I have now moved this blog to the Mises.org community.
First of all I want to thank the Ludwig von Mises Institute for providing this excellent service.
There is still some work left moving the blog roll and such but it will be done shortly.
The benefits of moving the blog is that can now be read with https connection that Blogger didn't support. Also it will be listed in the Mises.org community blogs and posts.
It also have a tag cloud which is much better then the default tag display over at Blogger.
The new address is: https://mises.org/Community/blogs/anti-gov/
Feeds are still processed thru Feedburner so they should be the same
If you for some reason need secure feeds you can access them directly at:
As you might have noticed from my earlier posts I like encryption and anonymization.
For instance Mises.org now offer their site in HTTPS (end-to-end encryption). They also run a Tor exit-node on their server, which means you can communicate with it without exiting the anonymous Tor network (if your destination runs an exit node Tor will automatically pick that as your exit).
This is of course very useful for people living in oppressive regimes where they need to circumvent censorship and could get shot for visiting sites like Mises.org. But why should the rest of us bother with solutions like this?
For people in the not quite so oppressed part of the world this appears excessive and paranoid at first glance. However I think there are some strong arguments why we should use these solutions even if we really don't need then ... yet.
Most of this stuff is open-source. The development is driven by the community and more users leads to more programmers and more work hours being put into developing this type of software.
Also the software need to be tested, for this to be possible it often needs to be used on a massive scale. It is difficult to evaluate weaknesses in systems like this when they have very few users.
So what this means is that if we use anonymization and encryption software there will be more of it and it will become more secure and easier to use.
Primarily that is very useful to people living in countries where ideas are far from free. Apart from reasons originating from pure empathy for people living under terror states it will also benefit us if the security threats and trade obstacle these regimes are where to fall to domestic opposition.
Tor for instance has been widely used by insurgents in Iran and helped them coordinate their efforts and spread information.
Secondly you can use this type of software to bypass geo-restrictions on places like YouTube and Hulu.
Finally when the day comes that our ponzi-welfare systems goes bankrupt and our states can no longer rely on bribes to suppress any opposition against it we should also be fortunate that we already have this kind of technology in place to help ourselves.
So what can you do?
The first and easiest step is to use HTTPS where ever possible. Just chance the start of the URL from http:// to https:// and see if it works. Many Google services can be used in HTTPS as well as Facebook.
For Facebook to remain on secure browsing you will need this Firefox add-on: Force-TLS. Just add *.facebook.com there and it will automatically rewrite all Facebook URLs to https://.
You can also use it for other places like Google Reader, e-mail, banks and any place that support https.
Another useful add-on for Firefox is FoxyProxy which can be used with Tor for instance to anonymize browsing on specific sites only.
Finally for Firefox there is FireGPG which is basically a OpenPGP/MIME encryption plugin for GMail. It works seamlessly with any mail client with OpenPGP/MIME support installed. It also makes it alot easier to use clear text encryption then doing it via the clipboard with PGP Desktop Free.
Encrypting instant-messages is still in it's infantile state of development so there you can really help by using it. Look into OTR there are OTR plugins for Pidgin and Miranda IM this far that I know of.
Finally a piece of good news.
OiNK admin have been found not guilty in highest appeal.
I particularly liked this part of the article:
University of London professor Birgitte Andersenok gave evidence earlier in the trial, stating that file-sharing didn’t hurt the music industry and led to more sales. Mr Makepeace trashed her evidence. It’s nonsense, it’s flannel, it’s verbiage, it’s garbage, he told the Court. The intellectual height of this defence knows no bounds.
Walter Block just posted A Pretty Good Critiqe of Google on the LRC Blog, the post is basically just a link an article blaming Google for worldwide arbitrary filtering of search results. In this particular case it is about Google supposedly suppressing Climategate but he makes a references that they have done it before.
Note that as I was writing this Walter Block has already amended his post:
Error of mine on google?
I have tried to verify the information in that article:
Search for “Googlegate” on Google and you’ll get a paltry result (my result yesterday was 29,300). Search for “Googlegate” on Bing, Microsoft’s search engine competitor, and the result numbers an eye-popping 72.4 million.
Google: 30600 results
Bing: 3550 results
So 3555=72.4 million I guess...
A search for google-gate on Google even give some 23 million results, while only about 700 on Bing.
Sometime around then, in early December, Google began to minimize the Climategate scandal by hiding Climategate pages from its users. By Dec. 17, the number of climategate pages that a Google search found dropped by almost 10 million, to 22.2 million. One day later Google dropped its find by another 8 million pages, to 14.1 million. By Dec. 23, Google could find only 7.5 million hits and on Dec. 24 just 6 million. And yesterday, when I checked, Google reported a mere 1.8 million climategate pages.
Bing, in contrast, didn’t make climategate pages disappear. As you’d expect from a search engine that wasn’t manipulating data, search results on Bing climbed steadily until they peaked at around 51 million, where they have remained since.
Today I get:
I also get "climategate" as the top suggested search after just typing "clim".
The top results except the Wikipedia article are calling global warming a scam. That Wikipedia show up on top at Google is rather usual. The fact that Wikipedia have redirected http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climategate to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_hacking_incident and hidden the original article is hardly Google's fault and the Wikipedia editorial wars is a whole different matter.
There are a understandably idiosyncrasies in Google's algorithms that can make weird things happen, they aren't so secretive about there algorithms without reason. It is cutting edge technology.
People are also actively trying to figure out and manipulate these algorithms constantly which can screw them up.
Google results are also personalised and localized.
The reason why Google would want to cover this up given in the article is also rather lame. Directors and executives have investments in green energy. You really think any risk of loss to Google high-ups would be smaller from Google playing censorship like they want with fully legal sites then the potential damage Climategate can cause any green energy projects?
Yahoo supposedly also have some idiosyncrasies concerning the search term climategate by the way. It sais "Did you mean: climate gate" which generates almost no results in comparison. This must be a global conspiracy of internet search providers and the green energy industry that seems probable...
There are also other reports a specific article has been suppressed. But it still shows up as result 11 for climategate to me.
There has been some fuss about this already it seems and I thought it best stop the nonsense. There are however real concerns about unethical filtering done by Google relating to legally questionable material. Maybe this can shed some light on that?
Jag snubblade över Bombhotade tentasal – av misstag i Götheborgske Spionen och tyckte den behövde lite uppmärksamhet även om den inte är helt färsk.
Han hade alltså sen på kvällen innan tentan full av tentaångest skrivit i sin Facebook status att han skulle bomba tentasalen.
Jag minns bestämt från min orienteringskurs i straffrätt att det skall finnas konkreta planer osv för att någon skall kunna fällas för sånt här. Nu fälldes han inte men grunden för att polisen skall bry sig är att det skall finnas ett brott. Att skämta om att man skall spränga saker är inte det, såvida vi inte fått en svensk Patriot Act sen jag läste den där kursen.
Är det någon som inte någon gång på skämt sagt att de skall bomba eller förstöra något de inte gillar?
Vad som är skrämmande i den här historien är inte bara att polisen visar sin fullständiga inkompetens genom att följa upp med att gripa personen ifråga utan även hur informationen öht hamnade hos polisen från början.
Övervaknings- och angiverisamhället är visst redan fast etablerat.
Google announces a new approach to China.
That Google are unwilling to compromise about the freedom of the internet is most welcome news indeed. Google have exercised some censorship on google.ch since they launched. But with the increasing smackdown on the internet in China and attacks on Google's infrastructure, targeting Chinese human rights activists, Google say that unless they can operate a unfiltered service in China they will pull out.
Perhaps they will eventually say the same thing to the DMCA complaints ... that is probably too much to hope for. But at least we will be able to cry about it without having our protests filtered.
The Tor Project may still have several shortcoming that makes it somewhat impractical, but it is an amazing technology and it looks very promising as a technological guarantee for a free and uncensored internet.
Part of it is how easy Tor actually is to use. If you are running Firefox and install the Tor bundle you can toggle anonymous surfing instantly with the included Tor Button add-on, you don't have to do any fiddling with settings.
After recent developments in Iran as well as Chinas attack on free internet the people behind Tor seem to have collected a lot of information on how Tor is used to circumvent censorship and what problems there are.
They have added something called bridges which is basically a hidden non-public entry point to the network, they make it very difficult to block access to the Tor network (it would usually be done by blocking the public list of relays).
They also have something called hidden services now which I tested today and it was also surprisingly easy to use.
You can set up a web-server or any other form of service anonymously within the Tor network and not only access the internet but also publish to it anonymously.
Hidden services are only accessible from within the Tor network, but with the Tor Button active they work like any other URL for the client.
There are some issues with Tor, such as the poor latency and malicious exit nodes. It is also still vulnerable to various forms of traffic pattern analysis.
Exit nodes spying on your traffic can be pretty easily avoided by end-to-end encryption (like SSL). The others problems will take some more resources to solve, more bandwidth for relays in particular.
Still this kind of technology is a shining hope when the freedom of the internet seems to be under constant attack from governments all over the world.
In No Treason the democratic government is described as a secret band of murderers and thieves, it's members unknown to their victims as well as each other and made accountable to no one.
In this sense democracy is a much more horrific form of government then the King who says "I am the state, the only right is the right of my sword!". He can be held accountable for the actions of the government and his is a more honest and less immoral form of oppression then that exerted under democracy.
I do realize there are ways in which democratic influence can be used to limit government power and make it less evil then a government with no democratic elements. But that has nothing to do with democracy as such and is not the topic of this text.
Under a democracy with secret ballots we can never know who the government is.
We don't know how people voted or even if they did. Furthermore (as Lysander Spooner point out) some people vote in self-defence.
The logic is that since other people are trying to rob them using the ballot box their only option is to use the ballot box themselves and try to point the gun at someone else. In No Treason an analogy is made with opposing soldiers on a battlefield.
They must fight to the death, but that doesn't mean that they support the cause of the war they are fighting, they have (usually involuntarily) been put in a kill or be killed situation.
The ballot box can be viewed in the same way, unless you vote for the government to spend it's money to oppress someone else it will be spent it to oppress you.
There are other viewpoints on voting. Some arguments claim that even voting against the government make you complicit in all crimes committed by it. I won't go into that issue any further here but we can at least say that voting as a means of self-defence (misguided or not) is done because people perceive a threat and feel coerced into voting. This threat is very real and even if it isn't enough to grant a full pardon it is a great alleviating factor when determining their share of blame.
Anyone who willingly voted for the government are complicit to all the crimes of the government. Their relationship to the agents of the government that commit these crimes are no different then that of someone who hires a hitman and the hitman.
The problem is that we have no way of knowing who these people are. Their identities are protected by the system of secret ballots as well as the fact that we don't know who votes willingly and who does so only because they feel coerced to participate.
But there are other parties in these crimes that are easier to identify.
Anyone who lends money to a known criminal organisation is aiding and abetting crime. This relationship is the same with the government.
Anyone who lends money to the government (buy government bonds) is in part responsible for the murder and thieving the government does. Government has always relied on money to exert its power.
In the past it took loans to hire solders to murder anyone who opposed it and ensure greater tax revenues in the future. Today it still take loans to pay police to stop any opposition against tax collectors, but it also loan money in order to suppress opposition through welfare bribes which are simply a modern form of panem et circenses (bread and games).
The last party responsible are the agents of the state. The politicians, police, soldiers and tax collectors etc.
First "I was under orders" is never a valid excuse to commit atrocities.
Secondly they can never prove who they got the orders from. Most government agents have some form of superior that they can blame for doing what they do. The top of government, the elected officials, can however not prove who they work for and take their orders from cause they are appointed by secret ballot.
This means that any government agent must be held individually responsible for all of their actions and orders.
Anyone working for the tax agency is guilty of theft, a politician voting for a tax is guilty of theft, a cop who arrest someone for crimes which have no bases in natural law is guilty of kidnapping and so forth.
Many of these individuals does of course not understand that what they are doing is wrong because they rely a ethical system of duality thought to them by the government in the first place.
The individuals I have assigned blame to here could be brainwashed and manipulated or never have been able to obtain enough information to effectively criticise their own actions. Also many of the agents of our modern democracies can only be individually held responsible for crimes that are petty or at least don't justify capital punishment.
These are the only reasons they shouldn't all be shoot on sight...
Storskogen hade under många år varit en ganska säker plats. Den hade nämligen bevakats av tvåbenta rovdjur som höll vargarna borta.
Men i år hade de tvåbenta djuren inte setts till och ryktena om vargattacker spreds fort. Bambi och hans mor levde i konstant skräck, varje litet ljud kunde vara en varg som lurpassade på dem.
Bambi lekte i en glänta och hans mor solade sig i närheten när vargen anföll. Bambi kände hur vargens vassa klor högg fast i ena bakbenet och drog med sig stora slamsor av kött. Blodet forsade ner för benet och smärtan var olidlig.
Men vargen slant och tappade greppet, när han tagit några sekunder att återhämta sig så var Bambis mor närmare och vargen anföll henne istället. Den här gången fick han ett ordentligt tag och högg in med klorna i båda sidorna på det stora rådjuret. Blodet sprutade och Bambis mor skrek av skräck och smärta, hon kände hur stora bitar kött slets loss och när vargen bet och rev i hennes kropp. Efter en lång och smärtsam kamp orkar hon inte längre och faller, vargen biter tag i hennes hals.
Bambi har undertiden haltat iväg så snabbt han kan och kom undan vargen denna gången.
Men såret gör fortfarande väldigt ont och blir snart infekterat för att göra ännu ondare.
Bambi kommer sannolikt dö en ännu längre och smärtsammare död än sin mor tack vare infektionen.
Men efter några dagar har vargen fått upp spåret och anfaller Bambi igen. Just som vargens klor hugger in i Bambis rygg och han skricker av smärta så hörs en hög smäll.
Vargen träffades i hjärtat och dör genast.
Ett andra skott hörs och Bambi ger en suck av lättnad över att det i alla fall blir snabbt och han slipper tortyren som vargen skulle utsatt honom för innan det tagit slut.
In a column in New Tork Times Bono from U2 bring up file-sharing and how it has supposedly destroyed the music industry.
Destroyed? From a consumer perspective the music industry is better then ever. We aren't restricted to bulky storage media that take up space in the bookshelf and it is easy to find new good small artists that where once too obscure to ever get a record contract.
Bono bring up Chinas firewall as an example that is possible to control traffic.
So he want to use the methods of one of the worlds most oppressive regimes against his own fans? Then he wonders why they don't want to pay money to him? Maybe he just forgot that people doing illegal downloading are also the best spending consumers for the media industry. People who don't bother learning how to download generally don't consume alot of media entertainment at all.
Not only are such methods of controlling the internet pure fascism and threat to free-speech and other civil liberties, it is also wrong that it is possible to control traffic in this fashion.
There are very simple technical solution to get around any firewall that use censorship lists and blocked ports to keep people from accessing certain content. So in order for the firewall to have any effect you need steep penalties for circumventing it and doing so without getting noticed will still be easy.
The only way to control the internet in such a way that file-sharing becomes impossible would be to block everything and have a government list of allowed sites. Nothing else could be accessed.
This would of-course completely kill all aspects that make the internet great and bring us back to megaphone communications of the stone age.
Bono also say that illegal downloads are most damaging to small artists because they don't get revenue from t-shirts and concerts. Rich internet operators are stealing their money, he says.
What? All unknown artists I have heard speak on the topic praises the internet because it makes it possible for them to publish without the approval of large record companies.
I tried my hands at internet radio in the early days of this phenomenon. Small artists would frequently send me albums and demos by snailmail (at their own cost) only so I could play them for my 10 or so listeners. Most of these small artists seem far more interested in people hearing their work then making money from record sales...
I would urge everyone to boycott U2 and any other artists that take strong stands like this in defence intellectual property, especially when they want them enforced through fascism. Though it is worth nothing that Bono want to abolish patents, but extend copyrights ... yeah say what?
Torrent their stuff and listen to it if you want but for gods sake don't pay them a single cent.
So what should the music industry be doing?
What about trying to sell stuff to your clients instead of prosecuting them? I don't want CDs (they just take up space) and I don't want non-lossless restricted media downloads from awkward online music stores that are difficult to use.
I don't mind paying for some of the better music I consume, but they don't seem to want my money. Private music trackers are still one of the most user friendly ways to get a hold of music and you can't just send money to a band cause most don't accept "donations".
So the only way you can pay for it is to comply with the record industries ancient methods of distribution. Obviously they are much more concerned with no-one using what is "theirs" rather then actually making any money.