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Author Topic: Can you inagine a world without any personal privacy? Because it's here.  (Read 4936 times)

40hz

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Bruce Schneier posted a sobering op-ed piece on CNN titled: The Internet is a surveillance state. In it he paints a bleak picture of how an unsooken alliance between business and government (each in it for their own agendas) brought about a monitoring system that surpassed anything George Orwell had nightmares about.

His conclusion?
Quote
Welcome to an Internet without privacy, and we've ended up here with hardly a fight.

Some highlights:

Quote
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This is ubiquitous surveillance: All of us being watched, all the time, and that data being stored forever. This is what a surveillance state looks like, and it's efficient beyond the wildest dreams of George Orwell.
.
.
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Maintaining privacy on the Internet is nearly impossible. If you forget even once to enable your protections, or click on the wrong link, or type the wrong thing, and you've permanently attached your name to whatever anonymous service you're using. Monsegur slipped up once, and the FBI got him. If the director of the CIA can't maintain his privacy on the Internet, we've got no hope.

In today's world, governments and corporations are working together to keep things that way. Governments are happy to use the data corporations collect -- occasionally demanding that they collect more and save it longer -- to spy on us. And corporations are happy to buy data from governments. Together the powerful spy on the powerless, and they're not going to give up their positions of power, despite what the people want...

I'm generally not too big a fan of CNN or their writers for reasons too numerous to go into. But every so often, they do remember what they're here for. And this article is 'spot on' IMO.

Read the full article here.

Then go someplace you imagine is still private so you can sit quietly and feel sick. :huh:

Renegade

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+1

To paraphrase myself from a Basement thread:

"Nineteen Eighty-Four"! The news is a much better dystopian story! :P
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

TaoPhoenix

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I'd just like to separate the "Author" and the "Distributor". You can have opinions of what CNN tends to carry, but Bruce Schneier has been in the game enough to read no matter what outlet he shows up in.

Tinman57

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  Basically I've been saying the same thing for the last 10 years, and have been "boo'ed" over it too many times to count.  So I just sit behind my computer wearing my tin-foil hat and watch as the world goes to hell in a handbasket....

Renegade

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  Basically I've been saying the same thing for the last 10 years, and have been "boo'ed" over it too many times to count.  So I just sit behind my computer wearing my tin-foil hat and watch as the world goes to hell in a handbasket....

Yep. Pointing out the obvious is only acceptable if the other person has already noticed it. Otherwise, it's heresy.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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I'd just like to separate the "Author" and the "Distributor". You can have opinions of what CNN tends to carry, but Bruce Schneier has been in the game enough to read no matter what outlet he shows up in.

Agree.

But we're also judged by the company we keep.

And I've seen far too many former 'real' reporters cave in and start following the CNN company line over the years for me to be too forgiving. So if I'm guilty of tarring with an overly broad brush, it's not completely without reason.
 ;)

40hz

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  Basically I've been saying the same thing for the last 10 years, and have been "boo'ed" over it too many times to count.  So I just sit behind my computer wearing my tin-foil hat and watch as the world goes to hell in a handbasket....

But only for so long before they finally come for you. At night. When you're helpless and alone. :tellme:

Untitled.jpg

Renegade

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Anyone ever watch any old episodes of "The Twilight Zone" or "The Outer Limits"? Lots of those deal with these exact same issues.

I just watched "The Obsolete Man":

http://en.wikipedia....iki/The_Obsolete_Man

Not the exact same topic, but related and relevant.

Privacy is a control issue, and most issues seem to come around eventually to control.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

TaoPhoenix

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I think that with the coming of Google Glass(es), we'll have a turning point. When people have video-on that is "forever-on" aka their glasses and not even as clunky as pulling out their phone and waving it around, then all kinds of social assumptions will get thrashed around, because you will never ever know when *someone* quietly "clicks a pic/vid and then uploads it on the spot." (And once the "brand leader" breaks open the market segment, then *that* allows room for all of the variants to show up.)

It also might help those freedom fighters catch even more police abuse because then anyone within eyesight of the situation can be a witness and it's far harder for the police to get grumpy and say things like "turn your phone off".

It's unfortunately also easier for anyone to try to catch you in an embarrassing moment hoping for "viral gold".

So in short, there's a big mess coming down the digital highway!

vlastimil

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Yes, all this sensitive personal information about us is out there. Different entities have different pieces, buying, selling, renting them to make profit. And many people refuse to acknowledge this and like to live in an illusory world that it is possible to somehow contain this information and limit access to it.

I think this is a lost battle and instead of laws that prohibit collecting the information, there should be laws that make sharing of all collected information mandatory.

Would you be mad if your neighbor had access to your medical records, to list of items purchased in the last year in that sex-shop, or to a map that shows where your cell phone has been at each moment and what numbers you have called and even recordings of the calls? The problem is that the information exists and is obtainable. It cannot be contained. If it were publicly accessible by anyone (and not just shady individuals), I bet everyone would be much more careful and encrypted their digital trail... But this just scares people so much that they rather keep pretending that the information is unobtainable.

kyrathaba

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Not a fan of CNN, but this was a good article.

40hz

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Anyone ever watch any old episodes of "The Twilight Zone" or "The Outer Limits"? Lots of those deal with these exact same issues.

I just watched "The Obsolete Man":

http://en.wikipedia....iki/The_Obsolete_Man

Not the exact same topic, but related and relevant.

Privacy is a control issue, and most issues seem to come around eventually to control.

obit.jpg


Watch O.B.I.T. A landmark episode from the original Outer Limits. It hits the nail squarely on the head. Probably one of the first sci-fi stories to warn of the addictive and potentially abusive potential inherent in ongoing secret surveillance, conducted (and justified) under the banner of "national security."

obit2.jpg

From IMDB:
Quote
The Outer Band Individuated Teletracer, or O.B.I.T., is a remarkable technology that can track and monitor any individual, anywhere, for any length of time. When a man is found dead, slumped over the machine, it and the military base where it is in use come under scrutiny. But what no one suspects is who built O.B.I.T. and why. And on that answer may hang the fate of civilization.

A cautionary tale even more apt today than when it was first televised back in 1963. :tellme:

You can watch it free on Hulu if you don't mind the ads. Link here.

Jibz

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Hasn't this been around before it started on the internet?

I mean, I am quite sure banks, credit card companies, airlines, hotels, etc. have been tracking your habits for a long time. The internet has made it easier to do in many ways, but the decline of personal privacy has been here for a long time.

If you are willing to accept inconveniences like always paying with cash, you can avoid some of it in the real world, and in the same way you can avoid some of it on the internet if you accept other inconveniences.

40hz

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The internet has made it easier to do in many ways, but the decline of personal privacy has been here for a long time.

The decline started with the outbreak of the so-called Cold War when elements within the government decided that true differences in opinion about government and it's role could no longer be safely tolerated due to the threat of nuclear warfare.

And although the advent of computer technology (not just the Internet) made it easier to compile and cross reference data on individuals it also enabled a scope and magnitude not previously possible.

In the good old days, the amount of data you could store was limited by physical considerations. All those folders and file cabinets took up space. And correlating the information contained in them took time and manpower. You had people stepping and fetching every time an information request got made. Clerks grabbing folders. Analysts poring over them into the wee hours. Secretaries typing up their findings. Proof reading...copies to be made...envelopes to be addressed...it was a very big deal to get something put together. And there was seldom time or personell available to go on fishing expeditions or look at things on a hunch or out of sheer curiosity. These were directed focused studies.

Not any more. Electronic storage space is unlimited and dirt cheap. Correlation is a key click away if a database was properly designed. Statistical analytics have evolved into one of our most powerful tools. And our new understandings of complexity and chaos theory have opened up new vistas in detecting patterns in data sets which were previously impervious to analysis due to their huge size and complexity.

We've learned a lot more about how to look at things and understand them in the last thirty or so years. And the advent of the small 'personal' computer has been the handmaiden that made much of it possible.

And the same technology and mathematics that made it possible to crack the human genome and analyze and predict subatomic particle behaviors can also be used to analyze human behaviors and gather data on it.

And this data harvesting and analysis has not been restricted to governments. It wasn't long before businesses got in on the same game - largely because, for the longest time, there were no regulations on what data a business could collect. Please remember that civil rights regulations primarily exist to restrict the government. By extrapolation some have been extended to business activities. But not too many since business is seen as a "voluntary relationship" and therefor mainly bound only by whatever the parties involved have mutually "agreed' to. Which is why it's so important we actually read those terms of service and license agreements many so often (by design) just click through. What's in some of these agreements would surprise you. I actually make it a point to read all of them - and they sure scare me sometimes. Which is one reason why I will not participate in most social networks like Facebook or G+.

Right now, the NSA intercepts and performs analysis on ALL signal communications in the USA - and very likely the bulk of the rest of the world too. That wasn't possible as little as ten years ago. Thirty years ago even setting up a basic voice wiretap was a major headache. Today it can be accomplished with a keystroke at virtually no cost since the technology is already in place and the data is already in storage. Sifting through ten billion e-mails looking for keywords and patterns that could signal a security threat - or even just some politically inconvenient dissenting conversations or blog postings? Child's play!

So yes, we haven't had complete personal privacy in a long time. But it hasn't been until fairly recently that we now effectively have no privacy at all.

It's not so much an issue of "what privacy do we have" as it is "to what degree do we still have any."

And unfortunately (for us) the answer is: none.

Like the old CIA joke goes: In God we trust. Everybody else we polygraph or wiretap. (And more recently - optionally waterboard.) :o
 8)
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 08:41:50 PM by 40hz »

TaoPhoenix

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Speaking of businesses collecting data, I have a new forum game!

Who can find the web page with the most plugin trackers as reported/blocked by Ghostery?

I'll start it off with this one from Business Insider in that other thread and start the bidding at TWENTY!
 :mad:

Business Insider Blocked Ads.png


f0dder

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I'll start it off with this one from Business Insider in that other thread and start the bidding at TWENTY!
I'm only seeing Ghostery block 6 on their front page - perhaps because of RequestPolicy? :)
- carpe noctem

Renegade

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Watch O.B.I.T. A landmark episode from the original Outer Limits. It hits the nail squarely on the head. Probably one of the first sci-fi stories to warn of the addictive and potentially abusive potential inherent in ongoing secret surveillance, conducted (and justified) under the banner of "national security."

Will do. It's in the queue! :D

On the other side of privacy, "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street" is a fantastic Twilight Zone as people pick each other apart. It touches on "information", but is not mainly about privacy. Still, the implications are there for anyone with an open mind.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Tinman57

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Fed Ed Data-Mining
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2013, 03:32:07 PM »
  So let's just let the government spy on your kids, then store and sell this data to marketers or whoever wants to pay for it.  And the storage part is for future law-enforcement use if needed.

Quote
Time To Opt Out of Creepy Fed Ed Data-Mining Racket
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate

Last week, I reported on the federal government’s massive new student-tracking database, which was created as part of the nationalized Common Core standards scheme. The bad news: GOP “leadership” continues to ignore or, worse, enable this Nanny State racket (hello, Jeb Bush).

The good news: An independent grassroots revolt outside the Beltway bubble is swelling. Families are taking their children’s academic and privacy matters out of the snoopercrats’ grip and into their own hands. You can now download a Common Core opt-out/disclosure form to submit to your school district, courtesy of the Truth In American Education group.

Parents caught off guard by the stealthy tracking racket are now mobilizing across the country. Echoing families across the city, Big Apple public advocate Bill de Blasio blasted the tracking database in a letter to government officials: “I don’t want my kids’ privacy bought and sold like this.” On Wednesday, prompted by parental objections, Oklahoma state representatives unanimously passed House Bill 1989 — the Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act — to prohibit the release of confidential student data without the written consent of a student’s parent or guardian.

As I noted in last week’s column, the national Common Core student database was funded with Obama stimulus money. Grants also came from the liberal Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (which largely underwrote and promoted the top-down Common Core curricular scheme). A division of conservative Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. built the database infrastructure. A nonprofit startup, “inBloom, Inc.,” evolved out of the strange-bedfellows partnership to operate the invasive database, which is compiling everything from health-care histories, income information and religious affiliations to voting status, blood types and homework completion.

But it gets worse. Research fellow Joy Pullmann at The Heartland Institute points to a February Department of Education report on its data-mining plans that contemplates the use of creepy student monitoring techniques such as “functional magnetic resonance imaging” and “using cameras to judge facial expressions, an electronic seat that judges posture, a pressure-sensitive computer mouse and a biometric wrap on kids’ wrists.”

The DOE report exposes the big lie that Common Core is about raising academic standards by revealing its progressive designs to measure and track children’s “competencies” in “recognizing bias in sources,” “flexibility,” “cultural awareness and competence,” “appreciation for diversity,” “empathy,” “perspective taking, trust (and) service orientation.”

That’s right. School districts and state governments are pimping out highly personal data on children’s feelings, beliefs, “biases” and “flexibility” instead of doing their own jobs imparting knowledge – or minding their own business. And yes, Republicans such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush continue to falsely defend the centralized Common Core regime as locally driven and non-coercive, while ignoring the database system’s circumvention of federal student privacy laws.

Why? Edu-tech nosy-bodies are using the Common Core assessment boondoggle as a Trojan horse to collect and crunch massive amounts of personal student data for their own social justice or moneymaking ends. Reminder: Nine states have entered into contracts with inBloom: Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Louisiana and New York. Countless other vendors are salivating at the business possibilities in exploiting public school students.

Google, for example, is peddling its Gmail platform to schools in a way that will allow it to harvest and access families’ information and preferences — which can then be sold in advertising profiles to marketers. The same changes to federal student privacy law (known as FERPA) that paved the way for the Common Core tracking scheme also opened up private student information to Google. As FERPA expert Sheila Kaplan explains it, “Students are paying the cost to use Google’s ‘free’ servers by providing access to their sensitive data and communications.”

It’s a Big Brother gold rush and an educational Faustian bargain. Fortunately, there is a way out. It starts with parents reasserting their rights, protecting their children and adopting that old motto from the Reagan years: JUST SAY NO.

***

READ: From Heather Patenaude – Open letter to parents on publc schooled children regarding Common Core

Attention, homeschoolers: Keep on top of which homeschool curricula are rejecting Common Core.

Parents, know your rights: From Christel Swasey – On FERPA and Common Core in Utah: How to Protect Our State’s Freedoms?

More FERPA background/resources.
http://michellemalki...-data-mining-racket/

TaoPhoenix

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Here's my latest disturbing realization about the emerging world with no privacy. Remember how much the poobahs like to wheel out "protect the kiddies" as a rationale for evil new online surveillance bills? Yet I just realized that the news media might not even have a clue about how what is supposed to be a "fluff piece for the week" then becomes something that could damage a kid's self confidence for years afterward!

Try it. Imagine you are an HR rep and an applicant is applying for his first job. HR Googles the name. Go on, try it: Google Josh Welch.

Yep. You get the blather story *with photo* about how his half eaten pop tart sorta looked like a gun, so his school suspended him. So his parents allowed that photo to be published ... why? And gawd help us if it was a *family photo* - where's copyright law when it comes to kids and half eaten pop tarts?

 :tellme:

Renegade

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Here's my latest disturbing realization about the emerging world with no privacy. Remember how much the poobahs like to wheel out "protect the kiddies" as a rationale for evil new online surveillance bills? Yet I just realized that the news media might not even have a clue about how what is supposed to be a "fluff piece for the week" then becomes something that could damage a kid's self confidence for years afterward!

Try it. Imagine you are an HR rep and an applicant is applying for his first job. HR Googles the name. Go on, try it: Google Josh Welch.

Yep. You get the blather story *with photo* about how his half eaten pop tart sorta looked like a gun, so his school suspended him. So his parents allowed that photo to be published ... why? And gawd help us if it was a *family photo* - where's copyright law when it comes to kids and half eaten pop tarts?

 :tellme:

YOU! My dear sir, have an absolutely astoundingly mega super awesome point there!  :Thmbsup:

+1 x 10^c

(Ok, I should divide by m and multiply by s, but that's just fugly.)

Has the media compensated the family for the use of the copyrighted photo that they have no right to use? Or is that a chilling effect?
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker