Hírek  

My work—which involved interviews with file sharers as part of a dissertation in Social Anthropology—has focused on the strong non-economic undercurrent to participation in file sharing networks, ranging from the greater sense of agency and freedom they provided in an expanding cultural universe to their role as a perceived alternative to the ongoing Greek delegitimation of most social and political institutions. Freedom of expression, freedom to communicate, access to knowledge and information, excitement at the rediscovery and “rebirth” of old and rare works… All have figured as important motives for engagement with P2P networks. So too do perceptions of the lack of formal infrastructure and institutions for supporting cultural creativity; the successive shrinking of the welfare state; and the ongoing political crisis, shaped by scandals, nepotism and patronage relations. Within this context, P2P networks represent a form of self-organization and reconfiguration of social life outside established channels that has proved both valuable and—for some—inspirational in the context of the larger Greek crisis.

For some Greek youth, especially, the growth of P2P networks in Greece crystallized aspects of their broader social and political disaffection. Since 2008, P2P culture has merged with wider forms of political and sociocultural critique from all sides of the political spectrum. During the riots of December 2008, a popular Greek P2P tracker published a manifesto in which envisioned a full spectrum of social demands, from the development of alternative sources of energy; to free education, health care and public transportation; to the abolition of the anti-riot police units used to suppress protests; to the “copyleft of all spiritual and informative material.”

via File Sharing and the Greek Crisis » infojustice.

 

libraryjournal: Original comic by John Kleckner, modified by an anonymous librarian.

libraryjournal:

Original comic by John Kleckner, modified by an anonymous librarian.

via élet és könyvtár lite (libraryjournal: Original comic by John Kleckner,…).

Digimarc Guardian Customer Support : Announcements.

The future of copyright amendments crowdsourced by the Finnish public appear to be in doubt. The citizen-drafted proposals, which received 50,000 signatures, seek to decriminalize file-sharing, but Finland’s Education and Culture Committee now wants to reject the historic initiative.

via Finland Wants to Kill Crowdsourced Copyright Law | TorrentFreak.

Adobe has just given us a graphic demonstration of how not to handle security and privacy issues.A hacker acquaintance of mine has tipped me to a huge security and privacy violation on the part of Adobe. That anonymous acquaintance was examining Adobe’s DRm for educational purposes when they noticed that Digital Editions 4, the newest version of Adobe’s Epub app, seemed to be sending an awful lot of data to Adobe’s servers.My source told me, and I can confirm, that Adobe is tracking users in the app and uploading the data to their servers. Adobe was contacted in advance of publication, but declined to respond. Edit: Adobe responded Tuesday night.And just to be clear, I have seen this happen, and I can also tell you that Benjamin Daniel Mussler, the security researcher who found the security hole on Amazon.com, has also tested this at my request and saw it with his own eyes.

via Adobe is Spying on Users, Collecting Data on Their eBook Libraries – The Digital Reader.

Home StoryFBI chief: Apple, Google phone encryption perilousBy Ken DilanianAssociated PressPosted: 09/25/2014 02:06:09 PM PDT# Comments | Updated: about 18 hours agoWASHINGTON — The FBI director on Thursday criticized the decision by Apple and Google to encrypt smartphones data so it can be inaccessible to law enforcement, even with a court order.James Comey told reporters at FBI headquarters that U.S. officials are in talks with the two companies, which he accused of marketing products that would let people put themselves beyond the law’s reach.Comey cited child-kidnapping and terrorism cases as two examples of situations where quick access by authorities to information on cellphones can save lives. Comey did not cite specific past cases that would have been more difficult for the FBI to investigate under the new policies, which only involve physical access to a suspect’s or victim’s phone when the owner is unable or unwilling to unlock it for authorities.FILE – In this Sept. 23, 2014 file photo, FBI Director James Comey speaks at the FBI Albany Field Office in Albany, N.Y.FILE – In this Sept. 23, 2014 file photo, FBI Director James Comey speaks at the FBI Albany Field Office in Albany, N.Y. Mike Groll/AP Photo”What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to hold themselves beyond the law,” Comey said. At another point, he said he feared a moment when “when people with tears in their eyes look at me and say, ‘What do you mean you can’t?’”

via FBI chief: Apple, Google phone encryption perilous – San Jose Mercury News.

The Art of Unblocking Websites Without Committing Crimes | TorrentFreak.

Last month UK police took down several torrent site proxies and arrested their owner. Now a UK developer has created a new & free service that not only silently unblocks any website without falling foul of the law, but one that will eventually become available to all under a GPL 3.0 license.

networkThe blocking of sites such as The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents and Torrentz in the UK led to users discovering new ways to circumvent ISP-imposed censorship. There are plenty of solutions, from TOR and VPNs, to services with a stated aim of unblocking ‘pirate’ sites deemed illegal by UK courts.

Last month, however, dozens of these went offline when the operator of Immunicity and other related proxy services was arrested by City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit. He now faces several charges including breaches of the Serious Crime Act 2007, Possession of Articles for Use in Fraud, Making or Supplying Articles for use in Frauds and money laundering.

While it’s generally accepted that running a site like The Pirate Bay is likely to attract police attention, merely unblocking a domain was not thought to carry any such risk. After all, visitors to torrent sites are just that, it’s only later on that they make a decision to infringe or not.

In our earlier article we discussed some of the possible reasons why the police might view “pirate” proxies to be illegal. However, there are very good arguments that general purpose proxies, even ones that are expressly setup to bypass filtering (and are able to unblock sites such as Pirate Bay), remain on a decent legal footing.

One such site is being operated by Gareth, a developer and networking guru who grew so tired of creeping Internet censorship he began lobbying UK MPs on the topic, later moving on to assist with the creation of the Open Rights Group’s Blocked.org.uk.

After campaigning and documenting Internet censorship issues for some time, Gareth first heard of last month’s proxy arrest during a visit to the United States.

“I was at DefCon in Las Vegas when the news of the Immunicity arrest reached me and I realized that for all my volunteer work, my open source applications, operation of Tor relays, donations and letters to MPs to highlight/combat the issues with Internet censorship, it was not enough,” the developer told TorrentFreak.

“I felt that this issue has moved from a political / technical issue to one about personal liberty and Internet freedom. e.g. first they came for the ‘pirate proxies’, then the Tor operators, then the ISPs that don’t censor their customers. The slippery slope is becoming a scary precipice.”

Since his return to the UK, Gareth has been busy creating his own independent anti-censorship tool. He’s researched in detail what happened to Immunicity, taken legal advice, and is now offering what he hopes is an entirely legal solution to website filtering and subsequent over-blocking (1)(2).

“Unlike Immunicity et al I’m not specifically building a ‘Pirate Proxy’. Granted people might use this proxy to navigate to torrent websites but were I to sell a laptop on eBay that same person may use it for the same reasons so I see no difference,” he explains.

“In fact Section 44, subsection 2 of the Serious Crimes Act 2007 even states [that an individual] is not to be taken to have intended to encourage or assist the commission of an offense merely because such encouragement or assistance was a foreseeable consequence of his act.”

The result of Gareth’s labor is the anti-censorship service Routing Packets is Not a Crime (RPINAC). People who used Immunicity in the past should feel at home, since RPINAC also utilizes the ability of popular browsers to use Proxy Auto-Config (PAC) files.

In the space of a couple of minutes and with no specialist knowledge, users can easily create their own PAC files covering any blocked site they like. Once configured, their browser will silently unblock them.

Furthermore, each PAC file has its own dedicated URL on RPINAC’s servers which users can revisit in order to add additional URLs for unblocking. PAC ‘unblock’ files can also be shared among like-minded people.

“When someone creates a PAC file they are redirected to a /view/ endpoint e.g. https://routingpacketsisnotacrime.uk/view/b718ce9b276bc2f10af90fe1d5b33c0d. This URL is not ephemeral, you can email it, tweet it (there is a tweet button on the left hand side of the site) etc and it will provide the recipient with the exact same view.

“It’ll show which URLs are specified to be proxied, which have been detected as blocked (using the https://blocked.org.uk database) and if the author passed along the password (assuming the PAC was password protected) they can add or remove URLs too,” Gareth explains.

“Each view page also has a comments section, this could allow for a small collection of individuals to co-ordinate with a smaller subset of password possessing moderators to create a crowd sourced PAC file in an autonomous fashion. There is also a ‘Clone’ button allowing anybody to create their own copy of the PAC file with their own name, description and password if the PAC file they’ve received isn’t quite what they need.”

This user-generated element of the process is important. While dedicated ‘pirate’ proxy sites specifically unblock sites already deemed illegal by the UK courts (and can be deemed to be facilitating their ‘crimes’), RPINAC leaves the decision of which sites to unblock completely down to the user. And since no High Court injunction forbids any user from accessing a blocked domain, both service and user remain on the right side of the law.

In terms of use, RPINAC is unobtrusive, has no popups, promotions or advertising, and will not ask for payment or donations, a further important legal point.

“To avoid any accusations of fraud and to avoid any tax implications RPINAC will never ask for donations,” the dev explains. “The current platform is pre-paid for at least a year, the domain for 10. At a bare minimum PAC file serving and education for creating local proxies will continue indefinitely.”

Finally, Gareth notes that without free and open source software his anti-censorship platform wouldn’t have been possible. So, in return, he has plans to release the source code for the project under the GPL 3.0 license.

RoutingPacketsIsNotACrime can be found here and is compatible with Firefox, Chrome, Safari and IE. Additional information can be sourced here.

4chan adopts DMCA policy after nude celebrity photo postingsSite agrees to remove “bona fide” infringing material if asked.

via 4chan adopts DMCA policy after nude celebrity photo postings | Ars Technica.

As evidence mounts, it’s getting harder to defend Edward Snowden – Skating on Stilts.

The evidence is mounting that Edward Snowden and his journalist allies have helped al Qaeda improve their security against NSA surveillance. In May, Recorded Future, a predictive analytics web intelligence firm, published a persuasive timeline showing that Snowden’s revelations about NSA’s capabilities were followed quickly by a burst of new, robust encryption tools from al-Qaeda and its affiliates:

This is hardly a surprise for those who live in the real world. But it was an affront to Snowden’s defenders, who’ve long insisted that journalists handled the NSA leaks so responsibly that no one can identify any damage that they have caused.

In damage control mode, Snowden’s defenders first responded to the Recorded Future analysis by pooh-poohing the terrorists’ push for new encryption tools. Bruce Schneier declared that the change might actually hurt al Qaeda: “I think this will help US intelligence efforts. Cryptography is hard, and the odds that a home-brew encryption product is better than a well-studied open-source tool is slight.”

Schneier is usually smarter than this. In fact, the product al Qaeda had been recommending until the leaks, Mujahidin Secrets, probably did qualify as “home-brew encryption.” Indeed, Bruce Schneier dissed Mujahidin Secrets in 2008 on precisely that ground, saying “No one has explained why a terrorist would use this instead of PGP.”

But as a second Recorded Future post showed, the products that replaced Mujahidin Secrets relied heavily on open-source and proven encryption software. Indeed, one of them uses Schneier’s own, well-tested encryption algorithm, Twofish.

Faced with facts that contradicted his original defense of Snowden, Schneier was quick to offer a new reason why Snowden’s leaks and al Qaeda’s response to them still wouldn’t make any difference:

Whatever the reason, Schneier says, al-Qaida’s new encryption program won’t necessarily keep communications secret, and the only way to ensure that nothing gets picked up is to not send anything electronically. Osama bin Laden understood that. That’s why he ended up resorting to couriers.

Upgrading encryption software might mask communications for al-Qaida temporarily, but probably not for long, Schneier said….”It is relatively easy to find vulnerabilities in software,” he added. “This is why cybercriminals do so well stealing our credit cards. And it is also going to be why intelligence agencies are going to be able to break whatever software these al-Qaida operatives are using.”

So, if you were starting to think that Snowden and his band of journalist allies might actually be helping the terrorists, there’s no need to worry, according to Schneier, because all encryption software is so bad that NSA will still be able to break the terrorists’ communications and protect us. Oddly, though, that’s not what he says when he isn’t on the front lines with the Snowden Defense Corps. In a 2013 Guardian article entitled “NSA surveillance: A guide to staying secure,“ for example, he offers very different advice, quoting Snowden:

“Encryption works. Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on.”

Scheier acknowledges that hacking of communication endpoints can defeat even good encryption, but he’s got an answer for that, too:

Try to use public-domain encryption that has to be compatible with other implementations. …Since I started working with Snowden’s documents, I have been using GPGSilent CircleTailsOTRTrueCryptBleachBit, and a few other things I’m not going to write about.…

The NSA has turned the fabric of the internet into a vast surveillance platform, but they are not magical. They’re limited by the same economic realities as the rest of us, and our best defense is to make surveillance of us as expensive as possible.

Trust the math. Encryption is your friend. Use it well, and do your best to ensure that nothing can compromise it. That’s how you can remain secure even in the face of the NSA.

It sounds as though al Qaeda took Bruce Schneier’s advice to heart, thanks to leaks from Edward Snowden — even if Schneier is still doing everything he can to avoid admitting it.

UPDATE: The description of Recorded Future was changed at the request of the company, which said, “While this may seem like splitting hairs, in the world of data analysis software “predictive analytics” has specific technical meaning which implies something different. We use the term web intelligence to reduce this confusion.”

A Dutch marketplace for second hand eBooks is being allowed to continue operating after the Amsterdam Court dismissed complaints from book publishers. The Court ruled that “Tom Kabinet” operates in a legal gray area which requires further investigation. Meanwhile the used eBook business is booming.

via Online Store Can Sell ‘Used’ Ebooks, Court Rules | TorrentFreak.

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