Tag Archives: Privacy

“I have nothing to hide. Why should I care about my privacy?”

By Fábio Esteves – There are two sets of reasons to care about your privacy even if you’ve got nothing to hide: ideological reasons and practical reasons.

Don’t confuse privacy with secrecy. I know what you do in the bathroom, but you still close the door. That’s because you want privacy, not secrecy.

A company like Facebook or Google allows you to upload unlimited data to their servers, for free. What’s their business model? How do they make so much money? They sell your info to advertising companies. But they never asked you if you wanted to sell your information. If someone asked you in person 100 questions about your personal life to sell it, would you answer them? Probably not, right? But you let this happen every time you use a service that makes money selling your info. more> https://goo.gl/mstSm5

Cutting the Gordian Knot of Privacy

By Maj. Gen. Earl D. Matthews – Europe has leapfrogged the United States in this arena and leads the way in defining privacy laws. Last year, the European Parliament approved the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which strengthens and unifies data protection laws for individuals within the European Union. Enforcement of the GDPR will begin in 2018, and organizations not in compliance will face heavy penalties, such as fines of up to 4 percent of annual gross revenue or 20 million euros, whichever is greater.

Some experts have declared that privacy in the digital realm is dead. I beg to differ. It might be in an evolutionary state, but privacy is unquestionably not dead. It is not mutually exclusive to either the private or public sector, to economic development or national security. Privacy remains a fundamental expectation for individuals. America’s expectation of privacy is a permanent challenge requiring national resolve and continued response.

Additionally, asking the right questions is perhaps the most important consideration to move the discussion forward.

Why do people fail to read privacy policies?

If they do read and understand them, then why do they often lack enough experience to make an informed choice?

Why do privacy policies often serve more as a liability disclaimer for the government and industry than as a guarantee of privacy for citizens and consumers?

Adopting transparent data privacy and protection policies that are brief, well-stated and clear-cut might be a good start to addressing these questions. more> https://goo.gl/K07OB9

A New Reason for Foreigners to Avoid Google and Facebook

By Leonid Bershidsky – A Philadelphia court has made the unfortunate decision to reopen the legal debate on whether the U.S. has the right to access e-mails stored on foreign servers if they belong to U.S. companies.

That’s a dangerous approach that hurts the international expansion of U.S. tech companies. Privacy-minded customers in Europe are already suspicious of the U.S. government’s cooperation with the tech giants, revealed by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. Nationalist politicians in some countries — for example, Marine Le Pen of the French National Front — want to ban cross-border personal data transfers, arguing that such data must be stored on servers inside the internet user’s country. That, however, does not appear to guarantee that the U.S. won’t get at it, either.

Those who are uneasy about the degree of the U.S. government’s reach into their private files and communications need to start thinking about alternatives, no matter how hard it may be to replace Google, Microsoft or Facebook. more> https://goo.gl/a1hqfP

The philosophy of privacy: why surveillance reduces us to objects

By Michael P. Lynch – Philosophers have traditionally distinguished freedom of choice or action from what is sometimes called autonomy.

To see the difference, think about impulse buying. You may “freely” click on the “buy” button in the heat of the moment – indeed, corporations count on it – without that decision reflecting what really matters to you in the long run. Decisions like that might be “free” but they are not fully autonomous.

Someone who makes a fully autonomous decision, in contrast, is committed to that decision; she owns it. Were she to reflect on the matter, she would endorse those decisions as reflecting her deepest values.

Systematic invasions of privacy are undermining our autonomy in precisely the same way in which the mind-meld case does. The government is not forcing us to make a decision. But it is undermining our autonomy nonetheless. more> http://tinyurl.com/mrd2obb

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How international relations theory shapes U.S. cybersecurity doctrine

By Henry Farrell – The fundamental logic of the security dilemma is straightforward.

Imagine two neighboring states, each of which wants peace while not being sure of the other’s intentions. Imagine further that one of the states decides to build up its military (perhaps by increasing its army), solely in order to defend itself if the other state turns out to have malign intentions.

It may well be that the second state looks at the first state’s decision to increase the size of its army, and worries that the first state is beefing up its military so that it can invade. The second state may then decide, too, to build up its army.

This may, in turn alarm the first state, which begins to fear that the second state is indeed intent on invasion, leading the first state to introduce conscription. And this process may go on, …

The world of the Cold War was, for better or worse, partly built on the foundation of political science ideas. The same is true of the emerging world of cybersecurity. more> http://tinyurl.com/kaecx8s

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Defeating NSA Surveillance Isn’t the Real Problem

By Max Eddy – The NSA wasn’t operating in a vacuum. Two key changes aided the creation of the massive spying operation we know today.

The first was the cost of search and storage, which Bruce Schneier said had dropped to the point where it was feasible to store and search huge amounts of data.

Second was a philosophical shift in both user behavior and technology companies. “We build systems that spy on people in exchange for services,” said Schneier. “Surveillance is the business model of the Internet.” more> http://tinyurl.com/m2qoqpf

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Spy Chief James Clapper: We Can’t Stop Another Snowden

By Eli Lake – James Clapper also acknowledges that the very human nature of the bureaucracy he controls virtually insures that more mass disclosures are inevitable.

“In the end,” he says, “we will never ever be able to guarantee that there will not be an Edward Snowden or another Chelsea Manning because this is a large enterprise composed of human beings with all their idiosyncrasies.”

Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, concurs: “I do think he recognizes that we are in a new normal after Snowden where we can’t operate with the expectation where nothing will get out.” more> http://tinyurl.com/myp6jx3

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How many criminals have NSA’s phone records busted? Maybe one

By Grant Gross – “Made in the U.S.A. is no longer a badge of honor, but a basis for questioning the integrity and the independence of U.S.-made technology,” Dean Garfield, president and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) told lawmakers. “Many countries are using the NSA’s disclosures as a basis for accelerating their policies around forced localization and protectionism.”

Officials with the Obama administration haven’t accurately described the NSA programs to Congress, said Representative Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican. “We feel that we have been blatantly deceived on what some of these programs have done,” he said. more> http://tinyurl.com/m5txpo3

The Inside Story of Tor, the Best Internet Anonymity Tool the Government Ever Built

By Dune Lawrence – Tor provides privacy by separating identity from routing online.

In a normal session online, you’re browsing from your computer or a router that’s assigned its own IP address. Every request you send out carries that address, and information is returned there.

When you use Tor, instead of your chat message, or the URL you type going directly to its destination, it’s routed through Tor’s network of volunteer nodes, moving through at least three of them, before exiting the network and proceeding to the endpoint.

The website that receives it doesn’t know what your IP address is, nor does any point in the Tor circuit except for the entry relay.

For most users, a Tor session does not feel different from going on the Web with the Firefox browser. But all the winding through relays does slow things down. more>http://tinyurl.com/mc3e7e4

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Corporate espionage undermines democracy

By Ralph Nader – It’s not just the NSA that has been caught spying on Americans. Some of our nation’s largest corporations have been conducting espionage as well, against civic groups.

In effect, big corporations have been able to hire portions of the national security apparatus, and train their tools of spycraft on the citizens groups of our nation.

This does not bode well for our democracy. Our democracy is only as strong as the civic groups that work to preserve and protect it every day. more> http://tinyurl.com/m9uys9h