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Hipcrime Goes Open Source

By Demona in Culture
Fri Mar 03, 2000 at 12:19:05 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

From news.admin.net-abuse.usenet, article <HC.NA.1.00.is.Free.and.Open@news3.dion.ne.jp>:

There's been lots of rumours and disinformation being spread by the Internet Censorship Cabal regarding my NewsAgent.

In order to clear up this nonsense once and for all, HipCrime's NewsAgent (v1.00) has gone open source. You can find it here:


Users are requested to post comments, problems, enhancement requests, code changes, etc etc to Free.HipCrime and/or to Email them to this address.

I can't get through to the website right now, so I'm not sure exactly what license this has been released under...

From the hip-to-be-clueless dept:

For those of you who still read Usenet and haven't seen Hipcrime in action, this person or persons is one of those who belives that freedom is the right to live in the land of Do-As-You-Please, as opposed to the right to speak on one's own dime and the right not to be forced to listen. Dejanews provides an abundance of evidence to show that Hipcrime, together with the vast majority of recent Usenet users and administrators, has no interest in working within the established conventions: The software creates thousands and thousands of newgroups, rapidly polluting any server that still unquestioningly accepts such articles.

Reputation and trust are not necessarily the foes of anonymity. I believe it's possible to have privacy and anonymity without putting up with rampant abuse of the system. The most outstanding need is for education, since most ISP's, especially on a large scale, try to sign up as many warm bodies as possible while expending little or not effort on giving those users a clue as to what they are getting into. It's more than a culture clash or generation gap: It's a fundamental misunderstanding. Hardcore net.abusers are quick to cry "censorship" when informed that they do not own Usenet, and make the mistake of equating ownership of private property with control of Usenet.

A broad counter offensive is required. The creation and deployment of better tools which provide technical solutions rather than political is of primary importance -- innd comes with 'pgpverify', and we have CancelMoose and SpamBot for the commercial folks. But individuals acting on their own (noncommercial) agendas are rapidly becoming as great a problem as the spammers, and there will always be those who are beyond education, whether out of ignorance, immaturity or a pure lack of ethics and common sense. The Hipcrimers, the folks who insist on posting binaries in non-binary groups, and a host of others apparently get some great thrill out of all this, feeling that they are "cool", a "rebel", and fighting against "Tha Man" -- much like the typical Slashdot troll (the abusive trolls, as opposed to the amusing/insightful ones they are drowning out).

The Hipcrimers attempt to reverse the normal meanings of "free speech" and "censorship". This demeans the true meanings of the word. Too much crying wolf, and real problems get ignored when they really happen, such as referring to an unwanted flirtatious remark as "rape". And when you piss in a punchbowl, you don't get more punch. You get piss.

We cannot prevent the terminally clueless from being that way. But we can work to minimize the damage caused by their chronic lack of clue: By politely educating others, creating and deploying effective tools; in sum, using all ethical means at our disposal to make more signal, and less noise. Otherwise, there will truly be no... "Escape From Noise".


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o Slashdot
o "Escape From Noise"
o Also by Demona

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Hipcrime Goes Open Source | 8 comments (8 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Yes, this is definitely something w... (1.00 / 1) (#2)
by fluffy grue on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 08:14:06 PM EST

fluffy grue voted 1 on this story.

Yes, this is definitely something worthy of discussion.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

While HipCrime does sound like a po... (3.30 / 3) (#3)
by jonathan_ingram on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 11:30:00 PM EST

jonathan_ingram voted 0 on this story.

While HipCrime does sound like a potentially damaging piece of software, it sounds no worse than BackOrifice or Saint -- all are tools which can be used for good or bad purposes. Your writeup, however, is extremely biased, and doesn't actually explain what HipCrime is (I'd not heard of it until now). So this gets a 0: which is the average of (1) for an interesting topic, and (-1) for the presentation of the topic.
-- Jon

Re: While HipCrime does sound like a po... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
by Demona on Fri Mar 03, 2000 at 12:49:25 AM EST

Yes, tools are neutral. With that proviso, and my bias on my sleeve:

Adhering to established net.custom was once a utilitarian necessity due to the outrageously high cost of everything involved. If you've been on the net long enough, you'll recognize this timeless little gem offered by most newsreading software:

This program posts news to thousands of machines throughout the entire civilized world. Your message will cost the net hundreds if not thousands of dollars to send everywhere. Please be sure you know what you are doing.

Are you absolutely sure that you want to do this? [ny]

Now that's also in a number of FAQ's all over the place, but the number who bother with that "tired old nonsense" is growing every day. Costs are distributed and rather negligible due to scale and a host of other factors. True cost is downplayed or hidden by almost any business in order to convince customers they are "getting more than their money's worth". Really, the net is becoming more like real life because more people are on it, and there's no stopping that.

But I'd hate to see the net become like everything else, dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. rusty, you were right on the nose: People tend to rise to your expectations of them. Let the rising tide lift everyone's boat; let everyone aspire to excellence.

The costs are still there, but coming down every day. Which makes it even more imperative that arguments are structured from a moral/ethical standpoint rather than a utilitarian one. Do good because it's right, not because it's cheaper or more efficient. (That's what making a profit is for...and there is no profit without honor :)

Think of it in terms of maintaining balance against entropy. Maybe even carving out a temporary advantage. In the long run, we're all dead; and you can use that to rationalize nihilism, fight the good fight, or anything in between. It's my considered opinion this Hipcrap is destroying the village in order to save it. Just one more thing to watch out for in the nasty global village of nation-states, crazed neobombers and everyone along the way. But the nasty thing about abuse of trust is that it destroys trust. It breaks down the "network of trust".

People respect law (authority) when it is worthy of their respect. Authority is not necessarily pejorative or authoritarian. True authority is like the title of "sensei" or "hacker"; never self-bestowed, earned through actions, rather than words. People respect authority that proves its competence through merit rather than power which flows from the ability to mesmerize or brutalize, the power which flows "from the barrel of a gun" ; that power which rather than convincing to follow inspires only fear, and eventual rebellion. Hence the need, as Charles Platt put it, to channel that rebellion, to focus it in as constructive a manner as we can muster. Otherwise the collateral damage, both physically and philosophically, has the potential to cause a lot of misery both now and for a long time to come.


PS: Additional Deja URL's for background information and further fodder for discussion: Exhibit A and Exhibit B as a reasonably random cross sampling in my brief searches.

[ Parent ]

Re: While HipCrime does sound like a po... (3.00 / 1) (#5)
by jonathan_ingram on Fri Mar 03, 2000 at 07:43:41 AM EST

(this may or may not get posted as me... I'm experimenting with web browsers other than Netscape at the moment) Yes, I remember the days when Usenet was actually worth reading... back in 1994 or so. Of course, other people will say that it was ruined by then, and that you'd need to go back to the mid-80s to see newgroups working as they were intended. The point is that Usenet has been falling apart for a very long time - and while this piece of software may hasten the collapse, it hasn't brought up any problems that weren't inherent in the design of the protocol from the beginning. I doubt the people that designed the early internet protocols such as NNTP foresaw just how large the userbase would grow. This is understandable, and it is remarkable how well they still work - but as this piece of software, and the DDOS attacks, show, the core protocols are becoming obsolete. The growth of websites such as Slashdot and Kuro5hin shows that many people no longer find their needs adequately met by Usenet. Indeed, it seems recently people have been tiring of Slashdot as well (and how different is the relation between HipCrime and Usenet in contrast to Slashdot and the code posted on there by 'fluffy grue'?). Kuro5shin, and sites like it, seem to me the embryonic form of whatever protocol will replace NNTP.
-- Jon
[ Parent ]
Re: While HipCrime does sound like a po... (none / 0) (#8)
by Anonymous Hero on Fri Mar 03, 2000 at 07:48:55 AM EST

dammit dammit dammit dammit. :)
Kuro5hin ate my tags :).
Now, how about a 'remove comments' option?

[ Parent ]
Re: While HipCrime does sound like a po... (none / 0) (#10)
by rusty on Fri Mar 03, 2000 at 04:46:10 PM EST

People have asked for this. I plan to add it... in a bit. I deleted the reposts, anyway. Sorry that the unformatted one got saved... but that's the one people replied to.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: While HipCrime does sound like a po... (none / 0) (#9)
by Demona on Fri Mar 03, 2000 at 11:12:08 AM EST

If I'm feeling optimistic I think of Nietzche: Whatever doesn't kill the net will make it stronger. Opening the source will be an advantage for the program itself, but it will give an equal advantage to anyone trying to understand it for purposes of defending against it.

(I'm also waiting for some brainless mediabot_tool somewhere to spin this as "Evil Hackers Release Open Source on Unsuspecting World". Just my pessimism kicking in again...)

[ Parent ]

Eeeeew Hipcrime is evil... I rememb... (1.00 / 1) (#1)
by kraant on Fri Mar 03, 2000 at 12:19:05 AM EST

kraant voted 1 on this story.

Eeeeew Hipcrime is evil... I remember being on newsgroups that got hit by their flood attack.... still it can't hurt to see the source... maybe something usefull can be rescued from the thing
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...

Hipcrime Goes Open Source | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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