“The good news is that there are solutions. The weakness of mass surveillance is that it can very easily be made much more expensive through changes in technical standards: pervasive end-to-end encryption can quickly make indiscriminate surveillance impossible on a cost-effective basis. The result is that governments are likely to fall back to traditional, targeted surveillance founded upon an individualized suspicion. Governments cannot risk the discovery of their exploits by simply throwing attacks at every “endpoint,” or computer processor on the end of a network connection, in the world. Mass surveillance, passive surveillance, relies upon unencrypted or weakly encrypted communications at the global network level.
Edward Snowden submits written testimony to an EU committee investigating mass surveillance, and answers questions.
The testimony takes place 3 days ahead of his highly anticipated SXSW appearance, to take place later today. Snowden is expected to speak about privacy, security, mass surveillance programs, free speech and whistle-blowing in a rare remote video appearance before a live audience.
Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo finds this “deeply troubling” in a letter he's sent to the organizers of the conference.
Meanwhile, people who wish to #asksnowden questions can use the hashtag on Twitter. The talk is to take place at 12pm PT, today.
posted by fantodstic
on Mar 10, 2014 -
You don’t want your privacy: Disney and the meat space data race
The bands are even uniquely colored and monogrammed with your family members’ names so that they won’t get switched up. Why? Because they don’t want their database to get confused and think that you, a 45-year-old man, rode the teacups instead of your little son Timmy. This is one of the first examples I’ve seen of physical design (e.g., monogramming and coloring) for the sake of digital data purity.
If ever there was a testimony to the importance big data has achieved in business it’s this: We will now shape our physical world to create better streams of digital information.
posted by frimble
on Jan 27, 2014 -
Edward Snowden has delivered the UK Channel 4's Alternative Christmas Message
Together, we can find a better balance. End mass surveillance. And remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying.
This address follows Monday's interview
with the Washington Post in which he explains his motives for releasing information he collected while working for the NSA.
posted by Joe in Australia
on Dec 24, 2013 -
From the testimony, PDF
of Pam Dixon (World Privacy Forum
) before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation:
What do a retired librarian in Wisconsin in the early stages of Alzheimer's, a police officer, and a mother in Texas have in common? The answer is that all were victims of consumer data brokers. [more inside]
posted by rjs
on Dec 19, 2013 -
In which I relate my experience as an NSA employee
and impart my thoughts on the policies in place, my former coworkers, and the current cyber war.
I am an American patriot. Many impressions may come to mind at that word, “patriot”: perhaps that I am a Republican, that I don’t care about people outside the US, or that I am afraid of them. In my case, none of these conceptions apply. Patriotism to me simply means that I care about the US and its future. [more inside]
posted by panaceanot
on Dec 16, 2013 -
On Lulu, women can rate men in categories
— ex-boyfriend, crush, together, hooked-up, friend or relative — with a multiple-choice quiz. Women, their gender verified by their Facebook logins, add pink hashtags to a man’s profile ranging from the good (#KinkyInTheRightWays) to the bad (#NeverSleepsOver) to the ugly (#PornEducated). The hashtags are used to calculate a score generated by Lulu, ranging from 1 to 10, that appears under the man’s profile picture. (The company’s spokeswoman declined to explain the ratings algorithm.) Men can add hashtags, which appear in blue, but these are not factored into their overall score. (SLNYT)
posted by sio42
on Nov 21, 2013 -
A couple made the mistake of breaking up on a NYC rooftop next to comedian Kyle Ayers, who promptly live-tweeted their breakup
with the hashtag #roofbreakup, which went viral, prompting not only retweets, commentary, and memeification
, but also a video re-enactment
. However, some are considering the wider implications of this kind of phenomenon, pondering the ethics of the panopticon
, live reportage on ordinary people
, and even the nature of relationships itself
in the context of the pair. [more inside]
posted by corb
on Nov 20, 2013 -
"In 1967, The Public Interest
, then a leading venue for highbrow policy debate, published a provocative essay by Paul Baran
, one of the fathers of the data transmission method known as packet switching [and agent of RAND
]. Titled “The Future Computer Utility,"
the essay speculated that someday a few big, centralized computers would provide 'information processing … the same way one now buys electricity. Highly sensitive personal and important business information will be stored in many of the contemplated systems … At present, nothing more than trust—or, at best, a lack of technical sophistication—stands in the way of a would-be eavesdropper.' To read Baran’s essay (just one of the many on utility computing published at the time) is to realize that our contemporary privacy problem is not contemporary. It’s not just a consequence of Mark Zuckerberg’s selling his soul and our profiles to the NSA. The problem was recognized early on, and little was done about it... It’s not enough for a website to prompt us to decide who should see our data. Instead it should reawaken our own imaginations. Designed right, sites would not nudge citizens to either guard or share their private information but would reveal the hidden political dimensions to various acts of information sharing." -- MIT Technology Review on The Real Privacy Problem
posted by Potomac Avenue
on Nov 12, 2013 -
"Reality has caught us"
Ubisoft game Watch Dogs
, scheduled for release next year, models pervasive surveillance as a game. Polygon's Charlie Hall investigates Chicago's vast camera network and finds the fiction might be not so far away from reality. [more inside]
posted by Sebmojo
on Oct 16, 2013 -
But that didn't prevent
On the Media producer Sarah Abdurrahman and several members of her family and friends from being detained at a Canadian-US border while on the way home from a wedding. The story is all the more frightening as it details Sarah's inability to get any answers about policy from the Border Patrol, including the name of the officers who held her.
posted by Eyeveex
on Sep 23, 2013 -
are thoughtful and measured, but the premise that frames them all is shaky; Lessig doesn't offer much proof that a Soviet-style loss of privacy and freedom is on its way. … Unlike actual law, Internet software has no capacity to punish. It doesn't affect people who aren't online (and only a tiny minority of the world population is). And if you don't like the Internet's system, you can always flip off the modem." — David Pogue is the creator of the ''Missing Manual'' series, which will include guides to Mac OS 9, Outlook Express and Windows 2000.
posted by Nomyte
on Sep 19, 2013 -
The new documentary "Terms And Conditions May Apply," about the privacy overreach of major tech companies, presents its trailer on a cleverly written page of terms and conditions
posted by mark7570
on Jul 11, 2013 -
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored by the FBI and NSA, with Dropbox "coming soon."
So what can you do? Use some alternatives
. As Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo
, told NPR: "we made the choice to just not track people so there is nothing to turn over.
posted by filthy light thief
on Jun 26, 2013 -
Washington Post: NSA and FBI are mining data from nine major tech companies in formerly secret program.
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored, with Dropbox "coming soon". The program, called PRISM, is reportedly the most prolific contributor to the President's Daily Brief.
posted by brentajones
on Jun 6, 2013 -
Photographer Arne Svenson
a bit of controversy
with his recent show "The Neighbors
," about which he says, "I turned to the residents of a glass-walled apartment building across the street from my NYC studio. The Neighbors don’t know they are being photographed; I carefully shoot from the shadows of my home into theirs. I am not unlike the birder, quietly waiting for hours, watching for the flutter of a hand or the movement of a curtain as an indication that there is life within." [more inside]
posted by taz
on May 17, 2013 -
I turned around to face an approaching figure. It was Larry Page, naked, save for a pair of eyeglasses. “Welcome to Google Island. I hope my nudity doesn’t bother you. We’re completely committed to openness here. Search history. Health data. Your genetic blueprint. One way to express this is by removing clothes to foster experimentation. It’s something I learned at Burning Man,” he said.
posted by Horace Rumpole
on May 17, 2013 -
is a documentary which details how our concept of privacy is altered by the modern surveillance state.
posted by antonymous
on Apr 30, 2013 -
On the 23 of June, 2011 a secret five hour meeting took place between WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who was under house arrest in rural UK at the time and Google CEO Eric Schmidt. We provide here a verbatim transcript of the majority of the meeting; a close reading, particularly of the latter half, is revealing. [more inside]
posted by palbo
on Apr 25, 2013 -
Practical Ethics: Enlightened Surveillance?
Surrendering on surveillance might be the least bad option – of all likely civil liberty encroachments, this seemed the less damaging and hardest to resist. But that’s an overly defensive way of phrasing it – if ubiquitous surveillance and lack of privacy are the trends of the future, we shouldn’t just begrudgingly accept them, but demand that society gets the most possible out of them. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Apr 18, 2013 -