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Last update: March 8, 2018
The purpose of this page is to comment the evolution of freedom on Internet, in front of the need to bring some order... or of the attempts to censor it.
This page was completely reorganized, in order to reflect the evolution of the issues, in relation with the original text written in 2002. The additions («News») are displayed from the most recent to the most ancient, and the original text at the end. Nothing was suppressed, even among obsolete additions.
No freedom without practical means to exert it:
The content of this part is enriched after recent news, as a «blog», and from bottom to top. Some are obsolete, but I leave them for History.
Added on March 8, 2018
We remember this Google «algorithm», supposed to recognise Human faces, but which labelled an African face as a «gorilla». Obviously a computer program cannot hate a race: it has to be instructed in discrimination. «How they did that» was finally revealed by an article in Science et Avenir: quite simply the technicians presented more White men's faces, instead of presenting each race and each gender equally. Which proves one thing: the Google technicians are aged more than 80 (they became old before receiving Luther King's message)
Added on March 8, 2018
Quora is a knowledge site, like wikipedia, but on an entirely different principle: people can ask questions, where everybody can answer. This method makes that the discussion cannot be trolled. In is not either possible to block or destroy the contribution of other persons (as it is possible on wikipedia)
The result is interesting, but there is a drawback: the contributors are evaluated with a system of upvote or downvote. The result remains interesting, but this process still leaves the possibility of censoring somebody by downvote spoofing. Indeed after a reply on a polemic topic, my rating lowered abruptly, which may tell such a downvote campaign. Of course I reported this issue to the moderation.
To be noted that Quora is a very international site: Asia (save China), Middle East and Africa are much better represented than on other sites.
Added on January 4, 2018
Facing the perversion of the Internet by blathering sites which only purpose is to show advertising, the web browsers are now blocking these ads. Firefox and Chrome propose extensions, but Opera have them installed natively, so that you don't have any setting to do. Opera also propose «no coin», which prevents pirates from using your computer to speculate on the bitcoin.
The good new is that these practices are in rapid progress. However we are still far from an Internet without unsolicited advertising.
Of course, some sites block the browsers without ads. But they are precisely this kind of sites we can do without! The true sites are supported by their readers (see how with following the link Support this site).
Added on January 4, 2018
We already knew that wikipedia is «not always objective», but some use it in rather dirty ways to denigrate us. Let us see, for example, the singer Mariska Veres, whom everybody remembers the sensual «Venus» and «Hot Sand», which awakened so many people to free love. What did wikipedia of her? They call her «eccentric», accuse her of wearing a wig, and give her an image disfigured by age and illness (actually the «sources» are an article in a right-wing newspaper, copy-pasted as is, without any epoch testimony or check). And NO mention of what these songs have represented for a whole generation. Yes, there are some who have waited all this time just to take revenge of her, even after her death!
Added on january 4, 2018
A brand of smartphones that I shall not name was caught in a massive planned obsolescence scam: the battery of its iphones is difficult to access, or even glued, so that when the battery is dead, after three years, it is the whole device which becomes unusable. This is serious, because of the price of these devices, the amount of electronic waste generated, and the abuse of rare resources.
So that, if you want to buy a smartphone, it is advisable to check the following:
-For everyday use, do not exceed 250 dollars
-Make sure it runs on Android
-Ask the seller to show you how to change the battery. Removing the battery protects us from unwanted calls and microwaves from the device (which harmfulness has recently been proven). In addition, this is the only way to ensure that it does not spy on us (do not store the battery in a metal box or in the presence of objects which conduct electricity: risk of fire). Well, hoping that the spare batteries will still be available in three years...
-Well, even if you take an unknown sub-brand of dubious quality, it will last as long as those with planned obsolescence... while costing four times less.
-Regularly save your data.
Added January 4, 2018
The arbitrary decision of t**** to entrust the direction of Internet to the rich is the most serious blow against Internet since its creation. It may have serious consequences, not the least being the fragmentation of Internet: a Chinese Internet, a Russian one, an American one, and, let us hope, an European one. The USA must quickly find again a president to recover the control of the helm and stop these vagrancies.
Added November 15, 2017
It happened to everybody of us to see our PC slowing down, while the hard drive was scraping to death... Opening the task manager at this moment shows one of these mysterious windoze «background task». Each time, it is the same story: a «system file» takes the whole power of the PC, at the expense of our work. Once it was an «indexation task» (Of what? Mystery) The last one was an «encryption service» (Of what? Against whom? This is suspicious). Or it is the host process, which we cannot know who invokes it. Or the disk scraping stops when we open the task manager, as if windoze was trying to hide what is happening. Then the problem disappears... until another «background task» reappears, with another name just as cryptic as the previous ones. An Internet search does not provide clear information about what these tasks are. Same silence of the windoze site, which at best gives complex and imprecise fixes.
If that happened once, it could be a bug, but if the same thing happens regularly, we can not help suspecting that «somebody» may use our computers in secret, thanks to windoze functions. It is hard to be assertive, as windoze is so complex and opaque. But this would surely be a very annoying situation...
Added September 19, 2017
5 years after google, this time it is facebook which was nabbed by the civic magazine ProPublica, proposing antisemitic categories to advertisers, such as «how to burn the Jews» (nothing less!!). Well, I first wrote a stern comment, but some days later, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote at «the Time» that «there is no place for hate in our community», and pledged to keep a closer eye on hateful posts and threats of violence on Facebook. «It’s a disgrace that we still need to say that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are wrong», he wrote.
Well, as usual, it is not crapulous employees who created these categories: they were generated by algorithms, from profiles and online activities. Artificial intelligence, some will say. Precisely not, it is not that, and I must clarify again: there is still a lot of confusion today about what artificial intelligence really is. For example, a translator software or a chat bot software can easily associate each word of a sentence with a dictionary table, and construct grammatically correct sentences which are good translations, or answers which meaning matches the previous posts. But this is not artificial intelligence! This is just an idiot translator or chat bot, like Microsoft Tay, unable to understand what he says, and especially unable to send an alert if a problem arises. (I bet that the «deep packet inspection» tools of American Intelligence are perfectly capable of this).
True artificial intelligence, however, is not so complicated: «burning» can, depending on the context, be reduced to two general categories: «consume» or «harm». Thus «burning candles for an aniversary» can be understood as the normal use of a candle, since it is an object made to be consumed. But «the Jews» are people. And «harming» «people» conflicts with a simple rule of morals: «not to harm people» , which is suspicious enough to warn an human moderator. Even software running on a PC can do this, it is called an expert system, and I have seen one of my work colleagues create one as soon as 1991, with today has no less than 25,000 rules of biology, accurate and reliable enough to «sign» medical analyzes entailing the lives of patients (Today marketed by the Valab company in Flourens, France). A fortiori the huge databases of facebook would need only some microseconds.
So it is not that hard, to add real intelligence and moral rules to our robots.
Added August 17, 2017
After the terrorist acts in Charlottesville, on August 12, 2017, several large Internet companies (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google...) united to remove the asocial sites or accounts.
Even if this censorship is very consensual (understandably) it is still coming after twenty years where the same companies refused all censorship, abandoning entire sectors of the Internet to trolls and wackos. And today that they start into legit censorship, it is totally out of any law or directive... a precedent which opens the door to arbitrary censorship on their behalf (facebook is already known for suppressing accounts without apparent motive)
This is why I created this page in 2012 (even quoting the problem of racial hate!): there is a delicate balance between defending freedom and protecting society, with a complex institution system to keep this balance. There is no place for peremptory affirmations excluding either of the two sides.
Ultimately, that Internet can be used today to spread hate happens only because there is no censorship.
Well, seems that this was understood.
Added some days later: Well, apparently, this was NOT understood.
Added August 17, 2017
When I learned English at school, I was told that «which» is generic, while «that» is more specific. Similarly, «those» applies to objects, and «whose» to persons. And this still is what is visible on the reference websites of English grammar.
However, for some time now, we notice a proliferation of «that» systematically used in place of «which» or even «those»and «whose» indiscriminately applied to persons or to objects! It can be seen in newspaper articles, on wikipedia, etc. The most likely explanation is that the most sophisticated spell-checkers and translators today (2017) are not yet able to distinguish these cases. Indeed, these software do not have access to the meaning of the sentences, only to the syntax. And when the same syntax leads to different meanings, then they cannot know which pronoun is appropriate!! In this case the translators seem to choose a pronoun at random: «whose» or «those», because they do not know if we are speaking of a person or of an object. But in the case of «which» or «that», we now observe (2017) that they systematically choose «that».
But the most embarrassing in this case is that these articles are still supposed to be proof-read by humans, who are expected to understand the meaning of the sentences they write. They can therefore correct the false indications of spell-checkers and translators (this is what I do myself). So why they don't do it?
- A blind trust in robots?
- The failure of that too «liberal» school, which banishes merit and effort?
- An extreme case of denial of a bug, to the point that the false result becomes the new social norm, and therefore «exact»?
- Avoid prosecution by proposing a more restrictive interpretation? (This happened, lol).
- Are the «journalists» now chosen among uneducated persons, paid to produce text which meaning does not matter as long as they evoke the required ideologies or vibrations?
I do not know which or that explanation is the good one, but in any case there are bums which need some kicks of that boot.
Robots are unable to take the power. But some humans are stupid enough to give it to them.
Added August 17, 2017
The non-profit newspaper Pro Publica got access to internal facebook documents, describing the «algorithms» to be used by moderators to erase unhealthy posts.
I do not criticize facebook for this censorship of certain idiotic, fascist or violent content: it is a necessity that they had to face sooner or later. However, what strikes us is the strangeness of their rules, which results in certain absurd decisions. Without going into details, facebook considers «categories to protect». For example, one of their slides shows three such categories: white men, black children, car driving women. The internal rules state very seriously that «white men» are protected, and not the other two categories. In this way, the comments ridiculing car driving women are not removed!! Forced by law and by criticism, facebook gradually refines its rules, but on such an example we understand the fundamental flaw of their way of thinking, and the difficulties they encounter in apprehending this domain:
Facebook ignores the very existence of morality! And, from total lack of common sense and basic human sensitivity, they must proceed by trial and error to build their knowledge of this field! We cannot better illustrate the mindset of the geeks, champions of computers, but who live completely cut off from reality, «in the basement of their mother». From there comes this feeling of strangeness when we use facebook and its oddly stereotyped conceptions of social life. My advice would be that they read the sixth part of «General Epistemology» on morals 😄!
Added just after: It happened that just after writing the previous, I had to report a post advocating bad treatments to children. The reply was that «this does not violate our standards», but that «I» can remove it of «my» view if it shocks «me». This is morals after facebook: they think of it as a personal affair! That people are attacked and suffer is not a problem for them, after them we just have not to see it, in order not to be disturbed!! And in more they shamelessly think that we are LIKE THEM!!
On the other hand, nearby the same day, I got a false friend request from an account advertising for a sex site... this account was suppressed at once! For this we can rely on facebook, ha ha ha 😛!!
Added June 21, 2017
Click farms are gangsters organisations «selling» bots to rot the Internet and tamper the popularity of sites with adding fake clicks and likes. One was closed in Thailand, especially after their «help» to a local politician. See article on Science et Avenir. The question remains how they got 347,000 sim cards.
Added May 1, 2017
The virtual world Inworldz succeeds in keeping its first place in quality and in community, despite the ambient gloominess and the often unfair competition by some members of Open Sims. Surprises are in sight in the next weeks, especially about maps.
Added May 1, 2017
Despite its notoriety, Second Life is also suffering from the ambient gloom, losing members. Apparently they think they do not lose enough, since we see more and more people arriving in Inworldz saying that their character has been removed from Second Life, without explanation or recourse. So my proposal of moral and independent identity providers remains to be created.
Added May 1, 2017
The well-known defects of wikipedia are still not addressed: anonymous publishers, self-proclaimed specialists, ideological biases, pedantry, editors fights... We can today consider that wikipedia is not a reliable source of information, and it will probably never be.
An already old tendency, but which is gaining momentum, is scientistism (using science results as a belief system and ideology). For example, the page on the NDE is now a simple monologue by one or two «skeptics» systematically destroying the subject, while deceitfully pretending to be «science» (see what science really says on NDE in chapter V-9). A similar effect appears on the UFO page: we had an excellent page, which one day was defaced and replaced by a few idiotic denigration paragraphs. After several years of struggle to try to rebuild the page, we arrived to a kind of shaky compromise giving only a vague idea of the subject. Problem, in science there are no compromises: the Earth is flat or it is round, but we cannot take something in between to avoid hurting opinions.
Thus one of the most serious defects of Wikipedia is the lack of effective arbitration: the directors try to reconcile opinions, without referring to the objective reality which would enable us to decide. In short, objectivity after wikipedia is not observation, it is the sources, even if these sources say that two and two make five!
The other serious defect of wikipedia, gross materialism, appears in a more subtle way, but in the end more revealing, in the pages on sexuality. We see there rows of breasts and organs, lined up as on the shelves of a museum. It smells of formaldehyde! But an uneasiness grips us: At NO moment we speak of emotion or love! How did these people felt, while being photographed in a state of sexual arousal? Even the most vulgar porn sites do not dehumanize their models in this way. On the contrary, to discover the body of somebody is an unforgettable moment of love, of which wikipedia deprives us, in the name of a materialistic «objectivity» which denies and crushes entire sections of our lives.
Gone with the wind, then, the supposed objectivity of wikipedia. wikipedia does not lie openly, but its destruction of knowledge is more subtle: to do as if entire sections of reality did not exist.
Even creating a link to a wikipedia page is problematic: there is no guarantee that the content will always be relevant in the next year. It might even contradict the one you targeted!
Therefore it is not surprising if more and more pages are no longer maintained, and that more and more people do not even want to be in Wikipedia.
This is sad, as wikipedia would be such a fantastic tool, if redacted properly.
Added November 16, 2016
Since many years I denounce here the numerous sites of disinformation on the Internet, as a major cause of freedom loss on the net and in the world. The very worrying election of *beep* in 2016 in the United States show that the sites of false informations and conspiration theories are today powerful enough for intoxicating the mainstream society and produce extremely dangerous results.
Especially Google and Facebook are accused of helping the propagation of quite incredible lies, which have inflected te vote of many people. Accepting the criticism, they decided:
- Suppress advertising revenues on these sites, especially the ones where the editor is not visible.
- Filter contents on their networks. Thus Facebook could consider itself as a media, which would allow it to exert an editorial control on the articles published on their sites.
Added December 21, 2016
It seems that the above projects are being quickly put in place. We can certainly be happy that conspiracy theories are at last fought upon (Indeed they are about to become a kind of new religion of chaos, rotting politics). However another problem will appear soon: who will determine what we are allowed or not to publish on the Internet? Normally, this is the job of scientists and moralists (the ailing democracy having disqualified itself). If it is a commercial business which does so, then it appears again the risk that the new tools are used to censor legit expressions or ideas.
It had become a kind of habbit, that the media keep stuffing our ears with their conspiracy theories, of which only them ase speaking. Today all these years of conditionning ended to bear their venomous fruits: «some» just have to say that the illuminati and other Da Vinci code are in facts «the Jews», and here we go again, as in 1940!
Added October 7, 2016
Framasoft is a resource site on free solutions for the Internet, in an approach of independence from the big companies which more and more control the Internet.
Added September 9, 2016
Facing the project of the new financial nobility to control the Internet, using a fast privileged Internet relegating our sites in an inaccessible ghetto, years of struggle finally paid off: In the United States, Brasil, India, and now in Europe, the regulators of the Internet enforced clear rules bringing long term warranties for a free to all open Internet. In this way, anybody who wants recognition on the Internet just have to bring a better content, not just a more visible container.
An Interesting point is that this stuggle did not happened in the traditional «leftist» way, with opposition and insults, but in a more democratic and particitative way. Thus, the message of Avaaz annuncing the victory shows Sébastien Soriano, president of the ARCEP, who says that he was «moved» by the received messages.
Added August 26, 2016
Much better than the DRM: Content ID is a robot which directly analyses musics and videos on Youtube, and identifies copyrighted contents. Then Youtube removes them. This is the ultimate defence of the records industry, against whoever uses their content in a «creative» way... and earns money like this (with adverts).
The problem is that this system lacks subtlety: legitimate uses (fair use, analyses, citations, etc.) are removed without discernment, with only a parody of judiciary recourse. So we are still in the western, save that now it is the sherrifs who bring the terror.
Maybe if we had followed the proposal I made ten years ago, we would have today a powerful edition network controlled by the artists, and we would no longer need this record industry (which remains the most active exploiters of the artists). Instead, we preferred to claim an impossible zero cost artistic creation, while remaining unorganized and everyone for himself. We then offered the victory to the record industry, who will have no scruple to control the artists, both economically and ideologically.
Added on Nov 8, 2016: Mitigating the previous paragraph, the project I described was partly implemented by several companies. Their purpose is to make creators known and distributed in an equitable way: no ideological selection, and some 80% of sales go to the artists (versus 15% for the big businesses, including new ones like iTunes after some sources). So, that each signs his contracts in full knowledge (and after checking the real conditions).
Added August 18, 2016
The assistant Cortana, of which we hear a lot, is unusable, because we cannot start it if we do not accept the Orwellian conditions above.
Added on August 26 2016: The computer medias relay and confirm these warnings. Still more serious, some even state that the spying continues even if we opted out.
Added July 15, 2016
Important: sign the Avaaz petition to block the new financial nobility to arrogate the privilege of a fast Internet relegating our sites in an hardly accessible ghetto!
Update on August 31, 2016
The BEREC (European regulator) finally plugged most holes, bringing long lasting warranties on the neutrality of the Internet.
Added May 16, 2016
The recent hateful hazing of some European governments against their peoples, cause different reactions, in which the «social networks» play a fundamental role in disseminating for instance videos of police ignominy. A situation reminiscent of the Arab Spring, but with a «new novelty»: online petition sites, such as avaaz, we move europe, change.org, etc. These sites allow everyone to take part in protest actions, and in more in a citizen way, which cannot be suspected of «violence».
We can consider these sites as a way to re-appropriate the Internet, out of the control of the international finance which funds and control the «social networks» (see next post how they do).
Oooh but Orange is still censoring the emails of these sites as «spam»... Some never learn.
Added May 16, 2016
Associations of defense against discrimination (Union des étudiants juifs de France, SOS racisme, SOS homophobie) ended to notice the appalling racism, negationism and sexism on these sites, and which remains there despite the abuse reports (Only 4% removed on Twitter, 7% on YouTube, and 34% on Facebook) while the slightest nipple is immediately censored. Curiously it is Yahoo which publishes this, which itself made a specialty of anti-Muslim racism.
I point here at my youtube videos, which are configured in such a way that comments are moderated a priori, that is, that no one can post anything without I have to make a gesture to make it visible. We can also suppress them. Given this, people who allow idiot comments on their videos bear the same criminal responsibility as the site editor. But we bet that in case of a lawsuit, the gentle Google will «protect their privacy»...
Added May 16, 2016
The lack of control by competent persons eventually ruins the quality of the collaborative encyclopedia. For example, pages on physics get us lost in a maze of links which we are no longer sure if they are proven science, reasonable hypothesis or pseudoscientific speculations. And few are able to verify, given the incredible pedantry of these pages, with their walls of equations which eject 99.9% of the readers from the first lines.
For example, a page which looks scientific: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamonds_on_Jupiter_and_Saturn, but which describes «beliefs», and where the «external links» send to conspiracy or populist media, see extreme right media. Added on May 16, 2016, so that you can check yourself how long the «encyclopedia» leaves this online.
And if Wikipedia is not a reliable reference in exact science, then what about the pages on history, economics or politics???
These problems are the inevitable consequence of the very principle of Wikipedia: to think that, in the crowd of visitors, competent people can work together to bring each a bit of their knowledge to a peculiar page («crowd sourcing»). In theory this can work, but it is incredibly naive to forget that, if allowed to express themselves in full «equality», then sociopaths or egocentric people, from their arrogance, quickly discourage others, and they take the power. Affected Wikipedia pages then have a «baron», the most stubborn contributor who has enough spare life time to waste to get up at night to revert the corrections of other contributors, until they are disgusted and they give up. You can easily check, with trying to fix some blatant errors. This is why I do no lose time trying to contribute to Wikipedia.
Added May 16, 2016
Tired of these grotesque, harrowing or noisy images which jump in our face or block the reading of a site? Many browsers now offer ad blockers. A laudable and very welcome initiative (hoping that these systems do not block legitimate content, as did Internet Explorer with pop-ups).
But Google Chrome distinguishes itself by selecting the «good» adverts against the «bad» adverts. «Good» adverts are the ones which do not invade the navigation... that is adverts... by Google. The gentle Google protects us from... its competitors, Ha ha ha ha!
We must again and again recall the fundamental principle of the Internet: anyone who has something to say, says it, on ONE site, that they pay a few euros per year (that is virtually for free).
But as soon as advert, «good» or «bad», allows the hidden funding of an army of «bloggers» and hundreds of sites referring to each other, then it creates a huge distortion of pertinence of the whole Internet: people who have nothing to say, but say it very loud, become «known sites», «popular sites», «references», relegating all the others to the obscurity of «personal sites», suspect of barminess or viruses. This is not freedom of expression, but Soviet-style propaganda. With all that this word implies of indefinitely repeated lies, and stabs in the back.
Well, we understand that resources sites or investigative newspaper may need to pay journalists, investigators, etc. Since the financial nobility does not offer them hidden funding disguised in advertising, then they need that interested users pay subscriptions. Oh but, as by random, we are told very loud that everything «must» be free on the internet... Here is the true reason: to block serious investigative journalism, by cutting funds to it.
Fortunately users defend themselves by funding through donations investigative sites like Greenpeace, avaaz, we move europe etc. which eventually appear today (2016) as the most relevant sources of information on current events.
Some, like change.org, even fund themselves with adverts, yes, but relevant to the site, such as for major humanitarian causes like the UNICEF. This allows them to express our less publicized causes. But to block an advert for the UNICEF to help chirdren, it makes the Internet more free?
Added May 16, 2016
After a recent new, Twitter has blocked the access of US intelligence agencies to Dataminr, a spying tool which allows to exploit all the published tweets and get alerts on discussions of suspicious topics, such as terrorism.
I hear the comments from here: «the good Internet companies defend our privacy against the evil American government».
In this new, a small «detail» deserves attention:
Dataminr continues to operate.
But then, who uses it now to spy on our private lives? Advertising stalkers? Insurances? Dictators, gangsters, traffickers?
No, the major Internet companies do not defend our privacy. They are the first to exploit it, for their own benefit.
Our private life is a selling argument, that they wave with one hand and crush with the other. And all the so-called Silicon Valley's liberation struggle against the US government boils down once again to the eternal struggle of the princes against the king (now the corporates against our democratic governments)
Subsidiary question: why to denounce only the US government?
(Added March 26, 2016: )
Ah if Microsoft had read my page on artificial intelligence, they would not be busted as the creators of the first... «Artificial Idiocy», Tay, that they have to stop in emergency when it started to repeat all the racist nonsense of the most ridiculous trolls of the Internet, and even to assault people! In fact this software was just a semantic analyzer, without access to the meaning of the texts it produced. Therefore to call it «Artificial Intelligence» is a pure scam. But the danger is more profound: if people who do not know themselves what intelligence is, start to tinker with «Artificial Intelligence», then we can imagine the results when software like Tay will be used to create political speech, press articles, in the forums, or by administrations. Clearly, these «Artificial Idiots» would be a thousand times more effective than natural idiots to disinform, lower and enslave Mankind.
(Added February 19, 2016)
On December 2, 2015, in San Bernardino near Los Angeles, two or three nutters entered the premises of an association for helping disabled persons, killing 14 persons and injuring 21. The enquirers need access to the data in an Apple iPhone. However the Apple CEO, Tim Cook, denies the justice any access to the data, under the pretext that it would be a «breach in our freedom», in the wake of the Snowden case. He is supported by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, and Jan Koum from WhatsApp. (Press article)
It is astounding that companies call to be wary of the state of law and of the democratic state (that is, us) in the name of far right ideologies (libertarianism) while pretending to «defend our private life». What do they have so shameful to hide on their iPhones, to forbid Justice to check it?
And also, what a charming attention, to «protect» us of the government, on behalf of companies which are implementing wicked means to track us in the Internet and in the physical world!!
Of course the press considers this as a «debate on our freedom». In reality, this is just another case of new rich, intoxicated by the power of their monopoly, who attack the State and attempt to curb it to their inflated ego.
In reality, these people are considerably late, to not yet know the non-duality between individual freedom and defense of the society, topic of this page since 2002, and known from the jurists since centuries. Do you read the Internet, with your iPhones, guys?
To be noted that other great company managers of the Internet avoided to get involved, such as Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jeff Bezos (Amazon) or Jack Dorsey (Twitter).
Added March 2016: It is a pirate who eventually allowed the FBI to unlock the phone and resume the inquiry. So, in the end, who is the most rotten in the bargain???
Added April 1st 2016: In the end, the FBI, and probably other services like the NSA, won the capacity to arbitrarily open any iPhone, including in secret, without the authorisation of a judge. Which would have not happened if Apple had collaborated. The lesson is that today, to attack the State requires more intelligence than a vulgar leftist, such as mastering non-duality.
Maybe for this decision Apple used Tay, the first Artificial Idiocy, from Microsoft...
(Added January 7, 2016)
Mark Zuckerberg pledged to donate 99% of his facebook shares, valued $45 billion, to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a foundation promoting equality in health, education, scientific research and energy. He also promotes Internet neutrality and Third World access.
This is certainly very honourable to him, and it also gives more confidence in using Facebook.
(Added November 11, 2014)
OK, now it is Firefox who plays the ass: if we lauch a link, all the windows are blocked as long as this link is not fully loaded!!
Oh, but in the meanwhile Opera healed the bug I mentionned in the previous post...
so we just need to put back Opera as the default browser, without having to worry with the bookmarks, since now we note them in a text document! (Apache Open Office).
Smart people do not «need» competition: they collaborate. For the others, we make the competition faster, to select the less bad faster.
(Added on August 12, 2014)
I liked this web browser, which avoided the pride and authoritarianism of the other major browsers. It was also the first to be 100% compliant to the Internet norms (Acid tests). However it lost popularity little by little, due to a long series of mistakes: ugly icons, too many useless changes in the interface, etc. The death blow however was the recent suppression of the indispensable bookmarks, replaced by cumbersome images, totally unmanageable if we have hundred sites into many categories!
Looking for alternatives, I found out that the other browsers were doing exactly the same thing! Save Internet Explorer, but now it is them who are right, dudes.
So what I did, and that I recommend everybody to do, is to export all our favourites, usually as an HTML document, and manage this document with our usual text editor (Best today choice: Apache Open Office). We can add a desktop icon for it, and we can organize it with paragraphs and sections, or use the search function. In this way we can use all our bookmarks with any browser, with just switching it as our system default browser!
With this, I still had no reason to change. But some weeks ago, Opera started to freeze when loading internet pages, making any navigation extremely unpleasant. So I just used the method above, and made another browser my default browser. Which one is not relevant, since they are much all the same today. Well, I tell you: Firefox, because it is a free software. But the suppression of the menus, replaced by cryptic icons, make it today as unpleasant as any other. If at least we were left the choice, but no, this looks to be far beyond the thinking capacities of the average programmer.
(July 17, 2014)
Since some years I see the Google ranking of my pages getting worse and worse, for the benefit of much less relevant «media» pages, which get «advertising revenues» (understand: which are subsidized by large capitalist companies... which also fund Google).
However a new one, DuckDuckGo (named after a child game) claims that it does not use our «psychological profile» (Oh, so we were profiled...). So it does not enclose us in a «bubble» selecting sites for us, and offering to each a different vision of the Internet (understand: censoring some sites). It also does not record our past searches, while Google allows to find all our escapades...
But I do not trust mere statements, so I did my own tests. Surprise, my sites come in good place, even with difficult keywords like «General epistemology» or very used ones such as «free online webcomic». But not my page on daylight saving time, all the search engines are definitively angry with it. It is still the most visited one, though, telling that people know how to thwart censorship, ha ha ha ha!
This makes that DuckDuckGo seems the best choice today (2014), both from the point of view of the relevance of its results, or of the respect of our persons.
(July 17, 2014)
Menus changed every six months, or even replaced by incomprehensible drawings, are a serious obstacle to the appropriation of Internet by beginner or poorly skilled users. Indeed, it is easy to specify a menu, but how to guide an user if we are even not sure that he sees the same thing as us? To start with, it is not easy to understand for a seasoned user...
The suppression of bookmarks is also a serious degradation of the use of the Internet. They are indeed the most convenient way to note of resources of interest for us, and especially to keep secure URLs against fishing. Some browsers, when trying to create a bookmark, even offer... a list of their own sites! Ego swelling has no limits.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this problem: note your URLs in a text document, with a shortcut on the desktop. This way, your list will not be randomly destroyed by the fantasies of browsers. You can even change browser without losing your resources. A good text editor even opens directly the default browser, by clicking on the link. Simpler editors require to copy-paste the URL into the URL bar of the browser... until this bar will be suppressed (It is already started, see here).
(Added on September 6, 2013)
When I started this blog 11 years ago, Internet was suffering from an excess of freedom. As I said repeatedly since, democratic states could not remain indifferent to this problem, which quickly became a serious threat to everybody. Therefore, logically, controls were put in place. The risk then was (as I also announced from the beginning) that these controls were used to censor legitimate expressions. Of course the undemocratic states all fell in this trap like donkeys, despite their knowledge of the Yin-Yang dialectic or their claims to be spiritual or popular.
Today (July 2013) Edward Snowden says that the United States program Prism also passed this middle way. This of course caused a great mistrust against the Government of this country.
However when we look at the facts, we are more prudent.
Indeed, the only documents currently visible on the Internet are a dozen of «slides» published by wikimedia.org (sorry, no link, I do not want web robots to associate me with this affair). However these documents mention only one target for the Prism program: terrorism. And it is one of the objectives which justify such means. After, newspapers in several countries said that the program also targets their Government. However I did not found any document on the Internet supporting these claims, with the confirmation by Snowden that they would be authentic... If he is still in condition to confirm anything.
However there also are on wikipedia some «details» which shed a very different light on the case: Snowden would support the far right «libertarian» party, which purpose, at the opposite of any search for freedom, is to bring to power a new nobility of ultra-rich, where democratic states, only warrants of our rights, would be reduced to a simple administrative role. In this context, Snowden case appears as a very successful political coup, aimed at destroying the confidence of the people into to the state, even among popular masses who are usually not interested in politics.
Finally, the Prism program does not work like people imagine: the widely popularized image of Obama sitting in front of a PC reading our letters, is just an unrealistic and ridiculous propaganda image, given the millions of mails he would have to read every day. In facts, the letters are analyzed by computers, exactly as in facebook. But then, why to blame these methods to the U.S. Government, but not to facebook?
(Added on January 31, 2013)
Was Free about to get us rid of this advertising which is destroying Internet? It was too nice to be true, they had to stop quickly, even a ministry moved to command them to stop. This proposal by Free threatened the whole control of the Internet by the big banks. Explanations.
Advertising on Internet sites is presented as a kind «business model», which would allow a site like this one to work. This is false. I tried for one year (with Google Adsense) and I earned... ten dollars. So then, how can we have unknown «media» sites, able of paying tens of pseudo-journalists, suddenly standing in the front of the Internet to issue their normative propaganda? The only explanation is that advertising is most likely hugely overbilled, for accomplice sites. Thus the alien world of finance pays thousands of polluters of the Internet, through «advertising agencies» or other screens. In more, these sites send visitors to each other, or massively use iframe (11 on a Yahoo page!), artificially inflating their rank in the search engines and the Internet indicators. At last, they never give links toward their sources, which relegates them to the dustbin of Internet. These cowboys methods allow them, not only to be in the front of the stage and eliminate others, but also to impose everywhere the hopping images of their grey, sad and absurd world.
If Free had persisted in its project of liberating the Internet, it is likely that the French government would have quickly removed its licence, just as for a mere Chinese dissident. So it is to others to do it. The ideal would be a search engine which does not show the pages with advert links (being understood that any filtering must be optional. But the pages with advertising are seldom original sources). However this is a large-scale project, with few people yet understanding its usefulness.
Real webmasters, therefore, have no other alternative than to go back to surfing, as before the search engines: to provide with as many as possible links to other interesting sites, in order to restore the network which was destroyed by Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo, facebook, etc. For this reason I will start again to update my link pages over the next months.
(Added on December 13, 2012)
International instances of the UN (ITU) finally discuss the issues presented on this page since ten years. Without media publicity: I heard of it by an Avaaz petition. Indeed several totalitarian governments (there are still some of these clowns around) are pushing for more censorship and restrictions, from the convenient pretext that Internet is still managed by the United States. I am sorry, guys, but Internet is our tool. If you don't like what we are doing with, it's a pity, but no one is forcing you to see our elven virtual worlds. So close your computer and stay in your gray world, but don't get in our way. People like Avaaz are here to remind basic principles such as freedom, that any organization of Internet must defend first. Happily they succeeded... for now.
(Added on December 13, 2012)
I spoke too soon: there are still some beautiful gems on Wikipedia. Some examples found at random:
-This page on magical thinking «explains» magic with beliefs or psychological disorders. However, one need to have never seen any proven magic, and especially never read any scientific paper on this subject.
-On the page on UFOs, someone put this strange introduction: «An unidentified flying object is an unusual apparent anomaly in the sky that is not readily identifiable to the observer as any known object, often associated with extraterrestrial life or government-related conspiracy theories.» Translation: «all UFOs are subsequently identified to known objects» according to the usual creed of the anti-UFO. But also «when we see UFOs, extraterrestrials and conspiracy theories also appear» which makes a beautiful gibberish.
-On the page on Parousia, which is simply quoting the occurrence of this word in the Bible, a bloke added this official wikipedia warning: «This article improperly uses one or more religious texts as primary sources without referring to secondary sources that critically analyze them. Please help improve this article by adding references to reliable secondary sources, with multiple points of view.» It is already strange that such a warning is applied only to a religious text. We may understand about an article which considers the biblical account as factual, but to just quote words, it is a bit oh hair splitting! As for finding secondary sources to the Bible, climb on the third cloud on the left, and ask the bearded man wearing keys.
-The French page on webcomics is held by someone I know, and who is very angry after me since I told him that many webcomics are just doodles, and especially since I declined to «share» my work (understand, to let anyone use it without conditions or indemnification). Then he does not quote me, but he quotes all his buddies... It's fun to see on what the wikipedia objectivity is standing.
Of all this emerges a feeling: as in any system which pretends that there are no differences in capacity between people, supposed to be all equal and all nice, many wikipedia pages have allowed the emergence of a «baron», who was stubborn enough to discourage other contributors. This explains why any contribution is generally removed in the following hours, and since years I even not try to correct even the most blatant mistakes.
But most importantly, we have to entrust the writing of an encyclopedic page to known specialists of the subject, and not to anonymous who can modify it at random, or bring their bias. Today, a link to wikipedia does not offer any guarantees of an objective and permanent information.
(Added on September 27, 2012)
Just as any hyper-rich who no longer have to abide to the law, Google uses its power for political purposes. The problem is that its first open political action, its support to the idiot movie «Innocence of Muslims» (though Youtube), fosters religious hate and anti-American racism. They could hardly made worse! So Google clearly takes position in the far-right. As of many hyper-riches of the purse, but miserable from the mind, they were unable to guess anything more interesting to do with their power...
(Added on August 26, 2012)
My previous comments on Wikipedia appear to have been accounted with. Indeed, there is an improvement of the plan of the «controversial» pages. For example pages on cults refer to «accusations» as soon as the introduction. Well, there is still lot of rationalism, with pseudo-scientific explanations, for instance the pages on NDE still mention the «neuronal fireworks», and the page on Hessdalen still has the «scandium fires». But it is less systematic. Conversely, we still have some poor quality pages, like the ones on OBE which mention Lobsang Rampa as a famous case!
(Added on August 26, 2012)
About wikipedia, precisely, I am realizing that a problem is emerging rapidly, from its very quality. Indeed, if wikipedia is becoming the main authority about information, it is more and more against the original sources, which then lose their visibility on the Internet: why to visit a site, if its content is duplicated on wikipedia? Less visitors, less statistics discredit a website, and may eventually kill it. And without original sources, the content of wikipedia loses any value! The problem is the same with Youtube and others: if we are looking for a video or a music, we search on Youtube, iTunes, etc.! And the sites of the authors are no longer visited...
In addition, these original sources should be the only ones to have authority on what they have to say. This is not at random if the main part of the URL of a page, for example this one «shedrupling.org», is called the «authority». The presence of «shedrupling.org» in the URL of a page indicates that it is really me, Richard Trigaux, who wrote this page. While on any other URL, my statements may be distorted, truncated, or put out of context.
The idea would be for instance that the pages of sites like wikipedia, Youtube, iTunes, Deezer, etc, instead of copying the informations of a site, use HTML iframe tags to directly show the contribution of this original site. Some rules are of course necessary for the good integration. If someone creates a wiki page on a topic, then visitors are sure to have in the iframe the exact statement of the concerned person, without any risk of vandalism or distortion. If the visitor wants to learn more, he has a clear link toward the site, in context, rather than hidden in the footnotes. And each time that the wiki page is accessed, the site has a visit. Free to others to express different points of view on the same wiki page, but at least this page does not exist at the expense of the original site, nor does it distorts its content. Ditto for other sharing sites, Youtube, etc.
Well, wikipedia was not created for destroying Internet, so they should quickly implement a system of this kind. But we know that many other large sites will not do it, since precisely high business offer them billions of dollars for the sole purpose of hijacking the attention of the Internet users toward their petty and grey life.
(Added on August 26, 2012)
A blatant case of manipulation of search results can be seen in Youtube (August 2012), by typing a single letter at random in the search field: Although this is completely irrelevant in this case, Youtube still gives ten replies for each letter, making a total of 260. And their content is tell-tale:
-27 results for 5 bleaters sponsored by the media
-14 generally known things
-5 far right (zombies, rotveilers, conspiracies...)
-5 advertising for the products of these firms.
-zero classical music
-zero New Age music
-the remaining 207, is unknown or incomprehensible.
A not so funny note: currently, Youtube is harassing us with commercials for «meeting» women... There are women for all the tastes, Muslim, Slavic, Latin... We imagine them all stored on shelves like in the supermarket. But why not to simply advertise meeting sites, without this ridiculous sexism? We have a very strong feeling that the primary purpose of these advertisings is not to make a product known, but to normalise a reactionary way of life of the past.
(Added on August 26, 2012)
It was suspected, but now it is official: facebook enters frankly into delinquency, by scanning and analysing our conversations, searching for keywords, age differences, etc. Then facebook can nab us to the police, if, for instance, we give a rendez-vous to a 13 years old girl for violin lessons. And we expect for worse...
Thus, it is clearly dangerous to communicate through this company. And why to do so, when we have email or chats.
Anyway, my facebook page has become an incomprehensible and uncontrollable mess, which content changes every day. Even my small profile disappeared...
(Added on May 29, 2012)
A computer program cannot hate people. Then, if anti-Semitism gets out of the algorithms... it is because someone put it in there.
Google is sued once again (see here or here), this time for the «query suggestions» of Google suggest, or Google Instant, which, when we type the name of a person in the queries field, adds the word «Jew». I already denounced here the danger of this useless pseudo-feature, and explained how to deactivate it.
It its defence, Google bleats that «Google does not suggest these results. They are generated in a completely algorithmic way, on the basis of purely objective criteria, coming peculiarly from the queries previously submitted by the Internet users». And in more they accuse us!
So, Google will have to learn that we are not in a bad sci-fi movie, but into reality. And, into reality, robots are not gods, but machines. And if a machine produces troubles, it is its operator who is responsible. So this case is not in a legal limbo, and it is Google who has to make sure that its unwanted «suggestions» do not hurt anybody, and to pay for the havoc if it happens.
The algorithms of Google produce this kind of results because they put idiots and delinquents on the same footing than normal people, without any discernment, as also do Wikipedia, the «like» buttons, the «votes», the «most popular», web hosting paid by advertising, the blanket music license, etc. We perfectly know that such a populist attitude gives the absolute power to the socially inapt, as they never renounce monopolising the stage, even when they are short of arguments. Here is the very danger of this «Internet community» that I denounce, able of unearthing from the dustbin of history the most improbable excrements of the intellect, such as racism against... women drivers! (numerous videos on Youtube). And the «objectivity» claimed by Google is a sheer illusion, as robots can very easily temper the «queries», «likes» or «votes» (I saw it), and lead to an Internet most efficiently controlled and censored than in Iran or in China.
(Added on February 6, 2012)
The new fashioned idiocy of Internet browsers is to hide a part of the URLs (addresses of pages). To make more difficult the appropriation of the use of Internet, or to make phishing easier?
(Added on November 23, 2011)
(Added on November 18, 2011)
We even not finished to civilize Internet (to protect if from the censorship by pirates and other hazers) that we must already brawl against Middle Age morons who want back a censorship Kadhafi style. So the middle way has been blithely stepped over.
So I receive an Avaaz petition against a project for a law allowing the US government to arbitrarily block sites. This comes after the French LOPPSI law, which at last ended to give a similar right to the French government. And especially it comes after solutions were created to block dishonnest or dangerous sites, while complying to the principles of law and democracy.
So this is clearly a political censorship, a come back of the arbitrary power of the monarchs. An «email de cachet»...
(Added on November 18, 2011)
Each time you go on a site with ads, the advertising stalkers gather information on the other sites you visit. In doing so, they can resell this private information to «security services», dictators, see gangsters.
To forbid this, the W3C (Internet standardization committee) proposes the «Do not track» system, which should work as soon as 2012. All the web browsers agree to implement it quickly, save Chrome.
In this way, the W3C is doing its job, to block the attempts to pervert Internet, or the violations of the anonymity of the users. So Cheers to the W3C!
(Added on October 6, 2011)
Google suddenly disappeared from the referers of my sites.
However, it is still here, but in a castrated version: «Google Instant» or «Google i» (June 2011).
We can no longer open search results in a separate page, we only have ten results, advert stalking appears in the keywords field, ant a «filter» (?) is activated without warning.
So we are more and more imposed the «most popular results», understand, in Newspeak, the powerful advertising sites without content, at the expense of our sites, the sites which makes all the interest of the Web. So a search on «online webcomic» only yields ten results, when we have hundreds.
We can get rid of Google Instant here http://www.google.com/preferences, but who will think at it?
Google already committed suicide with its ridiculous virtual world «Google lively», totally disconnected of the needs of the users.
Google was by far the search engine with the best user interface, explaining that it also remained the most popular. But «Google Instant» castrates it. (Corrected February 2012: Yahoo and Bing also propose options without filtering, 100 pages or opening in a separate window, which make them as ergonomic as Google). The Yahoo! Page is encumbered with irrelevant content, which limit its chances. But the specialists credit Bing with results as pertinent as with Google, and it happened that I found more interesting results here.
The end of Google? Probably not, but the end of its monopoly. Without regrets, for a company cynically announcing «the end of our private life».
What we shall actually regret is that many sites are now much more difficult to find.
(Added on October 6, 2011)
On Youtube, thanks to Photoshop, the perpetual motion works, the Nibiru planet passes into the Maya sky, the CIA blasted the World Trade Center, and we can hear about any music without care for the author's rights.
This flowering of idiocies would make laugh, if the sad «freedom» to say balderdashes was not used for much more serious purposes, like war propaganda. Then, after the ill remembered LTTE fascists, it is the Kadhafi's sadists who post hundreds of defaming videos. So, on Youtube, thanks to Photoshop, Kadhafi is kind, NATO bombs civilians and babies, our governments are sinister colonialists, and we can also look at a lot of movies without care for the author's rights.
This propaganda against truth contributes to mislead people, about what really happens. And, in a war context, it costs hesitations, a lack of support to the forces which defend peace and freedom. Thus, with keeping these videos online despite the abuse reports, Youtube actively supports the bloody dictators, Youtube is accomplice of murder.
I do not know if the Youtube managers realize the priceless luck they have to be born into our world of freedom: In 1914, they would be shot, for collusion with the enemy.
What I blame them for, is to use their freedom for destruction, instead of contributing to bettering things. This is still worse.
(Added on October 6, 2011)
I am on facebook, and I see no crowds of howling fans, no «buzz» about me in the media, no millions of dollars falling automatically into my purse... So these things do not magically happen when we are on facebook? Oooooh...
My only friends in facebook are those who already knew me in Inworldz. I WOULD NEVER HAVE MET THESE PEOPLE WITH ONLY fACEBOOK. And we exchange here 1000 times less than in the virtual worlds. Why so? Because simply in facebook, there is nothing to do, save sending happy birthdays and doggy's picks. No parties, no conferences, bat chat, no wisdom, no intimacy, no poetical places, no stunning landscapes, no subtlety, no depth... Why to call this a «social network», then?
Let us put it simply: this is the «social life» of the autistic who control Internet today: just some very very simple conventions, and this dull page with anti-Obama adverts.
In more the user interface is ambiguous, impersonal, without separation between private or public...
And they say that facebook is worth 70 billions dollars? Then it is 70 billions dollars of thin air. Let us be realistic: to be profitable, the buyer will have to earn 500 dollars per unique visitor! Clearly, this figure was inflated beyond any reason, to grab a max of dollars before this new bubble of autistic illusions collapses. Already facebook is losing users in the rich countries, and Myspace was sold at 6% of its buying price... Who will crash first?
(Added on October 6, 2011)
Since some days (Sept 25, 2011), I see warnings in the media: facebook plays the cop, facebook records our data without way to remove it, facebook looks at us even when we are not connected, facebook sells our data to unknown persons... The new functions of facebook are dangerous, we lose any control on what we publish, advert stalkers can use them against us, dictators could even track their victims...
And all this to PROPOSE US CONTENT??? You are mad, at facebook, nobody goes of Internet to get proposed content (there is the boobtube for people with this disability). The very first interest of Internet is on the contrary TO CHOOSE OURSELVES the content.
(Added on October 6, 2011)
Good start: because I did not choose some politicians of my country as friends, I got a derogatory remark: «vous devez vous sentir bien seul» (You must feel very lonely)! Thanks you my gooroo, to fiddle in my brain... Well, my friends, the real ones, where are they? How do I find them?
Eh, half a line to define my profile? No URL for my page? Confusing navigation? Ambiguous privacy parameters? Hmmm... if Google+ really wants to take over facebook, they have to do something good, not a lame copy... and for this, hire non-autistic people.
Let us remember that «Google Lively» did not really replaced «Second Life»...
(Added on October 6, 2011)
It is hight time that the W3C and the Internet authorities do their job, and propose real solutions to the new unexpected uses of Internet (Web2): chats, messaging, groups, personal pages, virtual worlds, avatars...
This meaning, yes, to the «Web2», but with the spirit of the Web1: standard, interoperable, independent of companies like facebook.
-An objective and parametrisable search engine, really independent of advert stalkers.
-Interoperable federated identities. They must be checked, either they are our real name or a pseudonym.
-Stable URL for each identity.
-Interoperable chat systems, interoperable group systems, and interoperable virtual worlds, accessible with an interoperable browser.
-W3C must propose interoperable standards for this, like proposed here
-Software editors and web hosts must propose simple interoperable ways to create interoperable Internet pages of any style, by people with zero software knowledge.
-All this must be interoperable, and in an interoperable way.
-Also it needs to be interoperable.
-And don't forget to make it interoperable.
This would turn the whole Internet into a huge interoperable social network, without autistic restrictions or advert stalking.
A good idea would be to make it interoperable... the advert stalking is.
(Added on October 6, 2011)
Apple updates its «cloud» for data storage. They warned two weeks in advance that all the data already stored will be lost... this is nice, thanks you very much, for those who left for three months, thinking their data was safe.
Before entrusting our data to swindlers, we must be sure they store it in a permanent way, for instance with a HTTP system, instead of some «proprietary» format.
Oh, we hear again of the old «Google drive»... see how it works, before placing here our vital data. Will it dissipate to their dry hearts? Will it bring us a hail of adverts? Or will they fall in a rain of private informations into the office of a dictator?
(Added on May 29, 2011)
I pay homage to the administrative court of Egypt, who condemned the former president Hosni Moubarak to a fine of 90 millions dollars, for having shut down Internet for several days.
(Added on Mai 29, 2011)
The French post office «La poste» starts to experiment a service allowing everybody to identify himself on any site being part of this system. Identity checking is based on bank account and a registered letter.
So the ideas expressed on this site, and on the Kailyé site, are starting to concretize. (There is however no telepathy in there, only necessary ideas).
For this to work, we however need some contitions to be fulfiled, in more of the obvious security constrains:
-Interoperability (if we need 500 buttons on each site, it will not work)
-Possibility of associating some personnal data: profil, images, virtual body, virtual objects...
-The said data remains the property of their owner. For this, it must remain available while changing provider, or in case of a bankrupcy.
-Possibility of creating anonymized identities (pseudonyms), the real identity being accessible only on cour order.
These conditions will allow to transform the whole Internet into a gigantic Facebook, Twitter and Second Life in the same time, but self managed site per site, sim per sim! In more we get completely free of any advert stalking, without having to submit to the whims of autist geeks or new riches who look like falling from another planet.
(Added on March 10, 2011)
The idea is excellent, to dematerialize our precious data, so that it is no more dependent on a vulnerable physical object. However the «cloud computing» of with our ears are stuffed, is too much... nebulous: we do not know where is our data, even not in which country, in which régime... It is used as an hostage by a company, without warranties if we cannot pay, or if this company goes bankrupt... Not to speak of what will happen when viruses or attack programs will be hidden somewhere in the «Cloud»!
Let us be serious: any company which would keep our data must offer enough warranties, of perenniality, safety and privacy, similar to the ones a fiduciary office must legally offer.
(Added on March 10, 2011)
Found on the site of Libération (French «progressive» newspaper): «Please, do not intervene, asks an anonymous Libyan blogger of Tripoli, on the site of the English newspaper The Guardian» (About an international intervention to chase Kadhafi out).
Who is this blogger? Does he represent the opinion of the Libyans? No matter, for a «Libération» journalist, as he is «a blogger», so he is right, and he defines reality!
Oh, but I remember, in the 1970', it was Kadhafi who was defining reality, for «Libération»! Bad karma ripening...
(Added on March 10, 2011)
The important rôle played by Facebook and Twitter into the Arab Spring (Liberation in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya...) does not basically change the critic of the «Web 2» made previously. These are mass movements, explaining that the social networks played spontaneously, without being commanded by the media. The proof is that these movements continued even during the total blackout of the Internet! However we have to acknowledge the rise of a popular Internet, available for all, opposed to the Internet of the engineers, which requires to know HTML, PHP, CSS, the DNS, etc.
We clearly need free tools allowing to make a true popular Internet, allowing a Bedouin just knowing to write to build sites, pages and forums, as simply as with creating and using a Facebook page. However these tools must not be in opposition with the Internet standards, but on the contrary based on them. In more, these tools must not depend on advert stalking companies which do not care for safety and privacy. A new layer over HTML5? It is not too late. But it is needed to react fast, before these companies become a standard in facts, and that Internet experiences a schism.
Solution: Two real novelties of the «Web 2» are the identity, and fast messaging protocols, which allow for the web surfers to appear on line, and to communicate, instead of just reading pages. The best trump of the «Web 2» is a «free» hosting (in reality at the cost of advertising stalking, which necessarily implies an ideological control). This is irreversible, and the only mean to correct the situation is that the access providers offer the federated identidy, allowing to appear everywhere on the Internet, together with a small personal space for «free» (included in the subscription) and a W3C protocol for fast messaging. This would make of the Internet a vast decentralized social network. This would also open the access to an interoperable Metaverse
(Added on March 10, 2011)
Wikipedia had little by little established a repute of seriousness, of neutrality, and even of reference on many topics. This can be exact for technical or scientific topics, but it is dangerous to generalise: some wikipedia pages are very politically oriented, and seldom in the right way.
Wikipedia takes much care to stay away of the «pseudo-sciences» and other «conspiracy theories» of the «New Age». But not about conspiracy theories of the far right... A very good example is the french wikipedia page on the AZF catastrophe (huge factory explosion in 2001 in Toulouse) where we find all the idiocies about it, without nothing telling their falseness: double explosion (explained illusion, see here an explosion with a double bang), lightning coming from another factory at 500m (the Poudrerie), and even «electromagnetic weapons»... (oh, this one is recent)
But the most serious is the caution given to the unhealthy conspiracy theory of the «Islamic bombing», which also appears on the english page. Reminder of facts, as published in the local newspaper «La dépêche» in the days following the accident: one of the victims had several underwear, a trait often found in «Islamic» bombings. This made the «police judiciaire» (police inquiry) check the personality if this victim, but they found no connexion with suspicious groups or ideas. So the police abandonned and dismissed this hypothesis. However the far right press immediately pinpointed the bombing thesis, up to accusing the police of being accomplice! Worse, every year see new versions of these slander, and thus new «sources»: we today have a whole «Islamic group» and «revelations» on the personality and thought of this man... which are of course on wikipedia, presented as facts! Among the «sources» quoted, we of course find extremist propaganda reviews such as «Valeurs Actuelles» and «Nexus»...
We can hope that when you shall read this wikipedia page, these idiocies will be suppressed. But the evil will be done: until then, many people will read this page, (and numerous others) and understood these balderdashes as factual truth. From here the serious danger, sometimes subtle, of the wikipedia system, and in general way of the «crowd sourcing», which is to truth what lynch law is to justice.
(Added on January 6 2011)
Definition: Internet was designed to be a collaborative network of people who each bring what they have to say about their activities in the world (or their creations), without any hierarchy or filtering. This allows for everybody to express, and directly access to the sources of these informations (or to the creations).
Definition: A media is a small group of people who interposes on the path of the informations. This gives them the possibility to select content and informations, for purposes of ideological or cultural control. When this happens, the passive readers of a media can only access a truncated and slanted interpretation of information and creation.
Definition: Advertising has no economical function whatsoever. It is purely a form of stalking, with hampering the reading of a page with blinkers, with meaningless, hideous or shocking images and texts, which are a constant reminder of an ideological and cultural norm. (This definition is of course not to be taken literally, hi hi hi). Some capitalist companies use large part of their benefits to this end, in a new kind of religious proselytism, in order to promote behaviour and clothing norms that they think are indispensable to the survival of their bizarre and eccentric world. Evidence: a search «corrida» (bullfight) on Youtube (September 2010) was sending two «sponsored links» in favour of cruelty, when all the free links were denouncing cruelty! Evidence: opening a Youtube video on the fantastic past of Earth (November 2010), I get gesticulating idiots, all clothed in black, investing in a bank! This is perfectly ridiculous, I shall not start clothing in black.
What happens when we post something on a «social network»? We have some friends who comment, the stalker on duty who mocks, and then... nothing, our «forum» slips into oblivion in some days. But the videos with millions of hits? The «buzz» which rocks the «blogosphere»? The fourteen young singers who become international stars with their «network»? Quite simply all these are fabrications, controlled from A to Z. This will NEVER happen to us. But how such a scheme is possible? Think: there is not one, but thousands of fourteen youngsters who put their songs on line (and it is not hard to find better than the one we were imposed). How an idea, or a creation, as remarkable as possible, could be suddenly spotted by millions of persons, in some hours, lost as they are into a mess of billions of messages? This is quite simply impossible. Spreading the word would require years.
What happens in facts is that we have a small number of «popular» sites, where anonymous «bloggers», of the style dickey666 or antibush2008, are «launching discussion topics». This, in facts, points at the messages on which our attention «must» be focused. So, following their interventions, we have a «buzz» on the forum, and thousands downloads of the video. And we tend to think that dickey666 and antibush2008 are sympathetic, because «they are bloggers». But who are exactly dickey666 and antibush2008? No, dickey666 and antibush2008 are not «people like us», they are not «fashioned youngsters» with rapper caps, and even not pimply geeks who go out only at night to buy Big Macs. dickey666 and antibush2008 are journalists clothed in grey or brown, paid by very classical medias to pass their usual grey social standards and masochist ideologies. You do not believe me? Check yourself on the WHOIS (for the french set advertised by Yahoo news): Zigonet, Rue89, BondyBlog, Maxiscience, Le Post, slate.fr are not managed by activists, even not by non profit groups, but by newspapers, companies, «specialists of the media» who have their offices in business district... We find, as with the climate deniers cult, a whole fake «spontaneous expression», funded and organized on the hide by powerful ideological interests. But the best bargain for them is that their anonymous character avoids them to submit to the standards of neutrality and objectivity of the classical journalism! Without forgetting that, we know this since years, numerous anonymous «bloggers», including the unavoidable morons and bullies, are in facts analysts paid for testing our replies, so that the politicians and the advertising stalkers can understand and thwart our arguments and reasoning.
With such means, only some persons can put a leash on the Internet, in a «brave new world» way. And this «democratic» censorship is much more efficient and painless than the «Big Brother» censorship of the dictators. As a matter of facts, in a dictatorship, people are instinctively wary of the power, and deduce the censorship of the silences of the official media. For instance, all the Chineses know that a dissident got the Nobel prize of peace, from the simple fact that the media made no mention of the prize this year. But in a «liberal» censorship, the censored message is not suppressed, just it is perceived as «out of fashion», while the manipulating message is perceived as «cool». It is dickey666 and antibush2008, the sympathetic «libertarian» and anti-government bloggers, who tell you! Follow the buzz! One! Two! One! Two! One! Two! One! Two!
Right, the normal web is still here, normal people still have their sites, where they can still express in a stable and organized way, and where we can still read them with common viewers. For now... As already are appearing «browsers specialized for the web 2»... which are immediately «very well known». Or sites of large media which are viewable only with «applications» which run only on some fashioned devices... thus ruining the interoperability of the web! WITHOUT INTEROPERABILITY THE WEB IS CENSORED, THE WEB GOES BACK TO THE MIDDLE AGE.
(Added on August 18, 2010)
Are we dreaming? Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, requests that we change our name, to escape the hazers, stalkers and other nutters of Internet! This is just the crazy world of the geeks, where, as in their horrible video games, is to the victims to get out of the way, while the criminals rule the world!
Dear Sir Eric Schmidt, you should get out by day from time to time, and meet real persons. They will explain you that the real world is governed by principles such as the Human Rights, implemented by laws, which for instance prohibit publishing documents, texts, videos and others, which disparage the image of somebody. And if you do not respect these laws, then your guild Google may be ejected of the game, not with a mouse click, but by a signature at the bottom of a judjement.
I understand your frustration of not being able to bend the whole society to your business model, as did the large capitalist groups in the 1930s. But in the 21th century, solidarity and altruism have replaced the inflated egos controlling the world from their skyscrapers. Try the new gameplay, you will see, it is much more interesting. You will probably have to resort to the guild of the psychologists, to obtain the ability to live in the real world, but do not worry, this will not be recorded, as the people of the real world also have some valuable abilities: the respect of privacy, and forgiveness.
(Added on August 14, 2010)
Whatever we can say about the recent disclosure by Wikileak of confidential messages of the Coalition in Afghanistan, it must be clearly understood that this is an act of war.
So it seems that the geeks who confuse the world with a video game, ended to put their fingers into something real, and much too large for them. The «monsters» will soon appear on this side of the screen, where we cannot erase them with a mouse click. And it would be extremely naïve to think that the governments will left anonymous psychos attack them without reacting. First searches show that the Wikileak data goes through machines in Sweden, which are also used to hide pirate servers and pedophiliac sites...
Wikileak was a very useful site, to denounce numerous schemes and embezzlement. But here also there are deontology and limits. So, to show army men responsible of bad deeds, yes. But to offer numerous innocent Afghan civilians as a target for the taliban fascists, this goes ways too far.
(Added on August 14, 2010)
Nearby in the same time, we hear that Saudi Arabia wants to block the Blackberry cell phones, to the motive that their messages are cyphered, hampering the monitoring of the network. The crisis soon ends, as the Rim company makes available a system allowing to read the messages, on a judiciary command, without however disclosing the cyphering method allowing for a constant and arbitrary monitoring. So we arrive to a quasi optimum into a situation where we need laws to protect from delinquents.
However, we learn, at this occasion, that the democratic countries are doing this since years! So it is now a complete illusion to rely on the anonymity of internet to commit delictuous acts... Today it is no longer technology which protects our freedom and anonymity on Internet, but the law!
However, we also know that, in some countries, law is perverted to attack people. And we saw, especially with Google attempting to refuse the censorship in China, that the law, even pervert, ends up to take over on technology. So, at last, the dictatorship will not be suppressed by technology, but by human and political action.
(Added on June 14, 2010)
The old dreaded science fiction threat of the robots taking power over the Humans, has started to take shape right now, in a surreptitious way, without anybody noticed it yet.
Example 1: On youtube, I reported a video telling how to build terrorist bombs: it is still here. But on facebook, a group of people conspired to falsely report the honest account of a french deputy, and this account was banned. How this happens? Because the reports do not go to somebody checking the validity of the claims, they go to a software which counts the claims, according to the hypothesis as what many claims have more chances to be true than just one. This is also true for many snake oil anti-spam filters. These mediocratic methods introduce on the Internet the possibility to any group to censor everybody they want, in pure anonymity.
Example 2: Google translator allows us to help to «provide a better translation». But if many people use a word like «utopia» in the newspeak meaning of «impossible» (instead of the correct meaning of «vision» or «project»), then somebody using the google translator to explain how to stop hunger in the world, will be heard saying «to stop hunger in the world is impossible» (This is what the newspeak was created for, right?). How this happens? Because again, nobody checks what people enter: the Google analysis tool uses statistical algorithms to guess the «most likely» translation. If we keep with such kind of methods, without any human control, then, against the Gandhi quote, error will become «truth» by reason of multiplied propagation. We already see this in some wikipedia pages, where the «majority» prevails against objective truth and even sometimes against science truth.
Example 3: on many «great» webcomic sites, you are presented the comics which received the most «votes». As a result, new webcomics remain ignored, whatever their quality. Similarly, on Youtube, you get the comments which received the most «votes». All others are many clicks away. This looks like democracy, but this is the opposite of democracy: to have a true democracy, you need that everybody votes, and votes only once. Instead, with the anonymous Internet «votes», anybody with enough pseudonyms (or enough bots) can foster or silence who they want. These «vote» methods, far from being democracy, are mediocracy, the rule of the mean and the insignificant, the negation of the emerging thoughts which can only bring progress and solutions.
We are still very far of really autonomous computers having intents of their own: software still have the intents of their creators. This is precisely the problem: many software creators are not wise or educated people, but autistic geeks unable to understand the basic life of their human mates. So the methods they create are favouring a weakening of the human thought, lowering it to their own level, on their Procustean bed.
Worse, when these geeks creates software on a topic, they also define this topic! A classical example is the sound level sliders in nearby all software being linear, instead of logarithmic as the human ear requires: this is not an issue for those who always put it on maximum, but make it difficult to adjust at low levels. We can find similar examples everywhere: dictionaries, music, etc. are all slighty MODIFIED by software creators.
(Added on June 14, 2010)
On narcissic pervert's forums, it is a common practice to eject people who do not submit to the stalking. This is already a serious concern, but what if somebody has his identity abusively removed from a virtual world? Irretrievable loss of all friends, loved places, documents, memories... This is so grievous that we can speak of «virtual assassination», and people who do not understand why needs to shut down their computer at once, and go ask for the help of their psychiatrist. Demonstration: I had two married friends, who loved each other very much, and built together a virtual dream place... Until one day, the lady had her character completely removed, destroyed, for a simple identity check issue. Problem, she was sick in the physical world, and the virtual was the only way for her to have some social life... she died some days later.
So this goes a bit too far.
We really need a legal protection of our virtual lives, privacy and the like, against all the geek morons who want to manage it for us.
And we really need to SHUT THEIR MOUTHS to all the FASCISTS who say that «virtual life is only a dream, it is an addiction, it is not real» and all their stupid censoring blablah, them who have no kind of life at all.
(added April 05, 2010)
It's new, it just happening: a person suddenly disappears of a virtual world or forum. Gone in thin air, no more in the list of members, no trace... Several recent occurrences in Second Life alarmed me of the fact. In two cases, the culprit was Linden Lab, who, as they use to do, retaliated for some offences that only them knew. But I also saw a person forced to leave Second Life, by the fault of a stalker. Of course, the idiots who oppose the virtual worlds will «not understand» why I call this an assassination... «The person is still alive» will they bray, voluntarily ignoring the tears of the spouse, the destroyed projects, the abandoned marvellous garden, the ruined company... All the reasons which make forbid assassination in the physical world are also valid in the virtual worlds! Even in worse, as at least a physically dead person no more suffers, while the virtual dead, suddenly losing all his social life, must face the shock, humiliation, grief, depression... Of course, there is no blood, no screams, no crushed or charred flesh, just a mouse click...But this does not avoid the cyber assassination, just as the physical assassination, to be a practice of fascists, of gulags, a solution of coward for all the egocentrics unable to accept that other persons are also able to exist.
So what to do? Some practical guidelines at a personal level:
-If you have an important group or relation in the virtual, «save» this group into the physical world, with making know the ones to the others, or at least on an independent forum with anonymity if you do not want to give your physical identity. This caution should be systematic, since the destruction without warning of the French «deuxième monde» by the right wing television channel «Canal Plus».
-Don't be based in only one country. Even some governments, swift to claim to defend democracy, can edict strange laws, allowing to repress anybody in the name for instance of the fight after terrorism.
-Do not left money linger in places like Second Life.
-Save everything important on your local disk. (Texts can be copy-pasted, and images can be screen-copied, according tot he legal limits on copyright).
Basis for a legal protection:
-In France, the haphazardous debates on the Hadopi law had at least the merit to bring the recognition of a right to be connected to the Internet, which can be challenged only in case of a serious and demonstrated problem, by a judge. So it appears thousand times more relevant to recognize our right to a virtual identity, enjoying the same protections than our physical identity. Eventual exclusion of a world could be only local (limited to a place) and always after a contradictory discussion (an inquiry, a court), and not arbitrarian and irreversible decisions taken in the dark by autistic geeks or by inquisition nutters who see pedophiles everywhere.
-This virtual identity cannot be destroyed (made «inexistent» or unfindable).
-The virtual identity must be managed by a neutral entity, independent of the owners of the virtual world, only authorized to check the physical identity (including restrictions or accreditations) or to display it in case of a judiciary procedure.
-The places managers in world can only ban this identity (This ban can affect the other virtual identities of the same physical person, but without displaying the relation). This is equivalent to forbid a person the access to a private place.
-A larger interdiction is legally equivalent to a restriction of freedom (house arrest, probation, imprisonment, confinement...), and thus can be only assessed by a judge, after an inquiry. We can expect that owners of platform worlds such as Second Life can restrain the access of some persons, for legal or disciplinary motives, but, in order to eliminate any arbitrarian decision, the defendants must be able to bring then in justice, in a delay of some days and whatever the country. An International mediation panel, as on SpotOn3D?
In order to account with this emerging threat, I am updating my site on the WEM and the Kailye accordingly.
(added February 20, 2010)
Yes, too late to apply the Hippie ideal which was at the foundation of Internet, of a space of total freedom and collaboration in the mutual respect. Bored of seeing so many delinquents or moronic forum stalkers, the governments ended to react, and to edict laws into the virtual space. So, bye bye the smiling Hippies, and hello the cops. Welcome in the virtual, there is a lot of work for you. What? There are some who are protesting? It is too late, dudes, you had to react sooner, you had to read this page when I created it years ago, you had to clean forums of all the narcissic perverts who were blocking the expression of ideas.
As usual, the medias served us only selected bits, but what was shown to us is no more «freedom killer» than the other laws. The article 2 allowing for content filtering gives only one motive, thus constraining to go again to the assembly if one wants to add another motive. I think article 4 is very interesting: the criminalization of identity theft and online defamation, which are the most common and most lame form of delinquency on the forums and other «social networks».
Of course, as for any other law, the LOPPSI law can be taken over for political repression purposes. But the fault is not to deputies who voted it, the fault is to all the webmasters who made it necessary, with lefting the forums stalkers free, and to all the companies which provided infrastructures to the spammers and other forms of anti-freedom crimes.
So it is, as the ancient Far West, the Internet-jungle law is slipping into History. The colts will soon go to the museum, and movies makers will be able to tell the adventures of the anti-artist pirates. Here is the civilized Internet, where we shall no longer be able do draw moustaches on Sarkozy’s face, but where we shall have more interesting forms of freedom, such as communicating or exchanging ideas, expressions for a better world, without automatically seeing anonymous cretins dribbling on them.
Uptated january 2011
Oh, at las the french government will be able to cut sites without passig by the judge... Understand, without having to give a motive, without traces, and without appeal.
So we passed beyond the middle way, to lean now toward the Big Brother side. Thans, mister the delinquants, to have helped for this.
(added December 07, 2009)
Until now, the conspiracy nutters were just laughable, when they were seeing vegetables on the photos of Mars, or when they were hacking the computers of the US army to look for extraterrestrial messages. And I was feeling a bit alone to denounce the threats these groups are bringing against freedom and against science.
Alas events are now proving that I was right, when we see now those conspiracy nutters rushing on the so-called scandal of so-called forged emails in the University of East Anglia.
But what is striking now is to see all the trolls and forum stalkers targeting this point: they are happy, they found their Protocols of the Elders of Zion, against science! This unanimous behaviour well confirms my equation: «Internet stalkers = narcissic perverts = fascists = anti-science = anti-life = anti-happiness = anti-spirituality». And whatever they say has for only purpose to be unpleasant to normal people.
(Added on November 26, 2009)
Facebook already had an ill repute (blatant lack of care about privacy) and they enthusiastically work to still worsen this repute: they suppressed without any explanation the profile of the «Fondation Abbé Pierre», (a well known catholic french charity for housing of poor people, but not connected to the Catholic Church) (Paper of the french newspaper «Libération» of the November 14, 2009, after AFP.
(added December 07, 2009)
This time it is a french deputy who saw his account cancelled because the narcissic perverts had plotted to report his account as spam!
(Added on October 15, 2009)
(Jean Sarkozy is the son of the french president Nicolas Sarkozy)
As I keep saying for ten years on this site, the blokes who anonymously insult us on the Internet are not «the internet users», neither kinds of Robin Hood «questioning the system», but very ordinary fascists, coming from the groty-punk movements of the 1980 years, since joined by the ugiest machist delinquents and fundamentalist atheists. And they just gave an evidence of this, during their campaign of stalking against Jean Sarkozy: among various personal accusations against this person, comes the accusation as what his wife is Jew!! So these people really are very classical fascists. And they are really the same who mocked the nice colours of the site of Ségolène Royal, as the leading site, jeansarkozypartout.com, is a «caricature» of the site of Ségolène Royal. The fascists don't like the sun, the fascists don't like colours, the fascists don't like the Jews, the fascists like nobody
Learn to use the Internet: when you see an idiot or evil site such as jeansarkozypartout.com, don't rush on http://www.jeansarkozypartout.com, but on http://whois.domaintools.com/jeansarkozypartout.com, which is on the site of the WHOIS, where are presented the personnal data of the responsible of the site. So you will find the name and address of the bloke, and even his phone number. If you want to sue him, first ask him with a registered letter to the «Administrative Contact» to remove the questionable content, by email if it is urgent.
I have no relation with Jean Sarkozy, his political ideas or his interets. But to see him victim of stalking makes me feel compassion for him :-P
(Added on October 1, 2009)
The «antispam plus» filter of Orange rejects emails from Avaaz.org!
Avaaz.org is a well known international organisation, politically neutral, which organizes online petitions to support human rights or environment. It is difficult to think that the managers at Orange could commit a technical error about this, as ALL the messages of Avaaz are filtered out! All the more when I informed them since the beginning (register mail in July 2007) of the numerous inadmissible false positives of their filter. I also have Second Life messages filtered out, here also one cannot pretend it was a mistake hitting a little known site.
I went aware of the issue because, cautious, I inactivated the anti-spam Orange since its inception. So I still receive the messages, but marked «spam». But how many millions of Orange subscribers are marginalized, because they are not aware that this filter is censoring messages which are important for their social life?
In France however, the constitution council decision n° 2009-585 DC of June 10, 2009 made of the freedom of access to the Internet a constitutionnal principle. Only a judge can restrein the access to a site.
(Added on October 1, 2009)
The trigger of this post was the lynching led against the site of Ségolène Royal (a prominent french politician) Désir d'avenir by several other sites (fr.news.yahoo.com, lepost.fr (Le Monde), zigonet.com, Libération, etc.) which called it «ridiculous», «abominable», «site of cult», and worse. Looking objectively, we however saw for some hours a homepage looking sympathetic, simple, with a sunrise as a background. When we get idiots who see a cult into a sunrise, it is even not fascism, it is on the level of the stalking into the toilets in the elementary school. Poor geeks, if they knew that in real life, the sun rises every morning... Under the attack, Ségolène Royal soon switched to a standard homepage. I am not of her supporters, but I dislike very much that the «liberal censorship» showed more efficient against her than the fascist censorship in China or Iran.
This ridiculous incident happens after several other digital lynchings which went up to physical attacks against their victims, but also against non concerned third parties (family, employers). This last detail clearly shows the true motive of the digital lynchers: they are not at all dispensers of justice, but petty fascists who commit evil for the fun, cowards and hopeless blokes who love to harm without exposing themselves, new nazis in slippers who burn people with a remote control.
It is urgent to denounce and repress these Middle Age practices which, far from being a new form of justice, deny the most basic right and make the Internet regress at the epoch of witch hunts.
Beware, as we all can be victims of these acts!
And if you see reprehensible things, tell the appropriate authorities, not sites of baby fascists who will have no scruples to aim at you the next time, if they fancy so.
(Added on August 15, 2009)
Mac Luhan is a philosopher and theoretician of the medias, especially known from his prediction as what modern communication tools would change the world into a «global village» where everybody would communicate with everybody. This prediction is partly realized, now, with Internet, and especially into virtual worlds which allow similarly minded people to gather into interesting communities.
However we can just notice that many unexpected obstacles came.
At the very first, nobody can keep regular relations with more than some tens or hundreds of persons. From here a need to centralize informations, on each subject, around some tens of knowledgeable persons, what the classical model of the Internet site does well (organisation site, wiki...). Into virtual worlds, the group also fulfils this role.
The problem is that, on every subject, thousands, see millions of egos want each to put their oar in, without however adding something really pertinent, and most of the time while polluting the debate with false statements or pointless personal opinions, but that we «must» keep on line in the name of freedom of expression. From here an enormous noise where relevant informations have much trouble to be found. The first victim of this phenomenon was, as soon as the 1990 years, the study of UFOs, where serious research groups like the CUFOS or the SEPRA were crushed under thousands of sites of kooky rumours (Roswell and company). But many other topics had to bear the same fate since, especially music. This is only a well known form of censorship, in the «Brave New World» way: when one is unable to suppress a message at its source, one can still bury it under millions of false messages, where it becomes impossible to find.
The «web 2»
The first «blogs» to be covered by the medias were interesting: US soldiers allowing to know what was happening in Irak. But since everybody is blogging twaddle, and the «blogosphere» has become a compact and impenetrable block, where even the search engines renounced to enter, with millions of pages in the kind of the moods of a middle class youngster confronted for the first time to a clogged sink. Fantastic... and, oh, it happens to everybody, don't you know?
So, for most of the users, Internet is not a searching tool, but a hobby, that they use to comfort their pre-established opinions, see just to let off steam, while giving themselves the feeling of belonging to a «community». It is not a mean to elaborate knowledge or decisions, but a mean to show an ego on a forum. And these forums and other tweeters are taken over by a small number of users who give their opinion on everything, without any discipline or guideline which would make these reflections useful, and even not reliable. As forums older than some weeks fall into oblivion...
As to this famous «buzz», how do you think that an Internet site just born yesterday suddenly attracts thousands, see millions of visitors??? Or comments on hundreds of forums? This is not thanks to Google (Indexation takes several days), this is because the journalists spoke of it on a very popular news page, Yahoo or others. In this way, with their popular sites, the medias and the journalists regained the absolute power that the newspapers and TV had, being able to pinpoint or to suppress any topic at will, depending on the orders of their customers the politicians and the advertisers.
And reflection pages like this site only get a (relatively) low number of visitors. No millions of hits, no «buzz», no «tweet», no quotes on Yahoo news. Internet more and more resembles a «reality» show, with as an evidence the increasing number of pejorative words to name the human speech (buzz, tweet), or those unknown blokes who «vote», cutting or excluding this speech out of any control... «It is true, it is in the TV» were saying the former manipulated. Today, we can paraphrase: «It is true, it was lying about on an Internet forum». The true reflection, the clever use of Internet as a tool for exchange or building of knowledge, all this remains the action of the usual organized or responsive minority. How could it happen otherwise? No tool ever made a worker skilled.
And now some journalists openly foster the «Web 2» as a «new source of information»... which well suits them, as for them, any text is «information».
The liberation of Sri Lanka (May 2009) accurately shown how the «web 2» can be used, for good or for evil. Any standard Internet user could easily search for «LTTE» on Youtube, see the place of the hostage taking on Google Earth, and, with crossing contradictory propaganda, understand what was really going on in Sri Lanka. And this exercise was made still easier, as this crisis was only a repetition of the one of Bhutan in 2004, with the same use of the Internet to spread false accusations of Human Rights violations. However a French ministry could be made by this propaganda, to the point of making himself ridiculous in front of the UN... Uncheck the box «ideological filtering», the next time, sir the ministry.
With my opinion, the best way to improve Internet today would be a browser refusing to display the pages which contain advertising images. Still better, a small online application, normally sending requests to search engines, but displaying only the results which don't have advertising links. This is, technically, a censorship, but at least this would eliminate all those verbose sites which only stir words, without really impeding useful or interesting sites. Less «buzz», more speech. Less «tweet», more information. Would only survive the ideas which have real persons to support them, not mindless media phenomena.
While waiting, we still can refuse to look at these unpleasant trash bin pages filled with blinking adds... They are not neutral, they were put here by the advertisers, for their own interest. The «buzz» is here only to attract your attention on adds. It was scientifically studied by armies of psychologists, in order to trigger the «buying reflex». As to the «new business models» such as funding by adds, I tried: with Google addsense this site earned me $10 in one year, or $1 per hour of work...
(Added August 15, 2009)
Now it is done, in France, the LOPPSI law gives technical and legal tools to silence anybody on the net. Similar laws are adopted about everywhere in the world. Only to fight paedophiles? Let us wait and see.
So we are now to the situation that I predicted when I created this page: delinquency on the Net provoked the implementation of censorship tools into democratic countries. One had to be really naive to think that spammers and pirates were defending democracy and freedom of expression: it is them who make them fall, after all. As I predicted.
And abuses arrive immediately: In Australia, a gang of nutters in the government wants to empty the net of any sexual content... Idem with some wackies in the App store who jumped on censoring a whole library (The Project Gutenberg) simply because it contained... the Kama Sutra! Psychiatrists do not lack customers...
Other consequence, the spreading of counter measures, to pass over censorship and tracking of Internet users: encryption of exchanges, anonymiser proxys, VPN... These counter-measures will profit in the very first to organized delinquents (and now to spies) who have the money and knowledge to run them. But the common Internet user who steps on an error 404 will have no means to recover the censored content, and even not to be aware that a censorship occurred.
At last we are told that the liberal censors are gathered in a new extreme right party: the Pirate Party, which stated purpose is the destructions of all the social rights of the artists, which would trigger the destruction of any form of artistic expression other than the rap.
(Updated May 12, 2009)
(This new french law, voted May 2009, claims to repress illegal downloading of copyrighted files)
This law illustrates, still better than China, my fears into the introduction: a necessary measure, but badly implemented by ideologists unable to accept any criticism or suggestion on behalf of knowledgeable people. Double sentence, extra-judiciary decisions, falsifiable non-contradictory evidences... just confirm the anarchy on Internet, without really protecting the artists.
Without speaking of the childish manoeuvers of the opponents to art, whatever it is in the parliament or in the «blogs»: all this sends us centuries back! The arguments of the anti-art fascists are somewhat astonishing: because a practice is common, it would be «legitimate». It is the same argument that others use to «justify» sex mutilations or «honor killing»...
Added June 11, 2009: At last it is the «Conseil Constititionnel» (french body in charge of checking the compliance of new laws to the French Constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights) who was the only able to clean this text. Is it possible that a ministry may ignore the constitution of his own country?
(Added March 30, 2009)
Most Wikipedia pages are well done by professionals or by fans, which make of them the first information source to check in many topics. However some pages are subjected to frequent attempts to impose or censor opinions: these pages are then called «polemical». Then Wikipedia claims to remain «neutral» and, if you read their conditions, you will find such a strange request as «we want sources, not truths».
But this neutrality-mongering approach quickly finds its limits. For instance the pages on cults such as scientology or the french instinctothérapie, just reproduce their credos, and only further in the page are evoked the «accusations of being a cult» into a rubric on «critics» or «polemics». So the reader is induced into thinking that objectivity is besides the cult, and the problem besides those who denounce it. In this case «neutrality» becomes being accomplice, see non-assistance to endangered persons.
A similar problem can be found with pages on cannabis, which production and use are lengthily described as of common things, the only problem being... the interdiction! How to be less neutral??
Wikipedia claims to be built by the «community of the Internet users». I must not be a part of it, as all my contributions disappeared into the following hours.
Except one, on the french page on the «Wow Signal», where I tried to correct a blatant falsehood, as what the Wow Signal was «composed of several numbers». My correction was retained, but into the rubric «polemics»... You must not write truth, they told you.
(Added March 2009)
We hear a lot lately about «addictions» to internet or to video games. We have pinpointed the case of a girl having her hands irritated by her joystick, or tendinitis in the fingers by people who click nervously.
This style of «informations» hides two manipulations:
1) Aim at the whole Internet, or all the youngsters, or at all the video games, starting from very rare cases. This manipulation is called abusive generalization. If we had to hold the same reasoning with all what irritates the fingers, we should forbid work, which, on its side, produces often serious health problems to millions of persons.
2) To say that the youngsters would better go into nature rather than on Internet or games. This manipulation is called to divert the conversation. The people who speak like this are not nature lovers, they are people who hate the freedom of expression and encounter allowed by Internet and games. In the epoch of the TV, these people did not advised the youngsters to go into nature rather than looking at the TV, because the TV was under tight ideological control.
I don't say that addictions don't exist, or that all the games are beneficial. But when coping with these problems, we must not work for the censors. We must learn people to better master the Internet tool, and especially to beware of tendinitis and of censors.
(Added February 2009)
Recent news of the petty censors:
The french Parti Socialiste (right wing) re-re-re-asks for a «global licence» for music. (See Yahoo news, in french). So the creators will be disposessed of their rights, and the money of the licence will go to some imposed «artists», or to thoroughly epurated «cultural initiatives». What would however be interesting to do into this way, that nobody proposes, would be that each Internet user who wishes it would be able to get a small credit with his access provider, which would be automatically debited toward the copyright owner each time copyrighted material is heard, read or downloaded. In this way even small artists, or indies, could get a remuneration. This would be the end of copyright theft, of course, but in one stroke it would especially be the end of the selection by advertising and of the segregations imposed by music companies.
A french government organism, the CGTI, straightforwardly asks for a «white list» of sites «useful for the economic, cultural and social life of the country» (See Yahoo news, in french). Wow, it is worse than in China, where we can still hope to dodge the 25000 censors. With this system, to publish my site in France I shall have to remove all the content. If one day you see me moving to Iran, don' be astonished, it may become easier to express into this country than in France. Happily eurodeputies are opposing this kind of law aiming at limiting the access to the Internet (See Yahoo new, in french).
Let us remind here that stealing art works, far of being a «freedom», in in fact a CENSORSHIP of those who need time and work to create these artworks. So it is definitively not astonishing if all the high speeches against piracy on the Interned produce much sputter and very few real action. So we needed that Luc Besson (french movie maker) explicitely denounces beemotion (and its hosts and advertisers) to close this site which was putting movies on line for free since... four years! (See paper on PCImpact, in french) So, a victory, but I may remark that I see everyday free musics on Deezer and Youtube... but me, I am not heeded, so you can hear at these without feeling guilty.
About Youtube, I stepped at random on a video telling how to build some kinds of bombs, a really serious thing, where an immediate censorship was needed. So I reported this video... but it is still here. On the other hand, we are asked our birthdate every time there is a bit ot tits... So don't come and pretend that censorship is to protect us, after that.
(added in November 2007)
Today one of the basis of Internet, the domain names management, is still a national monopoly of the USA (through the ICANN, a Californian Society). This is a serious issue, for an international service, even if there was apparently no abuse from this situation. Then many suggest that the UN should be entrusted to manage this. This looks fine at first glance; unfortunately, some fascist goverment will use this possibility to impose their idiotic censorship outside their territory.
So, what to do? The minimum, with my opinion, is to entrust into the management of Internet only the countries which really use it. Then the countries which censor it will not manage it, and we hardly see why they should do, it is as if people who don't like soccer would manage soccer clubs. We impose Internet to nobody, if childish governments want to deprive their citizens of this marvellous tool, they don't need to manage it.
(added in November 2007)
Facing things like systematic copyright violations, paedophilia, etc. many are asking for a filtering of the Internet content. What a good idea... but when the filtering techniques and laws will be implemented, who is warrant that they will never be used to filter out legitimate content? Some fascist countries already do this systematically. In a democracy like France, we already have the massive censorship of the New Age music, so efficient that most French people don't know what is «Nouvel Age», and even music retailers open gaping mouths when we ask them where is the New Age section!!!
So, things like radars detecting watermarked copyrighted content, or Google warnings for sites containing a virus, this will not harm. But if we come to active filtering on «criteria» or key words (who define them???), there will be soon such an toll that it is a lesser evil to let today's bad things on the Internet. This is not a prospect for the future, most access providers already offer «kid filters» without telling us who defines what is good for our kids or not. There is already a famous scandal in France, the «Anti-spam Orange», which removes at random half of the legitimate emails. (Corrected in April 2009: there are less false positives, but still inexcusable ones).
(Important addition in June 2004)
As many other persons, reading certain medias (actually the «multimédia» rubric at Yahoo France) I was really angry against certain very disturbing measures, for instance the denial of the privacy of emails. So I vas preparing a really scathing analyse, but the least correction for this was to read the text first (See here ) in place of relying on second-hand comments. Surprise, the text features none of the terrific «anti-freedom measures» that some were denouncing in many online papers and demonstrations with techno music. In reality the LCEN is a law, certainly not beyond criticism, but which has anyway the advantage of bringing some order in certain internet practices that I denounced for long ago in this page (see further). Comments and examples:
«denial of the privacy of emails» sends to this text (translation from me, original French text here ):
II. - The article 2 of the law n° 86-1067 of September 30, previously cited is now written that way: « Art. 2. - .... We understand by communication to the public by electronic mean any putting in availability to the public or categories of the public, by an electronic communication means, of signs, signals, writings, images, sounds or messages of any nature which does not have the character of a private correspondence...»
We find here only a definition, that we could summarize: is public what is not private. There is nothing here which indicates that emails do not enjoy a privacy statute. It even seems quite logical that private messages are excluded of a list of public documents, only the contrary would be disturbing!! What precedes was written on June 12. On June 15 the french Conseil Constitutionnel confirm that the denial of privacy was really a «misnomer».
Responsibility of hosting providers.
The insulting, defamatory, racist or pornographic messages on internet are often anonymous. But, in order to get these messages available for the public, there is necessarily the need for the action and consent of the hosting provider, often the only identifiable person, and the only one to whom we can ask to remove the offending messages. Thus with the LCEN, if you are attacked or insulted on a forum, the web hoster or webmaster will no longer have the possibility to discard his responsibility toward a third party that nobody can reach or identify.
Freedom of the press.
The LCEN quite logically extends to the Internet the protections of the person against defamation by the newspapers, with just a legitimate adaptation of delay. So we shall no longer be defenceless in front of persons who defame us on the Internet. There is no limitation to the freedom of publishing legitimate things, but a better protections of the persons.
So I think it is quite dishonest to call «antifreedom» measures which purpose is to protect the persons against abuses on Internet (defamation, insults, scam, viruses, spam...). However certain recent technical or legislative measures actually create the possibility of a totalitarian control of the net. Who is responsible? Chinese people can say that their dictature is responsible; but in the West I would rather say that the fault id really from these so-called «libertarians» who would like to defame, insult, launch viruses and spam in full impunity. As these measures would never have be taken without them!
It is said that piracy threatens artists, in depriving them of an income which allow them to continue their activity. However, on 10 Euros you spend to buy a music CD, only one or two go to the artist, or to the manufacturing of the CD. The remainder is held as a colossal benefit by these mysterious «great music labels» who also impose us an incredible editorial censorship on the more moving today creations while bombing us with their horrible rap and their insipidous varieties.
This incredible situation led to the idea that piracy on music would be legitimate. Even against the artists. With my opinion, only the artists can decide if they want to be remunerated or not.
Against the free downloading networks, it was made much to protect the immense benefits of the large companies. But there is still nothing to really allow the artists themselves to protect and archive their creations published on the net (see my page about the Bibliothèque Nationale, the problem really encountered by this site) and to publish a work is equivalent to grant it to plagiarists.
The real new thing with Internet is that music, movies, books, etc. no longer depend on costly material mediums: they are available under the form of computer files which duplication and transportation cost is virtually zero. This has two fantastic consequences:
-This makes music and art works available for much more people, and there is no more sense to enforce enormous taxes to the profit of now useless publishing companies.
-The edition cost being also nearby zero, anybody can publish anything in complete independency, without any editorial censorship or technical constrain, whatever he does this for free, or with a virtual shop installed with some clicks, to sell or to gather gifts.
Artists who want to be remunerated can sell the equivalent of a CD two euros in place of ten. (The percentage to run the internet sites is low) The buyer pays five times less, and the musician earns two times more than with the great music companies. This can make exist more musicians and allow to buy much more music.
Technically, we just need shop sites, gathered in a network. The buyer can use a general and exhaustive directory which sends him to the right site, even if the music he is looking for is very rare. The musician, even amateur or without funds, even censored by large companies, can create his own shop, of make it host by a larger one, supported by its selling system. In law this is right if artists sign a contract of edition-distribution with the shop site they want. Except if they are already engaged with a great company, which stucks them in higher prices.
Today very few yet is done in this way, and new download sites (itunes, the new Napster...) not really meet the challenge: prices still high, still limited choice, need to install burdensome softwares, passwords, etc... Worse, some encourage useless measures which would cost to everybody: to tax music supports (CDs hard drives...) or to tax downloading, etc... So the great labels just have to earn money without doing any useful work!!
The latest stake about downloaded music is that, while ensuring the protection of copyrighted materials against wild copy, it should play on every platform, player or system: it is interoperability. And today there is one interoperability solution, only one and no need for another one: it is the MP3 format, with its new DRM (copyrights management) extention in progress, the Leonardo Chiariglione's DMPF. I SHALL NOT BUY ANYTHING ON THE NET UNTIL IT IS INTEROPERABLE.
This law provoked a violent political fight in France, between defenders of copyright and those who want everything for free. With my opinion, despite some gross unperfections (no possible consumer actions on interoperability) this law does only to transpose into the Internet what is already established about copy rights. What is outstanding however, is that the «defenders» of copy right were almost only the great music companies (which are author of nothing at all, just being happy with censoring and receiving taxes) while the opponents were diabolizing the same companies, as much forgetting the existence of the authors, who cannot exist without some income (unless they do only rap, it is not expensive to produce, in France we even can get public helps for this). I think that the tenants of free music really are very hypocritical. This is because an opportunity to create a society without money existed in the 1970' (self management, communities, ecological alternatives, self building, working cooperatives...) But everything was systematically sabotaged in that time, by those who want everything for free today, without never offering their own work, even not a smile. You are dreaming, guies, a tree which was not cultivated thirty years ago cannot bear fruits today, and you can beat the cops or stab your teachers as much as you want, this shall change nothing to the issue.
This tax was recently added in France, on memories, drives, cell phones... This tax, far from being levied for the authors, will especially bring money for the now useless great music companies, which will use this money to run «cultural events» where they will promote their selected stuff (rap, variety, etc...) Only «professionnal» artists (understand: who already earn enough money to pay social security and subscriptions to author societies) will receive a part of it (only half of the levied taxes if I understand well). The others will be left over.
With this tax, people will feel legitimate to plunder art works, even if most of the time the authors will earn nothing. More viciously, this situation will still more impede new expressions, or expressions which are rejected by the mainstram ideology.
The libertarian censorship is on.
You pay taxes to see this site
I don't get a cent of this money.
We should remember that this scheme was already done with the VAT, we were told it would be used for increasing old age pensions... But at least VAT is useful for the whole society. The tax on private copy brings money only to private companies, which in more, bring no more any service, just forbidding us to hear what we want.
Internet in not an ideology nor a clan. It is a mean to exchange informations, a communication (note 1) mean, which belongs to everybody. It is also a «space» where we can speak, express our opinions, show things, and even experience and make experience a new reality, admittedly virtual, but with plenty of emotions and human significance. However the people who will experience this virtual reality are real persons. So respecting these persons is a real concern which applies also on the Internet, at need with law. Those who want to live without law, on Internet or elsewhere, just have to develop a great compassion and enough mastery of their psychology to stay pleasant and positive people under any circumstances: then they will be cheerfully welcomed everywhere.
Before Internet, even in democratic countries, to publish a book, music, a newpaper, do radio or TV, etc... was submitted to two imperative conditions: to have money (censorship by money), and to be accepted by editors or by authorities granting radio frequencies (editorial censorship). Today, for a low price and without the need of any authorisation, anybody with a computer can create a site, and wiew all the possible sites in the democratic world. Internet is a fantastic communication (note 1) tool. Freedom of expression was never so large. So it becomes quite clear that any technical or legal action or modification of Internet, must at first preserve this new freedom. (See further on this page).
About limitations to freedom, we think to measures of the dictature kind, which really exist in certain countries (China, Vietnam). But in the West we rather notice that authoritarian measures are on the countrary provoked by persons who take pretext of freedom to produce nuisances on the Internet. Nice example of reciprocal situations (See my book «General Epistemology» chapter 4)
No freedom without practical means to exert it:
Internet belongs to everybody. So merchants also have the right to operate on the net.
But it is not good to dream too much: Internet does not create customers! It can only divert some out of the classical trade. To have forgotten this simple point is at the origin of the very foreseeable bankruptcies of the «net-economy»
The problem about trade on Internet begins when it invades places which are not business places, especially with ads everywhere or unsolicited mails. The pretension of certain business «agencies» to monopolize all the Internet just violates Human Rights.
Whose who do not like business will surely be interested with my proposal for a solidarity based economy, the True Economy. But they still will have to develop compassion and mastery of their minds...
It is a basic principle that everybody must be allowed to express on Internet, and that everybody must have the possibility to access all what is on the net. Especially, it must be possible to express a social or political criticism, or to show original points of view.
However, there are limits, exactly as into the concrete world. The respect of the person implies that we must not be allowed to steal, to spy, to lie, to slander, etc... no more on Internet as in elsewhere.
For this reason, the political or legislative powers try today to put in place various laws and actions, to avoid Internet to be a fringe out of civilian rights where anybody can without any punishment steal credit card numbers, peep at private mails, disturb sites or personal computers, harass with spam, practice crockery, solicit for prostitution...
In front of this good sense concern, those who immediately denounce a new grip on the net do not miss of some hypocrisy. (this written in 2002) They rise up and ask «what, we shall no more play to the viruses, we shall be forbidden to call to racial hate, it will no more be possible to practice crockery all through the planet, we shall be forbidden to show our buttocks on the Internet?» I allow myself some laughing, when seeing such a virtuous indignation. The measures which will forbid all these things are very far to reach one day a benevolent site like this one, dedicated to understanding and happiness of all beings. Nobody never forbidden me to place whatever I want on this site, and nobody was never forbidden to access it. Simply, we can use our freedom to other things than to do scandal for the only purpose of making scandal.
But we have to stay vigilant: Freedom is really threatened on the Internet, as it is always threatened anywhere and anyway. In this time of regulation effort, freedom is threatened by useful steps, but taken in an inappropriate way by persons who do not know the real problems. It is anyway threatened at anytime by malevolent people who try to monopolize the net, see to censor it, openly or hypocritically, whatever it is in the name of the «defence of the order» or in the name of «freedom».
Today it was possible for you to find and access to this «non-standard» site; it is the proof that exists a certain amount of freedom on the net, and a freedom that we can hardly find elsewhere.
So if one day sites like this one disappear, it will mean that censorship will have won.
The recent (September 2004) international operation against the anti-globalization Indymedia network, for relatively benign reasons (brawl in demonstrations) led to knock down several of its servers worldwide, while many vital data was lost. So this shows that the era of «completely free» internet is finished: even in democratic countries the authorities have now the technical and legislative means to shut down anybody on the net, for any good or evil reason. (Note that I do not necessarily endorse Indymedia views or purposes).
SPAM IS AN OFFENCE TO THE FREEDOM OF THE RECEIVER, especially when we come to the point of a mailbox to become unusable and be forced to change. Spam is costly in bandwidth, and it can make lose mails. Most spams are scams, and some are really shocking to see, to the point of being the cause of family problems.
Spam depends on four points: 1) «spam robots» which browse sites in search of addresses, 2) a system of address CDroms. Of course users cannot have their address deleted of them! 3) the possibility to send bulk emails with a «mail lists» 4) relay computers which hide the name of the senders. Technical infos. Spammers are only some tens of persons, most of them already condemned for crockery, and some are to the limit of madness. The names.
Numerous law were made recently in several countries to thwart this bane.
In France spam is forbidden since February 27, 2003. Spam robots and address database CDroms are forbidden, as computer files which cannot be corrected as law wants it (see the site of the Commission Nationale Informatique et Liberté)
Spam is a blatant example of «liberal fascism»: to fight against freedom, not with forbidding, but in creating nuisances which make impossible the free exercise of this freedom.
Oh the nasty bloke who dares to write things like that. No, of course, there is no (known) plan to legally forbid email, this fantastic communication mean. However I note a body of apparently independent facts, all converging toward a forbidding in fact of emails: (Written in May 2008)
-The inaction of public and Interned authorities against spam. Especially some simple measures are not taken.
-The false solutions against spam, such as the «filters», of which some, like the «antispam Orange» block a fair fraction of legitimate mails.
-The sabotage by Microsoft of Outlook Express: the Vista version, Windows Mail, get blocked (the bug of the messages which cannot be erased) and Microsoft did not provided any correction useable by everybody.
-The unability of Mozilla to provide a reliable alternative: Thunderbird has a major bug leading to the disappearance of mails under the eyes of the user, and the only reply is to psychoanalyse this user, to say it is his fault.
Under Vista or Linux, the only reliable mean to read our mails would be Opera, but the presentation is really disconcerting.
Anonymity is another of the trivial disputes about security on Internet, and anyway a double-edged weapon. It can be useful in the case of a social criticism, as it can be used to commit bad deeds. What I think is that we should forbid the on-line creation of anonymous mail boxes for diffusing spam, viruses or other forms of moral violence. Social criticism or intimate activities, should anyway be possible on concerned association forums, or under an ONU control. So any police action should be possible only with a letters rogatory, when there is a case going on. But the question to know where is the limit between justified social criticism and threat to state security is absolutely not specific to the Internet!
Some proposed that each Internet user would get an identification number, allowing to identify him wherever he goes. Personnally, I do not wish such a solution, but if it is one day adopted, it would perhaps be the fault of Orwellian censors, and surely the fault of all those who do anything they want on the net.
Cryptography is, as the anonymity, and for the same reasons, a double-edged weapon. We can observe that today, the conditions in which emails are send seem to allow access by a third party, thus justifying the use of cryptography. But this argument would no longer hold, if there was a more secure network (message readable only by the intended receiver, authentication of the sender).
This recent obligation made to access providers again open the door to dictature control methods. But again it is the persons who attack us on the net who are in fine responsible of such measures.
Anyway, all these features, breaking anonymity, deciphering coded messages, reading recordings and logs, all this apply to private mails and to private life. So it can be used only on letter rogatory, as for any other private correspondence. I shall systematically carry complain otherwise. Recently official European bodies in charge of protecting private life met in Cardiff to assess their position against the excesses of retention of information on web servers.
End of private life on Internet.
I must come back on this subject on April 2006, for the following infos. After Yahoo actualité (french Yahoo), quoting the Sydney Morning Herald, in Australia the Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Act allows the government to read practicaly any private e-mail or SMS of «suspect» persons and any relations (even their physician). Similarly, after PCimpact on December 26, 2005, the New York Times rveals that the NSA can follow any conversation, by phone, e-mail, instant messages, in the whole world, as the USA still control Internet and managed to have as much as possible communications transiting on the territory. If these infos are true (that it is not just another «LCEN scandal»), then these nazi practices clearly put an end to any private life on Internet. Either you speak of your sexuality, health, politics, spirituality, dirty ears can eavedrop on your conversation and have fun laughing at you. Oh, they will not send you to Guantanamo, but other more discrete problems can happen to you.
As to true bandits and terrorists, these measures are obviously not for them: there is a long time since they are cautious with Internet, coding their conversations or communicating only physically.
Unmoderated «free» forums are regularly squatted by pervert narcissics, professional ignorants and mads, not to speak of sexual predators. In the name of «freedom» everybody is free to insult or defame the others, and we known only too well the result: real debate is never possible, and expressing even a little of ourselves is like climbing on the pillory to get tomatoes in the face. Cyber-pillory and cyber-tomatoes are virtual, but the public humiliation and the psychical rape are really real. And if you request the moderator to remove the naughty messages, he will refuse to do so, as if, preciselly, if he uses this pervert system it is that he agrees with its noxious consequences! What I think is that, in place of holding up to public obloquy those who want to regulate the Internet, we should better first clean our own doorstep first, and eliminate all the malevolent, useless, or insane postings which encumber all our forums. And boycott all the unprotected forums! The forums on this site are more than moderated: filtered at the source. As the professionnal forums.
(Added March 2009) Virtual worlds like Second life have to bear the same problem, but more varied. In this case, aggressive people are called griefers, who, in more of insulting you, can steal your money or place you in a sexual position. In Second Life, this is explicitely forbidden, but this interdiction is applied only when it fancies the owning company (Linden Labs)...
Some useful rules of conduct if you are a victim of such a pervert attack: never reply directly to an insulting message; stay yourself polite, calm and objective; just reply that you ask to the moderator to withdraw the insulting or defamatory messages; do not continue to intervene so long as the stalkers are not evicted; do not say that you stop attending the forum, if you have a valuable discution ongoing, invite your interlocutor to resume it privatelly or on another correct forum. And above all, for your own sake, be very careful to tackle this unpleasant experience in your daily psychological/spiritual practice, so that it will contribute to keep you with the light, and not demolish you. To understand the stake: Stalking the soul: Emotional Abuse and erosion of Identity by Marie-France Hirigoyen.
See also further the open manipulations with forums or chats.
In Second Life, serious and organized groups all have guardians systems, trained to take care of griefers, in a discreet, non-violent and firm way. So they cannot spoil the experience of honest players.
As long as web hosting and indexation in search engines are free or at low cost, everybody can express on the net, and everybody can find what he looks for. Especially the search engines must select links as a function of their relevance, and not as a function of their «official» or «commercial» character. Today, the Google search engine claims to be the champion of this approach, thanks to a complex techniques of semantic analysis, and he really seems to be the best in regard of the relevance of his results. The «sponsored links» that appear there since some times does not seem to alter this performance. But we can fear that little by little these sponsored links end up to take the place of the others.
Today search engines strongly depend on advertising, raising the issue of a grasping of capitalism over the Internet. This could lead to the same situation as with TV and radio, where the content is dictated (indirectly but very efficiently) by the interests of advertisers. To avoid this, a fee on indexation would be a lesser evil than the disappearance of the freedom of indexation, so long that this indexation would be effective with all the search engines and in relation with the real costs (somes dollars a year, no more I think). A tax on domain names could fund the search engines. But we are still far of such a hard stance: Google, the main search engine, with its gigantic cache, makes a sound living without looking like a trash bin like so much other engines.
If one day web hosting becomes expensive, if it becomes difficult for a «fringe» site to appear in link lists, or if small sites become impossible to find on any search engine, or if all the portals only exhibit only the useless «business home entertainment news shopping», so this day, really the net will be under censorship. The freedom will have died gently, euthanasied, without pain, without censorship decrees nor police raids.
Today freedom on Internet relies on the survival of very few independent companies such as Google.
If, as it happened with newpapers, these companies were bought or controled just by very few ideologists, freedom would disappear from the Internet.
A recent Yahoo France new of the July 16, 2003, by Stefanie Olsen, CNET News.com, in French, suggest that Google could be bought by Microsoft. What I think is that Google will not allow this easily, as it is them who rule the game. But if such a thing happened, it is clear that our freedom of expression and information on Internet would become... unstable. This kind of «analysts» see here only concurrence between add supports. But Internet is not just for adds: it is the freedom of thinking of the world. At last the chinese fascists understood this:
The Chinese government precisely blocked Google (Beijing, Agence France Presse, September 5, 2002)
It seems legitimate to advertise on Internet; however adds cannot pretend to invade all the pages of all the sites. A first vicious consequence of this invasion is that some functionalities of the Internet become inusable. So cookies (useful for forums, sites with personnal content, orders monitoring...) or pop-up windows (useful for explanations or precisions) are now inusable, as everybody desactivate cookies and close pop-up widows even before viewing their content. A much more serious consequence is the appearance of great sites which have nothing to say, but which impose their presence with powerfull financial means, as with radio and TV, thus rehearsing again and again the same poor standardized culture and the same egocentric and materialistist ideologies. Sites «looking for a content» are really hopeless: when we have nothing to say, we make better to keep silent, and we undertake some useful work or meditation.
Any sizeable activity, information or art work, requires time or technical means, and thus money. But classical funding methods used for art or press cannot be transposed to Iinternet: subscription has no more meaning, while peer-to-peer exploit and ruin the authors.
The «obvious» solution would be to fund our sites with advertizing displayed on the sites. Advertising is what already allowed numerous classical medias to exist. With as a notorious and hopeless result to rig us with medias which all are flunkeys of the great capitalist companies, whatever it is: 1) directly with slobbering all day long reactionary papers supporting ridiculous «liberal» ideologies, 2) underhand, with heavily showing childish/egocentric behaviours necessary to the survival of capitalism, 3) with despising necessary evolutions for the society, such as ecology, freedom, peace or spirituality. So real information and independent art work are twarted by a constant monitoring, smiling and discreet, but as efficient as under stalin.
So that, applied to Internet, funding by advertizing may create much more and much deeper havoc as with classical medias. For instance we see today the appearance of large blog sites, which are controlled by capitalist companies, and no longer by those who express in them. True creation as well as relevant information are swamped by a huge mass of voices which speak to say nothing. More subtle, funding with advertizing produces a redoutable effect of amplification of inequalities: a site which begins to earn money can attract new visitors, which still increases its income, in a vicious circle which make inequalities forever stronger. Or dependent journalists point at the «good» blog, relegating all the others into oblivion. When they don't cynically create flogs!
If freedom of expression still exists on Internet today, we owe it only to the good will of Google to index our sites for free and with no bias. And funding by donnations remain the only safeguard of independant sites like this one. If a site is of interest for you, and it shows a « Support this site » link, it is that it needs you to continue to serve you.
Paradoxically, high speed Internet (ADSL) penalizes the Third World, which has already troubles to ensure a basic Internet service with old or weak communication infrastructures. For this reason, this site avoids huge files. I think that third world aid must include in priority the updating of their communication means. Everybody would be the winner, as Internet can be a very powerful vector of social progress.
Viruses, even benign, are a real problem, if we consider the number of people who can be reached: At a whole, in life time loss, the equivalent of whole human lifes, more that in a plane crash! This silly and useless activity must be heavily punished, together with these forms of theft and rape that are cyber-squatting, site defacement and intrusion on a computer.
The securiteinfo.com site (Aus Deutsh ) encourages to carry complain if you are a victim of cyber attacks like viruses in email. (Follow the current way for complains in your country, and join written proofs, paper copy of the mail, antivirus logs, etc.... Do not remove the concerned mail of your system! With Outlook Express, right click on the mail in the received mail list, then choose «properties», then the thumbnail «details», then copy-paste the content in a word processor and print it. From top to bottom, the last line begining with «Received:» contains all the data about the sender). I did it, and this case is now seriously followed, by the gendarmes and then by the police in Toulouse. Of course no culprit was found, but anyway how to ask the governments to act if nobody complains? Courts were created for this.
One of the false ideas about Internet is that hackers would all be gentle people «questionning the establishment», or sympathetic Robin Hood of the net. At the occasion of the war of the USA against Irak, the only non-US site to give news from correspondants on the field, that of the qatari network Al Djazira, was attacked by a hacker, who was certainly not a «peace kid». To be noted that the author of this attack was condemned by a court, even in the USA.
To create and spread viruses, far from being a «freedom», is the crudest form of what I call the «libertarian fachism» on the net.
No content without a container. In the beginning, Internet was based on HTML and a simple hypertext link model. The limitations of these standards led to complement them with CSS style sheets. Good, and the CSS works fine when we do simple things like in the demos. But it turns to a nightmare as soon as we ask for a bit more complex things: most combinations of parametres give results which differ from a browser to another, when they are not simply ignored. A total mess.
These threats are not innocent: nothing makes sure that a site written today will be still readable in ten years. So Internet will remain for those tho have nothing to say but who have the power to say it everyday. The memory of the net will be regularly erased. Oh, a library which content becomes automatically invisible every ten years, what a marvellous censorship...
At last, about direct censorship, frank and really police style, the fascist Chinese government (and Vietnamese and other dictatures) is today building a colossal system to control the whole Internet of this country, with filtering of «bad» sites and monitoring of individual connections. All this to protect «social rest». But we know only too much that in the novlangue of the Chinese government «social rest» just means to consume in silence without concern about freedom or religion, or that «state security» means not to be Tibetan, Ouighour, Muslim, Catholic, etc...
This openly badwilled dictature creates a dangerous precedent, as the monitoring technologies developed at that occasion (by the main well known western societies) will be ready to be used in democratic countries. At first, of course, it will be for very legitimate motives, to fight at terrorism, pedophilia, racism and at the very naughty peer to peer networks. But who knows if, once implemented, these technical means will never be used to cover dissident thoughts?
This can even be done without the public opinion being alerted. It is just necessary to forbid some small relevant and peculiar sites, while letting in peace the immense mass of average sites. Like this, only a small elite can notice the censorship, while the large majority would still keep a very illusory feeling of freedom because sites speaking of homosexuality or of the Roswell stiff would not be censored.
Example of arbitrarian censorship in France, against a citizen site defending environment: the former Greenpeace's site stopessofrance.org
On the other hand if the Chinese government censors porn sites, so really this does not disturb me, and nobody can blame them for this. While doing this, they will do nothing else than to counteract the oldest censorship method on the net, well seasoned, and largely used: to make much noise about a subject, to create many sites which speak of it without saying nothing new. So how to find the relevant information if search engines only give endless lists of verbose sites? As an example, the proliferation of hideous porn sites is useful only to censor the pleasant erotic sites. How to speak of love on the net if it is automatically in the porn category? Try to search on this subject, and you will be disgusted far before finding something interesting. I proposed to the ICRA rating organization to rate the vibrationnal level, but they did not really retained this proposal.
To note that, despite numerous speeches on the subject, there still exist no real protection of children (nor of adults) who perfectly can inadvertently step on disgusting or porn sites while believing to open a normal site. This is possible with the cybersquatting, which gives a dirty content to an innocent link. So one day, clicking on a link of software editor, without notice I found a large disgusting photo. Certain porn sites are real rapists, which, if by malchance you click on the link, send tens of pages to download, and even install softs on your computer.
In a more general way, one of the biggest problem on the net is that anybody can write anything, rumours, gratuitous accusations, fancy scientifical «theories», «denunciation» of imaginary plots, disinformation, baseless statements, fake images... Then, how to get an objective opinion, if the net is such littered with lies and rubbish?!!!!
A very relevant example of this «libertarian censorship» is about UFOs and abduction, where thousands of sites keep rehearsing the same uncheckable rumours, incredible accusations and baseless statements. So the about twenty really relevant sites are drowned in lists of hundred spam links, where nobody sensed will never dig about. I think that my book «Quiet Abduction» was a victim of this: how its quiet little voice could be heard in so much shouts?
I hardly see how law could master this phenomenon; but this is possible in general search directories, such as Yahoo and the Open Directory project, which select the sites to be added in the database. But this human selection is still subjected to prejudices... In practice, it is better to use these directories when searching about «polluted» subjects, such as UFOs or archaeology. More generally, we can consider seriously the content of a site only if it relies on real evidences. As for myself, I am very cautious with my lists of links, adding only what I know, and I sometimes suppress some.
A site of fans of a game, of a company product... may in reality be paid by this company. A blog, a forum on a subject, may be fully organised and systematically eavesdroppped by commercial interests: the webmaster is paid by the company, employees post provocative messages to test the reactions, which are recorded. Even the messages suppressed by the moderator will be send to analysts who will search for customer needs, or to politicians who will hear at opponent's arguments to find counter attacks. Recently I found a site of fans of Microsoft's «Avalon» language perfectly imitating the sites of developpers of Linux or Firefox! So long as we stay only with a «commercial war» the consequences are limited, but the same tricks can be used for anti-social or criminal purposes. It is enough to take an important name as a domain name and create many sites on the subject, which so get the top lines at Google. This kind of tricks could eliminate any reliable information and any citizen debate on the net.
But now, two elementary cautions:
-Not be content to just click the first link in Google...
-Not to go on forums where visitors and webmaster are anonymous.
What I think is that if Internet is a communication and expression mean, so any censorship, without a justification in term of respecting the persons, is a violation of human rights. But to allow for anything as today destroys the confidence necessary for a good communication, so it is also a violation of human rights.
Anyway Internet being international, any regulation attempt arises the problem of an International Right. Right which will have to be efficient to protect any individual citizen, without falling into any kind of «new International order»...
What a bunch of contradictions! How our law makers will find their way? Heyhey they will have to learn the Middle Way law, and for this to make Chi-Gong or study in Tibetan temples. But, these law makers, it is those we elect. It is the reason why we must vote for clever and balanced people, and not for ideologists or idiots.
Note 1: I always use the word «Communication» in the correct meaning: to have an exchange between two persons who mutually agree and manage this exchange. Otherwise it is, according to the domain, advertising, appeal, propaganda, proselytism, soliciting. To use the word «communication» for one of these meanings is a mind control mean known as novlangue, explained in an annex at the end of the book 1984 by Georges Orwell, book that everybody have read.