[rumori] pho: more Peekabooty

From: Don Joyce (djATwebbnet.com)
Date: Sat May 12 2001 - 21:14:57 PDT

Forwarded by Negativland.

>Looks like the digital fireworks surrounding the 4th of July celebration this
>year with be especially powerful, and wrapped in the UN flag.
>"...Amid their own self-promoted hype and hijinks there is high truth when
>hold up Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and quote:
>"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right
>includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek,
>receive and
>impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
>And as Oxblood Ruffin points out, "we believe we have a moral imperative to
>act"ó thus, the development of Peekabooty..."
>"In the end you could have a loose Napster/freenet type collection of
>servers acting in the common good to circumvent Web filters..."
>Hacker tool lets freedom ping
>ëPeekabootyí set to circumvent state-sponsored censorship
>By Brock N. Meeks
>WASHINGTON, May 9 ó Mix a rabid love of freedom with an intense dislike of
>corporate or state-sponsored censorship, fold in the wacky collective
>brilliance of a group of rogue coders, and what do you get? Tyrannyís worst
>nightmare: an untraceable, globally distributed digital information network
>called Peekabooty.
>THE DENIZENS OF THE digital underground know it only as ìProject X,î a closely
>held secret software application set to be unleashed on the world this July at
>an annual hacker blowout in Las Vegas known as DefCon by an equally infamous
>group known as the Cult of the Dead Cow, ìcDcî for short.
>cDc is a global hacker collective that prides itself on being a thorn in the
>established software industryís side. Notable for releasing programs such as
>ìBack Orificeî and ìBack Orifice 2000,î programs that blow up security
>holes in
>Microsoft products to the size of the JumboTron in Times Square, cDc likes to
>say it ìputs the ëhackí in ëhacktivism.íî With the upcoming release of
>Peekabooty, their trademark braggadocio may be an understatement.
>In high-level discussions with cDcís ìForeign Minister,î who goes by the
>digital street name of ìOxblood Ruffin,î Iíve learned that Peekabooty is a
>aimed at the heart of those seeking to block information access on the Web.
>Oxblood Ruffin told me during a run-and-shoot e-mail interview that Peekabooty
>ìallows people who canít see Web pages for one reason or another circuitous
>access to them. We want adults to be able to access what is publicly available
>on the Web. Our app doesnít go behind firewalls, peer into the soul of IBM or
>anything like that.î
>Of course, cDc is reluctant to hand out technical details before the official
>launch because it doesnít want The Powers That Be to start developing
>countermeasures before Peekabooty gets a firm foothold in the ether.
>ìThe second this app goes out the door, many governments will be attempting to
>shut it down or catch users,î Oxblood Ruffin said.
>So all heíll say about how Peekabooty works is this: ìIt is a distributed Web
>application that circumvents forms of DNS filtering.î
>For a clue as to what this meant, I turned to another source that I only know
>as ìRain Forest Puppy,î who describes himself as ìa hobbyist security
>professional and pro-security hacker.î
>RFP speculates that Peekabooty is a distributed Web surfing proxy meant to
>bypass all kinds of firewalls and restrictions or filters. And it would do all
>this automatically: ìIn the end you could have a loose Napster/freenet type
>collection of anonymous servers acting in the common good to circumvent Web
>filters,î RFP says.
>All this strikes me as a baseline for what could really be considered
>ìhacktivism,î the very concept I trashed last week. Itís not that I donít
>believe hacktivism could arise on the Net ó I just havenít seen any good
>examples of it, yet.
>And donít throw the electrohippies at me with their ìdigital sit-insî
>which are
>nothing more than targeted denial-of-service attacks. They hardly provide a
>passionate, involved course of activism when all thatís required of you is to
>run a simple program from your computer aimed at pinging the servers of some
>ìWorld Evil,î leaving you free to drive to the local Taco Bell for that zesty
>ethnic dining experience.
>Peekabooty is being stitched together by a ìHacktivismo,î a crew of 21 hackers
>operating under the cDc umbrella. The skill set of this ad-hoc ranges from
>security professionals to hackers to students, and thereís even a human rights
>lawyer tossed into the mix. The group was recruited by Oxblood Ruffin, who
>his international connections allowed him to draw in people from the United
>States, Canada, Europe, Israel, India and Taiwan. Ruffin also indicated
>heís in
>talks with Chinese hackers interested in the project.
>cDc members are the darker angels of the digital world, operating without a
>license just inside the margins of the Internet. Amid their own self-promoted
>hype and hijinks there is high truth when they hold up Article 19 of the
>Universal Declaration of Human Rights and quote: ìEveryone has the right to
>freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold
>without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas
>through any media and regardless of frontiers.î
>And as Oxblood Ruffin points out, ìWe believe we have a moral imperative to
>actî ó thus, the development of Peekabooty.
>This is the stuff of activism, of being involved and passionate about a
>Peekabooty also will be open source ó that is, the underlying software code
>will be free for the asking and hacking ó a fact thatís sure to ruffle
>feathers inside Microsoft, which recently announced a veiled war on open
>(MSNBC is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC.)
>Microsoftís attitude toward the open source movement aside, Oxblood Ruffin
>that when the application is released, ìWe expect a lot of nasty little men in
>ugly clothing will be very displeased, and we donít give a f***.î [Asterisks
>inserted by corporate censorsÖ]
>And the fact that cDc plans on releasing Peekabooty in July, shortly after the
>Fourth, is just sweet irony. As the country song says, ìRoll the stone
>the guilty pay/itís Independence Day!î
>Peekabooty: Coming soon to a tyranny near you.
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