* Posts by Suricou Raven

1524 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Parents can hide abortion, contraception advice from kids, thanks to BT's SEX-ED web block

Suricou Raven

Re: make public its list of sites it blocks

Doesn't test the sites no-one would think to test. A better idea is a browser plugin volunteers could run that reports all blocks.

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World+dog: Network level filters block LEGIT sex ed sites. Ofcom: Meh

Suricou Raven

Re: I Don't Understand

The mutterings on simulate rape so far from MPs and feminist groups suggest that when the term is defined, it'll likely be based around the ability of either party to withdraw consent throughout - ie, if one of them is tied up, it'll be considered rape even if they consent onscreen beforehand to their kinky activities. Basically, everything BDSM will be considered 'simulated rape' and liable to get anyone posessing it locked up for many years.

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Google Glass pics will BAFFLE admirers: Nudge nudge, WINK WINK

Suricou Raven

And in anti-oppressive use...

Think of the potential for documenting any police abuse of power. Those in the US are well-known in some parts for being no better than the criminals, resorting to threats and intimidation to extract fines from innocent people who happen to be unlucky. Dare to question their authority, and they will find a few extra crimes to arrest you for.

Or, more likely, some influential people will just get a law passed making it a crime to film an on-duty police officer. Good luck enforcing it.

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No anon pr0n for you: BT's network-level 'smut' filters will catch proxy servers too

Suricou Raven

Re: No, it really isn't time to give the paranoia a rest.... @Brian Morrison 12:05

What do you propose?

Political involvement? That can work for major issues, where an election is at stake, and when there are enough numbers careing. But in this the vast majority simply don't care, and those who are left don't have the votes or connections to matter. The best we can do is slow them down a bit.

Technological countermeasures? It's possible to invest in filter-resistant technologies. Tor, freenet, retroshare, p2p distribution and communication in general. They can work, for the technologically skilled - the advantage there is with us, it'd be impossible to block them without causing serious inconvenience to everyone. It's still untidy though: While the idea of fighting for your rights may have some romantic appeal, the idea is to win, not get trapped in an unending arms race between government filter operators and investigators vs counter-government circumvention programmers.

Those are really our only options: Probably lose, or technological war. Unless you can think up some super-effective publicity campaign that lets you rally people against the filters without being branded as a bunch of perverts.

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Suricou Raven

Re: "Web filtering is already the default on mobile phones."

Something must be done.

This is something.

Ergo this must be done.

When there is an issue getting a lot of public attention, it is sometimes better for a politician to do something obviously stupid and take the flak for failure than to ignore it and be regarded as disconnected and uncaring. In this particular case though, much of the pressure does appear to have initiated internally. A certain Clair Perry, MP is behind a lot of it.

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Suricou Raven

There is grounds to be paranoid. Pick any oppressive government filter you want and look at how their own government refers to it. Even when the filtering is clearly politically targetted, in every case, the official government line is that the filter's purpose is to protect against indecency. Every time.

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Suricou Raven

Re: Seriously?

"Presumably the hypothetical bloke could just grow a pair and explain the reasoning behind his decision."

You're not married, are you?

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Suricou Raven

Re: To not be self-defeating

What makes you think it's not pointless anyway? If someone is actively trying to subvert the filter, it isn't going to pose much of a problem. Just ask anyone who actually maintains a filter professionally how often they need to revise rules because someone spent half an hour googling synonyms and found a site that slipped through.

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NSA alleges 'BIOS plot to destroy PCs'

Suricou Raven

Re: Sadly Trevor

I imagine they just have a very narrow definition of 'listening.' Probably they only consider it listening if a human has personally given the order to target an individual - if they just hoover up communications through automatic means, that isn't really listening.

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Is Google prepping an ARMY of WALKING ROBOTS?

Suricou Raven

Re: There is nothing evil about the military

Sort of. Remember that the purpose of any military is to beat anyone who may oppose us into a bloody, possibly dead pulp. The best you can really say about them is that there are greater evils in the world - and as the only way to fight violence is with better violence, we have to keep a bit of 'tame evil' of our own to counter it. That doesn't mean what they do is good - it just means that not doing it would be worse.

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BT network-level STOCKINGs-n-suspenders KILLER arrives in time for Xmas

Suricou Raven

Re: 8.8.8.8

Vimes further up already found evidence that the filter will block all UDP-53 traffic to non-BT DNS servers as a countermeasure against that approach.

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Suricou Raven

Re: Filtering

There's a clear sequence: First, block the child porn. No-one ever objects to that one, it's an easy sell to the public, and it gets the filtering systems in place. Then you can progress to blocking sites performing criminal activity. After that comes the porn - start off on the kinky stuff, less backlash, and describing BDSM as 'rape porn' assures support from certain pressure groups. A brief detour for sites deemed harmful to children like suicide advice, then start on the 'hate sites' - start off with the open racism and calls for violence, and gradually loosen the definition until you can start banning anyone who raises concern about the high immigration rate or 'promotes religious hatred' by insulting a religion. A little loosening of libel law to allow anything insulting anyone to be easily struck down by court order, and you have a government-controlled easily-censored internet - at least for those who aren't dedicated enough activists to seek out the technological underground communities.

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Suricou Raven

Re: Ways around censorship

Vimes up above already found evidence suggesting that the filter also blocks all UDP-53 packets precisely to prevent that approach.

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Suricou Raven

Re: The filtering isn't my main issue

I can imagine it coming up in child custody hearings - 'My X is not a fit parent, as he has demonstrated by acting to disable adult content filters on his internet connection knowing that children will be present on the property and may connect through his unfiltered connection..'

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Suricou Raven

Don't worry.

If they can't manage a block on the pirate bay that takes more than thirty seconds to defeat, what hope have they of holding back all the porn on the internet?

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Dimmed but not out: Lantern anti-censorship tool blocked in China

Suricou Raven

Re: Let information be free in china!

TOR was also a US-government-initiated project.

The US government is very big, and often different parts are involved in power struggles or controlled by factions with competing agendas. It's very common to find situations where one agency is either impeding the actions of another by ignoring them, or actively working to oppose them.

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I KNOW how to SAVE Microsoft. Give Windows 8 away for FREE – analyst

Suricou Raven

Re: I wonder what the Pirate Bay stats are

To be shunned by pirates is the ultimate insult. A sign of a product so rubbish, it isn't even worth stealing.

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Suricou Raven

Re: If not free...

That's what they already do with OEMs - if you've a big volume OEM, you can get a substantial discount. If you threaten to start seriously selling linux machines, you'll get it for almost nothing.

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One European copyright law-to-rule-them-all? EU launches review

Suricou Raven

That's not how the law works.

1. Make a trivial action illegal, usually with severe penalties for breaking it.

2. Trust in the police or civil courts to use their judgement and only enforce it against the deserving.

3. When the rampant abuse of the legal process inevitably starts, deny this was your intention and claim naivety.

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Suricou Raven

Re: Harmonisation...

EU or US speak. The EU likes to harmonise a lot of things - measurement systems, mains power voltages, fire extinguisher color codes, emergency service numbers, things like that. But given the political influence of the copyright-driven industries, it's hard to believe there wouldn't be intensive lobbying in the direction of 'harmonising to the strictest.'

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Malware+pr0n surge follows police op to kill illicit streaming sites

Suricou Raven

Re: City of London Police

City of London Police. Not exactly like the regular police. They *are* a private army for corporations. Regular street crime in London is the domain of the Met, the CoLP are mostly concerned with financial crime.

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Chinese gamer plays on while BMW burns to the ground

Suricou Raven

Could it be a fake.

The government of China has effective media control and considers propaganda to be a force for the public good.

If they are trying to deal with a precieve problem of game-obcession, it seems plausible they might seed the media with a few made-up stories on the subject to raise public awareness and concern.

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TPP leak: US babies following bathwater down the drain

Suricou Raven

Re: one use for US-style copyright laws

The 'automatic copyright of everything' thing is in the Berne convention. It was put in to fix some issues with draft works. If you copyright a movie, but then someone discovers you'd been showing the script to people and hadn't written a copyright notice on it, the script could potentially be uncopyrightable. So the convention required that anything set down in a fixed form, even without an explicit notice, would be copyright by default.

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Mexican Cobalt-60 robbers are DEAD MEN, say authorities

Suricou Raven

Re: Radiation Monitoring

X-ray machines generate their radiation by accelerating an electron beam into a target. Whatever the machine was that ended up in that dump, it wasn't x-ray. More likely either a radiotherepy machine or an industrial source. They are used for quality control in metalworking.

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ICANN posts guidelines to avoid gTLD mix-ups

Suricou Raven

Their solution

Move to a FQDN.

ie, give our clients money!

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MINING in SPAAAACE! Asteroid-scoopers? Nah - consumers will be the real winners

Suricou Raven

Re: The Wild-West days are here again

A lunar elevator would actually be comparatively easy. Lower gravity means lower cable weight and thus lower tension. Lunarstationary orbit is also lower, so shorter elevator. No atmosphere to worry about allows for much less durable materials. The only problem is getting everything up there - but that doesn't need any technological revolution, just a gargantuan pile of money.

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Suricou Raven

Re: simple really

Except that any such capability is an effective WMD. If you can drop on the ocean, it needs only a tiny adjustment in timing to drop onto any vaguely equatorial city*. Governments will no more allow that than they would allow nuclear weapons in private hands. There'd be some sort of treaty to outlaw space operations that involve placing engines upon an any object in space over a certain mass.

* Assuming you're dropping from an equatorial parking orbit. If you're bringing it in direct from the distant belt, polar cities are no harder a target than anywhere else.

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Suricou Raven

Re: private property doesn't exist up there in space.

There is no such thing as a natural right. If such a thing existed, it would be impossible to infringe - and none are. Rights, as much as any other aspect of law, are a purely artificial construct - and Burke's insistance otherwise was no more than wishful thinking.

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Suricou Raven

Re: says

No doubt automation will be heavily involved, but when you're operating a huge mining operation the machines are going to break down. I imagine moon or astroid mining operations may consist of a small 'foreman's cabin' station with a small crew in, and a large number of robots doing the actual mining. Whenever a robot breaks down another robot shall collect and bring it to the cabin, where the humans shall make the required repairs and send it out again.

Basically, Space Garage.

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Suricou Raven

Re: The Wild-West days are here again

Wouldn't be hard. Raw materials can be had in space, but manufacturing capability is lacking. What do you do when the last spare microcontroller for your oxygen concentration monitoring unit dies? Unless you've got a whole silicon foundry to hand, you can't replace something like that. Skilled enough engineers could bodge things up with electromechanical systems for a while, but eventually you're going to need spare parts for something.

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Brit inventors' GRAVITY POWERED LIGHT ships out after just 1 year

Suricou Raven

Re: Hydraulic accumulators

Think bigger.

Tower bridge.

It's run off a modern electric pump system now, of course. But before that, it was lifted by exactly the mechanism you describe. There's a museum near one end where they still have the equipment on display.

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NSA collects up to FIVE BILLION mobile phone locations daily

Suricou Raven

Re: NSA?

Don't forget the phone companies themselves. They probably don't retain the information very long for cost reasons, but they surely log it, and probably mine it for useful data they can then sell to marketers, advertising agencies ('How many people walked past this billboard last week?') and town planners ('How many times did this road exceed intended pedestrian traffic capacity, and how much did they slow down to look at the christmas display?')

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Suricou Raven

Re: Guilt by Coincidence

How do you know it hasn't happened already? If it did, you probably wouldn't get to hear about it.

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Chester Cathedral smites net in Wi-Fi SMUT OUTRAGE

Suricou Raven

Re: Yawn

"Would that be the one that spams you with featured ad's instead of a 404 for mistyped URL's?"

That would be the one used by Virgin Media. Just confirmed by going to 'aosfiawre.com' - it resolves to a fake IP, which in turn redirects my browser to... er, long address, but it's on advancedsearch2.virginmedia.com.

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EMC: Backup is broken, do you hear me? Now buy this other thing

Suricou Raven

On behalf of everyone,

F*ck the cloud.

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DEATH-PROOF your old XP netbook: 5 OSes to bring it back to life

Suricou Raven

More on win8 please.

Given that just about any new laptop purchased now is going to come with win8, I'd like to know exactly what evilness MS has in store for those of us who want to dual-boot linux.

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THIS ONE WEIRD CHIP cuts weight from data centre power bills

Suricou Raven

112 cm2?

That sounds rather... large.

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Microsoft, HURTING after NSA backdooring, vows to now harden its pipe

Suricou Raven

Re: Bullshit

Plus they get to charge for it now.

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GCHQ was called in to crack password in Watkins child abuse case

Suricou Raven

Re: Does anyone else think that 'paedophile' is not strong enough to describe this guy?

Using the term in this way does a disservice to those people who feel a sexual attraction to children but do not act on it - but then, the majority has spoken. To deliberately avert a change in definition of any word is a very difficult task. Just look at the futile efforts to save the word 'hacker.'

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Suricou Raven

'cracked the password'

So, that means either:

- The files were encrypted, and GCHQ had to either brute force the password or apply some secret super-math or backdoor technique. Brute forcing is quite possible, if it was a weakish password.

or

- The files were just stored somewhere overseas, and it was easier to call in GCHQ than to go through the paperwork of an international warrant.

or

- The files were stored somewhere, a simple warrant would probably have sufficed, but someone on the political side wanted to give GCHQ a chance to share in the glory and help improve their reputation by helping convict not just a real criminal, but a pedophile - the most loathed and hated of all criminals.

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US puts Assange charge in too-hard basket - report

Suricou Raven

Do they think Assange is stupid?

Why is he going to trust an empty promise? It isn't legally binding. It's probably a ploy to try to coax him into leaving the embassy, and an obvious one at that.

Besides, even if they don't prosecute, there are plenty of other ways the US government could make an example of him. The sexual assault charge for one. A little more political leaning and they can make sure that the extradition ends in conviction. Assange goes behind bars for a good few years, his reputation is tainted by a rape conviction, and with any luck someone will shiv him in jail. Problem solved.

Or they could simply arrange an 'accident.'

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Microsoft bans XXXXBOX gamers for CURSING in online combat

Suricou Raven

Translation

"To be clear, the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement team does not monitor"

means: "We are carefully not denying the use of automated filters, which we may or may not use."

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Schmidt: Social networks will FREE THE PEOPLE of China

Suricou Raven

Re: Anyone got a spare Irony meter?

Not really. I think he views 'free speech' and 'privacy' as entirely unrelated concepts. That means that while Google may be attacking privacy, they can still be promoting free speech.

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Undercover BBC man exposes Amazon worker drone's daily 11-mile trek

Suricou Raven

This job seems familiar...

Is the software called 'Manna' by any chance?

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Mystery traffic redirection attack pulls net traffic through Belarus, Iceland

Suricou Raven

Re: Datacentre Question

Assuming it needs friendly. Easy enough to set up a front company without the government knowing. For added points, throw in a couple of badly-forged documents and load the computer with a banking trojan and list of credit cards - that way if you do get caught, it looks like just another criminal gang was behind it.

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Hot digital dog: A man’s best friend is still his... K-9

Suricou Raven

Several intelligence agencies are looking happy.

Mobile bugs, that people invite into their own homes? With cameras?

A simple custom firmware update is all it'd take, and if you can talk the manufacturer into signing it that's trivial to pull off. Even better than hacking a PC to get to the webcam - this one can be guided around to learn the layout or follow someone, pick up and open books, and make sure any weapons are hidden before the soldiers are sent in.

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Berners-Lee: 'Growing tide of surveillance' is destroying the internet

Suricou Raven

Proposed solution?

So far the best I've seen is a combination of political pressure to buy time with a crypto-anarchist approach in the longer term. Encrypt everything and set up a suitably redundant and decentralized infrastructure, and it becomes prohibitively expensive to monitor or censor.

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Native Americans were actually European - BEFORE the Europeans arrived!

Suricou Raven

Awaiting politics.

How does this affect the sillyness of US law?

'You get to have some casino profits because my government gave your tribe a monopoly in apology for my ancestors killing some of your ancestors.'

With the reservations and such, they've effectively got independent legal systems based on ancestry.

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Dry, cold and volatile: How to survive Mars, and your fellow crew

Suricou Raven

Re: Terraforming

You couldn't terraform Mars to be perfectly livable. It's just too small and lacks gravity. But you could, with enough super-engineering, get it to the point of 'close enough' - a place where you could nip out for a stroll in a lightweight environment suit and breather, and grow your crops under an inflatable dome.

Venus, on the other hand, is hotter than Hell. And it rains acid. Not going to happen unless you want to try building a gigantic sunshade the size of an entire planet.

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Intel pulls up SoCs, reveals 'integrated' memory on CPUs

Suricou Raven

So, cache?

Except bigger, and explicitly managed by the software?

The compiler would need to put it to good use, but Intel are quite good with their optimising compiler.

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