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Old 12th September 2010
shep shep is offline
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Default Good Reason to use Open Source

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/wo...nted=4&_r=1&hp
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Old 17th September 2010
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I'm sorry, but you're wrong lol. It doesn't matter if you use something like Windows (legally or pirated) or an open source system. All the authorities need is an excuse to come in and take it. A piracy raid is good enough an excuse in that kind of situation, even if they ran an open source system.


If they have the authority to waltz in and cart out the computers, it doesn't matter what's on it, they can still rip them out to "Verify" that they are running legal MS Windows systems, even outlaw open source if desired. To make matters worse the Russian Federation (ditto, respectively for the PRC) could always insert sufficient means of control into prominent Russian language Linux distributions without it being known. Either the easy way (do it or be thrown into the modern version of the gulag) or the hard way (secretly). If they took steps even further than The Great Fire Wall, they could do much more dastardly things.

Best way around it, don't base any such operations in Russia... and instead worry about how to stay in secure touch across the border. Dang, I sound like I'm talking about cold war era espionage! I also don't want to think about the odds of the NSA reading my mail :-o.
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Old 18th September 2010
shep shep is offline
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I am not familiar with how oppressive the Russian Software Police (or what the ex-KGB types call themselves these days) can be. I do not live there.

The point is that it would be legal unless they outlaw the internet and OpenBSD. Can they make a group download the Russian approved version of OpenBSD used a a web server. There are Russian contributors to the OpenBSD project and 2 FTP mirrors.
Quote:
Russia (Chernogolovka-Moscow) http://ftp.chg.ru/pub/OpenBSD/
Russia (Moscow) http://ftp.gamma.ru/OpenBSD/
To look at it another way, why is MS so pervasive that a Russian Environmental Group feels compelled to use that OS? I would wager that OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Centos, Slackware, Debian would do everything they needed. Is there some reason these groups do not go out and recruit someone who is facile with Open Source?

Last edited by shep; 18th September 2010 at 02:09 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 18th September 2010
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If the Russian government decided to go far enough, yes shep they could make it impossible to download vanilla OpenBSD (etc).


Why? Well if we exclude long distance wireless fun and arms races to hook on to service outside the border, if the government can control the equipment that makes wired Internet access *work* within Russia's borders: they have the power to control it. If you have that much control over Internet access, then it is technically possible (even if it has never been done to my knowledge) to filter the traffic as much as you are willing to throw effort into doing it. Just because it isn't child's play doesn't mean it is impossible.

For sake of exploration, let's postulate that Russia does or can institutionalise the ISPs within their borders and all the stuff those ISPs rely on to provide clients with Internet service. Up until the point that it leaves the Russian border. In short that means the Russian Federation could put any ISP in or out of business as they choose by managing the resources required for running an ISP in Russia.


Here's a little off the top of my sick head for a starting point:
  • Block all known mirrors for black listed software
    • Write software to auto-block all mirrors the distribution publishes on the web.
    • Write software to apply heuristics to block any site and or traffic that looks like one of the above
    • If packet stream is consistent with a given pattern, block it dynamically (e.g. if it looks like part of the linux kernel, screw the users download)
  • Require state approved software for computers to connect to the Internet
    • Change the implementation regularly so by the time it's reverse engineered, it's already far to outdated to connect.
    • Track down and arrest any 'net activity that looks "Suspicious", forcing reverse engineering efforts out of the country (then block Internet access to it as per above)
    • Take over wireless technology to make side stepping this with ad-hoc networks harder.
    • Outlaw directly or indirectly (e.g. the equipment needed) to connect to the Internet via other means then the federally approved methods, to make it high risk to get more 'creative' about side stepping it.
    • Require everything to be registered and contain a GPS tracking device. Big brother is always clubbing you!
  • Force software vendors to comply
    • MS complies or they are forced out of the Russian market.
    • Ditto for Apple
    • If they bug out, roll own State Approved versions of software
    • Push it down other peoples throats in the same way: search engines, email, etc
    • Make huge profits off that.
    • Instant nationalist propaganda off the above


That would make the best way to get basic stuff done, "Safely" require loading free software OSes off physical medium purchased over the black market, or other wise smuggled into the country. Even then the authorities can just waltz in and take your computers because some dick across the street says they saw you using something that is not paid for Microsoft tech.



Government has the power to do anything they damn well please. It's like taking the proverbial candy from a baby. Even in America, all we have in our favour is some bundles of paper saying what candy we are allowed to keep. The only way that can be enforced is with the force of the people being governed. Perhaps I just put to much stock in my nations declaration of independence and to little in the concept of government lol
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Last edited by TerryP; 18th September 2010 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 18th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP
Government has the power to do anything they damn well please.
In a sense, that's what it comes down to. Of course, usually there will be some limits on what a Gov't can do. But in the case at hand, it seems they do have the power to seize equipment based on the suspicion of piracy. Whether that suspicion is reasonable or trumped up as an excuse may not matter. Once the fed goons show up at the door, I don't think telling them you run open source will stop them. After all, you could be lying, right? They have to check the equipment to make sure. And once they have the computers, the gig is up, they can read your data (the real purpose of the seizure). They might even be able to force you to unlock encrypted data.

About the only benefit of using open source in this situation I can think of off hand is, that if the Gov't actually has any shred of integrity (a big assumption in some cases!), then if you aren't a pirate they won't punish you for piracy. Of course, once they've seen your data, maybe they have other laws to punish under.
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Old 18th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdOp View Post
they can read your data (the real purpose of the seizure). They might even be able to force you to unlock encrypted data.
You can always feign sudden amnesia. "Sorry, agent O'Brien, but I often forget things like passwords and keys. Feel free to make a copy of my ultra top secret files (Tetris saved games, Illuminati multiverse conquest meetings transcripts, etc.) though and try to brute force the encryption by the dawn of the 4th millenium."
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Old 18th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beastie View Post
You can always feign sudden amnesia.
True, one could try ... but the consequences might not be maximally pleasant. Thoughts of being poked by soft pillows while being held on a comfy chair come to mind (the pythonesque Spanish inquisition).
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Old 19th September 2010
shep shep is offline
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Quote:
About the only benefit of using open source in this situation I can think of off hand is, that if the Gov't actually has any shred of integrity (a big assumption in some cases!),
In a suprise followup -some integrity (?public pressure?) from a Company that does not have the best reputation for integrity

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/wo...d.html?_r=1&hp
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