Friday, March 10, 2006


Kicked Off

The Changes

The Further Left Library has been moved to a new location after being terminated by its Lagunanet hosting service. That is, we've been kicked off. Our users should update saved address links as appropriate.

The Library's previous direct link to http://lagunanet.net.mx/pocho will cease to function. At least temporarily however, there is a redirect at that address which connects to the front page of the Library at its new location. I hope but am not sure Lagunanet will continue to allow that. Any connection attempts to individual Lagunanet Library pages which might appear in search engines such as http://lagunanet.net.mx/pocho/somepage.htm will produce a Not Found error.

The addresses http://furtherleft.tk and http://flroominfo.tk redirect connections to the Library and Chat Room information page respectively. They have been modified to link now to the new host. Their annoying pop up advertising is still there. You get what you pay for and the tk domains are free.

The Library's new storage site has the address http://furtherleft.net. It will present no pop ups, advertising, or unexpected connections and should be the preferred Library link. This Forum's left column links to the Library and its separate pages have been modified to reflect the change. The Chat Room and this Forum are hosted on other systems and remain unaffected.

The Background

Lagunanet is a local private internet service provider here in Mexico. It was the only act in town when initiating its business in 1997, at which time I began using it, first by normal phone connection and later by high speed wireless. It is primarily a one person operation in its technical sense. Service reliability depended on that person's physical presence during restricted working hours.

The local area is subject to frequent and usually brief power outages during which time neither my computer nor Lagunanet's functions worked and often failed to restart on their own. That Lagunanet tended failing to reinitiate service until the operator attended was of little concern during early use, email, internet browsing, and later chatting in and maintaining existence of the Yahoo Further Left Chat Room. That was the case until the Library was installed on Lagunanet in 2004. It became a greater matter of concern last June when Yahoo shut down chat rooms and we moved ours to the EveryWhereChat system.

Now there was a desire of keeping a presence in the room around the clock and working it in close conjunction with the Library. Telmex, Mexico's national phone service, had by that time installed local ADSL high speed internet service. It was less expensive and more reliable. I moved my internet connection there while the Library's hosting remained at Lagunanet.

The Reasons

I received a phone call from a personal friend who associates loosely with Lagunanet saying it will quit hosting the Library site. The explanation given was that Lagunanet's unreliable service resulted from denial of service attacks directed to them because of hosting our Library. That is a form of disruptive internet hacking which automatically sends multiple connect requests to a service provider with object to flood and overload its devices and thus bring it down. I have differing thoughts about that.

We encountered deliberate disruption attempts when our Chat Room was on Yahoo. They were entirely of a psychologically childish nature such as impersonation, lying, and defaming. There were no instances of technical hacking. They occurred because there was no facility on Yahoo for controlling user access.

That has changed since we moved the chat to the EWC system where destructive intent is recognized and prevented from beginning. We know who our users are and of what they are capable. There are none with either desire or expertise to engage in technically disruptive hacking.

Experience has shown that would be non professional disrupters are primarily interested in playing personal ego enhancing games and always seek credit for nefarious accomplishment. They knowingly or otherwise quickly and obviously give themselves away. That has been true whether motivation was based on political stance or no more than public psychological masturbation. We've yet heard no such cry for credit wafting from the bushes (double intendre intended).

So if it isn't the little boy who lives down the lane, who does that leave? Ah, professionals who know what they are doing and operate in the dark! Think CIA, FBI, PGR, M8, perhaps Mr. Bush himself fresh out of night classes in computer science.

Whomever the attacking hackers might be, they seem to have a pretty good fix on the nature of Lagunanet's and my common local electrical power grid. Their claimed attacks which take Lagunanet out and prevent its return tend to occur at the same time my own household lighting and computer power click off.

There are would be leftists who might like to think they are big enough in schemes of wishful revolution to deserve such attention. We are not among them. All one needs do is take a close look at the full contents of Further Left Library and then cruise comparatively around the web. There are many others than the Library which would make better targets but somehow seem to exist with little problem.

I know nothing of the inner workings of Lagunanet's business or technical operations. Nor have I any information beyond that of a friend's phone call claim of our Library's attracting denial of service attacks. I doubt my phoning friend understands what such are, and the Lagunanet operator has not contacted me. I would like to have details showing how our Library is at fault. That that might help protect us in the future.

The Effects

There are two operative downsides to the move we've made. One follows from many of the Library's internet hits coming through search engine queries which pick up on page content. Those links are to Library pages on Lagunanet which no longer exist. It will take some time before the search engines remove the old and note those pages at the new site.

Another disadvantage of the move is because several of the pdf format files in the Library's Book Exchange section were too large to upload to the new site and that section had to be scrapped. Many of the search engine results were directed to that material. Some of the Book Exchange content might be replaced by html coding portions of it. Doing so would take some time and effort however.

There will be several advantages to the move. A major one should be gain in reliability. The new system also offers several new functions which might be applied to enhance use of the Library.

The Politic

A few weeks ago there was an international business meeting in a Mexico City hotel owned by a United States Company. It included representatives from both the US and Cuba. The US government on basis of US law and contrary to that of Mexico forced the hotel to remove the Cuban guests, refuse them refund of payments, and send their money instead to the US treasury. The incident caused an indignant uproar within Mexican society but the Mexican federal government did nothing about it. If you see yourself as the little guy on the block (and not moving further left), you tend not to disfavor the neighborhood bully.

It is easy to blame overt governmental censorship of US media as behind Americans' apparent blatant ignorance not only of other nations and societies but also their own. It is too easy, and that is its fallacy. Governments and those who structure social constraints don't have to impose restrictions on those who fear them. Assumed fear amid collective ignorance is sufficient for self imposition.

All media outlets including internet service providers are businesses. As that, they rank business success over confronting bullies upset over what is not a business concern. I've cast doubt on the veracity of Library culpability for Lagunanet's unreliability but understand it is a business existing realistically in the world as deemed by the person who runs it. A real estate vendor or a garden club using their services would not come to mind as a hacker target. A leftist web site might.

It becomes again a matter of the little guy shying from a perceived neighborhood bully, even if the bully is imagined. As it effects you and I as users of the Library, the end result, whether through self censorship or that externally forced, amounts to censorship period, regardless of the dynamic of its being.

So, we'll just go elsewhere and continue shouting. If the same should occur again, we'll repeat and keep repeating as necessary. We know the neighborhood bully is naked.



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