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Cypherpunk Rising
March 9, 2013 6:30 PM   Subscribe

Cypherpunk rising: WikiLeaks, encryption, and the coming surveillance dystopia by R. U. Sirius. [Via]
posted by homunculus (40 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Related post: Cypherpunks
posted by homunculus at 6:31 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


A new generation is growing up whose understanding of privacy is all but unrecognizable, because meaningful privacy in the modern world is dead. Our beliefs will be seen as quaint and peculiar, like complaining that ”gas is supposed to be twenty five cents a galleon and it's an outrage that this is nolonger the case!”
posted by anonymisc at 7:05 PM on March 9, 2013


meaningful privacy in the modern world is dead

As one who has resisted considerable social pressure to market my life on Facebook, I have been finding this particular attempt at self-fulfilling prophecy both galling and offensive since that grinning loon McNealy first put it about.

That which I choose not to disclose to you is none of your business, and the technological tools available to help me enforce that boundary are readily accessible. The fact that you are more and more able to discover those things I don't care about enough to protect is neither here nor there.
posted by flabdablet at 7:26 PM on March 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


A new generation is growing up whose understanding of privacy is all but unrecognizable, because meaningful privacy in the modern world is dead.

I (a Gen Y-er) have a brother ten years my junior who thinks Facebook is lame and doesn't have an account because the loss of privacy isn't outweighed by the "connections" it provides. He's not alone.

Generations like mine gave up their privacy because they didn't recognize its value. Coming generations will just have a better understanding of its worth.
posted by voltairemodern at 7:49 PM on March 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Did the brother give up cellphones and the internet too? I doubt it. Opting out of the surveillance society takes considerable sacrifice these days. Not bothering with Facebook is lip-service.
posted by anonymisc at 7:58 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah - when Assange describes "a postmodern surveillance dystopia, from which escape for all but the most skilled individuals will be impossible" and David Brin scoffs at anyone at all having privacy in the future, they aren't talking about whether or not to use Facebook.
posted by XMLicious at 10:04 PM on March 9, 2013


From the article:

...and in the places where extropians gathered...

All of us will be able to make the effort to have perfect privacy, but few other than the crazies will bother. The vast amount of legitimately public information bent to the tools of analysis will be all that's needed to know all about you. Luckily it will work both ways and it will be impossible for governments or corporations to keep secrets.
posted by sammyo at 10:04 PM on March 9, 2013


"We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about... We can look at bad behavior and modify it."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:26 PM on March 9, 2013


Well, government has had the ability to automatically look at health records and credit card transactions and debit card transactions and landline phone logs and your workplace swipe card records for how long now? For at least 15 years. A combination of laws and lack of resources have prevented governments in Canada and the US from getting easy, immediate access. I guess greater computing power will give governments more resources to pry into our affairs (and I realize they are doing so already), so I guess I will conclude my reverie by saying you don't have anything to fear if your aren't doing anything wrong :)
posted by KokuRyu at 11:56 PM on March 9, 2013


In other news: Feds Demand Dismissal of Dragnet-Surveillance Challenge
posted by homunculus at 12:12 AM on March 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ragtime: Code name of NSA’s Secret Domestic Intelligence Program Revealed in New Book
posted by homunculus at 12:18 AM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


In other news: Feds Demand Dismissal of Dragnet-Surveillance Challenge

Some critics claim WikiLeaks doesn't do journalism, but reading about Mark Klein had to go to multiple papers with the Room 641A story before getting it published, our press really failed us. We desperately need WL, or at least something like it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:47 AM on March 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, government has had the ability to automatically look at health records and credit card transactions and debit card transactions and landline phone logs and your workplace swipe card records for how long now? For at least 15 years.

Note that it's private companies who actually aggregate all of that data. Once information is integrated into a single system it's basically irrelevant whether or not there are on-paper restrictions distinguishing between what government people and organizations can access versus what private or criminal people and organizations can do.

This system is offered to retail chains and other concerns; it gets hooked up to the feeds of all of the security cameras, then is able to do face recognition and track people as they walk around the stores. One of the advertised features is that chains can get rid of their discount card programs because when you step up to the register the system knows who you are already.

Or at least it can match you up to the face or gait that has been in the stores previously and the records of what you purchased, what you stopped to look at, and where you walked in the store. But it's a small step to connect all of that with other records of your identity. It probably knows what your license plate number is (and recognizes the RFID chips in your tires and your highway toll pass) and knows you're there before you even get out of your car, and knows what your favorite parking spot is too. We aren't too far off from the Minority Report technology of customized commercials beamed directly into your eyes everywhere you go, except that even today's tracking technology isn't dumb enough to be fooled by someone getting new retinas like the systems in the movie were.

So imagine all that, plus you live in China a couple of decades from now and devices with the same capabilities as iPhones are one-tenth the size, mass produced, and distributed everywhere. Not quite smartdust yet but getting there. Someone with access to the centralized system can look you up and just press "rewind" and see where you were and what you were doing and hear what you were saying in every moment of your life. Things aren't going to be too different outside of China and other authoritarian states, at least not for very long.
posted by XMLicious at 12:54 AM on March 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


I saw this earlier and thought this quote from David Brin was totally crazy:
But at a deeper level it is simply stupid. Any loophole in transparency ‘to protect the meek’ can far better be exploited by the mighty than by the meek. Their shills, lawyers and factotums will (1) ensure that ‘privacy protections’ have big options for the mighty and (2) that those options will be maximally exploited. Moreover (3) as I show in The Transparent Society, encryption-based ‘privacy’ is the weakest version of all. The meek can never verify that their bought algorithm and service is working as promised, or isn’t a bought-out front for the NSA or a criminal gang.

Above all, protecting the weak or meek with shadows and cutouts and privacy laws is like setting up Potemkin villages, designed to create surface illusions. Anyone who believes they can blind society’s elites — of government, commerce, wealth, criminality and tech-geekery — is a fool…
And, that just makes no sense at all. The basic problem with it is that brin seems to think we can somehow "chose" whether or not encryption works. Like, if we all decide it doesn't work, suddenly "the mighty" won't be able to use it anymore.

But that's not how it works at all. The cryptographic "loophole" is a loophole in the universe itself not a loophole in law or human society. We don't get to chose whether or not it exists.

And secondly the powerful use every tool at their disposal to protect themselves. American businessmen and politicians engage in Julian Assange level paranoid behavior when they visit china. They by new, fresh laptops on the way in, and throw them out when they get back.

Now it is true that people who don't understand cryptography can't verify that it works. And they may end up using it incorrectly. And ultimately if the government really, really wants your data they can send someone to sneak into your house and install a hardware keylogger in your machine.

But there is a cost issue involved. The higher the cost, the less likely the government is going to try to do it. So by using encryption, you vastly increase the difficulty and expense of getting your stuff.
"We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about... We can look at bad behavior and modify it."

The irony is Google's privacy situation actually got worse after they kicked Eric Schmidt out of the CEO position, but now they don't have him going around saying crazy shit like that.
Did the brother give up cellphones and the internet too? I doubt it. Opting out of the surveillance society takes considerable sacrifice these days. Not bothering with Facebook is lip-service.
It's not that simple. There isn't some huge eye looking over everything you do online or with your phone. If you don't have adblock, google knows a lot about what sites you visit, but not all of them. If you don't have a google account with your real name, google doesn't know who you are. They just have your IP. Yeah, someone could get your name from your IP with a government request, but google can't do that just to do better marketing.

And beyond that there are countermeasures you can take, adblock is one - there are other systems that prevent google and Facebook code from tracking you from site to site. Ghoestery is one such tool that should block most cross site tracking. Some browsers actually prevent cross site cookies by default.

The cell phone is a bit more complex. But if you install Cyanogen Mod or something like that on an android phone, that should prevent some of the default tracking systems like "Carrier IQ" from being installed.

If you're worried about GPS you can disable it.

Part of the problem, though, is that you have to be technically adept in order to even understand these things in the first place, which means privacy only ends up being for the people smart enough to see where the cracks are before falling though them. The vast majority of people still end up getting caught up in it.
Someone with access to the centralized system can look you up and just press "rewind" and see where you were and what you were doing and hear what you were saying in every moment of your life.
They can already do that in china, at least outside.
posted by delmoi at 3:55 AM on March 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


There isn't some huge eye looking over everything you do online or with your phone.

Are you sure about this? loquacious was pointing out at the end of last year that given the progression in storage capacities it would make sense to try to record the entirety or a large subset of the traffic on the net, including even the encrypted traffic in the hopes that it could be decoded in the future. It make sense to me... do you actually have direct evidence to support an argument that nothing like this is happening, not even within the Chinese national infrastructure?

The Brin quote is partly a consequence of the fact that the solution to all of these problems he's settled on is that we have to fundamentally alter our societal conventions and practices to accept the end of privacy and actively enforce transparency and equal, universal access to surveillance information and other aspects of our information systems, and embrace all that as soon as possible, rather than pursuing an endless arms race of security techniques that will only genuinely provide temporary privacy and information security for a very small number of people, while maintaining the remnants of legal and institutional regimes that rely on the no-longer-valid pretense that there are secrets and privacy and only serve to impede and restrain everyone who isn't wealthy and powerful enough to employ people to work around them.

Even if for some small percentage of people in some particular sets of circumstances it's possible to temporarily maintain privacy and secrecy, from the point of view of society as a whole those are red herrings and worthless next to what could be gained by simply restructuring our mores, laws, and institutions around the new reality that most people will have no privacy most of the time, and organizing things to put people of high station, people of low station, and everyone in between on as equal a footing as possible.

You and I and many others can handle juggling encryption keys to lock down channels of communication and securing and constantly patching our systems and find some way to deal with the physical intrusions of ubiquitous surveillance and camera drones and Van Eck devices and proliferation of other sensors and all that, but it is and will continue to be a losing battle and we would still be adversely affected by the consequences of everyone else in society becoming more and more hampered by these issues.
posted by XMLicious at 5:12 AM on March 10, 2013


delmoi: "The cell phone is a bit more complex. But if you install Cyanogen Mod or something like that on an android phone, that should prevent some of the default tracking systems like "Carrier IQ" from being installed.

If you're worried about GPS you can disable it.
"

By virtue of its intrinsic design, your mobile phone can be located to within a couple of meters of its actual location just by virtue of its radio being powered on and attempting to connect to a mobile telephone network. Disabling GPS and removing software location tracking won't help you when the raw telemetry data (Mobile device 0110AF39B was seen at -67dB of power by tower 893, at -77dB of power by tower 1113, -89dB of power by tower 387, and -101dB of power by tower 990 on 2013-03-09 between 4:27:09AM and 4:27:38AM in the local time of the towers being logged) is owned and stored by a mobile provider. Notice that it doesn't even have to be your mobile provider. If the mobile operator with which you contract is having difficulties or simply has poor coverage in an area--or if the device is unsubscribed or the SIM card malfunctions--your phone will attempt to contact any mobile operator it can find, even one to which you don't subscribe.

This, of course, makes it even more awesome that brand new phones are coming with batteries that can't be removed.
posted by fireoyster at 6:12 AM on March 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


...because meaningful privacy in the modern world is dead.

Considering it was a modern world construct....

Your grandparents or great grandparents had little privacy, and the further you go back the less there was. We've just circled back around and know who the village drunks and perverts are again. Families are just going to have to start sleeping on one giant bed again.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:51 AM on March 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hmm... the Catholic Church's business will take a big hit. If everyone knows all of your secrets already where's the appeal in confessing them, even sacramentally?

Bootleggers will be trying to cut a film together from the surveillance footage before the production company's even finished it...
posted by XMLicious at 8:01 AM on March 10, 2013


The Logic Of Surveillance
Surveillance expands the reach of the enforcer class and thus of the elites. Every camera, drone and so on reduces the number of eyes needed on the ground. The Stasi had millions of informers; surveillance reduces that requirement and the cost of the enforcer class.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:19 AM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


And yet another vital reason to get the asteroid belt colonized asap!
posted by sammyo at 8:25 AM on March 10, 2013


By virtue of its intrinsic design, your mobile phone can be located to within a couple of meters of its actual location just by virtue of its radio being powered on and attempting to connect to a mobile telephone network.

Is it possible to use software to change this behavior? Perhaps if you had a phone that could enter some kind of "battery-saver" mode where it wouldn't attempt to poll towers? You couldn't make calls or receive texts during this time, but it would save on battery life and give the user a bit more control over when to reveal their location. (obviously this isn't a problem that can be remedied with an OS-level fix, but could/would hardware manufacturers make this a possibility?)
posted by antonymous at 8:47 AM on March 10, 2013


Perhaps if you had a phone that could enter some kind of "battery-saver" mode where it wouldn't attempt to poll towers? You couldn't make calls or receive texts during this time, but it would save on battery life and give the user a bit more control over when to reveal their location.

When you take this idea to the patent office, tell em' I told you to name it the "power button".
posted by radwolf76 at 9:49 AM on March 10, 2013


"A mobile phone is a tracking device that also makes calls” - from the Assange et al Cypherpunks book, p. 49.
posted by doctornemo at 10:02 AM on March 10, 2013


I guess this is as good a place as any. Any New York-area MeFites interested in forming a keysigning party? We could just be a sideshow at the regular meetups, that's fine.
posted by LogicalDash at 12:09 PM on March 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know, we already have an extensive, entrenched, and quite powerful system in place for monitoring and preventing the rich, powerful, and governments from surveilling us. There is nothing physical that stops the police from strolling into your house when you're away and looking through your stuff every day of the week; they have the keys, after all. There's nothing physical stopping your local police from listening to your every phone call, or AT&T from doing the same. Nor is there much stopping humans at Google from reading your email, or people AT&T from reading your phone's web traffic. And there's nothing physical stopping strong men in uniforms from rifling through your bag every day, or hauling you downtown to be interrogated when they like.

The rich and powerful have had a near monopoly on the power of surveillance for millennia. And what stopped them was not fancier locks on the doors, fancier safes, handguns, encoded messages, staying out of public places, etc. Rather, the system of laws we already have have been remarkably powerful at stopping this stuff. The problem right now is not that the laws can't stop it, it's that the government doesn't want to pass or enforce those laws. But with the right laws in place and judges eager to enforce them, most of the stuff discussed in this thread could easily be stopped: phone tracking, packet recording, browsing history, Facebook behavior, etc. Lawsuits and jail time are a powerful incentive, and are what stopped the stuff in my first paragraph from happening,* no matter how incentivized government and businesses were to keep it up.

What we mainly have right now is a political problem. Strong laws can easily take care of the business side of things (facebook, google, advertisers, etc) and local police violations. They can also prevent most law-abiding agencies from doing bad stuff, such as DAs or the FBI. The presidential assertion that his spy powers cannot even be tested in court is of course another type of problem -- but it is one that is no different that many leaders in many eras have asserted. And it too can be stopped, largely, with laws. And even if we can't entirely stop him from doing it, we can severely constrain the legal uses to which such ill-gotten information can be put, just as was (somewhat) done with torture.

Locks, cyphers, and countermeasures were not what stopped millennia of surveillance by the powerful, and won't stop it now, mainly because the least powerful will always be on the losing side of this arms race. But laws, judges, and a culture that support them do a great job, particularly when so much of the machinery is already in place. We just need to build a movement to change what is currently the law. That's not an easy thing, but at least it is possible; we've done it before, we can do it again.

*Yes, I know stop-and-frisk policies and many others are ongoing violations. But again, the solution here is not to tell the poor and minorities to better protect their secrets, but to pass better laws to stop this stuff.
posted by chortly at 1:05 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bradley Manning Nobel Peace Prize Nomination
posted by jeffburdges at 1:05 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tangentially related :
Ninth Circuit say Fourth Amendment applies at the border
Google Releases Data On FBI Spying

posted by jeffburdges at 1:13 PM on March 10, 2013


Oh god this guy is back? At least he stopped with the "exploded post novel" nonsense.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:25 PM on March 10, 2013


Posterity, looking at this, should also consider Mondo 2000 as a focus of something that was happening

Talk about damning with faint praise. Mondo 2000 was garbage. Something like 15 bucks an issue for for articles about smart drinks and pictures of people wearing black mesh shirts.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:31 PM on March 10, 2013


I love how he features people who are great at talking shit online but ignores guys like anakata that do time for this stuff.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:46 PM on March 10, 2013


What we mainly have right now is a political problem.

Quite so. And this is exactly why the "privacy is dead - get over it" crowd are to be denounced at every opportunity.

If we all just roll over and expose our furry bellies, the Technological Imperative (CAN = MUST) becomes the default position. Privacy is worth protecting, and the more people who actually stand up and say so, the easier it's going to be to get that done.
posted by flabdablet at 5:42 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


When you take this idea to the patent office, tell em' I told you to name it the "power button".

I get the snark, but a mobile computing device still has value even if it's not connected to the internet. Removing the calling feature while simultaneously removing the tracking feature is probably a worthy trade-off to some.
posted by antonymous at 8:21 PM on March 10, 2013


Lawsuits and jail time are a powerful incentive, and are what stopped the stuff in my first paragraph from happening,*

If you think that the only thing in your first paragraph that happens all the time is police occasionally stopping and frisking people over-enthusiastically, or that the redoubtable force of law does a "great job" that mostly stops those things from occurring and will continue to be a barrier even if they become a hundred or a thousand times easier and cheaper, you simply aren't dealing with reality. It's like someone in late 2008 saying "We have laws against financial fraud and misdealing, things just can't be that bad."

I'm sure we can do something about the very worst excesses of abuse via legislation if we all organize and strive mightily, but as it becomes easier and more ubiquitous the worst excesses will continue to be an even tinier fraction of the outcome of all surveillance conducted.

It's like littering: yes, with extreme, draconian efforts and enforcement and punitive laws you can virtually eliminate public littering in a tiny, postage-stamp-sized area like Singapore, and it's great for marketing the tourism industry that no one will step on used chewing gum while they're visiting when littering is pervasive in the rest of the world.

But you have to stick your fingers in your ears and shout "la la la I can't hear you!" to believe that they've accomplished anything with waste disposal other than shunt it out of the public view and that Singapore doesn't contribute as much to the Pacific Trash Gyre as everywhere else, just because less garbage is seen out in public in Singapore compared to elsewhere.

Your solution for something that's "a political problem" is arguing for simply maintaining the status quo of a half-assed public pretense of privacy and security while we continue to avoid dealing with the societal ramifications of the average private person and corporate or public sector employee now having surveillance abilities that were the province of governments and Orwellian science fiction in the last century, all on their own without even accounting for how much more a large coordinated organization can orchestrate, and gaining more and more capabilities as time goes on.

Our "furry bellies", as flabdablet puts it, are already exposed and accessible and to contrive a fig leaf of it being extra super-duper against the law to exploit that is a worthless measure that would be a placebo for pursuing policies and practices which could actually reduce the impact of this state of affairs becoming one more massive asymmetric advantage that the wealthy and powerful members of society have over the rest of us.
posted by XMLicious at 8:39 PM on March 10, 2013


policies and practices which could actually reduce the impact of this state of affairs becoming one more massive asymmetric advantage that the wealthy and powerful members of society have over the rest of us

Such as?
posted by flabdablet at 9:37 PM on March 10, 2013


Complete transparency for governments, corporations, wealthy individuals, and other lofty entities in society is the basic principle, in David Brin's writing at least. (I'm sure that there are other approaches out there, he's just been writing about this stuff for decades and has fairly accurately predicted several of the social consequences that communications technologies have had; or really I suppose, just accurately extrapolated effects that were apparent on a small scale in the seventies and eighties.)

As a contemporary illustration - pretty much anyone can pay for the credit records and property records for you, the average person, and get a fairly complete picture of your financial status, and that isn't going to change because financial transactions aren't going to become less electronic and all the basic balance sheets for every single person in the world would fit on a thumb drive today. Privacy laws and enforcement in that regard primarily serve to make sure that when people like Mitt Romney want to campaign for President and conceal their own finances, they're able to. Ceasing to pretend that privacy has any meaning for the vast majority of people in the developed world in respect to basic financial information would be a good first step in a thousand-mile-journey towards a more symmetric state of affairs.
posted by XMLicious at 10:31 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Complete transparency for the powerful is not something I see coming down the pipeline any time soon. Powerful people become so mainly by exercising extreme control over the information flows around them, and a right to privacy does indeed cut two ways.

But I don't believe that makes it any less important to insist on privacy as a basic human need that we ought not to give up on just because the means to breach it are increasingly available. Claims that privacy "is dead" or "has no meaning", whether made despairingly by those who mourn its loss, self-servingly by those who gain by violating it, or cynically by those who can't be arsed to defend it, are counter-productive.

Surveillance is indeed ubiquitous, but so is strong encryption. The way toward a "more symmetric state of affairs", it seems to me, has to involve ordinary people using all means at their disposal to protect those things they rightly consider private. If the balance is to be tipped, I think the tipping force will need to come from the low side; examples of the powerful voluntarily scaling back their power are few and far between.
posted by flabdablet at 11:18 PM on March 10, 2013


But not only doesn't encryption address current-day issues like giant comprehensive databases about you which are integral to the economy and aren't going to go away without dismantling capitalism (though that would be cool too) because calculating risk is fundamental to modern business, at best all it can do is protect information in transit. Once physical sensors for surveillance are omnipresent then for anyone with access to sensor data covering the endpoints in a communication, an encrypted message might as well be sent in the clear: they can essentially watch what you're doing over your shoulder or over the shoulder of the message recipient, before it gets encrypted or after it's decrypted.

And the reach of the sensors just keeps increasing: right now a drone's camera can record everything visible through every window at the same time (and all the stuff that's outside, of course) as it flies over an area half the size of Manhattan. (And that's passively - presumably there are directional telephoto sensors and those every-surface-is-a-mirror imaging things that can be focused on something the operator is actively interested in.) How much longer until the optical sensors in off-the-shelf technologies like the smartphones everyone carries all the time and security cameras and car dashboard cams have the same resolution and capabilities? Do drones have laser microphones these days, so that they can listen to any audio on the other side of a window they can see - for example one end of an encrypted Skype call? Can any sensors in today's smartphones or other common networked devices pick up van Eck radiation, a technique that has evidently been around since at least WWII, and be used to essentially read the email on your display through walls and from other locations without any line-of-sight and at dozens of meters' distance? I don't know the answer to any of that.

(To forestall a particular counterargument: of course all of this generates more data than can be searched and correlated by humans but presumably in short order it will be done by more and more of the siblings and descendants of Watson, who today can already slurp up portions of the internet and crunch through it to win Jeopardy! or learn how to swear.)

I mean, at some point you're going to have to be a combination of James Bond and Steve Jobs and maintain a constant effort—understanding and keeping up to date with all the different ways you can be vulnerable and never making a mistake in the presence of a recording sensor—just to keep simple, short Twitter-like text messages secret. Expertise easily afforded by the one-percenters, a'course, but not any more accessible to you and I than their teams of lawyers who exploit the privacy laws to get them other things the rest of us cannot have.

I totally agree that privacy is a precious thing; but so, for example, was the childlike awe and wonder at everyday phenomena like the sun and the rain and the apparent destiny that brought monarchs and other proto-one-percenters to temporal power before science and Empiricism and Enlightenment and all that. But we're never going back to those things being fundamental parts of our social contracts or factors in the legal rights which one person has over another: the other things disrupting them are genies that can't be put back in the bottle, all the King's horses and all the King's men^ et cetera. And we've gotten along just fine without that stuff being enshrined in the law of the land any more and with it relegated to the more poetic realms of society.

"Privacy" as a legal construct is just not a great reason for all of Mitt Romney's companies to be able to calculate the risks and benefits brought by the rest of our financial habits, obligations, assets, and debts when he wants one of them to sell us something, enter into a contract with, hire, or fire one of us while we cannot make the same appraisal of him even when he wants to claim the titles of "The Leader of the Free World" and Commander in Chief. We should rid our laws and institutions of it much more quickly than we left behind the Divine Right of Kings.

Or at least demote and marginalize it down to measures that can actually apply to everyone with equal import, like ensuring that people can take a dump in peace. (I would also be entertained by a legal regime that resulted in Mitt Romney and the far bigger fish like Rupert Murdoch having to try to conduct all of their backroom deals while sitting on the toilet because that's the place where privacy is legally enforced, which would seamlessly mesh with Gangnam Style.)

P.S. Holy crap, laser microphones can work using dust and vapor too now?
posted by XMLicious at 2:02 AM on March 11, 2013


A relevant open thread, btw
posted by XMLicious at 3:19 AM on March 11, 2013


Interview uncut: Adrian Lamo

Interview uncut: Jacob Appelbaum
posted by homunculus at 7:21 PM on March 14, 2013


Ars Technica:
“Stop the Cyborgs” launches public campaign against Google Glass

“In generation two, when you've got better battery life and apps that do better face recognition—maybe we're crying wolf a little early to a certain extent—but [what happens when] you get to competing products?” Adam said. “The idea that you'll have recognition of objects and infrared tags so it will always know what you're looking at—that kind of thing, it will be gathering information. It's more the face recognition stuff that changes society. You're never going to see a stranger as a stranger again.”

...

"Google Glass simply lowers the transaction costs of taking photos and videos and learning about your surroundings," the law professor said. "If Glass has a high adoption rate, it will significantly increase the likelihood of information that was assumed to be obscure or ethereal being discovered, recorded, and subject to publication. The law has yet to figure out how to unravel the fact that there are many situations where individuals expect privacy in public. So perhaps the best approach to this, at least initially, is a vocal, context-based opposition."
posted by XMLicious at 11:07 PM on March 22, 2013


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