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Ask Slashdot: Privacy Paranoia 323

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the break-out-the-foil-hats dept.
dvbuser writes "The privacy debate is well known these days — organizations that track every click, geolocation, image, you name it. So now I sit here today monitoring my IP blockers, obfuscation algorithms, tor relay and each packet that goes in or out of every device that I operate. I even wear a hat always when I go outdoors, never carry a cell phone, and never look up (well, not all of that is true). But is it really that bad? Am I simply going to wind up completely out of touch with the modern world, where the next generation so boldly (for want of a better word) goes? What's wrong with targeted advertising? And if the feds can track my every movement — who cares? Sure, I don't want to be a victim of identity theft, and I like to download some p0rn every now and then, but I don't want to exclude myself from society, or spend copious hours trying to preserve it, merely from paranoia or at the very least from an overbearing sense of privacy. What does the average Slashdotter do to preserve their privacy (or what's left of it) while still making the most out of what the web has to offer?"
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Ask Slashdot: Privacy Paranoia

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    For obvious reasons.

    • by Deekin_Scalesinger (755062) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @01:17PM (#35432042)
      "Posting anonymous for obvious reasons" is fairly close to the truth.

      *** What does the average Slashdotter do to preserve their privacy (or what's left of it) while still making the most out of what the web has to offer? *** asked the submitter.

      1. Easy - sit at home and do your normal internetting.

      2. If you are going to do something sketchy online, go to your local coffeehouse four towns away and do it there. Alternatively, go for a wardrive.

      3. If you are going to do anything massively sketchy, think long and hard about doing it in the first place. If you are still justified in doing said deed, buy a USB wireless card and use a CD based Knoppix. Proceed to step 2 as described above.

      4. If you are going to do something insanely illegal, don't do it. Kiddie pr0n, DDOSes, etc fall into this category. Chances are great that you'll be looking at felonies when (not if - just a matter of time) you get pinched.

      5. ???

      6. Profit!
  • Use aliases. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bmo (77928) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @09:56AM (#35428844)

    Fuck Zuckerberg. Half of the people on my "friends" list use aliases. I use an alias.

    And I don't put anything out there that I wouldn't be ashamed of my mom seeing.

    Use the technology, but for gawd's sake cover your ass and don't be stupid. If you don't know how to maintain true anonymity (I'm behind 7 proxies!), then just use common sense.

    --
    BMO

    • Re:Use aliases. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by captainpanic (1173915) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @10:11AM (#35429004)

      Use the technology, but for gawd's sake cover your ass and don't be stupid. If you don't know how to maintain true anonymity (I'm behind 7 proxies!), then just use common sense.

      Agreed.

      It's not the targeted advertisements that worry me. It's that the wrong people get information about me. That I get into embarrassing situations with pieces of information going to places they shouldn't without my approval. It might even be possible to extort people if you have the right info.

      So, I would advise you (guy from TFA) that you don't need to wear the hat if you just go to the supermarket... but if you don't want your wife to find out that you have a mistress, and you pass some camera's on the way there, then the hat is advisable.

      -- Remember: If you do nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear from the government - but you still have a lot to hide. Why? Because it's none of their f*cking business.

      • Re:Use aliases. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MoonBuggy (611105) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @10:26AM (#35429162) Journal

        The corollary to that would perhaps be "you don't need to hide it if it's not worth anyone's while to find it"; admittedly with crowdsourcing, and the decreasing cost of automated data processing, it's pretty easy to pull individual data from the huge conglomeration that's produced every day, but the limiting requirement is still that somebody needs to take the time to act on that data.

        I completely understand the principle of the original question, but I do think they need a little perspective on the practical side: the chance of anyone caring what you, as an individual, are doing is near-zero. Unless you've pissed off people in your monkeysphere [wikipedia.org] enough that they'll go digging for your name, there's probably not much chance of any of the information about you surfacing beyond its minuscule impact on aggregate marketing data. Those improbable edge-cases are maybe still worth taking some precaution against, but in general it's not worth too much worry. The real question, of course, is whether you truly care about the principle above and beyond any practical danger it poses to you?

        • Re:Use aliases. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by networkBoy (774728) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @11:55AM (#35430698) Homepage Journal

          While no one may care, I still protect some basics.
          I have a little perl script that does nothing but grab a random number of random words from my dictionary and performs google searches on those words, then gets a random number of hits from the search query.
          It doesn't do anything with the results, just discards them to dev/nul but my real searches are likely lost in all that noise.
          I use my real name on facebook, specifically so people can find me, but I post almost nothing.
          On forums like this I use an alias. I've three distinct on-line persona and I keep them relatively separate

          That said, the odds that anyone actually cares about what I do is remote, but I do not rely on that as my only defense of who I am.

        • Except that more and more company are doing a google search on your name when you send your CV... The chance that you next boss is caring about what you, as an individual, are doing is not near zero. And a photo of you drunk, smoking some weed (or something that look like), or any non conventional posture could cost you your next job. Some don't get a job or get fired for these kind of things right now. And unfortunatly it is not alway you that post these kind of information :-/

          • by MoonBuggy (611105)

            True, but there's a vast gulf between the OP's attitude of "So now I sit here today monitoring my IP blockers, obfuscation algorithms, tor relay and each packet that goes in or out of every device that I operate. I even wear a hat always when I go outdoors, never carry a cell phone, and never look up (well, not all of that is true)." and your hypothetical situation of "The first picture to come up when someone Googles my name is that time I ended up handcuffed to the goat with my testicles painted orange".

      • Re:Use aliases. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by anyGould (1295481) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @12:13PM (#35431010)

        So, I would advise you (guy from TFA) that you don't need to wear the hat if you just go to the supermarket... but if you don't want your wife to find out that you have a mistress, and you pass some camera's on the way there, then the hat is advisable.

        I'd extend that - so long as you never intend on having a mistress, you're probably OK. Because they'll be able to tell from your changing patterns that something is up.

        That's the freaky part about things like Facebook's new "tracking like buttons" and the "let us manage your forums for you" features - my newspaper turned on the "you must log in to Facebook to write us" feature, and frankly, it feels a little expensive to have to hand over access to your complete profile in order to give them content to publish...

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      And I don't put anything out there that I wouldn't be ashamed of my mom seeing.

      Friend your mom like I did and your problem is solved! :)

      I do use Facebook, but mostly as a big contact list. It's great when we travel near where some infrequently-contacted cousin lives and I can just lift their contact info from Facebook rather than calling around trying to update my long-out-of-date address book. It's also nice to see what someone's kids look like and such without having to sift through my emails looking for that link to Picasa/Kodak/etc.

      Anyway, if I were doing such a thing that I neede

    • And I don't put anything out there that I wouldn't be ashamed of my mom seeing.

      Wait... you only post stuff that you know will offend your Mother!?
      That's just mean!

      • But today, there is a risk in posting anything that might offend anyone. What if your employer finds it? What if your potential future employer finds it while googling on candidates for the job? It isn't advisible to say anything at all under your real name any more, not when everything is archived and googleable. There is nothing you can say on any issue remotely political without the risk of upsetting someone, and that someone may be your now-or-future co-worker or boss.
        • It isn't advisible to say anything at all under your real name any more, not when everything is archived and googleable. There is nothing you can say on any issue remotely political without the risk of upsetting someone, and that someone may be your now-or-future co-worker or boss.

          If you have such frail conviction in your own beliefs and values... I believe what I believe regardless of what someone else thinks of it, and if my boss would fire me over it then I probably wouldn't be happy working there any ways. If it gets to the point that I can't find any job because of my opinions, then there are bigger problems in the world.

    • by Tomahawk (1343)

      "If you don't know how to maintain true anonymity (I'm behind 7 proxies!)"

      Each of which logs your every click...

      • by bmo (77928)

        And sure as shit, nobody here gets that it's a joke.

        Crikes.

        When I wrote that, I was going to write "I'm behind 7 Boxxies!" but I figured it was too obscure and everyone was going to have to google the phrase and thus the joke would be ruined.

        But no, people like you have to make me /explain/ the joke and kill it myself. You turned me into *that guy,* the guy that explains all the jokes.

        Gah.

        --
        BMO

        For the lazy: http://tinyurl.com/6272za7 [tinyurl.com]

    • by ladoga (931420)
      Imagine what can happen if some autocratic regime gets into power in and confiscates all the data that social network corporations have in store of their users. Then the said regime can use that data to search for probable dissidents and make their lifes hard. IMO that's good enough reason for not to use high profile social networking services with anything linked to your own name.

      So for me it's not about telling something I don't want my mum to hear. Such things could cause only minor problems, maybe a l
    • by pr0nbot (313417)

      It's not enough for YOU to be careful about what you put out there; a lot about you can be inferred from what your friends put out there.

      E.g. you may not want Google to know your phone number and home address, but guess what? Chances are if one of your friends has an Android phone, chances are they've sync'd their contacts up to Google, including all your details, a picture of you, your birthday, etc.

      Your friends are busily posting pictures of you on Facebook, possibly geotagged and timestamped, and are hap

  • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @09:57AM (#35428852) Homepage Journal
    Its what other people do with your information.

    would you really care if the society didnt have any bias in regard to downloading porn, and found out that you have been downloading porn ? no.

    its because society is acting/reacting on that information that you are desiring to have privacy. if nobody cared that your ass was bare or not, you wouldnt hesitate from going about naked. which was the case in early days of mankind. then we developed a bias that says asses should be covered. despite that the ass is still there, hidden, and everybody knows it.

    same goes for govt. why would you care if govt. know what you did, if the govt. was not going to do anything bad with that information ? no.

    so problem is not hiding what you are doing. problem is out there, in the society and government and so on. (actually govt. is included in society).

    solution of this is ultimate transparency. nothing should be hidden, nothing should be judged if it doesnt harm another human being. this also goes for governments. there should be no secrets.

    there will remain no need for privacy or secrecy then.
    • by peragrin (659227) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @10:03AM (#35428930)

      The big thing is your actual privacy hasn't really changed in the last 100 years. access to public information has simply gotten easier.

      People never realized just how much of their "private" life was actually public. I have worked with companies that owned complete sets of phone books. Not the simple white pages you see but the $100 a volume hard cover reverse look up by phone number, or address volumes. This was public information for the last 50 years. you just had to pay for access, as it was expensive to compile into usable data. Now it is cheap to do so and so people are suddenly aware of how much of their supposedly "private" lives are actually public and they get all scared and panicky.

      If you live in a glass house you don't walk around naked unless you want the neighbors to see your naked body.

      • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @10:37AM (#35429288) Journal

        If you live in a glass house you don't walk around naked unless you want the neighbors to see your naked body.

        In other words, if you're somehow forced to move to a glass house, you pretty much lose the option of going around naked. People are rightly scared about that. There is the other side of the coin of total transparency: it may well be that society does not stop caring about some of the stuff hitherto done privately or anonymously; but continue to judge it harshly or even prosecute it.

        For example: the online political debates are much more open, frank and no-holds-barred than before; not just because of the instant nature of online debates, but also because people can partake anonymously in most cases. If we're forced to post under our own names, then even the things that we are not afraid to admit to or mention in the company of friends or colleagues can affect our jobs or our lives once it is committed online for the world to see. There are already countless examples of people losing their jobs or getting in trouble over more or less innocent online posts. This means that the online debate will likely become much more reserved, sedate, and "safe". Personally I think that's a big loss.

      • An interesting question would be where the line is crossed between public information and illegal electronic surveillance. Many states have very restrictive wire-tapping laws that don't even allow sympathy for the "I did it to protect my baby" [arstechnica.com] defense.

        If it's done electronically, without your express consent, it's probably illegal - if you're an individual. Make that a corporation and it seems you're forgiven...

        On the whimsical side, perhaps we could get a class action thing going - we're looking at $10,0

    • I take it you've read The Light of Other Days .

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Light_of_Other_Days [wikipedia.org]

      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        I was just about to post a link to that - it's as good a take on the privacy argument as I've seen anywhere, well worth reading even if you end up disagreeing. I really don't think we're going to get very far trying to rein in government (and large company) surveillance of us, so it seems to me that rather than spending time and effort trying that tack, we might actually be better off just pushing for more reciprocal surveillance instead. All of their arguments (especially the classic "if you've done nothin

        • That depends what you define as "bad". I look at porn, but I don't plan on cheating with partners, renting hookers, going on a drugs binge, whatever. Sure, it might be a little embarrassing for me for some people to even know that I have ever browsed for porn, but I doubt anything I've ever done would get me kicked out of office if I was a politician, etc. If I do something, I generally don't give a fuck who knows I've done it.

    • That only works when you're part of the majority. But everyone is part of some minority. If given enough access to your personal life anyone can find a reason to discriminate against you. The masses are ignorant to the legacy they are leaving behind and it is quite possible that in the future we elect a despot into office that uses the decades of personal information collected by these service to control the populace.
    • by Sprouticus (1503545) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @10:18AM (#35429068)

      Except that almost every power base in the world (government, Religion, Corporations, schools, the militiary, cliques, clubs, etc operates on the basis of limiting your options and hiding information and judging other people.

      Transparency is a laudable goal, but until we as a race can exceed our current ability, all transparency will do is ultimately liimit society**. People will revert to the pre-industrial village era where everyone knew everyones business and the local moral police came down hard on people who went out of the norm.

      Except this will not be a local envelope, it will be national at least and in some cases global. We will have the LEAST tolerant and MOSt vocal among us trying to limit everything we do.

      ** I am speaking of transparency at an individual level, not at a corporate or governmental level.
      there is also the profit issue and the creepy issue which are completely different but no less compelling arguments.

    • by scruffy (29773)

      solution of this is ultimate transparency.

      That is unrealistic. People will always want to keep secrets.

      I think (a part of) a solution is to limit discrimination based on personal information. My car insurance rates should be based on whether I have been a safe driver or not (past accidents, traffic violations, and so on), not on personal information that correlate with safe driving (credit report, home ownership, and so on). My company should retain/fire me based on my job performance, not on what I do or say off the job.

      The boundaries are

  • If your hat isn't foil lined, they've already got you.
  • Resistance is futile (Score:5, Interesting)

    by manicbutt (162342) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @10:00AM (#35428888)

    Live openly, with integrity. Be interesting. Post under your real name. The rest will take care of itself.

    If you're a dick in real life, people won't need to look on the internet for confirmation, they'll know already.

    • by oodaloop (1229816) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @10:08AM (#35428962)
      Thank you, Mr. Butt, for those words of wisdom.
    • by evanism (600676)
      Are you zuckerburg? You sound like a dick.
    • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @10:23AM (#35429138)

      Live openly, with integrity. Be interesting. Post under your real name. The rest will take care of itself.

      If you're a dick in real life, people won't need to look on the internet for confirmation, they'll know already.

      Not necessarily.

      For an alternative viewpoint, look at the popularity of homeowners associations. Personally, I hate them because if my neighbor is a lunatic whom won't minimally maintain his property, maybe because he drinks all day (true story!), I really don't care about how his property looks, I want to know if he's a lunatic (so as to avoid him, tell the kids to look out for him, avoid being on the roads at the same time as him, etc). Its a signal. Covering it up with a HOA works in direct opposition to my interests.

      Remember the outcry about GTA and weirdos whom "played the game" by knifing women in the back all day, despite that having nothing to do with progressing in the game and actually works against you? I really want to know whom is a lunatic, so as to avoid them, and keep my women away from him. However, all the Oprah viewers were horrified to find out they have relatives or neighbors or coworkers who were nuts, so their solution is to try to ban the game, so they won't know, therefore, at least from a moron's point of view, its all good.

      Using similar logic, the vast steaming masses don't want to know what can hurt them, w/ regards to others on facebook or whatever, so they would rather cover it all up so we can't see it. I want to know if people around me are nuts, its just that 99% of the population disagrees with me in that regard.

      The vast majority really don't want to know if their kids school bus driver is a smoking member of norml via facebook or tee shirts or whatever. They know they are supposed to say they want to know, but they really don't want to know. And that internal tension in themselves is why they get all uncomfortable about this topic.

      • by oodaloop (1229816)
        I realize English is not everyone's first language on /., but I wanted to point out that in all three uses of whom, it should have been who.
      • by DZign (200479)

        Interesting topic - just read Dilberts blog about this:
        http://dilbert.com/blog/entry/seeing_the_past/ [dilbert.com]

        and while having no privacy at all is a weird concept, it'd indeed make for some cool apps like he says.

        Problem with this (and yoru homeowners example) is that it's never black or white. Most people don't really fit in a category, and the question is always where do you draw the line ? How does one decide your neighbour is a lunatic (if he really was then he would be in a mental institution) or just behaves

        • by vlm (69642)

          >Problem with this (and yoru homeowners example) is that it's never black or white. Most people don't really fit in a category, and the question is always where do you draw the line ?

          Lack of binary is a feature not a bug. Lack of a line in the sand is a feature not a bug.

          How does one decide your neighbour is a lunatic (if he really was then he would be in a mental institution)

          Sounds like you're not from the US. Here the psycopaths and lunatics are the leaders, not institutionalized. Seriously, we don't institutionalize people until after the tragedy occurs. If the cops haven't (yet) found a body, they're pretty much out free.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      You need an ordinary life so you don't arouse interest.

      If you do something interesting, invest the work in an alternate, deniable, untraceable life.

      Exploit the lack of privacy by being "normally naked". If you are like me, no one is interested in your (figuratively speaking) old gray balls.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @10:00AM (#35428892) Homepage

    More and more, there is a cost of participation in the modern world. All of the new things we have started to enjoy since the invention of the automobile have come with strings attached. Unless you are a thriving member of the "homeless" you can't earn a single dollar without the government being aware of it. (Which always makes me wonder why we have to voluntarily file taxes? Why can't they just generate a bill or refund based on the numbers they have and then let us file an appeal if we disagree? After all, if THEY disagree after we file, it's a whole lot more hell and a lot more waste of government resources as well.)

    This is how we find ourselves in the state we have now. Both government and business (which some see as two sides of the same coin) have an interest in stripping the public of its privacy, security and rights and do so on a continuously eroding basis. I just wonder how far things can really go before the people really start to feel the pinch? So far, I don't really feel the pinch... just angst over what I see happening.

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      Why can't they just generate a bill or refund based on the numbers they have and then let us file an appeal if we disagree? After all, if THEY disagree after we file, it's a whole lot more hell and a lot more waste of government resources as well.

      Most people will not correct it in the government's favor because if the gov knew about the extra income or lack of deductions or whatever, they would have sent it that way.

      By preparing it, they say "This is what we know about you." Instead, they say "Guess what w

  • ...I use an SSH tunnel now and then just to circumvent certain limits of a certain video delivery service but other than that I don't care.
    I also keep most of my pictures on Facebook where I have only 6-7 friends (my *real* and closest friends); so Facebook wants to track me and has access to a few pictures of me on vacation or a couple of videos of me jamming with my friends, so what...
    All the other people that were on the same vacation spot probably have my face in the background of their photos as wel
    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      I think all of it really matters. I'm not saying that you need to keep everything private and be anonymous, but I think the principle is the important part. You should be able to keep things private and be anonymous when you need to be. Some of those rights seem to be being eroded lately.
  • P0rn, no wonder, I've been getting pr0n all these years. No wonder its all a bit tame.
  • Not very soon, but I'm placing my bet on the assumption that once the children of the digital age (mostly Gen-Y and some younger Gen-Xers) become the majority, people will care less about privacy because there will be less to hide or be ashamed of, hopefully because at that point, a majority of people will become used to freely sharing information about themselves. Hopefully it also means that I can start seeing ads that are interesting to me.
    • by vlm (69642)

      Not very soon, but I'm placing my bet on the assumption that once the children of the digital age (mostly Gen-Y and some younger Gen-Xers) become the majority, people will care less about ... because there will be less to hide or be ashamed of, hopefully because at that point, a majority of people....

      "They" said the same things about my parent's generation and smoking weed. By the time I become an adult they'll be selling it in vending machines right next to the Marlboros. Didn't quite turn out that way, did it?

      • Not very soon, but I'm placing my bet on the assumption that once the children of the digital age (mostly Gen-Y and some younger Gen-Xers) become the majority, people will care less about ... because there will be less to hide or be ashamed of, hopefully because at that point, a majority of people....

        "They" said the same things about my parent's generation and smoking weed. By the time I become an adult they'll be selling it in vending machines right next to the Marlboros. Didn't quite turn out that way, did it?

        Whoever said it would be in vending machines was out of their mind to think that. It's not come that far, but weed HAS come a long way. It's only been ~40 years since the counter-culture started and I'd say smoking weed has much less of a stigma now than it did then. I know plenty of people who have and/or still smoke it. This is pure speculation, but I'll bet that more Americans are okay with weed. The reason weed is only legal for medicine right now is because the legalization camp still has to cater to o

  • by thomasdz (178114) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @10:14AM (#35429034)

    I don't really care about "the feds", I care more about some nutcase or group (Westboro baptist church, 4chan, etc) who might take umbrage at my religion, what I do, who I work for, where I live, what I consume, or mis-take some random sarcastic comment that I might make for a real comment.
    So for the most part, I made up a couple of fake names a LONG time ago (1990s) and use them for most of my stuff on the web (eg: reddit, facebook, gmail). Think "Rory Bellows" = "Krusty the Clown" = "Herschel Krustofski"
    I occasionally use my real name (eg: on Slashdot) on technical forums because I know co-workers and perhaps future employers are going to be Googling for my real name and I want to appear to know what I'm talking about....haha

    The important thing is that your are AWARE of the power of Google/Bing in searching, and just in general, the power of technology in tracking you. buy a new pay-as-you-go cellphone each year. go through a proxy or two when surfing the web... but don't just be paranoid, have FUN and be paranoid... think of yourself as Truman Burbank.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      paranoid guide for mobile phones: the mobile itself has a code and your sim has a code, so don't overlap them if you're paranoid.

      maybe the reason a lot of folk are bothered by loss of privacy is that they got used to that their friends in different circles couldn't interact so they could re-invent themselfs in those circles as different people.. I'm pretty sure everyone knows a few of the type, if they're social people, the same people who start a new chapter in life five times a year. it was a fallacy tha

  • I realise that in ask slashdot you were probably looking for geek/technical replies, so feel free to ignore this. I think the Tao principle of uselessness is the best solution to both privacy and security. The parable of the useless tree [blogspot.com] illustrates this well. If you have no money, you give out all your intellectual property free on the internet, and you don't have a need for expensive possessions, there should be no need for privacy and security. Naturally in the real world this is more a guideline than fo
  • by GuyFawkes (729054) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @10:21AM (#35429112) Homepage Journal

    I *wish* Google latitude / check-in and Android smartphones with GPS were around ten years ago, it would have made my case so much simpler, and prosecuting her so much easier.

    Let's face it, opting out doesn't mean you turn into a ghost that nobody tracks, so you may as well opt in, control it, and who knows, one day it may save your ass....

    • by vlm (69642)

      You'd have to prove you're the one using the phone, or even worse, think of the fun if your phone was "borrowed" and you didn't notice.
      Her side would be all about the tired old "computers never lie" while opening a copy of "paint" to edit the screen capture.

      Technological solutions to social problems never really work. Might help a little, maybe, maybe not.

  • Don't worry about it. As long as you don't do anything controversial, you don't have anything to hide. Examples of what is controversial really vary. Sometimes it's saying something that's politically wrong (e.g., supporting communists, socialists, any minor party, or the wrong major party), or religiously wrong (taking an interest in an unpopular religion, such as Islam currently, or Judaism historically or in some places), or socially wrong (e.g., sexual practices that your neighbors might disapprove of,

  • Gordon cannot be stopped. Gordon can and must see all or Gordon will destroy, torture, and kill all.

    So you also have Mallory. When you deal with Gordon you know Gordon's name. You know who Gordon works for. You know Gordon. When you are dealing with Mallory, you don't know who Mallory is. You don't know Mallory's motivations. You don't know Mallory.

    The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know. You know Gordon is a part of a necessary evil. Mallory could be your rival, your competitor, or just

  • I do find myself wanting some kind of mobile perma-token that goes to each internet accessing individual. Hi, I am E341-AA0B-C3A9-5505-30FF, and my internet access account began on July 3, 2013! I am male, 27 years old, etc. My token knows that I exist, that only I belong to this token, that I am certifiably human, and maybe that I've demonstrated a preference for buying Anime from Amazon and invest heavily in Silver Mint. -- point being, I don't necessarily think such a token should really store sensit
    • by Tomahawk (1343)

      That's what public/private keys are for, and digital signatures...

      Having them for proving identity is one thing, forcing them on each and every connection and thus not allowing anyone to post anonymously is quite another. Privacy issues, yadda yadda.

  • You information paranoid freaks make me sick. How many times do I have to say it? The whole freaking World is going to melt down to chaos soon. Keep hording your information...I'm hording guns, knives, and bullets. We'll see who was right soon enough. BURN BABY BURN!!!! It's all going down!!!
  • you'd have to spy me 24/7 and even then you'd come out puzzled and depressed... and it would be an awful bad investment as far as returns are concerned. the better it would be the harder time they'd have even selling targeted adverts. and you'd have to do it over multiple social networks or whatever you want to call bbs's, irc, forums and the internet as a whole. that's one thing about stasi style surveillance, it's an extremely boring and devastating career path to start doing it to random people and would

  • No.

    > What's wrong with targeted advertising?

    I don't know. I've never seen any.

    > And if the feds can track my every movement â" who cares?

    Depends on who you are. I don't believe that they track very many people: they simply have no reason to. If they are tracking me they are fools. Of course, if I did think that they might want to track me I certainly would not discuss it here nor am I endorsing what tracking they do .

    > What does the average Slashdotter do to preserve their privacy...

    Squall

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Squall indignantly about what an outrage it all is while refusing to inconvenience himself in the slightest in order to protect his "details" (most of which are matters of public record).

      Maybe they shouldn't be, the last 4 digits of the social security, the ones they typically ask for are typically completely unguarded on bank websites, mother's maiden name frequently used as a way of confirming ones identity is easily looked up in most cases online.

      Individually it's not that big a deal, but when you add those things up, it becomes relatively easy to break into other people's accounts using publicly available information. And since companies frequently don't bother to secure their sites wit

      • "It becomes relatively easy to break into other people's accounts using publicly available information."

        That's how Sarah Palin's emails were 'hacked.' This teaches us two lessons: Firstly that it's not that hard to break into email, and secondly that a crime which would be ignored if the victim were a lowly commoner will result in an investigation, prosecution and jail time if the victim has friends in high places.
      • I wrote: Squall indignantly about what an outrage it all is while refusing to inconvenience himself in the slightest in order to protect his "details" (most of which are matters of public record).

        hedwards writes: Maybe they shouldn't be, the last 4 digits of the social security, the ones they typically ask for are typically completely unguarded on bank websites, mother's maiden name frequently used as a way of confirming ones identity is easily looked up in most cases online.

        And yet you give them the

  • Just trust that the big guys in charge are not going to do the wrong thing (ok, not likely, but try to think that way and you'll feel better), and remember that the amount of information flowing over the internet pipes is simply massive. Yes, they can use filtering and regular-expression-type searches to filter out your data, but firstly they have to want to filter out your data. And they really don't care if people are looking at pr0n (unless there are kids involved). Individuals don't matter to them, f

    • But a lot of people really do care. They believe it is their duty to protect the morality of the nation by making sure anyone who doesn't live up to their own standards is punished.
  • by vlm (69642)

    Its a fad. Remember "that guy" whom wanted all kinds of firewall monitoring to let you know if there is a weird nonconformist packet seen by the firewall? We need reports. We need graphs. We need you to be paged for every individual packet. Because that TCP SYN SSH packet from China (while we're blocking APNIC space anyway, in fact only permitting ssh port IP space from our fellow admins home ISP ranges, and disabled typed in ssh logins going solely pub/priv key auth only) scares me and should scare yo

  • I know I don't have privacy, and I keep that in mind when going about my business. Really I don't need privacy for the vast majority of what I do -- I'm a very boring person. I don't care if Amazon or Google or the FBI knows that I've bought Chopin's Complete Waltzes, Preludes and Nocturnes. If I ever needed privacy, I could acquire it simply by not using any connected gadgets. I am 28 years old (and I don't care if you know that) so I am a bit older than the "next generation" that the original post talks a

  • by realsilly (186931) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @10:51AM (#35429552)

    Shred old bills / receipts with any identifying info after the "retain tax info" time frame.
    Shred all Credit Card applications sent to you unsolicited.
    Remove your self from the list to receive unsolicited Credit Card Applications by notifying at least one if not all 3 major Credit bureaus.
    Use dummy email addresses if you can on line that is specifically meant for junk mail.
    Avoid making Credit Card purchase on line when a phone call and complete the same transaction.
    Keep your cell phone as dummied down as possible.
    Watch for warnings from govt. sites that state that your info will become public record if you provide it on-line.
    Let your friends know that your privacy is important and to not share what they know about you in real life or on line.
    Keep your photos off line.
    Quietly lean on friends to keep you in tune with the latest technologies.
    Use Cash where ever possible.

    If you're not willing to be diligent in doing these things and more then you're not ready.

  • by Pflipp (130638) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @11:02AM (#35429748)

    I once knew this guy who didn't watch TV because he thought the commercials were brainwashing. Hard to say he wasn't right, but he was unlucky as hell, too. Not for lack of TV, but from worrying too much.

    If you think your government treats you indecently (i.e. by allowing you to be tracked), speak out while it still allows you to. But be buddhist about it: don't worry that you cannot change the world, just do what you can while you still feel comfortable with it.

  • by koan (80826) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @11:20AM (#35430058)

    Something more important is how this will play out down the road, will that porno you downloaded suddenly be used against you retroactively in the newly founded America run by ultra right wing religious fanatics?

    Will copy right infringement someday have a death penalty? (you know at least one Hollywood mogul is pushing for that)

    Sure, these are very extreme examples, so come up with your own tamer versions, because I am a cynic, I feel the world will be under constant surveillance once machine AI can access and use the CCTV camera systems, back-scatter scanning while walking down the street, every communication monitored for "key words" decrypted on the fly and stored permanently.
    Hell they may even monitor facial expressions for "malcontents", once all that is in place just imagine what a corrupt government (which they all are) would get up to.

    You're kidding your self if you don't think we are headed for a world of hurt, and all thanks to technology as used by fascist and religious nuts.

  • The best way to preserve privacy is to pollute databases. Data miners now use a variety of sources to 'confirm' information (whether you are male, married, income, political affiliation etc) and the more often you can pollute those databases, the better. If they cannot get a greater than %60 accuracy on your data, you are not a good lead for them.

"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it." -- Marvin the paranoid android

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