People think that internet piracy is less acceptable than watching internet porn. But are these "International information pirates," pushing forward the boundaries of geo-politics, putting an end to conspiricy theories and spreading a message of truth and honesty?
A great presentation from wikileaks founders at the 26th Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin.
Wikileaks.org is a global platform for whistle-blowers, it has been distributing sensitive and secret documents through an annonymous web portal. Due to the sensitive nature of the data that they share they have been attacked by governments and corporations and yet they continue to break more news stories than the NY times or any other newspaper. They are also involved in creating a Data haven, saving themselves from these attacks and censorship and hopefully making the world a better and more honest place. I'm sure that most of you have never heard of WikiLeaks, and neither had I untill I stumbled upon a banner on my favourite bit-torrent site the other day, BUT... Wikileaks.org has run out money... and only you can help them, donate on there website here.
Ever since I discovered peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and had access to thousands of records and hundreds of programs for free. I have been worried and intrigued by the legality of it all... of course it is illegal to steal records, movies and software. But it is there, free for the taking and so easy that with a little bit of research and your soon downloading and mounting iso's, cracking softwear and enjoying a never ending stream of high quality TV and Movies all for free. P2P has changed the world we live in, it has inspired new egalitarian social networking; wikipedia, open source software and cloud computing are all based on P2P models. Yet P2P is under threat from corporations and governments who wish to limit the information that we have access too.
We all remember the downfall of Napster as it was attacked by a conglomerate of entertainment industry lawyers, who all saw a huge drop in there sales due to the free distribution of there software and media. And fair enough they were right; people were stealing and redistributing content. But what they didnt seem to mention was that these huge coperations were using tax havens and finacial dodging to make larger profits, stealing tax dollars from us. Of course Governments have always supported the guy making the big bucks, and will continue to do so for many generations. But with the rise of the internet; with thousands of bloggers and hundreds of charitys all pushing for a freer media, P2P networks and there owners are pushing the boundries to make the world a better, cheaper place. How do you feel about knowing that the latest secret government report can be made available to everybody, anonymously ??
The guys over at WikiLeaks are pushing to create the worlds first data haven... protecting data safety and creating a rule free data hosting space; So what exactly is a data haven?? and how is it going to benifit you as an individual?? Everybody knows what a Tax haven is... its where the rich go to hide from tax bills, its where organised crime protects its money and its where us normal people dream of going for a tax free shopping trip. Wikipedia says;
There are several definitions of tax havens. The Economist has tentatively adopted the description by Geoffrey Colin Powell (former economic adviser to Jersey): "What ... identifies an area as a tax haven is the existence of a composite tax structure established deliberately to take advantage of, and exploit, a worldwide demand for opportunities to engage in tax avoidance." The Economist points out that this definition would still exclude a number of jurisdictions traditionally thought of as tax havens. Similarly, others have suggested that any country which modifies its tax laws to attract foreign capital could be considered a tax haven. According to other definitions, the central feature of a haven is that its laws and other measures can be used to evade or avoid the tax laws or regulations of other jurisdictions.
But what about a data haven?? The definition over at wikipedia is even more vague;
A data haven is a computer or a network that holds data protected from government action by both technical means (encryption) and location in a country that has either no laws, or poorly-enforced laws restricting use of data and no extradition treaties. HavenCo (centralized) andFreenet (decentralized) are two models of modern-day data havens.
I remember reading a sci-fi novel (Cryptonomicon - by Neal Stephenson) about a group of entrepreneurs setting up a data haven when I was a kid. And now that we live in the age that sci-fi novels are coming true, I am excited to find out about this group of do gooders who are trying to set up a data haven for the right reasons. But what will a data haven really become? Will it be a sinister place for internet gangsters to spam us with viruses and hide behind walls of secrecy? Will it be a place where hackers can hide from governments, access our private details and sell them to the world? Or will it be a utopia for human rights activists, and freedom of speech?
Please share your thoughts and comments, I will be researching and writing more about the subjects which I have touched on briefly here in more detail over the next few weeks, and dont forget to do your bit and help out wikilinks.org... or at least tell someone you know about it and spread the message. AS THE GUYS SAID IN THE PRESENTATION, THIS IS ABOUT BEING BRAVE SO HERE I AM BEING BRAVE TRYING TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. YOU CAN HELP TOO!!!
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