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

Mark H. Wood mwood at IUPUI.Edu
Wed Aug 27 15:32:50 CEST 2014

On Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 06:46:13AM -0400, dan at geer.org wrote:
>  | > Is this not the core of the question?  In a world of social media
>  | > and sensor-driven everything, does not the very concept of private
>  | > information fade, per se?  I believe it does.
>  | 
>  | No. Taking part in social networks and other media is a choice. One can
>  | a) choose not to take part at all, or b) choose how one takes part and
>  | what information one shares.
>  | 
>  | In short, privacy of information is still real, still relevant, and
>  | still (largely) within the control of the individual. Tools such as
>  | encryption help retain the reality of privacy of information.
>  | 
>  | The question of privacy of information is of critical importance to
>  | liberty. By choosing to believe that privacy (or specifically privacy of
>  | information) is a concept that has "fade"ed you are playing into the
>  | hands of those who would wish to forcefully strip us all of privacy,
>  | whether we like or or not. That would be a mistake, I think.
> I fully agree with you, which means that I see few ways to preserve
> the liberty that privacy represents than to withdraw from much of
> civil society while it shares ever more -- sharing ever more on the
> "I've got nothing to hide" premise.  Technology makes what is
> observable by others daily grow wider; lip reading robots, electric
> grids that know the noise signature of every device you own, smart
> cameras on every street corner, MIT's "visual microphone," electronic
> health records that are and must be shared amongst providers plus
> the providers' paymasters, and on and on.  That these are possible
> is worrisome; that they are widely built into services which promise
> "convenience" is the Pied Piper institutionalized.  As I wrote
> elsewhere(*), we are becoming a society of informants -- I have
> nowhere to hide from you.

It was never possible to live in perfect anonymity.  You can't
participate in society and be invisible to it at the same time.  One
has to accept being known, to some extent.

So, secrecy is only one part of privacy.  Another part is effectively
asserting what you believe is right.  Just because someone knows
something about you, doesn't mean he understands it or can argue
properly.  Challenge the idiots, the misinformed, the insufficiently
educated, the malicious, and make their misuse of your personal
information costly.  Without that, you will indeed live in a bubble of
privacy which steadily shrinks until it evaporates entirely.

Lies, rumors, and faulty logic readily die of exposure.  Expose them!
If someone attacks your secrets...attack his!  The falsity of a false
argument is one of your opponent's centers of gravity, so strike it
to keep him busy protecting it.

Secrecy alone is defensive.  The term for a purely defensive figher is

Mark H. Wood
Lead Technology Analyst

University Library
Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
755 W. Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
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