Friday, April 11, 2008

The New Truth Game..... Which Cup Is It Under ??

Don't fall for the new 'P4P' Shell Game. Its just Verizon's way of 'out maneuvering' the little FCC problem Comcast has been caught in, and as a vehicle to gain more market share. Expect Verizon to be heavily advertizing the New & Improved P4P this summer.
But don’t worry, AT&T just cut a deal with NSA, MPAA, and the RIAA to inspect every single bit of your ‘pirated copyright data’ that’s coming off your IP Address onto the AT&T backbone. But AT&T won’t slow you down.

While I can not be expected to either condone, nor condemned P2P use, there are two things that I can say about it…
One, Why would I want to lean one way or the other, good or bad, whatever, on subject of P2P use. I would rather remain neutral!
Two, While I have no figures on the subject, I’m willing to bet that as much as 25% of all data flowing on the internet today is P2P traffic!

Just a little background for the uninitiated, (noobs)…
P2P stands for ‘Peer to Peer’. Rather than attempt to replace all the authorities on Wikipedia, if you need any further explanations, click here. However, one thing that Wikipedia won’t tell you is that within hours of installing a P2P Client, everyone from the 14 year old hacker down the street, to your local ISP, to the Zinghow Institute of Higher Learning will be attempting to access that little port you learned how to open, and everyone will have their own nefarious little agenda. Some will be trying to install that shiny new Botnet they just learned to heard. Some will be attempting to execute things like “Polymorphic MBR Rootkit Propagations”. Hey, if you’re running the net with an open port and don’t know what you’re doing, you’re fair game. What do they care! Some relatively legitimate groups will be working toward the protection of intellectual property by causing your PC to crash and loose that precious first download you just finished, and thereby causing you to never install or use a P2P client ever again. For the ‘first timer’, just remember that the first steps are the hardest, emotionally.
The ubergeeks down at the local Starbucks, (you’ve seen them, the twenty- somethings that are always trading newly burned CD’s like they were dealing drugs) will still not respect you. While yes, you have crossed the emotional barrier, you haven’t even touched on the technical barriers. So, after getting a few downloads, don’t go to the local Wi-Fi hotspot and proclaim you’re a level one geek… They will invade your PC and infiltrate your personal bank account. You’re still just a NOOB!! Besides, running a bittorrent via wireless is, well, rather limiting.
After a few restarts, and some research, you’ll discover things like Ethernet, NAT, IP Blocking, Block Lists, and things that usually contain the word ‘peer’ in them. But don’t rejoice just yet there pilgrim. These are just the easy foothills of the technical mountains you’re going to attempt to cross over.
And those mountains will just keep getting bigger as you get deeper into the counterculture of P2P. You’ll have a new found respect for people that do things like maintain and run torrent locators, blocklist update servers, and TOR nodes.
And then, slowly, you’ll begin to understand things you’ve only read in license agreements like reverse engineering and decompiling. You’ll learn why someone would use an ‘nfo file’, and things like ‘unpack, burn, mount’, and you’ll learn to watch how many seeders drop a particular file of interest. You’ll learn to ‘isolate’ and run things your antivirus says you ought not.
And the really neat thing here about this P2P, the real reason that the Phone Company and Government would want you to not use it. Well, you might actually start to begin to learn how to secure a computer.
Who would imagine, something that the majority of PC users perceive as stealing, something that requires that you remove certain safety measures and actually exposes you to dangers, requiring that you ‘coolly and calmly’ manage risks, instead of running from them like a heard of sheep. Something that is labeled as being so bad might in fact have a real positive benefit. Pirates are called that because they ‘pirate software & data’. But ‘pirate’ is a term that is only used by ‘noobs’, and hopefully your computer is not as unsecure as a noobs. Well, enough with the background, and on to the actual diatribe…

First, you have to remember that P4P will be a proprietary code, and that big companies WILL be able to trace users through it, regardless of any promises of anonymity. And if big companies feel that you have violated any rights, they WILL be assisted by Verizon (Comcast too, although AT&T may be able to run interference as they are a Primary Provider) in identifying the original seed, as well as stopping the transmission of the data, as it will be packaged within a proprietary packet, easily stopped or corrupted if need be.

It looks as if Bram Cohen & Ashwin Navin are selling out to get rich, and in so, so is BitTorrent. While the application will transform, the protocol is Open Source. The only two clients worth mention are ‘μTorrent’ and ‘Azureus’.

But basically, this whole argument boils down to a simple rationale…
For instance, consider this analogy. “The internet is a milkshake that you just bought down at the local ice cream shop. Your ISP, & all the providers between your PC & anyone else anywhere on the planet, is a simple drinking straw.” Does AT&T have the right to tell you what flavor of milkshake you can use your straw (you paid for it) to drink with? Does Comcast have the right to tell you how large a $150 per month straw will be?

The government is allowing ISPs to throw Competitive Capitalism out of the window.
AT&T, Verizon, & Comcast should be in a heated price war rather than price fixing your bandwidth (read freedom). After all, just look up who sits on their board of directors.

ISP’s such as Comcast & AT&T are nothing more than “straws” !! They are not authorities. Yes, people do download copyrighted material over their services, but it’s not their job to act as enforcement, nor should it ever be. That’s the job of the copyright holder & their lawyer exclusively. USTPO & the Library of Congress’s USCO don’t even enforce, they only provide a record of proof.

In summation, the fight for “Neutrality of the Internet” is far from over; it is only just beginning to heat up. Instead of assuring the Democratic Freedom of the Internet in Congress last year, and addressing the real issues, the focus has been shifted. As if in a shell game, the mark (you, noob) is looking elsewhere.

“Phone Companies are not the Internet Police!!”

Hey, wanna’ really have the Comcast van running around the neighborhood all day ?? Can you say “Trunked TOR Node, that’s trunked via HAM packet radio” I knew you could…

I haven’t written in quite a while, but I’ve been very busy over the past year. I’ll be doing an article once or twice a month, so tell your friends, tell your family, and tell those three other subscribers that I lost this year… :^{


Courtesy: Penn and Teller, YouTube

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