The Suitcase Internet – The Internet Free Of Government Control

image“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself………….. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it.”  – H. L. MenckenDecember 1919

Despite the fact that Mencken wrote those words almost 100 years ago – he might well have been describing current views held by “the man who is able to think things out for himself.” – Generally, governments are increasingly being seen as dishonest, and corrupt.

In recent years, particularly through events loosely termed “The Arab Spring”,   we’ve been witness to the inevitable clash between those who’s views run counter to the status quo (the thinking man), who stood in defiance of corrupt governments who’s very existence relied on violating the most basic tenets of human rights. Dishonest, insane and intolerable governments.

The Internet played some role, in broadcasting the desperate voices of those engaged in violent encounters against regimes who were intent on eliminating those who fought for the right to condemn the repugnant conditions of their existence. How much of a role, is the subject of continuing discussion.

At the height of those conflicts, countermeasures taken by these repressive regimes included, cutting off access to the Internet in an attempt to slam the door on the free flow of information. Information which, to some extent, ultimately led to the “the people”overthrowing unsustainable governments in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt.

There are of course, an accumulation of lessons learned (and, still to be learned), by the successful outcomes of the Arab Spring. One rather obvious lesson it seems to me is – those who cherish the right to freedom of expression, and the right to have those views disseminated, will continue on a collision course with the undercurrent of repression circling the Globe.

Attempts are now underway, in Canada, the US and theUK, to limit, by way of regulatory controls (repression by any other name), the rights and freedoms we’ve come to expect when connected to the Internet.

Controls which effectively reduce, or in some cases, obliterate freedom of choice. Controls which could conceivably be used to slam the door on the free exchange of ideas, and political dissent. In a word – censorship.

It might surprise you to learn just how much Internet censorship is already in place world wide. The following graphic from Wikipedia is illuminating.

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The graphic is based on 2009 data.

It’s a fantasy, in my view, to believe that governments will learn to self regulate their persistent push to impose restrictions on how users travel the Internet. That, they will take the high road – based on an understanding that there is an undercurrent of hostility to interference with what many Internet users now believe is a basic human right. The right to surf the Internet without obstruction.

Instead, it’s much more likely that we will see a progression toward increased censorship and surveillance. Governments just never seem to “get it” – that there’s always a point beyond which people will push back. And, there are those who are pushing back against government Internet control – in a technical manner.

A recent article in Scientific American Magazine – Internet Freedom Fighters Build a Shadow Web – describes one such “push back”.

“Governments and corporations have more control over the Internet than ever. Now digital activists want to build an alternative network that can never be blocked, filtered or shut down.”

I’m neither a romantic (as Mencken suggest one might need to be to effect change), nor do I have a Don Quixote complex – but, I’m convinced, that in order to safeguard freedom of though and expression, the  transmission of information without government interference and restriction – then, the creation of a  decentralized mesh network (as described in the Scientific American article), that can’t be blocked, filtered, or silenced, is in our best interest.

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30 Comments

Filed under Opinion, Point of View

30 responses to “The Suitcase Internet – The Internet Free Of Government Control

  1. zbob

    Hey Bill,
    We all know that our ISP’s have to keep and make available to the Gov. our web traffic on “demand”…

    Here is a another “search” alternative to “G that I had not heard of before; It is “one small step for privacy…”

    Gibiru Search Engine Proxy & Alternative Search Engine

    Search: Google nor the NSA have commented publicly on their agreement. Absent any openness, there is no way for Google customers to know what information the company is giving the NSA and no way for U.S. citizens to know what the NSA is doing for Google in return. Gibiru is part of the Search Engine Privacy Project founded by Underground Internet Privacy Activists.
    …When you use Gibiru you are taking a stand against Corporate Search Engines and Government Censorship. Every search you perform on Gibruu takes 51% of corporate advertising revenue away from Google for that search.

    Anonymity and Private Browsing
    Gibiru Offers Users Private Browsing of Uncensored Seach Results. Gibiru is presently based on modified Google Search algorithm that breaks the tracking of your behavioral search result filtering and censoring so that you get natural untargeted search results. Gibiru offers different levels of privacy depending on the browser that you use. The following table explains the difference in Privacy a Gibiru user can expect depending on the browser you are using. For Maximum Privacy Gibiru recommends Safari. We seriously discourage the Use of Chrome since it is a product developed by Google and the NSA. Protect Your Browsing Freedom and Set Gibiru as your Homepage.

    Gibiru Privacy Capabilities by Browser type
    http://gibiru.com/about-gibiru

    Best,

    zbob

  2. Steve

    You do not no the half of it the control by democratic dictatorships over there nations. One tends to think that it is only “other” states communist or other wise.
    Steve

    • Hey Steve,

      Yes, you’re absolutely right. Repression happens elsewhere – never in one’s home country. How wrong that is. It’s happening everywhere in the World.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Best,

      Bill

  3. delenn13

    From what I can see…The internetz in Canada is very unhappy and telling Vic everything……. Twitter / Search – TellVicEverything is trending. Tek Heretik (tek_heretik) on Twitter

    Even Hitler is upset…Hitler reacts to online privacy backlash Bill C-30 #tellVICeverything – YouTube NSFW

    Hackers attack police chiefs’ website to protest support for Internet bill – Yahoo! News

    And this from the infamous Anonymous released yesterday. Vic Toews – New Scandal Revealed in 7 Days – YouTube Make sure you read the info..has email addresses, phone numbers..etc.

    I can haz an internetz that can’t be “blocked, filtered, or silenced”?

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Wow!! It would suck to be Vic – sounds as if Anonymous is ready to do a big number on the Devils Apprentice. Needs to be done. Enough with the secrets, the corruption, and the mind-bending attempts at dictatorship.

      The links are terrific – thank you.

      You might recall that in an earlier discussion, I mentioned that no matter the technology that’s developed to attempt to “control” us – a techno solution will always be found that will reverse the field. The tech in the American Scientific article, is just one of many in the pipeline.

      Best,

      Bill

  4. Mal

    Hey Bill,
    Not much blue in so called democratic countries on that graph, is there? I don’t know why apparently educated governments bother really. Someone will always find a way around their censorship restrictions. Why do governments always think they know what’s best for us. They should just get on with the job they are supposed to do, like provide education, housing and health services.
    Cheers

    • Hey Mal,

      It is amazing isn’t it? There seems to be little focus on education, housing, health services (or, jobs, the economy…..). Instead, (the US Republican Primaries is a good example of the lunatics running the Asylum), the focus is on control issues – abortion, birth control, religion……..

      Here in Canada, the focus is on building more Prisons, instituting mandatory prison sentences (which have created a crisis elsewhere e.g. California) – despite the fact, that crime is at the lowest level in 40 years. Although, if you can believe this – our Minister of Justice insists that these things are needed, since “unreported crime” is way up. “Unreported crime” – how insane is that?

      Mencken was right, if one has a modicum of intelligence – governments are seen as dishonest, insane and intolerable.

      Best,

      Bill

  5. John

    Hi Bill,
    Then we have the Julia / Kevin Punch and Judy show going on here at the moment, and they think they know best and want to run our country.

    Wish I could post images, but links will have to do. :D

    http://www.ntnews.com.au/images/gallery/remote/2012/02/25/241121.jpg
    http://www.ntnews.com.au/images/gallery/remote/2012/02/25/241171.jpg

    Cheers,
    John

  6. Joe

    Hey Bill,
    Thanks for the article and info-i’m trying Gibiru search.Hope it’s cool.

  7. Joe

    Hi,Zbob,
    Forgot to thank you for posting your comment to Bill, and info on Gibiru.com–Thanks
    Joe

  8. I appreciate the honest nature of your blog. Keep it up please.

  9. hipockets

    Hey, Bill —
    Referring to ZBob’s post about private browsing and Gibiru:

    From the Gibiru search page: “….when you search through Gibiru, the system simply breaks your IP address from the search query and dilutes the data that Google may connect you with.”`

    I’ve read, and do not doubt, that Google limits, and sometimes prevents, search results from other search engines. I hope that Gibiru does not run into this.

    “IXQUICK” is another search engine that claims to protect privacy and have more meaningful search results. Its privacy policy is listed at https://www.ixquick.com/eng/privacy-policy.html.

    Their search engine strips out the user’s private data and uses other search engines for better search results. To quote from their site:

    “An Ixquick result is awarded one star for every search engine that chooses it as one of the ten best results for your search. So a five star result means that five search engines agreed on the result.

    “This is significant because search engines choose results in different ways, and each approach works well in some cases and poorly in others. A result with many stars was chosen for many different reasons, and is a consensus choice of many search engines.”

    One thing I like about it is that it stores the user’s preferences (and there are several) in a unique url, so the user does not have to accept a cookie.

    Coming back to your broader topic, I continue to be dumbfounded at the idiocies of the republican party here in the states. The party claiming to want smaller government and more freedom for the people continues to pass regulations that require more government and limits the rights of the people – especially the rights of women and the poorer classes.

    Some days I think that there is so much craziness in the world that it’s close to reaching a critical mass and civilization as we know it will implode.

    Once in a great while, though, one does find some humor in the situation.

    It’s been reported in the news here that Bob McDonell, the governor of our State of Virginia, hopes to chosen as V.P. at the republican convention. I assumed that he meant “Vice President”. It turns out that he meant “Vaginal Probe”.

    • Hey Hipockets,

      Thanks for the info – worth checking out.

      Given the unceasing attacks on women’s right I’m astonished there hasn’t been a tidal wave of opposition from women. I find this very strange.

      Had to check out the “Vaginal Probe” comment – These people are CRAZY!!

      Best,

      Bill

  10. delenn13

    I watched the Twitter feed of #tellVICeverything last night and I was laughing so much. It was hilarious. I have never seen the Canadian ppl so upset and so humourous. The hashtags of some of them were ROFL.Some of them were going for the jugular. Probably will end up on some “Do Not Fly” list.

    I was also playing “The Sandbox of God:Remastered” and I was really tempted to engage the warfare mode..just because…But then..I decided. The world I am creating is peaceful and prosperous. Even has rabbits. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Don’t just do something to be doing something. Some politicians should take that to heart. Honest..you aren’t gonna solve anything by reading my RSS feeds, my email or checking out what I download. And BTW, who is paying these people?

    In the 14 years I have been here I have really learned to love the beauty and the people here. But the politicians need to sit back and listen to the people and go from there. Not hide behind the doors making deals with the devil. We pay the salaries of these people not to decide what is best for us..but like Mal said above, to give us provide education, housing and health services. The rest will fall into place.

    Oh, man…I forgot to tell “Vic” I went to church today….And when I got back..in 2 hours time…I had over 250 tweets to read…

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Probably will end up on some “Do Not Fly” list – an interesting comment. While reading some of the Twitter input and, given that “real” names, in many cases, are being used – the same though crossed my mind. An overreach, maybe? I don’t think so, given the reputation of this government.

      Definitely agree – this government desperately needs to realign its priorities. Park the fascism bus and address the real needs of real people.

      BTW, just downloaded The Sandbox of God:Remastered – haven’t installed yet but, looking forward to a test drive. :)

      Best,

      Bill

      • delenn13

        Hi Bill,

        Hope you got a good price for the game. I paid 2.00 for it over the Christmas holidays. They had given it away TWICE at Game Giveaway of the Day but every time I was on vacation and not near a PC. :( I had all the other Vertigo games so I just decided to bite the bullet and pay for it since it was on sale.

        PS I have wrecked my world more than once..It’s hard to figure out what events and in what order to do things at times..LOL I would guess being God isn’t easy.

        • Hey Delenn13,

          Downloaded Sandbox of God here as freeware – http://www.vertigogaming.net/game/sandbox

          You’re right – “being God isn’t easy”. Look at the mess s/he has to contend with. :)

          Best,

          Bill

          • delenn13

            Hey Bill,
            Then you got a bargain.:)

            Global Toronto | Liberals take blame for Vikileaks attacks on Public Safety Minister Toews

            Gee, they figured it out without the use of Bill C-30.

            Apparently, having a Twitter account and giving “public information”on a social network is in contempt of the House. Calls, emails and faxes about the bill are too. So is the feed #TellVicEverything. Poor Vic is complaining about Anonymous too..saying the videos are trying to intimidate him. But the robo calling is Okay…

            Enough…

            Here are some hints on SOG.
            The Sandbox of God – IndieFAQs

            Might want to check this out…Got this from Campy, a friend:

            “The latest Indie Royale bundle is now available and this one is a little different. They call it Alpha Collection #1 and it is a bundle of three games that are currently in alpha state. Purchase gets you regular updates and the final game. The developers estimate that they are 40% to 75% complete (varies by game). The games are: Towns (said to be influenced by Dungeon Keeper, Dwarf Fortress, and Majesty), 3079 (like Fallout and Minecraft) and Wyv and Keep (a more fiendish version of The Lost Vikings. There are videos for all of them and demos are available for the first two.”

            Alpha Collection #1 – Indie Royale

            • Hey Delenn13,

              Bad mistake to apologize, I think. When up against a government like this one, the gloves should come off.

              When it comes to safeguarding civil liberties, the Marquis of Queensbury rules need not apply.

              Thanks for the hints, etc.

              Best,

              Bill

  11. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    On the subject of alternative search engines, Scroogle had their message about Google blocking them up for at least a couple of weeks. Just tried them again and cannot even connect to the website.

    Kind regards
    John

  12. delenn13

    This is one of my favorite tweets..from the #TellVicEverything stream.
    @(I removed the name…)
    #CPC #TellVicEverything #canpoli @ToewsVic @pmharper thank you for making the world think we are a bunch of idiots…

    Rick Mercer: Rant: Be Afraid – YouTube

    Canadians aren’t that Stupid.
    Rick Mercer rants about the online spying bill – YouTube

    Firestorm Across Canada Against Toews and Internet Spying Bill C-30 – YouTube

    Now,
    @VikiLeaks is now gone….But someone mirrored it..
    Our own Lindsey Pinto on Question Period – YouTube

    Ok..over the drama..Now to set up the joystick and fly my helicopter.
    Got about 7 hours left before it’s over……
    Game Giveaway of the Day – Helic

    “Players can try their skills at three campaigns: Islands, Europe and the Middle East. As they complete levels, players gain access to new, more maneuverable helicopters, more powerful enemies and unexpected surprises.

    Easy game controls allow new players to quickly get in the thick of things. In addition to helicopters, some missions can be completed at the controls of combat fighters. Survival mode offers a rapid-fire shooting gallery option for gameplay. Ready for takeoff? Wheels up!”

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