Another e-mail to my MP #debill #AndrewGwynneMP

Dear Andrew [Gwynne MP],

I just noticed that, according to both this website:
http://debillitated.heroku.com/ and this one:
http://www.didmympshowupornot.com/ that you were not able to attend
the debate around the Digital Economy Bill.

Given that over 20,000 people are recorded as having written to their
MP, and over 23,000 twitter messages (since the 17th March) were sent
about the subject, and less than 4% of their MPs attended, I’m
slightly worried about whether this bill is being given appropriate
attention.

Will you reassure me that this bill is considered important enough to
your constituents (like me) that you will be asking the house to be
dropped until after the election, when it can receive the proper
scrutiny it deserves, or do you not feel that it’s important for your
constituents for you to be involved in the debate around a law which
permits the government to modify copyright without proper debate, and
which also enables “rights holders” to arrange the disconnection of a
whole household from participating on the Internet, where those
“rights holders” allege (and are never required to be proven in court)
file sharing has occurred.

Yours, in hope,

Jon Spriggs

Posted via email from Jon’s posterous

Use GMail’s SMTP gateway using the command line from !Ubuntu without lots of config #tips

I’m writing a few little scripts at the moment, and one of them needed to be able to send an e-mail. I’d not got around to sorting out what my SMTP gateway was from my ISP – but I do tend to use GMail’s SMTP gateway for non-essential stuff.

I thought I could easily setup sendmail, but no, that’s SCARY stuff, and then I thought of Postfix, but that needs an awful lot of configuration for an TLS based SMTP connection, so I did a bit of digging.

Thanks to this post over at the Ubuntu Forums, I worked out how to get a local port 10025 to run, but PHP kept complaining, so I next looked for a “sendmail replacement”, in comes nullmailer.

So, thankfully this is all rather easy.

  • sudo apt-get install openssl xinetd nullmailer
  • sudo tee /usr/bin/gmail-smtp <<EOF >/dev/null#!/bin/sh# Thanks to http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=918335 for this install guide/usr/bin/openssl s_client -connect smtp.gmail.com:465 -quiet 2>/dev/nullEOFsudo chmod +x /usr/bin/gmail-smtp
  • sudo tee /etc/xinetd.d/gmail-smtp <<EOF >/dev/null# default: on# description: Gmail SMTP wrapper for clients without SSL support# Thanks to http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=918335 for this install guideservice gmail-smtp{    disable         = no    bind            = localhost    port            = 10025    socket_type     = stream    protocol        = tcp    wait            = no    user            = root    server          = /usr/bin/gmail-smtp    type            = unlisted}EOFsudo /etc/init.d/xinetd reload
  • sudo tee /etc/nullmailer/remotes <<EOF >/dev/null127.0.0.1 smtp --port=10025 --user=your@user.tld --pass=Y0urC0mp3xGM@ilP@ssw0rdEOFsudo /etc/init.d/nullmailer reload

Setting all this lot up was pretty easy with these guides. There’s no reason why it wouldn’t work on any other version of Linux (provided you can install all these packages).

Good luck with your project!

[Politics] “Digital Economy Bill” = Internet Disconnection Bill

It’s very rare that I’ll inflict my political views on people by
e-mail, however, this has recently come up, and I wanted to make sure
that you understand what this newly proposed law could mean to you.
It’s only relevant to people in the UK, to ex-pats or Armed Forces
people, so if you want to forward it on – please do, but please think
before you forward, and don’t just blanket send it to everyone.

** If you don’t want to read all of the below, then I’d encourage you
instead to have a look at http://www.dontdisconnect.us/ **

In the Queen’s Speech [1] when parliament was opened for the 2009-10
session, the following was said:

“My Government will introduce a Bill to ensure the communications
infrastructure is fit for the digital age, supports future economic
growth, delivers competitive communications and enhances public
service broadcasting.”

The bill referred to is the “Digital Economy Bill”, which is due to be
introduced to Parliament this or next week, and it’s caused a lot of
fuss with us Technophiles.

Essentially, this bill allows “Rights Holders” (for example, Music
Labels, Film Studios and Television Networks) to contact your ISP and
insist that they issue you with a formal notice if they *believe* you
to be unlawfully sharing their content on the internet. After “a
certain threshold” the government has suggested [2] that it would be
acceptable to temporarily disconnect you from the Internet. A law
similar to this one was recently introduced in France, which insists
on disconnection after 3 warnings.

Now, again, this seems fair, if you can’t do the “time”, don’t do the
crime… but, how do they actually know it’s you? Because of certain
technical limitations of the Internet, everyone sharing a single
internet connection (for example in a house, at an office or a
internet café) will appear to come from the same internet address, and
this will cause you problems in this law, because:

* If you let someone use your computer to access the Internet, and
they unlawfully download some files, then the bill payer will be
blamed.
* If you have a Wi-Fi connection which is not properly secured [3],
and someone uses that connection to share a file they’ve downloaded,
again, the bill payer will be blamed.
* How about if your computer gets infected by malicious software
(spyware, becomes a member of a botnet, or worse still, is actively
hacked) and they use that as an untraceable machine to download their
content – again, the bill payer is blamed.

My other worry is that none of this goes in front of a court of law –
this all occurs between the ISP and Rights Holders, so if you get
disconnected, it will happen without any judicial oversight and the
prosecution’s burden of proof is never required… someone (usually
outside the UK) will accuse you of breaking the law and you will then
get disconnected from the Internet. To me, that hardly seems very
fair.

There’s a petition [4] against this law which is currently available
to be signed (provided you live within the UK, you are an ex-pat or
are a member of the Armed Forces), and, if you agree that it isn’t
fair, I would strongly encourage you to write to your MP [5]. If you
do decide to write to them, please review the content at the Don’t
Disconnect Us website [6] and review some of the letters which have
already been written [7] [8] as this e-mailing service will remove
duplicate e-mails so if you just copy the content it’ll never get to
your MP.

Thank you for your time. The links I have referred to above, labelled
[x] are listed below if you want to read them.

[1] Queen’s Speech: http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page21361
[2] Stephen Timms defends the Digital Economy Bill:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/nov/20/digital-economy-bill-stephen-timms
[3] Ways to secure your WiFi connection:
http://www.dontdisconnect.us/secure-your-wireless/
[4] The petition against the Digital Economy Bill:
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/dontdisconnectus/
[5] You can contact your MP via e-mail at this website:
http://www.writetothem.com/
[6] Don’t Disconnect Us official website: http://www.dontdisconnect.us/
[7] A letter I wrote to my MP:
http://jonspriggs.posterous.com/a-letter-to-my-mp-threestrikes
[8] A letter written by someone else to their MP about this law:
http://grahambinns.com/blog/2009/11/24/digital-economy-bollocks/

Posted via email from Jon’s posterous

“Digital Economy Bill” = Internet Disconnection Bill

It’s very rare that I’ll inflict my political views on people by e-mail, however, this has recently come up, and I wanted to make sure that you understand what this newly proposed law could mean to you. It’s only relevant to people in the UK, to ex-pats or Armed Forces people, so if you want to forward it on – please do, but please think before you forward, and don’t just blanket send it to everyone.

** If you don’t want to read all of the below, then I’d encourage you instead to have a look at http://www.dontdisconnect.us/ **

In the Queen’s Speech [1] when parliament was opened for the 2009-10 session, the following was said:

“My Government will introduce a Bill to ensure the communications infrastructure is fit for the digital age, supports future economic growth, delivers competitive communications and enhances public service broadcasting.”

The bill referred to is the “Digital Economy Bill”, which is due to be introduced to Parliament this or next week, and it’s caused a lot of fuss with us Technophiles.

Essentially, this bill allows “Rights Holders” (for example, Music Labels, Film Studios and Television Networks) to contact your ISP and insist that they issue you with a formal notice if they *believe* you to be unlawfully sharing their content on the internet. After “a certain threshold” the government has suggested [2] that it would be acceptable to temporarily disconnect you from the Internet. A law similar to this one was recently introduced in France, which insists on disconnection after 3 warnings.

Now, again, this seems fair, if you can’t do the “time”, don’t do the crime… but, how do they actually know it’s you? Because of certain technical limitations of the Internet, everyone sharing a single internet connection (for example in a house, at an office or a internet café) will appear to come from the same internet address, and this will cause you problems in this law, because:

If you let someone use your computer to access the Internet, and they unlawfully download some files, then the bill payer will be
blamed.

If you have a Wi-Fi connection which is not properly secured [3], and someone uses that connection to share a file they’ve downloaded,
again, the bill payer will be blamed.

* How about if your computer gets infected by malicious software (spyware, becomes a member of a botnet, or worse still, is actively hacked) and they use that as an untraceable machine to download their content – again, the bill payer is blamed.

My other worry is that none of this goes in front of a court of law – this all occurs between the ISP and Rights Holders, so if you get disconnected, it will happen without any judicial oversight and the prosecution’s burden of proof is never required… someone (usually outside the UK) will accuse you of breaking the law and you will then get disconnected from the Internet. To me, that hardly seems very fair.

There’s a petition [4] against this law which is currently available to be signed (provided you live within the UK, you are an ex-pat or are a member of the Armed Forces), and, if you agree that it isn’t fair, I would strongly encourage you to write to your MP [5]. If you do decide to write to them, please review the content at the Don’t Disconnect Us website [6] and review some of the letters which have already been written [7] [8] as this e-mailing service will remove duplicate e-mails so if you just copy the content it’ll never get to your MP.

Thank you for your time. The links I have referred to above, labelled [x] are listed below if you want to read them.

[1] Queen’s Speech: http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page21361
[2] Stephen Timms defends the Digital Economy Bill: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/nov/20/digital-economy-bill-stephen-timms
[3] Ways to secure your WiFi connection: http://www.dontdisconnect.us/secure-your-wireless/
[4] The petition against the Digital Economy Bill: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/dontdisconnectus/
[5] You can contact your MP via e-mail at this website: http://www.writetothem.com/
[6] Don’t Disconnect Us official website: http://www.dontdisconnect.us/
[7] A letter I wrote to my MP: http://jonspriggs.posterous.com/a-letter-to-my-mp-threestrikes
[8] A letter written by someone else to their MP about this law: http://grahambinns.com/blog/2009/11/24/digital-economy-bollocks/

A letter to my MP #threestrikes

Dear Andrew Gwynne,

I’m writing to you, as my MP, to ask for your support, to try to
discourage the implementation of the Digital Economy Bill that was
introduced recently.

This proposal is very worrying to me, as a Free Culture (Open Source
Software and Creative Commons) Contributor and activist. A large part
of the distribution of this Free Culture Content is performed over
peer to peer networks, such as BitTorrent, and it appears that this
law is trying (in part) to discourage the use of peer to peer
networks, on the grounds that they may be used to unlawfully transfer
files.

I also worry that during discussions of this law between Stephen Timms
(Treasury Secretary) and The Guardian newspaper, he suggested that a
temporary account suspension from one’s ISP would be an acceptable
movement without any judicial overview. Given that Finland has
recently recognised Internet Access is now such a fundamental part of
our day-to-day lives that they are classing it as a Human Right, I
worry that this movement could effectively prevent many of your
constituents from being active in society.

I’ve also noticed that many ISPs and most of the policing and
intelligence services have stated they disagree with the
recommendations of this bill (for a variety of different reasons), I
would be grateful if you could support their position and reject this
bill in it’s current state, if you are able, when it is presented.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Spriggs

Posted via email from Jon’s posterous