Is privacy worth it?

He doth protest to much…

[Parzzix walks into a pub and sits himself down at the bar.]

Parzzix: “Hey, barkeep! I’ll take one non-alcoholic sarsaparilla, if you please! Oh! I almost forgot to mention that I am totally not a CIA operative. I’m totally serious. Why would I even mention it if I were? How weird would that be, am I right? Anyway. Good times. Hey, barkeep. You hear anything about any possible attempts at overthrowing the federal government by any chance?”

Hey now Bryan…don’t make us pay attention to you :wink:

So I may try Bittorrent sync or syncthing. I have an old laptop and 1tb usb drive I could use as my backup…just leave it running in the house all the time. Maybe…doesn’t solve offsite backup.

Great topic for discussion, @parzzix!

I agree with @sil that privacy is going to be the next major thing - right now privacy features are added by major services due to either (a) shitstorms, or (b) privacy issues being a tense topic in that area. I think as we move forward we will see privacy features being a key selling point for people.

I think what will change this is a major event. There will be an insane hack or compromise that will change the way we think about privacy. Until then, privacy and the discussions therein will be divided between two camps - the privacy obsessed and those who just want their stuff to be safe don’t take a super-paranoid world-view.

There is one aspect to consider. I mentioned this on another post, that a persons activities has, in some parts of the globe, been labeled “extremist”, no matter what the activities of the persons group may be, be it social, political or religious. Now, with that “extremist” label and with quick legislation against such groups, the authorities will start looking into everything they can to find information on such groups and who is in them. That may include the family photos stored on a cloud service. Or whatever else is there.

A person might think, ‘well, I live in a country that guarantees the ‘rights’ of a person.’ It is very easy for a government to get around it’s own constitution. This thinking ‘I have nothing to hide so why worry’, of which I really don’t have anything to hide either, can bite us. Badly.


[quote=“oldgeek, post:16, topic:4088”]
I have nothing to hide[/quote]

Are you sure I’m convinced your that super hero Analogue man.

Seriously though I’m sure we all have something to hide, something we would rather not have public knowledge. OK I admit it – I once went to see Robbie Williams live – the girl I took was, in my opinion at least, particularly attractive but that doesn’t excuse me letting my musical standards fall so low.

For most of us it will just be embarrassing and I’m sure there are things the bad voltage presenters are hoping nobody has found and included in their entries for the Maaashed Voltage competition.

For some people however, it’s not just a little embarrassing, and as @oldgeek said can lead to real trouble for the individuals involved and there families.

Isn’t that “bolting the stable door after horse as bolted?” We need to be proactive here. If we choose to have a public presence, even it’s only by posting to a few forums, that’s one thing but we do have control over the information we choose to release.

Other information, such as personal e-mails, internet search history, etc. needs to be protected.

I don’t think that @jonobacon’s point is that we should post everything everywhere and wait for the compromise to happen; it’s the same thing I believe, which is that public interest in privacy as a concept will require some big event to happen. Piously explaining about GPG keysigning parties isn’t convincing anyone. However, when the big thing does happen, there will be projects already in existence which will suddenly become more relevant because everyone will want them. But bear in mind that this is early days. What we’re seeing now is good, but in the grand history of how privacy became important again in the latter part of the 2010s, everything you see now will be the ICQ of privacy software.

My concern is not so much if someone will see the photos I have in Dropbox (clouds, sunrises, sunsets and flowers) or read the gushy emails I send to my wife that will make anyone a true bulimic, but that they probably do have access to them. I guess that is what I meant by saying “I have nothing to hide”.

An example that I heard (I cannot remember what show, and am having a hard time finding a reference, so this is very suspect) is that some state in the USA is starting to use the information from grocery reward cards to send reminders and such to the holder of those cards about their diet habits. While this may be suspect, it is not out of reasonable reality. At what point do governments or insurance companies start mining the data from such cards (or other programs) and will influence their policies towards you?

We tend to think of our data as to what is on our phones, computer or other device, or what is on the internet. There is a lot of data about us out there that over which we really don’t have much control, irregardless of what ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’ we might have signed or okayed. Data that some entities, legal entities, would just love to get a hold of.

You may find relevant reading here…

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@sil I know @jonobacon is not saying

I just feel that we can do more to help educate others on potential risks and steps they can take to mitigate them.

The big event will happen and many people will get burned but if we help reduce the number of victims or the severity of the damage . It can only be a good thing.

Agreed. Nobody has yet worked out how. I’d be interested to hear any ideas you have which are new approaches, certainly!

An irritation for me.

It is irritating in that, would it be getting the FBI’s attention if it did not involve celebrities?

Yes, it is worth it. At least that is my view. I find it compelling that while my views might not be controversial enough to get me into trouble right now … nothing says that it will always be that way in the future (or for my children … or their children … ).

For me, it is worth it.

I agree, but I think that right now for a lot of people privacy is an intellectual issue and when the big event happens it will become a real issue.

I agree this is an intellectual issue only for most people.

I may be more sensitive than most people, particularly in the western world but, it depends on where you live. If you live in the US or UK you may not be too worried about stepping on peoples toes because we have freedom of speech. Edward Snowden might want to disagree with me here.

I am a member of Amnesty International, Campaign Against the Arms Trade and a few other organisations I am also active in this respect.

My ex wife is Thai and because I speak Thai fluently I have been able to report things via Amnesty International that have gone on since 2008 based on eye witness reports. Many if not all of the eye witnesses involved could not report what they have seen personally due to fears for their own and their loved ones safety.

But as a Brit I have been able to go to Thailand “as a typical tourist” and meet people. Sometimes that’s the only time I do; other times I show them how to set-up secure communications and we are able to continue conversations after I have returned to the UK.

The information I have gained has, I hope, helped focus international attention and help people on the ground.

I’m sure similar stories are true in other parts of the world, Syria for example.

On a more frivolous but related example several beautiful female celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence have apparently had their iCloud accounts hacked and it might be possible to see some of these girls nude.

By telling these stories we make it clear that not everything is OK in internet land and encourage a demand from users for increased security.

Yes, one problem regarding privacy is ignorance and apathy. I asked a guy how he felt about the ignorance and apathy regarding privacy issues and he said: “I don’t know, and I don’t care.” :smile:

Seriously, that is the issue, until, as been mentioned, a big event happens that shakes them out of it.

In response to @sil 's earlier comment that nobody has yet worked out how to educate others about the risks and how to mitigate them.

The BBC (British Broadcasting Corperation) has tonight, is as I type, shown a program on this subject Horizon:Inside the Dark Web

I urge those who have not seen it, and have access to BBC iPlayer to watch it.

I response to @oldgeek you are correct there is a problem with ignorance and apathy here: There are several examples already of it all going wrong at yet many people don’t care.

I discovered on Sunday thanks to twitter that Jennifer Lawrence looks quite good without any clothes on. I can’t say this was surprise - I thought she was quite attractive fully dressed, at least in the Hunger Games films - I have not seen her in anything else.

She is, in my opinion, naive to believe that iCloud or any Cloud service (you don’t personally own) is safe. I will only use the cloud for open source projects.

Is Jennifer Lawrence justifiably pissed off that some of us have seen her nude. Yes - of course she is. As an actress she has agreed to give up some privacy in return for celebrity but what she wants to keep between herself and her partner is up to her.

Ok. I don’t want to have a go here, but I’m going to, a bit. This, that you’ve said here, is not helpful criticism. What’s important is that we build a world where Jennifer Lawrence isn’t violated in this way, not that we tell her afterwards that she was doing it wrong all along. Storing your photos in the cloud has some large advantages, and it was likely done automatically and she barely knew it was happening. So, how do we mitigate the attack on her in the future while preserving the reasons she chose it? Telling people “use a Blackphone! Don’t deal with any company who uploads to the cloud to make your life easier! Encrypt your stuff with PGP!” does not work. It might work for me (and I don’t even do it) but actual real people would rather, a priori, run the risk than become computer geeks to minimise it. That a posteriori that was the wrong tradeoff is not useful feedback. What should Lawrence have done? “Never buy an Apple product” is not helpful, unless you can demonstrate how a Blackphone would have solved all her other problems.

Victim blaming? Next you’ll be telling mugging victims they were naive for going outside with their wallets on them, or any car crash victim they were naive for getting in a car? How about we nip that in the bud right here and move on.

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.