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Software Censorship Government It's funny.  Laugh.

Irish Politician Calls For Crackdown On Open Source Internet Browsers 335

An anonymous reader writes "An Irish politician has called for tougher controls on the use of open source internet browsers. He said, 'An online black market is operating which protects the users’ anonymity and operates across borders through the use of open source internet browsers and payments systems which allow users to remain anonymous. This effectively operates as an online supermarket for illegal goods such as drugs, weapons and pornography, where it is extremely difficult to trace the identity of the buyers. We need a national and international response to clamp down on this illicit trade.' The politician added that the U.S. had 'taken action' to address this, but he seemed surprised that their solution was only 'temporary.'"
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Irish Politician Calls For Crackdown On Open Source Internet Browsers

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  • WTF (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:44PM (#45959139) Homepage

    Seems like this rather confused politician is confusing Firefox with Tor. And I bet if he knew who was funding Tor, his head would explode.

  • by iYk6 ( 1425255 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:47PM (#45959177)

    He starts by condeming browsers and proxies that help people browse the internet anonymously. Then he jumps to saying that anonymous browsing leads to trading drugs, weapons, and pornography. Then he commends the USA NSA for spying on Americans but is concerned that now that they have been caught Americans might do something about it.

  • There are web browsers based on the work of the Firefox and Chromium open source projects that allow browsing a parallel web with enough anonymity that users feel safe using it to trade in prohibited weapons, prohibited drugs, and prohibited sexually explicit works. One of them is the Tor Browser Bundle. And I think the "payment system" part refers to Bitcoin and the other coins that vary in the exact proof-of-work problem, such as Namecoin (Bitcoin with a parallel DNS tacked on), Litecoin (Bitcoin with Tarsnap's Scrypt hash), and Dogecoin (very Litecoin, much meme, so cash, wow).
  • by TsuruchiBrian ( 2731979 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:54PM (#45959277)

    This reminds me of when Senator Orin hatch wanted to develop technology to destroy peoples computers if they were caught downloading anything that was copyrighted.

    I actually witnessed this exchange live on C-SPAN.

    Excerpt from an article that's no longer up:

    "No one is interested in destroying anyone's computer," replied Randy Saaf of MediaDefender Inc., a secretive Los Angeles company that builds technology to deliberately download pirated material very slowly so other users can't.

    "I'm interested," Hatch interrupted. He said damaging someone's computer "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights."

    The senator, a composer who earned $18,000 last year in song-writing royalties, acknowledged Congress would have to enact an exemption for copyright owners from liability for damaging computers. He endorsed technology that would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, "then destroy their computer."

    "If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that," Hatch said. "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize" the seriousness of their actions.

    "There's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws," Hatch said.

  • Double Irish (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:57PM (#45959339) Homepage Journal
    Internet Explorer and Safari are produced in Ireland for tax purposes [wikipedia.org].
  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @08:13PM (#45959511) Homepage Journal

    Most people are not technically knowledgeable. I fear that things will keep getting more and more silly as the human race gets more and specialized. In the 1700s is was possible to be pretty knowledgeable about all the technology of the day. Today it just isn't. You can see an example of that here on slashdot when talking about spaceflight or battery technology and some idiot makes a reference to Moore's Law.

  • by NicBenjamin ( 2124018 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @08:41PM (#45959929)

    I believe he's a non-techy abusing technical language he doesn't understand. He seems to be referring to the Silk Road, and it's replacement, with the words "open source browser." Silk Road is the only major source of illegal shit that's recently been shut down in the US, and it has (predictably) already been replaced. He also seems to be lumping various other initiatives (like TOR) with the same words.

    It seems like he's an Irish ted Stevens. Some staffer has explained these concepts to him well enough that he kinda gets them, but not well enough for him to remember the words everyone else uses.

  • by k.a.f. ( 168896 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @03:26AM (#45962515)

    Seems to me there was something else I heard about that was anonymous, and can be traded for all kinds of illegal things. Oh, yeah. I remember now: cash.

    Which is why cash is being so aggressively deprecated in all of its roles (anti-laundering laws, bonuses for loyalty cards, new methods of mobile payment every week...). It's always about control, and politicians love control.

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