Privacy concerns

Written on 13 November 2015, 09:44am

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This is another post in the weekly links series, with all the links below grouped by a common topic: privacy.

First, a post that explains why you should be concerned about it:

If the federal government had access to every email you’ve ever written and every phone call you’ve ever made, it’s almost certain that they could find something you’ve done which violates a provision in the 27,000 pages of federal statues or 10,000 administrative regulations. You probably do have something to hide, you just don’t know it yet.
How could states decide that same sex marriage should be permitted, if nobody had ever seen or participated in a same sex relationship?
Wired: Why ‘I Have Nothing to Hide’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance

Then, a post about the day-to-day implications of the facial recognition:

Obviously, facial recognition is here to stay. The convenience factor for consumers and the data mining potential for big business are too compelling. The erosion of privacy is unfortunately like sea level rise. We know it’s happening, we know the consequences, but we’re either powerless or unwilling to act in our best, long-term interests.
PetaPixel – The Unsettling Future of Facial Recognition

Third, a thought about the future of the Internet and how it could better protect our privacy:

It’s easy to forget that because of its short life, the Internet has actually changed many times over the last 30 years or so. It started in the ’70s as a military project, morphed in the 1980s to an academic network, co-opted by commercial companies in the ’90s, and then invaded by all of us via social media in the noughties, but I think it’s going to change again. And I think things like the dark net markets — creative, secure, difficult to censor — I think that’s the future.
And the reason it’s the future is because we’re all worried about our privacy. Surveys consistently show concerns about privacy. The more time we spend online, the more we worry about them, and those surveys show our worries are growing. We’re worried about what happens to our data. We’re worried about who might be watching us.
Jamie Bartlett TED Talk How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream

Yesterday, the BBC reported that the FBI allegedly paid an US university to launch an attack on the Tor network:

Anonymity network Tor, notorious for illegal activity, has claimed that researchers at US Carnegie Mellon university were paid by the FBI to launch an attack on them.
“This attack sets a troubling precedent,” the Tor Project wrote. “Civil liberties are under attack if law enforcement believes it can circumvent the rules of evidence by outsourcing police work to universities,” it added.
BBC – FBI accused of paying US university for dark net attack

Finally, a very recent interview with Edward Snowden, where he explains a little bit about the tools that you can use to protect your online privacy:

If you interact with the internet … the typical methods of communication today betray you silently, quietly, invisibly, at every click. At every page that you land on, information is being stolen. It’s being collected, intercepted, analyzed, and stored by governments, foreign and domestic, and by companies. You can reduce this by taking a few key steps. Basic things. If information is being collected about you, make sure it’s being done in a voluntary way.
Edward Snowden explains how to reclaim your privacy


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