Comcast, TOR, and DeepDotWeb – The Truth

Now that the post-Dragon Con buzz has gone, and it’s time to start looking critically at the net, there was a piece that caught my eye when someone posted it.

It was a link to a slashdot article, which says that Comcast is cracking down on TOR because it’s illegal. As I started to write this, Slashdot has updated it with an additional link, saying ‘Comcast denies it’. Yet the story is one with possible legs, so let’s take a quick look at it, eh?


The main source is a site called ‘DeepDotWeb’, a place I’ve never heard of. So I took a quick look at their ‘about‘ page. Not encouraging. The site claims to be mainly organised by non-native English speakers, and focuses on the darkweb and bitcoin. They cite significant knowledge of Silk Road (the first one) and founded the site as a ‘protest’, rather than a serious news source, saying “Our site was established as  a small “revenge” at our local authorities for busting our friend for buying drugs off SR1” – you can just feel the accuracy oozing from them, can’t you.

Let’s take a look at their article. Continue reading…


Politics&P2P Turns 5

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 5 years since I finally decided, ‘yes, I should really start writing things down‘. So 5 years, and 269 posts later, here we are. To commemorate this, I decided that it’s finally been long enough and I should fix some of the issues with the site. Most of the fixes have been in the back-end, but most of you will have noticed one thing – the black-themed layout is no more.

Yes, for all my talk of disabled access, and so on, I’ve had a site that has been rather unreadable for a lot of you, for a fairly long time. Well, no more. Of course, it’s by no means finished either, but with the backend changes, it does mean that I can now fix most of the problems, and make the layout much easier to read. Continue reading…


Dragon Con Panels 2014

dragon con blackline finalYes, it’s that time again. Time to post the annual list of panels I’m doing this year at Dragon Con. Now things are a little different as well this year, as I’m no longer just ‘Junior Minion’ on the track, I’m now the Electronic Frontier Forums track Assistant Director. Basically means I have to sit in more meetings, and are more likely to have a finger pointed at me if things go wrong. Continue reading…


Just How Secure is GnuPG?

200px-Gnupg_logo.svgLast night, I was exchanging a few comments with the ACLU’s Chris Soghoian (who was a very nice chap at last year’s Dragon Con EFForums event, and a pleasure to work with) on Twitter over https, and I asked if there were any easy guides for easy setup of SSL certs, not so much “for dummies” (as the the book series goes) but for a group that is smart, but not the most ‘technologically literate”. It’s something I’m calling the guide “for lawyers”. Continue reading…


If Private Trackers Aren’t Then What Are They?

It’s a fact of life it seems. Find any news article about bittorrent sites being closed down, blocked, someone getting in trouble for using one or just notices, or a new client comes out; at some point in the comments you’ll get at least one comment of this kind.

Simon privacy commentprivate trackers 1

It’s all crap.

Seriously, it’s crap. Continue reading…


I Caused the Net Neutrality Fight So Blame Me

12217_large_neutral-bitsIf you’ve been under a rock for the past few months, you’d not know about the FCC’s request for comments on the topic of Net Neutrality. Thanks to the sterling work of John Oliver and others in raising awareness, over one million comments were submitted.


However, I am in the middle of some significant personal issues, so I couldn’t give this matter, or more specifically the response, the level of attention it deserved. In fact, it was unlikely I was going to even have a half-finished response to send. However, the demand overloaded the FCC’s comment system again on Tuesday, and things were extended to Friday. Continue reading…