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RMS: How Much Surveillance Can Democracy Withstand?

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,10 days | from the guix-install-freedom dept.

Privacy 264

Covalent writes "RMS describes how much surveillance is too much (hint: it's all too much) and how to combat, circumvent, and prevent future surveillance. How much of what is suggested is plausible? How much is just a pipe dream? Discuss!" The article contains an extensive list of things we do that give too much data to centralized organization, and offers solutions to combat all of them. From the article: "The goal of making journalism and democracy safe therefore requires that we reduce the data collected about people by any organization, not just by the state. We must redesign digital systems so that they do not accumulate data about their users. If they need digital data about our transactions, they should not be allowed to keep them more than a short time beyond what is inherently necessary for their dealings with us."

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More than you can provide or articulate (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45126903)

What Mr. Stallman refers to freedom is what his idea of freedom is. Anything else is worthless. Slashdot would be better off without the Stallman dogma.

Re:More than you can provide or articulate (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127125)

RMS gives forth a might gust of energetic gas, but it is rarely worth deciphering his overwrought prose to understand it

IMO, RMS will be quotes centuries from now by info-tainers and the inheritors of the News of the World-style of journalism to trump up any damned thing they want to

RMS, the Nostradamus of our day

Re:More than you can provide or articulate (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127533)

RMS gives forth a might gust of energetic gas...

Body oder?

Re:More than you can provide or articulate (5, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127535)

In this instance, for the first time in many years, I agree with RMS. I now believe companies should retain the minimum possible data about customers, and lets solve the usability problems that come from that separately.

Don't like to re-enter your credit card and shipping info every time you buy from Amazon? It's just not that hard to solve that problem without Amazon keeping your data.

Recommendation engines? It's just not that hard to solve the problem of finding other products like this one without keeping customer data (remember when Netflix and Amazon had "lists" where customers would volunteer to group like items together - that was great!).

Targeted advertisement? Does anything think that has worked out well, rather than just being creepy and still failing to get the "time" aspect of targeting right?

Sure, I can accept that there is still info that a company needs to accumulate to do business well, especially for subscription-based businesses, but just like we now code with "least privilege" in mind, can we not also code with "least customer data" in mind?

How much privacy does RMS need? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45126917)

He will eat his toe cheese in front of a large public audience and is publicly on the record as supporting pedophilia and bestiality. He already known to the internet at large as a sick fuck, what will more privacy really afford him?

Re:How much privacy does RMS need? (-1, Troll)

bob_super (3391281) | 1 year,10 days | (#45126945)

Please give him privacy. Total privacy. Forever.

Re:How much privacy does RMS need? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45126965)

Ad hominem much?

Re:How much privacy does RMS need? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45126991)

Looks like paid US shills are here already.

Re:How much privacy does RMS need? (0, Troll)

dugancent (2616577) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127173)

Get over yourself.

No need to pay me to dislike Richard Stallman.

Re:How much privacy does RMS need? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127051)

RMSDS

RMS Derangement Syndrome

Amongst other things, those who wait for any RMS story on Slashdot and pepper it with sockpuppet or anonymous posts attacking RMS in any way possible. Note the first two posts are like this.

Whoever you are, I hope this vitriol of yours doesn't bleed onto other people in real life. You do realize you have a personality disorder, I hope. There's nothing wrong with having such a disorder, it's accepting it and then getting help for it that shows the good person you really are inside.

In the meantime, please leave RMS and the rest of Slashdot readers alone. You'll never, ever be able to take away from him and us all the vast success of the FOSS/GNU movement, the fruits of which you undoubtably depend on every day, no matter what you say or do. You obviously know this, so please try and break the cycle and try to be a better person. Talk to someone about it, go and try to get some help, please.

Re:How much privacy does RMS need? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127191)

I once had a chance to listen to RMS speech when he visited the university in my city. It was actually same old speech he had probably done when Linus listened way back. I've been there just to see this famous figure in real since I am basically BSD guy. Throughout the ~2 hours lecture, I was kind of very disgusted with RMS. He was constantly poking his nostrils with his finger, rubbing or scrubbing his hair, and scratching his d**k (or leg besides d**k) with his own hand in front of few hundred audiences including quite a number of females. I was unimpressed and am wondering how other people could stand with his those disgusting behaviour especially people working for him..

Re:How much privacy does RMS need? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127303)

Funny, I saw him speak at HOPE in New York years ago, and he did none of that and was a rather upstanding guy.

I even directly asked him a question and he was perfectly polite and not crazy at all.

Re:How much privacy does RMS need? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127339)

And by pointing out how disgusted with RMS' behavior you were to those females in the audience, you got mad pussy and then told all your broas about all those squirting and queefing sounds their Womens' Studies-empowred vaginas made when you were plorking them with your meat-tube?

You make me sick.

Re:How much privacy does RMS need? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127225)

Why do you bother to shield RMS with 'the rest of Slashdot readers' like they are some sort of human shield for a high-value target

RMS pissed me off the first time that I bothered to read his overly legalistic take on open source software. He manages to make himself the center of attention with rhetorical antics while detracting from the actual work being done by tens of thousands of decent people, decent people who would be well served if they never had to interact with RMS

FOSS is a legitimate and useful alternative so the cots solutions that either (or both) cost too much or deliver too little, Linus is a stable and available operating system, GNU, is a compiler (really), and I could not honestly do my daily work without many of these tools.

However, every single piece of the kit that I depend on is put at constant threat by patent trolls, where is RMS? Making an enamored speech does not cut the mustard. If he really wanted to demonstrate some usefulness he would commit himself to generating funding (over hot air) and political alignment (over constant disparagement) and do something that takes more skill than just mangling the english language to make himself seem like more than he is, more of a PT Barnum with Asperger's than anything else

Re:How much privacy does RMS need? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127255)

However, every single piece of the kit that I depend on is put at constant threat by patent trolls, where is RMS? Making an enamored speech does not cut the mustard.

So your problem with him is that he doesn't solve every problem in the world instantly.

Re:How much privacy does RMS need? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127293)

No, my problem is that he portrays himself as some sort of sage while others do the work

To top it off his sagacity is so convoluted that, if it were code, it would be first into the scrap bin

Re:How much privacy does RMS need? (1)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127447)

No, my problem is that he portrays himself as some sort of sage

Does he?

while others do the work

I would argue that spreading the word is work; it's certainly more than most people do.

Re:How much privacy does RMS need? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127617)

I feel for you, I really do, as I have my own issues. The difference is I take steps to both take care of my issues, and also to not let them bleed onto others as much as possible. You're full-bore bleeding them onto everyone. Stop! The first step is admitting you have a problem, which needs to be followed by asking for help. Chances are you have already sought help, and that's the next step, admitting what you are doing/taking isn't enough, that it's not working. Go back to your doctor and tell him about what you've been doing, and be willing to try new solutions.

that ship has sailed (2)

Yaur (1069446) | 1 year,10 days | (#45126919)

Look at GMail, vs hush mail vs tormail vs lavabit and the like. The public just doesn't care and probably can't be made to care.

Re:that ship has sailed (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127107)

If GMail says to me "You get free mail, in exchange we parse all your email to display you an advert" then I'm happy to lose that bit of my privacy - and with this knowledge in mind I won't use GMail for anything important.

The public cares, the problem comes when you think your communication is private, but it is actually being intercepted and stored by the US Government. Why does the US Government feel they are so special? I'd like to see the response if another government asked some of these providers to access their entire database.

Re:that ship has sailed (4, Insightful)

hackula (2596247) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127223)

This. It is not about everything being private all the time. It is about choosing who sees what. Corporations should be required to disclose disclosures of my information, and the government should have no ability to circumvent that without a warrant. I have no problem with the plumber coming into my house while I am at work. I do have a problem if said plumber is forced to allow the police in at the same time.

Re:that ship has sailed (5, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127119)

Although I can empathize with your cynicism, defeatism takes you nowhere. Some people do care, and other people have much lower thresholds to begin caring than you give them credit too.

Eventually at some threshold everybody will care. We are just not there yet, fortunately.

Re:that ship has sailed (3)

j_l_cgull (129101) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127143)

Eventually at some threshold everybody will care. We are just not there yet, unfortunately.

FTFY.

Re:that ship has sailed (1)

fredprado (2569351) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127675)

I don't want to get there. Really...

Re:that ship has sailed (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127199)

The question may be whether the internet should die and be replaced by something better. The cost of doing business through the internet may be too high compared to some other alternative. It has failed to exhibit a plan for -sustainable- profitability and it is too connected. It is like a brain tumor. It has no core structure that could serve to regulate growth or partition against assault. Designing security or subjective isolation after the fact is becoming an ever increasing burden that will only get worse. It might be a good network for a nuclear war, but it has served as an example of what not to do and now a new system needs to be designed that has no middle man to pay. ( In ad clicks, private information, overages, outages, loss of security, escalating prices, ...)
The signal to noise ratio is rising and will drown any utility eventually. CARRIER LOST

Re:that ship has sailed (1)

interval1066 (668936) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127275)

The question may be whether the internet should die and be replaced by something better.

Simply implementing ipv6 isn't going to cut it for you?

Re:that ship has sailed (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127459)

The question may be whether the internet should die and be replaced by something better.

Simply implementing ipv6 isn't going to cut it for you?

I never minded having company meetings that included everybody. The internet is like a company meeting where people off the street are allowed to attend wearing a stocking on their head and screaming obscenities and nonsense and grabbing papers from the table, while everybody else is trying to accomplish something. Anything other than limited complexity is just toothpaste in a hole. Ten to the ninth factorial is a REALLY big number. It can never be operated by a competitive population. Maybe human V6 will all be able to be in the same room.
There was talk about getting the worst type of literature off the ebook sites, but in reality the internet is a toliet and they just have a problem with solid waste as it clogs the tubes.

Re:that ship has sailed (4, Informative)

sqrt(2) (786011) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127287)

Tor (and Tor hidden services) can no longer be considered completely secure. It's much better than nothing, but if you become a target, the NSA and other government agencies can and have used methods to track people down who use Tor. The FBI has shown that they are willing to actively attack the Tor network by infecting innocent bystanders with malware. The NSA are making a big push on the Tor network, as revealed by recently released Snowden files. We need to rapidly develop and migrate to a new generation of anonymizing networks.

Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45126927)

Anyone who doesn't realize this in this day and age is dangerously out of touch with reality.

Quoting Jefferson about privacy and safety two hundred years after the fact isn't exactly relevant to today's world, which is riddled with 1) destructive technology and 2) religious fundamentalists

Re:Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (5, Insightful)

bob_super (3391281) | 1 year,10 days | (#45126969)

I'm a lot more worried about the US's homegrown religious fundamentalists than I could ever be of the middle-eastern ones that you seem to fear so much.

For starters, there's a whole lot more of them. Most are not individually dangerous, but they are collectively doing a lot more long-term damage.

Re:Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127305)

I'm a lot more worried about the US's homegrown religious fundamentalists than I could ever be of the middle-eastern ones that you seem to fear so much.

For starters, there's a whole lot more of them. Most are not individually dangerous, but they are collectively doing a lot more long-term damage.

WHAT? Are you serious? How deluded can a single person be? Over 20,000 people of almost every nation and religion have been slaughtered by your peaceful middle-eastern friends since 11 Sep 2001. The absolute worst you can claim about American religious fundamentalitists, as far as terrorism goes, would be crimes against abortion facilities and workers. These crimes have been vocally opposed and not supported by over 99% of America's religious right. Adding all forms of violence (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence) to abortion providers and their buildings (terrorism) since 1977 the sum is: 4482 acts of violence. This includes: "619 bomb threats, 1630 incidents of trespassing, 1264 incidents of vandalism, and 100 stink bombs" Over half of the terrorism coming from American religious nut-jobs has been in the form of trespassing and vandalism. Only 8 people in have been murdered by American religious zealots in 35 years and 20,000 from your overly-friendly, middle-eastern, peace lovers in 12 years.

Re:Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (5, Insightful)

bob_super (3391281) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127519)

Yes, I plead guilty of hyperbole.

However "The absolute worst you can claim about American religious fundamentalitists, as far as terrorism goes" is where we diverge.
You're looking for terrorists. I'm looking at people who fundamentally threaten the next generations by undercutting education, libraries, women's rights, and critical research that the US could be at the forefront of (instead of letting other countries pass us by).
I haven't even mentioned their indirect influence on people who start wars, and their direct influence on causing major unrest and hate against the western world (Quran-burning, anyone?)

The most damage the foreign terrorists have done to the Western world is to turn us against ourselves, while they pop some corn over the fires set by our drones, and watch our "civilized and democratic" model being consumed by corporatism and paranoia, under the illusion of fighting to preserve our unsustainable way of life.

We are our own worst enemies.

Re:Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45126983)

which is riddled with 1) destructive technology and 2) religious fundamentalists

Because the Moslems hadn't been killing each other for centuries before Thomas Jefferson and his comrades said "hey, maybe we should make a government that doesn't sentence people to death for facing the wrong way when they pray!"

History, doomed, etc.

Re:Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (4, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127011)

Quoting Jefferson about privacy and safety two hundred years after the fact isn't exactly relevant to today's world, which is riddled with 1) destructive technology and 2) religious fundamentalists

Destructive technology already existed in Jefferson's time (and besides, it was Benjamin Franklin who said it, almost twenty years before the United States of America declared its independence), and religious fundamentalists have existed since the dawn of religion.

As I see it, the biggest problem is that no matter how soft and simple lawmakers make it for the government to pursue avenues of investigation with legal checks-and-balances (ie, FISA court) those investigating are unwilling to follow those rules. It doesn't matter that FISA laws have provisions that allow investigators to follow phone or data traces or call routing and still obtain a legal warrant after the fact if they never bother to get that warrant, let alone get them in advance.

Blanket surveillance of everyone seems to me to violate rules that are supposed to guarantee people rights to privacy in their persons, papers, and effects without due-process. I am not a judge, but if I were, I'd interpret that to mean that the government isn't allowed to maintain anything more than basic vital records or basic direct-interaction records with people unless there's a reason. Investigating crime is a reason, but simply having a huge database to analyze after-the-fact is not.

Re:Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127039)

A legitimate reason for what?

Other things:
1) The privacy-vs-security quote you reference is from Franklin, not Jefferson.
2) Neither destructive technology nor religious fundamentalists were in particularly short supply in the 18th century, so that's a poor basis for suggesting the principle is no longer relevant.

Re:Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127089)

Damn, pre-totalitarian government astroturfers have about 70% of the first posts to this thread.

Loss of freedom in the US, by destroying the economy (see former commnist countries, or North Korea, or failed state kleptocracies, all of which make it almost impossible for free people to pursue their own ends) thus kill far more than several major cities blowing up from nukes. These deaths just don't show up in headlines because you don't see the results from a free, parallel world that is not lagging furher and further behind where it should and would be.

Re:Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (2)

geekoid (135745) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127405)

Destroying the economy? you mean the economy that that by any measure has done nothing but improve for 6 years?

Re:Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127563)

> you mean the economy that that by any measure has done nothing but improve for 6 years?

I don't think you understand what you're talking about. You can get the dow to 20k if you inflate the dollar with another 15 trillion. Your measures are...poor metrics.

Re:Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (2)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127185)

Why do you despise freedom?

Re:Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127317)

Liar

Short Answer: NONE (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | 1 year,10 days | (#45126935)

Long Answer: only the sky is the limit.

Re:Short Answer: NONE (1)

rtb61 (674572) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127613)

Real answer to the question of how much surveillance can a society withstand is defined by whether it is from the top down or the bottom up.

From the bottom up of course those at the top will keep driving it further and further as long as they can isolate themselves from it. From the top down, well, those at the top will make sure privacy is the single most important right.

Out job is to force it from the top down. Fuck national security, it is the public's right, the voter's to invade the privacy at the top to the extent that it will properly inform the vote. Every time they keep anything secret from us we lose. Every thing they do, every thing they say, every thing they write, should be made available to the public to ensure come elections the public can vote on the truth.

Faulty premise (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45126943)

After more than a decade of the "war on terror" and its massive abuses, it's safe to say there is no democracy left to be withstanding anything.

Re:Faulty premise (0)

elmer at web-axis (697307) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127267)

Some in turbans would argue that the west never had freedoms to begin with.. the 'war on terror' was just a method to highlight this hoping that the people would rise up themselves.. scarey to think that the taliban might be a vehicle to free you from your repressors.. the problem is if we all throw off the 'shackles' of capitalism what new overlord could possibly fill that gap...

Too Little, Too Late (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45126947)

What he's saying should have been the predominant engineering mindset of the 90's and last decade. Unfortunately most of us were collecting data, just because we could.
There's hope, but we have to pull together!

Wise words, wrong source (3, Insightful)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | 1 year,10 days | (#45126959)

It's too bad that the eminently sensible advice in that opinion piece will be ignored by techies because it comes from a guy perceived as icky.

It's too bad that anyone who takes that advice seriously and wants to act on it, then seeks out RMS for help, will likely be repulsed at some point.

In times of upheaval, ideologues are often the only people thinking straight enough to find a way out. Why did ours have to come wrapped in this particular package, a marketing nightmare that makes selling good sense so difficult even within the tech community?

I despair for the future and this is but one reason among legions.

Re:Wise words, wrong source (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127023)

Why do you care so much what a person looks like? Get over it, most of us are ugly too.

Re:Wise words, wrong source (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127059)

It isn't that, but things like RMS eating something he just pulled out from between his toes in a open meeting (check Youtube if you don't believe me). It is perfectly fair to mention what the OP did in this case, though if I hadn't seen the video I would have reacted like you.

Re:Wise words, wrong source (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127131)

Thats why I come here, I picture the Slashdot populous and it makes me feel better about my above average looks and physical fitness.

Re:Wise words, wrong source (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127463)

He eats his own toejam in public! As a FOSS extremist, I bet if Stallman sat his fat ass down next to you and exposed his bare feet and said, "Eat my toajam, it's good for GNU", you'd probably chow down like an Ethiopian at a breakfast buffet.

Re:Wise words, wrong source (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127489)

I don't care. I'm willing to listen to him. I think he has a good message, for the most part.

In times like these, on this extremely important issue, when he writes really good opinion piece like this one, I think it's particularly important that people listen. Thus, I think it is fair to point out that a weird messenger can cause a good message to be ignored. It's lamentable but it's human nature.

Re:Wise words, wrong source (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127265)

RMS just takes a common dialog and puts it in a stinky package, look around these messages have been out there for decades and anybody who is surprised by the current state is either a newby, a fool, or just hasn't been paying attention.

Trolls like RMS and greewald live on the efforts of the naive and you should expect them to be feeding here too

Real threat is from little brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45126963)

With all the cellphone and miniature cameras, you're more likely to be surveilled doing embarassing stuff by random people rather than having the government sift through all that data.

Camera hidden in a shirt button or glasses, dashboard cam, cell-cam for those wanying a good picture, etc.

Re:Real threat is from little brother (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127117)

I am not a subscriber to the "too much crap to sift through" theories. Given the power to filter out your personal stuff, my private affairs, or that 'suspicious' bastard down the street, government will eventually do so. Maybe, just maybe, you can escape persecution by being a good little citizen... but not everyone will. As for lil brother, unless you're the government, you may well have to answer to someone as a private enterprise engaging in unauthorized surveillance.

Democracy (1)

mfwitten (1906728) | 1 year,10 days | (#45126981)

Last I checked, Democracy is what gave us the Surveillance State.

Re:Democracy (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127115)

Last I checked, Democracy is what gave us the Surveillance State.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

It's not exactly an accident that the NSA legitimized their mass surveillance through the PATRIOT act.

Re:Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127285)

Because China isn't a surveillance state?

Technology gave us the Surveillance State, not the government.

Only one way to stop this (2)

onyxruby (118189) | 1 year,10 days | (#45126987)

The only way to stop surveillance of civilians is to have a clear and unequivocal constitutional amendment that strictly enshrines the right to privacy and limits surveillance of US civilians by our government.

This is a lot tougher than it sounds as previous language that was pretty plain language to the people that wrote them (read the Federalist papers sometime) about limiting the right of the Federal government from infringing the rights of the people. The first and second amendments alone have been trampled with literally tens of thousands of laws that take away or limit said rights (I haven't even touched the other amendments).

What you really need is an entirely secondary constitutional amendment that spells out in plain language that "Shall make / not" means exactly what the dictionary says it does. Once you can do that and wipe out tens of thousands of laws that have been written to take away the effective meaning of your rights to begin with you can have an effective right to privacy.

The right to privacy is a wonderful idea, but it's worthless until we restore the concept of the "right" to begin with.

Re:Only one way to stop this (3, Informative)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127213)

limits surveillance of US civilians by our government.

It shouldn't just be US citizens, but innocent people in general.

Re:Only one way to stop this (2)

timeOday (582209) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127299)

By focusing on government, your response ignores most of the problem, which is private industry. That's who is building most of the centralized databases. Once constructed their exploitation (by many parties) is inevitable.

Re:Only one way to stop this (1)

onyxruby (118189) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127437)

I can't argue your point actually, and I think it's one that many people overlook. When you get down to brass tacks private industry does far more of the day to intrusion into peoples lives than the government does, and they arguably are a lot more effective at it. Your point can and should be addressed, but without the concept of having the right to begin with, how on earth are you ever going to protect it from private industry?

Re:Only one way to stop this (4, Insightful)

triffid_98 (899609) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127355)

And here I thought we already had one of those. Are you're saying this one was way too unclear and wordy?

The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. It was adopted in response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, a type of general search warrant issued by the British government and a major source of tension in pre-Revolutionary America. The Fourth Amendment was introduced in Congress in 1789 by James Madison, along with the other amendments in the Bill of Rights, in response to Anti-Federalist objections to the new Constitution. Congress submitted the amendment to the states on September 28, 1789. By December 15, 1791, the necessary three-quarters of the states had ratified it. On March 1, 1792, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson announced the adoption of the amendment.

Re:Only one way to stop this (1)

onyxruby (118189) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127491)

Many people have argued that this is intended to give people the right to privacy, and I originally thought of posting your argument. Unfortunately it doesn't actually call out the word "privacy" and that is why in today's climate you need a separate and explicit amendment to that effect.

The more I thought about it though, the bigger is really the issue of plain "shall" being allowed to be trumped by Congress on a routine basis. Until you can restore the plain language meaning of the Bill of Rights as written the right to Privacy would be completely and utterly meaningless. Can you imagine what would happen to such a right if it was was explicitly named? We would have a thousands of different standards for your right to privacy depending on where you lived. Everything boils down to restoring the plain language meaning of the Bill of Rights, that has to be done before a Right to Privacy can ever be anything more than a dream.

Re:Only one way to stop this (3, Insightful)

Zordak (123132) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127497)

And that's the problem. As long as we keep playing word games with what the Constitution says, it doesn't matter how explicit the guarantee is. Somebody will find a way around it. It's been happening for more than 200 years. How much more explicit can you be than, for example, "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Yes, there's a preamble that points out the reason: the people should be able to raise militias for the security of a free state. But that doesn't remotely limit the language that follows it. If anything, that makes "assault weapons" bans even more unconstitutional.

Re:Only one way to stop this (0)

geekoid (135745) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127385)

" about limiting the right of the Federal government from infringing the rights of the people"

How is monitoring infringing on any rights at all?
No where is the constitution does it say you can't be monitored.

" that "Shall make / not" means exactly what the dictionary says it does. "
No, that's stupid, at the very least. see 'literally'.

" The first and second amendments alone have been trampled with literally tens of thousands of laws that take away or limit said rights (I haven't even touched the other amendments)."
false, but nice of you to have drank the NRA koolaid.

Re:Only one way to stop this (1)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127481)

How is monitoring infringing on any rights at all?

They had no right to monitor all of that information to begin with, that's how.

Why do you hate freedom? Why do you want the government to have so many powers? Surely even minimal knowledge of the history of governments would tell you that giving them access to so much information is simply an awful idea, so why would you want to be such a rabid bootlicker?

Re:Only one way to stop this (2)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127485)

No where is the constitution does it say you can't be monitored.

And that's not how it works. The constitution is not a blacklist.

Re:Only one way to stop this (2)

onyxruby (118189) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127599)

Read the Federalist Papers, they are the ones written by the people that wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights was very much meant to be a 'literal' document, written in plain language, to set the tone for a new government. For example the colonial government (which was a very fragile group of very different people) was formed of people from very different religions and the only way to make sure that the other guy (Protestant, Catholic etc) didn't establish their religion as a state religion in the future - as was the status quo around the world and very much a reason for people to move to the United States to begin was to put things in literal plain language. The entire intention was to ensure that laws attempting to thwart their work would be so fruitless that they would never be passed to begin as they could never be upheld as Constitutionally valid.

I am not a member of the NRA. I do not have a hand gun, machine gun or other similar weapon. I am however a person that takes a very hard lined view that all Constitutional rights should be untrampled. If there was a group that combined the ACLU, the EFF and the NRA I would be a member of said group.

Re:Only one way to stop this (1)

jodido (1052890) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127645)

Sorry, but passing yet another law isn't going to stop the government agencies that have been breaking existing ones for decades.

Re:Only one way to stop this (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127649)

What you really need is an entirely secondary constitutional amendment that spells out in plain language that "Shall make / not" means exactly what the dictionary says it does.

Unfortunately, the dictionary is not a programming reference and the English language is not a programming language. There is no such thing as an unequivocal 'plain language' meaning.
 

The right to privacy is a wonderful idea, but it's worthless until we restore the concept of the "right" to begin with.

As above - there's no concept of 'right' that we have drifted from, as there's no absolute meaning against which to compare.

Re:Only one way to stop this (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127699)

unfortunately, there is no direct method for the PEOPLE to propose OR ratify an amendment to the u.s. constitution. everything passes through congress and state governments (i.e. governors and/or legislatures), even when using the alternate method of proposal and ratification via 'conventions'. and since the corrupt, power-hungry and shortsighted 'elected officials' always have the ball, there's no way in hell an amendment to curtail government surveillance will ever be a reality, let alone even get approved for the ratification process. so first, we need an amendment to modify article v to address that issue, then we can work on the other. but mum's the word on the true purpose of that article v change otherwise they'd never let that one slip through either.

sh1t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127013)

to ha4pen.[ My baby...don't fear Or chair, return

how much surveillance do we want? (1)

hymie! (95907) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127015)

There was an article, or a cartoon, or something that I read once.

1970: You want to give every American a little tracking device so that we know where they are at all times, and can follow them as they move around? You're out of your mind if you think that will happen.
2010: I need another iPhone!

Socialist Future (0)

Smiddi (1241326) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127021)

Whats happeing now makes people in the industry uncomforable, at the least. Whats a real worry is what the future will be like. If it continues down the current path Democracy as we know it will be dead. Then welcome to a new model of socialism.

Re:Socialist Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127069)

Democracy is a political system and Socialism an economic one. Can you rephrase that in terms of a legitimate dichotomy?

Re:Socialist Future (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127165)

What you say is true, but socialism precludes true democracy.

Re:Socialist Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127351)

Probably not, clear vocabulary does not tend to support erratic crowd behavior

Re:Socialist Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127177)

The word you're looking for is "authoritarian," the economic system is largely orthogonal to the level of despotism involved. For example, everything from the USSR to Anarchist Catalonia was socialist, and everything from the Pinochet regime to... well whatever the US libertarian party uses as an example, was captitalist.

Re:Socialist Future (1)

geekoid (135745) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127347)

Why? why won't it survive? there is no rule that states you can't have an equally monitored democracy.

Too late (2)

Radical Moderate (563286) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127077)

I was watching an old Ellery Queen (shot in the 70s) episode last night, it featured a Russian diplomat, who asked if the detective's office was bugged. "I beg your pardon!" Queen's father roared furiously. "This is America!" I actually LOL'd...then cried inside.

Re:Too late (1)

geekoid (135745) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127335)

I loved those.

The Frog's Still In The Pot (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127103)

Well, since the frog's still in the pot despite the water simmering all around, my guess would be that "democracy"(America) can still stand a fair bit moar.

Redesigning Digital Systems vs. Infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127133)

Stallman speaks of a need to redesign digital systems, but then instead goes on about how systems already in place should respect our privacy. E.g. 'There should be laws forcing servers to delete our data!' 'CCTV shouldn't be internet connected!' etc.
This still falls into the same old trap of relying on things outside of your control to provide security. There will always be some degree of reliance on outside systems, but that should be minimized, not relied upon. If the thing protecting the security of my data is the behavior of my government or the trust of external servers, then that technology is not secure.

Linus's Law Applied to Surveillance (2)

deathcloset (626704) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127139)

FTA:

Internet-connected cameras often have lousy digital security themselves, so anyone could watch what the camera sees. To restore privacy, we should ban the use of internet-connected cameras aimed where and when the public is admitted, except when carried by people

I've actually thought that open and accessible cameras in public are a good idea - so long as they are accessible by the public. To me this would be akin to the many-eyes philosophy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus's_Law [wikipedia.org]

Re:Linus's Law Applied to Surveillance (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127245)

Yes, because letting the social norms of the day an age dictate appropriate behavior is a good thing.
If you don't see what the issue is, imagine a closeted gay 17-year old going into a gay porn shop. In the US, this is both illegal, and potentially socially devastating if it was public knowledge. Therefore, the result of pervasive public cameras would be either legal and social ramifications, or a chilling effect on that individual's behavior.

Re:Linus's Law Applied to Surveillance (2)

deathcloset (626704) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127379)

That is a specific example. Here is an equally specific counter: imagine many-eyes viewing a sudden gaybashing about to take place and quickly notifying the police to stop the violent act. The result of pervasive public cameras would indeed have social ramifications, and a nice warm effect on that individuals continuing well-being and life. Finally, why would you use an example of someone doing something private in public? The fact this individual is in public already opens the possibility of them being exposed... I think public surveillance is here to stay due to technological advancement, and I want to make sure it is an advancement which is available to EVERYONE - not just some shadowy few. Meh, I'm not motivated enought to make any stronger arguments, but was fun talking with you about this.

There is a democracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127151)

More like democrazy like I just typo'd in the title by accident, see, my subconscious even knows the truth.

What do you even call an implied democracy? Because that is as close as it gets.

Does anyone notice how backwards this is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127175)

> The goal of making journalism and democracy safe therefore requires that we reduce the data collected about people by any organization, not just by the state.

The only way to maintain security is transparency. This paranoid desire to control stems from a choice to compromise by living under undesirable conditions. Identify and assert that people will use information in ways you don't like, but without a victim exploitation is preferred over tyranny.

Re:Does anyone notice how backwards this is? (1)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127291)

Give organizations tons of data and the government will have the data as well. We've seen this countless times.

When you start tracking me in a grocery store (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127259)

When you start tracking me in a grocery store and displaying ads as I move around it ...

You've gone too far.

Capiche?

Re:When you start tracking me in a grocery store (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127341)

Yeah! Let's get pissed over being offered a 75 cent coupon for Fruit Loops while the NSA can account for your every call and the sitting administration can unleash the IRS on you if they disagree with your politics no matter how legal they are.
 
Another fucking retard who's sold his soul to a big lie. Amazing how quick people are to get pissed because of what a company that they don't even have to deal with might do at some point in the future but their home government fucks them in the ass and they can only bend over and ask for more while cursing CEOs for turning the federal government into unwitting victims.
 
Jesus fucking Christ. Could you be more out of touch?

Re:When you start tracking me in a grocery store (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127409)

The NSA uses that data too.

The fact that you don't know that is what is disturbing.

Re:When you start tracking me in a grocery store (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127427)

The grocery store is private property. If you don't want anyone watching you as you wander about their private property, perhaps you shouldn't be there?

It's not the surveillance (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127321)

it's how that data is used.
We are going to be watched, because modern society is watching everything.
Democracy can handle the monitoring of everything, if protection and regulations are in place an enforced.

NSA? all that data they have in no way impacts democracy.

Re:It's not the surveillance (2)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127511)

it's how that data is used.

Given that the people in the government are not perfect angels and that every government in history has abused its powers in horrendous, there is absolutely zero reason to believe that giving the government that much data could ever, in any conceivable way, be a good thing; this whole affair is an absolute disaster.

if protection and regulations are in place an enforced.

Even them possessing the data at all is dangerous.

Re:It's not the surveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127581)

"NSA? all that data they have in no way impacts democracy."

That's nonsense. The american people are deluded and voting against their own interests by voting for D&R. To say that the data the NSA has collected no way impacts democracy means you're among the ignorant.

There's so much you can do with that data from a scientific perspective

1) Building scientific models of human political thought and behavior
2) Develop theories on the likelihood of certain groups or classes of people prone to anti-establishment views (aka transforming the status quo).
3) Advance knowledge of who these kids (future adults) are and whom they are to become before they are even aware of it themselves
4) Intervene in their political development and get them to become part of the system via more sophisticated psychological and propaganda techniques via media, education and other means.

Re:It's not the surveillance (1)

nephilimsd (936642) | 1 year,10 days | (#45127655)

Laws can be repealed or ignored. Theoretically, if rules were in place to limit the use of the data, I would agree with you. In practice, as long as the data exists, the risk that it will be used in such a way to subvert dissident behaviour exists. Security is all fine and dandy, but when security means the government fighting to continue its existence at the expense of its citizens, that's a problem. Tools and techniques that allow this to occur or continue should not be allowed.

Re:It's not the surveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127667)

You're one of these 'but but but, we're collecting on everybody in
bulk, not you, so you have nothing to worry about' apoligists and
connivers. You are so utterly wrong.

ANY collection of me, whether singly or in a group, is a violation
of my right to privacy. It is flat out against the Constitution.
And against civilization. You need a specific individual warrant
against me to collect on me.

There is NO need to watch everything, just your need to masturbate
and give high fives while doing it.

Any collection of data is against Democracy, and a ride into the
corrupt police state. History proves this time and again.

Hope you like the Orwell Land your kids are going to be growing up
in due to your support for and failure to resist it... Dad.

People are supposed to give their children freedome. Shame.

No democracy with full surveillance. (2)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127449)

We don't have a democracy in nations like the UK or USA. 'Voting' does NOT equal democracy. In the UK or USA you can ONLY bring one of a number of shell-entities into power that represent the exact same interests. Liberal, Labour or Conservative - Republican or Democrat - whoever the sheeple 'vote' for, the same force controls the nation. The same over-arching agendas are pursued and implemented.

In the UK, a party that had sought to win power for decades (the Liberals) on an unchanging ticket that access to education was the most important issue for British people, increased the cost of university to the highest in Europe the moment they gained power- following the exact agenda Tony Blair had laid down, but couldn't achieve while a 'Labour' flavoured government was in power.

The sheeple have different expectations of the likely obscenities inflicted on them by 'left' and 'right' wing governments, so their masters implement more of their right-wing seeming agendas when Republicans rule, and agendas that seem 'left' flavoured when the Democrats rule. This way, across time, every agenda on the list gets implemented while the sheep shrug their shoulders and say "what do you expect from the Democrats?" and "what do you expect from the Republicans".

Of course, today things are so much worse, so the sheeple accept both left AND right-wing agendas from either party- war-mongering by Obama is positively applauded by all the George Soros controlled mock-liberal outlets, for instance.

NSA full surveillance (and the equivalent in most significant nations) is designed to ensure that the will of the sheeple CANNOT disrupt the status quo, or threaten the true rulers of the nation. NSA full surveillance achieves these three goals

1) provides near realtime feedback of the impact of propaganda campaigns in the mainstream media, allowing the control messages to be fine-tuned, or whole projects aborted if the sheeple are proving completely resistant (see Obama's failure to holocaust Syria as a recent example of this- even with saturated media demonisation of the ordinary people of Syria and their leaders, Obama could not get enough US sheeple to back his plans to bomb Syria back to the Stone Age).

2) to gather potential blackmail material on ALL powerful or influential people in the USA. A simple act, like having illicit sex, can compromise a person to such an extent, 90%+ of those so threatened would support an agenda they might otherwise oppose.

3) to identify arising grass-roots political and social organisations and their leaders, so such activity can (if needed) be co-opted or strangled at birth.

How can ANYONE challenge those currently in TRUE power (the puppet-masters behind people like Obama), when those in power how access to the NSA resources listed above? You simply cannot. All you can hope for are "palace revolutions" where the monsters end up fighting each other for supremacy. People-power revolutions (very rare in Human History) are impossible in nations like the USA, and that includes the 'revolution' of democratically voting someone else into power.

Too late to find out, unless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45127559)

unless you use the term Democracy very loosely.

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