Today in Fake Privacy News
I heard the last bits of this NPR piece about a "Technical Fix for Illegal Snooping" the other morning, and it really made me pretty angry.
They're praising some company selling proprietary software which automatically logs the IP address of a searching web client, which will clearly prevent illegal searches, since they'll be traceable to the system used to perform the search. Accountability does not equate to prevention, it equates to increased risk.
They used Tom Brady as the example case. Evidently there were a bunch of frivolous searches against the Giant Federal Hive Mind Database for Brady info, does he own a gun, where does he live, blah blah blah. (as of last October, he had a penthouse in NYC and before that, lived here. Not very hard, I don't need to be in the CIA to do that).
There are a few shocking things about the piece. The implicit admission is that there is no logging on queries on the current system. This means that whatever default logging the solution provided must have been turned off. In any case, the logs spit out by New System aren't likely to be reviewed, they're likely to be compressed, maybe encrypted, archived and forgotten. What bothers me is that they say such searches are "Not Possible" under the new system, because it logs. The searches can still be performed, there will just be a paper trail. Call me jaded, but that doesn't fill me with a sense of the warm-fuzzies.
But the things that got to me were that they were targeting frivolous searches by random nobodies against famous people. They weren't talking about the invasive searches against regular people's email and telecom traffic data.
For the kind of "data mining" that really affects most people, I don't care how much logging their is on the back end, if your email and web traffic is encrypted, and your traffic is anonymised, they won't be able to search it out of a massive database. I don't want to trust in Federal logging to protect my data against illegal search and seizure by Federal agents.
From the article:
"For example, right now it is perfectly legal, without question, for the government to collect every telephone call, every e-mail, every communication in the world — as long as it can claim credibly some part of the communication contains a person outside the United States," says Fred Cate, the director of the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research at Indiana University. "And that's a problem."
The single word answer for the government collecting every email is "Crypto", the two word answer is "Free Crypto". If they're going to collect every mail, we should encrypt every mail. There's no reason we shouldn't, the tools are there, and the tools are completely free.
Remember kids, only you can protect you, encrypt and obfuscate and be vigilant of your own info security footprint.
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If "Data-Mining" hasn't proved itself, why is Obama still using it?
Efficacy of Data Mining
I don't know, and I don't care to know. It was a horrible invasive policy before January of this year, and it still is.
You seem to think I'm some kind of mindless shill for Obama/The Democrats, I am not a black and white guy. There are shades of grey to everything, and warrantless federal datamining of email and phone call data is very shady indeed.
Pizza Order 2012
Here's a sample of where Data-Mining is taking us:
I've got to run, but...
I'm certain of it.
Then should "Illogic" color your responses?
In the very quote that follows lies the very core of a Dogma that colors your views.
Pretend you are a Logic instructor, and parse these words:
Your reading comprehension sucks
How's this: They're two different fucking sentences, in which you've entirely changed the context.
"I don't know, and I don't care to know" is in reference to "I don't care why Obama continues this horrible invasive policy of spying on US citizens, and I don't care what his rationale is, because whatever it is, it's insuffiecient".
How the fuck does that make me a "Mindless shill for Obama"?
All I'm trying to do here is help people avoid having their government spy on them, why is this a political discussion for you? It's rather sad that you can't see that sometimes, presidents have good policies, and sometimes they don't. Everyone's either infallible or can't find their ass with a map. Black/White.
Interesting world you've built for yourself.
To "The Efficacy of Data Mining", I Asked...
One's Logic would ask, "If 'It-Was-a-Horrible-Invasive-Policy' thirteen years ago, why would one be care-free a scant six months after the election?
You're still not tracking me
It is, was, and will be, a hugely terrible thing.
What I DON'T CARE ABOUT is /WHY/. That was the part where I said "...I don't care what his (Obama's) rationale is, because whatever it is, it's insufficient".
I /DO/ care that it happens, I do NOT care WHY it happens, because whatever the reason is, it's a bad reason.
I really don't know how to dumb this down any more for you. Perhaps:
DATA MINING BAD
YOU WANT PRIVACY, DO THE STUFF I WROTE THE ARTICLE ABOUT.
jeez, reading really IS fundamental, they weren't full of shit in those commercials:
Depends on What One Reads...
I could excerpt the pages I've read from the book Triple Cross, which says that the FBI was so distracted by the John Gotti case, the FBI flubbed the 9/10 data-mining Intel from Islamic cells plotting 9/11.
(Got 1, lost 3000—worse than the attack on Pearl Harbor).
Why did Clinton* support it—and sign it the bill—and Bush continued in supporting it, and now Obama continues in supporting it? Could it have been Domestic National Security we so desperately needed 9/10—then flubbed?
Our Dear Leader has said,
Why can't you accept the rationale of Our Dear Leader?
This isn't 9/10.
I'm not not particularly concerned with privacy, since I've already revealed nearly everything I'm concerned with to the I.R.S.
The IRS can still go on to audit me and learn even more!
I do regard the domestic and physical security of the American people far more greatly—as do Clinton*, Bush, and Obama and also for the same reasons as do "The Families of 9/11".
Everything else is just "so 9/10".
So let me get this straight
You want the government to compromise MY liberty to defend this country against people who would...compromise....my...liberty?
This can't be quoted enough:
If you're not particularly concerned with privacy, you wouldn't mind me digging and posting everything I know about you in this very forum. Some things are just "private". My phone conversations should be private. My email, to the extent it can be, should be private.
You don't want me reading your email, why should you want some spook in Virginia reading it? Google has a (censored) massive display showing search queries as they happen, I've wondered if the NSA or FBI has a similar display with your email and mine scrolling by. It would make a fascinating word-garden type project.
There is no more justification for them running searches on every email and phone call than there is for them to open every piece of international mail (and, as it turns out, domestic mail as well). Should the FBI be permitted to open a letter to you simply because it comes from outside the US? Should the be able to open a letter to you from inside the US?
I think most Americans, including many on this site would disagree. Remember, I started posting privacy threads for exactly this reason. Members of this board expressed fear for their privacy.
I'm glad you're so transparent, don't get me wrong, but it should be your choice what you release. You know my stance, "I'm not a hard guy to find, people who dig for my info will find it, so I'll just release it here to make it convenient for those who actually want to get hold of me but aren't inclined to google for it".
However, my communications with those people should be safe. If I have a client in Canada, should I expect my communications with that client to be compromised by default? What if those communications include confidential information about third parties like credit info, or patient information?
Another serious point is that if the government has the ability to intercept all this traffic, so might others.