A proposed “sovereign internet” law currently working its way through Russia’s government.

Russia wants to cut itself off from the global internet. Here’s what that really means.

The plan is going to be tricky to pull off, both technically and politically, but the Kremlin has set its sights on self-sufficiency.
By Charlotte Jee
Mar 21 2019
<https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613138/russia-wants-to-cut-itself-off-from-the-global-internet-heres-what-that-really-means/>

In the next two weeks, Russia is planning to attempt something no other country has tried before. It’s going to test whether it can disconnect from the rest of the world electronically while keeping the internet running for its citizens. This means it will have to reroute all its data internally, rather than relying on servers abroad.

The test is key to a proposed “sovereign internet” law currently working its way through Russia’s government. It looks likely to be eventually voted through and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, though it has stalled in parliament for now.

Pulling an iron curtain down over the internet is a simple idea, but don’t be fooled: it’s a fiendishly difficult technical challenge to get right. It is also going to be very expensive. The project’s initial cost has been set at $38 million by Russia’s financial watchdog, but it’s likely to require far more funding than that. One of the authors of the plan has said it’ll be more like $304 million, Bloomberg reports, but even that figure, industry experts say, won’t be enough to get the system up and running, let alone maintain it.

Not only that, but it has already proved deeply unpopular with the general public. An estimated 15,000 people took to the streets in Moscow earlier this month to protest the law, one of the biggest demonstrations in years.

Operation disconnect

So how will Russia actually disconnect itself from the global internet? “It is unclear what the ‘disconnect test’ might entail,” says Andrew Sullivan, president and CEO of the Internet Society. All we know is that if it passes, the new law will require the nation’s internet service providers (ISPs) to use only exchange points inside the country that are approved by Russia’s telecoms regulator, Roskomnadzor.

Operating hours Mon-Thu 8:30-17:30 Fri 8:30-16:15

+7 (495) 987-68-00

These exchange points are where internet service providers connect with each other. It’s where their cabling meets at physical locations to exchange traffic. These locations are overseen by organizations known as internet exchange providers (IXPs). Russia’s largest IXP is in Moscow, connecting cities in Russia’s east but also Riga in neighboring Latvia.

MSK-IX, as this exchange point is known, is one of the world’s largest. It connects over 500 different ISPs and handles over 140 gigabits of throughput during peak hours on weekdays. There are six other internet exchange points in Russia, spanning most of its 11 time zones. Many ISPs also use exchanges that are physically located in neighboring countries or that are owned by foreign companies. These would now be off limits. Once this stage is completed, it would provide Russia with a literal, physical “on/off switch” to decide whether its internet is shielded from the outside world or kept open.

What’s in a name?

As well as rerouting its ISPs, Russia will also have to unplug from the global domain name system (DNS) so traffic cannot be rerouted through any exchange points that are not inside Russia.

The DNS is basically a phone book for the internet: when you type, for example, “google.com” into your browser, your computer uses the DNS to translate this domain name into an IP address, which identifies the correct server on the internet to send the request. If one server won’t respond to a request, another will step in. Traffic behaves rather like water—it will seek any gap it can to flow through.

“The creators of the DNS wanted to create a system able to work even when bits of it stopped working, regardless of whether the decision to break parts of it was deliberate or accidental,” says Brad Karp, a computer scientist at University College London. This in-built resilience in the underlying structure of the internet will make Russia’s plan even harder to carry out.

The actual mechanics of the DNS are operated by a wide variety of organizations, but a majority of the “root servers,” which are its foundational layer, are run by groups in the US. Russia sees this as a strategic weakness and wants to create its own alternative, setting up an entire new network of its own root servers.

“An alternate DNS can be used to create an alternate reality for the majority of Russian internet users,” says Ameet Naik, an expert on internet monitoring for the software company ThousandEyes. “Whoever controls this directory controls the internet.” Thus, if Russia can create its own DNS, it will have at least a semblance of control over the internet within its borders.

This won’t be easy, says Sullivan. It will involve configuring tens of thousands of systems, and it will be difficult, if not impossible, to identify all the different access points citizens use to get online (their laptops, smartphones, iPads, and so on). Some of them will be using servers abroad, such as Google’s Public DNS, which Russia simply won’t be able to replicate—so the connection will fail when a Russian user tries to access them.

[snip]

Could someone really destroy the whole Internet?  YES

The Internet is more than just a technology. It is a domain similar to the domains of land, air, sea and space, but with its own distinct challenges.

WHO CONTROLS THE INTERNET?

The whole internet is controlled by seven actual, physical keys. – The key issue with internet governance is always trust, which is ridiculous.

WHO MANAGES THE INTERNET’S ADDRESS BOOK?
BY VINT CERF Vint Cerf summarizes the transition of ICANN.

THE NET IS A WORLD OF ENDS. The Internet is a “network of networks” of computers. It was born on Oct. 29, 1969, when a UCLA student programmer sent a message from his computer to one at Stanford.

K12Playground.com- GOVERNANCE

K12PlayGround.com
FIND YOUR K12 SCHOOL AND SUBMIT /EDIT YOUR K12 SCHOOL INFORMATION
FOLLOW  http://twitter.com K12PlayGround.com

► “When they substitute their knowledge for ours, we grow angry because they have robbed us of our agency.”

@weeklystandard @smarick Trends in governing have eroded the beliefs, norms and processes by which we learn to be accommodating citizens in a pluralistic, deliberative democracy. By manufacturing rights that limit democratic decision-making, centralizing power in Washington far from citizens’…

►  January 2019 “Within period of 72 hours, Nixon was inaugurated for second term, LBJ died, Roe v. Wade was decided, Vietnam War settlement was announced–all 46 years ago this month. ~ @BeschlossDC

Ajit Pai Refuses to Brief Congress About Why Bounty Hunters Can Buy Cell Phone Location Data

Ex-RNC Chair Puts Trump-Supporting Senators On Notice: ‘It’s All Collusion’

► Former Trump Tax Attorney Ed Burke’s Office Raided by Feds
It was reported in 2016 that Ald. Ed Burke’s firm helped Donald Trump trim $11.7M off his property taxes
https://news.wttw.com/2016/05/03/ald-burkes-law-firm-helps-trump-trim-117m-property-taxes

Here’s What I’m Telling US Congress about Data Breaches

► “Your regular reminder that Equifax still exists. Everyone who was running the company when 148 million Americans’ data was stolen is still rich, and now their former lawyer is running the office at the Federal Trade Commission that’s supposed to investigate them.”

►  Montgomery County PA Announces Purchase of New Voting Machines

Songwriters Score Win Over Streaming Services With Pay Hike

National Music Publishers’ Association
The Copyright Royalty Board ruled that songwriters will get at least a 15.1% share of streaming revenues over the next five years, from a previous 10.5%. The CRB’s decision will require streaming services to pay 15.1 percent of revenue to songwriters and publishers, up from 10.5 percent. The court also issued a ruling regarding a late fee, which will force digital music services to pay songwriters faster, or be subject to a significant penalty.
Amazon, Apple, Google, Pandora and Spotify compelled to pay more for the use of music.
Pryor Cashman who represented NMPA and NSAI in the litigation that resulted in the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) being ruled to increase royalty payments to songwriters and music publishers from music streaming companies.
This was a hearing pitting songwriters and music publishers against five technology companies, including three of the largest companies in the world (Apple, Amazon and Google), which sought to reduce the already low rate of royalties that they pay to songwriters for the use of their music on their streaming services.

Federal Judge Asks Spotify: ‘How Many Songs Have You Infringed, Anyway?’

#Loophole that allows @jeffBezos #Amazon get away with NO #TAXES

Jeff Bezos 2018 Richest billionaire on the list

Jeff Bezos  – Amazon –  $112 billion doesn’t pay taxes

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/03/06/jeff-bezos-unseats-bill-gates-forbes-2018-richest-billionaires-list/398877002/

and he uses Philanthropy for more tax write offs.

Davos 2019: Historian Rutger Bregman berates billionaires at World Economic Forum over tax avoidance

Trump tax cuts to surge debt past 90% of GDP by 2024, says IMF report

Why This ‘Patriotic’ Millionaire Wants to Raise Taxes on the Rich | NowThis

BUSINESS, BANKS, POLITICIANS HAVE BUILT A 170 BILLION DOLLAR TAX HAVEN

Historian Rutger Bregman
Industry had to “stop talking about philanthropy and start talking about taxes”, he said, and cited the high tax regime of 1950s America as an example to disprove arguments by business people at Davos such as Michael Dell that economies with high personal taxation could not succeed. “That’s it,” he says. “Taxes, taxes, taxes. All the rest is bullshit in my opinion.”
Winnie Byanyima, an Oxfam executive director, took up the fight and said high employment was not a good thing in itself because many people found themselves in exploitative work. She cited the example of poultry workers in the US who had to wear nappies (diapers) because they were not allowed toilet breaks.
“That’s not a dignified job,” she said. “those are the jobs we’ve been told about, that globalisation is bringing jobs. The quality of the jobs matter. In many countries workers no longer have a voice.
Addressing Goldman, she said: “You’re counting the wrong things. You’re not counting dignity of people. You’re counting exploited people.”
Billions of dollars were leaked by tax avoidance every year which should instead be going to alleviate poverty in the developing world, she added.
#Davos
#WorldEconomicForum
#RutgerBregman

“The vast majority of Americans for years and years now … including Fox News viewers and including Republicans are in favor of higher taxes on the rich — higher inheritance taxes, higher top marginal tax rates, higher wealth taxes — it’s all really mainstream,” Bregman said. “But no one’s saying that at Davos just as no one’s saying that on Fox News. And the explanation for that’s quite simple, it’s that most of the people in Davos, as well as most of the people on this channel, have been bought by the billionaire class. You’re not meant to say these things.”

1993  politician paid policy initiative to constrain CEO pay was actually a loophole to not pay taxes.

1993, Bill Clinton and congressional Democrats tried to stop the growing pay inequality of Reagan-era America — Section 162(m) of the US Tax Code.

Revenue that is paid out to employees as salaries and benefits is not profits, and thus doesn’t get taxed. But section 162(m) created an exception to that rule — any salary of over $1 million paid to top executives would not be deductible for tax purposes.

This was supposed to stop  outrageous 1% executive compensation packages.

Except there was an exception to the exception

compensation that took the form of stock options or stock grants would still be deductible and

the loophole incentivize companies to use a lot of stock-based compensation for their executives.

WHAT STOCK BYBACK ACTUALLY MEANS

A company like AMAZON could give stock-based compensation by taking money out of Jeff Bezos’ bank account and  using it to buy back shares on the open market and pay his executives with shares but no… that would involve using his real money.

Any company,  just churns out shares of their  stock anytime it wants to, kind of like an ICO of some cryptocurrency. This costs Amazon shareholders (or holders of andy crypto) where creating new shares  devalues the existing ones, but it doesn’t really cost the company anything at all.

What a game!

This policy loop hole allowed AMAZON to get away with NO  corporate income tax in 2018 despite the huge surge in profits.

AMAZON got away without paying any tax by giving executives stock-based compensation packages  and the

Securities and Exchange Commission form 10(k) shows it recorded about $1 billion in deductions for stock-based compensation

eliminating what would otherwise have been a non-zero tax liability.

and

  1. research and development tax credit
  2. Trump tax bill included a temporary provision allowing companies to take a 100 percent tax deduction for investment in equipment.
  3. 2018 is the fact that companies can deduct the cost of stock-based compensation from their taxable earnings even though it doesn’t actually cost companies any money to hand out shares of their own stock to employees. The more your share price rises, the bigger the deduction for handing out shares.

see

HTTP is obsolete. It's time for the distributed, permanent web

IPFS, I’m strongly hoping, becomes that new protocol.

HTTP is obsolete. It’s time for the distributed, permanent web
By kyledrake
Sep 8 2015
<https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmNhFJjGcMPqpuYfxL62VVB9528NXqDNMFXiqN5bgFYiZ1/its-time-for-the-permanent-web.html>
Early this year, the Internet Archive put out a call for a distributed web. We heard them loud and clear.
Today I’m making an announcement that begins our long journey to the future of the web. A web that is faster, more secure, more robust, and more permanent.
Neocities has collaborated with Protocol Labs to become the first major site to implement IPFS in production. Starting today, all Neocities web sites are available for viewing, archiving, and hosting by any IPFS node in the world. When another IPFS node chooses to host a site from Neocities, that version of the site will continue to be available, even if Neocities shuts down or stops hosting it. The more IPFS nodes seed Neocities sites, the more available (and redundant) Neocities sites become. And the less centrally dependent the sites are on us to continue existing.
What is IPFS? From their README:
IPFS is a distributed file system that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files. In some ways, this is similar to the original aims of the Web, but IPFS is actually more similar to a single bittorrent swarm exchanging git objects. IPFS could become a new major subsystem of the internet. If built right, it could complement or replace HTTP. It could complement or replace even more. It sounds crazy. It is crazy.
IPFS is still in the alpha stages of development, so we’re calling this an experiment for now. It hasn’t replaced our existing site storage (yet). Like with any complex new technology, there’s a lot of improvements to make. But IPFS isn’t vaporware, it works right now. You can try it out on your own computer, and already can use it to help us serve and persist Neocities sites.
The message I want to send couldn’t possibly be more audacious: I strongly believe IPFS is the replacement to HTTP (and many other things), and now’s the time to start trying it out. Replacing HTTP sounds crazy. It is crazy! But HTTP is broken, and the craziest thing we could possibly do is continue to use it forever. We need to apply state-of-the-art computer science to the distribution problem, and design a better protocol for the web.
Part 1: What’s wrong with HTTP?
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) has unified the entire world into a single global information protocol, standardizing how we distribute and present information to eachother.
It is inconceivable for me to even think about what life would be like without it. HTTP dropped the cost of publishing content to almost nothing, an innovation that took a sledgehammer to the top-down economic, political, and cultural control over distribution of information (music, ideas, video, news, games, everything). As a result of liquifying information and making it the publication of it more egalitarian and accessible, HTTP has made almost everything about our culture better.
I love HTTP, and I always will. It truly stands among the greatest and most important inventions of all time.
But while HTTP has achieved many things, it’s usefulness as a foundation for the distribution and persistence of the sum of human knowledge isn’t just showing some cracks, it’s crumbling to pieces right in front of us. The way HTTP distributes content is fundamentally flawed, and no amount of performance tuneups or forcing broken CA SSL or whatever are going to fix that. HTTP/2 is a welcome improvement, but it’s a conservative update to a technology that’s beginning to show its age. To have a better future for the web, we need more than a spiced up version of HTTP, we need a new foundation. And per the governance model of cyberspace, that means we need a new protocol. IPFS, I’m strongly hoping, becomes that new protocol.
[snip]