Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

The New York Times has an article about how evil IRC is.

New York Times
Still, I.R.C. perhaps most closely resembles the cantina scene in "Star Wars'': a louche hangout of digital smugglers, pirates, curiosity seekers and the people who love them (or hunt them). There seem to be I.R.C. channels dedicated to every sexual fetish, and I.R.C. users speculate that terrorists also use the networks to communicate in relative obscurity.
Dvorak's ragging on chat and IM too.

Give me a break. Are people running out of new technologies to bash?

via Ross Mayfield

UPDATE: Dan Gillmor chimes in and points out that maybe they're going to try to regulate IRC. Boy that would suck and not work.

UPDATE 2: Suw writes a letter to the editor.


Sounds like someone at the NYT met jeanniecool...

"Boy, that would suck and not work". Ha! Classic!

I'm not too concerned. If IRC regulation ever happened (a big and unlikely "if") some new protocol would rise to take its place.

IRC is hardly new. It predates the Web by decades.

Recently, Bit Torrent users have been getting DMCA letters in the US - this is driving more and more file swappers to IRC. I'm guessing that's the reason this made it to the NYT.
If they crack down on the well-known IRC servers, people will move to more private servers and only admit people they trust.
But there really isn't a way to stop private IRC servers - I hang out on my friend's server and there's five or six of us at the most. If we wanted to swap movies or dirty pictures, I suppose we could. (We don't. It's remarkably dull chat, unless you know us...)
All of the people on the channel know each other IRL, too, so it's not likely that some FBI or MPAA type could show up and disrupt things.
As for the terrorist angle:
Only really stupid terrorists would be using a publicly-available IRC server. They'd probably be chatting on a private server over SSH to a machine that had no hard disk and was running a boot-from-cd operating system like knoppix. (Rebooted every few hours, if you're paranoid.) That would be almost impossible to detect, or do anything about.

It's *really* hard to read a Dvorak article all the way through.

Bit Torrent users getting DMCA letters!?!?! How is this happening?

Anyways, I think IRC is evil b/c of the abusive trolls that linger on it. The ones who use their real names, spread lies about others, and act hypocritically. That's why I stay away from it unless I need semi-reliable tech information.

Blog commenting facilities considered harmful

It has recently emerged that some bloggers provide logistical assistance to the suspect activities of some shady South-East Asian operatives, who use blog comments as dropboxes, surreptitiously exchanging untraceable encrypted messages via that channel ;-)

New Technology? Gee, IRC PREDATES WWW.

And well, it's much more engaging than the wasteland of BLOGS and state-parterned media that have overrun the WWW.

With B(oring)LOGS the WWW resembles yeast and what their swimming environment once fermentation occurs.

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