December 07, 2003

Broadband in Tokyo

Pablos, my friend in Seattle who runs MetaSecura and Schmoo Group and has close relation to Blue Origin, asked me about Broadband in Tokyo. He heard that homes in Tokyo are getting faster connection than homes in the US. Here's explanation of what is going on in Japan:

ah, that buzz seems correct. actually it is mostly DSL. here, now standard offering from almost every DSL suppliers is 24M down/1M up. (of course, actual speed varies with phone wiring issues.) on Nov 26, Softbank and ACCA Networks (a group corp of NTT) announced they are going to start 40M ADSL service from the end of Jan 2004.

following DSL, broadband service providers trying to push Optical Fiber. but big issue here is those providers have to draw fiber cables to houses. often it requires drilling the walls and even to push fibers into old building's conduits. this is major road block of fiberdeployment. an odd thing of most of fiber provider is they use shared model. they often claim it is 100M symmetric but that 100M is shared. if 10 subscribers share one fiber at a same time, the rate obviously becomes 10M per connection. their model take up to 24 subscribers on one fiber.

about cable modem, unlike the US, Japan didn't get cable TV network deployed. it only happened in rural area, but didn't get penetration in cities. because Japan is a small set of islands, terrestrial broadcasting could cover most, then satellite broadcasting started before cable companies raise their business. with these reason, cable modem based internet services locate mostly in rural areas. (also DSL isn't a good choice there cuz phone company's switches are too far from houses to operate good DSL connection)

my ADSL service is 12M down/1M up (actual rate at router is 9934k down/992k up). but there are some odd things I noticed. on my service, once a connection launched I could see the speed but getting to DNS seems slow, often 1 second or couple. also, often download stream looks intermittently bursty. with these issues, I often feel my friend company's T-1 seems faster. : P

Lawlence Lessig's week in Tokyo

Prof. Lawlence Lessig visited Tokyo for a week. His days had been booked so much, everyday during the visit he spent whole day for symposiums and interviews day time then parties and meetings afterward. But I heard he had to deal with emails in the nights. I hope that now he is getting some rest in the airplain.

But while he was in Tokyo, UK's Economist magazine had an article that including Prof. Lessig's comment on anonymity and pseudonymity. It looks like a thread of debate ingnited. I wonder Larry's reply on Politech was afftected by this tight schedule of his visit. It's just a concern of my personal feelings but I think that fatigue affects how people think.

To me, Larry's reply "In my view, we will make no progress following path one, but that we would strongly advance privacy if we could advance path two." is problematic, or just confusing and not explaining enough. (that makes me go back to my concern above.)
Ah, that line was on the following of "What I said was that the trend in our laws was to destroy any privacy at all -- that the idiocy of Patriot Acts, etc., was effectively eliminating any form of privacy. There are two kinds of responses to this -- one to try to defend and build a system protecting absolute anonymity; the second is to build effective protections for pseudonymous life, which is shorthand for traceable transactions, but where the permission to trace is protected by something like a warrant requirement. I'm not saying the government should build these systems, but that they should be permitted and indeed encouraged."

I think that there's at least one thing we need to retain anonymity in networked society: electronic voting. In my view, voting cannot take traceable pseudonymity. It is unthinkable that every ballots traceable back to each voter if we retain democracy. And while network world is "all addressed space", which is equal to no-anonymity by default, anonymity (and pseudonymity) need to be artificially created. However, Larry didn't touch on this. Maybe we would see some more debate at upcoming Stanford conferece in March "Securing Privacy in the Internet Age".

December 03, 2003

Interview with Larry, Glenn and Neeru of Creative Commons

I joined an interview session today with Larry Lessig, Glenn Otis Brown, and Neeru Paharia by Rozina Tea Party for Internet Magazine's article on Creative Commons. (yeah, it is a Japanese magazine)


Rozina Tea Party is an ad hoc group who obsessed to copyright law (and other laws maybe), running an email list and occasional face to face meetings. Prof. Shirata of Housei Univ, wellknown for many issues of copyright law, is mentoring the group.

The interview started out from questions regarding to iCommons then moved to many aspect of Creative Commons and its project happening in various countries.

I actually did an interview with Larry in Dec last year for same magazine. It was a week before the official launch of Creative Commons and was probably the first introduction of CC to Japan. I am glad seeing it is making a progress.

September 22, 2003

"Silenced", an international censorship study

since I became an Advisory Board member of the Privacy International since July this year, I have a bit of role to spread words.

The Privacy International and the GreenNet Educational Trust compiled an international censorship study and launched at the WSIS preparatory meeting last Friday.

The 136 page report is available in 2MB PDF format, downloadable from the Privacy International's website. Please take a look.




Corporations are now vying with governments to gag free speech
and impede Internet access

Continue reading ""Silenced", an international censorship study" »