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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:40PM (#45959075)

    Posting as ac because I am both Irish and drunk, I forgot my password

  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:42PM (#45959109)
    I think I speak for all people who know much of anything about computers when I ask, "what?".
  • Not interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:42PM (#45959111)
    Call me when a bill to this effect has some chance of passing, otherwise I am not interested. There is no idea so dumb or ill-informed that there isn't going to be some politician, somewhere, proposing it. That doesn't mean anyone else in that legislature takes it seriously, possibly even the proposer isn't serious and is just mouthing off for political reasons. This just isn't worth anyone's time to read about.
    • And in any case, such a bill would have to go through the EU parliament, not the Irish one.

    • Re:Not interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jaywalk ( 94910 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @08:11PM (#45959491) Homepage

      There is no idea so dumb or ill-informed that there isn't going to be some politician, somewhere, proposing it

      True, and yet the exceptional examples need to be discussed in order for them to exposed to the hoots of derision and mockery which they so richly deserved. I doubt they will learn anything from it since their cranial capacity seems to be, thus far, impervious to analytical thought, but it makes the rest of us feel better.

      Let the mockery resume.

    • He's in Ireland's ruling party. He's not in the Cabinet, so it probably won't become law, but he's got more clout then most other TDs.

      Assuming he's using "open source web browser" (what else could he be using it to mean? he clearly doesn't know what an actual open source web browser is) to refer to the Silk Road website and TOR network, his idea isn't that different from US Government policy. Or any official government policy.

    • Call me when a bill to this effect has some chance of passing, otherwise I am not interested. There is no idea so dumb or ill-informed that there isn't going to be some politician, somewhere, proposing it. That doesn't mean anyone else in that legislature takes it seriously, possibly even the proposer isn't serious and is just mouthing off for political reasons.


      This just isn't worth anyone's time to read about.

      False. When politicians say stupid shit, it's our duty to mock them for it. Otherwise, that stupid shit starts making it into actual laws. (Sometimes it does that anyway.)

  • Obviously, this person has no clue as to how the internet, or software works...
  • 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.

    • He's definitely confused about something, with statements like this:

      Law enforcement agencies in the United States have recently taken action to address this issue, however it appears the solution was temporary as replacement browsers quickly appeared to ensure the continuance of the illegal trade.

      He seems to think the US agencies seized some sort of browser or something. Assuming he's just confused about terminology, he's apparently seeking some sort of international ban on certain kinds of websites that are accessible via Tor, or a ban on Tor itself. Good luck with that.

      • by hodet ( 620484 )

        Ya he is saying the feds shut down 'silk road' (a browser) and then silk road 2 (another browser?) popped up (and subsequently closed). Comedy gold I tell you.

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        I can just see it. The politician is looking at a screenshot of Firefox being used to browse Silk Road, and asks an aid "what is this technology called", the aide, not knowing the context, replies "the .. Firefox web browser?"

        Many countries ban TOR, and work actively to block it - this wouldn't be that strange if he was talking about TOR.

    • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:53PM (#45959259) Homepage Journal

      confusing Firefox with Tor

      I don't see how Firefox with Tor [] is so confusing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In case any one is wondering. DARPA and the US Navy are two of the founders.

    • 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 PaddyM ( 45763 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:44PM (#45959141) Homepage

    The only people who deserve no taxes in Ireland are those multinationals with accountants who drink a double Irish coffee with their Dutch sandwich.

  • Seriously? I really can't tell if this is a politician trolling, or if it's the Onion.. OR for the love of god, any politician anywhere really feels this way? Ireland, if this is true -- you have my sympathies, apparently our idiocy and surveillance state mentality jumped the containment barrier (i'm in the US) :(

    How in the heck did the idea of 'privacy' which, used to be one of the tenets of western civilization become something that our elected leaders (who are supposed to be on OUR side) actively try

    • Did we learn nothing from the USSR and the Iron Curtain?

      Mentally reviewing the last decade has led me to

    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:59PM (#45959357)

      Did we learn nothing from the USSR and the Iron Curtain?

      Yes. We learned how to do it better.

    • He's just under/mis-informed about his choice of technologies.

      He's afraid that using anonymous web technologies leads to bad things -- and to be fair, users of Tor are essentially divided into the paranoid, the pedos, and the paranoid pedos. Blame the early adopters for quickly figuring out that an anonymous web is a great place to sell drugs, guns and children... ...and host Linux ISOs or something.

      I can't tell you what "most" anonymous web-surfers do. I can only tell you the part of it that makes the ne

  • It's only the buyers that he wants to track?
    Does he want to know who is customers or competitors are?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:49PM (#45959205)

    This just goes to show how people who know nothing about computers shouldn't be in a position to make public statements about them. I mean, while we're at it, why don't we ban cars from driving on the road just so that bank robbers can't use them as getaway vehicles?

  • Yeah you shouldn't be held accountable for every cent. The US government on the other hand cannot account for trillions and that's justifiable.
  • by Gavrielkay ( 1819320 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:51PM (#45959227)
    I mean, if we can complain about things that are going to bring the world down around our ears, surely stupidity outranks firefox.
  • by sandbagger ( 654585 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:52PM (#45959249)

    Let us know how that works out.

    I agree with the people above, it sounds like he's confusing Tor and Firefox. For my part, I'm a member of an on-line community and am dealing with their 64-year-old admin who refuses to let anyone post live links in the discussion forum because "it's a security risk" and won't allow any images, or media. She's wondering why this little web community is dying.

    You sometimes need to keep old people away from the keyboard.

    • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @08:23PM (#45959655) Homepage Journal

      You sometimes need to keep old people away from the keyboard.

      Patrick O'Donovan, the politician in question, is 36 years old. My father is a 70-year-old web developer. Sure, in general younger people probably understand the internet better than older people, but there are so many exceptions to this in both directions that any generalization based on age is pretty well meaningless.

      • Oh, he understands everything. He just hates that people are free to express themselves in ways not approved by the ruling elite.
        • I'm sure he wants to crack down on people's freedom of expression, but his comments are so bizarre that I'm not at all convinced he knows what he's talking about. "Ignorant" and "evil" are not mutually exclusive, which I suppose is better for the rest of us ... Anyway, there's no need to bring age into it. Politicians of any age are much of a muchness.

    • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @09:43PM (#45960487)

      Old people? You need to open your eyes.

      When you run into one of those nasty little fascists who have no respect for civil rights and damned little compassion, you can pretty much bet it's a 20-something.

      And my buddy's 83-year-old father knows a hell of a lot more about computer hardware and software than most people I know aged 15 to 35. Among other things, he's digitized and sorted generations of photographs, sketches and Super-8 films. He's turned a selection of them into some really excellent movies, and he's set up a data base that's both flexible and easy to search covering families, family trees, friends, events and much more.

      If you want a security nightmare, let a teenager loose on the family computer. Clueless little shytes, for the most part.

  • 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.

    • Also I am pretty sure I saw him say he wanted to make CD burners illegal because there was no legitimate legal use for them. I could not however find any good sources for this. It was around the same time ~ 2003
  • Someone ask him what his position is on the internet being "a series of tubes".

  • Wait what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:57PM (#45959333)
    Open access roads are used to transport drugs. Open access city streets can hold dealers and prostitutes. Public libraries have been used to read about revolution and bomb making and pot growing.The postal service has been used to facilitate illegal payments. Lets close them all DOWN.
    Pro tip, just because it is online, or open source, does not make human nature any different.

    Some people will beat their spouse or hire a hitman. Some people will be addicts. Some will sell to the addicts. Some will fondle their niece.

    Claiming some tool is enabling these behaviors and ignoring that tool's greater benefit greater benefit to society is either fear-mongering or blind unthinking fear (possibly instilled by other fear mongers). If the former, you are the worst kind of control hungry sociopath to use fear to restrict others. If the latter, you are a puppet and a simpleton. in either case, you do not deserve to be in any position of leadership.

    • and often used for various smuggling operations across the NI border in bandit country - so dig up all the roads between Eire and NI then
  • ... that nothing he said makes a slightest bit of sense. Literally none at all.
  • A few times I've heard an Irish use the term "gobshite" and I wasn't sure what it meant 'till today.

  • by The_Other_Kelly ( 44440 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @08:11PM (#45959489) Journal

    Just when you think that you have grown beyond caring, theses guys manage to poke beneath the shield and hit the "AAAAAARRRGGGHH" button !!
    I am sorry for taking this seriously, but after the Bank Bailouts, the corruption, the incompetency, the cover-ups and the sheer fuck-wittery of the past
    years, they attack OPEN SOURCE BROWSERS !!

    What more can one expect from politicians that:
    - kowtow-ed to the EU on the Maastricht Treaty re-Vote, (It puts the lotion in the basket, and votes again and again until the answer is YES)
    - sold 3 generations of their own people out, in the form of a bank bailout for *private* non-system critical banks,
    - have no concept of Justice whether social, civil or criminal
    - have no concept of public probity, of duty or what to be a servant of the people actually means
    - assume in blind arrogance that their own short-sighted, small-town, bigoted, religion-ridden, never questioned views are "NORMALITY"
        and those of everyone else, are simply illegal.

    In short. Olympic level Assholes.

    Winking and smiling and smirking, crapping out their "hokesy/folksy" catchphrases, with constant shit eating grins.

    Concepts such as free speech, right to privacy, equal treatment before the law, due process,
    womens' rights (especially reproductive rights), ... are considered amusing or just dismissed,
    out of hand, by these troglodytes.

    For example, the implicit assumption that *all pornography* is simply illegal!

    The US and Britain have blanket surveilled every Irish citizen for generations, and this cringing *lackey*
    assumes that *law enforcement* was the purpose.

    Call me harsh, but I interpret the failure of elected representatives to protect .the rights of their citizens,
    in the face of blatant intrusions, as more than incompetence, more than failure.
    It is treachery.

    Following the usual, endless cycle, whenever social unrest threatens, the Haves in Ireland,
    push the Have-nots to emigrate. Since, conveniently, the non-resident cannot vote, there
    was, is and will never be any pressure on the ruling elite to change any of their policies ... the opposition is simply disenfranchised.

    And nothing changes.

    I dream of another Ireland.
    A country where an informed electorate hold their elected leaders to account, demand the
    definition and enforcement of just laws which protect individual and public rights.
    A truly Free Ireland.

    Until then, I apologise to the world that we are represented by these fools and that
    you have to listen to their blather.

  • Because low cost and easy to acquire doors from doormakers (there might even be discount door sellers !) protect children from being seen when they get abused.

    Join, the remove all doors movement, we provide you the feeling of being better people, because you can morally pic on others that don't want to declare to you why they love to fuck asses or wear sissy dresses, or just want to be who they are .. unwatched & unsuppressed.

  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @08:16PM (#45959565) Journal
    Our government encourages our assumption of internet anonymity.

    It's cheaper than actual freedom, and it makes keeping track of us easy as a cowbell.

  • W3C + HTML5 + DRM (Score:5, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @08:49PM (#45960021) Journal

    I'll tell you what this is all about: []

    Soon, all compliant browsers will have to be opaque, in order to have DRM that will protect Netflix and other streaming services. Independent browsers will disappear. Open source browsers will be a big hole in the plan to completely lock down the internet once and for all and cannot be allowed to exist. Irish politicians have learned their globalization lessons well and know on which side their bread is buttered. He may not be the most eloquent advocate, but he knows what the agenda is.

    We are very close to the end of the internet as we know it. I've long said that the internet is turning into cable television. Now the transformation is almost complete. []

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