Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Donna Wentworth @ Copyfight
Your ISP Knows You're a Dog

Fred von Lohmann, in a column on the importance of preserving anonymous speech on the Internet: "[R]emember, on the Internet, your ISP knows you're a dog, and your adversary is only a subpoena away from compromising your constitutionally protected right to bark anonymously."

Anonymity is a very important issue in the context of terrorism and the Internet and will be on the agenda for the Internet track of the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security that I am co-organizing. This is also an important issue in the context of ICANN's position on the importance of privacy and the whois database (the database of domain name owners and contact points). I still believe that there are definitely costs to anonymity, but stifling anonymous speech is a huge cost to democracy.

It's not only the EFF and people like myself who believe in anonymous free speech. The American Association for the Advancement of Science came out on the side of anonymity and said that, "this is not a fruitful area of regulation for now or in the future." Of course this was back in 1999. (Wired article on this report) As Fred says in his article, the founding fathers of the US published the Federalist Papers anonymously and were acutely aware of the necessity of protecting anonymity and tried to build that into the constitution. Today we are all chipping away at this right with the fear of copyright infringement, terrorism, child pornography and a variety of boogymen leading the charge.

The New York Times has a story on the kid who made the video of himself singing and dancing along to Dragostea Din Tei that I blogged about earlier. He is Gary Brolsma, 19, from New Jersey.

via Mimi

As I get more and more into Ableton Live I am beginning to feel the pain of being a digital musician these days. As a former DJ, I have lots of my favorite music in my head organized by what parts of what songs go well with others. Suddenly, I realize that what I can get away with on a turntable in a nightclub is a no-no when producing music. Record companies in the US have been winning cases against people who sample music. I can buy loops, use Creative Commons content and make my own sounds to use in the music, but what I am unable to do is use the melody, drum track or riff from my DJ days to invoke images and memories we associate with some of the classic songs. It's as if my several years of being a DJ and learning the beats has to be erased from my memory when thinking about how to express myself.

Luckily, there is more and more music with Creative Commons licenses, but it really feels like we're having to start from scratch, building a culture of music creation that encourages sharing and sampling the way we used to do it when samplers and sequencers entered the scene. Artists... please think about using the Creative Commons sampling license when you publish music so that you don't become an island sheltered from the creativity of future artists and DJs.

I just bought Live 4.1 from Ableton. I love it. It's the perfect music production software for DJ types like me. You can import sounds, midi files, effects and fine tune the loops and samples. The neat thing is that you then bind loops, tracks, effects and other things to keys or midi events and jam away live to your heart's delight laying down a recording that you can then go back and edit before you render it. It's a bit hard to explain. Take a look at the demo on their site.

Here's my first track using samples from Lessig, Jimmy Wales, Kenji Eno, Howard and others. ;-) (mixup1.mp3 1.9 MB mp3). It's a bit rough, but you get the idea.

I had dinner with Steve Crocker last night. I met him before through David Isenberg, but since he is the Security and Stability Advisory Committee Liaison to the ICANN board, I am getting a chance to hang out with him more these days. Among other things, he's well known for being the author of RFC 1.

His explained the software that his company Shinkuro produced and I tried it today. It solves a BUNCH of needs that I had. It's basically a very cryptographically robust, cross-platform collaboration tool. It allows you to create groups and share folders of files, has a shared chat space (like IRC) and allows you to share your desktop screen with other members of the group (yes, across platforms). The shared files are transfered in the background and edits to files are sent as diffs which can be accepted into the original by the recipient. There is also standard IM with your buddy list. The great thing is that all of the traffic is encrypted. 256 bit AES and 2048 bit RSA keys. Each message is encrypted with a unique key, and the key is transmitted under the RSA key. This is very important since I know for a fact that people sniff IM and other traffic at many of the conferences and public places.

The folder in the groups is really nifty. You drop files into a folder and you can see who has received the files and see any changes that are waiting for you. This seems so much more organized than the tons of attachments and updates I receive before board meetings and conference calls.

It seems similar to Groove in some ways, but is more lightweight and most importantly cross-platform. (Mac, Windows, Linux.)

You can download it at and for now it's free. If you register it, you will get all of the features. My id is jito! if you want to invite me to be your friend or into a group. As I've said before, I think email is dead and I'm always looking for things like this that help me survive the post-email era.