• A Practical Demonstration of what IPB will allow

    There have been numerous write-ups of the threat that the Draft Investigatory Powers Billposes to our privacy and security.

    The intention of this post is not simply to repeat those, but to provide a practical demonstration of exactly the kind of information that the proposed powers would compel your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to record.

    As well as demonstrating what an ISP would soon be collecting (and how simple it is to extract), we'll look at the issues the IPB presents in the context of the information we've extracted.

    As the IPB isn't exactly explicit about exactly what it allows, especially in terms of techniques, I've made some assumptions (though I believe their fair and reasonable).

    Most of the results were exactly what I expected, but I think describing them explicitly is probably more helpful than not - to that end, I've tried to keep the language as accessible as possible, as those who understand how tech works at the network level are unlikely to find much of surprise here.

  • McKinnon Loses Extradition Fight

    This content was originally posted on benscomputer.no-ip.org 3rd April 2007

    In the news today Gary McKinnon has lost his bid to avoid extradition to the US. For those who have not been following his story, he was accused by the US government of breaking into US Government Networks. He does not deny this, nor has he ever done so. However the US want him extradited to America for trial, despite the fact that he repeatedly states that he was only there out of curiosity, and the security on these networks was low enough to be trivial.
  • Republished: The Problem With Software Patents Is

    Originally published on Benscomputer.no-ip.org in June 2006

    Simply put there are a great many problems with the concept of software patents, let alone the practicality. Those of us who follow news within the IT industry are forever seeing 'X sues Y for infringing patent.' Does this mean that all the companies in the IT sector are trying to steal other peoples work and ideas? No, the problem is patents are being granted on concepts that they should not. This does also affect non-software patents to a point, however software patents seem to be the most affected by this.

    Currently in the UK (and as far as I know Europe as a whole) software patents are not legally enforceable. This does not mean they do not exist, Software patents have been granted, and still are. However you cannot currently back them up in a court of law. Now lets take a look at the Patent System in the US so that we may see exactly why we do not want software patents.

  • UK High Court Approves National Censorship in the name of Copyright Protection

    At the UK's High Court, Justice Arnold made a decision that is not only stupid but dangerous. In the fight between the MPA and BT he ruled that Cleanfeed should be used to block the copyright infringing site Newzbin.

    Cleanfeed is a technology designed to do one thing - prevent access to child abuse material (the effectiveness of it is another matter). But now it will also be used to block Newzbin (and you can be sure other sites will follow).

    So why is the decision so utterly stupid?