Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Brave Old Feudal World

We’re in the middle of an epic battle for power in cyberspace. On one side are the nimble, unorganized, distributed powers such as dissident groups, criminals, and hackers. On the other side are the traditional, organized, institutional powers such as governments and large multinational corporations. During its early days, the Internet gave coordination and efficiency to the powerless. It made them powerful, and seem unbeatable. But now the more traditional institutional powers are winning, and winning big. How these two fare long-term, and the fate of the majority of us that don’t fall into either group, is an open question – and one vitally important to the future of the Internet…Government power is also increasing on the Internet. Long gone are the days of an Internet without borders, and governments are better able to use the four technologies of social control: surveillance, censorship, propaganda, and use control. There’s a growing “cyber sovereignty” movement that totalitarian governments are embracing to give them more control – a change the US opposes, because it has substantial control under the current system. And the cyberwar arms race is in full swing, further consolidating government power New Feudal Times

The detective, Dan Cohn, owned and operated Docusearch, a website that trafficked in personal information, and at the time, he was charging $35 to dig up someone’s driving record, $45 for his bank account balances, $49 for a social security number, $84 to trace a mobile number, and $209 to compile his stocks, bonds, and securities. The site offered a simple clickable interface and Amazon-like shopping cart. It’sstill around today, boasting similar services. “Licensed Investigators for Accurate Results” reads the tag line, calling itself “America’s premier provider of on-line investigative solutions I challenged hackers to investigate me and what they found out is chilling

It's a story he tells, breaking years of silence, in "Mafiaboy: A Portrait of the Hacker as a Young Man," which chronicles Calce's rise to becoming arguably the most famous, or infamous, computer hacker ever. Hacker who was 12