Arnolds Timofejevs

This conversation is closed.

If a SOPA & PIPA "kills" internet, can someone would be able to make a new one?

If the internet becomes unusable without posibility to express ourselfs, to share, to talk, to post, to remix . How society would act, where We would express ourselfs?

Maybe We would be able to make a new platforms of expresing and sharing? digitaly or manualy?
Is it possible that We could make something similar to internet, with that capacity of conection and oportunity to share?

What do You think?

  • Jan 19 2012: Here's a serious question: how effectively can governments outlaw crypto?

    If you're transmitting cleartext, your ISP can do deep packet inspection. But if citizens have strong crypto, I think deep packet inspection won't be able to tell what's in the packets.

    So, in the short term - encrypt your traffic (probably with an open-source tool) and go to a virtual private network, then do whatever you need to do.

    I know that many certificates can be spoofed. SSL is not enough. I'm open to suggestions as to how one might build a completely in-house encrypted system from open source tools.

    However, if you can make it so that you don't depend on third-party certificates - if you issue your own certificates and don't allow anyone else's certificates - it should be possible to make a strongly encrypted darknet. And on that darknet, outsiders should be incapable of censoring you.

    It's very easy to find tutorials like this one:
    http://nerdboys.com/2011/02/20/how-to-encrypt-ssl-certificate-private-keys-from-the-command-line-with-openssl/

    but I don't know if that toolchain is airtight. Computer security is full of horror stories about organizations that thought they were safe until they discovered that the backdoors had been built in even before they acquired their components. This is not just software issues, as described in "Reflections on Trusting Trust," this is also hardware like a router with a built-in backdoor.

    http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/57070

    http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/ken/trust.html
    • Jan 19 2012: I'm with you on that Rick. The next bill would have to make it illegal to encrypt your internet traffic except with their approved methods or through their approved systems (oddly, this doesn't seem like an unrealistic bill given SOPA). Even that would probably not stop the process.

      However, I'm sure you'd agree that such measures are incredibly unnecessary for the lay person. While the idea has the potential to work, the more likely situation is that only a small proportion of web users would use those methods (by the way, it's probably the small proportion of people capable of distributing copied material now). One very good point you illustrate with that is the only victim here is Joe-Average-End-User.
      • Jan 19 2012: Some crypto measures are very easy to use. Firefox has a TORbutton add-on, for example.

        Amateurs can easily install TORbutton with a few clicks and immediately start using TOR.

        TOR is not suitable for torrents, however, and most amateur security enthusiasts are motivated by the lure of peer-to-peer file sharing.

        The Pirate Bay has suggested peer-to-peer DNS.

        http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/11/fed-up-with-icann-pirate-bay-cofounder-floats-p2p-dns-system.ars

        they have competition:
        http://www.i2p2.de/

        Some kind of "invisible internet" is a likely replacement to a MAFIAA-dominated internet. However, there will probably be many contenders.


        The danger is that a plausible man-in-the-middle might offer something as easy to use as TORbutton and eavesdrop on amateurs who think they are secure.

        Another factor is that BitCoin might turn out to be effective, and various governments might try to ban it, which will probably be as effective as the War on Some Drugs.
  • Jan 19 2012: If the USA is stupid enough to shoot itself in the foot, other countries will scramble to gain some limited benefits, but it would be inefficient at best.

    If the USA makes laws that cause business in the USA to be mostly a huge risk of lawsuits, with only a minor possibility of profit, entrepreneurs will simply set up shop in more business-oriented countries such as Singapore. -- Whoops, I spoke too soon - Singapore is business friendly but the EFF just reported bad news from Singapore:
    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/01/singapore-considering-anti-piracy-legislation

    Shirky said that this is a reversal of the burden of proof. Beyond that, it is an allocation of a huge set of special privileges to a plutocratic elite. The USA is already unpopular in many countries - if it restricts freedom of speech for this kind of measure, it will ultimately stir up more resistance to USA hegemony.

    Furthermore, it will inspire people of marginal computer literacy to seek out computer-literate cypherpunks, pirates, etc. in order to gain access to darknets.

    The Pirate Bay is tremendously popular. If the USA passes this measure, that popularity will not go away - but it might go underground. More Internet users might learn about virtual private networks. More programmers would spend time on circumvention measures.
  • Jan 18 2012: If this managed to somehow pass despite massive disapproval from voters, many internet companies will likely move out of the US. I know I've written my representative asking about opening our internet laws to attract small businesses. After all, the American government even considering something like this must frighten small businesses (which we want). SOPA/PIPA would destroy jobs much more so than create them (for Americans, that is).

    The real issue is that these laws apply to anything created, not just the current internet, and also could (if passed) inspire other governments to follow the US.
  • Jan 20 2012: First: I agree that SOPA and PIPA are bad ideas. Just like the rabbit being eaten by the dog thinks its a bad idea to be eaten. Having said that, please bear with my initial comments which might go against the immediate feeling, and read to my possible conclusion - which frankly is far worse than simply the internet being destroyed.

    However, I would like to offer a possible alternative: Evolution is a process whereby certain things fail, and better (for their given environment) mutations succeed. Now the internet is nothing if not evolutionary (as well as revolutionary!). It is important also to remember that the internet is bigger than America. SOPA and PIPA will (initially) kill the internet experience for Americans, but the world will move on fairly stably internet wise.

    I suggest (if you have managed to read this far without exploding with rage) that the actual upshot of this is not that the internet will die, but that large companies like Google etc will move away from America (perhaps not they themselves, but alternatives to them).

    If (or when) that happens, it is not the internet that will suffer, nor even (apart from a short hiatus in service) the American internet experience. What will happen is a massive outsourcing of jobs that were once not outsourceable to other countries around the world.

    SOPA and PIPA are not about the internet, they are about the shooting of itself in the foot economically by America - jobs and job opportunities which are considered safe today in America will go elsewhere because Mickey's daddy wants him to stay safe (despite the fact that he's no longer a kid or even a teen!)

    All it will take is to move dns servers. Someone was mentioning that the non-us countries have limited benefits to gain, I would argue that Google and others have UNLIMITED benefits to derive from the move. This doesn't mean fixing the US setting, but starting again outside the US. Problem, is they're not going to export the jobs, only the infrastructur
    • thumb
      Jan 20 2012: Thanks Josef!
      Inevitably a lot of companies will be forced to move out of US, if the SOPA will come thru.
      But by just moving out they would be able to escape?
      I read that they are even trying to take to court people that aren't even in US.

      I think all this will just accelerate the development of internet facilities out of US.
      One of the best example is YANDEX - the Rusian search engine, similar like Google. It is fast growing search engine with 64% market share in Russia.
      China got BAIDU.

      I really liked You'r idea about evolution. It will happen, If they will not let us do it in one way we will find another. Maybe at the end will get to something better.

      (english verion of Yandex http://www.yandex.com )
      • Jan 20 2012: Actually, a friend of mine and I were talking about SOPA and PIPA yesterday evening.

        One of the points we came up with was that actually, currently large companies like Google etc are very heavily invested in an infrastructure. For them to "start from scratch" in order to build something really new and amazing (having learned from their mistakes) is pretty much impossible. So is competing against them right now - they are just too darn big.

        But if SOPA crushes their business, then they actually have the evolutionary niche open again to do just that: not just rebuild, but rebuild with hindsight. So from an evolutionary perspective, SOPA is great.

        Problem is that the evolutionary perspective doesn't care about people (just like SOPA and PIPA), and part of Googles learning curve would be to no longer trust in a heavy US presence (if at all) and spread itself around a fairly large number of (ecstatically happy) poor or sidelined countries where it could certainly make a difference to the economy.

        And enough of those moves, mean the US (already suffering from lost jobs (outsourcing is only part of that picture)) could find itself in a seriously bad hole.

        Basically, evolution is a tough option - surely that's why humans should so hard strive to not simply be swept along by it (after all we make an effort to protect our less well off and try to protect our environment).
        • thumb
          Jan 21 2012: Nice analysis Joseph!
          Certainly, the De Bono principle of serial construction states that starting again becomes inevitable. I made a heap of cash doing business process re-engineering - it's always expensive and painful .. If Google does not undertake a re-build it will die .. it's the main reason most companies die young (they all die eventually).
          Thing is, that if you get the analysis down to the most basic principles, then it will take a lot longer before the re-build is needed.
          THose basic principles tend to be universal, and they normally consist of splitting-apart the assumptions in very basic symbols (words).
          FOr instance, I have discovered that there is a BIG difference between your "job" and your "work" - one does a "job" for money, one does one's work as an expression of one's life. Sounds utopian, but I actually live that now - I haven't had a job for years, but the bills get paid nicely from the proceeds of my work.
          SO if "Jobs" get exported from the USA - that's a good thing because more people will be forced to find their "work".
          PIPA/SOPA are dieing becuase the are not meeting the new evolutionary requirements of the internet environment. They will have to adapt. Part of that adaptation is to drop the obsolete assumptions that drive them - they will have to find new motives. One of the obsolete assumptions is that "money" is necessary for life. It is not. In fact, we call our trading-tokens "currency" - it is supposed to represent current value, but it has ceased to do that - most of the cash ciculating represents value that has long since rotted into the ground - and all of life is dependent on current value, not expired value.
          I am thinking on some new models to satisfy the reality of trade. One such model might be "IP Dollars" that cannot be used to purchase physical items. I have other ideas, but I will be talking to a not-for-profit banker (a friend) to work out the details.
        • Jan 21 2012: Mitch Smith wrote:
          'One such model might be "IP Dollars" that cannot be used to purchase physical items. I have other ideas, but I will be talking to a not-for-profit banker (a friend) to work out the details.'

          I'm not sure where you're going with IP Dollars. Here's a similar project that has already been implemented:
          http://dot-bit.org/Namecoin

          When BitCoins are used to pay for Internet hosting and VPN services, they are not being used for physical chattels. However, BitCoins are sometimes used to buy physical things, so perhaps IP Dollars must be different.

          I would be interested to hear about the features that IP Dollars would offer that BitCoins don't already offer. Maybe there is a niche for IP Dollars, or maybe IP Dollars would be better than BitCoins.
  • thumb
    Jan 19 2012: Thank You every one for answers!

    But I think it will not just affect USA , because the internet is one of the biggest proof of globalization.
    It is the same like with atmosphere one country can not clean or pollute all the air above them, and think it will stay like that, and not afect others.
    www - stands for that world wide web.
    In these days the old models of politics does not work, simply You can not make almoust any low in the country that would not affect other countries and their busineses.

    And the next question would be how it would affect the business industry?

    p.s.
    Thanks Guys for the technical view of this problem. For me as an everyday facebook, twitter, news -person, that was eye opening.
    Arnolds
  • Jan 20 2012: Here is a blog that makes claims about the USA-relevant legalities:
    http://onecandleinthedark.blogspot.com/

    The main claim is that CBS Interactive and CNet fuelled piracy, but they are now turning around and trying to sue the people who used CNet to pirate stuff.

    Apparently CNet somehow made money from pirates, but I don't see how that happened, unless it was by advertising.
    http://onecandleinthedark.blogspot.com/2011/05/limewire.html

    The video is at:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLJfJoldELo
  • thumb
    Jan 20 2012: Hey Arnolds - thanks for sharing!
    The "alternet" concept is crossing many minds right now, and as you can see, is already being worked on.
    It is an inevitability.
    The growth of it will be driven by fashion, because it will be "un-cool" to not participate. That alone will cause it to overwhelm the "Oldnet".
    THere is only one hitch - the internet is based on a gazillion dollars worth of network eqipment that was paid for by governments and companies .. we need a global funding mechanism, or they will want a cut of the action. DIfficult, but do-able.
    • thumb
      Jan 20 2012: Thanks Mitch!
      Yeah, actualy We need to look at this question from the roots, Who is actualy owning all that mechanism and the basics of the internet.
      I know most of the world, if not all You need to pay for the internet, for the speed and so on.
      but I don't think that money is going to the real owners of the servers. it goes to some third persons. ok, any way the owners are making a good money for letting to store things on their servers.
      But if we could get a round them , and fund the mechanism/ servers by the money that we are paying for internet now. We could build a more independet system. and we are paying for it any way.
      • thumb
        Jan 20 2012: Yes. The global community exists already. Bit by bit the global "organs of function" are begining to appear starting with wikipedia and now with bodies like access now and a host of other proto-cells gathering the parts of the new internet society.
        They will tend towards the traditional models of social government - and that might become a problem. SO we must keep aware of what is done in our names as the more biological functions get a chance to evolve.
        I regard the internet as a new environmental reality on this planet, as fundamental as the air and the water. AS such it can be seen as a "commons" . but the tragedy of the commons is well established .. the trick, I have found is to regulate lightly - that is all that is needed to avert the "open-rort" that happens when selfish fears of losing-out gather into a rapacious exploitation. AUdit is all that is needed, not control. I look forward to some new methods of incentive that are not money - it is well established that monetary incentives actually harm creativity .. perhaps softer incentives such as "honour" can be used . or "inclusion" or just sheer celebration.
        Ultimately, the system of money and currency has to be fixed globally - we cannot do it without the new global celebration of our connectedness.
        All vested interests are beginning to realise that their time is past - and they will fight like demons to keep the status-quo. For our part we must be infinitely patient with them .. and be very very careful not to get blood on our hands - that blood will be the marker that attracts the new trash-collectors of the global organism.
        Does that make sense?
  • Jan 19 2012: let's look at this posting http://goo.gl/DQKHS

    tl;dr >

    1. SOPA?PIPA may get passed in the end as an attachment to PCIP (Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act)

    2. We need to fix the internet by de-centralizing DNS; i'd like to see more discussions on what this means
  • Jan 20 2012: According to this video, the companies that are pushing SOPA and PIPA are the same companies that tried to induce normal folks to infringe copyrights so that they could be sued.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLJfJoldELo&feature=youtu.be
  • Jan 19 2012: The real question is ... what does Al Gore, inventor of the Internet, think of the SOPA / PIPA legislation?
  • Jan 19 2012: This is a very important topic. Please support eff.org and visit their website for information about these issues and how one can be anonymous etc. EFF is fighting corporations and governments on issues of limited freedom of expression etc..
    • thumb
      Jan 19 2012: Interesting site Zdenek. One of the links there led to this:

      http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/01/18/sopa-what-it-is-and-why-its-bad/

      Seems like even Fox News is coming out against SOPA, which in any case is a lame-brained hopeless attempt by a bunch of congressional ninnies to curry favor with their corporate backers.
      • Jan 19 2012: Yes I think most people and companies are against SOPA including publishers like O'Reilly. Basically a few music and movie studios do not like how new distribution channels are being created and want to keep their old business model in place for all cost. Luckily we live in a different age and they cannot stop the progress. cheers
  • thumb
    Jan 19 2012: I think it's only a matter of time... the forbidden it's always a motivation; "There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable". It just a wheel to make the world move forward.