War for the Web
09 07.13

Power Corrupts: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and Privacy

Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, CIA, NSA, FBI. David and Goliath? Heroes and Tyrants? These situations are full of shades of gray. There is one thing transparently black and white, however; the Internet has placed the power of a surveillance state, and by extension the tools for tyranny, in government and corporate hands. We now know, definitively, that the NSA colludes with Verizon, AT&T and others to collect information about Americans, ostensibly to prevent terrorist attacks. "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” -Lord Acton, 1887 Read more
28 05.13

Plan X and the Gamification of War

We've seen a lot of controversy over the gamification of war, a concept that generally refers to the separation of the act of killing with the process by which you kill. This can mean drone strikes, this can mean Apache attack helicopter strikes, and various other things. Ultimately, this is a process that the military uses to make the act of killing easier for our troops. That's an important thing, it's part of the propaganda machine that keeps the military moving. They did it in world war one, they did it in world war two, they did it in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq one; there's nothing new about it. It really just amounts to the separation of strategy and the tools of war. Read more
30 03.13

Internet (In)security

So last week there's been a whole hubbub about how a DDOS attack in Northern Europe is bringing down the whole Internet. We should be clear on something; the Internet is fine. Now, that doesn't mean it's not troubling. DDOS attacks happen all the time, but this DDOS attack is roughly 6 times larger than any we've really seen previously, and there are some Internet outtages in Northern Europe. All that said, Gizmodo has a really great explanation of what's really going on, which you can check out here. Read more
28 03.13

Battlefield Internet

We often get asked, what is War for the Web about. We have a really good elevator pitch down about the physical infrastructure of the Internet, and the way that ownership works, etc... We can rattle it off no problem. And those are all great descriptions of the film, but they aren't what the film is about. Read more
05 02.13

War on the Internet

In the last month there have been some startling admissions from several newspapers that their newsrooms have been the target of malicious hacking activities over the last six months. It started with the New York Times own admission of being hacked, and their description of the way they confronted this dilemma. Since then, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post have both acknowledged their own issues with hacking, and it looks as though Bloomberg is having some trouble as well. It looks like the hacking has been done from China, and the timing of the hacks coincide with the publication of a series of articles about the top leadership in China and their families by both the Times and the Wall Street Journal. Mandiant, the computer security group that the Times hired, has even gone so far as to suggest that it was the Chinese military coordinating these attacks. Read more
24 01.13

Susan Crawford in the New York Times

War for the Web interview subject Susan Crawford published a great editorial in the times today. One of the reasons we love Susan is because she is never afraid to recommend solutions to problems. The particular problem she discusses today is core to the entire structural problem the Internet faces today. Without a competitive marketplace for Internet services in the United States, we cannot hope to compete with the rest of the world. Read more
16 01.13

Excerpts from Aaron Swartz Interview – July 10, 2012

We met Aaron Swartz in spring of 2012 at the Freedom 2 Connect conference in Washington D.C. As one of the keynote speakers, he told his story about how he and a group of passionate Internet users rose up against a Goliath of government and corporate interests to defeat the infamous SOPA/PIPA bill. With calm understated confidence, Aaron reminded all of us of the power we have within ourselves to effect change in the system. Read more
12 01.13

A Sad Week for the Internet

This week we mourn the loss of two men who were integral to the formation of War for the Web, and who, moreover, dedicated the majority of their lives to the Internet in the most meaningful ways imaginable. The world is poorer for the absence of Wally Feurzeig and Aaron Swartz. Read more
01 01.13

The Internet as a Utility?

This past summer, we had the good fortune of sitting down with Susan Crawford to discuss the issues affecting Internet use today in the United States. She's always been a proponent of overhauling the Internet regulatory structure in the United States, and for good reason. She recently wrote a great article for Bloomberg, outlining the Internet as a utility, and advocating some pretty important regulatory changes. You can find that article here. Read more
06 12.12

Happy Birthday to the ARPAnet

The ARPAnet, the precursor to our modern Internet, came into existence today when a group of students at UCLA sent the message, L - O before the computer crashed. The modern computer network was born! While we are here, let's just mention that ARPA was a project entirely funded by the defense department, and that it's success and importance became quickly apparent. From its inception in the 1960's to the explosion of the Internet in the consumer marketplace in the 1990's, there was a continual expansion of Internet and networking for businesses and academic institutions. Definitely check out wikipedia's history for more information. Read more