Internet 1, Attorneys 0

2600 notes that the “banned Mitnick chapter” — from celebrity ex-hacker Kevin Mitnick’s new book — has been released onto a Yahoo discussion group. According to 2600, the chapter was excluded from the book because he takes aim at particular journalists who he believes profited from his getting caught, and attorneys for those journos threatened litigation.

However, I have to note that having this posted on Yahoo Groups–a privately run service–makes it much more liable to be censored than having spread around Usenet or other decentralized networks.

At least for the moment, networks like Usenet and P2P networks, like Gnutella, are hard to shut down and censor. Once you’ve released something to them, it’s almost impossible to recall it or censor it. That’s the beauty of the Internet as it currently exists. And that’s one of the things we need to fight to preserve.

It always lifts my spirits to see some banned, censored or edited-out text released onto the wilds of the Internet. Secrets only benefit the secretive and privileged minority. Now, more than ever, we need a global Samizdat.






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