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Old 03-17-2013, 01:01 PM   #1
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There's no such thing as privacy anymore

TL;DR: Privacy on the internet is too far gone to ever possibly call it back.
I'm going to start with three data points.
One: Some of the Chinese military hackers who were implicated in a broad set of attacks against the U.S. government and corporations were identified because they accessed Facebook from the same network infrastructure they used to carry out their attacks.

Two: Hector Monsegur, one of the leaders of the LulzSac hacker movement, was identified and arrested last year by the FBI. Although he practiced good computer security and used an anonymous relay service to protect his identity, he slipped up.

And three: Paula Broadwell,who had an affair with CIA director David Petraeus, similarly took extensive precautions to hide her identity. She never logged in to her anonymous e-mail service from her home network. Instead, she used hotel and other public networks when she e-mailed him. The FBI correlated hotel registration data from several different hotels -- and hers was the common name.

The Internet is a surveillance state. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we're being tracked all the time. Google tracks us, both on its pages and on other pages it has access to. Facebook does the same; it even tracks non-Facebook users. Apple tracks us on our iPhones and iPads. One reporter used a tool called Collusion to track who was tracking him; 105 companies tracked his Internet use during one 36-hour period.

Increasingly, what we do on the Internet is being combined with other data about us. Unmasking Broadwell's identity involved correlating her Internet activity with her hotel stays. Everything we do now involves computers, and computers produce data as a natural by-product. Everything is now being saved and correlated, and many big-data companies make money by building up intimate profiles of our lives from a variety of sources.

Facebook, for example, correlates your online behavior with your purchasing habits offline. And there's more. There's location data from your cell phone, there's a record of your movements from closed-circuit TVs.
This is ubiquitous surveillance: All of us being watched, all the time, and that data being stored forever. This is what a surveillance state looks like, and it's efficient beyond the wildest dreams of George Orwell.

Sure, we can take measures to prevent this. We can limit what we search on Google from our iPhones, and instead use computer web browsers that allow us to delete cookies. We can use an alias on Facebook. We can turn our cell phones off and spend cash. But increasingly, none of it matters.

There are simply too many ways to be tracked. The Internet, e-mail, cell phones, web browsers, social networking sites, search engines: these have become necessities, and it's fanciful to expect people to simply refuse to use them just because they don't like the spying, especially since the full extent of such spying is deliberately hidden from us and there are few alternatives being marketed by companies that don't spy.

This isn't something the free market can fix. We consumers have no choice in the matter. All the major companies that provide us with Internet services are interested in tracking us. Visit a website and it will almost certainly know who you are; there are lots of ways to be tracked without cookies. Cellphone companies routinely undo the web's privacy protection. One experiment at Carnegie Mellon took real-time videos of students on campus and was able to identify one-third of them by comparing their photos with publicly available tagged Facebook photos.

Maintaining privacy on the Internet is nearly impossible. If you forget even once to enable your protections, or click on the wrong link, or type the wrong thing, and you've permanently attached your name to whatever anonymous service you're using. Monsegur slipped up once, and the FBI got him. If the director of the CIA can't maintain his privacy on the Internet, we've got no hope.

In today's world, governments and corporations are working together to keep things that way. Governments are happy to use the data corporations collect -- occasionally demanding that they collect more and save it longer -- to spy on us. And corporations are happy to buy data from governments. Together the powerful spy on the powerless, and they're not going to give up their positions of power, despite what the people want.

Fixing this requires strong government will, but they're just as punch-drunk on data as the corporations. Slap-on-the-wrist fines notwithstanding, no one is agitating for better privacy laws.

So, we're done. Welcome to a world where Google knows exactly what sort of
porn you all like, and more about your interests than your spouse does. Welcome to a world where your cell phone company knows exactly where you are all the time. Welcome to the end of private conversations, because increasingly your conversations are conducted by e-mail, text, or social networking sites.

And welcome to a world where all of this, and everything else that you do or is done on a computer, is saved, correlated, studied, passed around from company to company without your knowledge or consent; and where the government accesses it at will without a warrant.

Welcome to an Internet without privacy, and we've ended up here with hardly a fight.
Opinion: The Internet is a surveillance state -

I'm one of those guys who takes reasonable limits with what he does online; my facebook privacy is moderate, I do my best to comport myself reasonably, and I just sort my thing. I know a lot of people who specifically hide everything they do online, with no cookies enabled and no facebook account and all that. I'm kind of like OP for this article...I've given up. Any kind of privacy we used to have is long buried and gone, so just do what you can and hope for the best.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:15 PM   #2
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I have given up a long time ago, if someone wants to expose you they will and my mentality is I have nothing to hide in life at all. From my friends, strangers and even RS. I am who I am and whats the point in trying to hide who you actually are because someone might find out? I'm not paranoid I just don't care and I enjoy my quality of life from thinking that way.

Now trust thats a whole different story cause I trust no one
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:20 PM   #3
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If you want privacy, don't go online. Alternatively, don't discuss anything online that you wouldn't want getting out. And don't conduct yourself in a shameful manner online.

This is the world we live in.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:52 PM   #4, where our google ads make absolutely no sense!
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I like how the 3 proofs of failed precautions were due to the incompetence of the user. Nice fear-mongering journalism CNN.

Seriously, the internet is about as private as you make it. Google is not a charity, they're not a multibillion dollar company because they provide free to use services.

The whole design of the original www internet was never about security. But if you do want security and privacy there are ways to do so.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:01 PM   #5
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meh privacy. i have nothing to hide. i look at lots and lots of porn. there, now its out in the open
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:01 PM   #6
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what we call privacy is overrated. Lack of privacy is the government monitoring your conversations or barging into your home telling you what to do or limiting your basic freedoms

facebook, online browsing and all that are not necessities and are for shits and giggles. I think it's only fair that if i browse revscene, facebook or google can remarket to me etc...just be smart online and you'll have no reason to worry about privacy

on top of that the three examples given are all people who broke the rules on a high level and were tracked down by government organizations. The fbi and cia do not just sit on a wire waiting to come up on a crime - these are high profile crimes that were targetted and monitored on purpose. I'm a nobody - i have no fear of the fbi hacking my computer
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:11 PM   #7
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Moral of the story: Don't fuck with the FBI and CIA and expect to get away with it.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:21 PM   #8
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privacy? pfft, that didn't exist before the internet either.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:17 PM   #9
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There is no point in worrying about privacy online. The truth is, the internet is vital to today's society, and most people can't live without it.

Your information is and will be out there...but there is FAR more information out there than there are criminals who know how to find it and use it. So it's really just bad luck if they choose to prey on you, because they could have chosen anyone.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:42 PM   #10
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Worst example was Paula's. If she used disguises and fake names, then she would've been better off.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:00 PM   #11
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im in the not worried about it bin,

i use the same screen name for everything i get into on the net, its jeffh or jeffhaut on any number of forums. because i feel that anything you say and do online you should be able to stand behind in real life. facebook knows im the super bachelor, i just zoosk would fuck off and quit reminding me haha
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