Fwd: GNU hackers discover HACIENDA government surveillance and give us a way to fight back

Johannes Zarl johannes at zarl.at
Thu Aug 21 21:35:16 CEST 2014

On Thursday 21 August 2014 11:41:40 Robert J. Hansen wrote:
> If it escalates to an intrusion, then yes, that's definitely
> surveillance in my book.  Compiling a collection of publicly available
> information is not.

"Compiling a collection of publicly available information" is an almost 
perfect description of the term "surveillance". E.g. a surveillance camera 
does exactly that: it collects publicly available information.

Your initial example,
> That's like driving down the street and reporting on what colors
> people's houses are and whether they have their garage door open.
, is also a nice example of surveillance.

The information is not by definition harmful to anyone, yet has the potential 
to be used against someone.

"Mr. and Mrs. Smith always leave the garage door open in summer, except for 
one week a year, when they also close the bathroom window." is trivial, maybe 
even boring information to most people. To someone with bad intent this 
information might be a lot more interesting.


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