Law enforcement to internet: FUCK YOU!

2003-09-23 17:55

It’s time we were honest.

Law enforcement does not give a flying fuck at the moon about the internet. Law enforcement does not care about you, or me, or anyone else. Law enforcement doesn’t care.

This was driven home by the fact that a couple of the best and brightest anti-spam resources have been shut down by DDoS attacks. These are attacks which can shut down anything – Yahoo! and eBay were shut down briefly by them a while back.

The only way to do anything about them is for law enforcement to, well, enforce laws.

But they won’t. Not for you, not for me, not for anyone who can’t afford to fund millions of dollars worth of investigations. They won’t, because they don’t care, and they won’t start to care until it’s the White House. Then they’ll care, very briefly, until they get a scapegoat… But the people behind these attacks are still out there, and they know that no one cares. When a guy broke into one of our systems through a back door, I called around. The police don’t know what an internet is. The FBI doesn’t care unless it’s child porn. That’s what they told me; no naked kids, no involvement. Period. Ever. No matter how much damage is being done, no matter how much our country’s infrastructure depends on it. It just doesn’t matter.

What that means is that you cannot expect to have the internet forever. The spammers have the ability to shut you down. If you piss them off, they will destroy you, and they will destroy any ISP that hosts you. No one, anywhere, is big enough to prevent them from doing this.

They will do this with the full cooperation, endorsement, and support of every law enforcement official, every legislator, in the United States. When they could have acted, they didn’t. Now, it’s too late. The anti-spam resources that have protected mailboxes for years are gradually falling apart. They are being shut off. The guy who nearly got a major ISP in Shanghai to shut down spammers is no longer able to do anything; he’s been forced to retire, because there isn’t enough money in the world to buy the bandwidth he’d need just to keep his site up.

But, as long as it’s just the fundamental infrastructure on which the continued functioning of the internet depends, and not a commercial venture of some sort, there’s no chance, none at all, of getting law enforcement involved. Why should they care? It’s not like it’s costing anyone any money.

Only it’s costing all of us billions of dollars a year, as the internet’s infrastructure continues to degrade under the constant onslaught of spam and viruses, enabled by Microsoft’s suicidally stupid “open door” policy on protocols, and supported by the FBI’s unwillingness to actually do something about people who are committing tens of thousands of federal crimes a day.

It’s not that the FBI isn’t solving some crimes. It’s that most of the crimes they’re solving, today, are less relevant to the future of our culture than the crimes they aren’t solving. Large scale distributed denial of service attacks are much more serious than any crime involving under a dozen people. We are talking about the ability for some guy, somewhere, to permanently disable all network services for any organization, at will. That’s out there, right now. And the FBI doesn’t care, because so far, the attacks on big companies have been transient. What’s being shut down is small organizations providing crucial infrastructure support to the people who have, until recently, been trying to keep email usable as a mechanism for private communication. As they fail, so too does email fail.

Under 10% of the mail that reaches me these days is anything but spam and Microsoft-borne viruses and worms. That percentage keeps dropping. As time goes on, it’s becoming more and more expensive to be able to process any email at all.

There is one, and only one, way for us to fix this. The FBI has to devote even a couple of people – really, one or two could do this – to tracking down one or two of the people behind the DDoS attacks, and shutting them down. Permanently. They’ve broken enough federal laws that minimum sentencing would be on the order of millenia. But, with the structure of laws in the U.S., no one but the government can initiate this action. They need to decide to care. They need to care now, while there’s still something to save.

To Ron, my friend, and one of my personal heroes: I’m so sorry. I wish the world were other than this. I wish things were different. I know that, right now, a Venn diagram showing “people who care” and “people who can do anything” looks like two circles which don’t even touch. I wish we could communicate with the people who could do anything, make them think… But we probably can’t. Maybe some day they’ll get off their asses, and you can have another go at saving the world.

Peter Seebach

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Comments

  1. The internet is an overrated piece of useless shit. It only benefits thieves and hackers and hawkers of unwanted unsolicited products. It really isnt needed for an average person of average income who has nothing to sell and no desire to buy anything from it ever.

    — mike · 2005-01-02 21:59 · #

  2. Email is a joke. There is no privacy whatsoever. The total usefullness of the internet will be revealed to be an easy way to monitor the activities of every person on earth foolish enough to actually put personal information in their p.c.'s. Everything one does with a computer whether good or bad can and will be used against them one day soon.

    — mike · 2005-01-02 22:05 · #

  3. You are an idiot. I wont say much more because you are too stupid to even comprehend. First of all the internet is HUGE its worldwide and there is more shit going on than you could ever dream. Why would the FBI give a flying fuck about you? Is there a terrorist plot involved? Is somewhat physically being hurt? There are plenty of ways to protect yourself, your networks and your e-mail. DDoS attacks are avoidable and preventable. If you dont know how to prevent them then you shouldn't be on the internet. You shouldnt own a computer. I am tired of hearing all these "comspiracy theory" rants from assholes who dont know a damn thing about computers or the internet or even the multitude of cases that the FBI, CIA, DEA, and other Federal agencies are handling and how much it DOES have to do with internet crimes. So until you know what you are talking about kindly shut your mouth and cancel your internet because obviously your an idiot.

    — NotAnIDiot · 2006-03-29 12:03 · #

  4. Not an idiot is just another idiot, and aggresive too. or A retard with an obvious mental problem thet should be hospitalized instad of being posted on this page.

    — gtuduiy · 2007-05-30 22:55 · #

  5. Ironically, NotAnIDiot is incredibly naive.

    As a system administrator for over 10 years of a web hosting provider, I wonder if someday I'm going to need some serious therapy from having to deal with all the spammers and hackers crap that they are constantly throwing out from millions of hosts. And more so from dealing with the users who don't understand why I have to turn things off as a result.

    — SB · 2007-12-29 16:46 · #

  6. I have been in the most critical situations lately.

    I know there is alot of things going on around me but it's hard to explain. I mean why me? I'm this dude that try's to stay afloat right near the bottom.

    This world is a strange place, If you see me dissappear you know it was a conspiracy....

    Please start a chain letter stop the conspiracy, let our minds be free from the anarchy everyone is in denial of.


    — Keith Rodriguez · 2008-04-29 14:08 · #

 
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