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Assange: Facebook 'the Most Appalling Spy Machine' Ever

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the you're-just-jealous-about-the-time-magazine-thing dept.

Facebook 520

i4u points out an interview with Julian Assange in which the controversial WikiLeaks spokesman calls Facebook "the most appalling spy machine that has ever been invented." He continues, "Here we have the world’s most comprehensive database about people, 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. Facebook, Google, Yahoo – all these major US organizations have built-in interfaces for US intelligence. It’s not a matter of serving a subpoena. They have an interface that they have developed for US intelligence to use. Now, is it the case that Facebook is actually run by US intelligence? No, it’s not like that. It’s simply that US intelligence is able to bring to bear legal and political pressure on them. And it’s costly for them to hand out records one by one, so they have automated the process. Everyone should understand that when they add their friends to Facebook, they are doing free work for United States intelligence agencies in building this database for them."

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Yes, I know (0, Flamebait)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005528)

I know this and I choose to do this. The difference here is that I hit the accept button. Julian Assange needs to stop trying to tell me what I should and should not do.

Re:Yes, I know (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005540)

Cool! Now we can use you as part of the Human CentiPad!

Re:Yes, I know (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005548)

Where did he tell you to do anything but understand?

Re:Yes, I know (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005552)

He's not talking to you, you prick. He's raising public awareness. Get over yourself.

Re:Yes, I know (2, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005610)

The fun part is that Assange is considered a criminal by most of the people he's trying to help. Oh, the irony.

Re:Yes, I know (3, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005686)

>>>is considered a criminal by most of the people he's trying to help

Well as he says, "Our No. 1 enemy is ignorance." Most of the people are simply ignorant of how they are being lied to by politicians, and controlled. - "And I believe that is the No. 1 enemy for everyone â" itâ(TM)snot understanding what actually is going on in the world. It's only when you start to understand that you can make effective decisions and effective plans. Now, the question is, who is promoting ignorance? Well, those organizations that try to keep things secret, and those organizations which distort true information to make it false or misrepresentative. In this latter category, it is bad media.

"One of the hopeful things that Iâ(TM)ve discovered is that nearly every war that has started in the past 50 years has been a result of media lies. The media could've stopped it if they had searched deep enough; if they hadn't reprinted government propaganda they could've stopped it. But what does that mean? Well, that means that basically populations don't like wars, and populations have to be fooled into wars. Populations don't willingly, with open eyes, go into a war. So if we have a good media environment, then we also have a peaceful environment."

This man sounds a lot like Alex Jones.

Re:Yes, I know (5, Insightful)

kubernet3s (1954672) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005920)

You see, I've never been able to understand this sort of thinking. Why, if ignorance is such an objective evil, are there people actively trying to promote it? If populations never willingly go into a war, then why do we ever go into wars? Is it the case that the situations which justify a war never exist, but are some kind of fantasy? If so, why do people who supposedly have access to the "genuine" information still insist on going to war? Is it merely because it is in their best interest? If so, why is it always in the best interest of those who can be well informed without media intervention and always in the worst interest of people who cannot? It seems to me that this philosophy explicitly posits a good guys vs. bad guys cosmology, and the idea that the soul of mankind would be pure and lily white if it were free of these unseen Illuminati who have apparently raided the secret stash of evil that God keeps in the back of the fridge, out of reach of everyone below a certain income bracket. That worldview smells too much like shit for me to believe, no matter how much hippie-charisma it has.

Re:Yes, I know (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006000)

>>>If populations never willingly go into a war, then why do we ever go into wars?

Same reason Obama drug us into Libya (or Bush into Iraq).
Because he can.
And damn what the people think (most are against the war). Of course the real power to enter war is supposed to be with the People, as represented by their representatives in Congress. Unfortunately Congress is about as powerless today, as the Roman Senate was under the caesars. The Republic has fallen. The emperor has risen. (And I don't just mean this one example - the Executive has been ignoring congress a lot lately.)

Re:Yes, I know (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005700)

the MORONS in america you mean. the moron, is in caps, because the people in america keep insisting on believing the very assholes that keep robbing them and spending their money in wars to pay their own private backers.

the rest of the world, doesnt think assange as criminal. its america's own morondom in believing what far right whores in their political arena drum, for their own profit.

Re:Yes, I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005790)

the moron, is in caps, because the people in america keep insisting on believing the very assholes that keep robbing them and spending their money in wars to pay their own private backers.

You're one of the morons you're referring to.

Re:Yes, I know (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005910)

In my opinion, a lot of this is a self-aggrandizing operation and one in which he's successfully made himself a celebrity and taken credit for a lot of people's contributions.

Despite the fact that some of what he publicizes needs to be known, I'm not going to apply altruistic motives to someone who has done what he's done to great personal advantage, despite a spell in a jail cell.

Re:Yes, I know (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005574)

Julian Assange needs to stop trying to tell me what I should and should not do.

You need to stop putting words in other people's mouths.

Re:Yes, I know (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005588)

Well you're the one who chose to read that.

Re:Yes, I know (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005596)

Truly only idiots think that anything that they put out on the internet is private. Once it's out there it's available to multiple organizations, legal and illegal. If you don't want anyone to see it, don't give it out.

Re:Yes, I know (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005632)

>>>Julian Assange needs to stop trying to tell me what I should and should not do.

(rereads article) Where was this? Actually the question was not about you, but whether Assange believed Facebook was used by the US and EU governments to "arrange" the revolutions in the Mideast. (I'm inclined to say yes, especially since the google CEO bragged about it.)

stand up and be counted (0)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005646)

Why should I hide from my government? It's not like they don't already know who I am. And I'm not a coward so scared of my government as to hurt my social life by not using the main tool that people who actually bother to keep in touch with everyone they know use. I'm a psuedolibertarian kook who hates our government, but I'm not saying anything on Facebook that I wouldn't say over the phone - where they can listen as welll. Almost everything I say is already in the library of congress anyway, since they archive twitter, and all my FB posts import from my twitter.

Quit hiding people. YOu're far more likely to get the government to do what you want if you are willing to stand up and be counted.

Re:stand up and be counted (5, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005762)

That's philosophy of openness is fine, so long as you don't fall on the government's "undesirables" list. Like those folk who were blacklisted simply because they belonged to the communist party. Or had the unfortunate status of being japanese from 1942 to 46.

Or get "extra" attention by highway patrols because they are Harley riders, or DWB (driving while black). Or suspected downloaders of porn. "We don't know if he's a pedophile, but by god he's downloaded a lot of nude images. Surely one of those girls LOOKS underage, and we can frame him for it. Oh look - he's bought japanese comics of underage boys and girls from ebay. Book him."

Or posting a "sexual" photo to facebook when you're only 17 years and 11 months. Sexting is a favorite of overzealous prudes in prosecutors' offices. (Or horror - an 18 year old boy dating a 17 year old junior.)

Et cetera, et cetera.

Re:stand up and be counted (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005838)

Right. But most (not all) of your examples have nothing to do with facebook. And not using facebook isn't really going to make the government stop bothering you, if it has decided that's what it's going to do. In fact, it's where one in that situation should go to best spread the message of one's oppression. It's where the most people will listen. (That, and twitter.)

Re:stand up and be counted (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005954)

>>>But most (not all) of your examples have nothing to do with facebook.

Disagree. Facebook reveals:
- party affiliation (i.e. communist)
- race (asian)
- porn habit
- sexting photos
- you're a Japanese comic book collector
- posting "My boyfriend is a college guy" when you're only 16 or 17.

Re:stand up and be counted (3, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005986)

No. Facebook doesn't reveal any of that. The person using it reveals that. And facebook doesn't even ask for race. Unless you mean pictures. I already post my pictures publicly. Anyone could determine my race by looking at me. Porn habit? No. You don't view porn through facebook. Sexting photos? Huh? those are by phone. Those are not through facebook. Posting "my boyfriend is a college guy when you're 16 or 17" - whether you say that on facebook, on a blog, or on twitter, that is the person revealing it publicly, not the service.

Your examples suck.

Re:stand up and be counted (5, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005770)

The point is not in "hiding from government", but not allowing your personal friendships into easy view of people with potentially dangerous agendas.

You may or may not know that your friend is now an activist for a political movement that government doesn't like for example. Before, there was no way for them to tell about your level of friendship, and they wouldn't have the man power to investigate every human contact he has. Now, they go to facebook, collect the information on friendships and have a nice list of additional suspects to fine comb through.

In this regard, it's the ease of availability that is dangerous to the user. This is a change on similar scale to telephones, and wiretapping that came with it. It allows for centralised data collection on a level that was impossible before.

Re:stand up and be counted (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005854)

Like you pointed out - a lot of the same could be said about telephones, but it's not reasonable to not use a phone because you're scared of the government. [[ Well, not THAT reasonable ;) ... You never know ;) ]]

But a lot of people don't. (3, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005676)

It may be quite obvious with Facebook, but the fact is most people don't know how pervasive data-mining is. Still, me, I kind of trust our intelligence community at the moment. I expect CIA and SIGINT for National Security reasons, and I've met enough of them--higher-ups and lower-ups--that I know they're good people trying to do a good job. I still think we need someone with the keys, because in twenty years the culture could change completely, but right now, US Intelligence is staffed by fairly good people.

Law enforcement use is more normatively questionable to me, since I tend to take an expansive view of the Fourth Amendment. For example, if they lower constitutional rights in NY to allow cops to search bags for explosives, I don't think they should be able to arrest people if they find drugs, since their rights have been artificially suspended because of terrorism, unless they can point to reasons they would have searched the person anyway. (apologies for antecedent potpurri.) But unfortunately I think law enforcement use of Facebook and such is largely constitutional under Maryland v. Smith and related cases. (I don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy in information I communicate to others, like Facebook or the Phone Company.)

Re:But a lot of people don't. (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005858)

>>>I kind of trust our intelligence community at the moment.

According to Assange, ~30 people are sitting in Guantanamo Prison and Obama's intelligence community KNOWS they are innocent, but refuses to release them. How can you sit there and say you "trust" these people??? You must be as naive as a virgin on prom night.

>>>if they lower constitutional rights in NY to allow cops to search bags for explosives, I don't think they should be able to arrest people if they find drugs

More naivete'. Drive to Texas or Maine sometime, to where random checkpoints are setup on interstates to stop cars. The checkpoints are staffed by Immigration, supposedly to look for illegal immigrants hiding in trunks, but the agents ALSO look for contraband and will happily arrest you for it. The evidence will not be thrown out, and you will spend years in jail.

Same goes for the SA at airports which is supposed to be looking for bombs, but have detained multiple people for "carrying thousands in cash". Last I checked carrying US legal tender on internal flights is not a crime, so why are they detaining innocent people? (Answer: For the same reason why SA guards happily executed members of the German Parliament in 1933 - because they are humans and humans can't be trusted with power. They enjoy smashing skulls too much.)

Re:Yes, I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005698)

The thing is your friends and family can choose for you. Even if you are not in. Traces of you are.

Paranoid? not really. When you join suddenly all the invites tie together. All of the pics where you have been tagged show up...

Re:Yes, I know (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005712)

He didn't tell you to do anything. He warned you. Be as proud of your own stupidity as you like, that seems to be popular with Americans these days, but try not to put words into other people's mouths.

Re:Yes, I know (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005736)

He isn't telling you what you should or should not do. He's telling you what you should KNOW before you hit that accept button.

As news have shown time and time again, most people do not read privacy policy of facebook, and do not think of consequences of facebook information availability.

Re:Yes, I know (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005804)

I hit the accept button

And enabled a 20-something douchebag to make billions. Thank you for contributing to The Idiocracy.

A small price to pay (2)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005534)

for knowing every inane thought that crosses the mind of people I only vaguely care anything about.

Who gives a fuck? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005538)

Who really cares what ass sausage says?

Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005550)

We've sold our privacy for convenience, in the name of security.

Re:Duh? (1)

sfunk1x (2085698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005590)

That is the benefit of having agencies like the CIA and NSA, right?

Re:Duh? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005622)

We didn't sell it, we gave it away. We got absolutely nothing of value in return for it.

Re:Duh? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005662)

On the plus side, well over 99% of the data on Facebook is garbage. At least they're suffering for the information that's worth extracting.

Re:99% garbage (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006104)

Nah, information analysis is easy now. It's 2011.

I can think of seven ways to do it and it's not even my field.

"Rudolf Flesch grade scale analysis grade > 11"

$Location_marker > 3

and more

We ALL know... (1)

pixline (2028580) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005582)

Been there, signed that. Perhaps someone read it.

Not I said the pie. (1)

Joe.Davola (1909070) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005586)

I don't feel so bad now for not jumping on the Facebook bandwagon. Maybe when I get a friend I might change my mind, don't think so though.

Make up his mind, please (0, Troll)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005592)

The guy who wants all information to be accessible to everyone is complaining the biggest collections of information are too accessible?

Re:Make up his mind, please (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005650)

The guy who wants all information to be accessible to everyone is complaining the biggest collections of information are too accessible?

No, you got it wrong. He stands for open governments, not people. That's a big difference.

Re:Make up his mind, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005694)

A government is made up of people, so shouldn't people be open as well?

Re:Make up his mind, please (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005866)

No mod points, but have an agreement instead.

Re:Make up his mind, please (1)

dr00p (56154) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005682)

My thought exactly :)
Openness goes both ways ...*chuckle*

Re:Make up his mind, please (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005684)

He wants all information _which should be available to public_ to be available to public. And here, he is talking about private information, which, under normal circumstances, requires governments to go to court to be able to obtain.

Seriously - are you really that stupid or just trolling?

Re:Make up his mind, please (2)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005706)

Since Facebook users volunteer up the information that pretty much makes it public information.

Seriously, I don't care if you know that I'm at the book store buying a coffee. If I don't want this information to be public I don't post it. Problem solved.

Re:Make up his mind, please (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005940)

Feature that will no doubt be added to Facebook soon: ghost profiles. They probably already have it for people who get tagged in photos but don't have a Facebook account, but I expect soon it will become an acknowledged process - you'll be able to say "I know that girl" and create a profile for her.. fill in any information you know about her.. and other people will do the same. Those of us who don't have Facebook profiles will first hear about it when someone says "hey, I sent you a friend request on Facebook and you didn't accept it!" and you say "I don't have a Facebook profile" and they say "oh, it must be a ghost profile."

Enjoy the total information society.

Re:Make up his mind, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36006054)

Sure just make up fantasies and worry about those.

Re:Make up his mind, please (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006076)

Great! So now I have to go around with a cheesy fake handlebar moustache wherever I go.

Re:Make up his mind, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36006098)

Maybe you should set up your own ghost profile! Wait...

Re:Make up his mind, please (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005774)

He wants all information _which should be available to public_ to be available to public.

Where "should be available" means "he wants to be available". Seriously, who gave the right to decide national security policy to Assange rather than, you know, that government we elected democratically?

Also I don't see him providing any reliable source for this assertion. You're the leaker guy, Assange. Back your shit up with leaks or STFU.

Re:Make up his mind, please (3, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006094)

"Seriously, who gave the right to decide national security policy to Assange rather than, you know, that government we elected democratically?"

He's not an american citizen. He doesn't need to ask our government's position.

Re:Make up his mind, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005894)

Yeah the public needs to know who was helping the US by giving information against the terrorists in Afghanistan. But god forbid some marketer knows that some random person on facebook just took a dump! I'm glad Julian has his priorities straight.

Re:Make up his mind, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005992)

Not all info, just government info must be public. People's info can/should be private. Do u reckon wht the difference between an individual and an institution is?

Re:Make up his mind, please (1, Insightful)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006066)

so how does he justify releasing secret information?

Re:Make up his mind, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005978)

Way to spread FUD to further the interests of the enemies of the people.

Assange wants (like we all should) openness for GOVERNMENTS, and closedness for PRIVATE PEOPLE!!
NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND, AS IT IS NOW!

Boy, sometimes I think people like you WANT to be assraped 24/7... You practically beg for it.

That would be a "yes"... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005600)

I suspect that the relatively brief period between the breakdown of the 'symmetric transparency' of village and smaller social groups and the rise of the 'asymmetric transparency' of rationalized, technocratic surveillance will be looked back upon as a curious historical anomaly.

Re:That would be a "yes"... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006032)

Does this mean you're ready to revolt or ready to restock the cave for a long timeout?

something something Dark Side, something something (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005604)

I choose not to be on Facebook because I don't want my friends to see me doing something embarrassing.

I don't care what the faceless "agencies" know about me because I have nothing to hide from them, and it won't embarrass me if they know my dirty secrets, as long as they don't tell my dirty secrets to my friends.

Re:something something Dark Side, something someth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005638)

Mr. Faceless: Eewwwwwww can we arrest this guy for that?
Mr Faceless2: Nope, all we can do is tell all his friends about it.

Re:something something Dark Side, something someth (4, Insightful)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006050)

That is, until your dirty secret becomes illegal. Poker anyone?

No reason to complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005612)

Ehh... if you have any reason to hide than you can hide. FB is 100% voluntary so I see no reason to complain.

Wiretapping on the other hand...

Re:No reason to complain (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005652)

Ehh... if you have any reason to hide than you can hide. FB is 100% voluntary so I see no reason to complain.

Wiretapping on the other hand...

Using wires is completely voluntary.

Who gives a shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005626)

Ok. So what? There's nothing on my Facebook account that couldn't be readily ascertained by speaking with a handful of my friends and colleagues. If Big Brother wants access to my Facebook information, I'd be more offended that my taxpayer dollars are being wasted on such a frivolity than any 'invasion of privacy.' I control what I put on my Facebook page. If others are too stupid to realize what they put on Facebook could be used against them in a criminal case, then, well, fuck 'em.

Re:Who gives a shit? (3, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006074)

...If Big Brother wants access to my Facebook information, I'd be more offended that my taxpayer dollars are being wasted on such a frivolity than any 'invasion of privacy.'...

When you really think about the logistics and expense involved in tracking someone down and doing an investigation, having some young intel analyst sit behind a desk and with a few mouse clicks find out just as much information on you in about 20 minutes is likely a hell of a lot cheaper on the taxpayer than spending days or weeks doing intel gathering the "old fashioned" way.

How is Julian Assange doing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005630)

Where is he?

Assange: Facebook 'the Most Appalling Spy Machine' (4, Insightful)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005642)

Its funny but a device, the computer, that many clever people developed to free us and improve our lives is ruining our privacy and harming our freedoms. Even governments and their agencies are afraid, wikipedia allowed them to be spied on in an industrial scale, police are weary of cell phones with cameras etc.

Re:Assange: Facebook 'the Most Appalling Spy Machi (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005942)

What freedoms are being harmed?

Re:Assange: Facebook 'the Most Appalling Spy Machi (3, Informative)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006022)

Your not being spied on for nothing. This week end 50 facebook pages from anti cuts and anti austerity movements were pulled down, so freedom of speech in this case.

Hooked (1)

dasherjan (1485895) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005656)

I know this and I still choose to use it. I'm hooked I tell you...HOOKED! In all seriousness though, I treat facebook like an outdoor restaurant. If it’s something that I don’t feel comfortable with someone overhearing I don’t post it.

Re:Hooked (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006092)

That's a pretty good analogy. I treat it like one long, endless night at the bar. Half the things I say are just jokes. The other half are half-thoughts and random observations. If you're on my friends list and you pollute my vision with endless rants of malformed political opinions, I'm going to take the bait and call you out on it. If you say something funny, I'm going to LOL it. If I have an important announcement to make, or a request, I'll try to present it as such. But as a general rule, if you take everything I do on Facebook with about as much seriousness as if I was obviously drunk, you're on the right track.

Reverse Wikileaks (5, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005674)

Facebook is like a reverse Wikileaks, leaking the general public's personal information back to shady corporations and government organisations. They really do have a detailed map of your digital life, and they keep all of it - the record goes all the way back to when you joined. A database of the lives 640 million people worldwide... the fact this information is so poorly protected is deeply concerning. Once you put information up there you don't get it back. I've said it before: http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1946656&cid=34845420 [slashdot.org]

Re:Reverse Wikileaks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005752)

Yeah, and we ignored you then too. Your thoughts aren't as interesting as you think they are.

Yeah, so? (5, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005716)

Ain't nothin' on my Facebook but my name, my friends, and my random attempts at being witty. I don't care if the gov't sees any of it. If I did, it wouldn't be on Facebook. The problem isn't Facebook, it's that people -- including Assange, actually -- have a binary idea of security and trust. They think something is either totally secret and revealing it would be a huge betrayal, or it's all out there in the wind open to everyone. If you think Facebook is a privacy threat, you don't have to stop using it: just stop posting private stuff to it.

Trust is multilayered. I have stuff I only tell my close friends. I have stuff I only tell my Warcraft guild. I have stuff I only tell my wife. I have stuff I keep entirely inside my head. And none of that stuff goes on Facebook. Facebook is fine for some sorts of privacy -- for instance, as a college professor, I don't Facebook friend my students, so I don't have to worry about saying something unbecoming of a professor. For other sorts of things, I use other sorts of communications.

But I've been living in this sort of multilayered online privacy world for two decades now. Hopefully someday soon the rest of the planet will figure out how it works, so I don't have to deal with Assange's paranoid ranting, or college students who can't get a job because they're naked and/or vomiting on their profile page.

Re:Yeah, so? (1)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005892)

Ain't nothin' on my Facebook but my name, my friends, and my random attempts at being witty. I don't care if the gov't sees any of it. If I did, it wouldn't be on Facebook. The problem isn't Facebook, it's that people -- including Assange, actually -- have a binary idea of security and trust. They think something is either totally secret and revealing it would be a huge betrayal, or it's all out there in the wind open to everyone. If you think Facebook is a privacy threat, you don't have to stop using it: just stop posting private stuff to it.

Trust is multilayered. I have stuff I only tell my close friends. I have stuff I only tell my Warcraft guild. I have stuff I only tell my wife. I have stuff I keep entirely inside my head. And none of that stuff goes on Facebook. Facebook is fine for some sorts of privacy -- for instance, as a college professor, I don't Facebook friend my students, so I don't have to worry about saying something unbecoming of a professor. For other sorts of things, I use other sorts of communications.

But I've been living in this sort of multilayered online privacy world for two decades now. Hopefully someday soon the rest of the planet will figure out how it works, so I don't have to deal with Assange's paranoid ranting, or college students who can't get a job because they're naked and/or vomiting on their profile page.

This, in a nut shell. The idea of privacy being some kind of binary thing is odd - it's not on or off. You would think that levels of privacy would be part of a healthy outlook on the World. There's stuff I trust to X I would never trust to Y. Some overlap. Some are mutually exclusive.

Some if it I am willing to exchange for services. Be it certain information to Facebook for the services they provide, or other information to a gf for the services she would provide.

People new to the Internet don't understand this (1)

mentil (1748130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006010)

They see Facebook as a new technology, like cellphones, and they're treating it like a phone or SMS. So they're saying the same things they would say on a phone or send over SMS. The thing is, phone and SMS data are usually sent to limited-function devices that can't easily store and reproduce this data.
While the government may intercept phonecalls or text messages, the vast majority of people are much more likely to feel negative effects from a lack of privacy in their subsequent interactions with friends, family and employers.

Re:Yeah, so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36006040)

Unfortunately, it doesn't matter how much control you have over what you put on Facebook, when you can't control what your "friends" put up there. For example, I turned off the feature where your friends can location tag you. The other day my friend had a good whinge that he couldn't location tag me, then decided to get around the "problem" by adding a comment to the tagging post with my name in it. *slow clap* In cases like that, it wouldn't even matter if I never had an account.

Doing their work for them? (2)

Ginger_Chris (1068390) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005718)

"Everyone should understand that when they add their friends to Facebook, they are doing free work for United States intelligence agencies in building this database for them."

Excellent, so by playing Farmville I'm not only reducing my taxes (because they'd build the database anyway), but also contributing to the safety and counter terrorism efforts of my country.

It's not only addictive, but patriotic.

All I have to say is... (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005728)

...duh.

And as a corollary... ...so?

abusive boss, alleged rapist, snitch (-1, Troll)

peter303 (12292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005750)

I'd say he would be very good company then.

Re:abusive boss, alleged rapist, snitch (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005818)

I think I might have heard YOU are a rapist.

See, now you can be an alleged rapist too!

Re:abusive boss, alleged rapist, snitch (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005916)

>>>alleged rapist

Only in Europe could 2 women voluntarily have sex with a single man, enjoy themselves, and then a week later say, "I was raped," and the police take her seriously. I thought Europe was more progressive than backwards USA, what with nude television and beaches and such, but I guess not.

Anybody with any intelligence (i.e. not you) realizes this was a FRAME job, because woman #1 learned about woman #2, got jealous, and they both decided to "get even" with the man. It's a classic case of buyer's remorse.

In the US this case would be laughed out of court.

Re:abusive boss, alleged rapist, snitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36006044)

In the US this case would be laughed out of court.

Except if Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler are the detectives assigned to the case.

Re:abusive boss, alleged rapist, snitch (5, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006114)

Only in Europe could 2 women voluntarily have sex with a single man, enjoy themselves, and then a week later say, "I was raped," and the police take her seriously. I thought Europe was more progressive than backwards USA, what with nude television and beaches and such, but I guess not.

My understanding is that Assange's enemies scoured the Swedish law books until they found an obscure, seldom-invoked clause that they could use against him. The charges are very unusual, even within their own jurisdiction.

Re:abusive boss, alleged rapist, snitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36006100)

Hmm... at +3?

Kill the messenger, rather than the message. You must be from the US.

Maybe they should know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005794)

Do what I do. Only post things you want the government and corporations to know. Ex: Verizon has terrible customer service because they swear at me in Hindi. Ex: The government needs to give more money to schools so I don't have to deal with illiterate people. Ex: I wish more candies had peanut butter in them.

Wait, this is bad now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005872)

Since when was Assange opposed to the idea of doing intelligence services' work for them? He sure was eager to hand American secrets over to the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, etc.

Ah well, it's good to see he's still more interested in attacking the USA than actually spreading openness in oppressive countries or anything.

That's nice, but I have nothing to hide! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005884)

I really don't care. Facebook and other social media tools, web-sites, location tracking cell-phones - don't really bother me. I've done nothing wrong, don't plan on doing anything wrong, so if they want to track my life - go for it. It's quit boring.

Re:That's nice, but I have nothing to hide! (2)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006004)

I really don't care. Facebook and other social media tools, web-sites, location tracking cell-phones - don't really bother me. I've done nothing wrong, don't plan on doing anything wrong, so if they want to track my life - go for it. It's quit boring.

Says the almighty and infamous AC....swimming deep in the seas of irony I see...

In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005924)

Assange tries to drum up more media exposure so you don't forget to buy that autobiography he 'hated was necessary' to write! And pick up a T-Shirt too, to show everyone what an edgy armchair revolutionary you are!

The skill of intelligence is filtering the noise (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005972)

... while keeping the signal. The thing about FB is it's all noise. None of the information that people put there voluntarily is worth a dam' to an intelligence organisation. None of it's validated. None of it is from a "person of interest" (unless you're interested in vain teenagers - but we have another word for people like that. And none of it is actionable.

You might as well say that the local rubbish tip is a valuable source of information. There's just as much garbage as facebook has, but at least you have the chance of picking up something usable.

AreYouTargeted.com - good resource (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005990)

AreYouTargeted.com [areyoutargeted.com] is a good resource

Paranoid (0)

david.emery (127135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005996)

Why does anyone care about Assange any more?

Crabgrass (2)

genus_001 (547009) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006006)

If you HAVE to use a social network, use Crabgrass. It's developed by our friends over at riseup (we.riseup.net), so we know it's safe!

from memebase... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36006038)

this seems appropriate:
http://memebase.com/2011/05/02/memes-art-of-trolling-shoulda-been-on-mtvs-cribs/

In Facebook, the BIG logoff, makes you invisible (2)

viking80 (697716) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006064)

This will not protect your privacy against government intelligence, but at least against most else. Do the BIG logoff from facebook by disabling you account instead of just logging off. Data is kept, and you can enable the account just by logging back in. A few seconds extra to log out, and your information is not shared.

Assange is Captain Obvious, yet again... (1)

Golbez81 (1582163) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006072)

Is it me, or is he trying more and more to be relevant before he fades into the shadows of his 15 minutes of fame? He is no Mitnick or Goldstein and tries his best to be king of the hackers. Honestly other than drum up media attention over his website, I think he's the biggest hacker fraud ever known.

Government Spying vs. Business Spying (2)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006084)

Personally, I worry more about what various businesses can find out about me and other FaceBook users than I do about the government. The 4th Amendment works fairly well at keeping the government from doing "fishing expeditions" and I don't have a problem with the government getting access to data if they have a warrant based on probable cause. These restrictions don't apply to businesses that buy their way into FB to do data mining or that create cute little applications that require that you reveal everything to them in return for accessing the application.

I consider very carefully whether or not to reveal any personal information on FB beyond what I need to "show" so that people can find me. Most of this information is publicly available (i.e., phone book type stuff). It just isn't linked to me on FB where it can also be linked to my "friends." I'm going to do what I can to keep it that way.

Cheers,
Dave

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