Sunday, June 15, 2008

ISP access control: great for VPN providers

VPN providers like WiTopia VPN protect open Wifi users from packet sniffing attacks.

That's why I pay my yearly fee.

They have other benefits though. They provide a secure channel, so you can bypass access controls like this:
Slashdot | Verizon Cutting Access To Entire Alt.* Usenet Hierarchy

... Verizon has declared it will no longer offer access to the entire alt.* hierarchy of Usenet newsgroups to its customers. This stems from last week's agreement for major ISPs to cut off access to 'newsgroups and Web sites' that make child pornography available. The story notes, 'No law requires Verizon to do this. Instead, the company (and, to varying extents, Time Warner Cable and Sprint) agreed to restrictions on Usenet in response to political strong-arming by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat. Cuomo claimed that his office found child porn on 88 newsgroups — out of roughly 100,000 newsgroups that exist.' In response, Verizon will cut its customers off from a large portion of Usenet, as it will only carry newsgroups in the Big 8....
Eons ago, before spam, there were some important resources in the alt groups. I'm sure some persist, but I haven't come across any in the Google Groups era (newsgroups via Google's connection rather than nntp clients). Google Groups, needless to say, doesn't carry problematic groups.

Even so, this is stupid politics.

Good business for Witopia though.

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