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Author Topic: MAFIAA's unintended consequences? - e.g., Pirate Box  (Read 2620 times)
IainB
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« on: March 11, 2012, 11:38:48 PM »

When faced with having to share their environment with something that seems too archaic/greedy/hostile for a peaceful coexistence, humans can sometimes demonstrate a non-agressive and remarkably intelligent adaptability. I think this could be an example:
Quote
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Stephen66515
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 12:07:42 AM »

Quote
Yo Dawg. We heard you like torrents, so we put a torrent in your torrent so you can torrent while you torrent.

 Grin
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"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!" - Dr. Seuss
IainB
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2012, 02:13:56 AM »

Quote
Yo Dawg. We heard you like torrents, so we put a torrent in your torrent so you can torrent while you torrent.
Grin
Yes, it does seem a bit like that, doesn't it?
I think I generally understand the concept of torrents, and also the concept of "magnet-only" links which technology now apparently supersedes torrents at ThePirateBay. However, I have never actually used a torrent or magnet link to download anything.

The technology certainly seems to be in a dynamic state of change though, that's for sure - apparently under the external stimuli from threats of and actual police action. Pirate Box will probably be made illegal too, though it could be a tricky one to police effectively.
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Stephen66515
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 02:19:58 AM »

The problem facing charges against places like the PirateBay, is that .torrent files themselves are NOT illegal, and in fact, many respected developers (Mainly games as they are large files) use them so their community can take the bulk of the bandwidth required to host such large files, and receive such massive amounts of download requests (Doing so can greatly reduce hosting costs).
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40hz
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 06:41:35 AM »

torrent files themselves are NOT illegal

Not yet anyway.  Grin

I just think this is going to accelerate what I see as a commitment on the part of governments and major industry hardware, software, and media providers to switch everyone over to walled-garden computing environments.

I firmly believe we are witnessing the first moves in the dance that will bring about the end of our present age of unrestricted and open personal computing.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 06:53:28 AM by 40hz » Logged

Don't you see? It's turtles all the way down!
Carol Haynes
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2012, 11:49:06 AM »

OOO I want one!
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Renegade
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2012, 01:20:58 PM »

OOO I want one!

The hat? Wink
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IainB
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2012, 06:23:05 PM »

I firmly believe we are witnessing the first moves in the dance that will bring about the end of our present age of unrestricted and open personal computing.
Sadlement, it does seem to look that way. We are too irresponsible and have way too much freedom and it must be curtailed, except for the responsible few. We are irresponsibly having way too many children for our income or the planet to bear, and we must be sterilized, aborted pre-term or killed at birth, except for the responsible few. Fascism.

If the public Internet becomes highly restrictive, censored and "closed", then it will probably only serve to force innovation from the freedom-loving that will probably result in the growth of more and more networks (e.g., similar to PirateBox) outside of the controlled public domain. Cellular network anarchy.

I gather that FidoNet was a product of an environment where there was no decent networking infrastructure available for email transmission.
We now know that all our email could be subject to censorship when transmitted via the Internet.
Give it time...

The OpenDNS experiment to offer PC-to-DNS node encryption - added to existing node-to-node encryption, and currently only available in ß on Mac, not Windows - must be scaring the pants off the Establishment. Anarchy must not be tolerated. Regulation will be necessitated.
This OpenDNS venture could be quietly shut down as it "Didn't work very well", or something. Or maybe the encryption keys will be stored by a government department - same difference.
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40hz
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2012, 06:41:35 PM »

I gather that FidoNet was a product of an environment where there was no decent networking infrastructure available for email transmission.

There were actually. (Decent for the time at least.) But they (MCA et al.) were ferociously expensive and geared towards corporate and government use. And there was no inexpensive distance communications available in the US at the time. Most network traffic ran on expensive leased lines or microwave repeaters.

The ham radio people (ARRL) had some interesting early data transmission projects (some even used Fido!) - but you had to have a difficult to procure amateur radio operator's license to avail yourself of them.

Fido was a hack that allowed Fido nodes to make local phone calls to each other and pass messages via a "bucket brigade" type arrangement. It  might take a few days for a message to route from one coast to another. But that was considered a small price to pay if it avoided per-minute long distance charges.

Fido didn't come into existence so much because it was the only way the BBSs could have sent e-mail back and forth back then. It mostly came into existence because Tom Jennings (Fido's creator) was a died-in-the-wool techno-anarchist who decided to do an end run around the communications behemoths.

From the official Fidonet archives:

Quote
In contrast to the uucp network or the Internet, and due mostly to the low
cost of entry, from its earliest days, FidoNet has been owned and operated
primarily by end-users and hobbyists more than by computer professionals.
Therefore, social and political issues arose in FidoNet far faster and more
seriously than might be expected by those raised in other network cultures.

Tom Jennings intended FidoNet to be a cooperative anarchy to provide
minimal-cost public access to electronic mail.
  Two very basic features of
FidoNet encourage this.  Every node is self-sufficient, needing no support
from other nodes to operate.  But more significant is that the nodelist
contains the modem telephone number of all nodes, allowing any node to
communicate with any other node without the aid or consent of technical or
political groups at any level.
  This is in strong contrast to the uucp
network, BITNET, and the Internet.

We need a  lot more people like Tom Jennings in this sorry world. Thmbsup
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Don't you see? It's turtles all the way down!
Deozaan
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2012, 08:02:29 PM »

I don't see how PirateBox and ThePirateBay on a USB stick will help. If you're still using Torrents for filesharing, you can still be tracked by other peers, can't you?

I mean, sure it will help prevent the files from going offline due to websites being taken down, but it doesn't seem to provide any anonymity/protection from being identified. huh
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Renegade
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2012, 08:10:33 PM »

I don't see how PirateBox and ThePirateBay on a USB stick will help. If you're still using Torrents for filesharing, you can still be tracked by other peers, can't you?

I mean, sure it will help prevent the files from going offline due to websites being taken down, but it doesn't seem to provide any anonymity/protection from being identified. huh

I suppose that leaves TOR and/or VPNs and/or anonymous proxies.

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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
mwb1100
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2012, 08:28:38 PM »

I don't see how PirateBox and ThePirateBay on a USB stick will help. If you're still using Torrents for filesharing, you can still be tracked by other peers, can't you?

I mean, sure it will help prevent the files from going offline due to websites being taken down, but it doesn't seem to provide any anonymity/protection from being identified. huh

As I understand it, these pirate boxes would be offline and accessible only using the box's WiFi signal.  The box itself keeps no logs (though I suppose a honeypot box set up by some some enforcement agency could do so, but I think that all they could get from a properly configured client is the MAC address).

Since the box isn't connected to the Internet at-large, it would be useful to only people in the vicinity of the box.  But I could see this still being useful in situations like school dormitories or workplaces where there's a concentration of people who might be interested in sharing files.

Since the box isn't on the official network, official admins might never realize it's there...


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Deozaan
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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2012, 08:35:56 PM »

Thanks for explaining it, mwb1100. It makes a lot more sense to me now. Thmbsup
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IainB
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Slartibartfarst

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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2013, 07:30:12 AM »

You can read all about making your own PirateBox here:

But if you want it ready-rolled, then there is this superb 1Tb wifi device by Seagate: Wireless Plus    Thmbsup
There's good info at the link, and a great little video about it.
The data sheet is Seagate Wireless Plus Data Sheet (461 KB ) (should open in Google Viewer, if Google haven't already killed that service by the time you go to look at the document).    Wink
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