Stopping Badware – or stopping Peacefire?

I didn’t know Google were warning users off malware-infected sites; Ethan Zuckerman explains it in a great story. I’m in two minds, and then there’s this…

Bennett Haselton ( has an absolutely brilliant framing (reframing?) of the net-neutrality debate as one on ISPs vs free speech rather than big networks v big media. He writes about problems with the Realtime Blackhole List and Mail Abuse Prevention System that led to the blocking of his site (one of the best in the world, and I say that without hesitation) in the mid-distance past (due to the status of its ‘neighbours’ on a server/IP address range); it’s an absolute must-read.

As it turns out, I was reading one of the earliest attempts to grapple with some of these issues today; Jonathan Zittrain‘s 2003 paper on ‘Internet Points of Control’ (I had the version in Sandra Braman’s book on ‘The Emergent Global Information Policy Regime’, but there’s a similar version via SSRN. Much of Zittrain’s recent work on generativity reflects these earlier ideas, and there’s a great heads-up on the net neutrality debate just before the end:

For example, a company that is both a backbone provider and a source of content on the Internet might begin to privilege the passage of its own data over those of its competitors. Such actions are both undesirable and best avoided by preventing any diffusion of the typical network provider’s corporate mission.

Unfortunately I think this has turned out to be an optimistic take on things, and the example given is on the easy side of the spectrum, with the idea of ‘best avoidance’ seeming very idealistic given the division visible through the recent debate…


One thought on “Stopping Badware – or stopping Peacefire?

  1. I had a site hit with the Malware and although frustrating for me there was bad code injected into the pages.

    Google don’t care how big or small a site is, if its up to no good they will pull the plug. A perfect example is when BMW Germany had been doing blackhat SEO on their site last year and Google removed all their pages from the results.

    As they say, do no evil 🙂

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