Yet more internet censorship from Cameron and the LibDems

David Cameron and UK’s ConDem coalition government return to the issue of web censorship with an announcement that the UK government is to order ISPs to censor ‘extremist’ websites.

The crime and security minister, James Brokenshire, said on Wednesday that measures for censoring extremist content would be announced shortly. The initiative is likely to be controversial, with broadband companies already warning that freedom of speech could be compromised.

Ministers are understood to want to follow the model used to crack down on online child abuse. The Internet Watch Foundation, which is partly industry-funded, investigates reports of illegal child abuse images online; it can then ask service providers to block or take down websites.

David Cameron has previously announced the censorship of internet search engines. This latest announcement represents a second tier of censorship at the point of internet access.

It is expected that David Cameron’s UK ConDem coalition government will censor such extremist sites as the Guardian newspaper that has published seditious material sourced by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and the wikileaks site.

Guardian: NSA files live

Continue ReadingYet more internet censorship from Cameron and the LibDems

Continuing analysis of David Cameron’s web censorship

David Cameron spoke on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour at 4p.m. today. I didn’t listen to it although it will be on iplayer later. I’m commenting on this article instead.

Cameron’s comments are more nuanced e.g. not confusing Tor’s “dark net” and peer-to-peer, and have advanced from earlier this week. While the original announcements on Monday were about preventing access to illegal, child pornography Cameron is now talking of preventing children “stumbling across hardcore legal pornography”. So which is it? Wasn’t it 100,000 “unambiguous” search terms which lead to illegal content? Now it’s about children happening across legal hardcore porn? It’s not the same.

Cameron disagreed with the former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop), Jim Gamble who said this would not have a big impact as paedophiles did not use search websites to find these images, but instead go to the “dark corners of the internet on peer-to-peer websites”.

This part is alarming: Mr Cameron said GCHQ were helping the National Crime Agency (NCA) to find people who use the “dark net” – stand-alone networks that sit separate to the web but are accessible to those that run the right software.

The problem is that it’s not illegal to use Tor and it has legitimate uses for political activists and dissidents and to evade censorship in oppressive regimes (as Cameron is intending for UK?). I use Tor and – as I have said before – I run a Tor relay.

Being a Tor user is most definitely not the same as being a paedophile accessing child pornography – so why target Tor users? I personally don’t use it as much as I used to – what does it matter if Cameron, Clegg, Miliband et al have half an hour’s notice of what to expect? This blog is pretty predictable unless I’ve got an exclusive. I’ll use it if I’m researching something sensitive or to access Pirate Bay which is blocked by court order in UK. The majority of internet traffic is peer-to-peer, probably sharing copyrighted material. So what?

“One of the things that came out of the meeting that gave me hope was that actually when people talk about these sites on the dark web where people are sharing revolting images, one of the experts said it’s not totally dissimilar to people downloading movies and music.”

I think that Cameron is responding to my criticism that Tor is not peer-to-peer. It is exactly like downloading movies and movie clips from a normal webserver. The only practical difference is that it takes longer.

“I’ve talked to parents who’ve had very direct experience of this happening, where the children were looking for something totally legitimate but ended up with, you know, some pretty horrible things in front of them …” I honestly don’t think that this happens.

Cameron is welcome to check things with me first … I won’t charge much. I’m sure that he knows many people that have my email address …

Continue ReadingContinuing analysis of David Cameron’s web censorship

Politics news allsorts

A few links to UK political news stories accompanied by a few comments.

Inventor of the world wide web Tim Berners-Lee warns that … “a growing tide of surveillance and censorship now threatens the future of democracy.”

“Bold steps are needed now to protect our fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of opinion and association online.”

There’s a good account of Labour party / Unite / selection / membership troubles in Falkirk here. Looks like all sides are calling on Labour’s inquiry to be published.

Bankers’ clients make millions from dirt-cheap taxpayer-robbing sale of Royal Mail.

Paul Flowers: police arrest former Co-Op Bank chairman in drug inquiry

Image of Former Co-Op Bank Chairman Paul Flowers West Yorkshire police said a man aged 63 had been arrested on Thursday night in the Merseyside area in connection with an ongoing drugs supply investigation.

“He has been taken to a police station in West Yorkshire where detectives will continue their inquiries,” the force announced.

The escalating controversy surrounding Flowers after a video allegedly showed him handing over money for cocaine has prompted turmoil in the Co-operative Group and prompted its overall chairman, Len Wardle, to announce he will retire early from the job.

Allegations have emerged during the week, including claims surrounding Flowers’s resignation from Bradford council after pornography was found on his work laptop. Flowers is a Methodist minister and has been suspended by the church.

Conservatives are targeting Labour, which has a close relationship with the Co-op, claiming that senior party figures must have known of Flowers’s chequered past. Flowers was a Labour member and has been suspended since the allegations against him came to light, as well as being suspended from his role as a minister in the Methodist church.

Former Co-operative Bank Chairman Paul Flowers was a Methodist minister, took shovel-fulls of drugs, resigned as a councillor after gay porn was found on his official laptop and had gay orgies with expensive young rent-boys. Quite a colorful character.

Prime Minister David Cameron is trying to profit politically from the revelations about Paul Flowers because the Co-operative Group supports the Labour Party and sponsors Labour MPs and the Co-operative Bank makes ‘soft’ loans to the Labour Party.

Countless – five or six – inquiries have been initiated into the appointment of Paul Flowers and the running of the Co-op bank. A rescue deal to save the Co-op Bank by getting finance from nasty US hedge funds is intended. [24/11/13 “Indeed, there are now no fewer than seven inquiries under way into aspects of the Co-op’s woes …”]

There is no need for these inquiries because I know how Paul Flowers was appointed Chairman of the Co-op bank after ten minutes online research. He rose through the active membership side of the Co-op and was appointed as a titular Chairman on condition that two able Vice-Chairmen were also appointed.

Paul Flowers is linked to dead paedo Cyril Smith. Money, drugs, religion, expensive young rent-boys … I want to know what contacts he had with Tony Blair.

Continue ReadingPolitics news allsorts

David Cameron consorts with tax-dodgers to censor the web

Image of Jimmy Savile and Margaret Thatcher
Jimmy Savile and Margaret Thatcher

It is announced today that Downing Street is to work with massive search engine tax-dodgers Google to hugely censor the web. Under the guise of attempting to frustrate paedophiles, Downing St and Google intend to censor 100,000 search terms.

Cameron and the UK government are simply hugely censoring the internet. This measure will not affect paedophiles since they don’t use Google to search for paedophile material. Instead it will frustrate users legally searching for legitimate materials. It is quite simply huge censorship of the web. It will actually – and is quite possibly intended to – have the opposite effect of assisting internet paedophiles by posing difficulties to independent researchers.

It is a mistake to think that the internet is not already hugely censored. Do you think that search engines do not already censor paedophile and alternative political materials? This blog is hugely censored for political reasons: you won’t find this blog in a school or library. Try searching for some terms from this blog like “war of bullshit”. [Just realised that it works on Google]

There are not 100,000 paedophile search terms and paedophiles don’t use Google anyway. How can this be anything except a huge exercise in censorship?

We have already seen that UK Conservatives want to censor the web. Their lobbying bill is a huge attack on democracy attempting to neuter charities and unions. They are simply trying to take out their opposition in a very evil way totally opposed to democracy, freedom and liberty.

If it is accepted that there simply is not 100,000 search terms related to paedophilia then what is going to be censored? There are elite paedophile rings protected by the UK authorities. Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith were protected by UK authorities. I know of one paedo who was close to Tony Blair who is protected by UK authorities. When you censor the web, you are protecting these paedos.

8.30pm 18/11/13

Jim Gamble, former Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) chief executive, said that while Mr Cameron’s influence has “accelerated” the process of getting the search engines to ban 100,000 search terms.

However he said it was the peer-to-peer networks that need to be targeted if the Government wants to track down paedophiles.

He said: “Very few paedophiles in my experience use Google.”

“At the end of the day a pop up message is not going to inform, educated or scare a paedophile they know what they do is wrong, that’s why they are secretive about it that’s why they hide in the peer to peer of the dark web where they cant be found.”

  1. Confirmation that paedos do not use Google as I stated earlier in this post.
  2. There is a confused use of terms. The dark web is a reference to Tor, which is not a peer-to-peer network (like BitTorrent).
  3. The paedos are using Tor not peer-to-peer.

[19/11/13 This story seems to have died very suddenly – there are only a few mentions today of yesterday’s events.

… Cameron claimed the search queries targeted, which were drawn up by child protection experts, were “unambiguous,” but that seems quite frankly impossible. There are reportedly as many as 100,000 terms on the list—for comparison, the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary contains 231,100 entries. There seems a real risk, then, of the algorithm overreaching and preventing web users from accessing perfectly legal content. …

[like (conservative or tory or lord or rich or falconer or blair) and (paedo or paedophile or nonce),

“straw rendition torture”,

“dodgy dossier”,

“misled parliament”,

“public inquiry”,

“conservative broken promises”,

etc. ]

Join the IWF to see child porn. This achieves nothing – police and intelligence services already have access.

[20/11/13 To clarify this.

Tor works by routing encrypted requests through a circuit of relays. The circuits change often. The Tor exit node is at the other end to the user and is unencrypted to the requested resource (on the open web, not if the target resource is on a Tor hidden service e.g. illegal paedo porn). The Tor user cannot be identified unless she has made a mistake e.g. identifying herself through an email address or has been infected as Anonymous did.

The confusion that spooks, ex-spooks, prime ministers and news reporters are showing between the Tor anonymity network and peer-to-peer networks is due to two issues.

  1. Prime Ministers and news reporters don’t understand it and are following the lead of spooks, ex-spooks and spooky advisors, and
  2. At the network level i.e. where spooks are intercepting traffic, they can’t distinguish Tor from peer-to-peer traffic so to them it is the same. {Later edit: 2 is based on intuition. It should not be taken as a statement of fact or knowledge.} ]

Confusion between Tor and peer-to-peer continues. Pursuing peer-to-peer seems a wasted effort.

The Internet Watch Foundation does not at the moment pursue images and videos on so-called peer-to-peer networks because it lacks permission from the Home Office. But it was announced on Monday that the watchdog would begin a six-month pilot scheme in collaboration with Google, Microsoft and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency (Ceop), so that IWF can develop procedures to identify and blacklist links to child abuse material on P2P services.

Independent: Search engines take on child abuse: The ‘massive breakthrough’ where little has changed

This post subject to change.

Continue ReadingDavid Cameron consorts with tax-dodgers to censor the web