The CRTC vs. the internet

Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Damian P.

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9 thoughts on “The CRTC vs. the internet

  1. Rick’s take is marvelous. First, he’s on target, clear and focussed:
    “I keep reading about demands for a “culture czar” to be added to President Obama’s Romanov dynasty of cabinet tsaristi, and can’t help but wonder why anyone would want to proceed down that path as long as they have Canada’s woeful example so close at hand.”
    One can’t help but think that ‘woeful’ is exactly the desired end-game. One can’t make a fascisto-socialist omelet without first destroying the egg.
    Then, Rick has an elegance that’s brought into contrast by his cursing. His expletives aren’t mere stylistic flourish… they’re genuine.
    Screw the Left. They’re great for practice.

  2. j,
    The simple answer, and the one available to the ISPs or those who would like to control the internet, is to shoot every cat that meanders.
    In the end you will be left with just a a few cats walking in the direction you want them to.
    So you close off ports, create a whitelist system for IPs, use deep packet inspection to make sure everyone’s cooperating, and charge a premium for the remaining cats, which now happen to be scarce.
    I’m just glad it’s the CRTC on point, because I’m not sure the right wingers would be as quick to join up if it were the ISPs and the content industry talking about the need to regulate the internet.
    When Bell Canada says that they need to throttle connections (i.e. kill uncooperative cats), I hope that everyone realizes that they’re playing to the same end game as the CRTC.
    Thankfully though, the workarounds to this kind of interference are abundant and becoming more and more accessible. My independent ISP, who buys bandwidth wholesale from Bell, provides a workaround to Bell’s traffic interference by using an encrypted SSH tunnel to conceal your data.
    The canary in the mine is encrypted traffic. It’s a hardy canary because it’s a cornerstone of security on the internet, but eventually somebody is going to ask why “an ordinary citizen with nothing to hide” is using an encrypted SSH session for their web traffic. Then you’ll know that they’re coming for your internets.

  3. “So you close off ports, create a whitelist system for IPs, use deep packet inspection to make sure everyone’s cooperating, and charge a premium for the remaining cats, which now happen to be scarce.”
    For a minute there I thought you were referring to China. Perhaps that is where the CRTC’s technical consultants come from.
    I’m often reminded of the saying: “Hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to help”.

  4. John,
    The CRTC has technical consultants?
    I thought they just had someone shouting out buzzwords so that Mochrie could run with them.
    That’s a wish list from the North American ISPs and traditional media companies, who often happen to be one and the same. China hasn’t shown any inclination for moving beyond its firewall approach, which is quite comparable to a corporate firewall here at home.
    I have no problem with blacklisting sites or words, mostly because it’s transparent and there are quite a few ways around it. It’s the whitelist that should be feared.

    Over 2000 Websites!

  5. “I have no problem with blacklisting sites or words, mostly because it’s transparent and there are quite a few ways around it.”
    I don’t see it as all that transparent – it’s not like there’s a list of banned sites / topics that you can check out; just suddenly a search for particular content comes up blank. I would also take little solace from the fact that there are “quite a few ways around” internet restrictions – that just sets up an arms race between users and censors, and in that contest your ISP (at one level or another) is likely to be on the side of the censors.

  6. dcardno,
    By “not a problem” I don’t mean that I approve, just that I think that the “arms race” is already over for national censorship unless we ban encrypted networking or ISPs are allowed to move to a restricted whitelist system enforced by people with guns.
    Anything censored will be internet news and, barring men with guns enforcing taboos, will find its audience regardless. There are simply too many ways to…. em… skin that cat. (This thread is officially not safe for kittens.)

  7. Two notes:
    1) Australia is looking at backing down from their plan to filter the internet due to it being unfeasible and massively unpopular.
    2) This incident:
    https://secure.wikileaks.org/wiki/N1
    Both underscores my point about the present freedom of the internet, and the threats that it faces. Somebody is getting an earful right now, and they will want to blame someone. Thanks to the anonymous nature of wikileaks, the 12+ year old will be hard to find and undoubtedly somebody will think “that’s not right” and think of a way to “fix” it.
    Note: If any of your present passwords are included in a dictionary, change them.

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