thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Friday, November 18, 2005

Which do you prefer? The first one or the second one?

"Internet users won't know what they have got till its gone." - Steve Levy

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is under way in Tunisia at the moment. What they want to do about freedom of information is best illustrated by the fact that when Reporters Without Borders secretary general Robert Menard turned up for the conference he was not allowed to get off the Air France plane that he had arrived in.

"Plain clothes Tunisian police officers physically prevented Menard from leaving an Air France plane after it touched down in Tunis on 17 November 2005. One officer told the head of the worldwide press freedom organisation that he had no right to get off the plane since he did not have accreditation for the WSIS.

"Executive director of the WSIS, Charles Geiger, had said in a statement on 16 November that Robert Menard was not welcome at the summit, although his office had given him accreditation."[i]

This summit is highly likely to recommend that more of the Internet be given away to private interests. Open access rules for the Internet are already being tampered with. AOL and other companies want to control access. The FCC has ruled that cable companies are not subject to open access rules so the Internet is being slowly brought under control. It isn't complete yet. Now is the time to fight to keep the net free.

"The telephone network on which the dial-up Internet is based has been a common carrier so anyone could have a website anybody could transmit anything. You could have all kinds of companies competing to provide you with Internet service. Open access is being replaced now by a system of closed access." - Jeff Chester

Reasons that will be given for control of the Internet...
1. Terrorism
2. Spam
3. Identity theft
4. Pornography
5. Convenience and Security

Reasons to think twice about it...
1. Anonymity outlawed and every penny accounted for
2. All transactions taxed
3. All of what you read, see, hear or communicate including where you are is known

Some companies are allegedly already involved in censorship such as Cisco and Secure Computing[ii].

Surprisingly, there was an excellent article in Newsweek about all of this.....

"Lawrence Lessig has been predicting that corporate and regulatory pressures would usurp the open nature of the Net, and now says that he has little reason to retract his pessimism. Lessig understands that restrictive copyright and Homeland Security laws give a legal rationale to "total control," and also knows that it will be sold to the people as a great way to stop thieves, pirates, malicious hackers, spammers and child pornographers.

How could the freedom genie be shoved back into the bottle? Basically, it's part of a huge effort to transform the Net from an arena where anyone can anonymously participate to a sign-in affair where tamperproof "digital certificates" identify who you are. The advantages of such a system are clear: it would eliminate identity theft and enable small, secure electronic "microtransactions," long a dream of Internet commerce pioneers. (Another bonus: arrivederci, unwelcome spam.) A concurrent step would be the adoption of "trusted computing," a system by which not only people but computer programs would be stamped with identifying marks. Those would link with certificates that determine whether programs are uncorrupted and cleared to run on your computer.

The best-known implementation of this scheme is the work in progress at Microsoft known as Next Generation Secure Computing Base (formerly called Palladium). It will be part of Longhorn, the next big Windows version, out in 2006. Intel and AMD are onboard to create special secure chips that would make all computers sold after that point secure. No more viruses! And the addition of "digital rights management" to movies, music and even documents created by individuals (such protections are already built into the recently released version of Microsoft Office) would use the secure system to make sure that no one can access or, potentially, even post anything without permission."[iii]

If you want to try and do something about all this then is a good place to start.

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 3:58 pm  
  • At 10:46 pm, Blogger mikevotes said…

    Good piece. And the technology is already being deployed and tested in China. Yahoo and Cisco have been singled out lately for criticism for the cooperation with the Chinese government.

    By the time the debate is over here, the tech will be ready to roll off the shelves.

  • At 12:33 am, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    its been happening for a long time.

    they will stop conversations like unless there is a movement.

    bloggers, activists, concerned people...don't let this ride. if we leave it alone then all of this is gone.

  • At 1:27 pm, Blogger justin barker said…

    I think we can take it for granted that our (little) freedom of speech will be taken away. There is no room in our capitalist/materialist societies for things like freedom of speech. This will be good while it lasts, but in the end we are all going to have to find something else to do. Better if we prepare ourselves for the post-civil-liberties era now.
    Or am I just being cynical and pessimistic?

  • At 2:32 pm, Anonymous Mickey Z. said…

    I like the poster at the top. Motivating...instead of cynical.

  • At 3:13 pm, Blogger justin barker said…

    I'm cynical and tired. I can't help it.
    I just don't see what calling congress or writing a letter can achieve (this is in reference to Americans, as far as I can see, don't give a fig for their rights. They're too comfortable. And if they're not comfortable they are afraid to screw up their credit rating.
    So, Motivate me to do something whose results I can see not call congress. For, that is hardly a tried and true way to change things. I'm seething here, and the only thing I can think of doing is to continue throwing stones at the hornets nest and hope that they will sting "them" and not me.

  • At 3:18 pm, Anonymous Mickey Z. said…

    Sorry, Justin. I just realized that my comment seemed to be addressing you. Not the case. More like me thinking out loud.

    Cynical is my standard state of mind. that's precisely why I felt attracted to the first image.

  • At 4:15 pm, Blogger justin barker said…

    Oh, right. Well, no need to apologize. My mistake, sorry. I really should vent on my own blog.

  • At 7:42 am, Blogger Brewski said…

    Michael is correct!

  • At 4:42 pm, Blogger Swedish Girl said…

    I still don't really get the economics of the Internet. Who pays for Blogger? Is it all in the ads?

    Interesting piece - let's hope the honeymoon with the net isn't over yet. (See, that rhymes.)

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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
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Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
  • This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song

  • What You Like
  • I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.

  • Imperial Measures
  • What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Wish You Were Here is a 6 minute film about the unprecendted rate of animal extinction we are currently experiencing

  • Gorillas and us
  • I don't like creationism, neither did Douglas Adams

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  • internet archive
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  • noam chomsky
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    some of the blogs I look at
    Arse of the month

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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

    It's All Gone Scottish

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

  • The Scottish Patient
  • Kim Ayres
  • Our Scotland
  • average tosser
  • 1820
  • big stick small carrot
  • J. Arthur MacNumpty
  • World of Jack McConnell
  • The Firefox Chronicles
  • Independence 1st
  • Radio Free Scotland
  • Scots and independent
  • Scottish Independence Guide
  • Small Nation
  • Inveresk Street Ingrate
  • Radical Glasgow
  • Want to Swot?

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    If you like this site and think it is time to start getting informed here are a few real favourites of mine that will help you blow away the corporate and government propaganda you are constantly bombarded with. It is added to every so often.

  • politics and the english language
  • Beyond Hope
  • the gore exception
  • your tax dollars at work
  • a cultural chernobyl
  • choose life (not trainspotting)
  • shooting an elephant
  • a war crime within a war crime...
  • the menace of liberal scholarship
  • the modern era of law
  • naming the problem
  • the four ages of sand
  • a news revolution has begun
  • come september
  • money is the cause of poverty
  • countering corporate power
  • Other Stuff

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