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P2P News Syndication? 266

Posted by michael
from the reinventing-usenet dept.
Buggernut writes "According to an article at BBC, news may be the next major item to be passed around through P2P networks, thereby escaping the grasp of the censors' attempts to control the spread of forbidden information."
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P2P News Syndication?

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  • by i.r.id10t (595143) on Friday April 09, 2004 @07:56PM (#8821677)
    Remember the poster(s) not too long ago who would post the "complete article text in case of /.'ing" and then subtly replace/add words in the actual text? How'd you like to get your news that way, and not even know it?
  • by Trespass (225077) on Friday April 09, 2004 @07:58PM (#8821687) Homepage
    It's one thing to rip off musicians and publishers, but when this has some chance of actually being used for samizdat, you'll see it demonized and outlawed as a tool of terrorism.
  • Remember... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by y2imm (700704) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:02PM (#8821712)
    Desert Storm 1. The CNN guys using IRC to get info past the Iraqis.
  • Public Keys (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mar1boro (189737) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:05PM (#8821740) Homepage
    P2P news syndication would be the perfect venue for public keys and signatures.
    Find a journalist you trust? An entire news organization maybe?
    You could check the validity of source every time.
  • by Supp0rtLinux (594509) <Supp0rtLinux@yahoo.com> on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:19PM (#8821835)
    And while providing the average Joe with news that is much more gory than we see on a regular basis, it would also help to put an end to *altered* stories... the kind that've been mentioned on /. before where a story is written, then because of this complaint or that reason they edit the original. If the news is on P2P networks, we'll be able to always see the raw stories...

    The only thing necessary for Micro$oft to triumph is for a few good programmers to do nothing". North County Computers [nccomp.com]
  • :: Usenet III? :: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by argent (18001) <peter.slashdot@2006@taronga@com> on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:30PM (#8821890) Homepage Journal
    Usenet I already serves this purpose, and with MIME it can be just as rich a medium as the web. Just look at the porn-spam groups!

    Which does make me wonder how a medium even less controllable than Usenet would manage to avoid turning every group into spam. You'd need something like Google News to make sense of it... but, hold on, we already *have* Google News.
  • Freshness? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doobeh (193083) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:37PM (#8821932) Homepage
    Wouldn't one of the greatest problems be that of signal to noise. If P2P is employed as a way to supress censorship, then we by that very mark, we are unaware of who published it (since we don't want the author being censored at a later date)


    Now spread this out to a wide implementation, what news is 'worthy' and 'trusted' to read if this very untraceable route holds true? I might as well read mind-numbing, ultra-biased blogs, because that is all the system would amount to.
    I go to the news outlets I currently do because I can to a high degree trust the articles, news without that trust is.. gossip.


    P2P for articles, especially news doesn't hold true, how is the article propogated? Will I have to wait 2 days for a fresh article to make its way around the Internet to me? If I want news, I'm used to getting information when I want it, P2P fails on this point.


    People think P2P is the cure to [insert internet downfall] because it works for MP3's. But MP3-P2P essentially runs off peoples greed, so there are mass copies of MP3's around, no-one cares if an Mp3 is four days, old, 3 years old, it makes not a difference, but hell, even MP3's are tainted, blanks, bad rips, misnamed, to assume this wouldn't follow on to any other P2P implementation is wishful thinking.

    Not to mention that only when an article gains a certain critical popularity mass would most people be able to find it on the system due to the inability to search every user without having a centralised database/hub (which could of course be.. you got it, censored!)

  • Re:Remember... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:43PM (#8821956)
    Heh. I remember quite well. At the time I was enlisted, in a very technical MOS (diagnosed/repaired communications equipment down to the component level). A lot of our gear wasn't all that advanced (some of it was Vietnam-era tech) but it was milspec certified and it worked -- most of the time anyway. But our old-ass tech was so far ahead of Iraq's that we could basically intercept all the communications and blindside them at any time of the day or night. Which we did. I don't think they even knew WTF IRC was. ;-)
    Now, the NSA on the other hand... Those guys are the reason why P2P networks like Freenet must be deployed...
  • P2P Sockets project (Score:3, Interesting)

    by joelparker (586428) <joel@school.net> on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:21PM (#8822148) Homepage
    P2P can bypass censorship in numerous ways...
    the P2P Sockets project paper has interesting
    comments about this (it's a JXTA core project)

    P2PSockets Intro [codinginparadise.org]

    Cheers, Joel

  • by WhiteManInChina (473516) on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:23PM (#8822159) Homepage
    I live in China, where everything from the BBC is blocked, so I can't even read the article...

    grrr...
  • by billstewart (78916) on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:58PM (#8822312) Journal
    I mean really, why have we let professionals think they've taken over the entire news business? Sure, they do a good job of many kinds of news reporting, and of collecting interesting stories, and they've become a really important part of modern society but fundamentally lots of news has always been more personalized, more subjective, and has had a much wider range of biases than The Official Sources. So they shouldn't be shocked that there's still amateur news distribution around. And that's much more true in the technology business, where so much of the commercial press does little better than reprint press releases.

    And yes, there's a level of quality that you can get from professionals, but don't think that "objectivity" means there isn't a lot of bias. I'm not talking about the US's "Liberal Media" that the right-wingers whine about - the actual media are radically biased towards the Establishment, and if you want to find some actual liberal media you need to listen to Pacifica Radio or read leftist web sites. National Public Radio is relatively liberal in its cultural content, except for an obvious bias in favor of music by Dead White Europeans, but if you look at its poilitical coverage, it's still basically believing that the government that funds it are a really good thing, even if there are occasional individuals it doesn't like.

    Oh, and back to the reliability of P2P-distributed news, did you hear that thing about Bush's trouble with Duct Tape?

  • by initialE (758110) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:03PM (#8822340)
    I can forsee several fundamental problems with spreading of news through P2P. First of all is the speed with which anything disseminates through P2P protocols. We're talking somewhere around a day or so for things to spread virally, not to mention the need to publish the presence of the latest news through the various announcement methods (trackers etc). Second, Google. P2P is not currently googlable. Third, the tendency is for us to accept whatever news is spread over the web without checking for details. If you know of anyone who still thinks that going on holiday to Bavaria/Thailand/Wherever is putting him in risk of getting his kidneys stolen and himself dumped in a tub of ice water somewhere, it's thanks to unverified mass mailing. Now imagine this being spread over P2P, leading either to a lot of people first falling for alot of false information, then distrusting whatever they hear (cry wolf syndrome) Finally, remember that P2P has enemies, namely the RIAA and MPAA (and their cronies worldwide). They'll believe, and rightly so, that anything that justifies the existence of P2P networks will weaken their ability to gestapo the net. Therefore I'd expect as much trouble from them as they can concieve up. Well, my 2 cents.
  • by Saeger (456549) <farrellj@@@gmail...com> on Saturday April 10, 2004 @12:07AM (#8822809) Homepage
    Remember back a year ago when CNN and the rest refused to show "unhelpful" footage that Al Jazeera shot of the POW's in Iraq? Sure, the networks eventually showed it, but before that it was available on p2p (specifically, it was on one of the very first BitTorrent sites that I can't remember the name of... had a black background).

    --

  • Re:credibility? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alan_dershowitz (586542) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @12:54AM (#8822984)
    Memoryhole is weak. The vast majority of stuff on there is stuff that's not "covered up" or is just plain not accurate at all. He also likes to deceive by providing tons of documents that will draw one conclusion, but omit documents counter to that conclusion. There is some good stuff there, but frankly, the operator is a biased crank. I'd say 30% of it isn't remotely "suppressed" information at all, but just serves as a clearinghouse for public documents that support his opinions on current events.
  • by RobinH (124750) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @01:38AM (#8823088) Homepage
    Advertisers, be they print or broadcast, do not buy space or airtime based on the editorial leanings of the news desk. They buy space or airtime based simply on the number of people that will be exposed to that space or airtime. The measurement of those numbers is not exactly a science, but it is a finely honed craft. Numbers mean everything.

    I certainly hope that is usually the case, but certainly not all the time. After all, Bill Maher lost his show, Politically Incorrect, because the advertisers pulled out when he said something controversial. However, the ratings didn't drop. The advertisers pulled out based on the content of the show, not based on the numbers. That doesn't make much sense, but that is what happened.

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