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Fine Gael calls for open source browser crackdown

Fine Gael calls for open source browser crackdown

Patrick O'Donovan, Fine Gael TD for Limerick, has called for a crackdown on open source browsers as gateways to 'drugs, weapons and pornography.'

Irish politician Patrick O'Donovan of the Fine Gael party has called for a crackdown on open-source browsers, calling them a gateway to an 'online black market' filled with 'illegal goods such as drugs, weapons and pornography' - but may, perhaps, be merely confused as to his terminology.

Fine Gael TD for Limerick, O'Donovan is by background an industrial chemist and the youngest Fine Gael Group Leader in the group's history - but that hasn't stopped him from apparently claiming that open source technologies are the root of all that is evil in the digital world.

'An online black market is operating which protects the users’ anonymity and operates across borders through the use of open source internet browers [sic] and payments systems which allow users to remain anonymous,' claimed O'Donovan in a statement published to the Fine Gael website.

'This effectively operates as an online supermarket for illegal goods such as drugs, weapons and pornography, where it is extremely difficult to trace the identity of the buyers. We need a national and international response to clamp down on this illicit trade.'

O'Donovan appears to have confused the issue of the TOR Project, an open-source effort to create an anonymising proxy network from volunteer machines, with open-source web browsers like Firefox and Chromium - the former of which has been put forward as a champion against NSA intrusion thanks to its easily-accessible source code and ongoing code validation programme.

TOR, it's true, allows access to otherwise hidden portions of the internet which play host to illegal and unsavoury content, including mail-order services for drugs and weapons. It also, it must be added, gives citizens of totalitarian regimes a means to bypass blacklists and access otherwise banned information sources like the BBC and Wikipedia, and a way for human rights workers and whistleblowers to communicate without fearing for their lives.

Quite what TOR has to do with open source browsers, then, is unclear - but O'Donovan is adamant that something must be done. 'I also intend to raise the matter in the Dáil with both the Ministers for Justice and Communications, with a view to seek assurances that an EU-wide response is developed to respond to the operation of open-source internet browsers which protect anonymity in order to facilitate illegal online activity.'

Perhaps the most obvious clue that O'Donovan is really talking about TOR - which is by no means a web browser, although can be downloaded with a tweaked copy of Firefox as the Tor Browser Bundle - comes in his closing paragraph: 'Law enforcement agencies in the United States have recently taken action to address this issue, however it appears the solution was temporary as replacement browsers quickly appeared to ensure the continuance of the illegal trade.' The closest to O'Donovan's uncited proclamation is the closure of Silk Road, a notorious TOR-based black market site, which soon recovered from the arrest of its founder and started up once again alongside numerous copycat sites.

At the time of writing, O'Donovan had not responded to a request for clarification regarding his statement.

32 Comments

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badders 15th January 2014, 10:37 Quote
Politician in 'doesn't know what he's talking about' shocker.

More at 11.
Snips 15th January 2014, 10:41 Quote
"This is a party political broadcast by Fine Gael paid for by campaign donations from Microsoft"

And damn straight he is too ;) All you need is IE!!
theshadow2001 15th January 2014, 10:43 Quote
With cabbages like this at the helm, is it any wonder the country is in such a bloody mess
Gareth Halfacree 15th January 2014, 10:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
"This is a party political broadcast by Fine Gael paid for by campaign donations from Microsoft"
We've had our differences, Snips, but by gosh that didn't half make me laugh. Cheers!
Anfield 15th January 2014, 11:06 Quote
How many years in a North Korean prison for sending that guy a raspberry pi as a practical joke?
loftie 15th January 2014, 11:22 Quote
So porn is illegal now? And no-one tell him Guinness contains a drug, best not use an Open Source browser to buy any at Sainsburys.
Corky42 15th January 2014, 11:31 Quote
Lets hope the EU and other body's tell him what some adviser should have told him before he opened his mouth. But i fear we will find politicians slowly chipping away at our freedoms on the internet in the coming years trying to control what they don't understand.
BlackRaven 15th January 2014, 11:48 Quote
Well these guys are talking out of their ar*es again as usual. They do not have any idea of what they are talking about. The Irish politicians are generally idiots.
raxonb 15th January 2014, 12:46 Quote
Throw some ketchup on him. Maybe he'll understand open sauce then :P
Cthippo 15th January 2014, 14:04 Quote
Hit him with the ketchup bottle and he'll understand why closed sauce software is bad!
B1GBUD 15th January 2014, 15:16 Quote
Eejit
theshadow2001 15th January 2014, 18:10 Quote
The page is no longer on the website. Clearly someone has told him what an arse he is.
hyperion 15th January 2014, 18:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001
The page is no longer on the website. Clearly someone has told him what an arse he is.

It's here, but don't worry. This bt article is the top news result for him, so everyone who searches his name will know what an idiot he is.

Idiocy aside, why do they need to know the identities of the buyers? Is it too hard to go after the sellers? And is it just me or does anyone else have an uncanny urge to give him a wedgie?
Andy Mc 15th January 2014, 19:06 Quote
What a f****** idiot. No wonder most the UK and other countries haven't got a clue about technology with people like this in power.
theshadow2001 15th January 2014, 19:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperion
It's here, but don't worry. This bt article is the top news result for him, so everyone who searches his name will know what an idiot he is.

Ah the link in the article has 2013 instead of 2014 in it. I guess that no one pointed out what an arse he was.

I wonder if this guy realises that cash has been used to anonymously buy drugs such as cigarettes and alcohol for years. Porn too!
Sloth 15th January 2014, 21:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by loftie
So porn is illegal now?
This caught my eye as well. If the guy hadn't just made such a foolish blunder as mistaking open source browser for TOR I'd think it was a subtle ploy to get readers to overlook it and start the conversation off with illegal porn as a given.
Nexxo 15th January 2014, 21:26 Quote
News Flash: out-of-touch-with-the-real-world politician makes an ass of himself while looking to score sound bites.

Anyway, I thought GTA5 was the gateway to drugs, weapons and pornography. I am disappoint.
hyperion 15th January 2014, 21:46 Quote
My father's wardrobe was my gateway to pornography. I didn't know I was a criminal. Come to think of it, my father's wardrobe was also my gateway to drugs and weapons. Suck on that, Narnia.
Shirty 15th January 2014, 22:01 Quote
My father's wardrobe also introduced me to porn as well. Also, it swallowed my prized stamp collection when I was about 12, right about the time my folks were going through some financial hardship or other.

I gave up on philately and turned to drugs some years later. I also later used a stolen firearm to cause criminal damage.

Suck on that Fine Gael!
Umbra 15th January 2014, 23:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
News Flash: out-of-touch-with-the-real-world politician makes an ass of himself while looking to score sound bites.

Anyway, I thought GTA5 was the gateway to drugs, weapons and pornography. I am disappoint.

I heard you need the GTA5 Bitcoin mod to get access to the Darknet from in game, if you complete all 77 missions for Bradley Snowden you get access details of a secure VPN that's onion routed to a PC and you'll get a PGP encrypted email from a Dread Pirate who's a silk trader with the details you need and a link to an encrypted cloud where you can d/load the mod.

The mod is a TAR file that's been Truecrypted and comes with another 2048bit encryted txt file, the Truecryted TAR file uses passwords and pictures, details in the email will tell you how to open the txt file which has details of the pictures you need to d/load these are just random pictures you can find at Flickr but they are different for every TAR file and change every 30 minutes.

If you don't open the Truecrypted TAR in that time you will need to drive to the address given in the txt file and find the pimped cop car in the underground garage, search the body in the trunk of the car and get the cell phone, check the photos on the phone and look for a picture of a radio station and note the frequency of the station, tune into the station (any radio) at 7.00am on a Tuesday and note the name of the first song that's played it will have the name of a destination in it's title, Tobacco Road, Hotel California, etc, then get over to Los Santos Golf Club and steal a golf cart and drive to the location in the song, at that location in the mailbox is a letter addressed to Edward Manning's and in it will be details of 77 missions you need to complete to get access details of a secure VPN that's onion routed to a PC and you'll get....

and no, you can't do this on a console...yet
Nexxo 15th January 2014, 23:20 Quote
^^^ You, sir, just won the internet. Drugs, weapons, pornography and all! :D


I grew up before the web, and there were drugs, weapons and pornography anyway (well, not so much weapons, but there was definitely a liberal presence of drugs and pornography). Suck on that, Fine Gael: THIS. IS. THE. NETHERLANDS!!!
faugusztin 15th January 2014, 23:34 Quote
---
Shirty 16th January 2014, 00:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
I grew up before the web

I was growing up very nicely thank you, and then, suddenly, THE INTERNET!!1!

I think I managed to get through to the middle of my teens largely unscathed though...
hyperion 16th January 2014, 00:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirty
I was growing up very nicely thank you, and then, suddenly, THE INTERNET!!1!
That is so true!
GaryP 16th January 2014, 15:40 Quote
Tool.
Shirty 16th January 2014, 15:59 Quote
Show some respect Gary, he's a Fine Tool.
Snips 16th January 2014, 19:12 Quote
I just think that in so many cases of Politics and Political views, the uninformed just speak and hope the like minded uninformed believe it.

I have to admit, quite a few things on this site can go over my head, so I back away slowly and don't get involved. I read it, digest it but don't jump in wildly unless I can back it up. Out of experience, I'll comment and back it up.

This however, is a prime example of jumping in and clearly having no idea what the subject is. It's like getting a book and reading the foreword and then speaking with authority about the full contents of the book.

This guy has read the foreword from a completely different book though.
Nexxo 16th January 2014, 21:55 Quote
I suspect he just looked at the pictures. While holding the book upside down.
Shirty 16th January 2014, 21:58 Quote
And there was a copy of Naughty Nuns concealed inside the book.
Nexxo 16th January 2014, 22:38 Quote
Yeah... you want quality porn, you gotta go Catholic. :D
loftie 17th January 2014, 05:15 Quote
I dunno, british porn is pretty close

ZcVkYD3o910
siliconfanatic 19th January 2014, 19:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbra
I heard you need the GTA5 Bitcoin mod to get access to the Darknet from in game, if you complete all 77 missions for Bradley Snowden you get access details of a secure VPN that's onion routed to a PC and you'll get a PGP encrypted email from a Dread Pirate who's a silk trader with the details you need and a link to an encrypted cloud where you can d/load the mod.

The mod is a TAR file that's been Truecrypted and comes with another 2048bit encryted txt file, the Truecryted TAR file uses passwords and pictures, details in the email will tell you how to open the txt file which has details of the pictures you need to d/load these are just random pictures you can find at Flickr but they are different for every TAR file and change every 30 minutes.

If you don't open the Truecrypted TAR in that time you will need to drive to the address given in the txt file and find the pimped cop car in the underground garage, search the body in the trunk of the car and get the cell phone, check the photos on the phone and look for a picture of a radio station and note the frequency of the station, tune into the station (any radio) at 7.00am on a Tuesday and note the name of the first song that's played it will have the name of a destination in it's title, Tobacco Road, Hotel California, etc, then get over to Los Santos Golf Club and steal a golf cart and drive to the location in the song, at that location in the mailbox is a letter addressed to Edward Manning's and in it will be details of 77 missions you need to complete to get access details of a secure VPN that's onion routed to a PC and you'll get....

and no, you can't do this on a console...yet


YOU SIR, you win the internet, the kitchen sink, the doge and everything else.:)
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