But what if you visited that Linux forum? Repeatedly? Now you are an "extremist" and being looked at. As a result they now know...
- You visited a dating site
- You got directions to a bar
- You looked up hotel prices for that night
- You looked up trains home the following day
- You looked up "symptoms" on WebMD a few days later
- You never went back to the dating site, but you looked up Samaritans a few more days later
- All this happened a few months ago of course before you visited the Linux site followed by torrentbypass to get a legit ISO. Probably.
A lot can be inferred even without knowledge of what actually happened. Either way your privacy is violated.
Now I hope my bizarre search history ranging from arguments about civil liberties and Internet weirdos to nuclear bomb yields wasn't too displeasing to the authorities after they saw me post a picture of the Houses of Parliament on Twitter on Friday followed by a picture of a crossbow. You know, because inferred meaning and all.
(For the record, it was a zombie party on a Thames riverboat!).
Last edited by Theblacksheep; 14th July 2014 at 04:07 PM.
Very relevant quote:
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor, November 11, 1755.
I worst this argument is boiling down to "some bored ISP admin might search for somexxxsite.com and giggle at the list of IP addresses".
...or automatically sending copyright infringement information [I.Ps and such] to big media for lawsuits, with a nice kickback for helping.
...or passing on certain things to 3rd-parties for advertising. [I wouldn't put it past any of them.] You mentioned Tesco being interested in what you look at on THEIR website, but what about the things you look at elsewhere?
Also, you say only touch the logs occasionally. What if you could automate it to send details to the HT [et al] if certain conditions are met?
Le EDIT: wait, you didn't mention Tesco... SOMEONE mentioned Tesco...
Last edited by X-13; 14th July 2014 at 04:29 PM.
It's somewhat naive to think that they're going to provide evidence to us for wrong-doing or damage. They're secret!
I'm sure if Snowden ever makes it back to the USA then they'll make their case in a court of law, or not.
And I AM playing Devil's advocate. I'm saying that his Government has declared him a traitor. You obviously disagree, both with that assessment and any motive they may or may not have for making that assessment. To you he may be a paragon of virtue, and a hero to the common man. It doesn't matter. As someone else has pointed out, he is a man who swore an oath to his country, and then broke that oath. He has been declared a traitor and is on the run. Why should we believe anything he says?. Even if he is as you believe, he now has every motive and reason to exaggerate the threats and paint the USA security services in the worst possible light. Even if he wasn't being protected by the Russians (and let's face it, they have plenty of reasons for him to keep coming out with these horror stories), he still benefits by painting the USA as corrupt, evil, eaves-dropping, snooping, ne'er-do-wells. And a good proportion of people will instantly believe him, because they WANT to believe him.
Me? I have no idea. The establishment is obviously corrupt, because we see it every day. Whether it is purposefully corrupt, or simply corrupt through over-complex systems, or incompetence, or negligence, I don't know. But he was part of that establishment, and as far as I am concerned he is equally corrupt, if not more so. I have no more reason to believe him than I do anyone else. In fact, I have LESS reason to believe him because he has already proven himself to be untrustworthy, is being shielded by a government that has a vested interest in not being truthful about these things, and has more to gain by painting the security services in a bad light. Even if all he gains is a bit of public sympathy and less chance of being executed.
I just found the argument that he wasn't a traitor because he didn't "damage" his country, and therefore was more trustworthy than the elected government, a little odd.
In terms of the other discussions on this thread, the fact is that the majority of the British people will treat this like many other issues. They will be deeply uncomfortable with the principle, and may not like the method, but they will accept it. They will recognise that they give up chunks of their privacy every day to a hundred different organisations, from Facebook to Tesco to their bank, and ultimately they just don't care. They get something in return for that (better prices, or the ability to see their friends baby pictures) and if they are told that the return for this is increased security then they will accept it. What will change it will be people who fully understand the processes and risks and rewards involved, who will then make judgements based on that. So politicians, judges, and people at the top of the security services. Because whilst we may believe that there are a lot of corrupt and ignorant people in these professions, there are also most assuredly some sensible and professional ones too.
I found this old Telegraph article while aimlessly searching the net for stats on this topic: How Big Brother watches your every move - Telegraph
3,254 pieces of data per week! on each of 64.1m people. Seriously, that's one hell of a data trual.
If your life was turned upside down (guessing you are being serious by what you are saying) then I don't know. That is unfortunate for you.
The "nothing to hide nothing to fear" arguments for government snooping powers would be powerful from posters who do not and have never posted on a forum ... anonymously. 'Naive' edugeek users have several times been advised to stop using their real names. It was and remains, good advice. Yet surely, a "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" world, doesn't contain such advice?
How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did - Forbes
These companies have a few people after a little more coin writing algorithms to find patterns and correlations with limited data. They do this because as you say there is so much data going through it would be impossible by hand. This is all over a purchase or two, now think about the insane budgets and resources governments can pull in (academics and the like) along with the amount of impunity and information they have access to. Think about their goals, not just a few dollars but maybe a few lives or more likely the perpetuation of their own system.
They are not going to sit around and wait till inspector plod from the corner police box reports that little Jimmy from number nine might be staying up past his bed time a bit too often. They will have teams of people working on software and profiles to smash through all that data as fast as possible looking for any little anomalies that may raise a flag. One you get flaged you get put on a list and then get data mined a bunch more along with possible heavy handed investigation...
Remember at this point when they are tapping all your communications and rifling through your trash you may not have done anything wrong, just searched the same kind of stuff that someone else did before something bad happened.
Where does that stop, 'think of the children etc.', safer streets, how about flagging up violent speech (which they can) and certain searches so the police can monitor people who might assault someone - might be ok - but wait, there are too many people and waiting around takes time, we'll just pre-crime it. They were going to do this, statistically proven to within 80% or so, oh look more efficient policing and safer streets. Served up slow enough and in the right way there are a lot of people who would go for that which is terrifying.
The above example is a little extreme but not far off if people don't start standing up to a bunch of governments who care a lot more about keeping themselves in power than the people they supposedly represent. Democracy was nice while it lasted but I don't think I could point to any country anymore where the will of the citizens is carried out.
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