Wednesday, 30 June 2010

prospects of more internet control


Obama to be given the right to shut down the internet with 'kill switch'

Paul Thompson
25th June 2010


A sustained terror attack on multiple cities would be considered a national emergency as would a cyber attack by 'hackers' on the US financial system.

The director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair warned earlier this year that the US is 'severely threatened' by malicious cyber attacks.

The number of attacks on Government departments has increased by 400 per cent in the last three years.

Under the proposed bill, which has been dubbed an Internet 'kill switch', the US Government would effectively seize control of access to the internet.

Lieberman argued the bill was necessary to 'preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people'.

He said: 'For all of its 'user-friendly' allure, the Internet can also be a dangerous place with electronic pipelines that run directly into everything from our personal bank accounts to key infrastructure to government and industrial secrets.

'Our economic security, national security and public safety are now all at risk from new kinds of enemies--cyber-warriors, cyber-spies, cyber-terrorists and cyber-criminals.'

His bill is formally titled the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, or PCNAA.

While the US Government would not be able to control the internet in other countries access to the most popular sites would be cut off.

Google,Yahoo and YouTube, the top three most visited sites, are all based in the US.

Google logs an estimated two billion hits a day from 300 million users.

Under the cyber law any company on a list created by Homeland Security that also 'relies on' the Internet, the telephone system, or any other component of the U.S. 'information infrastructure' would be subject to command by a new National Centre for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC) that would be created inside Homeland Security.

Google, the world's most popular search engine, refused to comment. A spokesman said the law was not yet Government policy.


FCC Holds Talks with Phone, Cable Companies Over Internet Authority



WASHINGTON–Federal Communications Commission officials are quietly holding talks with phone and cable companies about a legislative compromise that would give the agency authority over Internet lines without the need to adopt a controversial proposal to reregulate Internet lines.

FCC Chief of Staff Edward Lazarus and other senior FCC staffers are holding closed-door meetings with a small group of lobbyists representing Internet providers, including AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and Internet services providers, such as Google Inc. and Internet phone provider Skype Ltd.

The negotiations revolve around a possible legislative compromise that would avoid wholesale changes in how the FCC regulates Internet lines but still give the agency the ability to enforce net neutrality rules, which would prevent Internet providers from deliberately slowing or blocking Internet traffic.

During a two-and-a-half-hour meeting Monday morning, the lobbyists discussed issues that their companies might be able to agree on but reached no consensus, according to people with knowledge of the meeting. The group is scheduled to meet again Tuesday.

"We're going to have a whole series of stakeholder meetings," said Mr. Lazarus, the FCC's chief of staff. The agency plans to announce its intention to hold more meetings on Tuesday.

"A lot of people have been having a lot of conversations about open Internet principles and obviously other topics too, but I think the parties have pushed the ball a reasonable distance and the question is whether these discussions can push it further," he said.

Phone and cable companies have urged Congress to update the Communications Act so that the FCC doesn't have to use rules written for old phone networks on new Internet lines. The only way to get legislation this year is for Internet providers and tech companies like Google to reach a compromise, one person involved with the FCC meetings said, adding, "Even that is really, really hard."

On Friday, congressional staffers are expected to begin closed-door meetings with industry lobbyists about possible legislation to update the Communications Act for the Internet age.

Public-interest groups were fuming about the private meetings with industry lobbyists, however. The agency did not invite any public-interest groups to attend the negotiation sessions.

"For a president who talks big about transparency and that 'he'll take a back seat to nobody on net neutrality,' it's inexcusable that his FCC is brokering backroom deals between industry lobbyists with nary a public interest representative in the room," said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, a public interest group.

It's not clear whether FCC officials will be able to broker any compromise between the companies or even if Congress will take up telecommunications legislation anytime soon. The last successful effort to update the U.S.'s communications laws took several years.

Write to Amy Schatz at


Senators propose granting president emergency Internet power

A new U.S. Senate bill would grant the president far-reaching emergency powers to seize control of or even shut down portions of the Internet.

The legislation announced Thursday says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines, or software firms that the government selects "shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed" by the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone failing to comply would be fined.

That emergency authority would allow the federal government to "preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people," Joe Lieberman, the primary sponsor of the measure and the chairman of the Homeland Security committee, told reporters on Thursday. Lieberman is an independent senator from Connecticut who caucuses with the Democrats.

Because there are few limits on the president's emergency power, which can be renewed indefinitely, the densely worded 197-page bill (PDF) is likely to encounter stiff opposition.

TechAmerica, probably the largest U.S. technology lobby group, said it was concerned about "unintended consequences that would result from the legislation's regulatory approach" and "the potential for absolute power." And the Center for Democracy and Technology publicly worried that the Lieberman bill's emergency powers "include authority to shut down or limit Internet traffic on private systems."

The idea of an Internet "kill switch" that the president could flip is not new. A draft Senate proposal that CNET obtained in August allowed the White House to "declare a cybersecurity emergency," and another from Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) would have explicitly given the government the power to "order the disconnection" of certain networks or Web sites.

On Thursday, both senators lauded Lieberman's bill, which is formally titled the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, or PCNAA. Rockefeller said "I commend" the drafters of the PCNAA. Collins went further, signing up at a co-sponsor and saying at a press conference that "we cannot afford to wait for a cyber 9/11 before our government realizes the importance of protecting our cyber resources."

Under PCNAA, the federal government's power to force private companies to comply with emergency decrees would become unusually broad. Any company on a list created by Homeland Security that also "relies on" the Internet, the telephone system, or any other component of the U.S. "information infrastructure" would be subject to command by a new National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC) that would be created inside Homeland Security.

The only obvious limitation on the NCCC's emergency power is one paragraph in the Lieberman bill that appears to have grown out of the Bush-era flap over warrantless wiretapping. That limitation says that the NCCC cannot order broadband providers or other companies to "conduct surveillance" of Americans unless it's otherwise legally authorized.

Lieberman said Thursday that enactment of his bill needed to be a top congressional priority. "For all of its 'user-friendly' allure, the Internet can also be a dangerous place with electronic pipelines that run directly into everything from our personal bank accounts to key infrastructure to government and industrial secrets," he said. "Our economic security, national security and public safety are now all at risk from new kinds of enemies--cyber-warriors, cyber-spies, cyber-terrorists and cyber-criminals."

A new cybersecurity bureaucracy

Lieberman's proposal would form a powerful and extensive new Homeland Security bureaucracy around the NCCC, including "no less" than two deputy directors, and liaison officers to the Defense Department, Justice Department, Commerce Department, and the Director of National Intelligence. (How much the NCCC director's duties would overlap with those of the existing assistant secretary for infrastructure protection is not clear.)

The NCCC also would be granted the power to monitor the "security status" of private sector Web sites, broadband providers, and other Internet components. Lieberman's legislation requires the NCCC to provide "situational awareness of the security status" of the portions of the Internet that are inside the United States -- and also those portions in other countries that, if disrupted, could cause significant harm.

Selected private companies would be required to participate in "information sharing" with the Feds. They must "certify in writing to the director" of the NCCC whether they have "developed and implemented" federally approved security measures, which could be anything from encryption to physical security mechanisms, or programming techniques that have been "approved by the director." The NCCC director can "issue an order" in cases of noncompliance.

The prospect of a vast new cybersecurity bureaucracy with power to command the private sector worries some privacy advocates. "This is a plan for an auto-immune reaction," says Jim Harper, director of information studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. "When something goes wrong, the government will attack our infrastructure and make society weaker."

To sweeten the deal for industry groups, Lieberman has included a tantalizing offer absent from earlier drafts: immunity from civil lawsuits. If a software company's programming error costs customers billions, or a broadband provider intentionally cuts off its customers in response to a federal command, neither would be liable.

If there's an "incident related to a cyber vulnerability" after the president has declared an emergency and the affected company has followed federal standards, plaintiffs' lawyers cannot collect damages for economic harm. And if the harm is caused by an emergency order from the Feds, not only does the possibility of damages virtually disappear, but the U.S. Treasury will even pick up the private company's tab.

Another sweetener: A new White House office would be charged with forcing federal agencies to take cybersecurity more seriously, with the power to jeopardize their budgets if they fail to comply. The likely effect would be to increase government agencies' demand for security products.

Tom Gann, McAfee's vice president for government relations, stopped short of criticizing the Lieberman bill, calling it a "very important piece of legislation."

McAfee is paying attention to "a number of provisions of the bill that could use work," Gann said, and "we've certainly put some focus on the emergency provisions."


Every Google search to be logged and saved for two years under new Euro MP plan

Niall Firth and Andrew Levy
8th June 2010

Every Google web search could be stored for up to two years under a controversial new EU plan that has the backing of more than 300 Euro-MEPs.

'Written Declaration 29' is intended to be used as an early warning system to stop paedophiles by logging what they look for using search engines.

But civil liberty groups have hit out at the proposal which they say is a 'completely unjustifiable' intrusion into citizens' privacy.

And they claim that there is no evidence that it would even be effective in trapping paedophiles who would never use search engines like Google to look for child pornography.

The declaration, sponsored by an Italian and a Slovakian MEP, claims that it is 'essential to ensure that the internet continues to afford a high level of virtual democracy, which does not present any threat to women and children.'

The motion asks for Directive 2006/24/EC to be extended to all web search engines, which would include Google, as part of a European early warning system for paedophiles.

The directive came into effect in the March following the 2005 London terror attacks and lets EU member states monitor and store personal emails and other internet activity for up to two years for counter-terrorism puposes.

Simon Davies, director of Privacy International which campaigns for tougher privacy laws, said: 'Most paedophiles operate through chatrooms and private communication rather than search engines like Google so they would not be affected,' he added.

'The number of ‘false positives’ generated by the proposal would be very high, There would be 100 entirely reasonable searches thrown up for every genuinely suspicious one.


  • Written Declarations in the European Parliament work in a similar way to Early Day Motions in the UK’s Parliament.
  • A group of up to five MEPs can submit a written declaration by presenting a text to be signed by their colleagues.
  • One is only adopted if more than half of MEPs sign up to it.
  • So far 324 MEPs have signed this declaration and only a further 45 names are required before it is formally adopted.
  • If the declaration is adopted it is forwarded to the President who will announce it in the EU Parliament

'It would pick up investigations being made by the authorities and the police themselves as well as academics. It would create a lot of white noise which would effectively cripple the police having to look into everything.

'Once the proposal is in place, then governments and authorities will be able to use the information for any purpose they choose.

'It would also be unlawful from a privacy perspective. We have well established laws in Europe that protect private communications. The idea that governments can destroy that protection is unthinkable.'

Some MEPs have already complained that they were not told about any possible privacy issues and the implications of the declaration when they signed.

They point out that the declaration only refers to the directive by its number, 2006/24/EC.

Swedish MEP Cecilia Wikström has complained that she was misled into signing and is urging her fellow MEPs to withdraw their names.

In an open letter to them, she wrote: 'The Written Declaration is supposed to be about an early-warning system for the protection of children.

‘Long-term storage of citizens’ data has clearly nothing to do with “early warning” for any purpose.

Anther Swedish MEP, Christian Engström, has also called on members of the public to contact their local MEP and explain that they had been misled before the declaration reaches the 369 name mark.

Sarah Gaskell, a spokeswoman for Open Europe, an independent think tank calling for EU reform, said the directive raised 'serious privacy concerns'

She said: 'MEPs should have a serious re-think before supporting this declaration which would open up even more of citizens' personal data to monitoring and abuse.

'People already have serious concerns about the EU's role in the erosion of their civil liberties and this declaration would only serve to reinforce those views.

'The Data Retention Directive has been very controversial with some member states refusing to even implement it. Extending it to internet searches as well is very troubling, even it the purpose it is intended for is a good one.'

And Dylan Sharpe, Campaign Director of civil liberties pressure group Big Brother Watch, said: 'Monitoring every internet search is a completely unjustifiable and disproportionate intrusion on our privacy.

'The MEPs responsible for proposing this law under the guise of preventing paedophilia should be ashamed of themselves.

'With Data Retention Directive already in place, this latest move suggests that the EU Parliament is intent on controlling what we look at on the internet.'

One of the MEPs behind the motion, Anna Zaborska, sparked controversy in her native Slovakia after she was once quoted as saying that ‘Aids is God's punishment for homosexuality’.

She has also been attacked for her outspoken views on abortion after she said that she did not believe that women should have them even in rape cases.

The EU motion follows moves by the Home Office last year to use telecoms firms such as Orange and BT to build a database of everyone's phone calls and emails.

Dubbed the 'snoopers charter', the £2bn Internet Modernisation Programme was kicked into the long grass by Labour after anger from civil liberty campaigners.

The coalition document released by the new Government last month was particularly vague about the programme and pledged only to 'end the storage of internet and email records without good reason'.

And it comes after Google admitted earlier this year that its Streetview cars had been inadvertently logging information about people’s online activity.

The internet giant was rapped by the Information Commissioner’s Office which said Google had committed ‘a breach of people's personal data’.


Internet Freedom under pressure in Denmark

Jacob Mchangama
May 31, 2010

On 27 May the Danish Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision which obliges internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to websites that may contain - or link to other sites which contain - material which infringes copyrights (the Pirate Bay in this instance).

The decision has rightly been criticized as a setback for internet freedom in Denmark. The decision attaches undue weight to the interests of copyright holders while ignoring obvious dangers of abuse, restrictions on internet freedom and access to information and the lack of any due process. The decision may lead to the blocking of websites that mainly includes content that does not infringe copyright and thus restrict the free flow of information. Moreover, by forcing ISP’s to police the Internet without due process the decision marks a dangerous precedent that is likely to include other “illegal” or “offensive” material in the future.

The Supreme Court’s decision is only the latest instance of a wider trend towards internet regulation in Denmark (ranked as the country with the freest press in the world by Reporters Without Borders).

In 2005 The Danish police set up the so-called Child Pornography Filter in co-operation with the Danish NGO Red Barnet (Save the Child). When Red Barnet and the Police identify web-sites that contain child pornography the police informs ISPs and request them to block access to these sites with no prior warning or hearing. The sites blocked by the filter are kept confidential by the police. In 2008 Wikileaks leaked all the sites blocked by the filter which seemed to show that several sites were either inactive or contained material that had nothing to do with child pornography.

Earlier in 2010 the Danish parliament (Folketinget) passed a law, which will allow the tax authorities to notify ISPs of web sites operated by “unauthorized” providers of online-gambling. ISPs will then be requested to block access to such sites. Should the relevant ISPs refuse or fail to do so they will be subject to criminal liability. No courts or tribunals will review the decisions of the tax-authorities nor will the owners of the relevant websites be heard prior to a decision. It is an open question whether this law violates the Danish constitution’s prohibition against censorship and/or the European Convention on Human Rights’ protection of freedom of expression and access to information.

Several Danish lawmakers have proposed wide ranging restrictions on Internet access. Earlier in 2010 the Socialist Peoples’ Part proposed criminalizing surfing on “terror related web sites” and the Danish Peoples’ Party has twice proposed banning a website dedicated to sharing information about drugs. According to media reports the Danish governments has also been very active in keeping the ongoing Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations confidential. According to leaks from the ACTS negotiations the current ACTA draft envisages intrusive measures likely to threaten internet freedom and the right to privacy.


[ Quelques articles écrits soit dans le Quotidien de Paris (80%), soit sur le système Missive de France Câbles et Radio, entre 1991 et 1996. Notez que le protocole de courrier électronique de l'époque n'acceptait pas les accents. Ils sont livrés ici tels quels, sans SR et sans accents, à titre documentaire, et aussi pour retrouver l'ambiance des années 90 ]

date: 1994 ou 1995

source: Le Quotidien de Paris


Tres joli coup realise par le gouvernement americain, sans que personne ne s'en rende vraiment compte, hormis le journaliste americain Stephen Pizzo, specialiste des entreprises satellites de la CIA et du NSA.

Visa et Mastercard ont travaille avec IBM, Microsoft, Netscape et Science Application International Corp (SAIC) pour etablir le standard de commerce electronique par carte de credit "SET". Or la Saic possede depuis de nombreuses annees des liens tres serieux du cote de la Virginie ou se trouvent les QG de tous les "barbus" americains, comme la NSA et la CIA, entre autres.

Details interessants:

-1) Saic a travaille a SET a la demande de Visa (ou a la suite de la pression du gouvernement americain) et Visa s'est montre particulierement et publiquement reconnaissant pour la technologie Saic de... cryptographie.

-2) Saic a pris le controle de Network Solutions, la societe qui attribue a l'echelle mondiale les adresses et domaines sur le Web. Si demain vous voulez ouvrir un site Web, par exemple "", vous passerez par Network Solution, donc par la Saic a qui elle appartient... Elle possede donc les informations sur tous les sites mondiaux !!!!!!!!!!!

-3) La Saic s'est vu attribuer l'exclusivite des services et acces Internet pour tous les sites du Parti Republicain (americain). C'est un pur hasard, bien entendu.

Le fait que la Saic soit un fer de lance technologique des services secrets americains, qu'il ait participe a la mise au point de SET et qu'il soit egalement administrateur mondial du Web veut dire que discretement, par le biais d'Internet et de Visa, les Americains controlent totalement le nouveau monde techo-financier.

Et dire qu'on avait le Minitel..

Pierre Jovanovic

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