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Schneier: The Internet Is a Surveillance State

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the you-are-the-product-being-sold dept.

The Internet 333

An anonymous reader writes "Bruce Schneier has written a blunt article in CNN about the state of privacy on the internet. Quoting: 'The Internet is a surveillance state. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we're being tracked all the time. Google tracks us, both on its pages and on other pages it has access to. Facebook does the same; it even tracks non-Facebook users. Apple tracks us on our iPhones and iPads. One reporter used a tool called Collusion to track who was tracking him; 105 companies tracked his Internet use during one 36-hour period. ... This is ubiquitous surveillance: All of us being watched, all the time, and that data being stored forever. This is what a surveillance state looks like, and it's efficient beyond the wildest dreams of George Orwell. Sure, we can take measures to prevent this. We can limit what we search on Google from our iPhones, and instead use computer web browsers that allow us to delete cookies. We can use an alias on Facebook. We can turn our cell phones off and spend cash. But increasingly, none of it matters. There are simply too many ways to be tracked."

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tor (3, Interesting)

scum-e-bag (211846) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193557)

use tor
cbf'd posting as anon-coward as even slashdot isn't anonymous...

Re:tor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193615)

cbfed to use Tor, though as time goes on I may start putting all traffic through it.

Ghostery found trackers
yro.slashdot.org
DoubleClick
Advertising
Google Analytics
Analytics
ScoreCard Research Beacon
Tracker

Re:tor (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193635)

Easy fix: disable third party cookies.

Re:tor (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193791)

man evercookie

Re:tor (5, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193823)

Won't work so well. They're starting to write-in to the design of the website to need them in order to get the content.

Same with noscript functions. There are lots of sites that, in order to get content, one has to have otherwise-unrelated scripts functioning for the content to ultimately appear.

I just don't have the browser save anything anymore at close. No cache, no cookies, no login credentials, no history, nothing. I also blocked a whole bunch of crap through my router, and I further block things through the hosts file that *I* don't use but others using the router might want or need.


The solution that I recommend is living in the real world. Get a hobby that isn't principally on the computer. I chose things like auto restoration, model rocketry, and working with older machinery.

They only have power because you give them power. Take away their power by no longer playing the game.

IndexedDB (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193847)

I just don't have the browser save anything anymore at close. No cache, no cookies, no login credentials, no history, nothing.

Not even IndexedDB? If not, then how do you plan to use web applications' offline modes?

Re:IndexedDB (5, Interesting)

GWRedDragon (1340961) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193907)

I just don't have the browser save anything anymore at close. No cache, no cookies, no login credentials, no history, nothing.

Not even IndexedDB? If not, then how do you plan to use web applications' offline modes?

"Web application" with an "offline mode"?? People actually use those?!?!

Re:tor (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194005)

Take away their power by no longer playing the game.

There is only one possible way to stop playing.

Re:tor (3, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194111)

Take away their power by no longer playing the game.

There is only one possible way to stop playing.

That way would interest me. After all, even if you die, your death will be tracked. Actually it's one of the few things which have already traditionally be tracked and stored for extended times, on tombstones.

Re:tor (-1, Troll)

mallyn (136041) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194019)

I do the same as well. I make lighted jewelry and clothing. I spend just about every spare minute outside of my job engaged in these hobbies.

However, I still have to purchase my tools and raw materials on line. So the powers to be know I make lighted clothing and jewelry. I have a web site for crying out loud! (www.allyn.com).

I do extensive searches on Google, Wikepedia, LinkedIn, and Facebook for techniques in TIG welding, Sewing, Lapidiary, Engraving, Plasma Welding, and many other crafts. All I do on my computer at home with cookies and all.

So now the world knows that I make lighted jewelry by tig welding scrap pieces of steel together and then polish it with tools that I purchase on line. I then light it with LED's I purchase on line from three large LED vendors.

I also make lighted clear plastic raincoats. The optical fiber I use for those I purchase on line. The high power LED's I purchase on-line. The lithium batteries I purchase on-line. The only thing I don't purchase on line is the clear vinyl, but I am engaged on an on-line discussion on LinkedIn on what materials I can use to replace the PVC for my clear raincoats.

I wear my lighted clothing and jewelry out and about. Undoubtedly, there are numerous pictures of me dressed up on-line that I don't know about. So what? Should I care?

Local police know that I do this stuff. Most likely the local FBI, CIA, Secret Service, and other 3 letter agencies know about this. You do a google search for lighted clear plastic raincoats, you will see me right up there in the images section.

And, so far, cross my fingers, no one has sent me to Guitanimio or any other place.

:)

Re:tor (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194119)

You sound like a real fun guy to have at parties.

"I recommend living in the real world, it's the best way to limit your exposure to the hidden legions of surveillance spooks reading your text messages. TAKE AWAY THEIR POWER!"

I can pretty much guarantee from a brief skim over your posting history that no surveillance agency is ever going to be interested in the bullshit you write online.

Re:tor (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194139)

> There are lots of sites that, in order to get content, one has to have otherwise-unrelated scripts functioning for the content to ultimately appear.

But like you said, they only have power because you give them power. If people stop using those sites for that reason, the sites will change very quickly.

They can get away with that because people don't seem to give a shit.

Re:tor (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194347)

Funny enough, those are the sites I simply don't visit anymore. If they go out of their way to make their content inaccessible, then why should I care about their content?

There is something to be said about having a place where for-cash content is worthwhile compared to the alternatives, but if I can't even make my mind up about that, I won't bother.

Time was, you could simply choose whether you wanted to support something. Now, you don't have a choice but to view their ads if you want a taste of what's on offer. No thanks.

The majority of us work for a living, and get paid for doing that work. If you're unable to get paid without an unsustainable, invasive, downright disturbing money-making scheme, then perhaps you ought to stop complaining when you aren't paid.

I think people really believe that without these ad-infested sites, the Internet would crumble and society would grind to a halt. It won't. People will gladly pay when they have the money. Stop pretending they won't.

Re:tor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194439)

Only fools think that the Internet is secure, it is not, but it provides lots of v.fast postcards aka UDP on which you can build absolutely secure solutions, use IETF protocols unimaginatively and the NSA will know what you say and what you are doing,buy 15 servers with shell access and you can build a system that defies both traffic analysis and decryption ... most of this the internet is compromised is government nonsense.

Thumbnail, packet protocol that uses bi-encryption, one with a rapidly changing weak key that just encrypts next ip, next port and strongly encrypted data, looks like white noise to TA, but in the noise is then essential t thread

Re:tor (5, Interesting)

pepsikid (2226416) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193837)

Whenever I log onto Slashdot, my firewall immediately reports Slashdot servers sniffing a bunch of my ports. I use DD-WRT with logging enabled and WallWatcher to display events.

Re:tor (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194175)

Years ago someone posted that this was slashdot checking to see if you've been at risk for infection by common malware and therefore flag your posts as likely spam. I don't know why people are modding you down.

Re:tor (2)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194181)

Yea, I noticed a lot of that happening, too. I blocked a lot of those requests across all my security software (from browser to hosts) unfortunately at the sacrifice of breaking Slashdot's dynamic content features. For example, I can't "Load more comments" and when I click to see "hiddent comments" nothing happens. It just says "Working" forever. Those layered pop ups that black the page? Well the page just goes black and nothing ever happens. So my option is to give up my privacy or to use Slashdot in a crippled manner. *sigh* Did your blocking break Slashdot in anyway?

Speaking of Google tracking (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193575)

Slashdot now uses Google APIs.

Re:Speaking of Google tracking (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193757)

Slashdot now uses Google APIs.

Slashdot has been a broken website for years now and constantly making things worse. It is very unwelcoming to new visitors and other AC. Especially those who run No-Script or block scripting altogether. That being a much safer way to visit websites. The so called "Classic Discussion System" is no longer available to anyone but logged in members with their preferences set for it. The option to use the "Classic Discussion System" for visitors/AC disappeared from the site quite some time ago unfortunately and since then the site is mostly unbrowsable, especially after a certain number of comments. I have little doubt that I am not the only AC here who could have had a low digit UID if they had actually cared to sign up for it. However I bet many of those no longer come to Slashdot because of how inhospitable it has become due to the abrasiveness of AJAX and javascript in general.

Re:Speaking of Google tracking (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193805)

However it seems to work OK without them. At least I don't allow it to access googleapis (or any other site, except fsdn.com), and I don't notice any problem (except that embedded videos don't work, of course).

Re:Speaking of Google tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193995)

That, and now many distros using gnome have .local and .cache in your home dir where zeitgeist, tracker, et. al. store analytics on all your program usage, files, etc.
The new breed of dev/sysadmins appear to be MBA shills/tools.

Sadly true (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193595)

And sadly most of us contributed to this. Either actively by working on some piece of technology that is enabling this, or passively by sacrificing our privacy for our convenience.

How sad it is to realize that the technology that we so much love and spend our lives working on is helping the state and big corps to spy on us.

Re:Sadly true (2, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193841)

While it may be irritating, as long as they don't feed data to governments, it's not really Orwellian.

The correct solution is ever-better cryptography and disallowing government from making it illegal, or mandating backdoors into things.

Re:Sadly true (5, Insightful)

lennier (44736) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194109)

While it may be irritating, as long as they don't feed data to governments, it's not really Orwellian.

And you know thatInternet companies which keep all their internal dealings secret for "commercial sensitivity" reasons are NOT feeding our data to a government which made it illegal for companies to report their national security letters.... how?

Same way as we know that meat companies aren't cutting their beefburgers with horsemeat, I guess.

Re:Sadly true (3, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194121)

It's feeding the data to those who actually govern the world these days.

Ways around some of it (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193603)

Ghostery is a good start.

The need for FOSS intelligence tools for sensemaki (5, Insightful)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193605)

Something I wrote a couple years ago: http://pcast.ideascale.com/a/dtd/-The-need-for-FOSS-intelligence-tools-for-sensemaking-etc.-/76207-8319 [ideascale.com]
"Now, there are many people out there (including computer scientists) who may raise legitimate concerns about privacy or other important issues in regards to any system that can support the intelligence community (as well as civilian needs). As I see it, there is a race going on. The race is between two trends. On the one hand, the internet can be used to profile and round up dissenters to the scarcity-based economic status quo (thus legitimate worries about privacy and something like TIA). On the other hand, the internet can be used to change the status quo in various ways (better designs, better science, stronger social networks advocating for some healthy mix of a basic income, a gift economy, democratic resource-based planning, improved local subsistence, etc., all supported by better structured arguments like with the Genoa II approach) to the point where there is abundance for all and rounding up dissenters to mainstream economics is a non-issue because material abundance is everywhere. So, as Bucky Fuller said, whether is will be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race to the very end. While I can't guarantee success at the second option of using the internet for abundance for all, I can guarantee that if we do nothing, the first option of using the internet to round up dissenters (or really, anybody who is different, like was done using IBM computers in WWII Germany) will probably prevail. So, I feel the global public really needs access to these sorts of sensemaking tools in an open source way, and the way to use them is not so much to "fight back" as to "transform and/or transcend the system". As Bucky Fuller said, you never change thing by fighting the old paradigm directly; you change things by inventing a new way that makes the old paradigm obsolete."

Re:The need for FOSS intelligence tools for sensem (1)

bbelt16ag (744938) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193701)

up vote a million times!!!!

Re:The need for FOSS intelligence tools for sensem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194373)

You must have fucked up on your way to reddit. Please stay over there.

We need counter intelligence tools (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193861)

What about counter-intelligence tools? Actively distorting the surveillance data being gathered to render it unreliable.

For example: at present we delete cookies. What if we swapped them. Now a cookie doesn't have specific information about one person, it has a mishmash of unreliable data from a dozen.

Re:The need for FOSS intelligence tools for sensem (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194051)

...transform and/or transcend the system"...

The 'system' being biological instinct, 'desires of the flesh', as some religions put it. Presently everything that motivates us is subservient to that.

Yin/Yang (2, Interesting)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194193)

There certainly is a lot of truth to your point. To broaden it out a bit, here is something I wrote years ago:
http://www.pdfernhout.net/a-rant-on-financial-obesity-and-Project-Virgle.html [pdfernhout.net]
" ... I agree with the sentiment of the Einstein quote [That we should approach the universe with compassion], but that sentiment itself is only part of a larger difficult-to-easily-resolve situation. It become more the Yin/Yang or Meshwork/Hierarchy situation I see when I look out my home office window into a forest. On the surface it is a lovely scene of trees as part of a forest. Still, I try to see *both* the peaceful majesty of the trees and how these large trees are brutally shading out of existence saplings which are would-be competitors (even shading out their own children). Yet, even as big trees shade out some of their own children, they also put massive resources into creating a next generation, one of which will indeed likely someday replace them when they fall. I try to remember there is both an unseen silent chemical war going on out there where plants produce defense compounds they secrete in the soil to inhibit the growth of other plant species (or insects or fungi) as a vile act of territoriality and often expansionism, and yet also the result is a good spacing of biomass to near optimally convert sunlight to living matter and resist and recover from wind and ice damage. I try to recall that there is the most brutal of competition between species of plants and animals and fungi and so on over water, nutrients (including from eating other creatures), sunlight, and space, while at the same time each bacterial colony or multicellular organism (like a large Pine tree) is a marvel of cooperation towards some implicitly shared purpose. I see the awesome result of both simplicity and complexity in the organizational structure of all these organisms and their DNA, RNA, and so on, adapted so well in most cases to the current state of such a complex web of being. Yet I can only guess the tiniest fraction of what suffering that selective shaping through variation and selection must have entailed for untold numbers of creatures over billions of years. To be truthful, I can actually *really* see none of that right now as it is dark outside this early near Winter Solstice time (and an icy rain is falling) beyond perhaps a silhouette outline, so I must remember and imagine it, perhaps as Einstein suggests as an "optical delusion of [my] consciousness". :-)
    So much for "world peace" when even the tranquil seeming forests have so much Yin-Yang complexity going on within and around the trees. :-) The best I feel we can hope for is balance (like Ursula K. Le Guin's writings):
        http://www.ursulakleguin.com/ [ursulakleguin.com]
or maybe, transcendence to some form of universe certainly way beyond our present understanding; example, with its own flaws:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Metamorphosis_of_Prime_Intellect [wikipedia.org]
But still, no matter what examples the universes sets before us, or in what proportion, as *ethical* and *spiritual* beings, we humans can choose a different way, and at least approximate world peace among ourselves as best we can. Something I learned from an old and wise biologist (Larry Slobodkin) who studied both philosophy and nature."

So, we can make choices, as sentient creatures, about how we want to live. The current laws of physics may constrain those choices, but we can still make choices as individuals and collectives. How do we want to live? How can we shape our rules, norms, prices, and architecture to influence that behavior? (Lawrence Lessig's point in "Code 2.0").

Re:The need for FOSS intelligence tools for sensem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194081)

The Trillion Dollar Coin: What You Really Need to Know
http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article38581.html

Another part of the solution can be... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194129)

Another part of the solution is to put sand in the cogs of the machine by overfeeding the system with false and exagurate information.
Make software that disturb the patterns, data on itself is not that much interesting even when analized by machines, they only get meaning when people do cultural patern matching.

I blame the web (3, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193619)

While the W3C is always keen to push all kinds of new fancy unnecessary technology, they never cared much about security. Privacy and security should become an important part in web standard design.

Schneier: Not a big picture guy (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193627)

There are simply too many ways to be tracked."

There always have been. We're social creatures. Try living in total isolation from society in, say, the 1800s. It was hard to completely disappear even then. Someone always knew your whereabouts even then. That's the reality of social existance. Schneier has long had a problem of being too conventional -- he sees what is, not what can be. The problem isn't that we can be tracked, the problem is who is doing the tracking, and the length of time that data is stored, and to what purpose it is put.

These are things that can be resolved through responsible legislation and public education. The fact that so far, it has been highly irresponsible legislation due in part to a total lack of education, and in part due to rampant greed, is a social problem.

The problem is social. The solution must be as well. Schneier is quite correct in his characterization of how things are now. He is not correct in concluding this is how it must remain.

Re:Schneier: Not a big picture guy (4, Insightful)

ToadProphet (1148333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193675)

There always have been. We're social creatures. Try living in total isolation from society in, say, the 1800s. It was hard to completely disappear even then

There's a considerable difference between being 'tracked' by individuals we are socially connected to and entities we aren't. The reclusive uncle who had some odd reading habits wasn't at risk of being rounded up in the way that he might be with the latter.

Re:Schneier: Not a big picture guy (5, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193803)

There are simply too many ways to be tracked."

There always have been. We're social creatures. Try living in total isolation from society in, say, the 1800s. It was hard to completely disappear even then. Someone always knew your whereabouts even then.

My "whereabouts" on December 25, 2017 do not concern me. Chances are on that day I'll be with family (sorry for the spoiler)

Someone being able to record and play back every damn thing I've ever done between now and then is the difference between today and the 1800s.

Re:Schneier: Not a big picture guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194067)

Just pray you stay out of crimezones, and you should be just fine. We plomise ya.

Re:Schneier: Not a big picture guy (2)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194255)

The fact that we are social creatures does not make the problem social, nor its solution. The problem is corporate surveillance. As for a solution - there are many possibilities, from technical to regulatory. Unless by a "social" solution, you mean putting massive amounts of public pressure on corporations to change their ways. Even if that is the case, having to summon that kind of outrage every time a corporation violates our trust is not a viable long term strategy. The logistics of discovering wrongdoing, reaching critical mass, applying pressure, and achieving a result are too difficult and rare a combination.

Can't believe people still complain about tracking (-1, Flamebait)

mozumder (178398) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193631)

Great, now the ads on the sites you visit are going to show you ads for motherboards and CPU upgrades that you want, instead of pink mascara that you don't want.

And your credit card companies have a full psychological profile of you anyways.

Really libertarians, your ads aren't going to come and take away your families at nights.

You have lost nothing of value. You gain no cost savings by avoiding tracking, and in fact, you increase prices to you if you avoid targeted pitches.

Who is more likely going to get a discount? The consumer that wants a new motherboard and is smart enough to shop around at various sites with cookies tracking them? Or the consumer that buys a motherboard from the first site he visits?

Re:Can't believe people still complain about track (4, Insightful)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193685)

I can't see Schneier as a Libertarian since he states in the article that "Fixing this requires strong government will...". No Libertarian would suggest such a fix, which I imply to mean that this issue goes beyond Libertarians.

Re:Can't believe people still complain about track (3, Insightful)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193825)

That was my thought as well.. sometimes it comes down to personal awareness of the tools you are using. If you only read books from the library... surprise, they can track your reading habits. Personally, my rule of thumb is don't do anything online you wouldn't want people to know about... Yes, I'm a geek, and I also like sex, and porn... If drugs were legal, I'd be inclined to partake on occasion. I do have a couple drinks about a dozen times a year.

I think what it comes down to is how private do you want to be.. there are ways to accomplish this. Most browsers allow for a "clean" or "incognito" session that doesn't carry forward cookies/data ... you can even set your browser to clear private data on close. Disable flash and silverlight, and you've closed the gap to outside storage/tracking. The problem is that cookies and JavaScript have good purposes, and a handful of organizations abuse them... That doesn't mean that they shouldn't be allowed.

Re:Can't believe people still complain about track (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194083)

Awesome, now website have to rely on slightly less effective tracking via IP or habits (like mouse movement patterns if you leave Javascript enabled). And you still have to buy everything in cash, not have a cell phone (or leave it off), oh, and never let any camera (CCTV or personal phone camera uploading to G+/Facebook) see you; no, not just your face, there's gait tracking to worry about, too. I do try to avoid making tracking my online actions too easy (run Ghostery, clear cookies regularly, etc.), but I have no illusions that it's very likely to actually protect my privacy.

Re:Can't believe people still complain about track (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193831)

In my opinion, we are selling out future generations for a few dollars savings and a fart app.

You think that companies knowing what you want makes things better for you. I say it mostly doesn't now and it certainly won't in the future. Companies are tracking us very, very effectively. Soon they will know such things like "89% of males of XX age asked about this" so they will show you that even if *you* haven't thought about. It is narrowing your choices, not expanding them. In the future, companies will know things like "most people can be made to do X if you repeatedly tell them Y". How will they know these things? By tracking millions of people for decades, that's how. Statistically speaking, companies will know what you can be made to do during each period of your life and they will narrow the choices for you so that you will likely arrive at the decision they want you to.

And you will think it is all your choices and your freewill but in the end there will not be such things.

Re:Can't believe people still complain about track (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193961)

And your credit card companies have a full psychological profile of you anyways.

Speak about yourself. My credit card company has a very incomplete picture about me. It knows some of my travels, but that's mostly it. It doesn't know what I bought at the groceries (or where I buy). It doesn't know if I've been to a pharmacy last year, and if so, how often. It doesn't know which books I read, or if I read books at all. It doesn't know which clothes I wear. It doesn't even know about the computer I'm typing this comment on.

Re:Can't believe people still complain about track (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194209)

And your credit card companies have a full psychological profile of you anyways.

Speak about yourself. My credit card company has a very incomplete picture about me. It knows some of my travels, but that's mostly it. It doesn't know what I bought at the groceries (or where I buy). It doesn't know if I've been to a pharmacy last year, and if so, how often. It doesn't know which books I read, or if I read books at all. It doesn't know which clothes I wear. It doesn't even know about the computer I'm typing this comment on.

Women must flock to you to give you babies!

All joking aside, My credit card company "knows" that I stop at McDonald's for breakfast a few times a week, Denny's about oncenevery three weeks, and Saturday mornings have a club meeting at the local Eat n' Park. Other times at a local diner. I buy gasoline with a different card that gives me a 5 cent discount, at a Convennience store in two different nearby cities that give a 3 cent discount. They also know if they were really interested was that I like highly hopped beer, and really hot chicken wings. I use EBay to buy electronic goodies, and vacation in Cape May, New Jersey. I also do surf fishing and ride a motorcycle. They can probably tell how long my Driveway is and how long my sidewalks are by comparing the number of ice storms in my area and comparing that to how much de-icing salt I buy

All findable by my credit card purchases. I suspect that they are a lot more interested in that I pay my card off every month.

But the issue is that so fucking what - I don't care. I'll tell people in a minute about all this stuff. I suppose that people can be shocked about all this, but it only makes sense that it can happen. Wired phones are of course trackable. Cell phones are inherently trackable just by the nature of the service. If you have a GPS that gets traffic updates, it is trackable, though with more difficulty. It is inherent in the process, so the way out of it is to not participate. As far as I am concerend, the "tracking" is just as likely to exonerate me as convict me - though I'm generally a straight arrow type. If I was a suspect in a crime I didn't commit, that Gas station or restaurant receipt might just help with an alibi. So it is a null issue. So I'm not quite ready to move to a compound in Idaho and sleep with a loaded .45 under my pillow quite yet.

Re:Can't believe people still complain about track (1)

murdocj (543661) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194281)

I use my shopper id at my grocery store to get a small discount. So the store knows how much milk, flour, etc that I buy. I'm not seeing an issue there.

To take it a step further, I used to have a regular Friday night out at a particular bar. The waitress got to know me and bring me my favorite drink shortly after I walked in. Not a problem.

Re:Can't believe people still complain about track (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194077)

Great, now the ads on the sites you visit are going to show you ads for motherboards and CPU upgrades that you want, instead of pink mascara that you don't want.

If they knew what I actually wanted, instead of feeding me more about something I already bought, that might be cool.

Anyhow, yes, we are being tracked, and it is inherent in the nature of the network. The Internet is not a place for Libertarian ideals. The key is of course, to avoid doing illegal activities on the internet. Most anything that will get you busted in the outside world will result in the same thing here.

Re:Can't believe people still complain about track (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194293)

How about social engineering, in it's older form. Supposedly, back in the late 1800's or early 1900's, corporations wanted to sell more breakfast cereal. Prior to that time, people typically ate meat, beans, and eggs for breakfast. Maybe fried corn cakes or hot cakes. Corporations wanted to sell cereal. So they advertised all the benefits of cereal, especially the vitamin content, blah blah blah.

And, corporations were successful in selling the American public on breakfast cereal.

The social engineering hasn't ended of course. We simply accept it as normal that corporations spend fortunes everyday, indoctrinating kids that they should be eating whichever brand and style of cereal the commercials tell them to eat.

So - what's next on the agenda? And, what happens to people who resist such engineering? Do we become some kind of outcast? Outlaws? Outright criminals, because we choose not to be manipulated?

You need to look at the best case scenario, as well as the worst case scenario, and try to figure out what might happen as compared to what will happen.

Tracking. Why should I permit people to track my actions, so that they can better indoctrinate me? I don't WANT to be brainwashed, thank you very much.

Don't want to be on the grid (3, Insightful)

jonfr (888673) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193639)

If you don't want to be on the grid.

1: Don't use the internet. Rather that be e-mail, web pages, internet bank.
2: Don't use mobile phone of any type. Dumb-phones can be tracked just as easy as smartphones.
3: Don't use credit or debit card of any type. Since most of us need bank account. Get one that is not connected to any debit or credit card. Pay cash only. But be advised that still leaves you up to tracking. Since all stores and banks have security cameras that can be used to track you if needed.
4: Don't buy electricity or anything off companies. This is hard to avoid.
5: Live remote and not connected to anything. Then you might avoid being on the grid 99,95% of the time. I do think it is close to impossible to fall 100% of the grid due to the nature of the modern world.

The other option is to mix in with the grid in such a way that you don't get detected. That however does not matter if the authorities are tracking you activity. Since one spot (or "unit" as they prefer to call it) can be tracked easy if needed. Be that over banks, phone or internet. They got the hardware for this ability about 13 years ago. It has only been growing since then.

Not AC, since it would not have mattered anyway.

Re:Don't want to be on the grid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193937)

You can definitely fall off the grid. Go somewhere that the grid can't reach and stay there.

Go somewhere like Abkhazia, where the government is in shambles, all borders are under dispute, there are nice beaches and mountains, the place is only recognized by 4-5 other countries non of which are the US, and the cities offer a fairly normal existence.

Re:Don't want to be on the grid (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194055)

Drones reach secure compounds in Afghanistan, spies posing as foreign aid reach secure compounds in Pakistan to track people by DNA. To the west, those are pretty inaccessible and "off the grid locations".

That leaves some mountain caves in North Korea or deep in Papua New Guinea Jungle. Or the heart of the Sahara. Or Antarctica or some other equally inhospitable places.

And believe it or not satellites will still find you. HUMANs are easy to find. Humans are also everywhere. And if you don't want to be burned at the stake as a heretic in a primitive culture you have to visit town once in awhile. We don't have the natural instinct, resistance to nature, endurance, camouflage and psychology to live our lives 24/7 in ghillie suites in the brush.

Your best bet is to just not be any different then anyone else all over the grid. Your better off having all the things to track and occasionally posting something on facebook and looking perfectly normal. Blending into plain site.

There are exceptions to the rules. But hey even they are "known". A gentleman lived till his late 80's in a cave in the Rocky Mountains. This good man moved there after coming back from world war two, I can't remember his name off the top of his head, but he was well known even though he subsisted on goats milk, wine from mountain grapes, and cheese. He survived on his own there until the millennium. But he was friendly enough to talk to journalists or other curious folk and was never kicked from his squat. Our government sure as hell knew who he was, probably had his records from his service in a cave their own somewhere.

The question is, what do most of us have to hide? Nothing. Will some of us be persecuted, maybe, or all this tracking might bring hidden demographics to the publics or power elites knowledge, enough so that they won't feel like changing what was now private and making public spaces more accommodating to different mimetic sub-cliques.

Re:Don't want to be on the grid (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194233)

A friend of mine's mildly retarded brother went missing nearly a decade ago, they found his car abandoned in bushland not far from his home but he (or his body) has never been located. There are literally millions of cases like that in the western world, I very much doubt they are all living in N.Korea.

Re:Don't want to be on the grid (4, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194117)

I think a big misconception here is that being totally 'off the grid' is somehow the logical goal. Leaving the grid will satisfy your need to not be tracked, certainly, but I think the pareto principle applies: you can do 20% of the effort to gain 80 percent of the benefit - no need to become a survivalist to avoid intrusive tracking. Turn off cookies, use public transport, leave the cellphone at work when you go home, pay in cash.

Yes, stores have CCTV cameras in them, but they rarely check them except in case of a crime being committed. Sure, they could use fancy face-tracking software cross-referenced with databases to find out who everyone who pays cash is, but really, they won't bother because the vast majority of people will pay with a loyalty card anyway, incentivised with frequent flyer miles or somesuch. Companies go for what's going to turn a profit - they don't do long-tail very well unless it costs them nothing.

You might say that being conspicuously absent from some modes (eg. trackable transactions) highlights you for scrutiny, but I would argue that that's a bit paranoid - companies won't double their tracking efforts to make 2% more from 'different valuers'. Governments might worry about the 2% of weirdos out there, but they already track the things that concern them - purchases of explosive materials, weapons, and phonecalls to known agitators. The best way to keep the government out of your life is to keep your nose clean, follow the law and don't publicise it if you belong to the scarlet letter club du jour (eg. communists, satanists, pedophiles, science fiction writers, etc).

"...Increasingly, none of it matters." (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193659)

We can turn our cell phones off and spend cash. But increasingly, none of it matters

I agree with this because people traveling without cell phones and paying cash tend to be the minority, meaning that anonymizing efforts often end up doing the opposite. Another good quote from the article:

If the director of the CIA can't maintain his privacy on the Internet, we've got no hope

Re:"...Increasingly, none of it matters." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194259)

It's also the case that if you were to make a late attempt to fall off the grid you would likely be flagged as suspect. The FBI already lists people who rely on cash transactions and who limit access to their online activities as possible terrorists. If you're going to fall of the grid, do it like an octopus and leave a nice dense cloud of ink behind to make it look like you're still there.

Delete your cookies (1)

iliketrash (624051) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193723)

It's my understanding that tracking is done by cookies. I delete all cookies 2-3 times a day, and always after logging out of Google (which I rarely log in to) and Facebook. The only downside is that I have to log in to again to certain sites but that is easy because of OS X's built-in password manager.

Re:Delete your cookies (2)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193855)

Well, You'll also have to disable Flash and Silverlight, since both offer offline data storage which can be used to re-establish cookies.. Also, your browsing habits can be tracked (with less granularity) by correlating your IP address with the sites you visit and the useragent over the course of a day.

Re:Delete your cookies (3, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193913)

It's my understanding that tracking is done by cookies. I delete all cookies 2-3 times a day, and always after logging out of Google (which I rarely log in to) and Facebook. The only downside is that I have to log in to again to certain sites but that is easy because of OS X's built-in password manager.

Cookies are just the simplest way to track you. Another common way is to use DSOs (Flash storage). And there are also several other possibilities to store identifying data. [samy.pl]

And even if you manage to block everything, your browser still sends some identifying information by default. [eff.org] With JavaScript, even more partially identifying information can be collected, like screen resolution, [pageresource.com] your time zone [w3schools.com] or feature tests which might identify your browser even if you send a forged HTTP User Agent line (and the very fact that your browser line doesn't fit the JavaScript results might further help with identifying you).

Re:Delete your cookies (1)

GWRedDragon (1340961) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193925)

It's my understanding that tracking is done by cookies. I delete all cookies 2-3 times a day, and always after logging out of Google (which I rarely log in to) and Facebook. The only downside is that I have to log in to again to certain sites but that is easy because of OS X's built-in password manager.

Your IP address and browser request header makes it easy to correlate your travel across several sites. As long as you do anything with that IP ever that ties to you, they've got you. With many ISPs, your IP can last for months.

and we Give it All Alway Free (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193731)

if we go 'off the grid': that's a special qualification. bottom line: do the very least 'on the grid' and most of everything else off. throw the dogs off.

Google and Firefox et al (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193735)

Block Reported attack sites
Block Reported web forgeries

I was just made aware (again) of those two Firefox options which track every site you visit (you do not have to go through Google search). You see, I did a full reinstall of Firefox, and ofcourse the new install did not have my custom options anymore.

It is a constant battle to try to reduce tracking. Which ofcource is what the web is mostly all about these days.

I wonder why was Unity Dash-Amazon tracking such a big deal when these Firefox options do the same thing, (they are enabled by default on all distros) and for many people, Firefox is 'The Dash'.

The larger issue. (4, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193745)

"...We can turn our cell phones off and spend cash. But increasingly, none of it matters. There are simply too many ways to be tracked."

Actually, the larger issue is there are simply far too many people who don't give a shit about privacy anymore.

How do you think we got to this point.

Re:The larger issue. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194167)

How do you think we got to this point.

It started with the Big Bang, which made it inevitable. That still doesn't mean we're not just going through some childhood phase.

Re:The larger issue. (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194241)

Actually, the larger issue is there are simply far too many people who don't give a shit about privacy anymore.

How do you think we got to this point.

You mean "give a shit about privacy anymore" as much as you do.

You have to know what is or isn't private. And if privacy is important at the moment, you don't use no-private modes.

There is an interesting Slashdot discussion going on right now regarding the Google Glass. Oddly enough the libertarians who take great umbrage at all the tracking going on through teh interwebz, seem to be missing from the discussion of going to a bar, and having some half-wit record and upload their activities to Google and the rest of the world. All this despite people usually not wanting their activities in a bar recoreded that way.

Re:The larger issue. (1)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194331)

Actually, the larger issue is there are simply far too many people who don't give a shit about privacy anymore.

How do you think we got to this point.

"anymore"? The simple fact is society as a whole has never worn a tinfoil hat like you do. This never changed.

And the article as a whole is nothing but baseless speculation. Storing data costs money. Just because your computer pinged Google, or Facebook, or whoever doesn't mean that that company is tracking you or even storing that for more than 7-30 days (or however long their access logs last). People *drastically* overvalue themselves - your activities on the internet are just not worth much money at all. Google, the masters of advertising, only uses the vaguest of ideas about your interests to show you ads. It's not hyper targeted like people pretend. So why would a company lose lots of real money storing data about you?

The answer, of course, is they don't. They aggregate trends from it, and then discard the specifics. That saves them money and it reduces their legal liabilities.

Twas Ever Thus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193771)

Do you really think DARPANET wasn't totally compromised from the start? And you're worrying about marketing data?

You can make it expensive for them ... (3, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193773)

In the UK you can demand that a company gives you all the data that it has on you, they must do so within 40 days. There is a statutory maximum charge of £10, it will probably cost them a lot more than that. The amount that they would have to supply would grow every year. It might be reasonable to ask once a year; this might encourage them to purge their data and only keep recent stuff ... but this would only have an effect if enough people did this.

There was an EU idea of the right to be forgotten [bbc.co.uk] , I don't know where that went.

Re:You can make it expensive for them ... (4, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193993)

Maybe it exercised itself?

Good Story (3, Funny)

poena.dare (306891) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193779)

I liked it so much I liked it. ...ooops...

Internet != World Wide Web (1)

msauve (701917) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193795)

Google isn't tracking me when I VPN into my employer's network. Facebook isn't gathering personal data when I ssh to my server.

As has been said, TANSTAAFL, so don't expect "free" service to not track you.

Re:Internet != World Wide Web (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193843)

Google isn't tracking me when I VPN into my employer's network.

Yes, you're right. Your employer is tracking you there.

Facebook isn't gathering personal data when I ssh to my server.

Quite right again! That would be the NSA.

(Surveillance != Your vision of it)

Re:Internet != World Wide Web (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194159)

When you connect to these servers your origin and destination IPs are left on router logs owned by the service provider and available to the government on demand. Even though your activities on these servers may be obscured be certain they know you are there, how frequently, and just like tying together behavior based on cookies, they can probably come up with a series of contacts from providers on the other side and have a pretty good idea about what you're doing.

Re:Internet != World Wide Web (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194391)

Uh-huh. AC posted a good reply to your post already.

My question is - what the heck are you doing on your employer's network? Are you browsing the web? Oh - wait - you still have cookies on your work account! It's possible that Google doesn't realize that msauve@employer.net is the same as msauve@gmail.com I wouldn't count on it though. You've never, ever checked your personal mail from your employer's work station? Alright - so just maybe you've tricked Google. Did you also fool every other marketer and researcher out there?

Your server. What are you doing from your server? Browse the web? Oh-oh - that server has it's own cookies, which may or may not already be correlated to your home PC and/or your employer's work station. If you're only accessing files on your server, then maybe you're good there.

I understand TANSTAAFL - the question is, whether I'm willing to pay the asking price for the services I use. Personally, I am not. So, I throw a monkey wrench into the marketing and tracking cogs every chance I get. THEY don't get a free lunch either.

BTW - I PAY for my internet. It's not free. It costs me about 5 hours labor, each and every month, to keep my internet connection open. No free lunch there, either.

Spread it around (4, Insightful)

AndyCanfield (700565) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193799)

One technique is to spread it around. Use DuckDuckGo or Yandex for search. Use independent e-mail services. If you must do social networking, use low-volume third-layer sites. Remember that Google is now one database; your gmail and youtube use are correlated. Whenever possible use companies based outside the US. Google (USA) will tell the FBI; Yandex (Russia) will not. Sure, any fact about you is in some database. But don't let all those facts get into a single database.

Re:Spread it around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43193953)

You don't understand it. Most websites use google/facebook scripts/images. If you see a "like" button, facebook knows you (ip/useragent) visited that website.

Re:Spread it around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194025)

You don't understand it. Most websites use google/facebook scripts/images. If you see a "like" button, facebook knows you (ip/useragent) visited that website.

Use /etc/hosts and point the worst offenders' domains to 127.0.0.1 and you solve some (but not all) of the problems. I do this with certain things, like google analytics, while with others I just use NoScript, Flashblock, and strict (Flash and regular) cookie settings.

It's a trade-off, however: convenience or peace of mind. The more thoroughly you block the web juggernauts like Google and Facebook, the less usable the rubbish web2.0 sites get.

-- Posted AC because Slashdot's become part of the problem.

Re:Spread it around (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194043)

Then don't see a "like" button. RequestPolicy is your friend.

Google is harder, thanks to googleapis. Many sites using them are unusable without. I haven't found a solution to that (other than to not use the site).

So, time for some rights online yet? (1)

quixote9 (999874) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193865)

When is the legal system going to catch up? (I know. Stupid question.) Years ago I didn't sign up for Facebook because it was pretty clear there were zero protections for my rights to my data or my privacy. I'll wait till there's some laws so which reduce the chance of being screwed over, I thought. Won't take long, I thought.

Well I'm still waiting. And when it comes up, I see more and more people who've convinced themselves this is just the modern world and there's nothing to be done about it. (Read: nothing they need to do about it.) Like epine's brilliant comment [slashdot.org] said in the Google Glass thread, it's the pragmatism of the damned.

Tell me why I should care (5, Insightful)

drrilll (2593537) | about a year and a half ago | (#43193945)

I am probably the lone wolf (in particular on slashdot) when it comes to being apathetic towards this sort of thing, but I don't see the point in being alarmist without documenting something specific. Near as I can tell it is a sophisticated way to to online advertising, not profiling for the KGB. This whole "tracking is Orwellian" thing, well please, what specifically are they doing with this information that is Orwellian? If they are tracking me for advertising purposes (which they most certainly are) what could possibly be more pedestrian and less alarming than that?. All it means is that there are occasionally ads that I care about (though still remarkably few at that).

And yes, there is potential to do something evil, but potential is not the same as doing. If it was we would all be in jail.

Re:Tell me why I should care (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194021)

POtential is the new PROfiling. care because your online friend is Your Profile.

Re:Tell me why I should care (5, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194087)

Even if it is just personalized ads now it might not stay that way. Imagine your health insurance being more expensive because you're regularly buying alcoholics (of course they won't tell you that, they'll just tell you that you are in a higher risk group, if they even tell you as much). Or even worse, you have to pay more because you are living in a neighbourhood where people on average buy more alcoholics. Maybe you'll also get higher credit interest rates at your bank. Without explanation, of course.

The point is that you may not actually notice it. The bank will not tell you "oh, you live in an area with above-average alcohol consumption, so your interest rate is higher." It will rather tell you "we have analysed your situation and this is the interest rate we consider appropriate." Without indicating that "your situation" does not only include your financial situation and credit record, but also the your buying habits and that of of your neighbourhood.

Re:Tell me why I should care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194405)

So in other words, you have no specifics but only unfounded bullshit.

Re:Tell me why I should care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194379)

I'm always surprised how humans accept something like that:
"its ok to be tracked because its not used for stuff that is too evil".
That reasoning is, sorry to be blunt, stupid.

Part 1: Gather all data, have all mechanisms in place.
Part 2: Use said data and mechanism against the people.

It's always the same. Everywhere, every time. You really think that data will be FOREVER used for targeted advertising only? Are you out of your mind?
It will be used to further separate the rich&powerful from the weak&poor. When the classes separate will be too great (ie 2% super rich and powerful vs 98% of weak&poor and very little middle ground), people will care and revolt. History all over again. We don't seem to learn.

I Only Do Symbolic Anonymity (3, Insightful)

ios and web coder (2552484) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194003)

I have already written off true anonymity (years ago).

When I am in public, at work, or with friends and family, I am constrained to behave myself. There may be different rules in different contexts, but there are always rules. Some written, some not.

The Internet gave an illusion of a "rule free" context, and look what happened.

That vacation is over. Time to behave like a grown-up.

Re:I Only Do Symbolic Anonymity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194133)

> The Internet gave an illusion of a "rule free" context, and look what happened.

Yes, look what happened. It became the most important thing to happen to human communication since the printing press. It allowed people in repressive regimes to talk without their government's permission. It allowed a farmer in Arkansas to talk to a teacher in Tibet.

But hey, let's give up the open nature of the thing because it offends your sensibilities that people might be better of free than monitored by big brother 24/7.

Re:I Only Do Symbolic Anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194291)

To attempt backing you up.

The illusion is that rule of law makes us better apes.

The internet proved this is not really true. Most people are good enough, even the bad ones, to not need constant babysitting. And that the rule of law is often used to keep people subservient rather then safe.

Re:I Only Do Symbolic Anonymity (1)

ios and web coder (2552484) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194319)

<sigh /> /b/ happened. That kind of stuff happened LONG before 4chan. Remember the Good Old Days? Before The September That Never Ended?

Remember alt.tastless? Remember all those really highbrow BBSes? THSTNE was the best thing that ever happened to the Internets, despite the (to this day) wailing of the oldtimers. There is no way that teacher could talk to that farmer without all those AOHell n00bs looking for pr0n on alt.binaries

Go ahead and give up on whatever you want. I take full advantage of the open nature of things, like sidewalks and crosswalks. Just because there is an 8-lane highway in between, doesn't mean that I should walk in it.

I really don't want some of the scumbags that let their ids puke all over the interwebs to be dictating any policy. They just fuel the watchers anyway.

There's always been a tradeoff between security, peace and prosperity. It is always about balance [google.com] , a word that a lot of folks these days seem to need defined for them. I don't want all of anything, but I need some of everything. We all do.

Re:I Only Do Symbolic Anonymity (4, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194369)

First, what you consider as misbehaving may not be the same as what the government considers as misbehaving. Think dissidents, who certainly are seen as misbehaving by their respective governments.

Second, even if you didn't explicitly say it, your comment shows that you are one of those who think "if you do nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide." Well, I'm not going to mention the obvious counterexample, as I don't want to Godwin this thread.

And no, privacy is not about a rule-free context. There are things you don't want others to know even if they are not illegal, nor immoral.

Also note that privacy and anonymity are not synonymous. For example, if a policeman for some reason would ask me to identify myself, it would certainly end my anonymity relative to him, but not necessarily my privacy. On the other hand, if the police would be listening to my phone calls, I certainly wouldn't have any privacy on my phone, and that would be true even if for some reason the police wouldn't know whose phone they are listening to (for example, someone mistyped the phone number when initiating the wiretapping).

You're being watched (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194013)

But all this tracking allows Mr. Finch to send in Mr. Reese to protect you when your number comes up.

The Job Creators (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194065)

105 companies tracked his Internet use during one 36-hour period. ... This is ubiquitous surveillance

We should have known the Internet was going to become a surveillance state the day we turned the whole thing over to corporate control.

I'm trying to think...was there a lot of tracking and surveillance back before the Internet became the world's shopping mall? I remember using the Internet back then, and I don't recall a lot of trackers.

Personally, I preferred the old non-commercial Internet. It was more fun. There was no Netflix or Amazon, but there was also nobody crawling up my ass. I would trade Facebook for Usenet in a hot second.

But I don't despair. I'm confident that people will innovate for privacy again.

Re:The Job Creators (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194225)

> We should have known the Internet was going to become a surveillance state the day we turned the whole thing over to corporate control.

We did, and we shouted it from the rooftops, but nobody cared.

And yes, I agree, the internet was better before the web came along (along with legions of clueless people who don't even know the difference).

Re:The Job Creators (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194409)

What makes me laugh even more than the retarded shit you say is knowing that you believe it.

september (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194099)

This would not have happened before the Eternal September. People knew enough to steer the internet away from this fate.

After the legions of clueless descended on the net, it was game over.

Troll (1)

Spiked_Three (626260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194157)

When I said that I got modded a troll.

When schnieder says it, it is brilliant :|

ISPs are the ones we should be worried about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194185)

Unless you are using SSL-everywhere, your ISP can track *everything* you do. In fact the gov. is trying to make it mandatory to have ISPs keep a 6 month record of everything that you do on the web.

Inevitable and Unproblematic (1)

logicnazi (169418) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194219)

It's not just the internet that is a surveillance state. It is everything, or at least soon will be.

Despite what people think the problem is not tracking, cookies and the like. They just make the loss of your `privacy' easier but it was inevitable. The real problem is intelligent algorithms that are able to mine data and reach conclusions about you. Even if every single tracking product online was eliminated companies would easily find a way to correlate your activity. Measure the time between mouseclicks or your typing patterns and note the IP it is from. Now take that information and correlate it with information from other companies.

The existence of gait-tracking algorithms is a perfect example of what is going on. It's not that we are losing privacy, i.e., information that we literally kept private. Rather, it is that information we unworriedly disclose in public (be it our gait or the time at which we type in various characters to a website) turns out to provide far more information to a sufficiently intelligent algorithm than we ever expected. Soon enough our walks and choices in the physical world will be tracked just as thoroughly.

The genie can't be put back in the bottle. Are choices are to either eliminate free speech and regulate the ability of individuals to freely share information they observe in public or on their websites, pretend the problem doesn't exist by banning anyone from revealing the results of their intelligent data mining relegating this information to powerful corporations and governments or accepting the facts and modifying society to live with this problem. Societies with limited space have done this for hundreds of years and they grow to be tolerant of the little idiosyncrasies they inevitably see in their neighbor's lives.

What's my name? (1)

DL117 (2138600) | about a year and a half ago | (#43194221)

If the internet is a surveillance state, please reply to this post with my full real name, and all aliases.

Re:What's my name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43194403)

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