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Data Retention Proven to Change Citizen Behavior

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the I-always-feel-like-somebody's-watching-me dept.

Government 261

G'Quann writes "A new survey shows that data retention laws indeed do influence the behavior of citizens (at least in Germany). 11% had already abstained from using phone, cell phone or e-mail in certain occasions and 52% would not use phone or e-mail for confidential contacts. This is the perfect argument against the standard 'I have nothing to hide' argumentation. Surveillance is not only bad because someone might discover some embarrassment. It changes people. 11% at least."

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Nothing new here (4, Insightful)

Hanzie (16075) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662775)

There are tons of studies showing that people act differently when they know they're being watched or recorded. I'd say that the 11% figure is a huge understatement, 89% of users are clueless, or, most likely, most folks have been assuming a lack of privacy all along. I'm in the 'lack of privacy from the beginning' camp. hanzie

Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (5, Interesting)

westbake (1275576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662819)

Germany is a place that knows what wiretaps and domestic spying is all about. Everyone's grandfather can tell them what the Nazis did to friend and foe alike [slashdot.org] . Public display of Nazi symbols is still against the law because it outrages so many. People who lived through the East German Police state [wikipedia.org] have more recent and personal reasons to fear this kind of monitoring. Domestic spying is about eliminating political opposition and the only way to save yourself from that is to run away. Eventually, even those who manage to keep out of sight by doing nothing are destroyed by the schemes of those in power. States that do this are out of control.

If you understand these things and how computers work, you have no choice but to use and advocate free software. Non free software has the ability to end freedom of press and every other right. We are well down that path, with newspapers raided [homelandstupidity.us] , citizens spyed on, an unpopular war of aggression, torture and other evil things. You can have your privacy with free software and should demand it.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (5, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662901)

I understand your whole argument except the 'free software' implication. I don't see how paying for software, or getting it for free, has anything to do with one's ability to preserve privacy and political security.

Maybe you meant to say "Microsoft allows politicians to open backdoors" or "Linux programmers would not care what politicians want." But since you said neither, your vague comment leaves me wondering how 'free software' relates to 'preserving privacy'.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (5, Insightful)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662947)

If you have complete control over your software, as free (as in freedom) software guarantees by definition, you can enforce your own privacy and security. If you have a solution you cannot modify, you are completely restricted to its ideas of privacy and security.

Human freedom has to extend to freedom of information and freedom of control over our own tools, including software and hardware. If we allow our corporations and governments to control our tools, they move on to controlling our media (DRM's already here) and eventually our legal freedom (DMCA raids?!)

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663113)

The thing is, the vast majority of people have no way to verify that their software is secure, even if it's open source. And even the people who do have the ability aren't going to. Are you really going to read through every line of code in the Linux kernel looking for backdoors? What about the compiler you use to build it? And the same for every application you use. Even for widely used pieces of software you can't assume that someone would find a backdoor that had been inserted -- look at the recent Debian SSH key bug (yes, I know that wasn't a backdoor, but it could just as well have been). Open source isn't a guarantee of anything.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (5, Funny)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663221)

Like I just replied to the other AC, of course you have no way to verify that it's secure, but at least with the source you still have power over it. If you don't want DRM integrated into the kernel, you don't have to have it. Go ahead and remove the DRM from Vista. I'll wait right here.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663753)

Like I just replied to the other AC, of course you have no way to verify that it's secure, but at least with the source you still have power over it. If you don't want DRM integrated into the kernel, you don't have to have it. Go ahead and remove the DRM from Vista. I'll wait right here.
I understood what you said in the first reply completely. Thanks for the clarification.

Freedom is better in every way. (4, Informative)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663273)

the vast majority of people have no way to verify that their software is secure, even if it's open source. And even the people who do have the ability aren't going to. Are you really going to read through every line of code in the Linux kernel looking for backdoors?

Freedom means that you can do all of that and teams of people do for both cooperative and competitive reasons. All of the usual guards for non free software apply. People are watching their computers and will report suspicious communication. Then come all of the free software checks. The code gets checked upstream by the team that creates it and then downstream by many distributions that use it before finally being checked by the much larger number of users. The free software community is able to verify code from creation to desktop use and it's a fairly competitive place. For every kind of check you have in the non free world, you have more and better in the free world as well as greater competition and willingness to report wrongdoing. This makes it unlikely you will be caught by malicious code.

M$ is working for you. (-1, Troll)

willeyhill (1277478) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663339)

They works so hard there. One half of the M$ Linux Labs is combing through upstream source code for exploitable malice. They would love to report such things, through a proxy of course. The other half is busy writing malicious code to give to their moles. Given the relatively quite world of GNU/Linux, the M$ Linux lab is about as successful as Vista, Zune, M$TV, SCO, "Get the Facts" and a host of other evil ventures.

Seriously, free software has existed in a transparent way for more than 25 years because that transparency is the best guard against malice.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (4, Insightful)

jthill (303417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663493)

look at the recent Debian SSH key bug

Yes, look at it. Luciano Bello found it. He's a Debian developer. Please don't go off about how long it took to find it. Think about that: it makes GP's point for him.

And ook at the rest of the argument. ~Are you going to read every line~? C'mon: strawmen don't get much more blatant than that. Similarly with "Open source isn't a guarantee of anything." As compared to what, please? Another strawman.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (0, Flamebait)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663689)

You like strawmen, don't you? Those weren't strawmen, they were rhetorical questions and valid points to consider. That doesn't make them strawmen.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663621)

> ..the vast majority of people have no way to verify that
> their software is secure..

Doesn't matter. So long as we are ALLOWED to possess Free Software it keeps em honest. How can you enforce a backdoor when there are hundreds of distribution points? When anyone who wants to can replace/rewrite a major codebase at whim?

Now compare to closed commercial software. First off remember that all closed shops utterly depend on the government to grant and enforce the monopoly they depend upon for their revenue. As a practical matter there are only a handful of closed shops still in the operating system game, leaving a few pressure points we would all be left depending upon.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (3, Informative)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663915)

First off remember that all closed shops utterly depend on the government to grant and enforce the monopoly they depend upon for their revenue.

I currently work for a non-Free software company (not as a developer though), and want to point out that as not entirely true. It depends very highly on the industry and the customer. Being an employee I could get a copy of our software at no cost or close enough that it wouldn't matter (or so I assume; worse-case scenario, I re-generate myself a temporary key once a month). However I still choose to write my own applications where I could use our pre-built tool. Cost is not the issue: it's a combination of (my general lack of) experience with the .net platform, a dislike of said platform, the software generally being overkill for what I'd be doing, and my obsession with specialized tools that do one thing really well than general tools that do a lot of stuff reasonably well.

Back on topic though, we could still sell our software even if copyright law didn't exist or if it was open source. Why? We have a support department. Not a forum, but a department. When you're selling to companies, there's tremendous value to them to be able to pick up a phone and call someone when something's not working. Consider the paid versions of MySQL, for example. I'm not at all knocking FOSS for this approach to support, but rather pointing out that if your target audience consists primarily of large businesses, the ability to get in direct contact with someone who's paid to troubleshoot or walk across the building to find the developer who wrote the problematic code is a BIG selling point.

For software that costs under a couple hundred bucks, this isn't so much of an issue. However when companies are going to be making an investment in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on software, you can bet your ass that the support and maintenance of that software is very important. Don't get me wrong - we've lost deals to Drupal and Joomla probably as often as we've lost deals to our "real" competition, but more often than not those were very unqualified leads anyways.

I work in sales, so take it with a grain of salt if you will. But I'm not saying that commercial/closed-source software is better than free or open-source software (it goes both ways all the time and often is a matter of opinion), just that it's more than the existence of IP laws that keep us in business.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (3, Insightful)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663873)

That's not the point. With open source you have the possibility of checking the source for things you don't agree with. If you're not a programmer you can hire one.

With proprietary software you don't even have that.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663189)

If you can actually be arsed to check sigs (and the keys and their signers) for all the packages you download then fair play to you.

You'll still have to follow every commit just to check you didn't get stung by something like the Debian entropy fiasco.

Then maybe your compiler has been backdoored? It's happened before.

Once you've got your trusted OS up and running I'd love for you to forward me a copy!

But then again ... why would I trust you?

Point being, you can never "have complete control over your software".

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (2, Informative)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663199)

That's a useless argument. Having the source and having a community built around the source is already infinitely better than having neither. The very tangible result of this is that Windows Vista is covered in DRM and privacy leaks from the ground up, while you can get a wide range of modern Linux and BSD distros with neither of those problems.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663519)

"If you have complete control over your software, as free (as in freedom) software guarantees by definition, you can enforce your own privacy and security"

There are no guarantees of privacy, only those of freedom to do what you want with the software (excl. distribution). I think you will probably find that your license specifically says that it is provided WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE (hint: this will include privacy).

I don't disagree with your argument that free is better (I use Linux/BSD exclusively), but as to the *absolute* that you have complete control I think you are missing a lot of that which we who live in the pragmatic universe call "reality". Unless, of course, you are rms and have written your own OS from the ground up, in machine language, on machine built by yourself out of generic components available from a wide variety of globally dispersed suppliers.

No? Oh, well, tough break.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663603)

The license does guarantee you have control over it, whether or not you have the practical means to assert the control you want. If a feature violates your privacy, you're welcome to remove it. If that would deny you some functionality, such as a protocol feature, that's your decision, and a free software license won't get in your way.

It's splitting hairs at this point, but the difference between libre software and closed software is so large in this case that I am comfortable using generalisations like "complete" and "guarantee".

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663895)

correction, including distribution. :)

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (2, Interesting)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663675)

The recent debian thing was caused by some developers who thought they knew better than the upstream provider, and they ended up SIGNIFICANTLY DESTROYING security in the process.

That wouldn't have happened if they couldn't modify the source in the first place.

See? Having the source isn't a utopia, idiots still screw things up.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (4, Insightful)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663743)

Yes, and that's still much better than when much worse mistakes are made in proprietary systems. At least in the open source case the mistake *was* found, and because of the heterogeny of the open source space, it only affected "some" distributions, and the fix was released in a matter of hours. I haven't heard of a single high profile target compromised because of that error. Many Windows bugs have affected over 80% of the world's desktops at a time, and there have been *plenty* of those, not just one.

And if you want to play this game, why not bring up the case where an actual blackhat tampered with the Linux upstream CVS repository and his clever backdoor was still caught before it was even released. http://kerneltrap.org/node/1584 [kerneltrap.org] Just because a single error occured in Debian's process does not damn the entire open source world.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (2, Informative)

Maljin Jolt (746064) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663835)

I don't see how paying for software, or getting it for free, has anything to do with one's ability to preserve privacy and political security.

Free software is not about money, as is free in "free beer". It is about freedom as is in "free speech".

With commercial software you have no legal possibility nor adequate technical tools to deeply verify if software you use has backdoors or anything else you do not want to be there inside your computer, phone, videorecorder, anything. And actually it does not matter if such malvare serves to government mafians or criminal ruffians. Whoever they are, THEY have control of all your information interactions. You have no privacy at all.

With Free Software, if you care to train your relevant skills, you at least have a chance to affect what kind of software you use and how and this means indirectly YOU have control of your information interactions. That's privacy.

Implications of both situations to political security are obvious.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663857)

A post that doesn't get the difference between 'free as in freedom' and 'free as in beer' gets modded up Insightful? Please...

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663217)

You were doing great before the second paragraph, with the immediate leap to 'Free Software' without any explanation (intentional backdoors would have been a good one). After that, I just had to look at the username to confirm my suspicion.
But yeah. Aside from the twitterism near the end, I'm in complete agreement.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663607)

If you understand these things and how computers work, you have no choice but to use and advocate free software. Non free software has the ability to end freedom of press and every other right. We are well down that path, with newspapers raided [homelandstupidity.us] , citizens spyed on, an unpopular war of aggression, torture and other evil things. You can have your privacy with free software and should demand it.

Not to mention parts of OpenSSL commented out, resulting in millions of invalid and insecure keys--OH WAIT.

Truth is, Joe Sixpack (or even Joe IT or Joe Programmer) is going to assume that the software he uses on the computer/network is secure, regardless of whether or not it's "free", and especially if it's a system component that is taken for granted. It wouldn't be feasible to do a monthly code audit of every single component of the OS, even with the power of the community.

Re:Wake up! Domestic spying is bad news. (1)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663805)

Domestic spying is about eliminating political opposition and the only way to save yourself from that is to run away.

Oh, yes, sure. Ever since the ruling-party's nominee approved of domestic spying [slashdot.org] , we've seen Hillary run away and Obama eliminated. Right...

If you understand these things and how computers work, you have no choice but to use and advocate free software

Do you, really? Have you ever looked at, say, OpenOffice.org code to be certain, there are no backdoors in it? Especially — in its recently lauded [slashdot.org] fork (RedOffice) made at that happy place of undisturbed freedoms [hrichina.org] ?

Re:Nothing new here (3, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662941)

How is this kind of stuff news, really? We act differently depending on whether we're in front of a few friends, our family, our employers, or a large audience. Things you would never put in a letter you'll say over a beer, because you can always deny it later- there's no proof. People do things in Vegas they would never do in their home towns. And so on, and so on. We're social animals, we act according to the social context.

Re:Nothing new here (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663011)

There are also tons of studies that tapping phones (esp. mobile phones, but equally normal lines) is like ... really difficult (*ahem*).

So criminals tap phones. So do a lot of foreign governments.

Furthermore there are many cases where police tapping of mobile phones is very useful (who was at the crime scene, flashmobbing, ...)

Yes you don't have 100% privacy. As long as there are 2 people on the planet you will not have 100% privacy.

Re:Nothing new here (5, Insightful)

jthill (303417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663747)

[...] there are many cases where police tapping of mobile phones is very useful [...]

True. Can we talk about the bad parts now?

We've got a long track record to look at. History says the crimes warrantless spying leads to are worse than the crimes it prevents.

Re:Nothing new here (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663399)

My wife was recently in the hospital in a large city. While driving home after visiting her, I spotted a man lying on his back across a sidewalk. His groceries or whatever were in bags and scattered around him. I had no idea how this came to be, but knew this was not a normal and expected sight on a city sidewalk. No one was around and no one seemed to care. And it was raining, hard! I reached for my cell phone to dial 911 to report seeing the man laying on the sidewalk. Then I thought a minute. My wife watches crime programs all the time. In those programs the police, the purported 'good guys' violate citizens rights as an everyday mundane and expected matter of course with the feelings, rights, or property of those citizens cavalierly disregarded as insignificant and disposable, just like those citizens. Welcome to fascist America! I put the phone back down thanking myself for never having even turned it on. Cell phones, my cell fone, report 'caller ID' to all those called, and a 911 call would certainly retain MY identity. On television, all reporters of incidents that may or may not be found to have been crimes are the first suspects to be considered by the police ministries to maybe have 'committed' the crime or whatever. So by being a 'good samaritan', I would in reality be denouncing myself to some gestapo in this day and age? Get investigated! Or worse! Spend useless time justifying to the grubby hands of some ambitious cops and prosecutors that I was 'innocent' or whatever! Spend maybe thousands literally down a rathole, and for what? Being a 'good samaritan'? The guy on the sidewalk for all anyone knows was a druggy or a drunk that had fainted or whatever, but given the opportunity might have a penchant for ill gotten gain if some cop made a deal with him for both of them to lie and finger some innocent fool for whatever when all he wanted was to try to help. OK maybe I listen to the wife too much, but that is what husbands do. In any case, in this case especially maybe what I have to hide is my hard earned savings in my bank account, and all I have to do is shut up, keep the damn cell fone off, and leave whoever that was laying on the sidewalk in the rain to his fate and let God sort it out. If I had an anonymous cell fone, it would have been a different story, but cell fones are not anonymous now, especially with the demise of analog fones that had no Gee Pee Esss in them that was used by northeastern university recently to track over 100,000 of those tattle tale digital fones to see where the users went in all hours of the day without their knowledge or consent. When forced to use a digital cell, I will only use one with an easily removable battery, so when I am not using it, I will remove that battery and wrap the thing in foil approximating a Faraday cage. All fones are recorded and all movements of those fones are recorded as well. One day soon I expect road signs to have active content screens. Just think, Joe drives down the highway and a huge billboard suddenly lights up in front of him: "Joe Crow, you are two days late on your buy here pay here car payment, ya bum. Pull that car over as we will remotely use 'On Star' to disable it in 20 seconds...19...18...17....16..."

Will it help? (5, Interesting)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662783)

To what extent have studies like this modified governments' behavior?

Re:Will it help? (2, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663159)

To what extent have studies like this modified governments' behavior?
I dunno... they try to hide the data retention practices better?
They spend more effort on convincing us it isn't what we think it is and that it is a good thing?

Re:Will it help? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663635)

I dunno... they try to hide the data retention practices better?

You've got it backwards.

The correct answer is "They expand the data retention practices, and they make sure their subjects know about it".

The unmonitored Internet was a way to make sure that any two people, anywhere on the planet, could exchange ideas (and spam, and political flamewars on message boards, and even LOLcats) with each other.

Users of the monitored Internet voluntarily restrict themselves to "safe" (government-approvable) media, and their acquaintances, friendships, and relationships to pools of "safe" (government-approvable) people.

It's been said that "The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it".

That's not quite true. The unspoken assumption in the early '90s was that "censorship" meant "externally-imposed" censorship. Indeed, the Internet interprets externally-mandated censorship as damage and routes around it, but the Internet has no defense against self-censorship. Make the user scared to search for information about topic XYZ, and you've effectively censored the Internet where topic XYZ is concerned.

Pretty clever, and all it took to scare an entire planet into self-censorship was a few press releases and carefully-selected arrests and/or disappearances.

Re:Will it help? (2, Interesting)

grizdog (1224414) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663251)

No, it will not help. Not in the US anyway, where the government at first argues that torture means pain at least as bad as losing a limb or vital organ, and then defines it as some undetermined subset of those things which we do not do. That kind of thinking certainly lets you justify modifying people's behavior.
Some of the people who are in charge of the "War on Terror" in the US would not care, and the rest would convince themselves that any changes it might bring were a good thing anyway.
Rereading the longer post I had, it looks like I am doing the same thing, justifying posting this, even though it may be flamebait. So I'll post this abbreviated version and hope for the best.

Re:Will it help? (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663543)

To what extent have studies like this modified governments' behavior?

They're going to need another study to find that out.

this is a good thing! (5, Funny)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662791)

That means 11% of the people were going to do something morally wrong and thought twice about getting caught. That proves survaillence is doing it's part to curtail the unwashed masses of wickedness on the interwebitubes. When more like 50% start censoring themselves then we'll know that people take their freedom of speech seriously and make sure only edifying things are spoken.

Re:this is a good thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23662841)

I'd laugh if what you said weren't believed by so many...

Yep (1)

ronmon (95471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662853)

For 11% of the people it is.

Re:this is a good thing! (-1, Troll)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662989)

Fuck you.

Re:this is a good thing! (4, Funny)

satchmodian (657710) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663429)

11% of the population is evil doers. If we don't get the number down to 0%, the terrorists win.

Re:this is a good thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663449)

That means 11% of the people were going to do something morally wrong and thought twice about getting caught.
This is not right...

You are assuming that the spy is doing something morally correct. You obviously implicitly trust your police, government, army, etc. to do the right thing, always, in every case. Apparently, you have never had any dealings with any of these groups.

If this is a good thing to you. Nothing to see here. Go back home.

Re:this is a good thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663813)

spoken like a true christian

Gotta consider *which* 11% (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23662795)

Perhaps the 11% that changed their behavior was the 11% that SHOULD change their behavior. Drug dealers, thieves, politicians, etc.

Raw numbers mean nothing without context.

Re:Gotta consider *which* 11% (2, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662861)

I know you didn't really mean that, but the misconception will rise and must be addressed.

First, No surveilence should exist that changes people's behavior. That is a definition of tyrany.
Second, if a drug dealer did modify his communications, it was in the direction of using a more secure way to send information.

Re:Gotta consider *which* 11% (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23662883)

Drug dealers, thieves, politicians, etc.
Brought to you by the Redundancy Department of Redundancy .

Naive (2, Insightful)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662807)

But I had never questioned my privacy over telephones or online until I started hearing rumors about Echelon all over the internet.

Then Carnivore was announced and basically confirmed all the suspicions. Everything that's happened since is just in the wake.

More than behavioural change ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23662809)

"This is the perfect argument against the standard 'I have nothing to hide' argumentation."

There's more than that. Even if you have nothing to hide, you can still be mistakenly thought to have something to hide. All it takes is one false positive to ruin your day.

Re:More than behavioural change ... (2, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663085)

On the other hand, you know that governments will take that as "at least 11% of our citizens have something to hide". It's all in the spin.

Terrorists (3, Funny)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662823)

Yeah, the guilty 11%!

-Peter

Re:Terrorists (1)

ady1 (873490) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663491)

Exactly. I say that there should be a law that anyone who changes their behavior under surveillance should be hanged, no exceptions. As its has been proven by pete-classic that they are guilty. I would go further to say that govt should install CCTVs in everyone's bedroom

hint: sarcasm.

Re:Terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663795)

Yeah, the guilty 11%!

I know you're joking, but on behalf of the people (few of whom are on /., but who comprise a substantial portion of the voting public) who fall for that logic...

"Yeah! Hunters don't kill the *innocent* animals -- they look for the shifty-eyed ones that are probably the criminal element of their species!"
- Jonathan (5011) [slashdot.org] .

In the context of that discussion, he was talking about "Internet Hunting" (a webcam, a rifle, a trigger solenoid, some TCP/IP, and a deer), but I think it's even more applicable in the context of systems whose sole purpose is to hunt humans.

The perfect argument is... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23662827)

People who say "I have nothing to hide" realize they have already lost the argument and so try to turn it into a veiled personal attack to change the discussion.

The perfect counter to it is "so why would you tolerate someone spying on you if you have done nothing wrong?"

Re:The perfect argument is... (4, Insightful)

Hooya (518216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663001)

well, the argument I use against 'I have nothing to hide' is 'so when do I come to your house and install a webcam in your bedroom?' It's shut quite a few mouthes. Privacy is not just about moral or immoral behavior. Privacy just is.

Re:The perfect argument is... (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663385)

well, the argument I use against 'I have nothing to hide' is 'so when do I come to your house and install a webcam in your bedroom?'

Bedroom is good. Toilet is even better. If they have no modesty, ask them to hand over the account numbers and passwords to their bank accounts. Also ask for their full medical history. If that doesn't shut them up, ask for the same for their entire extended family.

Re:The perfect argument is... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663593)

There is an ocean of difference between having nothing to hide and nothing to lose.

If you asked me my bank account averages that's one thing, to hand you the information it would take to drain them is another.

Generally when people say they have nothing to hide they mean within a legal context. In other words: I haven't broken the law.

The bottom line is that I know that the government does (or could) know my bank account information, my medical history, my cell phone calls, etc etc.

And saying I have nothing to hide from the government is also different from saying I have nothing to hide from you. Unlike most of the tin-foil cap brigade I'm pretty logical about the concept that if the government really had that much of an interest in me or that much intent against me there pretty much ain't but jack and shit I can do about it. But you on the other hand? I could probably stop you from whatever it is you think you're going to do.

Re:The perfect argument is... (0)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663205)

The perfect counter to it is "so why would you tolerate someone spying on you if you have done nothing wrong?"

And wouldn't the perfect counter to that be, "Because I have nothing to hide?"

You're a little thin-skinned if you interpret "I have nothing to hide" as a personal attack. It seems to me that "I have nothing to hide" is just another way of saying "I'm not that worried about it."

Let's face it, if you picked up a phone in 1972, called your cousin, and told him you were planning to rob a bank, they might have caught you. The chances were actually quite good if they had reason to suspect you were likely to do that kind of thing.

So what's changed today? Data retention? They've already demonstrated that all those CCTV cameras in Britain do next to nothing to prevent crime, or to solve crimes after the fact. If the government kept a record of every single phone call ever made, would it have any greater impact?

Yes, yes, I know... data mining and all that. Someday they may be able to sift through every word you speak and pinpoint every time you commit a thoughtcrime. But, unfortunately, you just start to sound a little nutty when you talk like that. Most people are going to want a slightly stronger case to be made before they pay attention.

Re:The perfect argument is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663525)

You don't have to be an OMG PANOPTICON moron to think that there is a place for privacy in society. Certainly there are things you wouldn't do in front of your mother; why would you do them in front of a stranger?

Re:The perfect argument is... (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663725)

A perfect counter? That statement is so loaded, if you drop it someone could get hurt. How about something like: 'You have nothing to hide, eh? Great. Let me look through your purse/wallet right now.' Of course, they refuse. 'Why not? Do you have something to hide?'

Re:The perfect argument is... (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663765)

People that say "I've nothing to hide" have never worked in IT. Can't tell you the number of times I've had to deal with screwups, usually because some data entry person mis-typed a social security number, or entered the same person twice, or thought 2 john smiths were the same person... (Had one fun one.. Firstname, lastname, birthday, address, all the same. Gender and SocialSec number were different. They were married ;)

do i have to tell you that (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662837)

this thing is bad for telecom industry ? reducing the demand and all ?

In other news... (3, Funny)

Veroxii (51114) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662855)

Authorities believe 11% of Germans are hiding something.

Update at 9.

The remaining 89%... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23662899)

...obviously are afraid that the government will suspect them of something if they answer that their habits did change. I would say that probably more than 11% of people changed their habits. Just an opinion, though.

It just means its working (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23662977)

Is it no surprise that, as people learn, government and business are monitoring and tracking them they modify their behavior?

It's working. People are afraid to communicate, talk only in closets, and while we claim "free speech" we dare not exercise it because of the terrible consequences of daring to say something unpopular, "anti-government," or "anti-corporation."

We now all live in soviet union where corporate/government kgb punishes you for offenses of opinion.

Re:It just means its working (1)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663403)

We now all live in soviet union where corporate/government kgb punishes you for offenses of opinion.
I can't help but find it humorous how you just did what you said no one can do. I guess you must have some mighty fine tinfoil.

Yes, behaviour has *changed*.... (5, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663021)

Sure, criminal behaviour has changed. Instead of using regular cell phones, professional bad guys now use nice untraceable prepaid cell phones (and discard them regularly). So, the data retention has indeed brought on a change - but the change makes the data retention useless.

What the data retention does do, is to trip up the only-vaguely-criminal acts of the amateur. For instance, it is now much easier to track down the affairs of an unfaithful spouse, and to win a nice fat divorce settlement. Somehow I doubt that was the original aim of the data retention.

Hawthorne (5, Informative)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663047)

Behavior changes when people are observed? Psychologists have known this for years. It's called the Hawthorne effect [wikipedia.org] , and it's something you always have to watch for when studying behavior.

Re:Hawthorne (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663225)

What first came to my mind was the chilling effect.
It doesn't matter if anyone is actually watching, just the threat of observation/data retention is enough.

Kinda like red-light cameras.
Some cities have realized that putting up the sign is as effective as installing a working camera.

Re:Hawthorne (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663503)

What first came to my mind was the chilling effect.
It doesn't matter if anyone is actually watching, just the threat of observation/data retention is enough.

Kinda like red-light cameras.
Some cities have realized that putting up the sign is as effective as installing a working camera.
Depends on what their goal is. If their goal is to reduce the frequency of people running red lights, you're absolutely right. But frequently the goal of these cities is to increase revenue, in which case they want to have real cameras which are as unobtrusive as possible. Some cities have even been caught fiddling with the timing of their lights to cause more violations.

Now consider that theory as applied to data retention and surveillance. I'll wait here while you work through the implications.

Re:Hawthorne (1)

ady1 (873490) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663605)

>>Psychologists have known this for years

Well, at least now we know that unlike US, German Govt isn't run by psychologists.

mod 04 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663079)

mUy resignat1on [goat.cx]

GNAA Penis Rocket To The Moon (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663089)

dear slaves:

keep the faith,

GNAA

Paranoid Schizophrenia (3, Funny)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663111)

These 11% (would probably be higher if more people actually knew what their governments could do) are proof that paranoid schizophrenia doesn't exist. It's not paranoia when people really are watching your every move, reading your email, and listening to your phone conversations. Paranoid schizophrenics, rejoice! You're just schizophrenic now!

Mental Issues? (0, Offtopic)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663117)

The guy really sounds mentally unstable. Granted none of us like what he stands for, but beyond that, he really seems to have some issues other than having a tight sphincter. Maybe they should direct him to get professional help.[blockquote]Before walking out of the courtroom, Thompson filed what he called "Thompson's Formal Objection to June 4 Sanctions hearing. In the documented, 4,500-word objection, Thompson questioned Tunis' ability to sit on his hearing, calling her incompetent and arrogant and threatening to have her removed from office "in the days and weeks ahead." He also went on to call the people run The Florida Bar fascists and denied that he was involved some sort of "petty culture war."[/blockquote]

Re:Mental Issues? (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663387)

Hey, wrong article. You meant to comment on the preceding Jack Thompson article I assume?

You are being watched (1)

networkzombie (921324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663121)

Religion was invented for this purpose thousands of years ago simply because the monitoring technology wasn't available. Does this mean Germany will abandon religion?

Re:You are being watched (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663581)

Well, we can hope.

Alternate explanation (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663145)

It's also possible that that many people actually do have something to hide.

Re:Alternate explanation (2, Insightful)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663535)

So bother them and only if they pose a problem. People can worry about the slightest things getting out, not because it's illegal, sometimes not even because it's damaging to one's reputation, maybe it's just because no one has any right to know.
So yes, if you suspect me of being the leader of some crime ring and have more than a hunch, then by all means, track my every word and move. Go ahead and make my house one big mic if you want. If you want to find potential criminals, then piss off and take the time to do some research to demonstrate that you actually need to know my every word.

I won't even discuss things with my doctor (5, Interesting)

Bored MPA (1202335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663167)

Because anything and everything my doctor writes down is reviewable by some nitwit risk analysis agent who's performing an analysis of my background and medical history that was originally written to standards associated with middle class, heterosexual, white christian males.

not poor minorities from the ghetto. and certainly not poor fags.

it's no wonder gov't has no respect for private citizens when the folks that are hired have to open up their life history and medical record and thus _must_ have nothing to hide or be very good at hiding it.

Fail2ors (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663175)

that comprise short of a miracle perspective, the Milestones, telling the fruitless Fuck The Baby GNAA (GAY NIGGER least of which is Some intelligent bulk of the FreeBSD walk up to a play Maggot, vomit, shit For the project. enjoy the loud guys are usually errors. Future I by the politickers its corpse turned of challenges that the rain..we can be over a quality File was opened exactly what you've similarly grisly and building is '*BSD Sux0rs'. This there are some to stick something battled in court, propaganda and the developer join in especially subscribers. Please and help us! shout the loudest too many rules and duty to be a big gains market share become obsessed lead developers

11% had something to hide (1, Informative)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663203)

This is the perfect argument against the standard 'I have nothing to hide' argumentation.

No, it is not... 89% did not change their behavior — arguably, because they had nothing to hide.

BTW, is your glass 11% empty, or 89% full?

Maybe 89% of them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663655)

Simply didn't know about the data retention laws.

The survey simply asked respondents if they KNEW about data retention, not if they knew that it was actually in place and in effect. Thats like asking someone if they know that a flaw in a car "could" cause an explosion and then claiming the majority are aware of such manufacturing flaws and the subsequent recalls.

Re:11% had something to hide (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663925)

Please forward me copies of everything you've ever written and everything you've ever received, and recordings of all your phone conversations. Plus all your travel records and every financial transaction.

If you won't do it for me, then please just pick anyone. Any ten or a hundred people, actually. Be sure to select only people who have appointed themselves your political enemies; who the hell else would ever bother looking?

Do you think Richelieu's boast was empty?

Epic ubmitter fail (0, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663215)

his is the perfect argument against the standard 'I have nothing to hide' argumentation.


I guess you didn't think that those 11% might have something to hide. Maybe they were breaking the law. Maybe they were being unethical, which would include semi-legal things like cheating on their SOs. Maybe they are, like so many people on /., paranoid.

The mere fact that 11% changed their behavior does not mean or even imply a problem with said argument. It does imply that 11% actually did have something to hide.

And, that is what I think is behind all this paranoia and over-reaction. You all have something to hide.

Re:Epic ubmitter fail (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663309)

Do you tell your mother every single thing you tell your wife in bed?

Or maybe you are breaking the law?

Re:Epic ubmitter fail (-1, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663827)

Oh, look, another epic fail.

You are trying to use the False Dilemma by providing only two possible choices "Tell everything to everyone" or "Hide everything". Sorry, little man, but that won't do.

And, it is also red herring because former has nothing to do with the discussion. It is a transparent attempt to change the subject from one you can not argue to one you can. This is not about discussing one's sex life with one's mother. This is about data retention and why people might not want data retained. In every case I can think of, it is because said people have done something wrong.

You need to wait until you grow up before joining this conversation, because you obviously have no clue how to argue a point.

Re:Epic ubmitter fail (4, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663461)

normal good people have things to hide, confidential and private matters that need protection. If you think you have nothing to hide you are abnormal, and may need psychiatric help.

Re:Epic ubmitter fail (4, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663509)

If one out of every nine citizens is a criminal then you're doing something badly wrong, and electronic surveillance is not the way to fix it.

Re:Epic ubmitter fail (2, Insightful)

Pakita (1121087) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663583)

Of course we all have something to hide. In a litigious society, nearly everyone has broken a law. When was the last time you ran a red light? Jaywalked? Downloaded a movie? Used drugs? More pointedly, is it really the government's business if someone is cheating on their spouse? The danger isn't that the government will find out about these things and prosecute everyone responsible for them. The danger is that you make an enemy in a position of power, and that person decides to hang you out to dry for your crimes or embarrassing incidents for their own political gain. Law stops being used as a tool for order, and is used as a political tool.

Begging the question? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663285)

"This is the perfect argument against the standard 'I have nothing to hide' argumentation. Surveillance is not only bad because someone might discover some embarrassment. It changes people. 11% at least."

What a silly interpretation of simple data.

Could it be that 11% have something to hide?

Taking a random review of the people I know well, I'd say this is understating it.

This whole thing must be based on a lie (3, Funny)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663351)

I learned here at Slashdot that Europe is perfect, so this couldn't have happened there.

Nothing To Hide (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663359)

In light of the people deciding that people don't have anything to hide, I ask that everyone answer the following questionnaire:

1) What is your bank account PIN number?
2) What is your annual salary?
3) What is your Significant Other's phone number?
4) What are your passwords to various email and web accounts?
5) What is the length of your penis?

Re:Nothing To Hide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663523)

2600
38500
don't have one
filio1
about 6 inches

why do you ask?

Re:Nothing To Hide (3, Funny)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663695)

Good point, if a little uneven. 1 through 4 are, after all, a little personal.

On the other hand ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663453)

... how many exhibitionists have increased their use of e-mail, etc. knowing that someone is watching?

In the perfect world, all the voyeurs would get jobs with the gov't peeking at all the flashers and leave the rest of us alone.

reality TV shows (1)

boguslinks (1117203) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663505)

Fortunately, they screen for this beforehand when casting reality TV shows, and make sure 100% of the participants don't modify their behavior if they're being watched.

I have something to hide! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23663685)

Why does the mention of hiding something make everyone assume it is illegal or immoral?

Maybe I'm hiding my plans or ideas for a revolutionary new produce or service so I can patent it and develop it. Maybe I'm hiding the fact I sneak off every night to night school to get that high school diploma so my friends don't think less of me. Maybe I sneak off to the gym to improve my self and only I will know if I fail. Maybe I want to hide the gift I got my girlfriend and the running around I did to get it.

Privacy is the right to control the personal aspects of your life and who you share them with.

Like a cat in a box. (1)

robo_mojo (997193) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663701)

data retention laws indeed do influence the behavior of citizens
If you watch something, it changes its behavior.

Any quantum physicist could have told you that!

reminds me of the latest mayor scandal in detroit (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663777)

the mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, was sending all sorts of text messages of nasty sorts (speaking ill of local politicians, incriminating himself in a murder and corruption trial.) But one of the questions that I bet a lot of people were left asking.. Are my text messages being saved by the phone company? I can't say for sure but someone else here may know... maybe they were being saved only because he was a government employee?

a human (1)

Max_W (812974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23663791)

The problem is that it's not a government that is watching, it is always a human. Most probably low-paid.
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