Historically one of the biggest problems with Internet filters is over-reach; once the door is opening to censoring specific corners of the web, some individuals can't seem to help themselves when it comes to pushing the censorship envelope. This certainly seems to be true for the Internet filters GoGo is applying to their in-flight broadband connections, now available on the majority of airlines. Ars Technica
points out that GoGo has a pretty strange definition of what constitutes pornography and objectionable material:
If you were gay and a recent passenger on American Airlines, you might have used in-flight Wi-Fi provided by Gogo just like any other customer. In the course of finding somewhere to stay before you land, you might have navigated to misterbnb.com, a version of Airbnb where customers looking for a place to stay can be guaranteed the hosts are gay-friendly. Rather than getting the site's homepage, however, your browser would have kicked you to an interstitial page telling you the site had been censored by Gogo. The given reason would have been the site had been categorized as "adult-and-pornography."
Ars notes that GoGo isn't alone in over-stepping their filtering ambitions, with Wi-Fi networks at Au Bon Pain, Tim Horton's, and McDonald's also censoring the mere mention of the word "gay" -- or even in some instances banning access to the GLAAD website
. GoGo states they're happy to whitelist blocked websites and insists that there's no simplistic keyword-based blacklisting going on, but the article proceeds to make a solid case that second claim may not really be true.
Whatever the case, Misterbnb.com is now unblocked, even if it's still unclear why even mentioning the word "gay" or "lesbian" should auto-trigger filters, or whether GoGo will change the practice.
Though most users are easily able to bypass the filters in place, the entertainment industry is asking the UK government to expand the list of websites filtered by the country's ISPs. According to CNET
, the UK equivalent of the RIAA, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), is now requesting that UK ISPs filter user access to Fenopy, H33t, and Kickass Torrents.
Two months ago law enforcement in Estonia shut down a massive Internet traffic hijacking scheme that used the latest versions of DNSChanger Trojans
to hijack search results while blocking victims from visiting security sites. According to security researcher Brian Krebs
, DNS Changer remains on computers at 50% of Fortune 500 companies, and on PCs at nearly 50% of all federal government agencies.
While the MPAA decried yesterday's SOPA/PIPA protests as a "publicity stunt," it seems clear that the protests did have their intended effect, with at least 18 Senators having withdrawn support for SOPA. ProPublica is keeping a running tally
, and the numbers aren't going in the RIAA/MPAA's desired direction.
Yesterday we pointed out how Comcast had finished DNSSEC upgrades
-- a very good thing in that it adds a layer of protection for users against DNS cache poisoning and phishing scams. We also noted that an added perk of the upgrades was that Comcast could no longer engage in DNS redirection, a practice whereby ISPs generate additional revenue by sending users who mistype URLs to ad-laden search portals -- instead of delivering a page-not-found result.
GoDaddy is one of a significant number of companies that support the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill that critics charge violates the First Amendment and could break the Internet
in a misguided attempt to stop piracy through website filtering. Courtesy of the folks over at Reddit
, there has been a significant movement to shift domains away from GoDaddy, with many declaring this Thursday "Dump GoDaddy Day." The loss in business (an estimated 70,000 domains) resulted in the company issuing a statement
saying that they no longer supported the legislation:
“As a company that is all about innovation, with our own technology and in support of our customers, Go Daddy is rooted in the idea of First Amendment Rights and believes 100 percent that the Internet is a key engine for our new economy,” said Adelman.
by Revcb 06:41PM Wednesday Dec 14 2011
by Revcb 07:17AM Wednesday Mar 30 2011
With IPv4 addresses finally getting close to running out
after years and years of dire apocalyptic warnings, a significant coalition of companies are pulling together for "World IPv6 Day" on June 8. On that day, twenty six companies including Comcast and Time Warner Cable will collectively be engaged in a 24-hour test run of the next-generation Internet protocol. The Internet Society
, a Net standards and advocacy group, will be spearheading the effort, their World IPv6 Day website
noting that Facebook, Google, Microsoft (Bing), Mozilla and many others will be participating. Website owners and network operators can join the test here
if they're interested, while the group also offers a test
to see if you're ready for the transition.
by Revcb 08:43AM Thursday Sep 09 2010
Verizon has been awarded $33.2 million
in a lawsuit against Internet services company OnlineNic
, who registered hundreds of domain names with Verizon trademarks. According to Verizon, the cybersquatted upon some 663 different Verizon-related addresses, including myverizonwireless.com, iphoneverizonplans.com and verizon-cellular.com. Verizon ultimately wanted some $66.3 million in damages, but will have to settle with half of that -- an award of roughly $50,000 per domain. Of course OnlineNIC didn't appear in court, and goes to great lengths to conceal their real operations -- meaning Verizon will have trouble actually collecting.
Internet overseer ICANN today voted unanimously to relax the strict rules on top level domain names, according to the BBC
. The new rules absolutely shatter previous restrictions that kept companies, individuals and countries to only certain domains (.edu, .net, .uk).
Domain Name News
notes that thanks to their 2001 acquisition of eNic Corporation (operator of the .CC registry), Verisign acquired a patent
that covers systems like their much hated Sitefinder initiative
, which redirected users who tried to access unregistered domain names to a parked, ad-laden page. While Verisign might sit on the patent (which was officially awarded on the 4th), they technically might be able to use it to get licensing fees from ISPs who have started using similar systems
that turn subscriber typing mistakes into ad revenue.
It's fairly clear that we won't be happy until we've slathered every nook and cranny of the Internet in some kind of advertising. Not only have ISPs started bombarding users via DNS redirection ads
, but Slashdot notes that Network Solutions has started putting ads on neglected user subdomains
(or a path that does not resolve to a currently active page on your hosted site). From The Register
Earlier this week, a man named Win Betteridge told TechCrunch that Network Solutions pulled this clever little trick with his "social gaming" site, GotGame.com. Betteridge hosts GotGame with "NetSol," and somewhere along the way, he realized that his unused GotGame sub-domains resolved to ad-infested "parking" pages. "For instance, app.gotgame.com resolves to a Network Solutions page with text links, including 'Poker Tournaments' and 'Texas Holdem Games,'" he said.
What, you didn't notice you agreed to this in the 59,000 word Network Solutions user agreement
GoDaddy this week pulled the plug
on a new website that was getting significant media attention for its mission: allowing customers to rate the quality of the police officers in their neighborhood. RateMyCop.com
founder Gino Sesto says he was given no warning about the takedown, and when contacted, GoDaddy stated his account was terminated for "suspicious activity." Another rep told him he exceeded his 3 terabyte bandwidth limit, something Sesto denies given he had "80,00 page views today, and 400,000 yesterday".
Last week Swiss bank Julius Baer, unhappy that the Wikileaks website
was leaking information about their money laundering, managed to convince a California Judge to force the website offline. The Judge in question had the website's host Dynadot yank their domain and prevent them from getting a new one, raising all kinds of questions about censorship and First Amendment rights.
Last January Network Solutions found themselves under fire for purchasing and holding certain domains for five days after they were searched for at the company's website. The tactic allowed the provider to keep shoppers from doing business elsewhere. story continues..
If you recall, back in January Network Solutions found themselves under fire for purchasing and holding certain domains for five days after they're searched for at the company's website. The tactic allowed the provider to keep shoppers from doing business elsewhere. story continues..
Recently Network Solutions
was widely criticized for taking domains users had searched for at their site, and holding them ransom so they couldn't be registered for five days anywhere else. In contrast, Domain Tools
reports that Google will stop putting AdSense ads on domains during their free five-day grace period. The act by Google, focusing largely on protecting Google legally, could put a major crimp in the practice of domain tasting
-- at least until tasters find an alternative advertising system.
Network Solutions is under fire this week for domain "front running,"
or for purchasing and holding certain domains after they're searched for at the company's website, thereby not letting anyone buy the domain at other registrars. For example, should you be in the business of eating aardvarks and try to search for the availability of the domain eataardvark.com at Network Solutions, the website will show you that it's available
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