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Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next

Last week we saw an unprecedented attack on the freedom of the Internet by our government. It begin with the seizure of 82 domains by the DoJ and ended with a whole variety of moves, both legal and extra-legal to bring down WikiLeaks or block access to it. Clearly the U.S. government has launched a new campaign to control the Internet and what we can access with it.

Monday's Diary: BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
Friday's Diary: BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!

They have been able to seize domains, as oppose to only block domains, China style, because they are taking unfair advantage of the fact that at present, the root domain servers, although run by an international NGO, are located in the United States and can be served by an American court order.

The Domain Name System [DNS] is that network of servers that converts a domain name, say DailyKos.com to it's IP address, in this case 208.122.51.48 which is how it is found on the Internet. In order to seize domains, the Federal government must 'seize' the top level domain servers or bend them to their will, that's why I have referred to this as an Internet coupe d'etat.

But as any Internet hacker can tell you, and the Feds found out last week, screwing with the DNS system and 'seizing domains' isn't everything it's cracked up to be. Many of the websites that Eric Holder claimed were selling counterfeit good were up and running under new domain names even before he had his Monday morning press conference. You can register a new domain name and point it at your website in less than an hour. The situation was much the same when they pulled the plug on wikileaks.org. Within hours it was available as wikileaks.de, wikileaks.nl, ljist.org and a host [no pun intended] of others. Before Friday was over some Kossacks had even included the wikileaks IP addess in their signatures.

Which brings me to the question of search engines. While the DNS system was designed as the first and most basic way we humans can find things on the web, it has largely been replaced or supplemented by the search engines. Hell, to tell you the truth these day, even when I know the domain name, I don't type it into the browser navigation bar, I type it into Google, let it correct my spelling, figure out if it's a dot com, dot net or dot whatever and find it for me. How do people find counterfeit goods or any goods on the Internet for that matter? They Google for them. How do you find documents like the Wikileaks if you don't know the website? You Google for them!

Which brings me to the point of this diary. As you can easily see, all of the Federal government's violation of international trust and our rights with its draconian seizure of domains and attacks on domains will come to naught if Google continues to do what it has always done, deliver us search results as it finds them, without fear or favor.

I don't for a moment consider the other major search engines. Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo all bent over for the Chinese government without even being kissed first, I don't think the Obama Administration will have any trouble out of them. Google on the other hand, just might pose somewhat of a problem. They are coming from a different place. They have their roots in the Free Software Movement and they have opposed this sort of thing before with China and the Bush Administration. And most importantly, of all the forces that may oppose the Obama Internet takeover, Google has the money and the technical clout to make it a real ball game.

Therefore you can bet that the pressure will be on Google big time to 'play ball.' I have seen all this coming for a long time. I know the government has been planning these moves for a long time. And I know that they know that Google could be a problem. That is why, apart from the fact that the Google/Verizon legislative proposal on network neutrality of August, really wasn't that bad, I considered this summer's attacks on Google to be preemptive strikes. It is also why I have been and continue to be so strong in my support for Google and have been and continue to be very suspicious of those, including Free Press, Huffington Post, Democracy Now, and the DailyKos, that were in panic mode in August, requesting that their followers sign petitions demanding "Google Don't Be Evil" and begging for the Federal government step in and protect the Internet. Again I ask of these organizations, the question I asked then.

Are you fools or tools?

See also Wikileaks Allies Mirroring Site All Over the World
Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on this subject:
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'├ętat
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal

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