Friday, March 04, 2005

Lessee, was that "One if by Land..." 

and two if by Sea?" Yeah..

and I on the opposite shore shall be,
ready to ride to give the alarm to every Middlesex village and farm....

...okay, I'll stop now. A shame the age of heroic poetry (which told a story, and inspired the heart, and illuminated good examples of virtuous behavior, and which goddam rhymed so it was easily read aloud and memorized, even by children) has passed from current fashion, because we may be needing it again very soon.

Or spirituals--"Follow the Drinkin' Gourd" for instance contains explicit instructions on escaping hostile territory to safer ground in the north. From the same time period we have examples of codes built into quilts, or even color codes for laundry hung out to dry which a fugitive could "read" to find safe havens and avoid dangers. Hobos in more recent periods had an elaborate system of markings to indicate who would give a handout to a man down on his luck, who would feed you in exchange for some chores, and who would greet you with a shotgun.

This discussion of amateur, handcrafted, homemade codecraft brought to you as a leadin to this interesting bit of cutting-edge socio/techno repression:

(via NYT if yer already registered or
NYT RSS if not:

For many China watchers, the holding of a National People's Congress beginning this weekend is an ideal occasion for gleaning the inner workings of this country's closed political system. For specialists in China's Internet controls, though, the gathering of legislators and top political leaders offers a chance to measure the state of the art of Web censorship.

The authorities set the tone earlier this week, summoning the managers of the country's main Internet providers, major portals and Internet cafe chains and warning them against allowing "subversive content" to appear online.

"Some messages on the Internet are sent by those with ulterior motives," Qin Rui, the deputy director of the Public Information and Internet Security Supervision Bureau, was quoted as saying in The Shanghai Daily.

Stern instructions like those are in keeping with a trend aimed at assigning greater responsibility to Internet providers to assist the government and its army of as many as 50,000 Internet police, who enforce limits on what can be seen and said.

According to Amnesty International, arrests for the dissemination of information or beliefs via the Internet have been increasing rapidly in China, snaring students, political dissidents and practitioners of the banned spiritual movement Falun Gong, but also many writers, lawyers, teachers and ordinary workers.

Newer technologies allow the authorities to search e-mail messages in real time, trawling through the body of a message for sensitive material and instantaneously blocking delivery or pinpointing the offender. Other technologies sometimes redirect Internet searches from companies like Google to copycat sites operated by the government, serving up sanitized search results.

[snip]As with the policing efforts, the evasion techniques range from the sly and simple - aliases and deliberate misspellings to trick key-word monitors and thinly veiled sarcastic praise of abhorrent acts by the government on Web forums that seem to confound the censors - to so-called proxy servers, encryption and burying of sensitive comments in image files, which for now elude real-time searches.
"Burying information in image files" eh? I'm picturing a quilt for some reason.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
~ current ~

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]


copyright 2003-2010

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?