This Is Safe???
There’s a lot of blathering about how you’ll be perfectly safe with what for lack of a better name I’ll called RIAA blockers.
A far more accurate description might be, “Here is a condom that is guaranteed to break if the user makes the slightest twist or turn while using it.
Here is part of one of these:
deny from 12.150.191
deny from 63.199.57
deny from 64.166.187
deny from 64.241.31
deny from 65.244.101
. . . .
Does It Work?
I was curious to see if these things actually worked, and wanted a screen shot of what this would do. Believe or not, I really don’t have an RIAA.org IP address, but it was simple enough to find my own IP address, change the script to block that particular address out, then follow the instructions and thus try to block myself out of this website. I read the instructions very carefully, and put the “Keep Ed Out of His Own Website” script into the website’s root directory.
Let me tell you, I knew we had loyal website fans, but I never would have guessed the WEBSITE was loyal, too. It just wouldn’t keep me out, even after I told it to do so. 🙂
Well, if it couldn’t keep me out . . . .
Don’t Let Your “Partner” Change Positions
Let’s be charitable and assume the fault was mine and that these lists really do work.
All these blockers consist of are ranges of IP addresses, and the command simply says, “Don’t give them anything but the error message.”
Let’s presume for argument’s sake that these addresses do represent RIAA and or allies in their axis of evil and that somebody somewhere somehow has figured out who belongs to the axis of evil and who doesn’t.
Just what is going to stop the axis of evil from changing IP addresses? Get a good old regular dynamically allocated IP account from a regular ISP just like most of you and look around?
And when they do, this list will do nothing to stop them until it’s revised.
How safe do you feel now?
Isn’t it pretty stupid to consider yourself safe?
Just How Are They Going To Find Out?
It looks like these lists of blocked IP addresses has been compiled by checking IP address databases and tossing out anything and everything that somebody paranoid might be afraid of.
Well, if I’m doing my work using an AOL account, just how are you going to tell the difference between me and the millions of other AOLers poking around? Nothing in any database is going to list me; all anybody will find will be IP blocks for AOL.
I suppose eventually this could be figured out, but in the meantime, I’m doing my dirty work, and the P2Pers are wide open to me.
But let’s presume you eventually find me. Now what are you going to do?
If I’m working for the Axis of Evil, and I know my IP addresses are being tracked and then blocked, you give me lemons, I’m going to make lemonade.
If I’m using, say, an AOL account, with a dynamically assigned IP address, to do my dirty work, just what are you go to do to block me? The only thing you CAN do to block me is start blocking out AOL address ranges.
If I were in this business, I would want these people to track and block me. I’ll do even better than that, I’ll even give them the address ranges that I get from my AOL and Earthlink and Roadrunner and Verizon and RCN and whoever else has the most customers. And if I miss some the first time around, there’s always a second and third and fourth.
This is much better than suing a handful of people. With a lot less effort and money, I can get many, many more people blocked off from P2Ping, and the little idiots will do it to themselves.
Why, if I just worked on AOL alone, that should knock off at least a million P2Pers eventually.
If websites that don’t like me want to block off all their traffic, too, hey, take a number to jump off the virtual cliff.
Don’t think RIAA and Company has the technical expertise to think of that?
Do you really think these folks have Britney and Jewel running this operation? Some record producer? No, they’re hiring high-tech firms to do this. Firms like this one.
I did a little blocked IP address spot checking, and at least some of these addresses come from those assigned to regular ISPs.
It is always foolish to underestimate your enemy.
If They Aren’t Stupid, Then What Are They?
Even after all the nonsense I’ve seen on the subject, it is still pretty hard for me to believe that at least some of those who say you’re protected are this stupid, or believe those hired by the RIAA are that stupid.
But if it isn’t stupidity, then what is it?
What do you call someone who hands you a condom that anyone with half-a-technical-brain knows is bound to break?
Or maybe a company that cares more about its business and advertising revenues than you? People who consider you expendable cannon fodder for their for-profit cause? People who in the past wanted to take your spare computer cycles, sell them, and put the proceeds in their pocket? People who load their programs with spyware.
These are the people you trust?
Seems to me the RIAA doesn’t have a monopoly on greed.
Yes, there are those who don’t have a profit motive, but good intentions do not fix a bad condom. “Well I thought it was good” isn’t a contraceptive.
At least the RIAA is an honest foe. They’re out to screw you, but they can’t possibly knock you up if you don’t jump into the P2P bed, and they tell you that straight out.
Abstinence may not be a lot of fun, but isn’t it better than having your “friends” hand you flimsy condoms and call it safe sex?
You Just Don’t Want Me To Have Sex!
Many who read this will dismiss this, because they don’t want to believe it. They don’t want to believe the condom is faulty. They want to have fun, and don’t want to hear that it isn’t safe.
How many of you know of or are people who ended up with a pregancy because you didn’t want to hear it? Did thinking it was safe help, or did biology ignore belief?
It is that belief, that desire, that willingness to delude oneself, to believe anybody who tells you what you want to hear, that at least some are taking advantage of.
All the belief in the world won’t make a bad condom good.
Protect yourself. Ask the people who say they’re protecting you about the points I raised in this article. Ask them why they didn’t think of these items. Ask them what they’ll do if you use their stuff, and you still get knocked up. See what answers who get.
Then consider the possibility that maybe your “friends” aren’t as good as you might have thought.