National Defense Authorization Act 2012 gives Americans a taste of their own Medicine

The initial cloud of smoke has cleared on 2012’s National Defense Authorization Act and we are still no better informed about the extent of its newly formed ambiguous power than we were when it was passed two weeks ago.

The NDAA of 2012 broke with its traditionally monotonous roots when its scope spread far beyond the traditional yearly Department of Defense budgeting. In a seemingly dodgy move the government slipped in the now highly controversial Section 1021 and 1022—constitution-raping pieces of legislation akin the Patriot Act on steroids. The two sly sections allow for the indefinite detention of American citizens suspected of terror activities, without a trial. Think: Guantanamo Bay tactics for Americans, on US soil.

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DeSopa Circumvents SOPA — Despite its Anti-Circumvention Measures

Leave it to the internet to find a way to circumvent impending laws designed solely to control it.

Pro-internet developer Tamer Rizk designed a tool that can circumvent the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and ‘save the internet’. Rizk’s app is rather ironic given that it circumvents SOPA — despite its anti-circumvention measures. His new app, called DeSopa (source on Github), is a Firefox add-on extension that can outwit SOPA by manipulating the Domain Name System.

SOPA, if/when it is approved, would force ISPs to deny service to any websites found infringing on copyright material and would use the Domain Name System (DNS) to filter offending websites. DeSopa however found a loophole: a circumvention measure of bypassing the DNS and using IP addresses to load websites instead of the DNS-given name of the website (ex. using 209.85.175.99 instead of http://www.google.com/). By checking with foreign DNS servers DeSopa can find the correct IP address without using its DNS address — and would therefore not be caught in SOPA’s web.

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