Internet should not have gatekeepers or regulators – Steve Wozniak
August 14, 2012
Apple’s co-founder fears that freedom of information is under attack, with the internet controlled and regulated in unnecessary and harmful ways. RT talked to Steve Wozniak on a range of topics, from Wikileaks to Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom.
Steve Wozniak knew personal computers would change the world someday, even during his start at Apple, a company he co-founded with Steve Jobs in the early 70s. Decades later, though, he acknowledges that the journey has not been without obstacles.
It has been nearly 40 years since Wozniak, now 61, started Apple out of a central California garage. At the time, today’s concept of the Internet was unheard of. In an exclusive interview with RT, though, Woz says he is happy with how things developed, even if regulators have gone about legislating technology in all the wrong ways.
“The Internet, when it first came, it was a breath of fresh air. It was so free. Nobody owned the Internet space.Countries didn’t own it; they didn’t control it. It was worldwide. It was people to people. It was like we little people of the world all of a sudden had this incredible resource and we didn’t have to go through other people selling it to us and delivering it to us,” Woz tells RT.
The Silicon Valley legend says that the openness of the Internet “has changed a lot” since then, in part of an array of laws introduced since home computers became more and more commonplace. And while he doesn’t dismiss that efforts from regulations have been at time in good intention, he says, “These were new laws that were just going to totally try to put up roadblocks to services that had other very good purposes in our life.”
One person targeted particularly by these obstructions is Kim Dotcom, the founder of the now defunct file storage site Megaupload. “[W]hat Kim Dotcom ran is just a service that’s like a post office. He was the post office it was being mailed to,” Woz explains. Because that service was used to facilitate, allegedly, illegal material at times, Dotcom has since become the whipping boy of international governing bodies trying to make an example out of him in a crusade against piracy.
“Why do you shut down the post office thinking that’s where the problem is? It’s not,” Wozniak explains.
Wozniak recently met with Dotcom and says that, after talking with him, believes that the government’s case against him is made up of a string of bogus complaints.
“The phony charges just indicate that they are doing everything they can to make the public think that they, the prosecutors, are in the right. But you don’t do phony things when you’re in the right. You have an open and shut case. No, they are having to go beyond the bounds of what’s right to try and convict him,” he says. “That’s what bothers me, is that if they want to convict you of something that you didn’t do, they have an awful lot of techniques to do it.”
Wozniak adds that those labeled pirates and racketeers — like Dotcom — aren’t the only targeted online as of late, either. Free speech has been singled in on as well, and while Woz comes off somewhat divided on how to address the issue in his interview with RT, he suggests that the ongoing attempts to stifle Internet freedoms are something to be worried about.
“I was brought up with the belief that the First Amendment was such a good thing. Every one of our Bill of Rights in the United States was so crucial to my heart in the way my dad taught me, but free speech meant you could say something bad about the president even, you could say something bad about your government. You had that right, and we were taught that you didn’t have that right in communist Russia. So I believe in that right very strongly,” he says.
“I think that a lot of social interaction will be curbed,” Wozniak starts to say, but not before rephrasing his words. “Let me take that back. I fear it. I fear it will be [curbed]. That the gatekeepers, those that can turn on and off switches, allow certain things, disallow other things, allow who gets to send me data about a new movie rather than everyone having an equal say so of reaching me. Yeah I fear that very strongly. Especially net neutrality, issues like that.”
Those matters have been brought particularly into the spotlight during the last year as whistleblowers such as Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks website have been hit with criticism from international governments who oppose the release of materials they’d rather reserve for private eyes only.
“As far as WikiLeaks, I wish I knew more about the whole case. On the surface it sounds to me like something that’s good. The whistleblower blew the truth. The people found out what they the people had paid for. And the government says, ‘No, no, no. The people should not know what the people had paid for,’” Wozniak says.
“Internet freedom is being interfered with in major ways and it shouldn’t,” he argues. “I think the Internet should have been considered from day one a country of its own that isn’t bound by any individual country’s laws. Maybe we could have had an Internet government. But it didn’t happen. Just like world government doesn’t happen. Space doesn’t belong to anyone, the moon doesn’t belong to anyone: these are really beautiful principles in life, and then as soon as a country figures out a way to get control of them it disappears.”
Wozniak concludes that his take on the whole war against Internet freedoms is an optimistic one, yet acknowledges that the roadblocks are indeed still in the way. He suggests, though, that allowing the government to have some sort of say in the future of technology could actually be helpful for the cause.
“I believe we can move more and more towards net neutrality. The trouble is a lot of it has to be enforced by the government,” he says. “Every freedom we have in the United States, every one of them, was given to us by congressional regulation. It’s called the Bill of Rights. That is what gives us our freedom and yet it was from the government. It was government regulation.”
“Everything political, everything social, the way we do things with other people is all done with your computer, on the Internet, with your iPhones with your mobile devices now, and it’s a totally different world then when we had powerful computers, but they weren’t a part of your life as much as now. And I’m just as happy as everyone to see it having turned out this way,” he tells RT.
CopBlock founder gets almost 3 months for wiretapping
[...] Adam “Ademo” Mueller, a founding member of a police accountability blog called CopBlock.org, was found guilty in Hillsborough County Superior Court to three counts of illegal wiretapping, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.
He was charged with illegally recording phone conversations with a Manchester police captain, and the principal and a secretary of Manchester High School without their consent.
Mueller, who represented himself at his trial, argued that the wiretapping law should not apply to recording public officials.
“I know I didn’t cause them any harm — physical or otherwise,” Mueller told jurors, stressing he called them while they were at their public jobs.
He was given a sentence of one to three years with all but 90 days suspended on one of the illegal wiretapping counts. For the other two counts, he received suspended sentences of one to three years but is required to attend counseling and stay out of trouble.
Appeals court: Police can track cell phones without warrant
By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 20:06 EDT
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled Tuesday that police can use cell phone data obtained without a warrant to establish an individual’s location.
The case, United States v. Skinner, involved a suspected drug trafficker, Melvin Skinner, who was tracked and arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
“The drug runners in this case used pay-as-you-go (and thus presumably more difficult to trace) cell phones to communicate during the cross country shipment of drugs,” Judge John Rogers wrote in his opinion (PDF). “Unfortunately for the drug runners, the phones were trackable in a way they may not have suspected. The Constitution, however, does not protect their erroneous expectations regarding the undetectability of their modern tools.”
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in January that police could not plant a GPS tracking device on a suspect’s car without obtaining a warrant. However, Rogers ruled that the Fourth Amendment did not prevent law enforcement agencies from tracking a cell phone’s location.
“Skinner did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the data emanating from his cell phone that showed its location,” Rogers wrote. “Skinner himself obtained the cell phone for the purpose of communication, and that phone included the GPS technology used to track the phone’s whereabouts.”
“Law enforcement tactics must be allowed to advance with technological changes, in order to prevent criminals from circumventing the justice system,” he added.
Cell phones continuously transmit data to cell-sites scattered across the nation. The cell-sites are operated by cell phone service providers, who keep records of the cell phone’s geolocational data.
Law enforcement agencies can obtain cell phone records from service providers, giving them access to the phone’s locational data. In addition, computers scientists have found it is relatively easy and inexpensive to set up a device to track a cell phone’s position, without any collaboration with cell phone service providers.
According to an investigation by the American Civil Liberties Union, cell phone tracking by police is widespread. While some police departments obtain a warrant to track cell phones, many do not.
[Cell phone location data via Shutterstock]
Biometrics, the Prison Within — TripWires, Totalitarianism, and Technoids
Owen Myles, Contributor
Some time near February of 2012, Wikileaks, which is is presently enduring its second week of ongoing DDoS attacks, had begun releasing millions of hacked Stratfor emails, i.e., the Global Intelligence Files. Over the last few days, newly analyzed content from those emails involving TrapWire has begun surfacing around the Web.
Responsibility for originally acquiring the emails has been attributed to Anonymous. As the name should indicate, the identity of Anonymous — aside from occasional arrests or confessions — is self-described. It seems inevitable that many, including even directly-opposing groups and individuals share this name. Failure for certain agencies to exploit such an opportunity would require improbable strategical retardation. For this reason, Anonymous productions should be given the benefit of their name unless otherwise verified.
Regardless of who Anonymous actually was at the time of the Stratfor leaks, some interesting information has certainly come of it. For some who pay special attention to this field, it is not so much a surprise as it is an affirmation. Surveillance is a very popular sport amongst our frightfully feisty overlords, but not so much for their subjects. They generally advertise it only where it will encounter the least amount of angry pitchforks.
Perhaps it was the same Anonymous that produced the video below — a video quite beautifully, but depressingly putting the colossal surveillance empire we now face into perspective:
Part 2: “Anonymous – Big Brother is Watching (Prepare to End of Privacy)”
A surveillance empire is indeed closing in; silently from some directions, and boldly from others. India is forcing their entire population into biometric registration; the U.S. military and Afghan government have begun imposing biometric registration throughout Afghanistan; the U.K. — the LHC of surveillance — is desperately trying to make Orwell look like an unimaginative bore, and other nations such as Mexico are floundering in suit. Even Brazil is wiggling lustfully for a biometric future.
The sane person may wonder: can such an enormous addition to the already-vast Control that so overtly and unfairly mismanages this world be trusted to use this new tool? Whether they can or not, they plan on using it like a super-voluminous Swiss Army knife of domination.
The FBI’s IAFIS and DHS’s IDENT biometric systems are merging into into NGI which already contain data for 1/3 of the U.S. population; freakish proposals like E-Verify are brooding; drones are being deployed throughout the U.S.; whole cities have been transformed into electric Skinner-Boxes, and even the realm of the mind is being stalked. Corporations have merged with government on nearly all matters; Microsoft watches us; Monsanto (FDA) seeks control of our food supply; Academi does our killing; Serco and GEO Group harvest criminals; dubious Israeli companies manage sensitive U.S. telecommunications infrastructures (in secret), and on and on. But thankfully, we have Stratfor to manage “global intelligence” for us. Maybe they should change their motto to: “Getting vital data to the plebeians — because the government never will.”
You Tube Threatens To Terminate Account Over Criticism of Copyright Policy
Third parties claim they own people’s voices
By Paul Joseph Watson
A You Tube video critical of the company’s bizarre copyright policy under which ownership of people’s voices can be claimed by third parties was deleted and the account put on notice for termination, with You Tube claiming the clip was “commercially deceptive”.
In the video above, Alex Jones explains You Tube’s policy of allowing third parties to claim ownership of other people’s voices.
In this case, because Alex Jones’ voice was used on a track recorded by the music group Biotronic, You Tube’s copyright bots erroneously identified Jones’ voice in his own documentary Endgame as being owned by Biotronic.
This has resulted in a penalty being placed against the original user’s account, with an additional threat of termination if any further penalties are issued.
Although You Tube have now removed the claim that Biotronic owns Alex Jones’ voice – proving we were in the right – the original video that Jones made drawing attention to the issue has been deleted.
In an email sent to the Alex Jones Channel, You Tube explains that the clip has been deleted because it is a “violation of You Tube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content,” despite the fact that the video contains no commercial content and is clearly not spam.
The email also states, “Additional violations may result in the temporary disabling of your ability to post content to YouTube and/or the termination of your account.”
As we explained in a previous article about a similar incident that involved comedian Joe Rogan, this kind of activity represents a new frontier of censorship – copyrighting people.
It also serves as another reminder of how dangerous it is to entrust Google-owned You Tube with safeguarding Internet free speech when the company routinely censors content for a myriad of reasons, many of which turn out to be completely discriminatory.
You Tube has also aggressively moved to censor political free speech, by acquiescing to remove hundreds of videos showing police brutality, demonstrations and other lawful activity, in order to comply with with “government removal requests”.
Videos censored under this pretext include footage of the British Constitution Group’s Lawful Rebellion protest,during which members of the group attempted to civilly arrest Judge Michael Peake at Birkenhead county court.
You Tube also deleted a video of Alex Jones using satire to criticize global warming alarmist and University of Oregon Professor Kari Norgaard, who argued that man-made climate change skeptics should be”treated” for having a mental disorder.
The Alex Jones Channel has been repeatedly targeted for termination by You Tube for a plethora of different reasons – all of which turned out to be completely bogus.
The screenshots below show the message we received from You Tube as well as the message seen by viewers when they attempt to watch the original video (click for enlargements).
Filed Under: POLICE STATE
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