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Tech's Answer To Big Brotherism

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the creepy-is-right dept.

Privacy 259

StCredZero writes "Along the same lines as the earlier article about Poindexter's info being posted, C|Net has an interesting editorial by Declan McCullagh on how to protect our personal information from unauthorized snooping by the authorities, yet let them have a database for tracking down terrorists. McCullagh's solution is based on algorithms developed for Digital Cash."

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If this isn't a first post... (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900492)

I'm going to tie the noose and hang it in my garage.

Re:If this isn't a first post... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900571)

Don't forget to put the knot off to the left side behind your neck so that it will break it quickly and cleanly. This way we won't have to put up with your stupid pussy "FP" comments anymore, dickhead.

OpenDK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900506)

OpenDK [slashdot.org] is the best tool for this.

Re:OpenDK (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900516)

you suck at hyperlinking.

Faggot.

In Soveit Russia (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900517)

big brother answers YOU!

Re:In Soveit Russia (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900531)

Excellent In Soviet Post. All criteria was met.

Re:In Soveit Russia (0, Offtopic)

mschoolbus (627182) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900570)

Soveit Russia
Excellent In Soviet Post. All criteria was met.

Spelling it right should be part of the criteria...

Re:In Soveit Russia (0, Offtopic)

classzero (321541) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900609)

What criteria?

Re:In Soveit Russia (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900555)

shut the fuck up

We need Bayesian Terrorist Filters (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900523)

Give the government EVERY bit of info on EVERY person. Then, mark the known terrorists, and BAM, you'll have a list of everyone else that matches those filters. Just arrest/execute/whatever those people, and you're all set.

Re:We need Bayesian Terrorist Filters (5, Funny)

CreamOfNavistream (634758) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900550)

i dont think its as easy as delete from people where hat like '%towel%' and ethnicity = 'Muslim' and profession = 'pilot'

Re:We need Bayesian Terrorist Filters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900567)

That's why EVERY bit of info is important. We need things like money transfers, associates, time spent traveling, etc.

Re:We need Bayesian Terrorist Filters (1)

CreamOfNavistream (634758) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900590)

okay fine..

delete from people left join bank on people.bankaccountid = bank.customerid where bank.money > 100000000 and people.hat like '%towel%'

am i getting warmer?

Re:We need Bayesian Terrorist Filters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900649)

Off-topic? Technology and terrorism... can't get more on-topic, can you?

FUCK THE USA! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900538)

After what they have done to the rest of the world, they deserve to be nuked by their own laws!

In Soviet USA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900697)

terrorists sue YOU!

First Mutha Fuckin Post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900543)

A dick in your mutha fuckin mouth yall. Cmdr taco is a faggot. Transexuals will one day rule this site

MY DICK IS PURPLE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900562)





my dick is purple
and your shit is brown
put it in your mouth
and swirl it all around!

A dick in yer mouth (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900568)

hee hee i am a troll. yippie. yip yip
tee heee heee poo poo pee pee

Never happen. (5, Insightful)

wilburdg (178573) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900575)

Your talking about an agency which tried to get a backdoor placed into Phil Zimmermann's PGP. Even if they did try to protect the information, there is not way they would do anything which would impede their ability to extract every bit on just a whim. 'Encrypting the data' would just be a PR stunt.

It can't happen here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900720)

Sounds like the software that TIA needs already exists -- PROMIS [lycos.com] !

And it has the seal of approval from the earlier Reagan/Bush constitutional scofflaws!

let them have? (2, Insightful)

SirDaShadow (603846) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900584)

...yet let them have a database for tracking down terrorists...

let them have it? since when have we have any say on what the authorities can or can't do?

Re:let them have? (3, Insightful)

rainman31415 (576575) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900625)

since when do we even have the resources to obtain an effective terrorist database?


insert script kiddie here
rainman

Since.. (0, Troll)

JPelorat (5320) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900626)

Since a few people have always resisted attacks against the Second Amendment.

I have three 'votes' on what the authorities ultimately can and can't do: HK93, Mauser P.08, and Enfield #1 mk3. I hope the day never comes that it becomes necessary to cast those votes, but it's always good to be prepared.

How about you?

Re:Since.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900736)

How about you?

How about David Koresh and Randy Weaver? They had even more votes, but ultimately lost the election.

Re:Since.. (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900955)

I have three 'votes' on what the authorities ultimately can and can't do: HK93, Mauser P.08, and Enfield #1 mk3.

That's nice.
The CIA has unmanned Predator aircraft that carry hellfire missiles. I think you've just been outvoted!

Re:let them have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900629)

Since this is a republic and we elect the people that make the laws that the authorities follow?

Poindexter is an American hero (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900587)

Already today on Slashdot I've seen people posting the typical leftist hate about John Poindexter. There are two things that I want to make very clear here. 1) Poindexter was indicted, but he was NOT CONVICTED. Liberals are typically not bright enough to make the connection, so let me make it as clear as I can: Poindexter was NEVER found guilty of breaking a law. NEVER. So much for the "felon" label. 2) You are assuming that the Iran-Contra "affair" should be treated as a crime. Most of us in the moral community do NOT believe that Iran-Contra was any big deal. The liberal media had a heydey of course, but that is to be expected.

Here's what people don't understand. Communism is a hateful philosophy, one that posed (and to a large extent still DOES pose) a grave threat to free and moral society. The existence of Communism in Central America was something that HAD to be dealt with. Reagan understood this. Oliver North understood this. Poindexter understood these. These men are among the greatest American heroes of the 20th century, if not of all time! Yes there was some "under-the-table" dealings in order to make the fight happen. But Communism is about the most hateful thing ever, and it is the duty of a patriot to oppose it.

I do have concerns about Total Information Access (TIA) and how it will be used against ordinary americans. But for the love of God STOP ATTACKING Poindexter. The man was fighting for his country, and if any of you whining leftists had a spine of your own, you would have done the same thing.

Re:Poindexter is another typical American bum (1)

cheeseSource (605209) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900791)

Poindexter was indeed found Guilty. His charges were overturned months later on a technicality. You scratch the governments back they scratch yours, which is why he is back. The only reason communism is a bad idea is because it goes against human nature, i.e. humans are naturally too greedy and stuck in a haze of self interest for it to work. You should also note that the USA is not a Capitalistic society. Let's not embark on the idiocy of North and Reagan. Hello Iran-Contra, but then again I am just feeding the trolls....

Right wing logic (2, Insightful)

DonFinch (584056) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900922)

Ok...and Clinton is the root of all evil because of a blowjob?

protecting yourself (5, Insightful)

wattersa (629338) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900593)

The article could have been summed up in one sentence: the best way to protect yourself is to buy everything with untraceable methods like cash or money orders, and limit your recorded transactions to things like land. Oh, and don't take out any loans either, or buy anything online, or fill out a census form. In other words, all the progress of the 20th century will be reduced to us paying cash at the local general store like in the 1950s because we can't trust our government. If ordinary people can avoid the new system, how hard will it be for terrorists? Thanks a lot, Uncle Sam.

Re:protecting yourself (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900672)

I bet not having enough tracable transactions will also flag you as a person of interest. Best to use that credit card at least a little.

I suspect we'll have to have barcodes tattooed on
our foreheads before this is over....

Re:protecting yourself (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900678)

>If ordinary people can avoid the new system, how hard will it be for terrorists?

Try buying air travel tickets with cash.

Re:protecting yourself (3, Interesting)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900734)

Just last week I payed cash for my one way ticket from Amman, Jordan to Baltimore. Everyone was very understanding when I explained that I had lost my wallet in a taxi and didn't have any ID. If you're just polite to people and smile, it will go a long way.

Re:protecting yourself (2, Interesting)

Gareman (618650) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900740)

The problem with cash and other less visible transactions is that your profile would stick out and you would be suspect.

Terrorists understand this and would likely tend to electronically blend in. Buy your standard groceries with your supermarket card, pay for gas at regular intervals, etc., all in an attempt to create a normative profile. Save cash and other less visible transactions for the sketchy stuff (large amounts of chemicals, ammunition and firearms, etc.).

This of course leads to the outlawing of cash and thus makes the cash-only people even more suspect. When cash is outlawed, only outlaws will use cash.

--gary

Re:protecting yourself (5, Insightful)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900903)

Cash is already outlawed.

Try to take to put more than $5000 in cash to a bank account.

Keep $10000 is cash in a cookie jar.

Carry *ANY* negotiable item more than $2500 across a legal boundary - state or country. Or even just have in your pocket on a street corner.

You are a "drug runner" until you can prove otherwise. PERIOD. Your money is impounded and forfeited - unless you can quickly show receipts otherwise.

Right now - go and by a one-way airplane ticket with cash, say SF to LA... Guess who is getting a stripe search?

Re:protecting yourself (2)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900761)


Of course, some vendors like Radio Shack, require you giving information when you purchase something. I'm so glad they're dropping that policy..

After having my own bank tell me that my transactions were suspicious, I've gone to using cash as often as possible.

Re:protecting yourself (2)

Jonny Ringo (444580) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900793)

Cool! So I'd be protecting myself from the government and helping out small businesses and rubbing that in the face of large corperations? You sold me!

Re:protecting yourself (2)

Exmet Paff Daxx (535601) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900809)

I believe you've missed the crux of the article. I believe that Declan was saying that the owner of a database can protect against future misuse of the database by scrambling the database itself against misuse by future owners. For instance, Slashdot scrambles the IP address of all visitors using an MD5 hash to protect against abuse of IP information. This approach is of course insecure and flawed (MD5 of an IP can be brute forced in a day), but the principle is sound. The federal government could easily implement a competent version of this principle to protect our privacy while still mining the database for terrorist threats.

algorith (5, Funny)

dirvish (574948) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900597)

McCullagh's solution is based on algorithms developed for Digital Cash.

if (!terrorist)
ignore ();
else
collect_data ();

Re:algorith (1)

Ark42 (522144) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900634)


int ignore(void)
{
collect_data();
}

Re:algorith (2)

jon787 (512497) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900652)

you forgot to return a value.....
how about "return collect_data();"

Re: Algorithm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900717)

if (!terrorist);
collect_data();

Re:algorith (5, Funny)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900799)

// if (!terrorist)
// ignore ();
// else
collect_data ();

A Start... Maybe (1)

isaacwith2as (543482) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900600)

It sounds much better than an unencrypted database, but it would need a much better password than a person's full name. If someone went to the trouble of getting a copy of this database from whatever government computer it's hidden on, they certainly aren't going to worry about getting some list of full names.

Here's A Start To Protesting: Read MNFTIU.CC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900646)


that's entertaining: My New Fighting Technique Is Undefeatable [mnftiu.cc]

Peace,

W00t

Privacy is overrated (4, Interesting)

frotty (586379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900603)

I only value privacy when it amounts to avoiding people pushing products, unfairly judging me, taking what's mine, and/or impersonating me.

Other than that, knowing any amount of data about us could only be used to make generalizations about us. . . who would really have the time to come up with a fair assessment? Who's job would that be?

It seems like it'd be less preventative and useful in the "clean up our mess" department of the guv.

who would really have the time? (5, Insightful)

Hubert_Shrump (256081) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900665)

Detectives will tell you the reason a lot of criminals get caught is because they have this attitude. Or they think they're too smart - that no one would ever bother to Luminol the inside of their car...

So what happens when something you've done, something you thought - becomes illegal? And what happens when they do have the time and the means? Will you just hand it to them?

Call me paranoid, fearful, whatever - but I'd rather put up a fight.

No comprendo (1)

sheddd (592499) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900605)

So,

1) Customer pays me for a widget with an untraceable transaction.

2) I don't ship the widget

3) Profit!!!

Re:No comprendo (1)

KjetilK (186133) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900694)

4) ???

Because Customer may know where you are... :-)

Database to track terrorists, ha ha (5, Insightful)

LoRider (16327) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900606)

Yeah, that's what it's for; tracking terrorists. The FBI just needs to read their own memos from their own agents to track down these terrorists. Why doesn't anyone ask that question? Do we really need to give up our privacy and freedom simply because the FBI isn't processing the information that is readily available to them?

Aside from the memo sent out by their own agent, I can promise you there was way more information available to the FBI prior to 9/11 that should have made them take notice. Taking into account that they had the information prior to 9/11 before everyone was shitting in their pants about terrorism it's no wonder they didn't do anything.

We are such reactionists. We got hit by terrorists, now lets shred the constitution and live under Marshall law and military rule until we stop shitting ourselves.

I don't believe we need a Dept. of Homeland Defence or any of that shit. The FBI and CIA need to read their fucking email and act on the information they have. Or did they have the information and we told not to act on it? I wonder.

ha ha, indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900755)

Martial law. Martial. Not 'Marshall', dumbfuck.

And if Klinton hadn't gutted the CIA and FBI and turned them into limpwristed shadows of usefulness, we might not be having this problem, eh?

Re:ha ha, indeed. (1)

CommieOverlord (234015) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900840)

And if Klinton hadn't gutted the CIA and FBI and turned them into limpwristed shadows of usefulness, we might not be having this problem, eh?

And if the previous 30 years of Presidents hadn't gone out of their way to piss off people in the middle east, then we might not be having this problem.

Re:ha ha, indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900948)

Unsubstantiated and ridiculous claims of extended conspiracy and other senseless things won't get you even a shred of respect.

Put your tinfoil hat back on, little child.

sure Trent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900946)

yeah -- if Strom Thurmond was president, then we
wouldn't be having all these problems.

Re:Database to track terrorists, ha ha (2, Insightful)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900867)

Or did they have the information and we told not to act on it? I wonder.

If the FBI was "told" not to act on information regarding a terrorist attack of the magnitude of Sept 11th, then you're talking about a conspiracy involving a LOT of different branches of government.

Really, what you're suggesting is the ultimate evil act... that the Sept 11th attacks were in fact supported (or at least ignored) by our own government in order to provide themselves with a blank check. But since that really WOULD require a world-wide secret organization, that's a little too tinfoil-hat-ish even for me.

Call me naive, but I don't think for a moment that every single human being in the FBI, CIA, NSA, and all the other alphabet soup agencies would willingly allow 3000 innocent American citizens to die. I'm sure many employees of these agencies had friends or family that died in those attacks. No way could there be a conspiracy THAT massive. These people are US, they go to work, do their thing, and go home. They don't want to die, and they don't want other people to die if they can help it.

Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by mere incompetence.

Big Brother is More Than That (5, Insightful)

Grip3n (470031) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900615)

The thought that many people consider, like this article, that Big Brother was just the government watching everything you do really goes to show the author probably never read the book. Big Brother is much more than monitoring...actually the monitoring plays a very minor role.

Big Brother's scariest tactic was the use of DoubleThink - and it's rampant today. DoubleThink meant you could see something one way, but you would willingly force yourself and thereby *believe* the opposite to be true, if the government requested it of you. In the book by George Orwell this was common regarding rations of chocolate, war with Eurasia or Eastasia, etc.

In today's society it's Nike saying they free people to achieve their dreams while running sweatshops in Asia. It's McDonalds saying "My McDonalds" when really they're the ones dictating what I can and cannot eat. Its the Gap saying "People of the world, join hands" in their newest commercial while they're, once again, utilizing sweatshops [sunmt.org] in Asia. Its Microsoft saying "Where do you want to go today" while basically saying "This is where we're going to take you today".

Big Brother is not just monitoring - it's an entire way a society thinks. Sure, prevent people from possibly taking over your data, but I believe that should be the least of your concerns. The first priority should be to stop people from taking over your mind.

Re:Big Brother is More Than That (2)

JPelorat (5320) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900674)

Really? McDonalds dictates what you can and can't eat? How do they do that exactly? And how do they punish people who refuse to follow their demands? With guns? Riot gear? Jail time?

You must have a cast-iron stomach and paper-thin willpower.

(but other than that bit o silly, you've got very good points...)

Re:Big Brother is More Than That (5, Interesting)

sabinm (447146) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900772)

Your comments are pretty interesting
but you would willingly force yourself and thereby *believe* the opposite to be true,

that is mostly true. however the real insidiousness of it lay in the fact that the people were not *forcing* themselves. Infact, winston was tortured becasue he was *forcing himself* to believe what the party was telling him.

forcing oneself to believe has the implication of somewhere knowing that one is still aware that one is lying to oneself.

the true "converts" (there can be no converts) to the party were those who could believe two things at once with no contradiction (we are at war with Eurasia, we were always at war with eurasia).

in other words, people unconsiously thought in terms of dual or multiple realities. there was no deception on anyone's part, only acceptance of all things at once.

scary, huh.

don't worry about Adm P & BigBro (1)

727scotty (633710) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900778)

If the Admiral gets the US into the "big brother" mode, other countries will nonetheless adopt this new, more enlightened mode. I can't imagine Germany going back to the nazi mode. Their law doesn't even allow phone companies to keep records of what number called what other number. Back when, the Nazi's used that kind of records to clamp down on dissent. And how about the Dutch, Danes, Sweeds, etc? Or the Lithuanians: their experience with Stalin would probably give them pause for thought....

Sometimes the US (as all other orgs) overdoes this or that. But the point of democracy was never to get the best possible laws at all times. It's really just that we get a collective, periodic chance to correct excesses by dumping the bozos who get it wrong.

Just look at Trent Lott... "you can't fool all the people all the time" - P.T.Barnum

Re:Big Brother is More Than That (2, Insightful)

jeorgen (84395) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900833)

In today's society it's Nike saying they free people to achieve their dreams while running sweatshops in Asia. It's McDonalds saying "My McDonalds" when really they're the ones dictating what I can and cannot eat.

Maybe sombedody has already had a take on this, but here goes:

Sweatshops as you call them give jobs and money to people who would otherwise go without.

McDonald's is successful because people like to eat there by choice.

I don't eat there, and that's my free choice (because I don't eat that kind of food).

"Sweat shops are slavery" and "McDonald's force us to eat there", now that's double think!

/jeorgen

The root of today's doublethink is... (2)

lildogie (54998) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900834)

...governments terrorizing citizens in the name of the war on terrorism.

Re:Big Brother is More Than That (2)

paranoic (126081) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900838)

You mean like this Framing our country's fight against terrorism [austin360.com] ? It's all about the presentation of information, not the content. We're sheep, we don't want to think.

It's "Operation Enduring Freedom"... (2)

Alethes (533985) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900912)

that does nothing but erode Freedom.

Re:Big Brother is More Than That (2)

loosenut (116184) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900927)

Some people are quite aware of the means that justify our current lifestyle, they just don't want to change their habits.

A few weeks ago, I was out at a large local mall doing some Buy Nothing Day shit, and there was a guy there tabling for Vietnam Veterans against War [vvaw.org] .

I stood by and observed a conversation he started with a funny little man from out of town. They started talking about the war, the man asked the veteran if he supported the bombing of Afghanistan, and the veteran said, no, while 9/11 was really tragic, bombing innocent civilians to support the American way of life wasn't something he could agree with. The man got stiff and said something like, "well, if that's what it takes to provide me and my family with the goods we need to be happy, so be it". The vet said "Even if it means the death of innocent people [americanst...rorism.com] ?". The guy started to walk away, visibily disturbed, stammering out a "yes, if that's what it takes".

Kinda blew me away.

By the way, don't click on either of those links, or your name will end up in a database and you'll be tagged as a potential terrorist. Have a nice day.

MOD PARENT ... (1)

DavyByrne (30170) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900951)

DOUBLEPLUSUNGOOD! CRIMETHINK!

in related news ... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900630)

slashdot users have made the BBC [bbc.co.uk] . =]

Re:in related news ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900713)

But they still have yet to make the 6 o'clock news.

BBC is pro linux, but they hide that fact from the non geek community.

Re:in related news ... (1)

k3v0 (592611) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900722)

/. is the trendy spot these days. anything having to with the opinion of the technologically well informed references /. even mr big media giant CNN http://www.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9909/20/new.slas hdot.idg/index.html it sure is big news...

One Problem (4, Insightful)

xyzzy-ladder (570782) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900635)

From the article:

"It's true that Congress could outlaw Wayner's and Brands' techniques and force all information to be stored in a surveillance-enabled way. But until that happens, we don't have to make it any easier for Poindexter and his snoops."

I'm sure the government will make use of the techonology he describes illegal, which means using it will just make you a criminal.

TIA is obviously not about terrorism, it's about keeping track of political opposition. I also suspect at least some of the info will be shared with campaign contributors, for commercial reasons.

The Bush administration knows quite a bit about radical Islamicist terrorists, considering Bush's father is the one that armed, trained, and funded them.

<tinfoil>

If there's another election, I'm not voting against Bush.

</tinfoil>

..and I don't think it's right. (0, Flamebait)

krahli (556957) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900658)

I think it's wrong. I think the government should step in and conscript it. Make cards out, fingerprint everybody, picture them and then keep it that way because this country is the only country that lets in all the refuse they can possibly get along with the good people.

The people of the United States had better wake up before they have their whole little kitten cabboodle go down the drain.

BREAD IS A DOLLAR AND NINETEEN CENTS A LOAF, and so on.

1984 (1)

k3v0 (592611) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900662)

we are at war with eastasia, we have always been at war with eastasia

Algorithms (2, Insightful)

9Numbernine9 (633974) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900668)

Limited disclosure certificates solve that centralization problem. They use a clever bit of mathematics to protect the identity of honest people, but reveal the identity of people who attempt to commit fraud. As soon as you try to cheat someone, the privacy protection evaporates.
Maybe it's just my inner mathematician screaming to get out, but is anyone else interested in what the "clever bit" really is? I'd be wary of trusting my identity to anything like this - that is, to an algorithm that I couldn't see - or would they try to make this a case of "security through obscurity"?

Re:Algorithms (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900835)

or would they try to make this a case of "security through obscurity"?
Oh you mean MS is doing the the security. Great 3 service pack later it will be running like a charm and not crashing as frequently, probably even get some award for being so secure..
good point though, anything you can trust is well documented and has mathmatical proofs to follow.. scary schtuff i tell yah..

We can monitor them, too (2, Interesting)

vudufixit (581911) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900691)

The abuses wrought by expanded monitoring, search and detention powers can and should be cataloged and exposed. The Internet is the perfect medium to do it with. I call this "Little Brother."

Re:We can monitor them, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900994)

yes but if I am not mistaken camp xray for example; never fully realeased the names of people held therr and if you did it would be treason.

Also if you did that would atleast make you a suspect and now the CIA has the ability to eliminate terror suspects they cannot catch this includes US citizens. The day after you post something of this nature a hellfire hits your car on your morning commute.

Bill Clinton's Legacy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900692)

Looks like it isn't Monica Lewinky after all. Bill Clinton will be rememebered as the "me too" President. George Bush can't brush his teeth without Bill Clinton reminding us that he would have handled it 6 years ago, but somehow didn't.
---

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said Sunday he had warned North Korea (news - web sites) in 1994 the United States would destroy its nuclear reactor unless it agreed to freeze its operations.

Now that Pyongyang has said it was reactivating its facilities, Clinton said the North Koreans must be persuaded or forced to stop the weapons program.

"Make no mistake about it, it has to be ended," Clinton said. "You do not want North Korea making bombs and selling them to the highest bidder."

Speaking at a dinner for Dutch businessmen and public figures, the former president said it was more likely North Korean would use the nuclear issue to bargain for more aid, rather than put weapons on the market.

"We had a tense situation with North Korea in my first term," Clinton said. Pyongyang "was planning six to eight" bombs a year.

"We drew up plans to destroy the reactor," Clinton said, and he told Pyongyang the facility would be attacked unless it were frozen.

Clinton urged his successor, George W. Bush, to work with China, Japan and other nations to pressure the North Koreans on the nuclear issue.

The only thing to stop Big Brother... (5, Insightful)

infolib (618234) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900695)

...is people willing to stand up for their convictions.

Re:The only thing to stop Big Brother... (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900847)

...is people willing to stand up for their convictions.

Convistions I can stand for. It's the sentences that scare me!

Re:The only thing to stop Big Brother... (2)

sys$manager (25156) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900851)

But where have those people gone? It seems the majority of people just act like sheep nowadays. IMO, it's the consumer oriented culture we live in. We're not alive to LIVE, we're alive to CONSUME.

Re:The only thing to stop Big Brother... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900980)

The only thing to stop Big Brother is people willing to stand up for their convictions.
We're fucked.

This thing is such a load of BS (2, Interesting)

I am Emmitt Smith (632062) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900699)

Seriously, does the government not think that terrorists are smart enough to pay with cash whenever they are doing anything that might get them caught? Or does it expect us to believe that the real reason for building the database is to catch terrorists? Either our government is retarded or it thinks we are. And I'm pretty sure I know the correct answer.

Re:This thing is such a load of BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900748)

I'm not sure that those are mutually exclusive. I think the correct answer is both.

Re:This thing is such a load of BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900794)

Think, dude, 6 years from now paying cash for anything will be 'proof' that one is 'terrorist',
. . and only ones with a smartcard in one's hand and a PIN in one's head will be permitted to engage in any purchase...

Or, one could go for the embedded-in-hand or embedded-in-neck chips, I suppose...

I'm PROACTIVE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900997)

My cat has a chip in his neck!

errr.... something something BOOK of REVELATION something MARK OF THE BEATS babble, rant, foam

Re:This thing is such a load of BS (2, Insightful)

kedi (583806) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900814)

Think again. The idea is to locate suspicious activity. Not using credit card is the first trigger to show that you are a potential terrorist, - other triggers follow.

I guess we're safe, then. (2, Funny)

Satoshi Harada (634776) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900701)

From the article:
Limited disclosure certificates solve that centralization problem. They use a clever bit of mathematics to protect the identity of honest people, but reveal the identity of people who attempt to commit fraud. As soon as you try to cheat someone, the privacy protection evaporates.

And it's the *politicians* who are deciding when someone cheats?

If you think... (5, Informative)

NilObject (522433) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900719)

If you think this is our biggest problem, you should check out: http://www.orwelltoday.com

You'd be surprised what goes under even our meticulous radar of freedom infringement...

Re:If you think... (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900937)

for the lazy: click here [orwelltoday.com]

cuttng and pasting yeck

Total my arse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900730)

TIA only serves to demonstrate the supreme arrogance of the US govt - quick! search the big database for "white van"

Why would anyone do this? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900743)

Although corporate databases CAN be made to hinder or thwart gathering personal information, WHY would said corporations bother to implement this?

Here are just three reasons it won't happen:

1) Purposely hiding customer transactions and data may draw unwanted attention of the feds. Not officially, of course (or maybe...). But lots of "unofficial" attention by federal agents and agnecies can be a real headache. Maybe the company finds itself the target of yearly IRS audits, for instance.

2) As explained 14,000 times a day on Slashdot, corporations don't care about us except as a source of revenue. Their declared objective is to make as much money as possible. So why go to any extra effort unless it results in higher profits?

3) Even if a company did bother how can you, as a consumer, ever be certain it even works? Maybe it's just a PR campaign (i.e. lying) in an attempt to increase revenue (see #2 above). Without detailed insider knowledge about the methods used, there is no way to ensure that any database privacy measuses exist or work even if they do exist.

You want some privacy, make small transactions and pay for everything in cash.

Interesting-- the "re-education" of America? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900752)

Here's something interesting ---

I wonder what will happen in schools in a few years? When we were all kids growing up, we were taught that we were the greatest nation because we had certain freedoms, that the government had limited power over watching us etc, instead of places like soviet Russia (where the CD players listen to YOU--- woops, wrong post) that watch and control their citizens.

What is probably going to happen is that kids in schools today will be taught (slowly as not to draw attention to it) that it is good and proper for the government to watch its citizens, that there is no such thing as a "right to privacy" etc... and kids being kids will dismiss our ideas of personal liberty, privacy, etc as old fasioned - or worse, that they see mommy or daddy using PGP or linux, or planting a tree in front of the security camera in their house, and thinking that mommy or daddy must be terrorists...

Just my 2 cents' worth...

The problem with this is (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900780)

Using the methods outlined in the article, the buisnesses involved would have to retool their entire transaction handling infrastructure, That's a lot of things they would have to rewrite. Also this would mean if their servers went down, they should not take an imprint of a credit card, so there is also a policy change which would need to be instated.

All of these things would cost a retail establishment money, in expenditure for a new system, or lost sales to cover a policy change.

The only way I could see such a system being implemented was if the credit card companies got behind it and forceds retailers to comply. I can not off hand think of how this would be beneficial to credit companies, so unkfortunatly I don't think that this will have a chance.

Don't complain too much, people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900836)

After all, you voted these jackasses in when you voted for a democan or a republicrat.

I guess a few of you voted Libertarian, and thus can't be blamed, but the rest of you made your bed - now lie in it.

Am I being thick, or what? (2, Interesting)

garyok (218493) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900886)

It strikes me that another agency wouldn't be able to access your data in a usable form either: the company holding it. They'd need your permission every time they wanted to compile a management report, or research sales trends, or whatever, so the cost of this sort of activity would be so high there'd be no point in them developing IT solutions for these tasks at all. This would adversely impact on corporate efficiency and profitability (also, other projects with interdependencies on these tasks would probably find it harder to justify claims for funding with the board - i.e. no jobs for us).

Any company that implemented a solution like this for its sales data would probably be cutting it's own throat.

Or, if they had a key to unlock the database, then the spooks could just take that too. And you're right back to where you started.

Feingold for President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900917)

The article points out that only one senator voted against the Bush Administration's "Patriot Act" that shelves the privacy of law-abiding citizens in the name of preventing terrorism.

The Democratic party is going to need a presidential candidate, and senator Russ Feingold might be a good man for the job. He's got a track record of supporting civil liberties, pushing for campaign finance reform, and seems to have an above-average grasp of technology. I don't put much faith in politicians of any stripe, but we're going to need someone to start undoing Bush's damage once he's ousted...

Governments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4900944)

Simply CANNOT BE TRUSTED in any way , shape or form. Here in the US, every little flimsy excuse is used to author laws that are directly contrary to our Constitution. The real problem is that most of our polititians are lawyers, and sworn to uphold the Constitution. Yet they think they can bend the words to mean something that no rational human would ever interpret that way. Secret government groups are the main reason for the people not trusting the government. Look at Oliver North, educated Marine officer, breaking the law. There are hundreds standing beside and behind him. The average knee-jerk American citizen asks NO questions about what their government is actually doing. Radical reform is needed to prevent this stuff from happening. I propose:

1) No relative of ANY person holding ANY public office, be able to run for public office within TEN generations of any other family member. (keep the family dynasties out of the picture)
2) Only a single term for any politician. (prevents power base building)
3) Require a quorum for any vote to be valid
4) Allow the people to be the final say in any law's passage. Make the people read and vote upon the law to get it passed, require a quorum of at least 70 percent to be present during the vote, failing a quorum, the law gets shelved for a 20 year period.
5) Hols our Representatives(Not leaders as they like o think of themselves) totally accountable for their votes in the Senate and House. Require responsibility and back it up with the death penalty. Make the family's of the politicians reaponsible too, give them incentive to question where all those extra perks that are not in the job description come from. Graft? Make the families responsible for their own welfare. It would reduce cheating.(My Dad the Senator has a new car that was given to him. Did he earn it or is this a bribe? Asks little Suzie daughter, not wishing to die due to Dad's lack of morals.)

These simple modifications to our Constitution would go a long way to curb the Good Old Boy syndrome. If politicians had one chance to do public service, and no chance to suck on the public teat for life, they my be more responsible.

Voter ratification would give control to the people, who should have the control, but have been usurped by clever rhetoric of lawmakers and representatives from the past.

We shouldn't HAVE to take these precautions (4, Informative)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900958)

The whole concept ITSELF is out of line. The TIA database isn't just for your financial transactions -- it will also be storing biometric information about you, along with facial recognition images that will be put together when you get your drivers license.

Articles like this are giving people false hope that they will be able to circumvent the system without mentioning the whole camera/surveillance/REAL big brother part of the equation. They won't need your credit card number if they have a positive visual ID of you purchasing something that may be considered threatening.

The fact of the matter here is that the whole TIA database idea must be scrapped, and no more federal funding should be granted. It has already sucked up well over $100million of our tax dollars.

Please write to your representatives [house.gov] and let them know how abhorrent this whole program is. It is an unprecedented invasion of our privacy, and it should be stopped dead right now.

Sending email to your elected officials is pretty much copying it to /dev/null. Noone reads their email, not even their interns most of the time. Either snail mail the letter or, if you're in a hurry, fax it to them.

At any rate, LET THEM KNOW. People made enough noise to force Kissinger to resign, people made enough noise to get Trent Lott in some serious hot water, people made enough noise to stop the exploratory oil drilling off the coast of California...

The point is clear -- make A LOT of noise to support your cause, and chances are you will be heard.

Why it won't work (3, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900966)

Yes one way databases could work. They can be fast, accurate, reliable and secure.
But there are a few reasons why I don't see it happening.

1. Linking transactions together is seen as valuable to those tracking data. The grocery store would love to know that I buy Doritos every day, and that I just moved so they should order fewer Doritos.

2. People don't understand this technology. Since we can't read who did what, how can we really track what is going on, how can we be sure that only paying customers get service. They don't understand so they don't trust. Complicated solutions like this are new, and implementations are seen as generally troublesome. I wouldn't bet my company on it, and the current crop of mangers won't either.

3. Not enough pressure from customers. Why go for this complicated, expensive risky new technology that is less useful to us when our customers don't even care about it.

I think it is mostly a perception and Cost/Benefit problem.

One of us is missing the point... (4, Insightful)

RalphTWaP (447267) | more than 11 years ago | (#4900995)

*throwing hands into the air*

I have to admit, it's probably me. As I understand it, the article points out that there exist designs for data-collection and data-mining that would allow non-disclosure of personal information. True, the public/business could use these designs when constructing data-collection systems.

However, posters have rightly pointed out that mandates to "all your data belong to us" by the Gvt will probably either explicitly cover the case "you must be able to turn over all your data, don't design it otherwise", or they will implicitly cover the case "failure turn over all the data will result in a fine". Almost certainly, the second statement is easier for the voting public to accept than the first. In either case, the same result obtains: The designs utilized will be the easiest ones, the ones in use today, and those are the ones that provide simple, bi-directional links between John Doe and his pr0n/weapons/libertarian-prose purchasing behavior.

Surely, it is in some sense more seemly to collect the minimal data required, and to store it in such a way that the system itself maintains user privacy quite aside from the database's access permissions; however, in light of the technology barriers (it's _harder_ to implement such a system, and harder during the classically shorted design phase), and the possible future legislative barriers, it seems unlikely in the extreme that these protections will make it into most systems of this kind.

At the root, our loss of privacy protections is a societal/legal matter. Slashdot maintains firmly that piracy issues (societal/behavioral matter) can't be solved by technology (DRM), don't be so quick to embrace the thought that privacy protection could possibly be so solved.

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