Elon Musk, the bloke behind Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity wants to build a second internet in space.
The idea is that it will connect people on Mars to the Web.
The big idea is to launch a vast network of communication satellites to orbit earth. The network would do two things: speed up the general flow of data on the Internet and deliver high-speed, low-cost Internet services to the three billion-plus people who still have poor access to the Web.
This will create a global communications system that would be larger than anything that has been talked about to date.
Space Internet will see hundreds of satellites would orbit about 750 miles above earth, much closer than traditional communications satellites in geosynchronous orbit at altitudes of up to 22,000 miles.
The lower satellites would make for a speedier internet service, with less distance for electromagnetic signals to travel.
Musk’s cunning plan is to set up a system that would rival fibre optic cables on land while also making the internet available to remote and poor regions that don’t have access.
Internet data packets would no longer have to go through dozens of routers and terrestrial networks. Instead, the packets would go to space, bouncing from satellites until they reach the one nearest their destination, then return to an antenna on earth. Relay satellites could connect the system to Moon or Mars bases.
The office will start with about 60 people and may grow to 1,000 within four years. The employees will also work on SpaceX’s Falcon rockets, Dragon capsules, and additional vehicles to carry various supplies and people into space.
North Korea experienced a complete unternet outage for hours before links were restored this morning.
At the moment it is unclear what caused the country’s internet to go dark – it could have been a technological glitch or a hacking attack. The US government denied that it was involved in any cyber action against Pyongyang in revenge for attacking its paymasters in Hollywood recently.
US President Barack Obama had vowed to respond to the major cyber-attack on Sony, which he blamed on North Korea, “in a place and time and manner that we choose”,
North Korea’s internet links were unstable on Monday and the country later went completely offline.
South Korea, which remains technically at war with the North, also had a motive. It recently revealed that a nuclear power plant operator had been hacked, probably by North Korea.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye said the leak of data from the nuclear operator was a “grave situation” that was unacceptable as a matter of national security, but she did not mention any involvement of North Korea.
Most North Korean’s would have been unaware that the internet was broken. Very few of its 24 million people have access.
Almost all its Internet links and traffic pass through China. North Korea is dependent on a single international provider, China Unicom.
Apparently the United States asked China to shut down servers and routers used by North Korea that run through Chinese networks. It also asked them to identify any North Korean hackers operating in China and, if found, send them back to North Korea. It wants China to send a strong message to Pyongyang that such acts will not be tolerated.
If the Chinese had switched off the internet for a few hours to send a message to North Korea they did not tell anyone about it.
In Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said while it opposed all forms of cyberattacks and that there was no proof that North Korea was responsible for the Sony hacking.
Ever willing to blame ISPs for any problems in the world, the UK’s Tory government say ISPs are behind the Sony hack.
The Tories are trying to get ISPs to act as unpaid censors to stop anything that someone with a blue rinse might not want to see on the internet. The ISPs have told them that they can’t be responsible for everything that appears on the internet, so the Tories are trying to convince the world that they really are.
Last week Prime Minster David Cameron claimed that the ISPs were responsible for terrorism because websites from terror groups could be found online. Before that he claimed they were responsible for child porn, for similar reasons.
Now as the fallout from the Sony hack continues, the UK Prime Minister’s former IP advisor, as “facilitators” web-hosts and ISPs must step up and take some blame.
You would think that someone who advises a Prime Minister about the internet might actually know a little bit about it, but clearly Mike Weatherley MP does not have a clue.
He claims that the ISPs are encouraging internet piracy by allowing stolen films to go down their tubes.
“Piracy is a huge international problem. The recent cyber-attack on Sony and subsequent release of films to illegal websites is just one high-profile example of how criminals exploit others’ Intellectual Property,” Weatherley wrote.
“Unfortunately, the theft of these films – and their subsequent downloads – has been facilitated by web-hosting companies and, ultimately, ISPs who do have to step-up and take some responsibility.”
Of course Cameron’s internet adviser can’t provide detail on precisely why web hosts and ISPs should take responsibility for the work of malicious hackers. Particularly when these ones appear to be state sponsored.
His theory is that something must be done and it is the ISPs who must do it. Of course he could equally have blamed the Prime Minister’s cat and come up with a more viable reason.
It is also tricky because in the UK almost every major torrent site is already blocked by ISPs. So in this case it is just Weatherley opening his mouth and letting the wind blow his tongue around.
The nation which once led the world with its technological expertise is now blasting high-speed internet connections as against its religion.
A Grand Ayatollah in Iran has been looking up his copy of the Koran and decided that access to high-speed and 3G Internet is “against Sharia” and “against moral standards”.
Writing in his bog, Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, one of the country’s highest clerical authorities, issued a fatwa, stating: “All third generation and high-speed internet services, prior to realisation of the required conditions for the National Information Network, is against Sharia and against moral and human standards.”
Internet access has been an ongoing struggle between Iran’s hardliners, who retain key bases of power in the judicial, intelligence and security branches of government and wish to maintain strict censorship and control over all information. The problem is that more than half of the country’s 42 million Iranians use the internet.
Authorities frequently slow the speed of the internet as a means to render it effectively useless, thereby depriving the citizenry of the online access it needs for professional, educational, and commercial use. But at least their souls are safe and no one can get the information needed to question authority.
The Grand Ayatollah’s ruling might cause a few problems for president Hassan Rouhani who has said that Iranian people deserve better than to wait for information on the internet.
Conservative, religious, and security organisations and officials are terrified that they will lose control of their population if a faster internet is introduced. The also want the development of the National Information Network, (National Intranet) which was begun under the previous Ahmadinejad administration and will give the government total control over Internet access inside Iran.
The British House of Lords is gearing up for a campaign to remove online anonymity.
The Communications Committee of the House of Lords has now issued a report concerning “social media and criminal offenses” in which they basically recommend scrapping anonymity online.
What it wants is for web services to be required to collect real names at signup, but then could allow those users to do things pseudonymously or anonymously.
It means that their actions could then easily be traced back to a real person if the “powers that be” deemed it necessary.
The Lord’s report said it would be reasonable to require the operators of websites first to establish the identity of people opening accounts.
However it is also reasonable to allow people thereafter to use websites using pseudonyms or anonymously.
“There is little point in criminalising certain behaviour and at the same time legitimately making that same behaviour impossible to detect,” the Lord’s report said.
The report notes that the findings are “tentative” and that these recommendations might possibly “be an undesirably chilling step towards tyranny.” but they do not seem that concerned about it, or they would not have made the general recommendation in the first place.
If the scheme goes ahead it will mean that most people will be anonymous, but armed with a court order, or a warrant, the authorities, or libel lawyers can find out who you are.
The British spy agency GCHQ has developed tools to seed the internet with false information.
According to security writer Glenn Greenwald the British spooks have the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, “amplify” sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be “extremist.”
GCHQ’s capabilities were found amongst documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The British even use a trick to connect two unsuspecting phone users together in a call.
The software tools were built by backroom boffins working for GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG). It appears to be a clear indication that the British are using propaganda and internet deception. We have seen already the use of “fake victim blog posts,” “false flag operations,” “honey traps” and psychological manipulation to target online activists, monitor visitors to WikiLeaks, and spy on YouTube and Facebook users.
However the GCHQ document called “JTRIG Tools and Techniques” https://firstlook.org/theintercept/document/2014/07/14/jtrig-tools-techniques/ shows just what sort of skulduggery the British are up to online.
According to Greenwald, the document us designed to notify other GCHQ units of JTRIG’s “weaponised capability” when it comes to the dark internet arts, and “serves as a sort of hacker’s buffet for wreaking online havoc”.