Monday, March 14, 2011

Who controls the Internet

So I live in a country, indirectly a part of the EU. We are not directly under the EU, but have a separate deal with them which gives us basically the same rights, and trade-deals as the countries who actually are a part of the union. The only noteworthy difference is that we have control over specific parts of our internal and external market, and at the same time don´t get a vote in the EU Parliament.

With this quick summary of the situation it has to be noted that we still fall under many of the EU-regulatory legislation's. Short summary: we get trade but lose the ability to control some of our laws.
Yet some of the laws/deals spewed out of the EU, are left to the specific country whether to have or let go.
The Computer Regulatory Directive is one of them (that's what I call it in English anyway... what do you know... the official name is; The Data Retention Directive).

The (DLD) "Datalagringsdirektivet" or Computer Retention Directive, is a new system designed to save some of the information that we produce when utilizing the internet. When I say some, I really mean most. It involves everything from the use of mobile phones to the observation of IP-activity.
The campaign against the directive describes it as having a man stand beside your phone or computer and taking notes on who you are calling, and when you are calling them. Although this is a crude way to describe it because the actual monitoring of these kinds of information is close to impossible and it is therefore needed an extreme technological capacity not to mention a hard-drive the size of Japan.
That´s a lot of info...

The main reason, and the only reason I can see as the most logical as to why the EU let this "close-to-fascist" directive go through is the "crime" motive. They want to look in on peoples business in order to stop people from illegal activity. Before I go on, a couple of notes;
  • FIRST: The "legality" of the internet is a relative term as to there is no international legal system as of yet, and it is therefore impossible if two countries has  separate sets of legal systems concerning online-activity. File-sharing may be illegal in one country, but not in another, etc... if the IP is located in one of those countries the person involved can´t be prosecuted in the other. The internet goes beyond borders. That's one of the magical tricks of it. Its impossible in this day and age to legalize or make things illegal on the internet. No one is in control of it.
  •  SECOND: The people on the internet who are capable of terrorizing others are the ones in control. These people don´t work for any government and are always a step ahead of the law if they so wish. Even if you have complete control of the information going in and out of a country, they can bypass it easy as sex. They don´t even have to hack anyone in order to make a living hell out of a business´s workday. The normal way of doing this is through "Distributed Denial of Service"- attacks. See my explanation of DDoS from an earlier post, but the short summary is that its a form of online-blackmail where the attacker tells a site or a business that if it does not give X-amount $, they will effectively shut down their server. Funny thing is that its almost impossible to have any real statistics over how regularly these attacks occur because the businesses targeted will lose more in admitting they have a security-problem, than they would gain in using resources on finding the attackers. Even if you know where the IP´s are coming from, there are still 20.000 of them, and chances are that the guy directing/remote-controlling them aren´t even among the computers involved. Not to mention the loss of market-value. So whats the use?

So the only reason as to why you should put up a system overlooking the(some of the) information going through the internet, is the fight against child porn. Which in itself should be reason enough to set up a "virtual net"... which is impossible to argue against. Still... we should ask ourselves if its a legitimate enough of a reason when you think about the other implications the directive imply.
Yes. Child pornography is an abomination to the human race, and yes, everyone who says different are probably on their way to jail or should be. But have we thought on the other, larger implication involved if we choose to destroy it in this fashion?
Alternative 1: The internet is user-driven and controlled, so in the words of Mr TK; "we don´t want that shit here!" Most servers are privately owned, and since paedophilia is about the ONLY common ground in the justice systems world wide where everyone agree... all people have to do is call up the server owner and simply tell them; "hey... do you know what´s on your server?" and it will be removed. That's what happening in a perfect world anyway.
This however, is the only real reason I see, strong enough to argue in favor of the Direktive. The latest rumor from the Guardian is about an international-coordinated arrestation and outing of the worlds largest pedo online-ring as of yet, where over 70. 000 IP´s were registered and 184 people arrested all over the world. Though... they did it without a system overlooking our online-activity. They used regular bad-ass police-awesomeness.

On the other hand, it may be because of the "terrorist" threat and its implications through a world wide information network such as the internet. All I have to say to this is that if we DO go through with this... they win.
PS: I do not count Wikileaks as a terror site/organisation although it may dismay some of you reading this.
If terrorists are going to make us spy on our own people they have done what their original goal was in the first place. Which is scare the living crap out of us and destroy our society at its roots.

The fact of the matter is that a system like the DLD can easily be abused even if the original thought was to fight crime. I hate to do this to my fellow radicals, but I have to site Lenin in a bad way here:
"Power is good, control is better."
Though Lenin himself never became part of the huge man-killing machine which was the Soviet, he certainly helped developing it and its immence paranoia... not to mention the DDR-era.

Ergo: Stop trying to control what you cannot, will not, and probably will lose votes in controlling. Hell.. even wikipedia agrees to this. Its on the internet... its got to be true.

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