Frequently asked questions / wall of text!
How does it (blocking) work?
Our solution to the above problem
Is this legal?
Why "MAFIAA Fire"?
What if they seize this domain?
Any weak links in this
What sites are you redirecting to right now?
Why does the plugin redirect to a page on this site every 15 redirects?
How do you verify site owners?
Like "The Matrix": I want to see the code!
Why does the plugin always request an internet connection at startup? And what if your server is down?
and not Chrome or Browser X?
Who are you?
Can I have the low down on the new Chrome plugin please? (NEW)
Closing notes and thanks
Well, in one word: fairness – and balance of power.
A little while back the scumbag anti-piracy organizations like the RIAA and MPAA (Also known as the Music and Film Industry Association of America – (jokingly known as the) MAFIAA) ran to the American government whining like like little bitches and got ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) involved with taking down websites – local AND foreign websites, completely overriding the laws and rights of non US / foreign citizens who owned these sites.
Yes, a bunch of private companies got a government entity as their very own hired goons!
These anti-piracy (MAFIAA) companies submitted a wish list of sites that they did not like and ICE (like good lapdogs) started to seize those domains.
(At this point I would like to mention (in fairness) that we are in no way affiliated with the below sites)
Some of the seized domains were perfectly legal, like TorrentFinder.com which only had links to other sites and RojaDirecta.com which was declared to be a legal site in Spain – twice!
"Not all bad men wear masks"
Looking at court documents it becomes obvious that ICE does not do any diligent footwork but takes the music and film industries word as the gospel truth, or are downright sloppy at best.
The best example of how sloppy and mad with power ICE is can be is found in how they took down 84,000 sites for 3 days in a “mistake”. These innocent sites were run by small businesses, mom and pop garage startups etc and for 3 days had a big official splash page displayed to all visitors that it had been taken down due to child porn.
It’s hard to bounce back from something like that and it’s a safe bet to assume a lot of businesses / people went belly up because of being wrongly accused of peddling child porn (something the music industry loves, by the way).
To make matters worse there is currently a law being drafted (called COICA) that will make such types of domain name seizures easier.
Enough is enough.
There is a time to bitch and moan and there is a time to take action - the time to be taking action has been long overdue.
Governments around the world are either censoring for the entertainment companie's never ending woes or using that as an excuse to slowly get more control over the internet for their own agendas - and trampling over our rights in the process.
Before it was "think of the children", then came "the terrorists win" and now its "piracy". While there were few genuine exceptions it's mostly bogeymen, unicorns and leprechauns or the music industries ridiculous 75 trillion US dollars in losses due to one companie's p2p software.
Our right to privacy should outweigh any outdated business model, unfortunately average Joe cannot afford a $10,000 plate dinner to speak to his representatives so his voice is drowned out by the vultures who can pay and get a politician's ear for "business".
How does it (blocking) work?
he slimy people (like the ones who work at the RIAA/MPAA) give a list of sites to their underlings (ICE) who convince a judge to sign and rubberstamp a piece of paper without actually looking at it - and that pretty much seals the deal.
Your top level (.com, .net, .org) domain can now be seized.
Your site can still be accessible via it’s IP address… but domain names were invented for a reason:
It’s easier to remember Google.com rather than an IP address (like 22.214.171.124).
Some sites like NewzBin and Demoniod have already taken preventive measures after seeing how these domain seizures are being abused by the MAFIAA and ICE either by redirecting all their .com traffic (Demoniod.com) to another domain (Demoniod.me) that is not controlled by the US, or even more drastic by making a hidden onion site accessible by Tor (NewsBin2).
All this of course after we ignore the following questions:
What does "Homeland Security" have to do with downloading an MP3 file or viewing a sports show?
Why is this government agency (DHS) which is tasked with anti-terrorism being the music/film and sports industries lackeys?
Civil laws already exist where copyright owners can litigate against "infringers", why is the taxpayer dime used to do these corporations "favors"?
While just remembering an alternative domain address like Demoniod.me is relatively easy, remembering an IP address for each site, or using Tor or remembering/using an union URL (for example: http://sc3njt2i2j4fvqa3.onion) is too much of a pain in the butt for the average user. [Top]
Our better and (ahem) more elegant solution:
"ICE taketh away, we giveth back!"
We plan to maintain a list of URLs, and their duplicate sites (for example Demoniod.com and Demoniod.de) and painlessly redirect you to the correct site.
How it works:
- You install our add-on into your browser
- If ever Demoniod.com is seized by ICE or the upcoming COICA legislation it won’t matter.
- You simply type Demoniod.com into your browser as usual, the browser sends the address to the add-on, the add-on checks if Demoniod.com is on the list of sites to be redirected and immediately redirects you to the mirror site.
This happens in microseconds and completely transparent to you (the user).
The best thing about it is: Absolutely no need to remember or bookmark strange URLs (like http://sc3njt2i2j4fvqa3.tor2web.org) or IP addresses, you use your browser exactly like you did before.
While it's true that you need DNS to get to the sites, what people seem to have forgotten is that there is one common piece of software that EVERYONE uses to get to sites before reaching the DNS: a browser.
We control the redirection _before_ (and this is important) the browser tries to connect to the DNS server.
Whatever blocks, notices, threats, etc ICE or anyone else puts up at the DNS level is as worthless as
the IFPI/RIAA/MPAA to mankind.
Genius? You decide.
Lets start with an example of burning the American flag.
No one really gets physically hurt (unless you are the moron who gets burnt while doing it) but it's still 'hurts' every patriotic American, in fact soldiers have died just protecting the flag - it's more than a piece of cloth.
Why? Because it's a symbol.
To draw a parallel, if ThePirateBay ware to be taken down tomorrow it would mean almost nothing to most file sharers (even TPB's founders say TPB's time is over, it has accomplished what it set out to do) except the symbol would have been torn down. Our "flag" would be taken down, except it's more than a flag...it's a gigantic middle finger to the powers that be - waving in the wind.
TPB has been the real unofficial ambassadors of Sweden, more than any 'dancing queen' or 'super trouper'.
And that's why like any nations flag we shall/will/should try to protect it.
Governments all over the world (like our neighbors, the Dutch) are crafting laws to specifically target TPB because of pressure from the parasites (MAFIAA).
Looking at recent history we see when Italy blocked TPB they set up an alternative domain "labaia.org" (Italian for "the bay") as it's quite easy to mirror a domain. The only problem was it took the Italians a little while to discover the new domain.
Now imagine if TPB promoted our add-on on their site (hint! hint!) and registered a buttload of domains... if their domain was ever seized or blocked it would still instantly resolve to the correct mirror when someone typed in "ThePirateBay.org" into their browser.
The end user would not need to know how or why... it would... just work! ® ©2011 :)
"There was a time (not long ago) when owning a black person was perfectly legal.
Just because something is legal does not always mean it's right and just because something is illegal does not always mean it's wrong."
- A wise man.
Is this legal?
This is almost the same as taking the time to edit your hosts file (on Windows) or copying and pasting the alternative address from a list of addresses or visiting a site that redirects you to the site you are looking for – except this is automated.
Or another example: You can edit your hosts file to block almost all advertisements from company X or you can download one of the many ad blockers to do the same thing – therefore automating the process and making it more efficient.
Basically, all you are really doing is using a tool to do something that you can legally do on your own.
UPDATE: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tried to take us down... they didn't get far, but just proved our point about being totally legal! Full story: Wired, TF, TD, BB, Ars, Slashdot or just do a search on google!
Hat's off to Mozilla for walking the walk after talking the talk - when they said they support freedom and open source, they beeping meant it!
Why “MAFIAA Fire” ?
Well, Fire melts ICE :D
We also want to be the fire under the MAFIAA (see our logo above)
This one time at band camp... this lady used fire to make COICA that we gulped down… delicious!
What if they seize MAFIAA Fire?
’t that be a hoot? Almost like a "security company" getting hacked because of stupid security… oops! Sorry Aaron Barr / HBGary!
While it’s possible we can get hacked (like any other site) it’s very unlikely our domain would get seized because we don’t link to any copyrighted material, sell any software (or anything) nor distribute malware.
To seize our domain would be nothing but censorship.
Awww crap! Come to think of it; some of the seized sites were not doing anything wrong either!
No worries, we do have a backup plan in place and can update the plugin/lists even if this site goes down.
We are also most interested in knowing under what laws our site can be taken down.
In case of a hacker taking down this website:
Our files are encrypted (the password is "password" of course), all input is sanitized before entering the database (HBGary helped us - on condition Aaron Barr manages our mail server) and our database is off site (with ACS law)- if we do get hacked, expect us back pretty quick!
A message to the goons at ICE: Go ahead and seize this domain, we dare you... no, we double dare you!
We see you exactly for what you are, a hired bunch of goons working for the movie, sports aand music industry fat cats who obey every command like sit, stand, talk...staayyyyyy!
Yet, you hide behind double speak and words that have many meanings, half truths or downright lies. You censor free expression and free speech (something you were supposed to defend) and sacrificed "due process" and people's rights for... what exactly?
Go ahead, censor us and show the world your true colors and your true (ugly and scarred) face - prove our point.
Any weak points in the system?
Unfortunately, like every system: yes.
If someone shoots us you won’t get updates!
But a more likely exploitable weak point is if scammers deceive us (and you) in this way:
They prove that they own domain X and domain Y and the content is identical.
We add them to the redirect-list.
They then make domain Y into a porn site/malware site.
To combat the above, on every redirect you will be told you are being redirected and have an option of reporting the site in question, if we find the above scenario to be true we will update the list and blacklist the main address from ever coming into our list/database again.
This is also why we will only accept top-tier domain names (Demoniod.com) and not sub-domains (asdf.123.demoniod.com) or "crap-URLs" (Demoniod.com/asdf/123/).
There will be a manual check (by us) of each domain being added to the list, this will add time for new domains added to the list (up to a week as this is not our regular job) but is necessary to weed the scammers out or make it just not worth their while.
A redirected-to / mirror domain may _not_ redirect you again. There is a simple contact form on our site where users can report rogue sites if we don't find them ourselves.
What sites are you redirecting to right now?
No surprises: We believe in full disclosure so when you expect to go to Apple.com you don't get redirected to CrAppl.com or when you expect to go to Google.com you don't get redirected to Google-sucks.blah
At any time you can go into the plugin's options and see which sites the plugin is redirecting to - regardless if you are using the Firefox or Chrome version.
We would love to redirect everyone (who use our add-on) from RIAA.org or IFPI.org to ThePirateBay.org :)
but we only redirect for domains that have been seized by ICE or for domains that the site owner actively sets up a re-direct for - by adding their site/s (see the above, top left link: "Add site") and confirming that they are the owner.
We manually check each site before it goes on the list to make sure this service is not abused.
Needless to say, as more domains get seized/censored the larger our list of domains to redirect-to
Like "The Matrix": I want to see the code!
And you shall! The entire code shall be open source and freely downloadable by anyone who wants to take a peek in, or get started on their own similar add-ons!
If this is not already done a 2 weeks from launch (April 14 2011) give us a shout and remind us!
Download the source for the Firefox from here: Click here
Download the source for the Chrome version here: Click here (Working on it, just download and renameit to zip for now)
The code will be distributed as is, use it, abuse it, modify it, sell it or do whatever you want with it... but just give us credit for it and link to us if doing so. There are no (implied or otherwise) promises or guarantees that come with the code - in other words; if it eats your dog, shoots your sister or starts Skynet: we are not in any way responsible.
We will also accept user edited code - if you can improve our code or add some feature that you think is useful, send us the modified code and we will give you credit for the modified part/s when / if we use your modifications.
Why? Well, like my grand-pappy used to say: share the wealth!
It also makes anyone trying to wipe us off the internet a waste of time: The idea would be out there on the internet as well as the means. Checkmate!
Why does the plugin always request an internet connection at startup? And what if your server is down?
To go faster we thought we would bunch both these questions together as they are related.
As you start your browser, every x days the plug-in connects to our servers to get the latest block-list, this serves a dual purpose.
1. If a site is taken down you (as a user) need not know about it but can use your browser exactly the same as before and will get redirected immediately to the mirror site/s.
2. If countries like the UK implement a “national block-list” we can/will redirect you to the correct site/mirror immediately. We don’t plan on beating their list – we plan on beating it, killing it, cutting it up, using it as fertilizer, eating the resulting fruit and crapping it out on the welcome mat of their front door.
“Ok genius, what if your server is down / DDoS’ed?”
No worries, we are going to have the update scripts on 4 servers/mirrors to start with, this will also load balance the traffic. We can (and will) add more servers if need be. Email us if you would like to host a mirror (just one php script, your server should also support Zend encoded scripts).
If for some ungodly reason all the servers are down, the script will either fall back on a saved list or just not do any redirecting. Either way, no harm done.
The main add-on / software will be distributed from Mozilla, anyway. Bringing this site down will just give us geeks some time to open the window and see the real world. (Trees look better in PNG anyway, glasses or no glasses the whole 3D thing is over rated.)
An option to come in a later update will allow you to set the number of days before you want to “refresh” the block-list.
The default will be the current setting: every 48 or 72 hours.
"Operation: It’s OUR sites 3 – this time it’s personal!"
Nothing less than to scuttle the upcoming COICA legislature or severely cripple it – ridiculing it and the people who are pushing it is an added bonus.
“My list is faster than yours!” or “My list can beat up your list!”
(This came as a bonus that we did not consider when first creating this plug-in, but one we plan to exploit to the fullest. )
Countries like the UK are thinking of a national list where they can block sites (again provided by the MAFIAA parasites). Well, if that does get the go ahead, then all a (blocked) site owner needs to do is make a dummy alternative address, mirror the content and give us the new address. Since we are “a non-government entity” we can move MUCH faster and simply send an update to the plugin negating any such national list.
With Firefox 4 add-ons can be automatically updated, which means users won’t even know a domain has been censored as we can put out the automatic updates as soon as they start their browser in addition to sending the updated list as it's done now.
The MAFIAA parasites want to play whack a mole? Bring it on! Our moles are on steroids and wear helmets… they also have Italian connections and are holding your (fat) momma hostage! [Top]
Why Firefox??! (or “Com'on dude, I hate FF, I use Chrome or browser X”)
Firefox is the second biggest in browser market share… but more importantly I have used it for a long time and found developing an add-on for it easier to learn :D
If I get the time or enough donations to take time off from work I’ll either port this code to Chrome or pay someone else to do it.
The Chrome version of this plugin has now been released by us... with a few tweaks to make it even better!
The Chrome plug-in/extension will share the exact same redirection-list as it’s FF brother.
This is on the To-Do list and will be coming soon – that’s a promise! (Done)
(You can get an update as and when we finish the Chrome add-on by clicking here)
Donations can help by us outsourcing the projects to others.
If a browser supports add-ons and the desired functionality we need, we will try to port this project. The goal is to cover all major browsers with a significant market share so nobody has to change their browsing habits in any way. (In a little girl’s shrill voice) "Or the terrorists win!"
Dear Mrs. Clinton,
As I understand it you are in charge of (and have been allotted funds to help in) "uncensoring/ battling censorship on the internet."
Well, that's exactly what we have done so... can we haz some money please?
No cigar? Oops! Guess I shouldn't have mentioned a cigar! :P
Who are you?
We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget.
Ha Ha! Actually, we are kind of anonymous (and would like to remain that way) but we are not the group Anonymous (or in any way affiliated to them) even though we are extremely impressed with some things they have done (like HBGary, Andrew Crossley etc) and scared about other things they do!
There is some real talent there (at Anonymous) and regardless of if you agree with what they do or why they do it... you have to admire how they do it. In this corrupted world we live in: Anon does not need the world... the world needs Anon!
But I digress; I would rather not (presently) give out our real names as the RIAA and MPAA have a history of directly intimidating people and their families as well as corrupting law enforcement, judges, politicians etc - especially in Sweden (TPB anyone? Anybody seen Jim Keyzer?).
Although we are anonymous (again, not Anonymous) we have many names known to friends: iPirate, eZee, RS... and a few others...
Site owners: As long as someone like ICE is holding your domain/s you do not need to pay your domain renewal charges, but your domain resolves as usual for anyone using our add-on!
(Feel free to send these savings to us as a donation
to show your appreciation :) )
Ok, this has come up a few times and also a little FUD has surfaced after we opened the site.
This is how we do it:
(We copied the method that Google uses for our needs)
1. Site owner signs up and mentions his site (eg: Bing.com)
2. We randomly generate a filename and present it to him (example: s23tgsd.html)
3. He must then upload/create that file on his server in the root directory (example Bing.com/s23tgsd.html)
Only a person who has access to the domain's root and files can do so
- hence he owns that domain.
4. Our script verifies that the file has indeed been uploaded to that location.
5. We manually check it to make sure (we don't trust automated scripts a 100%)
6. We also check the content of the redirected to site... it should be pretty much the same.
7. Everything looks good, we accept the site and then the site owner can "activate" it at any time.
8. Once activated, we get an email and again check to make sure it's all good.
9. If it passes again, it goes live.
It does not do this anymore.
This functionality was needed in the first version but we removed it soon after.
Of course you can! In fact you can even have the source code! (Link coming here soon, remind us if we forget)
The Chrome version of the plugin does exactly what the Firefox version does, with a few twists.
The one (bug?) that we can't rid of is... you need to restart your browser for the redirector to start working :(
Install the extension, it will automatically updates to the latest blocklist and informs you when done (this happens in seconds),
Restart the browser.
You may now laugh like a James Bond villian - the "seized" sites are no longer blocked to you.
A tip if you are going to do the villian routine... do it while stroking a white cat for maximum effect!
We also read some FUD making the rounds on different sites about our plugin so we tweaked it a bit:
The Chrome version will always have an icon on the top right, clicking that icon you can see which sites are being redirected. This is the exact list that the redirector uses, any new sites will automatically show up on that list in real time.
The plugin will update every 2 days, but you can also force it to update and get the latest block- list by clicking on the icon and then refresh.
A message from our main dev:
Donations were very slow at first so I had to learn to code this myself. Thankfully it was not hard to do after doing the FF version and I was done in just 2 days. Do keep in mind this is my first foray into extensions programming and this is version 0.1beta, if you find any bugs do let me know and I'll try my best to squish it.
If you are an extensions programmer feel free to correct my code and send me a copy, I'll give you credit for it and update the version on the site so everyone out there can benefit from it.
It was hard learning something new and not missing our regular work, your donations really did help make the journey smoother, thank you everyone who donated.
While there is talk of a true alternate DNS system we feel that it’s always going to be just that: talk.
As tech folk we have bright ideas but unlike the scumbags who bribe politicians and judges at the highest levels, we techies are as disorganized as a bunch of 5 year old kids in a candy shop.
(We don’t think an alternate DNS is the best solution, anyway.)
Even the act of changing your DNS to someone like OpenDNS is a bit outside the scope of Average Joe and Jane, installing an add-in in 2 clicks; is not.
This is an easier system (for now) that if adopted by most of the popular browsers (presently it works with Firefox and Chrome (using the same exact block list) that will make these kinds of domain name seizures / censorship useless.
If a new site gets censored, no problem, we simply update our list, your browser downloads the updated list and life goes on as usual - sans censorship!
Websites can add their site's mirror URL/s into our system right now (it’s free!) if they would like to start redirecting immediately or are scared of being censored further down the line.
Best of all, it cuts COICA’s testicles off right now, so even if it does pass (and the good people fighting it (like Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Sen. Ron Wyden; to name two) fail) it will not be as effective / will be less effective as time goes on and more people download this add-on.
Our idea also beats COICA in many of it’s main and core objectives:
Block sites at the DNS level – Beep! Wrong: with our add-on it’s browsing as usual.
Make it harder for the average user - Beep! Wrong: It’s transparent to the user.
Payment processors/advertisers cannot do business with pirate sites: Does not affect us, this is free! There are no torrents or other kind of p2p links on this site. We use a donation model: you want to donate… do so, if not… no worries – we love you just the same, ok… maybe a little less – but the add-on works the same!
We also use a "hate model" - you hate the MAFIAA parasites and the fascists? Donate!
Redirection lists can be downloaded from one of four mirror sites (more to come), it’s a tiny download of kilobytes (not MBs) for those of you on net connections with data caps.
Right now (version 0.1b) it’s as simple as it gets, no options to configure:
Download – install-restart Firefox, and you are done!
(Same for Chrome)
"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."
- John Gilmore (EFF)
A personal note from (me) the developer:
This is not my full time job, I have a regular job and I learned how to make a plug-in specifically for this project, a donation of any amount ($2 or greater) would encourage me to keep developing new features for this add-on and cover hosting fees… or buy me a cup of coco/COICA!
Even if you do not want to donate to this project / me kindly consider donating to the EFF, they do a lot of good things but are seldom in the limelight for it or shown how much they are appreciated.
The pirate party could also do with your support. Support your local pirate party and don't forget us in Sweden who started the original Pirate Party that got the ball rolling! Pirate Parties around the globe need your support, not just during election time.
Mozilla, they stood by their word of supporting a free anti-censored internet by standing up to the bullies of the Department of Homeland Security as well as asked some very very good questions that nobody else had the kahanooeys to ask.
And finally a note to the moronic politicians (like Sen. Patrick Leahy) and the anti-piracy morons:
This took me less than one week from idea, to coding the add-on, to registering and coding the website, to making the graphics, to writing this long ass wall of text and to making fun of you – without taking time off from work.
It also cost me less than 100 USD.
It took me just 2 days to code the Chrome version.
How much time, money and effort has this cost you?
(We also got back all the money we put in via donations, what does that tell you?)
I am not really exceptional either, just a normal (above average?) programmer/ project leader with an idea. There are millions of smarter programmers out there that you are pissing off – the numbers (and brains) are against you, you would have to be retarded beyond belief to think you can win this.
Leahy, Was whatever the content industries paid you ( as a lawmaker) enough for getting ridiculed and "pwned" like this?
Go back to your long shallow soul sucking halls and corrupt courthouses - you are at home there, while the internet is our... domain.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin
Greetings from Sweden:
The land that brought you TPB, eZee, ThePirateParty and pretty blonde Viking girls!
(A special thanks to Ernesto (TorrentFreak) followed by some people who regularly get our eyeballs: Mike Masnick,Rick Falkvinge, Christian Engström, Ray Beckerman, Michael Geist, Cory Doctorow, the EFF, the Pirate Party (Sweden/worldwide) and finally a certain unicorn and leprechaun!) [Top]
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