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37 posts tagged internet

Bruce Sterling talks about the ‘stacks’, or how the internet has been gobbled up by the big corporations

Bundled, Buried & Behind Closed Doors from Ben Mendelsohn on Vimeo.

Bundled, Buried & Behind Closed Doors

by Ben Mendelsohn

Via Vimeo:

Lower Manhattan’s 60 Hudson Street is one of the world’s most concentrated hubs of Internet connectivity. This short documentary peeks inside, offering a glimpse of the massive material infrastructure that makes the Internet possible.

Written and edited by Ben Mendelsohn

Shot and animated by Alex Chohlas-Wood

Malware Spread through Search Engine Results

Part of my job is to cleanup PCs that have been infected with malware, maleware has completely replaced viruses, we rarely see a virus on a PC. This is the introduction to a paper entitled deSEO: Combating Search-Result Poisoning published by members of the University of Washington Computer Sciences Department. LINK >

The spread of malware through the Internet has increased dramatically over the past few years. Along with traditional techniques for spreading malware (such as through links or attachments in spam emails), attackers are constantly devising newer and more sophisticated methods to infect users. A technique that has been gaining prevalence of late is the use of search engines as a medium for distributing malware. By gaming the ranking algorithms used by search engines through search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, attackers are able to poison the search results for popular terms so that these results include links to malicious pages.

A recent study reported that 22.4% of Google searches contain such links in the top 100 results [23]. Furthermore, it has been estimated that over 50% of popular keyword searches (such as queries in Google Trends [9] or for trending topics on Twitter [20]), the very first page of results contains at least one link to a malicious page [19]. Using search engines is attractive to attackers because of its low cost and its legitimate appearance. Malicious pages are typically hosted on compromised Web servers, which are effectively free resources for the attackers. As long as these malicious pages look relevant to search engines, they will be indexed and presented to end users. Additionally, users usually trust search engines and often click on search results without hesitation, whereas they would be wary of clicking on links that appear in unsolicited spam emails. It is therefore not surprising that, despite being a relatively new form of attack, searchresult poisoning is already a huge phenomenon and has affected major search engines.

Entire Paper

Essay by Doc Searls & David Weinberger

What the Internet Is and How to Stop Mistaking It for Something Else

This is the essay in a nut shell:

  1. The Internet isn’t complicated
  2. The Internet isn’t a thing. It’s an agreement.
  3. The Internet is stupid.
  4. Adding value to the Internet lowers its value.
  5. All the Internet’s value grows on its edges.
  6. Money moves to the suburbs.
  7. The end of the world? Nah, the world of ends.
  8. The Internet’s three virtues: a. No one owns it b. Everyone can use it c. Anyone can improve it
  9. If the Internet is so simple, why have so many been so boneheaded about it?
  10. Some mistakes we can stop making already

Well worth reading


MOSCOW, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — Russia wants the U.N. to ban the use of the Internet for spreading anti-government propaganda and for military purposes, Moscow’s Kommersant business daily reported Friday.

It has drafted an 18-page convention titled “About providing international information security”, which it aims to table at the United Nations in 2012, the newspaper said.

Russia also proposes governments keep full control over their national segments in the worldwide web “according to the national laws” and suggests governments obtain a right to restrict activities on the Internet “to protect national and public security.”

The draft document envisages a worldwide ban on using information technologies in some activities, including “hostile actions and aggression, undermining political, economic and social systems of another state, manipulation of information streams with the purpose of distorting the psychological and spiritual environment of a society or destabilizing a society and state.”

Moscow insists such action should be defined as crimes against international peace and security.

Local experts said Moscow was worried about a cyber war because Russia lagged behind many countries in this area.** They also believed the Kremlin was concerned about the possible use of the Internet and mobile phones as tools for mass mobilization and coordination of anti-government actions.**

Via: EFF

Short description of this story - ISPs use DNS to redirect a users search query through a third party before the user gets to the intended search site. While they are doing the redirect they are tracking the user’s query, their location, and IP #. They keep this data and sell it and do what ever they want with it. The ISP makes a few cents per click and the third party makes lots of money. There are other ways they have monetized this hijacking this is just one way.

All this is done transparently so the end user doing the searching doesn’t even know.

Read full story


Derek Powazek has written up a manifesto about the guiding principles of the internet. These two, in particular, are extremely important:

1. The internet is neutral. It is neither good nor bad. People have motivations, the internet does not.


9. More information is better than less. Freedom to connect to others is a fundamental human right.

(via Derek Powazek)

Something new to follow


Graphene-powered web could download 3-D movies in seconds, give MPAA nightmares

Graphene, is there anything it can’t do? Researchers are already trying to put it in processors, fuel cells, and batteries — now your internet connection might get ten-times faster thanks to the silicon successor.

Researchers at UC Berkeley have created tiny, one-atom-thick modulators that could switch the data-carrying light on and off in a fiber-optic connection much faster than current technology.

(via emergentfutures)

Details at EFF’s Deeplinks Blog

Big questions about Internet Security from EFF. (Electronic Freedom Foundation)

Via: Guardian UK

This article focuses on Great Britain but it applies just as well to the United States, and it is not a typo South Korea will soon have gigabit speeds for residential internet access.

Here’s a tale of two societies. The South Korean communications commission is planning to boost broadband speeds in that country tenfold by the end of 2012. That means Koreans will get one gigabit per second (Gbps) connections by next year , which is 200 times as fast as the 5Mbps ADSL connection which is common in the UK. Meanwhile, back in the middle ages (aka Whitehall next Wednesday), a ministerial summit on “net neutrality” convened by the culture secretary Ed Vaizey will hear how Britain’s internet service providers (ISPs) plan to throttle still further the measly internet access they provide to the citizens of the UK in order to boost their bottom lines and reduce competition.


To be installed next week.

‘Anonymous’ - Helps Iranian Activists Fight The Regime

Via: Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty (both US government run radio broadcast networks)

In recent days, with Iranians taking to the streets to protest against the government, the country’s Islamic authorities have boosted their censorship efforts in a bid to crush opposition activity online.

This is where Anonymous and its “Operation: Iran” come in.

The collective is providing users with special advice forums and tools to fight the Iranian government’s censorship. The group has also encouraged Iranian users to use distributed-denial-of-service attacks (DDOS) in order to take down key government websites like, the website of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, as well as and

The article includes an interview with Arash

Arash is a hacker who works with Anonymous to fight government censorship and cybercontrol in his native Iran.

Read Entire Article - comments are interesting

It is fascinating how the group Anonymous is lauded by the US government for it’s support for Iranian protestors and condemned by them for their support of wikileaks. I understand that Visa, MasterCard and Bank of America are not on par with the Iranian government, however more critical analysis needs to be done to see what similarities exist in these disparate targets. Iranian governmental institutions and western financial institutions are both tools used by those in control, neither are accountable to the people they control.

What does democracy mean to you?

Video: Evgeny Morozov, critic of social media and internet utopianism, on the value and future of wikileaks. Surprise he likes wikileaks and see’s it as an agent for positive change.

Lowering the Cost of Revolution - Internet Scrutiny


“Social media did not make the revolution in Egypt happen. But, with every step chronicled in real time and broadcast to anyone with an Internet connection, it hastened its pace and transferred the voice of international scrutiny from sovereign leaders to a community of millions. When it comes to pressuring an authoritarian leader to step down, the heat has never been turned up so quickly.

As entrepreneur Habib Haddad tweeted about the whole thing, ‘Social media has lowered the cost of revolution.’ ”

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