Tech at Night

In an example of lucky timing, the GSA scandal proved why Darrell Issa’s DATA act was needed. Transparency in government allows for oversight. So the bill passed the House by voice vote.

I first floated a while back the idea that this sudden, strident CISPA opposition was roote d in a desire to distract the public from the much stronger and more dangerous Lieberman-Collins bill in the Senate. It’ll work with the libertarian left because hey, they’ll believe whatever the left says about eeevil Bushitlerian Rethuglicans. But it disappoints me when the right, including FreedomWorks, is tricked and puts effort into CISPA instead of Lieberman-Collins. Did we learn nothing from Net Neutrality?

But yeah, when the usual whiny groups along with Barack Obama and the administration are joining together to talk exclusively about CISPA but not at all about Lieberman-Collins, I’m right.

House Republicans may in fact limit the bill in response to the veto threat, but the fact is we need a flexible legal framework to empower the good guys to have information which is critical when countering bad guys who share information all the time.

International attacks are real though. In fact, everyone may want to check into this account by the FBI about a thwarted attack that may still infect your computer.

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Tech at Night

It’s Monday, so it’s time for that weekly self promotion of mine. This week at the Daily Caller I discussed NISO, an information sharing proposal by Dan Lungren that would get government in a role of improving our security online without compromising liberty and innovation.

And now back to SOPA. Now Eric Schmidt realizes we don’t want government to have a huge role online, complaining that SOPA would “criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself.” Yeah, I’d say DNS is part of the fundamental structure of the Internet, and that’s why I support Darrell Issa’s and Ron Wyden’s OPEN Act alternative. They would have us go after infringers abroad rather than attacking the Internet at home.

Jennifer Rubin pointed out that SOPA is overkill, which it is. Effectively undermining the fundamental structures of the Internet just to go after counterfeit handbags and Bittorrent streams of Scary Movie 3? Come on.

Notice how no matter how many people complain about SOPA, it’s always the MPAA with a response? Isn’t that a clue that this bill is being pushed to benefit one specific industry, just a little bit?

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Tech at Night

Censorship’s the big word right now. The FCC’s under pressure to ban pro sports blackouts, and the Supreme Court may end national profanity rules. However I consider those things small. Few people have access to television broadcasts. Most of us aren’t actually censored by these regulations.

We all have access to the Internet though; that’s how a nobody like me is able to shape the debate against well-funded leftist groups. So I’ll freely admit it: It’s a self-serving thing for me to oppose Internet censorship. I don’t want the Obama administration to have the power to collaborate with private leftist groups to steal people’s domains, and force all ISPs to cooperate with that effective creation of a national censorship blacklist.

They want to call the little guys “E-PARASITES,” using copyright as cover to censor whatever the heck they want. Because once you let the government start blanking out parts of the Internet, then what’s to stop them from blanking out oversight of that censorship? Nothing. Just ask Australia, which censored the internet “for the children,” but then started banning oversight of the censorship, as well as unrelated content like American anti-abortion websites.

The committee vote on SOPA / E-PARASITES is coming, and I’m hearing that the witness list for the bill is stacked 5-1 in favor of the bill. In the Republican House, we’re rigging the hearings in favor of giving the President more regulatory power over the Internet. It boggles the mind. Please consider contacting the Judiciary Committee and asking them to oppose this censorship power grab.

If the US Government starts monkeying around with DNS, the world will ignore it, the same way we ignore Chinese attempts to censor the Internet. We will lose our position as world leader of the Internet overnight.

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Tech at Night

Late start tonight for Tech at Night. Sorry, but I’ve started a plan to get myself out of California, and to be honest I’m more than a bit nervous about the whole thing. Looking for new work in the Obama economy? Yeah.

But at least Marsha Blackburn wants to help the tech job situation by taking on Barack Obama’s twin regulatory nightmares of the FCC and the FTC. The EPA isn’t so hot, either.

Seton Motley is still plugging away against Net Neutrality, too, referencing Phil Kerpen’s new book: Democracy Denied on the Obama regulatory scheme to bypass the Congress when implementing radical ideas.

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Tech at Night

As is usual, tonight I’ll give priority to the things we had posted at RedState, and mention those first. Especially My own post on the latest on the California Amazon Tax referendum, and more specifically on the plans of Democrats to nullify the constitutional referendum process, in service of their unconstitutional Internet sales tax. We need to pressure Republicans to vote the right away, at least.

We also have a post by streiff on regulation, and how we need to do something about it. He asks a great question, on the relative levels of oversight the Congress gives to the military and to the post-New Deal alphabet soup: “So why should the commissioning of a lieutenant or the promotion of a mid-grade officer merit positive action on the part of Congress but an EPA regulatory regime that seems focused on making the use of coal illegal allowed with no action?”

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Tech at Night: DNSSEC, RIM, FCC, Net Neutrality

On July 31, 2010, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

I hide nothing from you: I kicked back this Friday night. I slacked off. Now it’s Saturday at 2am and I’m finally getting to this. But, you all read this in the morning anyway so it really doesn’t matter much, right? (If I’m wrong I’ll surely hear in the comments)

Let’s start with a widely reported but badly reported story: DNSSEC. This is a framework for the Domain Name System (the framework for translating from hostnames such as www.redstate.com to IP addresses, which are the actual addresses used on the Internet). The system is akin to SSL for domains. Verisign will manage it for the Commerce Department and create a single “Root Key” which is then used to create certificates for domains, which will then be used to make sure your a domain’s DNS records are legitimate.

In my estimation, it’s just a big boondoggle for [Verisign] to get more customers. The vast majority of domains won’t be able to be secured by it, because Verisign is going to have a monopoly and will charge accordingly. This will only affect big businesses transacting large amounts of money, and they’re already secured against DNS-based attacks. If they’re smart they are, anyway.

What DNSSEC does that is bad, however, is create a new point of failure for the Internet, because there are 7 key holders which control escrowed access to the root key. If 3 of them lose the keys, the entire system will have to be re-keyed at expense and inconvenience to all, as pointed out by George Ou.

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We continue now from Part I and Part II of the series. InsideGoogle.com has the emails between Andrew McLaughlin and his contacts in Google, all the while serving as Deputy White House CTO, in a 3 PDF set, and I’m now starting on the second file.

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Via InsideGoogle.com I’ve come across the Andrew McLaughlin emails released via FOIA requests (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). I’d meant to make a 5 part series of my reading through them for signs that McLaughlin was inappropriately acting as an agent of Google from his job as White House CTO (which is an accusation that Darrell Issa is not letting drop quietly, internal slap on the write to McLaughlin or not, and is in fact expanding beyond McLaughlin). This will be a four part series this week though. We’re starting on Tuesday instead of Monday because life got in the way. Unlike some of my opposition, my advocacy on technical matters is not funded.

Anyway, let’s begin.

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