[Freedombox-discuss] Raining on the parade

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 26 23:48:42 UTC 2012

----- Original Message -----

> From: Ted Smith <tedks at riseup.net>
> To: freedombox-discuss at lists.alioth.debian.org
> Cc: 
> Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 1:36 PM
> Subject: Re: [Freedombox-discuss] Raining on the parade
> On Tue, 2012-06-26 at 10:27 -0700, Jonathan Wilkes wrote:
>>  The activists are the ones sending data with a tor fingerprint.  The
>>  Everybodies are the ones doing what they were already doing--
>>  going to Facebook and Twitter.
> Tor traffic is designed to be identical to HTTPS, and can even be
> obfuscated further to resist DPI attacks.

It is designed that way.


But I think I skipped over a larger issue which is that
this is irrelevant because nobody is going to spend $20 for a box
to put between them and their normal browsing when they can just not
spend $20 on a box and still do normal browsing.  (i.e., with a netbook,
tablet, etc.)

>>  There's no way out of this problem without educating people about
>>  privacy.  For the average user, nearly everything they do on the web
>>  is supported by the hypothesis that the data they provide about
>>  themselves is worth more than the services provided to them.  The
>>  users know this and react by misjudging the value of their data--
>>  almost a direct quote from a Facebook member, "they know I click
>>  'like' on pictures of animals with captions on them."  And I 
> don't
>>  think
>>  any of us can convince such users that doing so is dangerous without
>>  knowing more about what Facebook and Google do with their data
>>  (which is hidden), or making every user do a research project on
>>  privacy so that they have the skills to understand that Moglen's
>>  speeches aren't hyperbole.
> At the same time, ordinary facebook users reposted a modern-day chain
> letter when Facebook had it's IPO asserting that since facebook was now
> "public" they had to post a status containing legalese to retain
> "ownership" of their facebook content.
> So obviously some people care, but they care more about the network
> Facebook has built that allows them to have interactions with people
> they know, and they don't know what actions will make them more or less
> private.

Just about everyone I know cares.  But also, just about everyone I know
lacks the tools to assess the dangers of what they are doing.  That's not
surprising, as the services they are using aren't about to devote the same
care in documenting the potential abuses through their ToS as they devote
to user experience.

But I'm really not sure how to proceed.  There's a lot of details to fill in to get
from "I'm tagging this picture" to "I'm informing on my friends".  Maybe Facebook
will make some more changes that push the creepy out into the open and
fill in the blanks for me. (Although focusing only on one company and one
service doesn't really get to the true scope of the problem.)


> -- 
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