Error 451: New Bradbury-inspired HTTP code to show legal censorship
Published time: 22 Dec, 2015 21:32Edited time: 22 Dec, 2015 21:55
A newly approved 451 error code will be used on pages which have been censored by the government for legal reasons. The code number was inspired by the famous dystopian Ray Bradbury novel ‘Fahrenheit 451.’
The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) approved on Monday a new Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) status – code 451 that will be seen by internet users when the page is blocked by government due to ‘legal obstacles.’
“This status code indicates that the server is denying access to the resource as a consequence of a legal demand,” the body, responsible for internet operating standards, said in a statement.
IESG said that it advises the authorities to include the information on who and why blocked a certain website.
However, “it is possible that certain legal authorities might wish to avoid transparency, and not only demand the restriction of access to certain resources, but also avoid disclosing that the demand was made.”
Though it said that in many cases the sites could still be accessed using a VPN or the Tor network.
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In the Administrations own words cyber attacks against the United States would be interpreted as a declaration of war.
Are we then to understand that cyber attacks perpetrated by the United States against other countries (Mostly allies) are a declaration of war as well?
Are we also to understand that the United States government (including those in Congress who legitimize the Prism program) have now openly declared war upon the American people with this attack on the Tor Network being used to escape their snooping and ever increasing invasion of privacy?
Are we not to use the same measure that they have reserved for themselves in the name of National Security?
How long and how far will this be allowed to continue without being called into question?
It was reported earlier this week that the FBI won a great victory by stopping the largest child porn distributor on the Internet. The FBI’s victory lap was cut short when some of the details of how they did it were more closely examined.
What the FBI actually did was seize a hosting service on the hidden TOR Network. The owner of the hosting service Freedom Hosting was not directly involved in the production or distribution of child porn, he just provided anonymous hosting used by pedophile pornographers.
The bigger question became how the FBI penetrated the supposedly anonymous TOR Network. That’s where the story gets interesting.
TOR, short for The Onion Router, was originally developed by the Navy Research Laboratory to provide an anonymous secondary internetwork for the government to use. Supposedly the project was abandoned by the Navy only to be picked up by open-source volunteers who now run the Tor Project.
Despite its beginnings as a government project, most believe TOR to be the best current option for online anonymity. But does this recent compromise of TOR reveal that it’s also part of the surveillance grid? The long answer is complicated, but the short answer is no.
First, the NSA has been identified as the source of the malware bomb used to take down Freedom Hosting – not the FBI who claimed victory in the investigation and apprehension.
Malware planted on the servers of Freedom Hosting—the “hidden service” hosting provider on the Tor anonymized network brought down late last week—may have de-anonymized visitors to the sites running on that service. This issue could send identifying information about site visitors to an Internet Protocol address that was hard-coded into the script the malware injected into browsers. And it appears the IP address in question belongs to the National Security Agency (NSA).
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