Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

A Raglan to Sydney cable

December 19th, 2014 at 6:54 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Spark, Vodafone and Telstra today confirmed a less ambitious plan to lay a separate subsea communications cable between Raglan and Sydney at a cost of US$70 million, which the companies said would make New Zealand’s international connections more varied and secure.

The three companies said they would start construction of the 2300 kilometre Tasman Global Access cable early next year and expected to complete it by the middle of 2016.

French multinational Alcatel-Lucent has been awarded the contract to lay the cable, which will comprise two pairs of optical-fibre with a total capacity of 20 terabits per second.

That’s a lot. By comparison Southern Cross has capacity of around 12 Tb/s (of which around 3.6 are lit).

20 Tb/s would allow one million users to be pulling 20 Mb/s each.

Good to see some increased competition in the cable area.

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Top Google terms from NZ in 2014

December 18th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports the top Google search terms from NZers in 2014:

Overall top New Zealand Google searches:

1. Fifa World Cup

2. Robin Williams

3. Commonwealth Games

4. Malaysia Airlines

5. iPhone 6

6. Jennifer Lawrence

7. Charlotte Dawson

8. Flappy Bird

9. Spark

10. Ebola

Top “how to” searches:

1. Draw

2. Meditate

3. Crochet

4. Screenshot

5. Kiss

6. Pronounce

7. Sing

8. Twerk

9. Knit

10. Dream

Top “what is” searches:

1. Ebola

2. Love

3. Gluten

4. ALS

5. Sustainability

6. Illuminati

7. Science

8. Paleo

9. Tahini

10. Bipolar

Top news item searches:

1. Malaysian Airlines crash

2. Cyclone Lusi

3. Scottish Independence

4. Alex from Target

5. Ukraine news

6. Robin Williams’ death

7. Ebola outbreak

8. Wellington earthquake

9. Cyclone Ita

10. Lunar eclipse

Top Kiwis searched:

1. Lorde

2. Aaron Smith

3. Rachel Smalley

4. Lisa Lewis

5. Mark Hunt

6. Joseph Parker

7. Benji Marshall

8. Chris Cairns

9. Mona Dotcom

10. Stephen Donald

Top sports searched:

1. Fifa World Cup

2. All Blacks

3. BBC Football

4. Commonwealth Games

5. WWE

6. Arsenal

7. EPL

8. ESPN

9. Soccernet

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Nevada v Uber

December 16th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

An amusing article on Medium about how the the state of Nevada is trying to cope with bad taxi drivers, rather than allow Uber in which allows people to rate their drivers, so future passengers can be guided by them.

Nevada has gone for:

  • Have armed cops randomly pull over taxis
  • Spend two years trying to get agreement on an information board at the airport
  • A spreadsheet on their website
  • A complaint form for people over charged $10 that you have to post in
  • A $6 million hardware and software package to allow the state to monitor taxi routes

Amazing.

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Anti-Uber hysteria

December 11th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

There’s no doubt that Uber, a car-sharing service launched in San Francisco in 2009, is a booming business. With billions in estimated revenues, it’s now set up in more than 200 cities in 51 countries.

It’s equally sure, however, that the company has had its share of domestic controversies, from accusations of sabotage against competitors to suggestions that they would threaten journalists. Internationally, when dealing with different laws and cultures, the potential for new controversies is likely even higher.

It’s worth pointing out, of course, that Uber has often been welcomed in countries, and sometimes is viewed as a positive force (in Saudi Arabia some see it as helping women, barred from driving, become more independent).

The company has also shown a remarkable willingness to engage in lengthy legal and publicity battles to win over courts and the public.

But can any one company win so many battles? Below, we’ve listed some of the controversies the American company has found itself in around the world.

 

The taxi industry is facing what the music industry faced 20 years ago – a threat to their traditional business model from the Internet. They will try to do what they can to stop progress, but they will ultimately fail.

Uber cuts out the traditional middle man – the taxi company. It allows passengers and drivers to connect directly. This is great for consumers and also an opportunity for good drivers to build reputations and clients outside a company.

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Progress on online voting trial

December 10th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Louise Upston has announced:

The Government has agreed to continue work to enable a small number of local authorities to trial online voting, Associate Minister of Local Government Louise Upston said today.

“The agreement to continue work is in response to requests from local government to trial online voting at the October 2016 local authority elections. The councils that may participate in a trial are still to be determined.”

Ms Upston said it is important to ensure the trial process is secure and fair so public confidence in the integrity of local elections can be maintained.

“It will be up to local councils to ensure the necessary groundwork is in place before any trial can go ahead. Any participating local authority will need to ensure governance and funding arrangements are in place, and ensure their communities are consulted with.”

Ms Upston said central government will maintain some oversight and will work with local government to establish the security requirements for an online voting technology solution. 

“I’ve asked the Department of Internal Affairs to continue to work closely with the local government sector to develop the necessary policy and technical requirements so that online voting could be trialled safely and securely.

Good to see progress on this issue. It would be good to have some local authorities trialling online voting in 2016, so people have the choice of returning their ballot paper by post or via the Internet.

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ComCom on Chorus prices

December 3rd, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Spark New Zealand has warned that prices could rise following the announcement by the Commerce Commission of a proposed new wholesale rates that Chorus charges retail service providers, including Spark.

“Today’s announcement is unexpected and we are now facing costs approximately $60 million a year higher than we previously anticipated. These higher costs will affect all our fixed services, not just broadband services,” said managing director Simon Moutter.

I see no need for price increases. The price announced by the Commerce Commission is around $4 a month more than its earlier determination, but it is around $6 a month less than what had been the status quo.

Moutter said intense market competition meant the anticipated reduction in wholesale broadband charges (signalled by the Commerce Commission as far back as December 2012), had already flowed through into retail broadband prices.

“For instance, what you get in our basic $75 broadband plus home phone plan today would have cost you $105 three years ago. In that time, our wholesale costs have barely moved until the new charges came into effect yesterday.”

Comparing any plan today to what it would have cost a few years ago is not very insightful. 20 years ago a broadband plan with 100 GB data would probably cost $5,000 a month. Data is always dropping in price.

As a consumer I would have liked the Commerce Commission to set the price lower, but their job is to work out what is the proper price for a monopoly utility service based on the cost of providing it. They’ve done that job now, and we should respect their independence.

However it would be useful if they had made a decision on whether the price level is backdated. ISPs do need certainty.

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Thank God it is over

November 27th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The ODT reports:

An ear-splitting shriek of joy and relief rent the air at Dunedin’s Gigatown office last night as the city was named the winner of the Gigatown competition.

The win came after a massive online push from residents and supporters that lifted the city above its five competitors to the top of the competition.

Seconds after the annoucement, Mayor Dave Cull was at the podium in Wellington accepting the prize he said would have a real effect on Dunedin residents.

”This will affect their lives, it will affect their children’s job prospects, it will affect their educational possibilities, it will affect their medical services, it will affect their retail, it will affect every aspect of our lives.

”This will enhance the possibilities for our whole community.”

 

Thank God I never have to see another #giga tweet in my life.

Congrats to Dunedin for winning though. Having all residents with access to a gigabit connection will be cool.

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Wi-Fi must be banned!

November 21st, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The ODT reports:

Balclutha parent has resigned from her school’s board of trustees because she believes it is not taking her concerns about Wi-Fi in classrooms seriously. …

Many New Zealand schools operate Wi-Fi in classrooms, but former board member Julia Hunter said she had serious concerns the Government was not paying attention to the growing evidence of biological damage being caused by Wi-Fi, and instead continued to reassure boards everything was safe.

”Sadly, our New Zealand standard is 15 years old and was set on the thermal heating of a 90kg man after only six minutes of exposure.

”Our children . . . are being exposed to this equipment for six hours a day, five days a week.”

Sounds terrible! Except …

Ministry of Education student achievement head Graham Stoop said measurements in New Zealand and overseas showed exposures to radio frequency fields from Wi-Fi equipment were extremely low, amounting to tiny fractions of the limit allowed for the public in New Zealand.

A recent study of two New Zealand schools found the highest exposures were 4000 times below the limit, with typical exposures more than 10,000 times below the limit, he said.

If it was half the limit then maybe you’d get worried.

She also found:

Mrs Hunter said there had been no long-term scientific studies conducted on the harm the equipment was doing to children, and in 2011 the World Health Organisation re-classified Wi-Fi electromagnetic as 2B, a possible carcinogen.

They love that word carcinogen.

”Exposures from Wi-Fi are significantly lower than cellphones. The class 2B classification is also shared with everyday items such as coffee, pickled vegetables, talcum powder and sunblock.”

We must ban coffee and talcum powder in schools also!

 

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Netflix coming to NZ

November 20th, 2014 at 6:39 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Lightbox, the internet-based television service launched by Spark this year, has welcomed the competition from United States online streaming giant Netflix, which aims to start up in New Zealand in March.

Lightbox says it is “confident” it has enough to offer that Netflix will not have.

Netflix, an online TV and movie website with 53 million customers worldwide, will directly compete with both Sky TV and Lightbox.

It will be good to have Netflix here officially. It gets a bit tiring pretending to be American so they will take your money!

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Suppressed name

November 18th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A complaint has been lodged with police against a former politician who tweeted the name of a prominent Otago man who has permanent name suppression.

The man’s lawyer, Jonathan Eaton, QC, confirmed to the Otago Daily Times a “formal complaint was lodged with the NZ police last evening”.

That complaint related to a tweet by a former politician who named the man on Twitter.

The Herald have not named the former politician. It is not hard to guess though. I’m interested in where liability may lie if you do name the former politician who tweeted. Think through these scenarios.

  1. If I retweeted the tweet naming the prominent Otago man, then that would very likely mean I breached the supression order also
  2. If I did not retweet it, but provided a link on my blog to the tweet, would that make me liable? Probably.
  3. What if I do not link to the specific tweet, but did link to the twitter account. Would I be liable? Less clear cut.
  4. And what if I named the former politician who tweeted, but did not link to his twitter account. Is simply naming him something that could make me liable? I would hope not, but like the Herald won’t risk it.

The former politician still has the tweets up, and has repeated the name in a subsequent tweet, so I don’t think he cares if he gets prosecuted. Hard to imagine he won’t be, as the breach is deliberate and sustained. I have sympathy for what he did as I think name suppression should not have been granted, but think it is unwise for anyone to deliberately breach a legal order.

Any commenter who names (or hints at identity) of the tweeter (or the supressed) will get a strike.

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What is the Chief Censor up to?

November 14th, 2014 at 2:02 pm by David Farrar

InternetNZ have said:

InternetNZ is surprised and bemused by recent comments from the Chief Censor that he is considering “prosecuting” Slingshot over its GlobalMode service that enabled Internet users to access sites that were otherwise blocked in New Zealand.

Whether Slingshot’s global mode does or does not breach copyright is a civil issue, not an issue for the Chief Censor.

Yes some people may use it to access material not classified for NZ, just as millions of NZers use You Tube to view videos not classified for NZ.

InternetNZ does not believe that an Internet Service Provider is responsible for what its customers do on the Internet and that to suggest otherwise creates a bizarre world where Internet providers are held up to a different standard to other utility suppliers.

InternetNZ CEO Jordan Carter says that CallPlus has every right to provide this service. “The courts have not decided that the service is illegal,” he says. Comments from the Censor would seem to single out ISPs for special treatment, and that isn’t good for the Internet or for Internet users.

 “I don’t recall the Censor making similar claims when NZ Post started YouShop, enabling customers to order items that were unavailable in NZ and have them delivered to a phoney address in the United States.

The Chief Censor is at risk of massively over-stepping his role. His role is not to act to protect the commercial business models of NZ distributors. It is not his role to promote regional geo-blocking.

If the Chief Censor does try to prosecute Slingshot, then I’ll happily donate to their legal fees.

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Obama backs net neutrality

November 12th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

US President Barack Obama has embraced a radical change in how the government treats Internet service, coming down on the side of consumer activists who fear slower download speeds and higher costs but angering Republicans and the nation’s cable giants who say the plan would kill jobs.

Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to more heavily regulate Internet providers and treat broadband much as it would any other public utility. He said the FCC should explicitly prohibit Internet providers like Verizon and AT&T from charging data hogs like Netflix extra to move their content more quickly. The announcement sent cable stocks tumbling.

The FCC, an independent regulatory body led by political appointees, is nearing a decision on whether broadband providers should be allowed to cut deals with the content providers but is stumbling over the legal complexities.

“We are stunned the president would abandon the longstanding, bipartisan policy of lightly regulating the Internet and calling for extreme” regulation, said Michael Powell, president and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the primary lobbying arm of the cable industry, which supplies much of the nation’s Internet access.

This “tectonic shift in national policy, should it be adopted, would create devastating results,” Powell added.

Netflix swung behind Obama, posting to its Facebook page that “consumers should pick winners and losers on the Internet, not broadband gatekeepers.”

“Net neutrality” is the idea that Internet service providers shouldn’t block, slow or manipulate data moving across its networks. As long as content isn’t against the law, such as child pornography or pirated music, a file or video posted on one site will load generally at the same speed as a similarly sized file or video on another site.

This will be interesting to see how it resolves. I back the principle that ISPs should not deliver some content to customers slower, unless the content host pays a surcharge.  But the Government should only intervene if there is a serious problem that the market doesn’t solve. The best solution is to have a competitive access market, so that if an access provider tries to charge more to speed up content, customers go elsewhere.

 

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Article on left wing blogosphere

November 3rd, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Philip Matthews has an article in Stuff on the left blogosphere., which is an interesting read. Slightly disappointed that he repeats an accusation that I get paid for blogging (if only!) and fails to mention for The Daily Blog editor was on the payroll of two political parties – neither of which he revealed until right blogs exposed it.

One extract:

“Right across the Left there are conversations,” says Asher Goldman, co-founder of the newly- launched blog On the Left. “We lost the election, what does that mean?”

Is it even possible that bloggers are part of the problem?

Goldman agrees that blogging and tweeting are no substitute for real-world political activity. It should be an extra not an end in itself.

“A successful blog for me is one that has good stuff to contribute, a community built around it that is participating in useful, productive discussion and a few visitors, hopefully,” Goldman says. …

Goldman is a Green Party member, co-founder Stephanie Rodgers is a Labour member and both believe their new blog should be broadly across the Left rather than overtly party-based. They also want it to be fun, which has not traditionally been a feature of Left-wing politics.

I wish Asher and Stephanie well. If they can make their blog fun, rather than a daily dose of hatred, then they should do very well. It is important to have strong voices from across the political spectrum online. The Internet is a wonderful medium that allows anyone to broadcast – and how influential and listened to they are, is mainly a function of how they conduct themselves.

They already have 13 authors, several of whom used to blog at The Daily Blog. I’ve added them to the blogroll on the left sidebar.

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ISP stats

October 25th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stats NZ has done its annual ISP survey. Some changes over time:

  • Dialup connections have dropped from 13% in 2011 to 3% in 2014
  • Fibre connections up from 13,000 in 2013 to 46,000 in 2014
  • Broadband download speeds of under 8 Mb/s down from 33% in 2011 to 14% in 2014
  • Broadband download speeds of over 24Mb/s up from 2% in 2011 to 16% in 2014
  • Broadband upload speeds of under 1.5 Mb/s down from 80% in 2011 to 38% in 2014
  • Broadband upload speeds of over 10Mb/s up from 0% in 2011 to 16% in 2014
  • Plans with no data caps up 2% to 8%
  • Plans with a data cap of over 50 GB up from 2% to 39%
  • Monthly PBs (million GBs) used up from 13.4 in 2011 to 53.1 in 2014
  • ISPs that are IPv6 capable up from 30% in 2011 to 52% in 2014

Really good to see the growth in plans with no data caps, and also the quite significant speed increases.

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Uber in NZ

October 16th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Controversial smartphone app Uber has struggling taxi drivers moonlighting for them, according to the New Zealand Taxi Federation.

Uber has its official launch in Wellington this afternoon even though it has been used in Wellington for the past couple of months. It was launched in Auckland earlier this year.

Uber allows registered drivers with their own cars to link up with customers through a smartphone app, with fares pre-agreed.

Federation executive director Roger Heale said they “were kind of enjoying” Uber being in New Zealand.

“The people who are driving for them are the taxi drivers who can’t get work anywhere else. They’re current taxi drivers who, if they get a job have to jump out, take the top sign off [the cab], and go around and do the job as an Uber driver.” …

Uber spokeswoman Katie Curran said they were “thrilled with the reception” they had received in Auckland and Wellington from riders and partner-drivers.

“We’re glad the Taxi Federation recognises that Uber is raising the standards of the for-hire transport industry.”

Good to see the NZ taxi industry not being hysterically opposed to new technology and business models, as some of their overseas counterparts have been.

 

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Google suggests

October 6th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

A bit bored so typed some MPs names into Google to see what it suggested as common search terms. They include:

  • john key net worth
  • john key hotdog
  • david cunliffe polls
  • david cunliffe cat
  • russel norman katya paquin
  • metiria turei castle
  • metiria turei jacket
  • peter dunne animal testing
  • peter dunne hair
  • grant robertson real estate
  • david shearer fish
  • jacinda ardern twitter
  • jacinda ardern dj
  • nikki kaye husband
  • simon bridges emotional claptrap
  • judith collins brad pitt
  • judith collins assistant
  • chris hipkins partner
  • bill english siblings
  • julie anne genter partner

 

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You can now register .nz names directly

October 3rd, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

As of 1 pm Tuesday, you can register a domain name directly under .nz

You can check the status of any desired name at anyname.nz

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Otago Uni has every right to restrict the Internet on campus

October 2nd, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reported:

The University of Otago’s ban on pornography in residential colleges is being slammed as an attack on student freedom.

Genetics student and former Toroa College resident Anton Hovius, 19, yesterday attacked what he called “draconian” alcohol and internet usage policies at Dunedin’s residential colleges.

Internet access at the colleges — most are university owned — runs through the university’s network.Certain websites, including file sharing and pornography sites, are blocked.

University student accommodation director James Lindsay rejected Mr Hovius’ concerns, saying the primary aim of colleges was to provide an environment where students could focus on their studies.

Mr Hovius, who recently unsuccessfully stood for OUSA’s colleges officer position, said he was not the only one who felt this was an unfair restriction on student freedom.

“I know a couple of friends who have been given warning notices from [Information Technology Services] down at the university, informing of their inappropriate use of university resources.”

As adults, students in halls should not be limited from using the internet as they saw fit, which included accessing pornography and file sharing sites.

“It doesn’t make sense when you are paying $340 bucks a week [which covers full board and food], to have the university interfering with what you are doing in your private time.”

 

The Government should not restrict what sites you can access, but Otago University has every right to say they will not provide access to porn and file sharing sites. They are not greatly different to an employer providing Internet. They do have a duty to not block sites which students need for research, and hopefully their blocking is done in a way which has minimal false positives.

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Cellphone use now ruled safe on flights

October 1st, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Making phonecalls and sending text messages on planes could soon be commonplace after international aviation authorities deemed cellphone “flight mode” unnecessary.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) issued guidelines over the weekend permitting European airlines to allow passengers to use electronic transmitting devices, such as cellphones and tablets, at all times – including take-off and landing.

A similar change on New Zealand flights would need to be given the green light by the Civil Aviation Authority.

It’s been obvious for years there is no measurable risk.

Personally I would not allow phone calls on flights as they are disruptive to other passengers (unless maybe airlines offer a section you can book where calls are okay). But if passengers can get a signal, they should be able to text and access the Internet.

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Labour MP vs former candidate

September 29th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Matthew Beveridge blogs an an extraordinary series of tweets between Labour MP Clare Curran and former Labour candidate Tat Loo. Basically Curran claims Loo has no standing in Labour and that his branch is not constitutionally recognised. That may or may not be the case, but having ths dispute in public on Twitter dismayed many Labour supporters.

 

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Cato praises NZ patent law

September 25th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Eli Dourado at Cato writes:

Libertarians intuitively understand the case for patents: just as other property rights internalize the social benefits of improvements to land, automobile maintenance, or business investment, patents incentivize the creation of new inventions, which might otherwise be undersupplied.

So far, so good. But it is important to recognize that the laws that govern property, intellectual or otherwise, do not arise out of thin air. Rather, our political institutions, with all their virtues and foibles, determine the contours of property—the exact bundle of rights that property holders possess, their extent, and their limitations.

Intellectual property rights are very important, but they are a balance between rewarding innovation and allowing further innovation.

In defining the limits of patent rights, our political institutions have gotten an analogous question badly wrong. A single, politically captured circuit court with exclusive jurisdiction over patent appeals has consistently expanded the scope of patentable subject matter. This expansion has resulted in an explosion of both patents and patent litigation, with destructive consequences. …

In patent politics, the romance has been gone for at least three decades. Here’s why. In most areas of law, the loser in a federal trial appeals to the circuit court corresponding to the federal judicial district in which the trial was held. But in 1982, at the urging of the patent bar, Congress consolidated appellate review of all patent cases in a newly created Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

And get this – the Federal Circuit Court basically is a law to itself, and ignores the Supreme Court.

Observers on all sides widely recognize that the Federal Circuit routinely undermines Supreme Court precedent. …

Supreme Court justices also recognize the Federal Circuit’s insubordination. In oral arguments inCarlsbad Technology v. HIF Bio (2009), Chief Justice John Roberts joked openly about it:

Mr. Rhodes: I can’t suggest what the Court might finally decide other than to say that—that, again, the circuit courts of appeal have uniformly applied this. They seem to be—

Chief Justice Roberts: Well, they don’t have a choice, right? They can’t say, I don’t like the Supreme Court rule so I’m not going to apply it, other than the Federal Circuit.

So what can be done?

Another helpful reform would be for Congress to limit the scope of patentable subject matter via statute. New Zealand has done just that, declaring that software is “not an invention” to get around WTO obligations to respect intellectual property. Congress should do the same with respect to both software and business methods.

Nice to see our law held up as a model.

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Project Speargun was the ditched cyber security project

September 25th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

story from last week worth highlighting:

The Government Communications Security Bureau has tightened its defence over claims of mass surveillance by confirming the term “Project Speargun” was used to describe an abandoned element of a proposed cyber defence system.

American journalist Glenn Greenwald had accused the New Zealand Government of conflating Project Speargun, which he believed was evidence of mass surveillance, with Project Cortex, a project to defend New Zealand institutions from cyber attack.

A GCSB spokesman told Fairfax that Speargun was a code that referred to “a core component of the cyber defence project in its earlier iterations” and which comprised part of an option set out in a Cabinet paper released by Prime Minister John Key on Monday.

“The prime minister decided the Speargun component specifically would not be taken forward,” he said.

Confirmation that Speargun was a term used by the bureau to describe an abandoned element of its cyber defence system is important for two reasons.

On the one hand, it confirms the authenticity of slides presented by Greenwald at the Internet Party’s “moment of truth” event on Monday, which were the first public reference to Project Speargun.

But it provides a relatively innocuous explanation for the seemingly explosive statements those slides contained.

The most intriguing statement in the slides read: “GCSB’s cable access programme SPEARGUN phase 1; awaiting new GCSB Act expected July 2013; first meta data probe mid 2013.”

The terms “cable access” and “probe” suggest mass surveillance, but the slides could be describing the progress of a cyber defence system.

Detecting malware would necessitate inspecting the metadata of incoming packets of internet traffic. In other words, Greenwald’s smoking gun could be a cigarette lighter that looked quite like a gun.

So the moment of truth was a forged e-mail and a cyber-security initiative that was never implemented.

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Smart work by Spark

September 23rd, 2014 at 10:32 pm by David Farrar

Cameron Slater blogged on Saturday about problems with cellphone coverage and how he was considering swapping telcos to get better coverage.

Cameron blogs how soon after that he got a call from the CE of Spark Home, Mobile and Business (Chris Quin) asking if they can help find a solution. And Quin phoned him from Singapore!

The following day, a solution had been installed.

Obviously Cameron got preferential service, as he has the most read blog in NZ. But that makes the response even smarter. A phone call from the CE has led to great publicity for Spark, and shows their senior management to actually be in touch.

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Berners-Lee on net neutrality

September 23rd, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A quarter-century ago, Timothy Berners-Lee designed the world’s first Web browser and server, kicking off a thing that people started calling the World Wide Web.

In a visit to The Washington Post, on Thursday, Berners-Lee said that system is now in danger from Internet service providers (ISPs) who stand to amass too much power over what was intentionally built as a decentralised network – one where no single actor could dictate outcomes to everyone else.

Berners-Lee pushed back against opponents of net neutrality regulation who argue that applying new rules on ISPs is tantamount to regulating the Internet.

There’s a difference between regulating providers of broadband and the services that run on top of it, said Berners-Lee. Strong net neutrality rules would help preserve that line dividing the two and limit the incentive of ISPs to meddle in the market for services.

I agree with Sir Tim..

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Southern Cross Cable on the Dotcom allegations

September 15th, 2014 at 5:11 pm by David Farrar

A press release from Southern Cross Cable:

Claims of cable access total nonsense

The claims made today by journalist Glenn Greenwald that the Southern Cross undersea cables have been tapped into or accessed are total nonsense said the CEO Anthony Briscoe today.

The cables, which link New Zealand to Australia, the Pacific and the United States, are untouched, Mr Briscoe noted.

“I can tell you quite categorically there is no facility by the NSA, the GCSB or anyone else on the Southern Cross cable network.”

“Let’s be quite blunt. To do this, we would have to take the cable out of service and I can assure you there’s no way we are going to do that.

“It is a physical impossibility to do it without us knowing. There is just no way it can be done. I can give you absolute assurances from Southern Cross – and me as a Kiwi – that there are no sites anywhere on the Southern Cross network that have to do with interception or anything else the NSA or GCSB might want to do.”

He added, any breach of the cable would require temporarily shutting down its transmission for hours. Southern Cross has monitoring systems built into its computers watching for any such break and they would be triggered as soon as any attempt was made.

“There isn’t a technology in the world, as far as I am aware, that can splice into an undersea fibre optic cable without causing a serious outage and sending alarms back to our network operation centre, that something’s wrong.”

Southern Cross is obligated to comply with the well-established and public lawful surveillance requirements in the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act and related laws in the United States. However there is no equipment installed in the New Zealand or United States landing stations, or on the cable itself, which could result in mass interception of communications.

We are very disturbed that such unfounded allegations have been made and feel that it’s important for all New Zealanders to understand that this outrageous claim is totally untrue.

The so called moment of truth is turning into a moment of farce.

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