• 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.

  • 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.