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Archive for July 19th, 2012

USA Invent Everything??

Posted by Boghound on July 19, 2012

America Realized Pentagon Didn’t Invent the Internet

The United States finally admit that its glorious government didn’t actually invent the web.

For years the United States has trotted out what amounts to an urban legend that it was Pentagon who created the net in order to keep its communications lines up even in a case if nuclear strike. This legend was used to explain why America should control the global domain system, not some international world body.

The legend in question was recently spouted by the President, who used it as proof that the government really was important to the development of technology. Barak Obama said that the web did not get invented on its own – it was government research that created the net in order to allow all companies to profit from it.

Nevertheless, media reports revealed that some in the United States have conceded it was much more complex than what is told in the legend. By the 1960s all technologists were making attempts to connect separate physical communications networks into a single global network. Although the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency Network was also working in this direction, it wasn’t close to maintaining communications in the event of a nuclear attack, and it did not create the Internet.

Robert Taylor, the person who ran the ARPA program 5 decades ago, sent an email to technologists in the 21st century, saying that what Arpanet had wasn’t an Internet. The latter is a connection between 2 or more computer networks, but Arpanet was nothing like that.

Robert Taylor explained that the full credit should go to Xerox PARC labs, where he was working in the 1970s – the Ethernet was first developed there to connected different computer networks. Meanwhile, Xerox PARC researchers realized that waiting for the authorities to connect networks was hopeless because ARPA was too slow and bureaucratic.

At the same time, Xerox, although having invented the Internet, managed to miss a major trick – in fact, the company was only interested in selling photocopiers, so its interest in the web was to share a printer. And it was Ethernet technology that connected networks together.

Finally, the real Internet appeared when Vinton Cerf created the TCP/IP protocol, the Internet’s backbone, and Tim Berners-Lee developed hyperlinks.


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Snail Mail….Safe??

Posted by Boghound on July 19, 2012

British Government Could Scan Envelopes

Along with emails, the UK government decided to control snail mail as well. The country’s Communications Data Bill, which was especially designed for electronics, might also be used to monitor the snail mail.

The suggested legislation means that Internet service providers will have to store information on all emails passing through their systems, but the matter is that this provision is worded in such a way that it could force the Royal Mail to do the same thing. If it does, this will remove the established belief that the post is sacrosanct at least without a court order.

Media reports claim the Home Office knows that the suggested legislation covers this part, but yet has no plans to force the Royal Mail to scan paper mail. However, this is still a bit worrying: the experts start to believe that if the Communications Bill gets through, it’ll be under some bogus pretext that its aim is to save the world from terrorists.

According to the Home Office, the draft bill would only maintain existing powers over postal data and only information about mail, not its contents, would be retained. It means that the Post Office would have to scan every envelope and store it for a year.

According to the Communications Bill, the Royal Mail, along with other postal services, would be asked to retain whatever written on the outside of the items sent for 12 months and provide them to the police, security services and HM Revenue and Customs upon request. The only question is how this could help in the spying market. It suggests that each letter should have data on the outside about who and where it comes from.

This could work if each letter or parcel was signed “Blofeld, C/- Volcanic Island lair, Scotland”. However, criminal capers don’t usually involve such wholesale giveaways, and a pedophile won’t mark his post with a sticker “contains snaps of kids being raped” on the envelope either. Nor the parcels containing anthrax would warn about their contents or wear the code of the terrorist who sent them.

The civil liberties groups called this bill a “snooper’s charter”, while it is strangely a bankruptcy charter as well. The suggested legislation also includes provision helping postal services and other communications providers install new equipment to comply with the legislation. This “help” is estimated at £1.8 billion over the next decade.

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