bit-tech.net

Assange accuses Facebook of being a US spying tool

Assange accuses Facebook of being a US spying tool

Assange claims many large websites have created back doors exclusively for US intelligence agencies.

Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of controversial whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks, yesterday branded Facebook ‘the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented.

The accusation was made during an interview with Russia Today, in which the Australian, who is currently fighting extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges, railed on Facebook and other large websites such as Google and Yahoo.

Here we have the world’s most comprehensive database about people,' claimed Assange, 'their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations and the communications with each other, their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to US intelligence.’

Assange goes on to claim that Facebook and other online services have built in back door interfaces, allowing US officials to access data easily and without a subpoena, rather than dealing with individual requests from intelligence services.

Facebook, Google and Yahoo were all named by Assange as organisations that have the aforementioned back door interfaces. 'It’s not a matter of serving a subpoena,' says Assange. 'They have an interface that they have developed for US intelligence to use. It’s costly for them to hand out records one by one, so they have automated the process.'

He also warned that anyone who adds their friends to Facebook should understand that 'they are doing free work for United States intelligence agencies in building this database for them.

None of the major players named by Assange have responded to the accusations levelled at them yet, but they're likely to resent the implication that they share users' information freely with US intelligence agencies.

Is Facebook an all-you-can-eat buffet for US intelligence agencies, or is Assange just pointing fingers for the sake of grabbing some headlines? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

52 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Unknownsock 3rd May 2011, 17:09 Quote
oh god i hate this guy.

I honestly couldn't care if the US goverment collected info on what pr0n i watch.
Mitcian 3rd May 2011, 17:14 Quote
I'm rather torn here between giving a crap what Assange has to say in his latest jibe at 'The Man', and being slightly concerned as I don't see it a huge stretch of the imagination that his accusations may have some truth to them.
WarrenJ 3rd May 2011, 17:15 Quote
Guessing he "liked" prostitutes then.
Mechh69 3rd May 2011, 17:15 Quote
WOW I think he's needs a tin foil hat. I guess he thinks all companies that have a HQ in the U.S. or do business in the U.S. just give all their information to the U.S. government? Like the government cares that "Little Genny fell down and bumped her knee" or that someone's cat had 3 kittens vice 4. I seriously doubt any government has time or the equipment to mine that amount of data for the little they would glean from facebook.
Furymouse 3rd May 2011, 17:17 Quote
Wait a second, Facebook has personal information on it that other people can see? I'm being Facebook stalked by the gub'mint?
banks1990 3rd May 2011, 17:27 Quote
ah yes, facebook, google and yahoo are operated by Shadow Broker.
and US government is currently the highest bidder.
Tangster 3rd May 2011, 17:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by banks1990
ah yes, facebook, google and yahoo are operated by Shadow Broker.
and US government is currently the highest bidder.

We have dismissed these claims.
jrs77 3rd May 2011, 17:40 Quote
I'm telling people for years allready, that all these so called social playtforms are huge databases collecting informations taht can be accessed by national intelligence services.

Oh, and I don't use any of these services ofc. I'm only using anonymous ways to communicate with other people, like private IRC or teamspeak-servers. Any service where there's friendlists being stored on central servers is a no-go. Hiding IP's by using tools like TOR etc is also being done here.

The only thing that's being tracked and I can't do without unfortunately is my mobile-phone (simple $50 phone, no smart-crap).

Yes. I'm paranoid
feathers 3rd May 2011, 17:41 Quote
In this world the most unthinkable is the most probable.
WarrenJ 3rd May 2011, 17:56 Quote
Does it really matter. Unless you have something to hide what's the government going to do?
Toploaded 3rd May 2011, 17:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77


Yes. I'm paranoid

The ironic thing is, the more you try and duck out the system like that, the more you will stand out and get noticed. by da man ;)
Fizzban 3rd May 2011, 18:03 Quote
Even if it is true it doesn't really matter does it. They are only going to want info on terror suspects or murders/pedos ect.. So in other words it wouldn't affect 99.9 % of us. The likelihood is that it is just a lie though.
tad2008 3rd May 2011, 18:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by banks1990
ah yes, facebook, google and yahoo are operated by Shadow Broker.
and US government is currently the highest bidder.

+! :o)
mucgoo 3rd May 2011, 18:31 Quote
would anyone here really complain if the US government used facebook/other online data in tracking down a murder/rapist etc.
fodder 3rd May 2011, 18:36 Quote
Erm, has he ever seen the posts and conversations on facebook?

Unless they have a scheme for covert sterilisation to preserve some form of intelligence in the human race, I would doubt the effort would be worth the reward.
FelixTech 3rd May 2011, 18:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenJ
Does it really matter. Unless you have something to hide what's the government going to do?

The same argument can be applied to the government installing cameras in your house, or GPS trackers in your body.

Legal processes like subpoenas and warrants exist for a reason - to protect individuals' privacy in all but exceptional cases. You should be able to assume your privacy is being upheld unless you are notified otherwise.

Information is a powerful thing, and while it won't necessarily be misused there is no need to make it a possibility. Storing unhashed passwords is perfectly harmless - right up until someone hacks your database.
jrs77 3rd May 2011, 18:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mucgoo
would anyone here really complain if the US government used facebook/other online data in tracking down a murder/rapist etc.

Using these sites in certain cases isn't the problem. The problem is, that all the data is allways freely available for them... everyones data, no matter if you're a suspect or not.

For me the question is this: "Is it acceptable that everyones data is being constantly observed, just to catch a few bad people?"

My answer to this question is: "NO!, it's not acceptable."

Furthermore it's not acceptable that all the data (IP-adresses, chatlogs, priv messages, etc) is being stored for more then a very few month (6 month being the absolute maximum that's acceptable!).

If there's a suspect, then the governement sure has all the rights to track all the communications, but aslong as I'm not a suspect, there shouldn't be tracked anything, don't even talk about stored/recorded permanently.

The freedom and anonymity of the unguilty masses simply weighs in so much more then the posibility to catch a few bad guilty ones imho.
MiNiMaL_FuSS 3rd May 2011, 19:16 Quote
it's not a matter of 'what have you got to hide?'

it's a matter of 'what reason have you got to look?'

If we went with the, it dosnt matter as long as you have nothing to hide option, then you wouldn't object if a goverment offcial turned up on your doorstep and just felt like a rummage through your house?
Sloth 3rd May 2011, 19:22 Quote
Unless he's got some real proof I'm going to go ahead and say that his fame and power has gone to his head. He says they're giving information away, they say they're not and neither one has a solid way of proving they're right. It comes down to whose word people will believe. I believe that Mr. Assange knows this and is using it to have people buy into his words without proof. Being suspicious goes both ways.

A fair deal of the trivial information found on a Facebook user's information section has already been gathered by the government through driver's licenses, voter registration, taxes, etc. I've already willingly given up far more information than will be found on Facebook or any online account when applying for a background check as well. The only useful information which Facebook may provide would be incriminating pictures or status updates which would only be of any relevance if the person in question was actually suspected of anything in which case a subpoena isn't exactly hard to get so why setup such an illegitimate channel?
frontline 3rd May 2011, 19:22 Quote
So all those ads on Facebook saying i can meet 'mature women in Manchester' are actually subliminal messages from the CIA?
Valinor 3rd May 2011, 19:30 Quote
What I don't really get is why people get so uptight about the possibility of "the government" finding details of your personal life - unless you're doing something illegal then why are they going to care?
Neophyte4Life 3rd May 2011, 19:47 Quote
Being anonymous on the internet is exceptionally easy. First dont use third party services if you are worried about what they will do with your information. I don't thing that mark zuckerberg is holding a gun to your head and telling you that you must use facebook and post personally identifiable information. In regards to run of the mill internet usage, use free wifi hotspots that are not within view of any recording devices (directional antennas if necessary), onion routing with ssh, source spoofing (IP, mac, email headers, etc.) , and live cds to do any illegal internet activities. You might notice slight performance degradation but this is well documented in the IT community as the security productivity trade off.

And if you are exceptionally paranoid, grind up the utilized machine when you are done, split the grindings into several batches, and deposit the batches into six disparate road pavers that are parked for the night.

And if you are still worried that men and black suits will retrieve the grindings, rebuild your machine, retrace your encrypted traffic, and put you in jail for the rest of your life, just give me your full name and occupation. I will then use the evil all knowing internet to figure out where you live, snipe you from 2.74km away, and pay a random hobo to tea bag you corpse while i do inappropriate things to your significant other.

All in all, dont do anything illegal if you are worried about getting caught. Dont tell someone something if you dont what other people to find out about it. And the for love of all that is good in the world do not post either of the afore mentioned on the internet. I still have a hard time believing that people are that stupid.
MajorTom 3rd May 2011, 20:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valinor
unless you're doing something illegal then why are they going to care?

I think this is an often used and rather short sighted argument. Everyone should come to their own conclusions about what is right or wrong, good or bad. Don't judge whether something is right or wrong based on whether it is against the law or not.

We take for granted in this country that for most of us, our government is roughly in line with what we consider acceptable behavior. Other countries are not so fortunate. It's for those countries that this is more relevant.

If you do something that yourself and many others consider to be morally acceptable but the government doesn't want you to do it for whatever reason, you won't want it on a database somewhere.

Likewise though, in this day and age, it should be perfectly obvious that you should never put any information online that you wouldn't want people to see.

I have little time for Julian Assange. He's attention grabbing publicity Hoover.

I happily use Facebook and Google with the knowledge that putting something online is potentially permanent. People need to relax but they also need to be more clued up.
jrs77 3rd May 2011, 20:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Unless he's got some real proof I'm going to go ahead and say that his fame and power has gone to his head. He says they're giving information away, they say they're not and neither one has a solid way of proving they're right. It comes down to whose word people will believe. I believe that Mr. Assange knows this and is using it to have people buy into his words without proof. Being suspicious goes both ways.

A fair deal of the trivial information found on a Facebook user's information section has already been gathered by the government through driver's licenses, voter registration, taxes, etc. I've already willingly given up far more information than will be found on Facebook or any online account when applying for a background check as well. The only useful information which Facebook may provide would be incriminating pictures or status updates which would only be of any relevance if the person in question was actually suspected of anything in which case a subpoena isn't exactly hard to get so why setup such an illegitimate channel?

This data from drivers-licenses and taxes etc are not the problem. The problematic thing here is the data about your social connections (i.e. friendlists) and your private life (i.e. things you search for at google, films you watch, games you play, etc.).

This private data shouldn't be freely available for the authorities nor any company.

If you use google as search-engine, youtube to watch videos, gmail for eMails and an Android-based smartphone, then google knows basically everthying about you... your friends, your hobbies, your likes and dislikes and even your geo-positions (yes Android-phones sent geodata to google and you can't prevent that, just like with the iPhone).

So, ask yourself if you really want all of that to be known to the companies and furthermore the authorities.

I for sure don't want all of them to know about my private life.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valinor
What I don't really get is why people get so uptight about the possibility of "the government" finding details of your personal life - unless you're doing something illegal then why are they going to care?

DINGDONG... Two men ringing your doorbell.

"Well Hello there Mr. X. We know about your little affair with this girl, and you sure don't want that information to be known by your wife or your kids now, do you?"

"If you help us to do some work, then we'll forget about this.... OK?"


Oh, sure. You didn't any illegal there, only something that may be seen as immoral, but what do you do now?
Fact is, the government should'nt know all this private stuff about you, if you don't tell them personally.
Sloth 3rd May 2011, 21:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
This data from drivers-licenses and taxes etc are not the problem. The problematic thing here is the data about your social connections (i.e. friendlists) and your private life (i.e. things you search for at google, films you watch, games you play, etc.).

This private data shouldn't be freely available for the authorities nor any company.

If you use google as search-engine, youtube to watch videos, gmail for eMails and an Android-based smartphone, then google knows basically everthying about you... your friends, your hobbies, your likes and dislikes and even your geo-positions (yes Android-phones sent geodata to google and you can't prevent that, just like with the iPhone).

So, ask yourself if you really want all of that to be known to the companies and furthermore the authorities.

I for sure don't want all of them to know about my private life.
All elective information which a person must willingly distribute by using the service/product. All of that can just be accessed by a subpoena, just like my home can be entered with a warrant. Basic features of the US legal system which I comply to by living here. You act like it's a shocking surprise.

The only new development here is Mr. Assange's claims that the process of using a subpoena to access that information is being bypassed.
Deders 3rd May 2011, 21:10 Quote
By law any American company has to be able to share it's data with the CIA, which is partly why there's a controversy about the census.
Skutbag 3rd May 2011, 21:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FelixTech
You should be able to assume your privacy is being upheld unless you are notified otherwise.

Yep +1
leeroy 3rd May 2011, 21:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenJ
Does it really matter. Unless you have something to hide what's the government going to do?

go read Isaiah Berlin's 2 concepts of liberty
Mechh69 3rd May 2011, 22:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
This data from drivers-licenses and taxes etc are not the problem. The problematic thing here is the data about your social connections (i.e. friendlists) and your private life (i.e. things you search for at google, films you watch, games you play, etc.).

This private data shouldn't be freely available for the authorities nor any company.

If you use google as search-engine, youtube to watch videos, gmail for eMails and an Android-based smartphone, then google knows basically everthying about you... your friends, your hobbies, your likes and dislikes and even your geo-positions (yes Android-phones sent geodata to google and you can't prevent that, just like with the iPhone).

So, ask yourself if you really want all of that to be known to the companies and furthermore the authorities.

I for sure don't want all of them to know about my private life.



DINGDONG... Two men ringing your doorbell.

"Well Hello there Mr. X. We know about your little affair with this girl, and you sure don't want that information to be known by your wife or your kids now, do you?"

"If you help us to do some work, then we'll forget about this.... OK?"


Oh, sure. You didn't any illegal there, only something that may be seen as immoral, but what do you do now?
Fact is, the government should'nt know all this private stuff about you, if you don't tell them personally.

So you think Only the U.S. government has the ability to do this. Im sure there is some 13yo kid out there that has far surpassed what the government could ever hope to do. You may want to beware im sure that someone is tracking your post to this forum. Now they know your methods and programs you use, look how much information you gave away. Now your gonna have to constantly look over your shoulder, buy multiple disposable phones and use them on a rotating basis, check what ever mode of transportation you use for tracking devices (besides your phone), check your house for listening devices whenever you leave and when you wake up because they could have planted some while you were asleep. Just something for you to think about.:(
Mentai 4th May 2011, 00:22 Quote
This doesn't concern me as I only post on facebook what I'm comfortable with the whole world potentially knowing. The NZ police however, have the right to install spy cameras in my home without warrant for up to 3 months. That is a total breach of privacy I don't believe any officials should have the right to.
Blue Shadow 4th May 2011, 00:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenJ
Guessing he "liked" prostitutes then.

... classic
HourBeforeDawn 4th May 2011, 00:58 Quote
omg what an attention whore...

seriously sure they maybe using it this way but Im sorry in the age of the internet you pretty much gave up your privacy when you started just living into todays technological world lol.
Elton 4th May 2011, 01:45 Quote
The who cares argument never works, blackmail guys. The less anyone knows about you, the less trouble you'll be in.

Imagine getting inquisitioned everywhere you went for every small thing you did.
schmidtbag 4th May 2011, 01:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenJ
Does it really matter. Unless you have something to hide what's the government going to do?

EXACTLY what i was thinking. even if the US government was going to do something drastic like pull a random person out of a hat find terrible crimes that person committed (which probably wouldn't be posted on facebook to begin with), a massive % of the world uses facebook. if you aren't a US citizen, you're basically safe. even if you are a US citizen, the chances of you being the picked one is one of several hundred million.

i'm not sure why the government or companies like google even care about this kind of information. the only reasons i can think of is they might use it for statistical purposes or maybe the FBI uses it for finding out info about criminals.


y'know what i find really funny about all of this? the amount of people actually defending the US. thats not something i see every day. i can understand Assange's concerns but its not worth making a big fuss about.
LordPyrinc 4th May 2011, 06:44 Quote
Mr. AssOrange has made only one legitimate point in my opinion. If it's on the web, it can be monitored and collected. So what? There is vast amounts of data moving around every second. The entities analyzing that data look for specific elements because there isn't enough people in the world to analyze all of the world's internet traffic. They only go after people they believe have broken laws or pose a threat.

You are more likely to be hacked by someone trying to steal your identity than any gov't entity.
impar 4th May 2011, 10:25 Quote
Greetings!

And this is news? Thought everybody knew this by now.
[USRF]Obiwan 4th May 2011, 10:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenJ
Does it really matter. Unless you have something to hide what's the government going to do?

If I have something to hide I would use IRL person <> person communication. Not use phones or Internet at all.

Since my country is the NR 1 in mobile phone taps, currently 2.6m people are being monitored at this day even if the person thinks his phone is off he/she is being monitored. In fact our justice department is monitoring more mobile phone per month then the US in a whole year!

I am on Facebook, I share my info i want to share with relatives. Of course we all know anyone can access this information. Thats why you share your info in the first place isn't it? So anybody can see how you live your life if you share that much.

Anyhow... with Facebook I have found people I thought where dead or I would never see again. So its not all bad. Its a tool you and anybody else (including marketeers, governments etc) use to get information from.
memeroot 4th May 2011, 10:59 Quote
he is correct.
greypilgers 4th May 2011, 11:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by frontline
So all those ads on Facebook saying i can meet 'mature women in Manchester' are actually subliminal messages from the CIA?

Aha! Giving your age away there matey... The ads I get still say 'Meet young women in Portsmouth'!

LoL...
AstralWanderer 4th May 2011, 16:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenJ
Does it really matter. Unless you have something to hide what's the government going to do?
Do you have a bank account? With a cash or credit card? With a PIN number? If so, that qualifies as "something to hide" does it not? (unless you fancy being cleaned out by your local friendly fraudster). Website logins (like this forum) could also be considered as "something to hide" (though it wouldn't be hard to pick up Bit-Tech forum passwords since their login page isn't encrypted).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
Even if it is true it doesn't really matter does it. They are only going to want info on terror suspects or murders/pedos ect.. So in other words it wouldn't affect 99.9 % of us. The likelihood is that it is just a lie though.
Last time I checked, Assange was neither - that didn't stop the US government from trying to dig up details of his online activity.

And since we are talking about the US government, now would be an appropriate point to remember how they closed down legitimate businesses they didn't like, forced an email provider to compromise its security (yes, it was for an illegal business but a far cry from terrorism) and is in apparent thrall to the media industry - how long before similar tactics are used on anyone running a modded console, providing (or using) hacks to disable DRM or tracking down whistleblowers generally?

To be fair (and given this is a UK-based site) there have been plenty of similar abuses in the UK with local authorities using RIPA (the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000) to investigate people for "non-terrorist" reasons including according to BigBrotherWatch "spying on their own employees, dog fouling, people breaking the smoking ban and even the test purchase of a puppy".

So governments cannot be trusted to use surveillance powers responsibly (and secret services, lacking the requirement of public disclosure, have less reason to do so), have an increasing ability to monitor people online and offline and have links (revealed in the HBGary Federal aftermath) to commercial companies that don't even have an electorate to account to.

Adding to this Facebook's long-standing contempt for user privacy, the only surprise should be anyone being surprised at them handing data to the US Government.
ObeyTheCreed 5th May 2011, 02:33 Quote
Lol i know a guy like this at school, he's a freaking moron, always believing conspiracy theories and other crap, the thing is, if you've got something to hide, wth are you doing on facebook or google or yahoo anyway??? If you're actually using public e-mail accts to talk about your "illegal" activites, you're a ****ing retard anyway and deserve to be caught.
ObeyTheCreed 5th May 2011, 02:43 Quote
[QUOTE=AstralWanderer]
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenJ
way too long to requote.

Ok first of all, if a someone hacks into your bank acc, that's one thing, if they are checking to make sure you're not a terrorist, that's another thing all together. My dad was in the military so i grew up with respect for the government and what they have to do, i may not like some of the things they do but i still respect them. Unlike some idiots who think they know everything about the government, I know that they are trying to protect us and our country from more terrorist attacks like 9/11. As for me, the only thing i care about is if they release the information that they may or may not have on me.
Xir 5th May 2011, 08:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenJ
Does it really matter. Unless you have something to hide what's the government going to do?
You don't need to have something to hide, nor is the amount of your kittens relevant.

Most Facebook users have "friends" listed, and many accept "Friends" of "Friends".
Now if one of these "Friends of Friends" turns out to be a terrorist, this means, for the CIA, You're friends with a terrorist, you communicate on a regular basis with a terrorist.

This guy is a "Friend of a friend", for you he's just someone in your list whom you've never chatted with, but for Facebook he's your buddy.

Just a thought ;)
greypilgers 5th May 2011, 13:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
You don't need to have something to hide, nor is the amount of your kittens relevant.

Most Facebook users have "friends" listed, and many accept "Friends" of "Friends".
Now if one of these "Friends of Friends" turns out to be a terrorist, this means, for the CIA, You're friends with a terrorist, you communicate on a regular basis with a terrorist.

This guy is a "Friend of a friend", for you he's just someone in your list whom you've never chatted with, but for Facebook he's your buddy.

Just a thought ;)

Hmmm... An interesting thought. Good point, well made...
specofdust 5th May 2011, 13:08 Quote
Hold on a sec, some people actually thought western governments weren't helping themselves to pretty much any online data they wanted, so long as it was held by western companies? Damn.

The EU's been recommending EU citizens encrypt their e-mails for years now, ever since they looked into ECHELON and found that, despite sounding crazy, there probably is a western or UKUSA sigint program to gather as much intelligence as is technologically possible across all spectrums.

I don't see why people are making out like this would be something surprising. If anything, I think Assange is alleging something that most people should already expect.
Xir 5th May 2011, 13:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by specofdust
I don't see why people are making out like this would be something surprising.
The surprising thing is people going on against Assange for stating this which should be obvious...:D
Denis_iii 5th May 2011, 15:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toploaded
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77


Yes. I'm paranoid

The ironic thing is, the more you try and duck out the system like that, the more you will stand out and get noticed. by da man ;)

lol +1
AstralWanderer 5th May 2011, 15:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ObeyTheCreed
...if they are checking to make sure you're not a terrorist, that's another thing all together...
Did you not take note of the examples posted above of disproportionate action against non-terrorists?

Even if you consider counter-terrorism measures alone (and ignore their misuse in other areas) you still have problems of innocent people being caught in the dragnet due to an unrelated connection (as Xir notes, examples of this here and here)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ObeyTheCreed
I know that they are trying to protect us and our country from more terrorist attacks like 9/11...
And it's that line of thinking that allows the TSA (and similar agencies in other countries) to get away with full body scans and other abuses of personal privacy. As Benjamin Franklin said: "“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”
Sloth 5th May 2011, 19:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
You don't need to have something to hide, nor is the amount of your kittens relevant.

Most Facebook users have "friends" listed, and many accept "Friends" of "Friends".
Now if one of these "Friends of Friends" turns out to be a terrorist, this means, for the CIA, You're friends with a terrorist, you communicate on a regular basis with a terrorist.

This guy is a "Friend of a friend", for you he's just someone in your list whom you've never chatted with, but for Facebook he's your buddy.

Just a thought ;)
This incriminates you in what way? Provided you weren't aware of his/her activities and didn't participate in them you're good to go. Worst that may happen is your information may be accessed by a subpoena to make sure that you weren't involved.
Picarro 5th May 2011, 20:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
Do you have a bank account? With a cash or credit card? With a PIN number? If so, that qualifies as "something to hide" does it not? (unless you fancy being cleaned out by your local friendly fraudster). Website logins (like this forum) could also be considered as "something to hide" (though it wouldn't be hard to pick up Bit-Tech forum passwords since their login page isn't encrypted).

Uhm. I do believe that "something to hide" refers to illegal activity. Of course I don't want every living person in the government knowing my pin and bank details, but do I care if they actually check if I have sent huge amounts of cash to wada-wada-stan? No.


I don't particularly care for "freedom of privacy" if the government think they can foil a terrorist attack where my countrymen could be harmed by accessing something I deem private, who am I to object?
If the government looks at my files on my computer, chances are they have a pretty effing good reason and won't care for any torrented files named "Hot Alice Getting It On With Big Black Dude".
Fizzban 5th May 2011, 22:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Picarro
"Hot Alice Getting It On With Big Black Dude".

Oh you got that one too :o
AstralWanderer 6th May 2011, 12:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
This incriminates you in what way? Provided you weren't aware of his/her activities and didn't participate in them you're good to go. Worst that may happen is your information may be accessed by a subpoena to make sure that you weren't involved.
No - what may happen is that you get hassled with extra security checks (as highlighted in the Security researcher: I keep getting detained by feds I linked to in my previous reply).

In addition, there are a number of less obvious things that may happen to anyone with a perceived link, ranging from job rejections (due to screening: "this individual is believed to have links with organisation X" - indeed MI5 was vetting BBC staff as recently as the 70s and 80s) to heightened interference from other state agencies (more frequent tax audits, benefit checks, housing application rejections, etc).

In a court of law, there are regulations covering permissible evidence and any individual accused has the opportunity to challenge the case brought against them. There is however, a whole world outside the courts where the state can bring extra-legal pressure to bear on anyone falling in its increasingly wide definition of "suspicious".

This is not new for the UK or US - both have examples of similar blacklists in the past with the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and MI5 tracking alleged communists. However the online world makes it far easier to track the non-security-conscious so the consequences of allowing history to repeat itself can be far greater.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Picarro
Uhm. I do believe that "something to hide" refers to illegal activity. Of course I don't want every living person in the government knowing my pin and bank details, but do I care if they actually check if I have sent huge amounts of cash to wada-wada-stan? No.
With encrypted data, nobody else can tell what it is, so there is no ability to distinguish legal from illegal. Saying you have "nothing to hide" is therefore tantamount to lying for the vast majority of people - everyone has something to hide, the question is whether the reason is legitimate (privacy, confidentiality or security related) or not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Picarro
I don't particularly care for "freedom of privacy" if the government think they can foil a terrorist attack where my countrymen could be harmed by accessing something I deem private, who am I to object?
And where do you draw the line? Or do you think having women and children fondled by security staff before boarding any form of public transport to be an acceptable "price to pay"?

As for "who am I to object", well you are presumably a citizen of a democracy (or partial democracy) with the right to determine who governs you - meek acquiescence with all policies however infringing, is a lifestyle more appropriate to those who live in dictatorships fearing a visit from their local mukhabbarat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Picarro
If the government looks at my files on my computer, chances are they have a pretty effing good reason...
...actually they need no reason at all - just as the US Government (or more specifically U.S. Customs and Border Protection) need no reason to stop and search any vehicle. You could even be chosen at random for any such search.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums