the articles are mostly true. Add some common sense, and if its "too good to be true" it isn't, and I would say that most web-based trusted pages like this have the tendency to be true. If they werent, their reputation would get out that they are biased and unfair. Examples- Tomshardware, Intel biased, Foxnews, Warmongerers, ABC, Christians evangilism.

With P2P you just have no clue what you are getting. It might be true, might not be. If you've seen the story before then you could be sure that it was true, but that would defeat the purpose of news- reading stories you haven't read before.

Re:Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821802)

yah them april fools jokes were pretty fake. Just like them p2p files that say they are "The Butterfly Effect" but are actually hardcore porn. What if this happened to news?

Re:Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8822011)

That wasn't really the Butterfly Effect?

Slashdot? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821786)

You mean there is more news than slashdot?

Re:Slashdot? (1)

I_Love_Pocky! (751171) | more than 10 years ago | (#8822058)

You mean there is news on slashdot?

Slashdot censorship (-1, Troll)

helix400 (558178) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821787)

This would help Slashdot. How many times has Slashdot censored comments in threads that they didn't like? It's ironic that michael accepted this story, since he's the worst at twisting stories to fit his bias and modding down entire threads to -1.

Naivety (Where's Hugo Weaving when you need him?) (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821789)

"If there's material that everyone agrees is wicked, like child pornography, then it's possible to track it down and close it down. But if there's material that only one government says is wicked then, I'm sorry, but that's their tough luck."

Oh, would it were so, Professor Anderson.

There are quite a few of your human governments that don't have a problem with slavery and terrorism, let alone child pornography.

Never happen (3, Funny)

sproketboy (608031) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821825)

Quote "This would require a high level of international agreement to be effective." We'll all be running around in ape suits chasing an (almost) naked Charlton Heston before this happens.

No changing the articles after either... (3, Interesting)

Supp0rtLinux (594509) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821835)

And while providing the average Joe with news that is much more gory than we see on a regular basis, it would also help to put an end to *altered* stories... the kind that've been mentioned on /. before where a story is written, then because of this complaint or that reason they edit the original. If the news is on P2P networks, we'll be able to always see the raw stories...

The only thing necessary for Micro$oft to triumph is for a few good programmers to do nothing". North County Computers [nccomp.com]

Already exists (4, Informative)

br00tus (528477) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821886)

There's already [indymedia.de] an Indymedia family p2p news-sharing site in existence. Indymedia sites are great for text articles and pictures, but pile audio interviews and videos on top of that and the bandwidth starts to pile up. Enter something like v2v, where the site shares the audio and video files on Bittorrent, Edonkey/Overnet, Gnutella and the like, this helps lessen the load on the servers, and I suppose helps prevents censorship as well.

:: Usenet III? :: (3, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821890)

Usenet I already serves this purpose, and with MIME it can be just as rich a medium as the web. Just look at the porn-spam groups!

Which does make me wonder how a medium even less controllable than Usenet would manage to avoid turning every group into spam. You'd need something like Google News to make sense of it... but, hold on, we already *have* Google News.

Relevant Links (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8821903)

The people at OpenPrivacy [openprivacy.org] have been working on tackling the problem of anonymous news syndication for years. The result of this effort is Reptile [openprivacy.org] , which has both an anonymous RSS syndication system as well as a web-of-trust reputation framework. NewsMonster [newsmonster.org] is a similar application written by some of the same people that has a reputation system but lacks support for anonymous publication.

Also, there's JTCFrost [freshmeat.net] , a freenet client that supports NNTP-style news publication.

Freshness? (5, Interesting)

Doobeh (193083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821932)

Wouldn't one of the greatest problems be that of signal to noise. If P2P is employed as a way to supress censorship, then we by that very mark, we are unaware of who published it (since we don't want the author being censored at a later date)


Now spread this out to a wide implementation, what news is 'worthy' and 'trusted' to read if this very untraceable route holds true? I might as well read mind-numbing, ultra-biased blogs, because that is all the system would amount to.
I go to the news outlets I currently do because I can to a high degree trust the articles, news without that trust is.. gossip.


P2P for articles, especially news doesn't hold true, how is the article propogated? Will I have to wait 2 days for a fresh article to make its way around the Internet to me? If I want news, I'm used to getting information when I want it, P2P fails on this point.


People think P2P is the cure to [insert internet downfall] because it works for MP3's. But MP3-P2P essentially runs off peoples greed, so there are mass copies of MP3's around, no-one cares if an Mp3 is four days, old, 3 years old, it makes not a difference, but hell, even MP3's are tainted, blanks, bad rips, misnamed, to assume this wouldn't follow on to any other P2P implementation is wishful thinking.

Not to mention that only when an article gains a certain critical popularity mass would most people be able to find it on the system due to the inability to search every user without having a centralised database/hub (which could of course be.. you got it, censored!)

Re:Freshness? (1)

hyc (241590) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821997)

So maybe P2P gossip isn't such a bad thing... ;)

I can't put any trust in anonymously posted news. So, you either put your name on it, and risk future censorship, or leave it unsigned, and risk being totally ignored. I think this is only going to be of any value if postings are signed.

Already happening (0, Redundant)

77Punker (673758) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821960)

Try Freenet. [freenetproject.org] It's much better now than it ever has been.

P2P News = Urban Legends and Stupid people stories (4, Insightful)

PetoskeyGuy (648788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8821973)

It's nice to have an alternative method of news, but I don't think you could believe anything sent in such a network. There is "NEWS" that people can run cars on water and aliens walk among us.

"Consider the source" means a lot when your trying to decide if a news story is believable. P2P removes the credibility. News will bubble to the top based on how many people share it.

P2P news will end up a worthless collection of lies and urban legends. Most of my family is already is part of such a network via email and no matter how many times I tell them otherwise they still spread the made up news stories, "HUGS" and prayers. I search out and refute almost every piece of crap my way, but no one sends that out 20 times to everyone they now.

What news needs is peer review and feedback. P2P in it's current form doesn't offer anything like that. You would end up with worthless POP news that people bother to keep and share. News needs a reputation system.

At least now I can see something comes from Fox News and know it's likely distorted, on P2P there is no trust at all.

Torrential (1)

shokk (187512) | more than 10 years ago | (#8822056)

Maybe not the same exact thing, but in concept this was covered a few weeks back when talking about RSS distributed via Torrent.
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