Why Tor Should Not Be Used for Filesharing

Due to the recent court judgement there’s obviously a lot more interest in Internet anonymity at the moment.  For the purposes of this post, I’m not going to tackle the thorny issue of the morality of filesharing.

What I will say however, is that one proposal that is being put out there is that people switch to Tor.

Do not do this.  Firstly, Tor is actually relatively slow and isn’t much cop for filesharing anyway.  More importantly, Tor is used by activists, all over the world, who actually need to stay anonymous from the state.  It was a major factor in both the Iranian and Egyptian revolutions.  It is not set up to handle the kind of traffic that filesharing brings to it and if enough people do so, it’s likely to become unusable.

It is more important that activists carry on being able to use this resource than it is that you can download the latest Lady Gaga single.

If you are wanting to fileshare and are looking at this as an option, think again.  To repeat, I am taking no position on filesharing itself at this time.  (I’m still getting my thoughts together on the wider issue).  But if you fileshare, my opinion is unlikely to make you stop and if you don’t it’s unlikely anything I say will make you run out and do so.  If you’re in the former category, instead of Tor, look at one of the private subscription filesharing sites or, alternatively, do a bit of research into VPNs.

UAF Up to Old Tricks in Wales?

Can’t currently confirm this (as I don’t know anybody in wales), but if true it’s a) utterly fucking ridiculous and b) utterly fucking unsurprising.  From U75:

Despite (or rather because of) having nobody in Norf Wales (it’s a UAF/swappie free zone), they have linked up with the moribund and completely LP controlled trades council and called a demo in Wrexham a week after London. This is despite the fact that the far right have been very quiet for a long time now in the town, and is supposedly in response to EDL activity and a mosque burning in Deeside – I have questioned why the fuck they have chosen to have the demo in the wrong fucking town but to no avail.

They also haven’t bothered to liaise with us – the local (independent) anti-racist network, which has all sorts involved including a load of community groups etc and which subscribes to class-based anti-fascism – despite the fact that we actually have activists here and we have proper roots in the community. They have invited fucking Hain on to the platform. Their brand of anti-fascism will not do anything to help cohesion in this town and will only entrench the view amongst some that the left is no different to the political mainstream and doesn’t give a flying fuck about working class people. And, because alas most people are not familiar with the intricacies and different politics and approaches of the different groups, we will more than likely get lumped in with their brand of hectoring middle-class ‘nazi scum’ vote Labour bullshit. Fucks.

No point in this demo, it is pure gerrymandering on the part of UAF and the trades council, who want to pick up contacts and promote Labour in an election year respectively. With a dormant far right locally, all this will do is bring them out of the woodwork. So now we will have to mobilise, get our literature out putting forward ACTUAL FUCKING CLASS POLITICS and try to counteract the liberal popular front vote anybody but the BNP bollocks.

Meh.

This is also the answer to the “why are you attacking other antifascist groups you SECTARIAN!!!” answer.  It’s because sometimes tactics aren’t just different or even just pointless.  They’re actively counterproductive.

A Completely Unsurprising Development

Owen Jones is a frontrunner in the attempt to be the Labour candidate for Leicester South.

But remember, anyone who suggested that Owen was a careerist who was mainly interested in getting a safe Labour seat is a careerist.  He “spearheaded protests against tuition fees”, doncha know?

Some People Want Shooting

A list of some of those most guilty for colluding with Gaddafi.

Fuck anybody who doesn’t fully condemn everyone on this list, from Blair to Chavez.

Although, to be clear, I disagree strongly with this comment in the article:

It pains me, but I am also willing to overlook the military sales various western powers (including the United States) made to the regime in order to get its help against terror.  In the world in which we actually live, as opposed to the beautiful utopia which so many clueless idealists imagine we inhabit, you sometimes have to deal with Beelzebub to keep Satan in check.  FDR and Winston Churchill helped Stalin survive World War Two at the cost of extending his genocidal tyranny and watching him condemn two generations of central and east Europeans to life behind the Iron Curtain.  Richard Nixon made a deal with the even more genocidal Mao Zedong and his late-phase psychotic Gang of Four associates to contain the Soviet Union and stabilize Asia as the US retreated from Vietnam.  Selling weapons to Gaddafi to enlist his help against Al-Qaeda wasn’t pretty and may not have been wise — but ugly is not a synonym for indefensible.

Better to be a “clueless idealist” than complicit in genocide.

h/t Rosie Bell

Their Agenda and Ours

And, by ours, I’m talking about the anti-cuts movement.

Our agenda is, put simply, to oppose the cuts.  But for some, opposing cuts is actually entirely irrelevant to them.  Or as Luke Akehurst puts it:

I’m marching because I want Labour back in power, simple as that

I have two simple questions.

  1. Who is really trying to hijack the anti-cuts feeling for their own agenda?
  2. How many people would turn out to a “get Labour back in power” demonstration if it was advertised as such?

And now for some light relief…

A selection of random tracks that are currently tearing up my playlist highway, as Smashie and Nicey might say.

Some subcultural feuding, with this merciless skewering of Chumbawamba.

Now incredibly unfashionable, but still incredibly bloody good.

Some dumbfuck liberals will tell you that you shouldn’t laugh at somebody’s death, no matter how repellent that person was.   They’re entirely wrong, as they so often are.  And this ‘obituary’ of the fat dead Nazi that was Ian Stuart proves it.

The best ‘not very new’ band around at the moment.  If you don’t love them, I could never love you.

Proper Brummie eccentrics.  As seen in “When Hippies Turn Bad” presented by Troy McClure.

That’s yer lot.  Actually, I always suspect that nobody apart from the blogger ever reads these music posts, let alone checks out the bands linked to.  So if you can state otherwise, let me know in the comments.

Demonstration against Cuts- Huddersfield

Got back earlier from a demonstration outside/inside Huddersfield town hall, as the council were setting the budget today.  As demonstrations go, it was reasonably positive.

It was jointly organised by Kirklees Save Our Services, UNISON, UNISON Health Branch, Trades Council and the NUT.  There were even some anarchists involved in the organisation, but nobody tell Comrade Newman or he might get all grumpy (actually, this brings up an interesting point.  Is Uncle Joe Newman prepared to follow the logic of his position and openly call Yorkshire UNISON members “scabs” for working with “enemies of the labour movement”?  I suspect he doesn’t have the courage of his convictions, but maybe I’m being unfair.  I’m telling you, I wouldn’t be allowed to make posts like this in the worker’s utopia of East Germany).

I’m even worse at estimating numbers than the cops, but I reckon maybe a hundred people turned up, militant, but generally good natured.  We tried to get into the chamber itself, but were unsuccessful.  The council refused to let more than 12 people in to watch proceedings, instead trying to shuffle people off into a “viewing room” with a webcast.  So, most of us decided to stay in the lobby.  We tried to get in through the theatre door, but it was locked.  The council had also hired on extra security (apparently protecting themselves from the opinions of the people they supposedly represent wasn’t the kind of expense to cut) plus about 20 cops/community support officers.

The local Tory MP turned up to talk to the demonstrators!  I have to grudgingly admit, the man has guts, even if he is the class enemy.

Couple of really positive things about the demonstration for me.  Firstly, the militancy.  When people were trying to get into the council chamber, there wasn’t what you sometimes get with a divide between ‘direct action activists’ and ‘demonstrators’, outside obvious considerations of people having kids with them etc.

The other main thing that stood out to a veteran hack like myself was how democratic the whole thing was.  As opposed to the usual list of ‘safe’ speakers, a couple of the organisers spoke, then the floor and megaphone were freely available to anybody who wanted to talk about their experiences.  Which led to a speech by a couple of people from Libya about events there, which we wouldn’t have got with the usual heavy handed management of protests favoured by much of the left.  And, for me, is real internationalism in action- letting ordinary people talk about their views and experiences.

One issue that is going to arise again and again is that Labour voted for the budget.  Some Labour party members, even on the left, are arguing that we should only oppose Tories, not Labour councillors.  For me, that does suggest we need to watch the Labour left a bit carefully.  It’s reasonably obvious that they are torn between loyalty to the party and loyalty to the class and it’s unlikely they’ll all jump the same way.  This also means that the suggestions from some on the Labour left that the movement needs to work out its relationship to the Labour Party are playing with fire.  I don’t think they quite get how angry with the Labour Party (specifically) a lot of people are. Somewhat cynically, as part of the anti-Labour left (and for a lot longer than the johnny come latelys like the Trots), I don’t want us to be pushing this issue.  As it will lead to us being bashed with the ‘sectarian’ stick.  However, part of me really would like the Labour left like Owen to try and force this issue.  As instinct tells me that doing so is more likely to produce a result to my liking than theirs…