Dear FCC – I Care About Net Neutrality

what-is-net-neutrality-video-blocked

It occurred to me that as a writer, particularly one who talks about controversial subjects, that “net neutrality” should matter to me. And it should matter to you too.

Without it, ISPs (the big guys like Comcast, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable) would have full ability to create so-called “Internet fast lanes” that give preference to certain websites over others. Is that what you want?

On July 12, 2017, net neutrality allies sent 1.6 million comments to the FCC, many in creative ways, demonstrated what would happen if net neutrality were abandoned, and the reins given over to such big-name ISPs. For a few examples, stop by Massive protest to save #NetNeutrality sweeps the internet

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While the big day of protest is over, on the site Dear FCC, It’s Our Internet and We’ll Fight to Protect It, they give you a chance to write a letter to the FCC and explain why net neutrality is important to you.

I did so today, and you can too – I urge all of you who care about freedom on the internet, and the liberty to use and access what you want, to do the same!

It feels as though we’re going backwards in time, with a whole lot of pro-censorship laws being enacted right now, such as the anti-encryption bills in the US, Australia, and the UK.

We, the people, need to speak out. Join me in this fight.

And of course, if you have suggestions, feel free to add them here!

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Freenet Frustrations: FMS, Sone, etc.

freenet_fms_setup

Good morning readers!  The reason I haven’t posted in almost a week is that I’ve been in the process of doing research on other aspects of Freenet, I2P and other networks that I haven’t explored much yet.

The other reason might be that I’ve had a little writer’s block, but that’s normal, right?

So, I’m working on setting up the Freenet Message System (FMS) (you need Freenet for this link), which I mentioned briefly in the post Alternatives to Tor: Freenet.  It’s been a little more challenging than I expected, because first I needed to install the proper software to be able to use the various FMS components.

Second, I needed to actually download the components of the program (O RLY?), which sounds simple, but this is where I had a tendency to get stuck.  The reason for this is that I would start the download process, and then my Freenet node would shut down in the middle of it; thus, I would need to start over again!  I felt exactly like this guy:

201412_0945_bbheh

Of course, I’ve had similar errors on the clearnet too, so that’s no reason to quit.  If you’re having any difficulty downloading and/or installing FMS, I did find an excellent tutorial that covers both Windows OS’s and Ubuntu: CryptNode.org – Freenet Setup FMS on Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.10.

The video really does explain in plain English how to go about installing them – maybe I should give it another try too! If you are successful in downloading all of the components, then I would recommend The Unofficial Guide to FMS (You need Freenet for this link).  It does a great job of breaking down the various features of it.

Game of Sones

setup002

In addition to FMS, I’m also working at setting up Sone, which is the official Freenet social network.  Again, it doesn’t seem that hard, but my computer may begin giving me an attitude – I’m not sure.

Just to be nice, though, I thought I’d share this link with you: Freenet Social Networking Guide: Creating a microblogging account with Sone.   According to that, you must first create an identity with WebOfTrust (WOT) plugin, which is also designed to solve the problem of spam on the network.

weboftrust_instructions

Credit for this tutorial goes to my friend Arne Babenhauserheide; I’d like to share at least part of it here with you.

Step 1: Go to the Plugins menu under Configuration (on your node’s home page):

setup001

Step 2: Load the official WebOfTrust plugin:

setup002

Step 3: After plugin has finished downloading, you need to click on the ‘Own anonymous identities’ option on the Community menu.

setup003

Step 4: Freenet will generate a random name for your “new identity.”  Though you can refresh the page and get a new one, it’s recommended that you select the first one that shows up.  When you’ve found one that you like, click “Create.”

CAUTION: If you create multiple identities and only pick ones that you like, it creates a pattern that decreases anonymity.  (The same goes for any characteristic that might deanonymize you on Tor!)

There are more steps to the process, but the full guide, once again, is here: http://freesocial.draketo.de/wot_en.html.  Thanks Arne!!

I’m sure all this isn’t nearly as difficult as it appears to be, I’ve just been held up in the process by slow connections and all that.  Which is why I guarantee you there will be a sequel or two to this post!

Oinkageddon!

stop-im-one-of-you-pig

No, that was not a typo.  For newcomers to Freenet, I’ve said before that there is disturbing material on it, but if you find it, it’s basically because you’re looking for it!

The index called Linkageddon, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, is simply a list of every Freenet site, whether it has offensive material or not.  I’ve come across some highly disturbing things there, but in my mind, it wasn’t cause for alarm.

Unfortunately, not everyone sees it the same way.  According to a 2015 post on Deepdotweb (Police Log IPs, Making Arrest By Planting Own Nodes in Freenet), law enforcement are monitoring Freenet in a similar manner to Tor, targeting certain people. It seems that they’re specifically looking for offenders who possess child porn downloaded through Freenet.

I’ve said this before, but – I’m definitely opposed to the production of child pornography. At the same time, I hate that its existence has become an excuse to shut down networks like Freenet, in which much of the material is perfectly legal.

So it’s kind of a Catch-22, isn’t it?  Well, hopefully Freenet stays up and running, in spite of some of the run-ins with law enforcement.

It’s called Freenet for a reason, after all!

P.S. Here are a couple of legal Freenet links, if you’re interested (as far as I know, there’s nothing disturbing on these):

USK@DXNTwIka7DbpxAa1-TGIkAYE3E3W0BBzfYEm5IIvIOo,TAe7a-w~nR6GzGUs64onIJshzMPzLZuW4-qbD5Vc674,AQACAAE/xkcd/410/

USK@lR9Sq56gUPH4uV6O9UCs-CifnRHCDWx0j~V2a6DwPgY,-ru5J7hDG1rXNGevraEkWVkxHMHohv9mZde5VT237Ec,AQACAAE/Death_for_Global_Warming_Deniers/0/

USK@NAKEVlN5CZ~nUlEnH4WUG8ANfvNZ-RuSUjRjfDHm2bA,R8kjg51bYWCJSwlwK5sOrHUjQ2gjHc7NhCVCWFJ4ncs,AQACAAE/HackZandCrackZ/3/

USK@GqiRYVB9AGvEnbhp3X~F3HDX-AYf60qzeqKgqc-8mvg,6KDbRU4K763XNW3f2XexjaxvRPv7LupK6pv~jEXrlJo,AQACAAE/alleykats_corner/14/