Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

3 Reasons To Hate Mass Surveillance; 3 Ways To Fight It

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the not-an-exhaustive-list dept.

Privacy 120

This site's "Your Rights Online" section, sadly, has never suffered for material. The revelations we've seen over the last year-and-change, though, of widespread spying on U.S. citizens, government spying in the E.U. on international conferences, the UK's use of malware against citizens, and the use of modern technology to oppress government protesters in the middle east and elsewhere shows how persistent it is. It's been a banner year on that front, and the banner says "You are being spied on, online and off." A broad coalition of organizations is calling today "The Day We Fight Back" against the growing culture of heads-they-win, tails-you-lose surveillance, but all involved know this is not a one-day struggle. (Read more, below.)THREE REASONS TO HATE MASS SURVEILLANCE:

1) Because the Internet is nearly everywhere, it means the spying it makes possible has spread to match its footprint. 30 years ago, "on the internet" really was novel, because the public Internet simply wasn't. There were a few big military and academic sites around the world, and the concepts that make today's internet work were already embodied in running systems, but there was little reason for individuals to care about privacy invasion, or having their systems crippled by government malware, because their systems and their privacy weren't at issue. There wasn't a World Wide Web as a portal to nearly every resource online, no "Cloud," and no Blue Coat. Now, not only can individuals get on the internet, but the meaning of that phrase has moved, fast, over the last decade: now, getting on the internet is just a fact of modern life, a banal, automated background fact of the way we stay in touch with friends, deal with bills, find entertainment, get directions, and work. Online surveillance of all the signals we emit and receive (over home internet links, over cellular networks, on landline telephones, even on postcards) might be minimized and waved away as the collection of "mere" metadata, but in reality, if you're reading these words online, and even if you're doing your best to read them anonymously, it means you've almost certainly got a collection of data about you online already.

2) Because "online surveillance" is a slippery slope, and it will only get slipperier. Remember the Clipper chip's hardware-based encryption escrow scheme? Who and how often you email, chat with online, or call on the phone is the tip of the iceberg. Robert Bork didn't like having his video watching habits spied on, and that was before Netflix and competitors made the sorting and stacking of movie-watching habits not only possible but an never-ending exercise in deep data analysis. Maybe you don't care in particular about what the NSA, FBI, or anyone else thinks of your taste in entertainment, but you might prefer them to stay out not only of the information revealed by your current online activity, but also out of whatever things are revealed by future developments. Right now, a relatively small part of the online population uses crypto-currency like Bitcoin; a decade from now, it seems likely to be even more widespread than Netflix is today. Do you want your transactions to be public record, or even public-servant record? Beyond that, the era of ubiquitous, automated surveillance doesn't need you to mail an angry letter, or declare allegiance to an unpopular cause online: Just walking around means sooner rather than later you're likely to be captured on camera.

Access to your medical records almost certainly will be online, too, even more than it already is. Online and offline lives will only get blurrier: Your GPS (and increasingly, that means your phone, too) knows where you've been, and your should-be-private Google Maps page knows where you might have considered going. (Couple that with the cavalier attitude that dominates rules about data that you carry in your phone, laptop or USB data sticks, if you cross, or even come near, the U.S. border.) Think about the meta-data (or what the government might characterize that way) that your reading and viewing habits, your prescription medicine needs, your airline tickets, and your Amazon wishlist could reveal, and whether you'd want everyone's digital dossier to be up for ad-hoc scrutiny in 10 years any more than it already is. You don't want the equivalent of the TSA viewing rooms (for your own good, of course) attached to every stream of online communication.

3) Because you're paying for it. How much you're paying is hard to say, because of black budgets, overlapping programs, and the sheer number of systems that are or could be used to make widespread surveillance the new normal, but the mystery price tag starts out high. If you're an American, or an EU citizen, at least you can be grateful that you're likely only being spied on, rather than actively harmed in other ways; in other countries, the outcome can be far grimmer. How much do you want to pay to build an infrastructure for constantly surveilling yourself, your friends, and your family? Especially one that fails so miserably at even its stated aims?

THREE WAYS TO FIGHT IT:

The good news is, while you can't stop the entire octopus, you're not required to be a full-time victim of online surveillance or the offline surveillance that it seems to normalize. Instead, you can take some simple steps that at least fog the glass a bit. Readers will no doubt suggest better technologies and practices, but here's a short list to start with:

1) Encryption, more often and in more contexts. Encrypted hard drives are now easy to buy off the shelf, or to implement with software per-user. Use encryption when it makes sense, for documents, emails, file systems, or browsing; the more you do, the more normal this becomes — if it's perfectly normal to carry data encrypted, no matter how innocuous, it's hard for merely possessing encrypted data to be vilified. TrueCrypt might not be impregnable, but neither are the opaque envelopes you might put in a physical mailbox: making it harder to spy on you even in small ways beats indifference. Good news: not every layer of security takes much effort for you to take advantage of: Mozilla's move to HTTPS Everywhere is an example, as is the option that many OSes are embracing to offer the user full-disk or per-directory encryption.

2) Avoid standing in front of the biggest targets. If you don't yet, use an operating system like Linux or one of the modern BSDs, at least part of the time. The SCADA vulnerabilities exploited to cripple a key part of Iran's nuclear program exploited a well-known hole in a widespread operating system, and the same can be said of many attacks blandly characterized as "Advanced Persistent Threats." Even a cheap, adjunct laptop running an up-to-date Linux or OpenBSD could make you safer for some tasks online; cheaper yet, you can run an entire Linux system from a USB drive, and yank it when you're through. That doesn't stop a mid-stream listener (which is a very hard problem), but a compartmentalized system like that means you can do your online banking or anything else and be less vulnerable to common malware. (Besides, it's fun!)

3) Tell companies, politicians (for instance, by voting for or against), and the people around you, that you object to being spied on. You can't prevent malicious individuals, governments, (or Google, or Yelp, or your Facebook friends) from looking at some of the data that you emit; you might feel perfectly satisfied with lots of the transactions you take part in freely. But you can minimize the worst consequences by being mindful of what you do or don't mind putting out there, and spreading the word when you find abuses of trust that compromise your privacy.

Online spying didn't pop into existence with Edward Snowden's revelations about mass data gathering by the NSA on U.S. citizens. For Americans, having our communications tapped by government agents (even if by a government that has remained far more benign than have many others) extends as long as the history of the country; likewise for Europeans and others all over the world. It's much easier, now, though, for those agents to put an ear to your wall or an eye on your correspondence than it's ever been before. For those in many countries, taking practical steps to reduce your exposure is a sensible move for more than just aesthetic or philosophical reasons, though, and luckily the range of options for preserving privacy and private communications have advanced right along with the growth of the technologies that threaten them.

cancel ×

120 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

reasons to avoid spiritless funnellism (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46216743)

never a better time to consider ourselves in relation to one another & our new clear options spiritual centerpeace momkind

mynutswon; swing low sweet chariots of fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46216833)

coming forth to scary us home; dark matters IV the neverending holycost; beware falling gargoyles; http://www.globalresearch.ca/weather-warfare-beware-the-us-military-s-experiments-with-climatic-warfare/7561

Fuck beta (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46216757)

http://slashdot.org/?fuckbeta=1

Re:Fuck beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46216851)

http://slashdot.org/?fuckbeta=1

Beta is watching you.

Detected tracker source URLs:

DoubleClick:Advertising
http://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/ostg.slashdot/pg_index_p1_leader;pg=index2;site=beta;logged_in=0;tile=1;sz=728x90;u=;ord=2388112654771567?
http://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/ostg.slashdot/pg_index_p83_medrec;pg=index2;site=beta;logged_in=0;tile=2;sz=300x250,300x600;u=;ord=2388112654771567?
http://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/ostg.slashdot/pg_index_CPL_medrec;pg=index2;site=beta;logged_in=0;tile=3;sz=300x250,300x600;u=;ord=2388112654771567?
http://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/ostg.slashdot/pg_index_p85_medrec;pg=index2;site=beta;logged_in=0;tile=4;sz=300x250,300x600;u=;ord=2388112654771567?
http://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/ostg.slashdot/pg_index_google_medrec;pg=index2;site=beta;logged_in=0;tile=5;sz=300x250,300x600;u=;ord=2388112654771567?

Google Analytics:Analytics
http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js

Janrain:Widgets
http://widget-cdn.rpxnow.com/js/lib/login.slashdot.org/engage.js
http://widget-cdn.rpxnow.com/js/lib/login.slashdot.org/widget.js

TRUSTe Notice:Privacy
http://consent.truste.com/notice?domain=slashdot.org&c=teconsent&text=true
http://consent.truste.com/notice?domain=slashdot.org&c=teconsent&text=true

Re:Fuck beta (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46219853)

TRUSTe = InQtel = CIA ... or so rumor has it...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

In 2002, Wired Magazine questioned whether TrustE could be trusted, noting that rather than revoking privacy seals for violations, "Truste officials often seemed to be covering for their clients".[23]
In 2008, a Galexia Consulting study reported that TrustE had terminated only one customer for non-compliance in the previous eleven years, despite a number of significant privacy violations which had received press coverage. "The most significant criticism of trustmarks is that in practice they have proved to be virtually worthless in the face of major privacy breaches. Their privacy standards are low to begin with, but even these rules are simply not enforced against large, paying members."[24]

TMN (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46216775)

I'm running the firefox plugin TrackMeNot which periodically runs random google queries with keywords like: "building bombs", "terrorist attacks", "nitroglycerine" ...

Re:TMN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46217475)

But i keep getting these windows virus warnings on my openbsd system, and they're asking me to pay to clean my windows!!!
How do i contact them to tell them that i do not use windows, and that i'd gladly pay to clean up my linux system?! ( especially my encrypted home dir , wich is really messy :P )

Re:TMN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46217485)

nevermind, i switched over to lynx, and now they don't show anymore :P wgetting also works

only traitors use wget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46221423)

only traitors use wget

Re:TMN (1)

tom229 (1640685) | about 8 months ago | (#46218397)

Wouldn't that be more likely to get you tracked? Right now most people's data is probably just available, not reviewed. You start trending with search terms like that and you might end up on a list.

Sign onto the "List" (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about 8 months ago | (#46219027)

I thought that was the idea; Make 'em track my every move, since I'm doing fuck all to actually fight the bastards.

let them watch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46221443)

I have it running too, but I'm not a terrorist and I generate a lot of internet traffic. Let them store and analyze it all, it will waste a lot of resources

Re:TMN (1)

EngineeringStudent (3003337) | about 8 months ago | (#46220307)

It worked in the 1960's, but it is unlikely to work now.

They can detect the "random" activity, and isolate it. You are not making the right fog, and they have ways to see through it.

A better way would be some protocol that works like bitcoins to share someone elses anonymized queries, and makes you look exactly like them for a little while, then switches it up. They might "poison the well" but if even a medium sample of people is using the method, it will make a fog that makes automated clustering and classification substantially less meaningful. Something that randomly clicks into google ads might also interfere with classification, by fogging the google classification of you. The two "bucketings" are both read by NSA, but google doesn't get to read what the NSA does, and at least publicly has an interest in appearing to resist being informative for things like targeted executions of American citizens without due process of law.

Why do I get the feeling that (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 8 months ago | (#46216783)

certain groups which are used to be under constant surveillance are going to become the future's subject matter experts on the subject.

Re:Why do I get the feeling that (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 8 months ago | (#46216829)

Minorities and poor people?

Re:Why do I get the feeling that (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 8 months ago | (#46216857)

organized crime groups

Re:Why do I get the feeling that (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46220203)

Based on some evidence the big dogs of old school organized crime
decided instead of fighting the government they could puppeteer the
government and that has been going on for decades in multiple nations
that "falsely believe that they are free".

Watch the film "Hacking Democracy"

None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. They feed them on falsehoods till wrong looks like right in their eyes.
-Johann von Goethe

Re:Why do I get the feeling that (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about 8 months ago | (#46216875)

Don't worry. The confirmation bias [aljazeera.com] will make sure that you will become an expert too.

TIA did not die? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46216819)

Why does no one mention TIA while discussing this?

Hasn't this been going on for a long time and why is it a surprise now?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Information_Awareness

Re: TIA did not die? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46217193)

Because TIA and derivative operations were thought to be permanently dismantled by the congress.

Re: TIA did not die? (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about 8 months ago | (#46219089)

Were thought to be

,
....Surely, you jest.

Re: TIA did not die? (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46220255)

Maybe it got rolled into the secret patriot act....

http://www.wired.com/dangerroo... [wired.com]

Amazed the man hasn't had his Mercedes explode like Michael Hastings,
oh wait he doesn't own a Mercedes he will be fine. (/sarcasm)

HTTPS Everywhere (4, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | about 8 months ago | (#46216843)

I think this is one add-on that Mozilla should incorporate, or at least heavily promote to encourage people to use it.

And develop a long term strategy to put crypto in all comms - e.g. use response headers from servers to push requests over to https where they are supported. Better yet produce an https+ which allows sites to use unsigned keys, CA signed keys, or even web of trust signed keys and present that info to the user in a meaningful way. Get rid of the CA tax and there would be far less reason for sites to use plain http any more.

Re:HTTPS Everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46216965)

Startcom offer free "basic" certificates (non-EV, but available in 4096-bit with SHA-2 signatures, so they're up to scratch security-wise) signed by a CA which is in all modern browser keystores. I don't think your "CA tax" is a particularly big reason anymore. But then HTTPS isn't that hard to do, so difficulty can't be the main reason either. Which, by process of elimination, leaves us with plain laziness/apathy as the major reason - which is the most difficult to persuade people to do anything about.

Re:HTTPS Everywhere (4, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | about 8 months ago | (#46218049)

It is a valid reason. It's a hassle to get a CA to bestow their worthless signature on a cert and to do this year in and year out just to make some silly browser warning go away. And doing this every year forever after. Even if a CA was a well known name and boiled signing down to dragging and dropping a cert onto a box to receive a signature it would still be too onerous.

Why can't Apache just generate a cert when it installs and sites can go off and use that? Ah you might say, it doesn't protect against man-in-the-middle attacks. But it's still better than plain text and it's still sufficient for many sites that want crypto to be on by default. And browsers could store the fingerprint of the cert if they wished and add-ons like HTTPS Everywhere could collate these fingerprints to look for attacks (they already implement this in something called the SSL observatory).

AND it wouldn't stop certs being signed if users wished. For some people, a CA may still be a meaningless signatory and it has its own security problems. Why can't the likes of Google, Amazon, Microsoft hold a key signing party? Would you trust Amazon's signature more if it was signed by Google? I would. And it would be hard to forge certs because there could be multiple signatories and each signatory could have their own. That's a web of trust and scales.

CAs can still be signatories in a web of trust but the existing model where certs MUST have a single CA signature is broken.

Re:HTTPS Everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46218931)

"But it's still better than plain text and it's still sufficient for many sites that want crypto to be on by default."

Is it though? Someone else in the comments mentioned a false sense of security, I'd say that your "solution" makes that issue even worse - "Oh, I'm probably secure because there's a padlock" based on no understanding is far worse than "I know I'm not secure because there's no padlock" As for the "hassle", getting a cert once a year is only a hassle for the site admin, and I would say it's an acceptable increase in hassle over running the website anyway. As long as HTTPS isn't a hassle for the user, then I'm fine with it. If you're in charge of a website, certain administrative tasks already fall into your "job description" of site owner, administrator, whatever. Getting an SSL cert through a 5-minute automated process should be one of them. As long as you use a CA which is in your users' keystore (Startcom generally is, CACert generally isn't, which are the only 2 free options I'm aware of) then nothing changes from the user's point of view which is what's important.

Re:HTTPS Everywhere (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 8 months ago | (#46221125)

Who says a browser has to show a padlock for an unsigned cert? It could be presented the same as plain http but if someone was interested then clicking on the site icon might drop down a box with a simple checklist which says the link was encrypted, the fingerprint was validated with EFF (if SSL observatory is enabled) but it does NOT authenticate the other end OR guarantee protection from man in the middle attacks. A signed cert might show more info, e.g. trust based on the distance to an ultimately trusted signatory. Browsers could also cache fingerprints and trust and alert users if certs change, e.g. fingerprint changes, or signatories disappear.

There would still be an incentive for sites which need it to obtain signatures (which includes CAs) but it shouldn't be required for basic security. And yes it is a hassle, otherwise the majority of sites would implement https. Browser makers have it in their power to set a timeline to sunset plain text and implement a new protocol.

Re:HTTPS Everywhere (3, Interesting)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | about 8 months ago | (#46217271)

The crypto weenies over on metzdowd.com seem to think HTTPS is currently a badly broken security layer that gives users a false sense of security. There are a number of suggested fixes, however.

My own pet peeve is that we don't even protect our passwords properly. My ssh id_rsa password protection is a joke: literally a single round of MD5 by default. My TrueCrypt password is protected a bit better, but with custom ASICs, a thousand rounds or so of SHA-256 runs so fast it's not even a significant part of the password guessing latency. I got so POed over this issue ,that I've submitted my own password hashing entry in the Password Hashing Competition [password-hashing.net] . Fortunately, there are guys way smarter than me working on this specific problem, and in a couple of years we should have a far better password protection solution. In the meantime, someone should do friendly forks of TrueCrypt and OpenSSL and incorporate Scrypt as the default password hash for user-land encryption (as opposed to servers that may have to run thousands of hashes per second).

The advice to use more encryption seems sounds, but most of us geeks here on slashdot don't even know how weak our own password security really is.

Re:HTTPS Everywhere (2)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46220395)

When they own the firmware, they basically own the box.

http://www.extremetech.com/com... [extremetech.com]

And don't blame the chinese, they were paid to put it there for you can guess who...

Re:HTTPS Everywhere (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46220599)

Wouldn't it be funny if some of the corporations involved with OpenBIOS
are there to sneak in a stealthier version of Rakshasa ?

http://www.openfirmware.info/W... [openfirmware.info]

But, This is Slashdot. (4, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#46216885)

These are all great ideas. This advice will and should be met with interest, applause, and even implementation.

This just isn't news for the folks who read here regularly.

Reaching Joe Six Pack is what this comes down to, and the cynic in me says that ship has already sailed.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (4, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#46217627)

Reaching Joe Six Pack is what this comes down to, and the cynic in me says that ship has already sailed.

The trick is to word your platform in such a way that Joe Six Pack has an immediate and extreme emotional reaction, which will cause him to demand knee-jerk legislation to address the issue.

At least, that's how politicians manipulate people into supporting causes; high time we fight fire with fire.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46217821)

You mean "The government follows your every step, it is getting worse than the commies ever were" doesn't work anymore? Because that's pretty much the message of today.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 8 months ago | (#46219911)

You mean "The government follows your every step, it is getting worse than the commies ever were" doesn't work anymore? Because that's pretty much the message of today.

Considering the average American thinks commies just get free hand outs from the government, I don't think that works anymore.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46220639)

Well problem with trying to solve it via the government is they are the problem.

Its a bit like asking the fox to fix the hen house.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46217783)

Joe Six Pack, who is most of the nation, doesn't care. He doesn't care if the government is listening to his phone calls or spying on his email because it doesn't affect his ability to put food on the table or a roof over his head or provide for his kids or pay for his car to get to work or pay his bills in retirement. Joe Six Pack thinks government collection of "metadata" is over his head and doesn't give two shits about it.

Joe Six Pack believes in having his gun. Let the government listen to his phone calls, but if he tries to take away his ability to defend himself, they should plan for return fire. Joe Six Pack believes in low taxes and less government intrusion, because the government sucks at just about everything.

Joe Six Pack believes in tangible threats to his person, his family, and his ability to make something for himself. Government surveillance of his phone call to check up on his mom is not tangible. This is an issue for the minority of tech people trying to do things under the government radar; it doesn't concern Joe Six Pack.

At some point Slashdot readers need to realize that in the standard distribution of American citizens and their values, Slashdot readers are not the median. They are the left tail end. The median folks don't care much about the values that you all think are universal, and as proponents of those values most Slashdot readers do a pretty poor job of communicating to the median of folks and convincing them of the importance of these issues.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46217939)

Joe Six Pack believes in having his gun.

Yeah, isn't it funny how some people pretend to care about the constitution and rights, but actually only care about the 2nd amendment? Isn't it funny how people can be so profoundly ignorant as to believe that mass government surveillance is unimportant or even acceptable?

"The government is 100% incompetent and often malicious, but hey, why not let them spy on my communications? What could go wrong!?"

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46218493)

Joe Six Pack believes in having his gun.

Yeah, isn't it funny how some people pretend to care about the constitution and rights, but actually only care about the 2nd amendment? Isn't it funny how people can be so profoundly ignorant as to believe that mass government surveillance is unimportant or even acceptable?

"The government is 100% incompetent and often malicious, but hey, why not let them spy on my communications? What could go wrong!?"

I find it funny people think the other way. Gun rights are a Constitutional right; clearly defined. Collection of meta-data on the internet which is semi-public is not so clear. And yet those opposed to government surveillance seem to be very ant-gun rights, anti-NRA etc.

But I find your post pointless because you divert from the point, ask a question and then fail to answer it. Why is mass government surveillance important or unacceptable? Why should it be important to, say, a 65 year old retiree who uses the internet to see pictures of their grandkids on Facebook, occasional internet research about knitting or woodcrafting, and emailing their other retired friends to meet up? Why should it matter to a 35 year old professional accountant who uses his phone to arrange his schedule with his wife so their babies are picked up and they know what groceries to get for the evening? Because there are far more of those two non-techie stereotypes who VOTE and make a difference than the techies who care about government surveillance.

Time and time again I see those opposed to government surveillance stating their reason they're against is because:

1) "it's immoral", but not defining why and therefore leaving it entirely subjective
2) "it's illegal", while failing to address the fact that these systems were created by laws passed via a Constitutional process
3) "it's unconstitutional" while failing to address what aspects of the Constitution apply (the 4th Amendment is unreasonable search and seizure but the data collected is metadata from searches which is quasi-public and phone conversations passing through non-private transmission stations and satellites; the 4th Amendment argument has been struck down many times for public surveillance (see the "plain view doctrine" and "open fields doctrine", particularly the case Oliver v. United States, 1984))
4) "it's important" while failing to address why it should be important to Americans.

Note, I'm all for the curbing of these programs, but guess what? The Government is not doing that. The new policies put in by the Obama Administration are extremely minor procedural speed-bumps to placate people through a show of change, but the programs are not being curtailed; they're too useful. If you want real change, those in favor of removing the programs need to address the 4 issues above, specifically to the average American who is not you, or nothing will. It's your cause, so be it's champion.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46218997)

Collection of meta-data on the internet which is semi-public is not so clear.

Actually, it's quite clear. That you would defend this blatant violation of people's rights while talking about the 2nd amendment is just hypocrisy.

And yet those opposed to government surveillance seem to be very ant-gun rights, anti-NRA etc.

Where are you getting your information? As far as I'm concerned, the NRA doesn't do a good enough job of protecting gun rights.

Why is mass government surveillance important or unacceptable?

Why would the government going on fishing expeditions be unacceptable? Why would the government molesting people at airports be unacceptable?

Because all of these things are unconstitutional and violate people's rights. Because these powers will be abused. Throughout history, governments have killed hundreds of millions of people; they are not the perfect angels some seem to think they are. The US government put Japanese citizens in internment camps, murdered native Americans, allowed slavery, and discriminated heavily against blacks and women at one point. Human beings cannot be trusted with near absolute information; it will undoubtedly be used for the purposes of blackmail, to imprison people, or to simply humiliate them. Who? People who the government doesn't like. The government decides what's illegal, too.

1) "it's immoral", but not defining why and therefore leaving it entirely subjective
2) "it's illegal", while failing to address the fact that these systems were created by laws passed via a Constitutional process
3) "it's unconstitutional" while failing to address what aspects of the Constitution apply (the 4th Amendment is unreasonable search and seizure but the data collected is metadata from searches which is quasi-public and phone conversations passing through non-private transmission stations and satellites; the 4th Amendment argument has been struck down many times for public surveillance (see the "plain view doctrine" and "open fields doctrine", particularly the case Oliver v. United States, 1984))
4) "it's important" while failing to address why it should be important to Americans.

Just because you're not paying attention doesn't mean that these things haven't been answered. Numerous articles and comments have been written that address these exact things. It gets tiring, so sometimes I simply state things without going into details.

Look at this garbage. I wrote an entire comment responding to your piece of trash. What an eyesore.

(the 4th Amendment is unreasonable search and seizure but the data collected is metadata from searches which is quasi-public and phone conversations passing through non-private transmission stations and satellites; the 4th Amendment argument has been struck down many times for public surveillance (see the "plain view doctrine" and "open fields doctrine", particularly the case Oliver v. United States, 1984))

I cannot stress how false this is. For one thing, the information is not at all public. *Just because they have the capability to look at it does not make it "quasi-public."* They could easily break into your house and install surveillance equipment, but that wouldn't make it public.

Furthermore, what courts say is *irrelevant* to whether these things are constitution or not. They are unconstitutional if they go against the constitution or its spirit; period. Suggesting that because a judge says something is constitutional, that it must be constitutional, is the exact sort of mindless authority worship that we should never see in the land of the free. It also leads to paradoxes; decisions can be overturned. The judges are just normal people with opinions and a bit of authority; don't worship their opinions.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46220863)

Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, "The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer." [laughter] ”

—Henry Kissinger, United States Secretary of State, (March 10, 1975)[9][10]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

What most ppl don't get is who Kissinger reports to outside the government.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 8 months ago | (#46219226)

Why is mass government surveillance important or unacceptable? Why should it be important to, say, a 65 year old retiree who uses the internet to see pictures of their grandkids on Facebook, occasional internet research about knitting or woodcrafting, and emailing their other retired friends to meet up?

Why is it so important to the government that they collect all available online and phone information about this 65 year old retiree in the first place?

We disagree about the constitutionality of mass government surveillance. There is no point to collecting the massive amount of data the government is collecting unless they are planning to use it. Right? Otherwise, it's just a big waste of time and money. The only practical way to use such a large amount of data is to perform a search against it, looking for the juicy morsels of intelligence it contains. Searches outside of a specific investigation just in the hopes that something incriminating will come up is specifically against the spirit and the letter of the Fourth Amendment.

I know the government claims it is not going to use the data that way, but I don't believe it for a second. I've designed a lot a databases in my day, I never stored data in a database unless I fully expected to use it. That and the fact that the NSA has repeatedly lied about other aspects of their surveillance activities means they have no credibility with me.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (1)

amxcoder (1466081) | about 8 months ago | (#46219625)

Most of the people I know that are pro-2nd amendment, are pro all-the-amendments and find this online collection thing horrible as well. There is a difference between not liking something and not supporting it, and being able to stop it. I wouldn't make such blatant assumptions of some groups of people, as you could possibly be attributing helplessness with apathy.

If you are going to make blanket statements about people on this topic, I would suggest you point over to the actual "apathy" crowd as not caring... This is the population that cares more about American Idol and following the latest gossip from Hollywood than they do about the events and trends that are actually going on in our country right now. These are the true "low-information votors" (or "low-fo voters") that are more than willing to let this happen, because they are oblivious to the either the fact it actually IS happening, or what the consequences are and can be.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46219845)

Actually, I made absolutely no blanket statements. I said that *some* people in that group only care about the second amendment. I simply pointed out that I've noticed quite a few people who are staunchly opposed to gun control, but are apathetic about or support the NSA and buy into the "nothing to fear" argument. I myself am a gun rights advocate.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (1)

amxcoder (1466081) | about 8 months ago | (#46221145)

Well, I will content that pro-gun rights groups are more vocal about the 2nd than others, but I think a lot of that comes down to the fact, that in most cases, the 2nd is one of the more important ones. Not that the others are less important, but that the 2nd is there as a last means to protect the other amendments. If it comes down to it, and the gov tries to nullify the other amendments, the 2nd is the only one that has teeth enough (ie: real force) to do anything about it.

This is demonstrated in this case perfectly at this point, in that the 4th amendment is being shredded, and people have the right to, and have been exercising their right, to protest it, speak out against it, etc. but which that has gotten nowhere. While the first amendment is great, it has no teeth to actually stop (with force if necessary) this blatant violation of the 4th. The 2nd amendment does have the teeth, it just hasn't been used by "We the People" yet on this subject. Because it's so strong, it is a 'last resort' type of protection for obvious reasons.

And while I believe most gun-rights people don't like being spied on either, there just isn't any catchy phrases to be vocal about it like there is with the 2nd. When you talk about gun confiscation, you will quickly hear people stand up and say "if they come for my guns, they'll be met with resistance" or, or the ever so popular "you have my guns when you pry them from my cold dead hands" war cry.

The fact is, those types of rally cries for this topic don't work, someone standing up and saying "they can have my DATA when they pry it from my cold dead hands" is irrelevant, since they don't need to do that. There is not any effective means to stop it at this point, they are stealing/collecting it virtually, and any means to protect it can practically be circumvented, including encryption. The war on guns has been going on for quite awhile, we've fought at the soap box, we've fought at the ballot box, if they do much more, there may well be a fight using the ammo box. The data collection, is just getting started, so I think we're at the "soap box" stage right now, just trying to get the word out, and make people aware. Soon it move to the "ballot box" stage, and voters can try to stop it there. If that doesn't work, well, then the 2nd amendment could show it's teeth to stop it if people are willing enough.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (2)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 8 months ago | (#46221283)

Yet people tolerate the TSA, unfettered border searches, free speech zones, DUI checkpoints, stop-and-frisk, etc. All of those things affect people in the physical world, and yet nothing much is done about them. I would honestly like it if lots of people actually cared about freedom and the constitution, but that sadly does not seem to be the case.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46220703)

Well said, because when the 1st amendment is hijacked and circumvented as somethings might indicate
then you start running out of amendments rather quickly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46217799)

Well, use Joe Sixpack as your shield. As long as they get data from him, they are complacent and satisfied that they get enough data. Educate Joe Sixpack and the stream of data will dwindle to a trickle and they'll start using more invasive means to gather data.

Sorry to say it, but the days when I try to educate the masses are over. I use them as a shield for my privacy nowadays.

Re:But, This is Slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46218165)

Joe Six Pack is never "reached", Joe Six Pack uses what he is given.
You cannot educate Joe Six Pack. You want him to do something in a certain way, make sure that way is set by default.

There is many technically able people in positions (both corporate, education and community) to influence the pre-configurations to make sure they are safer for Joe Six Pack.
In fact many of them read slashdot (if they haven't run away from the Beta redesign)

It is up to *us* to make sure Joe Six Pack is pre-configured to be safe.

The ship has not left, because the crew hasn't even started to co-operate to load the ship.
From web developers through to system admins and software architects, we can all do our small bit to make sure Joe Six Pack is covered.

All it requires is some self motivation by the individual to do something good. Even if that means that you need to ignore your corporate masters.
If we all do our little bit, to slowly/slyly remove all the vunerabilities, this issue can be cast off.

The problem with blankt surveylance (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46216887)

The problem with blanket surveillance is it encourages a wide range of people to look for ways round it - which later can be used by "the usual suspects" to cover up their drug trafficking, terrorism, and pedophile rape gangs. We would be much better off just monitoring the undesirables

Re:The problem with blankt surveylance (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46217837)

Can anyone tell me when organized crime and money laundering fell out of the 4-horsemen-the-sky-is-falling [wikipedia.org] scare?

Probably when they started to run the show, it's simply no fun pointing at yourself when trying to find a strawman...

Re:The problem with blankt surveylance (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46220917)

Well as for money laundering, apparently it gets a pass if you have bribed the right ppl.

http://www.democraticundergrou... [democratic...ground.com]

Mass connection leads to mass surveillance, cannot (1)

mhar (803152) | about 8 months ago | (#46216893)

The best you can hope for is more secretive mass surveillance and more limited internal access. If every country is also aiming to mass surveillance, any country that doesn't will be left behind.

Re:Mass connection leads to mass surveillance, can (2)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 8 months ago | (#46217015)

Yes, how horrible it would be if some country was left behind and didn't violate the rights of its citizens in the same way as the other countries! Get with the times, guys!

Re: Mass connection leads to mass surveillance, ca (1)

mhar (803152) | about 8 months ago | (#46217807)

I can't even successfully troll non-anonymously on slashdot now. Where did everybody go???

Re:Mass connection leads to mass surveillance, can (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46217847)

If capitalism worked, we'd see a country spring up and declare that it will NOT spy on its citizens and people with some brain would flock there.

Re:Mass connection leads to mass surveillance, can (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46221285)

If (x)-ism worked we'd see....etc etc....

The fact is the plutocrats, oligarches, kleptocrats, and other parasites and looters
always worm their way into any government and subvert it and compromise
the people and the process.

This has been a generational thing where the families pass on these tricks
to their offspring, and they are societal leeches that bleed the workign class dry
over and over for centuries.

Google the term "Robber Baron", and you get an idea of whom I am speaking.

In the realm of political piracy there is truly nothing new under the sun.

Re:Mass connection leads to mass surveillance, can (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46220955)

Sometimes I think these round table groups get together and break open Orwell, Huxley,
and others and use them like a operating manual on how to puppeteer the governments.

Verified Threat? (2)

Dr Caleb (121505) | about 8 months ago | (#46216905)

So, clicking on that 'learn more' link at the top of the page puts Trend Micro into an uproar that "yourbrowser.net" is:

Details: Verified fraud page or threat source
Suspected fraud page or threat source
Associated with spam or possibly compromised
Rating in progress. Trend Micro Web Reputation is currently set to block pages that have not been checked for safety.

Irony, or on purpose?

Re:Verified Threat? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 8 months ago | (#46217629)

So, clicking on that 'learn more' link at the top of the page puts Trend Micro into an uproar that "yourbrowser.net" is:

What'ss trend micro, preciousss?

No need to RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46216915)

Finally!

Another Slashdot Clown Show (0, Troll)

oldhack (1037484) | about 8 months ago | (#46216945)

Slashdot users pretend to wage an anti-beta protest, and in turn, timothy of slashdot calls for an anti-spook struggle. Bullshit revolutions all around.

Yeah, benign right now... (2)

messymerry (2172422) | about 8 months ago | (#46217025)

Yeah the U.S. is relatively benign right now, butt, let the economy go south and see if they are so friendly and honorable. it's clear to all but the blind, deaf, and comatose that the State is hardening their facilities and forces...WITH OUR MONEY!!! Gird Nerds, the ride is just beginning.

Re:Yeah, benign right now... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 8 months ago | (#46217649)

Yeah the U.S. is relatively benign right now, butt, let the economy go south...

Well, let it indeed.... Australia and NZ economies could do with a bit of boost.

Re:Yeah, benign right now... (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46221537)

Yeah at times it looks like they follow Orwell and Huxley like a playbook.

One of their best old tricks is Divide and Rule, where you get half of the
population mad at the other half and whip them into a frenzy with
broadsheets in the old days, and the "Project Mockingbird" media
in the modern day.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

The best way to keep the public from being mad at the plutocrats
is give them a different bone to chew on and that is the fake political
process that is totally rigged, just like the congress critter who
said on a hot mic "It's all rigged" over and over.

Never truer words were said.

I'm going to put a big dent in this (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 8 months ago | (#46217157)

It will get me on the naughty list, but that's a price I'll pay gladly. That's all for now.

Where's the banner? (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 8 months ago | (#46217197)

It would be nice is Slashdot were doing more than just posting a story. It's not like it would be hard to add for a day... TDWFB Banner [github.io]

Laudable but futile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46217231)

Mass surveillance is inevitable to any industrialized country. Which is why all countries with any technological sophistication have it. To think that one can "fight" it to any real degree is like thinking one can "fight" indoor plumbing or mass electrification.

Re:Laudable but futile... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46217871)

Indoor plumbing means I don't have to go into the freezing cold to shit into a smelly hole. Electrification means that my computer world and I have safe lighting during the night.

Care to educate me on the benefit I have from mass surveillance?

Re:Laudable but futile... (1)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 8 months ago | (#46217959)

Mass surveillance infringes upon your fundamental and constitutional rights. To some people, that qualifies as a benefit.

Re:Laudable but futile... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#46217971)

Care to educate me on the benefit I have from mass surveillance?

Well, if you're a spy, or sell them their tools, the sky's the limit.

Re:Laudable but futile... (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 8 months ago | (#46219452)

Care to educate me on the benefit I have from mass surveillance?

It's easier than ever to frame people you don't like.

Re:Laudable but futile...; Moving towards health (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 8 months ago | (#46218305)

"Mass surveillance is inevitable to any industrialized country. Which is why all countries with any technological sophistication have it. To think that one can 'fight' it to any real degree is like thinking one can 'fight' indoor plumbing or mass electrification."

Sad, but true. Still, political plays a role in the outcome of all this in terms of what sort of world we want to build together.

Recent posts by me to slashdot on that referencing other items:
http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

The bottom line -- read David Brin's "Transparent Society", read Theodore Sturgeon's 1952 "The Skills of Xanadu" about the meaning of privacy in a mobile networked world, read James P. Hogan's "Voyage from Yesteryear" and think about how we can transcend our society to some new healthier form. There are links to all those in my previous posts. It is so sad that with all this mindbogglingly powerful technology the main use we can think for it at first is to create artificial scarcity and kill each other with it. So sad. That is ultimately a moral issue requiring new ways of thinking, like Albert Einstein suggested after the development of atomic technology:
http://www.anwot.org/ [anwot.org]

We need to accept we have powerful technologies relative to classical human needs and rethink fundamental issues of our society accordingly, such as moving beyond artificial scarcity and moving towards a basic level of abundance for all (which would include more time for voluntary civic participation instead of endless overwork at mostly pointless activities related to preserving a scarcity-based status quo).
http://www.whywork.org/rethink... [whywork.org]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]
http://marshallbrain.com/manna... [marshallbrain.com]

Some humor by me on is at the end of this post, a parody of the "bunker scene", where this time Hitler confronts post-scarcity ideas:
http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org]

Any movement that relies on secrecy to succeed is pretty much a non-starter, even in times of less technology like the 1950s Civil Rights movement. The push for encryption against the government by technologists is similar to the argument that handguns will somehow stop government corruption or fascism. It is not going to work. What will work is broad social change done through democratic processes.
"What Social Science Can Tell Us About Social Change"
http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesa... [ucsc.edu]

Or as I've said before: "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 things like a basic income, 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. ..."

We need to figure out ways to move forward given realities of multi-terabyte hard drives, tiny cameras and microphones, huge processing clusters, internet taps everywhere, and so on. Encryption does not cut it, sorry. What does encryption really get you, anyway, as far as social change? It hides your message when social change is about spreading a message. At best encryption is just preserving an increasingly precarious status quo with all sorts of other problems (nuclear weapons, bio weapons (as well as GMO corn designed to produce male sterility http://www.theguardian.com/sci... [theguardian.com] ), military robotics, a huge rich/poor divide, a dysfunctional scientific establishment given the issues David Goodstein talks about, and so on.). Sure, some human rights activists may benefit from encryption in some scenarios in repressive regimes, but we need to think in a much more sophisticated way than focusing on hiding stuff if we want healthy broad social change.

Re:Laudable but futile...; Moving towards health (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46221605)

"What will work is broad social change done through democratic processes."

Watch the film "Hacking Democracy" and then tell me how its going to work.

Democracy is an illusion in most of the nations of the world.

Its there to give ppl the illusion of choice, you have no choice, you have owners. ~ George Carlin.

Information overload (1)

boristdog (133725) | about 8 months ago | (#46217275)

Information overload actually makes it easy for the clever people to slip through the cracks unobserved.

Re:Information overload (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46221669)

Actually they merely keep a file on you, and they are glad that you break there rules
because if you ever become a problem for one of their pet projects then out comes
your file and you get a visit from them.

  I don't agree with everything Ms. Rand said, but this one fits...

“There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals.
Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it
becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

This is why they always make sure they have dirt on any of the politicians that
make it to DC, they want dirt on the ppl they have their puppet strings attached too.

So in fact they want you to be a little dirty, so they can use it as leverage.

The ppl puppeteering this whole show are all about leverage.

I need to be given reasons to hate it? (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about 8 months ago | (#46217375)

Really?

We Won't Win by Yelling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46217555)

There are real threats at both extremes: there are real terrorists using computers, the internet and cell phones to organize deadly attacks against the U.S. and Europe. There have also been presidents who have used the power of the intelligence agencies at their disposal to spy on political rivals, activists, journalists and civil rights leaders. The goal has to be some kind of middle ground. For the anti-surveillance advocates who are enjoying the rise of their viewpoint in the polls, consider this: a single terrorist attack on U.S. soil could easily tilt the polls the other way and land us in a worse surveillance state than we have now. Be careful what you ask for.

Inside the U.S., the middle ground for me is real-time judicial oversight, checks and balances, and warrants for particular things about particular people. That is, not blanket domestic surveillance. Not of phone calls, nor financial records, nor medical records, nor library records, nor emails, etc. I see the benefit of speedy access to this data, but if that necessitates the government holding vast troves of rather personal data about all its citizens, then I think the potential for abuse is too high and not worth the benefit. That's my personal liberty-security fulcrum.

Re:We Won't Win by Yelling (4, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46217885)

I'm a statistician. And from the data I have at hand from our "war on terror" so far, I can only say that the threat from false positives is higher than the threat from false negatives.

Or, bluntly, if we didn't "fight terror", we'd have less to fear.

Re:We Won't Win by Yelling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46218367)

Team America?

Re:We Won't Win by Yelling (1)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 8 months ago | (#46218435)

For the anti-surveillance advocates who are enjoying the rise of their viewpoint in the polls, consider this: a single terrorist attack on U.S. soil could easily tilt the polls the other way and land us in a worse surveillance state than we have now. Be careful what you ask for.

Probably always going to be true, and there really isn't much to be done. Funny how people in "the land of the free and the home of the brave" don't want to be free or brave if they believe not being those things will keep them safe.

Re:We Won't Win by Yelling (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46221841)

Besides Divide and Rule, the False Flag is a favorite tactic of governments,
that and lying to the public.

Google "USS Liberty" check all the articles on that, Google "Terrence Yeakey"
and check all the articles on that.

After you take a deep look at what's going on you start to realize what
really happened to Michael Hastings and Pat Tillman.

They were silenced.

February 11th, 2014 is The Day We Fight Back again (2)

NigelT (1265592) | about 8 months ago | (#46217809)

February 11th, 2014 is The Day We Fight Back against Mass Surveillance http://www.naaij.org/2014/02/1... [naaij.org] Over 100k signatures now!

Re:February 11th, 2014 is The Day We Fight Back ag (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 8 months ago | (#46221861)

The plutocrats, oligarchs, and kleptocrats are shaking in their boots because you
gave them a list of names that are their enemies, roflmao.

TOR (1)

Glock27 (446276) | about 8 months ago | (#46218219)

I'm very surprised to see that the article and all posts fail to mention TOR.

TOR may not be perfect, but it's a lot better than any readily available alternative. I'd suggest using it for any browsing you think might be the least bit controversial. The more people that use TOR, the better it works. It's a bit slow, but it's livable.

http://www.torproject.org/ [torproject.org]

Re:TOR (1)

tom229 (1640685) | about 8 months ago | (#46218539)

Unfortunately, you're not necessarily safe [theguardian.com] by using tor.

Re:TOR (1)

Glock27 (446276) | about 8 months ago | (#46221045)

You're not "safe" under any circumstances, offline or online.

TOR is a hard target, and unless there's some reason to go after you individually already, you'll almost certainly be secure using it. The TOR developers are constantly working to make it better as well.

Today is the Day We Surrender (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46218309)

Writing your congresscritter is a good idea, but if writing Congress about NSA abuses counts as fighting back, then you might as well call this The Day We Surrender.

NSA abuses are not the real problem. NSA is just one of many potential adversaries, and if the capability of abuse exists, then you have a problem whether or not you happen to know who is taking advantage of it. If Congress makes NSA stop doing this shit but FSB can still do it, then you haven't really solved anything, have you? Politely asking one party to stop == burying your head in the sand.

If Congress has a role to play here, it would be that all government-created barriers to secure standards should be removed (e.g. repeal CALEA and even reverse it: outlaw easily-added taps) and government purchasing standards could be modernized, thereby maybe helping to create economy of scale. e.g. If a Department of Labor middle manager talks to his underling about work-related matter but isn't using OTP (in spite of the fact that they physically meet regularly) that's a problem; whereas if the spec is that the no-more-than-$300 machines have to OTP exchange whenever their users are near each other, then a year later we'll have this over-century-old crypto tech in our $150 phones.

As for HTTPS Everywhere, HTTPS is nice 1980s (pre-PGP trust model) PK tech, and a step up from what most of us are using most of the time, but please, be realistic about such anachronisms, especially if you want it to be transparent/automatic instead of obsessively checking certs all the time. You can't have .. (let's see, fairly-stock Ubuntu 12.04 system here) ..

# ls -l /etc/ssl/certs/*.pem | wc
        157 1719 25702
.. a hundred and fifty seven fully-trusted key introducers, none of whom you have ever met or know anything about. It's not useless, but it's next-to-useless for common users being protected from government-magnitude surveillance powers.

The Day We Fight Back - already happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46218625)

I think Slashdot had The Day We Fight Back against the forced-rollout beta.

Boomerang (2)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 8 months ago | (#46218671)

As far as security goes I would not be shocked if more intense spying is not applied to individuals who take precautions against being spied upon. Look at it from a law enforcement view or national security point of view. We can name one fellow Joe and another fellow Sam for purposes of demonstration. Suppose Joe is seen to use strong encryption, avoids using smart phones or cell phones, pays cash always and quietly rents a room from a private home owner. That alone may send out signals that Joe needs a hard look. Sam on the other hand is welded to his smart phone, never even uses a password and is wide open to scrutiny in every area of his life. Guess which one will attract interest. Sam's flaws are known. Sam's negatives match the negatives of almost all people in the area. Joe, conversely, seems to have no flaws and no real data points in the system. Any smart agent or cop will want to find ways to define Joe and frankly it won't take much effort at all. In the past very unlikely people were employed as agents. A man might make progress with a very pretty, very pretty, young girl who he would never suspect is employed by the police department as a professional spy. But these days tiny cams and recording devices are rather easy to insert into a suspicious person's environment. I have seen this stuff in action and knew a young girl who worked in a spy like capacity for the cops. She was inserted in a community and under the age of twenty and played the role of a hippie like youth in rebellion which in fact she sort of was. But her pay check was through her spying efforts.

Re:Boomerang (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 8 months ago | (#46219705)

As far as security goes I would not be shocked if more intense spying is not applied to individuals who take precautions against being spied upon.

The solution for that is strong encryption for everyone, transparently, and by default.

The things I most want kept private the governemt already knows about - my identifying information, drivers' license info, social security number, tax records, bank account numbers, etc. The things you can use to steal my identity and/or money. When I use encryption it is to keep that information from criminals, and it is entirely rational to do so.

The day the government decides the use of security tools is only to hide bad behavior would be a very sad day, indeed.

Re:Boomerang (1)

modi123 (750470) | about 8 months ago | (#46220227)

Sounds like chunks of themes ripped from the Fourth Realm series by John Twelve Hawks. Being off the grid is one thing, but also randomizing your choices helps another. Working with maps of CCTV to find alternative routes, and providing the double work of having 'usable' profiles to hide behind.

http://www.mediaeater.com/came... [mediaeater.com]
http://www.fastcoexist.com/168... [fastcoexist.com]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Tracking and HTTPS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46219418)

HTTPS errywhere!

Now the NSA will know you went barelylegaltranssexualmidgetspeeingondudes.com, but not which barely legal transsexual midget peeing on a dude you got your rocks off to.

Wow. Much improvement. Such secure.

Just everybody behave slightly more suspiciously (1)

John Allsup (987) | about 8 months ago | (#46219929)

Figure out what can alert the watchers without getting into trouble, and compare notes and discuss in forums on Tinternet.
Make sport out of the watchers by seeing what you can figure out about them simply by provoking unnecessary reactions.
Read The Art of War and study Tai Chi (properly, not just as a spaced-out eastern arm-waving exercise, but as the study of super-efficient movement and coordination -- though that can take a decade or so just to get the basics half-right).

HTTPS won't stop it (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 8 months ago | (#46220159)

The thing you civilians don't get is we backdoored the basic encryption protocols a long long time ago.

And, as you're now finding out, we have been watching.

There are five NSA sites in North America, btw. Not two.

Re:HTTPS won't stop it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46221107)

For HTTPS, they backdoored the CAs.

But you can work around that by disabling all root certificates in your browser.
It will then ask you to trust the certificate each time it sees a new one.
The certificates can be verified by physically going to the trusted party and comparing the cert's fingerprint.

Re:HTTPS won't stop it (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 8 months ago | (#46221223)

You forgot we also have literal circuits in the chipsets. You'd be surprised.

Apparently missing a subject - who cares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46220177)

Fight back against mass surveillance? How about you start by not promoting some of the biggest perpetrators in Google, Facebook and Twitter. Moreover, you have to give this random website your e-mail, your country of residence and your name for central storing! Is this irony, or is my understanding of the word not correct?

This is like atheism trying to organize itself against religion by adopting the same principles.

Those arguments (1)

axlash (960838) | about 8 months ago | (#46220513)

I feel that these three reasons are rather weak.

I'm not sure how #1 is a reason. The pervasiveness of the internet is not in itself a problem, any more than air being everywhere is a problem. Show me how the pervasiveness is an issue.

# 2 is weak; it talks about what could happen, rather than what is likely to happen. I understand that when arguing against something, if the outcome of letting that thing happen is catastrophic, that will determine how convincing the argument is, but I prefer to look at the probability of the outcome occuring, and I would like to see more evidential arguments for more privacy.

#3 is just vague. You can't say that I'm paying for privacy and then not even be specific about it. Why should I care if I decide that the amount I'm paying is minuscule?

Bitcoin transations *are* public record (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46221635)

Bitcoin transaction (a.k.a. "the block chain") are public record by design. They don't state people's names, just addresses, but given current levels of "metadata" gathered, addresses can be matched to physical people relatively easily. The myth of Bitcoin anonymity is just that - a myth.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?