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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.



An internet group about The Internet.

The internet is both a telecommunication medium and a culture. We have embraced it because of its immediacy, its pervasiveness and its usefulness.

Even though for most of us its workings is equivalent to magic and it's enough to know that it's very 'complicated and technical,' it has become an intricate part of our life.

Let's talk about this.

Location: #science
Members: 16
Latest Activity: May 1

The Internet

This is a partial portrait of the Internet. Imagine that at the tip of each branch there is one or multiple human brains operating and that each one of these terminals can be instantly connected to any other, anywhere.

If we could map this image to the surface of the Earth it would make it even more obvious that this network of networks is like a new organ that has been grafted onto the biosphere.

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on Each line is drawn between two nodes, representing two IP addresses. The length of the lines are indicative of the delay between those two nodes. This graph represents less than 30% of the Class C networks reachable by the data collection program in early 2005. Lines are color-coded according to their corresponding RFC 1918 allocation as follows:

Dark blue: net, ca, us
Green: com, org
Red: mil, gov, edu
Yellow: jp, cn, tw, au, de
Magenta: uk, it, pl, fr
Gold: br, kr, nl
White: unknown

Click here for a high-resolution 8MB image.

Discussion Forum

The NSA may have won a round but are losing the war!

Started by Davy. Last reply by Chris Oct 13, 2013. 1 Reply

THE CORE INTERNET INSTITUTIONS ABANDON THE US GOVERNMENTIn Montevideo, Uruguay this week, the Directors of all the major Internet organizations – ICANN, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the…Continue

Tags: China, internet, governance, Brazil, Russia

So you think the cloud is Safe?

Started by Davy. Last reply by Chris Sep 26, 2013. 12 Replies

In the digital age, your files and memories are not truly yours any more. They belong to the cloudKYLE GOODWIN wants his stuff back. One day, he decided to set up a company in Ohio to …Continue

Tags: data, storage, computing, Cloud


Started by Doone has Fremdschämen. Last reply by Neal Sep 5, 2013. 2 Replies

ARE WE SMARTER YET? HOW COLLEGES ARE MISUSING THE INTERNETby Akim ReinhardtWe should all probably be a lot smarter…Continue


Wearable computers challenge human rights

Started by Davy Jul 24, 2013. 0 Replies

The thoughtless adoption of new technologies seduces us into providing more of our personal selves without any concerns for the protection of our personal data, argues Katina Michael an associate…Continue

Tags: sensors, information, technology, computers, rights

Your Daily Dot

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Comment by Chris on September 17, 2017 at 10:30am

part two about DuckDuck Go

Google Chrome -> Safari (free), Firefox (free), Brave (free)
Safari was the first major browser to include DuckDuckGo as a built-in private search option. A more cross-device compatible browser is Mozilla's Firefox, an open source browser with a built-in tracker blocker in private mode Brave goes one step further with tracker blocking switched on by default. There are also many more browsers that come with DuckDuckGo as a built-in option.

Blogger -> Ghost (paid), WordPress (free with paid options)
Ghost is both a hosted (paid) and self-installable blogging platform, tracker-free by default and run by a non-profit foundation. We like it so much we use it for our own blog! A free alternative is WordPress, powering an estimated 25% of the world's websites. It's also available both for self-installation and as a hosted service with no third-party trackers by default. The community is huge with extensive multilingual documentation and many themes to choose from.

Google Hangouts -> Zoom (free with paid options), (free with paid option)
Zoom is a robust video chat alternative we use internally that works well even for large numbers of participants, though requires software to be installed. A web-only alternative is which doesn't require an account — just go to the website to open a chat room and you're ready.

Google Allo -> Signal (free)
There are several services offering private messaging but, as we've mentioned before, Signal gets our recommendation. It offers free, end-to-end encryption for both messages and private calls. It's also recommended by Edward Snowden and renowned security expert Bruce Schneier, among others.

As you can see, moving away from Google needn't be hard. In fact, you might find you prefer the alternatives while also getting better privacy!

Proudly Private,

Comment by Chris on May 28, 2017 at 4:10am

privacy University of Washington

Do toys that ‘listen’ steal children’s privacy?

Posted by Michelle Ma-Washington May 19th, 2017

Parents report privacy concerns about “smart” toys, like Hello Barbie and CogniToys Dino, that record the voices of children who interact with them and store those recordings in the cloud, say researchers.

These toys, which connect to the internet, can joke around with children and respond in surprising detail to questions posed by their young users. The research also reveals that kids are usually unaware that the toys are actually recording their conversations.

“These toys that can record and transmit are coming into a place that’s historically legally very well-protected―the home,” says co-lead author Emily McReynolds, associate director of the Tech Policy Lab at the University of Washington. “People have different perspectives about their own privacy, but it’s crystalized when you give a toy to a child.”

Though internet-connected toys have taken off commercially, their growth in the market has not been without security breaches and public scrutiny. VTech, a company that produces tablets for children, was storing personal data of more than 200,000 children when its database was hacked in 2015. Earlier this year, Germany banned the Cayla toy over fears that personal data could be stolen.

It’s within this landscape that researchers set out to understand the privacy concerns and expectations kids and parents have for these types of toys.

Telling secrets

They conducted interviews with nine parent-child pairs, asking each of them questions―including whether a child liked the toy and would tell it a secret, and whether a parent would buy the toy or share what their child said to it on social media.

They also watched the children, all 6 to 10 years old, playing with Hello Barbie and CogniToys Dino. The toys were chosen because they are among the industry leaders for their stated privacy measures. Hello Barbie, for example, has an extensive permissions process for parents when setting up the toy, and it has received praise for its strong encryption practices....

...“It’s inevitable that kids’ toys, as with everything else in society, will have computers in them, so it’s important to design them with security measures in mind,” says co-lead author Franziska Roesner, assistant professor at the Allen School. “I hope the security research community continues to study these specific user groups, like children, that we don’t necessarily study in-depth.”

The Consumer Privacy Rights Fund at the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment and UW’s Tech Policy Lab funded the work. Researchers presented their paper at the CHI 2017 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

Source: University of Washington

Original Study

Comment by Chris on May 1, 2017 at 5:06am

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

EFF Releases Report on Ed Tech and Student Privacy

April 13, 2017 | By Sophia Cope

EFF Releases Spying on Students Ed Tech Report

EFF Survey Reveals Gaps in Protecting the Privacy of K-12 Students Using School-Issued Devices and Cloud Apps

“They are collecting and storing data to be used against my child in the future, creating a profile before he can intellectually understand the consequences of his searches and digital behavior."

This was the response of one parent to an online survey EFF conducted to learn more about the use of mobile devices and cloud services in K-12 classrooms across the country—so called education technology or “ed tech.” Today, EFF released a report entitled “Spying on Students: School-Issued Devices and Student Privacy” that summarizes the results of this survey.

While there are educational advantages to incorporating technology into the classroom experience, the survey results reflect an overarching concern that children as young as kindergartners are being conditioned to accept a culture of surveillance. EFF maintains that children should not be taught that using the Internet or technology requires sacrificing personal privacy.

The survey, launched in December 2015, elicited responses from over 1000 students, parents, teachers, librarians, school administrators, system administrators, and community members.

We organized the survey results into eight themes:

  1. Lack of transparency: Schools and districts do not provide adequate notice and disclosures to parents about what technology their children use in the classroom, including devices and online applications that require transferring student information to private companies.
  2. Investigative burden: Parents and even students themselves put in significant effort, sometimes over many months, to get information from both schools/districts and ed tech companies, about technology use in the classroom and its implications for student privacy.

More Here

Comment by Chris on May 1, 2017 at 2:17am

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 07:27 PM PDT
The FCC just sold out the Internet.


The New York Times is reporting that the FCC has abandoned any pretense of supporting net neutrality — the principle that Internet service providers may not price discriminate against online content providers.

The new rules, according to the people briefed on them, will allow a company like Comcast or Verizon to negotiate separately with each content company – like Netflix, Amazon, Disney or Google – and charge different companies different amounts for priority service.

The Times calls this ”  complete turnaround for the FCC” A spokesperson for Public Knowledge, a Washington D.C.-based public interest group declared that “the FCC is inviting ISPs to pick winners and losers online.” Others may have stronger feelings. We’re about to find out just how potent a political issue “net neutrality” really is. The implications for free online speech, the future of content delivery, and the likelihood that the next 20 years of Internet evolution will be as exciting as the last are immense.

The decision is a massive win for Comcast, Verizon and AT&T. It’s a huge loss for everyone else, because the Internet just got a lot more expensive.

Andrew Leonard Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21."

Comment by Chris on May 1, 2017 at 2:15am

Uber’s C.E.O. Plays With Fire

"Travis Kalanick’s drive to win in life has led to a pattern of risk-taking that has at times put his ride-hailing company on the brink of implosion.

SAN FRANCISCO — Travis Kalanick, the chief executive of Uber, visited Apple’s headquarters in early 2015 to meet with Timothy D. Cook, who runs the iPhone maker. It was a session that Mr. Kalanick was dreading.

For months, Mr. Kalanick had pulled a fast one on Apple by directing his employees to help camouflage the ride-hailing app from Apple’s engineers. The reason? So Apple would not find out that Uber had been secretly identifying and tagging iPhones even after its app had been deleted and the devices erased — a fraud detection maneuver that violated Apple’s privacy guidelines.

But Apple was onto the deception, and when Mr. Kalanick arrived at the midafternoon meeting sporting his favorite pair of bright red sneakers and hot-pink socks, Mr. Cook was prepared. “So, I’ve heard you’ve been breaking some of our rules,” Mr. Cook said in his calm, Southern tone. Stop the trickery, Mr. Cook then demanded, or Uber’s app would be kicked out of Apple’s App Store.

For Mr. Kalanick, the moment was fraught with tension. If Uber’s app was yanked from the App Store, it would lose access to millions of iPhone customers — essentially destroying the ride-hailing company’s business. So Mr. Kalanick acceded..."

Continue reading the main story

Comment by Chris on April 2, 2017 at 9:12am

OREDNET was forced to shut down ~ 2010 because of the ban of municipalities providing internet service.

Comment by Chris on April 2, 2017 at 9:05am

pt 1 of many of my many rants about terrible internet service.

The FCC must be one of the most corrupt organizations in the federal government. Certainly the chair of the FCC can’t be blamed for everything Congress does.

Michael Powell must have benifited the National Cable & Telecomunications trade association seeing he the presedint of the group now.

Michael Kevin Powell is an American former Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and current president of the trade association the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. He was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission by President Bill Clinton on November 3, 1997. President George W. Bush designated him chairman of the commission on January 22, 2001. Powell is the son of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his wife Alma Powell.

The more I read about the sale of ISP personal collection of personal data the more upset I become. In the early 1990's there were  real grass roots groups trying to make internet access the same as library access where communities could have their own internet access as part of library, or similar public service. I lived in a rural part of Oregon while the debate raged. The Oregon Economic Development  (OREDNET) a division of the State Government provided internet access to rural areas because commercial companies wouldn't spend the money to bring internet to rural areas.   Oregon had a gaming industry such as poker machines in bars, restaurants and what not. Business' and banks used the internet for credit and debit card transactions.  The quality of service from OREDNET was great. With an  OREDNET account a web page was available.  The price was reasonable and the service was great.

Across the country many rural areas didn't have internet access. Telecommunications companies wouldn't pay the investment cost to provide it so multaple rural counties and several large cities passed bond measures to have their municipality provide the service.  That effort was squashed with the 1996 telecommunications act. Multiple areas that began providing service were sued by telecommunications providers to stop which left them without any internect connection or timeline when telco's would provide the service.  The telco's basically said fuck you to communities they blocked from establishing municipal internet service while saying we may never provide service to your community.

Comment by Chris on April 2, 2017 at 8:44am

pt 2

January 3, 1995: Republicans gained control of both houses for the first time since 1954.

The 1996 Telecommunications Act from Wikipedia

The 1996 telecommunications act from

Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project

Democrats who like President Clinton should remember he signed NAFTA and CAFTA among other legislation.

All-Seeing EyeAlso on the show: Your internet might never explode like a poorly wired toaster, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t benefit from consumer-driven regulation. If you didn’t see it that way already, it became very clear this week, as the Senate and then the House voted to allow service providers like AT&T to collect your personal information—medical records, browsing history—and sell it to the highest bidder. How did this happen, and what can we do about it? We’ll talk about online privacy with Evan Greer, campaign director at

Fight for the Future  wich includes the link launching

 #GetSafe guide to help average internet users protect themselves on...

Digital rights group Fight for the Future has launched a new online resource called #GetSafe, a simple guide that helps average Internet users take the most important steps toward protecting the personal information stored on their phones, tablets, and computers.

The release of the new tool comes on the heels of Congress voting to slash Internet privacy rules and allow Internet Service Providers to collect and sell their customer’s information.

“This vote in Congress is just the latest attack on our basic right to privacy and our ability to use the Internet safely,” said Laila Abdelaziz, a campaigner at Fight for the Future, “many of us are already extremely vulnerable to corporate and government spying, hackers and identity thieves.”

Fortunately, there are simple things that everyone can and should be doing to protect themselves and their loved ones,” she continued, “we launched #GetSafe to make these practices easy and accessible to everyone, regardless of how technologically savvy they are.”

See the #GetSafe resource here:

The tool functions like an online quiz, asking the user a series of simple questions about their digital security habits, and making basic recommendations about how to set a strong password for your phone and computer, how to switch to free encrypted text messaging services, and how to run a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to make it much harder for your Internet service provider to spy on your web browsing activity.

The launch of the #GetSafe tool comes as Fight for the Future is already making headlines about plans to unleash billboards listing the names of lawmakers who voted to strike down the FCC’s Internet privacy rules. The group has also launched an online petition calling for President Trump to veto the measure.

More Here

Comment by Chris on April 2, 2017 at 5:56am

The POS Republicans inHouse of Representatives passed a law allowing ISP's to sell your browsing history.

Comment by Chris on February 28, 2017 at 4:02am

After complaining about Ning and my ISP connection for a long time an AT&T tech came over today and proved the internet was stable while my computer was intermittently able to connect. The previous times a tech came out while the computer was working okay. This computer is about six years old.

I’ll purchase a new computer in the next couple of days after researching what adapters are needed to hook up the peripherals. This is the fourth home computer I’ve had that ending with a component failure.

I wonder if hardened computers in cars will be any better. Imagine a self driving car with intermittent computer glitches. That doesn’t seem to be on the spectrum for approval.


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