Show: Reality Exploit Roundtable
Date: Oct 7, 2012
Topics: IRANternet, Cheese Smuggling, Ridesharing vs. The State, High Frequency Trading DOS
Panelists: Voodoo, Wise-Guy, Hiro, Smuggler, Plato
Tags: cleanIT, darknet, internet, P2P, wall street
Intro music by Sun Araw – “Deep Cover”
- Voodoo: Black and Yellow Pages, Beer Can Engines
- Smuggler: http://anarplex.net, http://shadowlife.cc
- Plato: Twitter, Reddit
- Hiro: Agorist Radio
TOPIC 1 – Smuggler
Iran: We’re building our own internet. With blackjack! And hookers!
Washington Post reports that Iran is well on the way to creating an intranet -
an internal internet – and excluding the rest of the world. Quote:
The researchers who uncovered the foundations of the new Iranian network said
they found that it already hosted a number of Web sites — typically government
or academic sites — meaning that the beginning of an Iranian Internet is
already in operation.
Former Iranian parliment member Moussavi Khoeini says:
“The main reason for this project is security … They may say it’s to
increase Internet speeds or protect against harmful content, but it’s always
Former deputy NSA director Cedric Leighton says that this project will improve
Iran’s network security skills, increasing their capabilities to both launch and
repel cyberattacks. But he also says, quote,
“Any attempt by a country to make an intranet is doomed to failure…”
If I’ve learned anything at all on the internet, it’s that you can’t control
data by fiat. Smuggler, you had a great line in Second Realm: Book On Strategy:
What fences are to atoms, data privacy technology is to bits and bytes.
If Iran secedes from the internet and forces all its citizens to participate in
this intranet, what business models do you see evolving to subvert this? Data
TOPIC 2 – Voodoo
After a nine month investigation, the Niagara Regional Police Service, in
association with the US DHS and the Canada Border Services Agency, is proud
to announce that they have busted three men who ran a cheese smuggling
operation. They are charged with illegally importing $200,000 of mozzarella into
Canada from the US.
Both smugglers Scott Heron and Casey Langelaan were formerly cops in Ontario.
Heron got suspended and Langelaan got fired during the investigation.
According to the police news release, over $200,000 worth of cheese and other
products were purchased and distributed for an estimated profit of more than
Voodoo, I doubt I could think of a clearer example of a State hurting peaceful
traders. Let’s see here: Dairy regulations and import controls on U.S. products
can mean Canadian cheese costs up to three times more than across the Niagara
River. So, that’s hurting anyone who eats cheese in Canada. These guys tried to
serve that market and are facing unknown fines and/or jail time because they
didn’t pay their duty.
Why don’t you re-tell this story in the Second Realm?
TOPIC 3 – Hiro
Three rideshare sites – Lyft, Sidecar, and Tickengo – are under fire from
government regulators who are pissed that people are opting out of
state-regulated transportation solutions.
Both Lyft and Sidecar enable people to find rides via a mobile app from
regular citizens who have a car nearby and a mobile phone.
Both are designed on a “donation” basis so that riders give a suggested amount
but technically are not hiring a driver because there is no required fee. But
regulators apparently don’t agree.
The California Public Utilities Commission has issued “cease and desist”
letters to the ride-sharing startups.
So this CPUC organization is in charge of regulating taxis, limos, etc, and they
say that these apps are regulate-able.
SideCar’s CEO Sunil Paul responds:
“We don’t do that—we don’t operate a charter-party carrier, It’s not a
transportation company, it’s a communications platform.”
Hiro, these apps are designed to hook up buyers and sellers. And predictably the
State is looking for their cut. Isn’t the same shit gonna happen to Bitcoin
trading platforms and digital agoras? Will centralized services ever be able to
evade State thievery and violence?
TOPIC 4 – Wise-Guy
HFT bot spams markets
A single mysterious computer program that placed orders — and then
subsequently canceled them — made up 4 percent of all quote traffic in the
U.S. stock market last week
The scariest part of this single program was that its millions of quotes
accounted for 10 percent of the bandwidth that is allowed for trading on any
Regulators are trying to see how they can rein in the practice, which accounts
for 70 percent of trading each day, without slowing down progress and profits
for Wall Street and the U.S. exchanges.
I got a really simple solution: Let the god damn free market work, split it into
more than one exchange. The old school traders can agree upon rules that limit
HFT and trade on exchange A. Let the quants who want to use their algos – and
anyone else willing to take those risks – can trade on exchange B.
Wise-guy, am I overthinking this, can government regulation keep traders honest?