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On the Loss of Two Marshals

On the Loss of Two Marshals

It has struck me that we are often 'on the verge' - of something great in our cyberarmy. In the past, there have been times when we knew that something great was just on the horizon. I think that more strongly now than ever - and I am convinced that that day will come when we have the tools to use the potential of everyone. We have the numbers we need, and the capacity we need, and the talent we need - and the tools are coming to transfigure this army into a force that will shape the Internet for generations to come.

It is with some sadness that I report the retirement of two cyberarmy Marshals.

We have a duty to members of cyberarmy, and to the Internet as a whole, to state our objectives clearly and forcefully. They are strong principles. They are the principles that the Internet must be free and that this last electronic frontier must be run by us - and not governments. Us - and never the corporations and business powers which exert influence in the material world.

Marshal Kaladis has left the cyberarmy in dispute over our principles. He has every right to do so, and dissent is not only tolerated, but necessary for our survival. However, we cannot and will not accept principles which put the digital world under subjugation to national government.

Why? A government is a group of individuals, within a limited geographical space, who set up rulers among themselves so that they can live most efficiently together. A government is restricted in geography (it has borders) and it is restricted in foresight (the governmental systems may have been set up hundreds of years ago, and conform to the old world).

The internet is, on the other hand, borderless and based on a cutting-edge technology and vision.

National Governments set up within limited boundaries to govern a limited number of people with yesterdays laws cannot control a borderless, infinite, future technology.

Market forces have shaped the Net - in that when an abusive process has formed itself within the Net, there is an internal reaction (in the same way as white blood cells swarm an infecting pathogen in our blood supply). And the abuse is effectively counter-attacked. And so, without government interference, the Internet over the last 20 years has been born, survived, and flourished.

For these reasons, we believe in an Internet free from the control of any governments or large corporations. We believe that the Internet is the only power which can regulate the Internet. We believe in a self-regulating Internet. We believe that Netizens can consolidate themselves together. Not under the banner of governments or corporations, but as a consolidated cyberarmy - a union of Internet users with the ability to make the Internet a better place.

In a global Net, on the cutting edge of technology, the fact remains that national governments cannot govern. Ingenuity remains, and when once Napster was 'beaten' in the courts, we know how quickly new and un-regulatable alternatives sprang up. Things like FreeNet - impossible to regulate.

For these reasons, the cyberarmy will never subject itself to governments of this world - but will instead support a free Internet. An internet internally controlled and self-regulated by market forces and the dynamic ideas which are now beyond the very capabilities of national governments of yesterday.

With great sadness, I also report the retirement of Marshal and visionary TheGame.

Several years ago, I met Marshal TheGame as he requested some fixes to our web board. I asked if he would prefer to make the fixes himself - and the result was and entire new type of web board script which we now distribute as the most secure web board on the Internet today. He went on to code the backbone of Zebulun, and then created scripts to convert the entire cyberarmy site to SQL. Months of solid work.

That is what TheGame was like. It is this sort of person who makes the Internet a worthwhile thing to save. We are building the tools that we need to shape the Internet for generations to come. TheGame - you have been a major part of the construction of those tools. And you have left us with a mighty legacy in the scripts you have now provided. We will implement them, we will use them, and the Internet will be a far better place, built on freedom, because of them.

How many of you have heard of Echelon? Do you really know what happens at Morwenstow, at Yakima, Sugar Grove, and Menwith Hill? Did you know the NSA is listening to your phone calls? Have you heard of DCS1000? Did you know that American ISPs are required to carry a Carnivore box which reads your email and filters it to the FBI? Have you heard of the USS Jimmy Carter? Did you know they are trying to tap the under-sea fiber optic cables to spy on your Internet traffic? Do you think that China and the Arab Emirates are the only countries in which your freedom is threatened? These are the questions we must ask, we must make people ask, and we must make people answer.

I don't want to have to remember back to the times when the Internet was free. I want the future to be based on principles and practices which make control impossible. To do this, we must work together as a united organization, sharing knowledge and our skills freely. Linus has said that 'pretty much all of modern science and technology is founded on very similar ideals as open source ... When Mundie wants you to think about all the work that companies have done in order to get patents, he also wants you to forget about all the work done by people like Einstein, Rutherford, Bohr, Leonardo da Vinci and a lot of other people who have done a lot more for humanity than most companies have ever done'. Those heroes of history were not interested in patents, or control, but freedom.

We will fight against the powers of this material world who will transform this digital web into a tool of oppression. It is with great respect that we add the name into this Hall of Heroes: TheGame. And from his early work, we strive with increased devotion towards his vision and our vision toward to day, still on the horizon but nearer every day, in which we can proclaim the freedom of our digital world:

CyberArmy is a group of netizens who believe in a deregulated Internet, which is free from external control. We believe in providing tools to assist others who believe in a free Internet - we support Open Source. We campaign against those who abuse the free nature of the Internet. We believe that spammers, child pornographers, web based scammers, and malicious hackers are enemies of the Internet. We believe that the Internet can be self-regulated, and that we, as equipped and knowledgeable netizens, can control and suppress abusers of the Internet, with legal methods, by consolidating together as a united CyberArmy.

--pengo