Censorship Archives

What Is Freenet Classic OpenNet?

I’ve talked about Freenet here occasionally and while I think it’s easy enough to understand I still get occasional questions about just exactly what it is.  That, combined with the recent fork of Freenet Classic OpenNet from the original Freenet 0.5 project has prompted me to create this video that gives a basic overview of what Freenet is and how it operates.

In upcoming videos I’ll be covering how to install and use Freenet Classic OpenNet as well as several Freenet applications.  Frost, creating basic freesites and inserting them with the Freesite Insertion Wizard, Freenet Utility for Queued Inserts and Downloads and using Thingamablog to create flogs (that’s a blog within Freenet).

You can download Freenet Classic OpenNet or FCON from either


Technorati Tags: freenet video, unblockable, censor proof, freenet, anti-censorship, censorship, p2p, anonymous, file sharing, freenet applications, repressive regimes, share files, freedom of speech, oppressive government, freenet overview, encrypted, facilitate communication

You Got A License For That Web Browser?

According to a story on ITnews there’s some people arguing that it’s time to require a kind of “internet drivers license” before allowing people to go online for the first time.

Australia’s leading criminologist thinks online scams have escalated to such a point that first-time users of computers should have to earn a licence to surf the web.

While I’m glad that this is brewing in Australia and not here in the US, I’ve no doubt that there is plenty of people that would like to see it happen here.

If nothing else, something like that would be a genuine nightmare to enforce.  For that matter, how would it be enforced?  Would unlicensed surfers suddenly face having their blogs yanked from every website directory and pulled off of the server that’s hosting it?

Then there’s the privacy issue because some of that was talking about using biometrics, chips and what have you to essentially require a user to validate their identity before connecting to the net.  Seems to me that this would only make it easier to track an individual’s activities and even block them from certain websites that the government has decided aren’t good for you.

Isn’t there enough of this kind of thing going on in places like China and Iran?  Don’t we have enough domestic spying going on as it is?

Technorati Tags: internet license, tracking, privacy, censorship

Google Ordered To Reveal Blogger Identity

In another assault on people’s right to anonymity, a judge has ordered Google to reveal the identity of an anonymous blogger who apparently had some “less than complimentary” things to say about the Vogue cover model Liskula Cohen.

I think that there’s a couple of lessons here.  First, even when writing in a so-called “anonymous” blog on blogger, the things you write can easily come back to haunt you, especially if they fit the legal definition of libel.  Second, If you want to blog anonymously it *IS* possible to do so but it takes somewhat more than just signing up for a blogger account, even if you do so with phony information

It seems to me that it almost doesn’t matter what the topic is.  Somebody could write that they think rice-burners are more prone to accidents and before you know it they’re hit with a lawsuit by a Japanese motorcycle maker and they’re hoping that their San Jose motorcycle accident attorney can help them come up with numbers to back up their statement in order to quash a libel suit.

Part of the whole issue with anonymous (both those using casual or strong anonymity) is the same issue faced by everybody else that takes time to so much as tweet something and that is the ever growing tendency for people to slap somebody with a lawsuit at the slightest hint of anything that even might be considered legally actionable.

Anyone planning to write an anonymous blog (or do anything anonymously) needs to remember that “In Most Cases, You Only THINK You’re Anonymous“.  Just simply creating a Blogger account, even with false information, does NOT make you anonymous by any stretch of the imagination.

To be truly anonymous takes some effort.  One very good place to start would be to use the Tor Browser Bundle to browse anonymously.  It’s a combination of the TOR network and a portable version of Firefox that’s had it’s settings tweaked to maximize privacy.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not in any way support using tools like this for criminal or libelous purposes.  However I *DO* support and strongly believe in the right of people to be anonymous.  Anonymity is an important part of any free society, something that was expressed very nicely by Justice Stevens in the McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission case in 1996:

“Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority… It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation – and their ideas from suppression – at the hand of an intolerant society.”

The problem is that while the majority of people who use anonymity software are never heard from, there are always a vocal minority who will abuse it and make life difficult for those who truly need to be anonymous.

Technorati Tags: google ordered reveal, anonymous web browser, anonymous blogging, anonymity software, tor, anonymous blogger, anonymous blogger identity, anonymity, abuse of anonymity, tor browser bundle

Time For A Freenet 0.5 How To Video Series

I guess I’ve been a little “out of it” for a while concerning things like Freenet because of the general shitstorm that my life has been turning into but getting back into things recently it’s occurred to me that in spite of being abandoned by the original developers, Freenet 0.5 is still very much alive and in use.

The one thing that it really needs is more users.  This is something that hasn’t been happening so much lately.  Partly because the developers have almost eliminated mention of or support for 0.5 in favor of 0.7.  That’s all fine and dandy but there’s still a lot of people that have reservations about using a version that’s still young enough to need acne skin treatment by the bucket load.  Following the support list I’m still seeing frequent mention of problems that involve extremely high cpu usage, memory usage and more recently, an issue involving in excess of 2000 file handles being open at once.

Therefore I’m going to take advantage of the fact that I’ve gotten somewhat better at making videos and create a series of “how to” videos that are aimed at making freenet easy for total newbies to set up and install it.

I’ll start with the basics of getting freenet installed and working, then cover some basic freenet utilities and close with a video tutorial showing how to create a freenet website (freesite).

I expect to have the first of these videos done in a week or so.  I’ll be posting here as each one is completed and on my YouTube channel I’ll create a playlist with all of them in it.

Technorati Tags: freenet how to, censorship resistant, install freenet, video, video tutorials, freedom of speech, youtube video, freenet, anonymous publishing, freenet tools

Warner Continues Over Enthusiastic Takedowns

The boys at Warner are still hard at work, censoring YouTube by way of takedown orders.  Instead of just looking for actual serious copyright violations, they’re proving without a doubt that the brains at Warner are clearly lost on some distant exotic Caribbean cruises or someplace else even farther away from day to day reality.

Why else would they issue takedown orders for videos filmed by parents of their kids acting like they’re singing “Juke Box Hero” or the “I love my lips” tune made famous by a veggie tales cucumber?

Obviously somebody’s head is in a warm, dark, uncomfortable place.

Technorati Tags: censorship, warner, youtube, asshat

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