The Great Firewall of Britain

Xbiz reports that UK ISP Sky Broadband will soon be switching on adult-content filters by default:


Sky Broadband Switching On Porn Filters by Default

All new and existing Sky Broadband customers will be receiving an email soon asking if they want to turn their porn filters on. Read More>>

In related commentary, GHacks’ Martin Brinkmann says:

The Internet filter, or Great Firewall of Britain, is not effective in protecting children. While it blocks a good chunk of adult websites, it is overreaching in nature which means that legitimate sites are blocked by it as well.

Also see http://www.infoworld.com/article/3017962/open-source-tools/should-isps-filter-the-internet-for-their-customers.html?

McAfee to Run as Libertarian

According to USA Today, cybersecurity guru and Cyber Party US presidential candidate John McAfee announced that he has accepted the Libertarian Party’s invitation to run for its candidacy for the 2016 election. Unlike the Cyber Party, the Libertarian Party has ballot access in all 50 states, and the LP’s nomination would lend a higher level of credibility and seriousness to his innovative campaign.

McAfee has emphasized the importance of maintaining a free and open Internet and improving cybersecurity without infringing on individual rights and freedoms. While he opposes Title II reclassification of Internet service (which I support), he does advocate the principles of Net Neutrality.

I support John McAfee’s bid for the Libertarian nomination, and if he wins it, I plan to support his general election campaign.

John McAfee’s position statements: https://mcafee16.com/issues/

John McAfee

John McAfee

CBS News’ Weird Ode to Weak Encryption

This week, CBS News ran a strange, one-sided article supporting claims by Facebook and Cloud Flare that an updated standard for secure https certificate signing would cut off Internet access to millions of developing-world users on January 1st. The article heavily quoted Cloud Flare’s Matthew Prince as suggesting that large numbers of people in oppressive regimes would suddenly be unable to connect to websites whose identity is verified by the modern SHA-2 certificate standard.

An article in E-week disputed these claims, noting that Prince derived his estimates from assumptions about the number of people accessing the Internet using the default browsers of very old smartphones. Delaying the move to SHA-2, as Facebook and Cloud Flare advocate, would place billions of Internet users at risk when using secure sites, an unacceptable tradeoff in the view of many technologists.

The E-week article stated emphatically that enforcement of the stronger standard for newly issued certificates will not, in fact, block anyone from using the Internet:

NEWS ANALYSIS: Despite predictions of doom on the Internet, the transition to security certificates that enforce SHA-2 encryption will not immediately cut off Web access to anyone.

 

We still have a chance to stop CISA

Regarding the incarnation of CISA that is currently before the US Congress, a press release from https://www.fightforthefuture.org/


Congress is dirty in their ways. They snuck a much worse version of CISA – the terrible surveillance and incarceration bill – into the omnibus, a budget bill that has to be passed to prevent a government shutdown.

But, it’s starting to look like there might not be enough votes to pass it. Both Democrats and Republicans are starting to balk because of CISA and other provisions. Now, we need to try our damndest to make sure every on-the-fence senator and representative sides with us and votes no. Otherwise, CISA winds up on President Obama’s desk.

Take action right now to stop Congress from passing the worst surveillance and incarceration bill since the PATRIOT Act.

The provision looks a lot like CISA, Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act — but there’s no pretense of privacy in it at all.

It’s a flagrant attempt to expand U.S. government’s surveillance programs. It has language in it that allows many federal agencies to use our data for their purposes. Inevitably, the FBI and law enforcement agencies will use the data they collect from companies through this program to investigate, prosecute, and incarcerate more people, deepening injustices in our society while failing to improve security.

In short, Congress is overreaching again — which means it’s time for us to make sure they don’t get away with it.

Tell Congress: Don’t sell out the open Internet in this year’s omnibus bill. 

Instead of actually debating the bill on the floor of Congress, it’s being attached to the must-pass omnibus spending bill, which makes it less likely that Congress will actually spend the time they need to discussing this provision.

That’s because ever since Congress adopted its do-nothing mentality, spending bills have become more and more important because they’re one of the only things that Congress absolutely has to do on a regular basis — otherwise there would be another government shutdown and no one is actually willing to chance that again.

In practice, that means spending bills have become vehicles for legislation that would otherwise never pass. Regulations and provisions make their way into law as part of massive trades and compromises that need to be made this way because Congress is so impossibly ineffectual.

To make sure CISA doesn’t become law, much less without even a hint of the previous privacy protections, we need to act now. 

Yes, I’ll take action right now.

No, I can’t do that — but I’ll chip in $10 to help Fight for the Future expand the campaign to protect basic rights online.

Thanks for protecting the Internet,

Evan at FFTF

P.S. There is some good news in the omnibus bill, though — the anti- Net Neutrality provisions that were being discussed have been completely axed from the final version. Together, we did that. We scared them, and they left it out. So be proud of that win…while you take action to keep CISA out of the budget

Net Neutrality Saved for Now, but Spying Bill Passes

Wednesday the US Senate passed a critical budget bill without Republican-backed language that would have overruled the hard-fought, but weak, FCC Net Neutrality rules. Still, this reprieve for Net Neutrality is only temporary, since a court could overturn the rules in a pending case, and even if the rules are upheld, a future FCC could reverse them.

Unfortunately, the budget bill also included the widely criticized cyber-spying provision called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which would allow private companies and governments at every level to share private consumer data on the pretense of protecting against cyber-attacks.

A Worthy Cause for #givingtuesday

Press release from https://www.fightforthefuture.org:


Today is #givingtuesday, a moment when many people are deciding which non-profits to give to, this holiday season.  There are many worthy causes and organizations, but here is one big reason you should give to Fight for the Future:

2015 has been an absolutely, positively, jaw-on-the-floor-incredible year for the open Internet.

As a movement, we won the strongest-ever protections for Net Neutrality, AND we watched major sections of the PATRIOT Act expire and then get reformed. People have been working on both of those issues for over a decade, and this year we had huge wins on both just months apart.

Which is to say, if there was any doubt before, Internet users are unquestionably a force to be reckoned with — and for all the amazing wins we had in 2015, we want 2016 to be better.

In a year, I want to be able to email you talking about how we won even stronger protections for users everywhere in 2016. How we made it so more people are able to connect to the Internet, and that the Internet they’re connecting to is safer, more open, and more free than ever. And not just in one country, but around the world.

To do that, we need you to fight with us.

Can you become a Fight for the Future member? If just 100 people sign up to become members today, we’ll be more powerful than ever in 2016. (Also, if you sign up today we’ll give you a t-shirt, as thanks.)

Yes, I can chip in $25 each year or $5 every month to become a Fight for the Future member.

Becoming a member means that you’re standing with us, that you believe in our approach and our team, and want to help us launch the campaigns that make 2016 just as successful as 2015. Campaigns like #faxbigbrother, which sent over 6 million faxes to Congress in a matter of weeks opposing surveillance. Or the Internet Health Test, which let us keep tabs on which ISPs were breaking the new Net Neutrality rules.

Right now, Fight for the Future is a small, scrappy team. There are just 8 of us, and we work together every day coming up with creative tactics that cut through the noise on important issues, resonating powerfully with people and moving legislators.

We don’t intend to change that — because the way we campaign works. But with members committed to making a monthly (or annual) donation, we can spend less time fundraising and more time building campaigns that win. An extra campaigner, coder, or designer lets us move more quickly and capitalize on important moments. Your support lets us bring those people on.

Can you join us and help build the Internet into the most powerful political force imaginable?

Our goal is to raise $15,000 today, and have 100 people become Fight for the Future members. Can you help us do that?

Yes, I want to become a member of Fight for the Future.

No, but I can chip in $5 today to help protect the Internet in 2016.

This #GivingTuesday there are so many different causes and activist struggles to support. But nearly all of these other causes depend on the open Internet to win. And that’s what we’re defending. Heck, without the open Internet, even #GivingTuesday itself wouldn’t be possible.

So please, consider becoming a member of the organization that fights to keep the open Internet alive, and all those other efforts safely humming away, building a better world.

For the Internet,

Tiffiniy, Holmes and the whole gang at Fight for the Future