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[liberationtech] Privacy, Moglen, @ioerror, #rp12

Pavol Luptak wilder at
Sat May 12 08:53:41 PDT 2012

On Thu, May 10, 2012 at 11:37:08AM -0400, Jordan McCarthy wrote:
>    I'm not sure why corporations should deserve any less blame or more
>    benefit-of-the doubt than states when they often behave in very similar
>    ways.  Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and most other technological behemoths
>    with sufficient clout have shown no reluctance to set and enforce
>    behavioral standards for their users with all of the brazen enthusiasm of
>    despotic states, by way of encoding those norms into the foundations of
>    their technological platforms - and then doing everything they can to get
>    their users completely hooked on those platforms.  Is Facebook really
>    behaving all that differently than a government when it acts as the
>    Internet's main identity validation and verification system
>    (,
>    literally issuing digital passports that allow their holders to

Yes, there are some differences between Facebook vs. governments:

1. You can decide if you want to be a Facebook customer or not 
(and accept or reject its agreement)

2. You can voluntarily decide if you want to upload your ID documents to
Facebook and use its services or use alternative services / other social
networks. The government forces you many monopoly services that require ID 
and you have no alternative options.

3. You don't pay taxes to Facebook

>    participate in a wide range of on-line (and, increasingly, off-line)
>    activities (,
>    How about when it establishes and enforces rules for what sorts of
>    communication are acceptable on the platform and which aren't, for all of
>    its 800 million users
>    ( 

It's their business. They can have any rules they wish. 
If you don't like these rules, do not use Facebook. 

And because you don't like Facebook (anti)privacy rules, you still don't have
the right to steal money from tax-payers to regulate Facebook and other 
social networks. 

It's simply immoral.

>    A secondary point: yes, we ostensibly have "competition" to balance out
>    companies' overall influence on society.  But when a corporate player
>    becomes as dominant as Facebook is in the social networking market, its
>    competitors' products often starts to look eerily similar to its own. 
>    After all, the competing products deviate too much from the standard that
>    has been set by the dominant player, few people will be willing to invest
>    the effort to make the transition.  And more to the point, the standard
>    set by the dominant player clearly works.  Consider how similar the GUIs

I completely understand your point. But even if only few people are willing to
invest the effort to make the transition to the other privacy-friendly social
networks, you simply have no right to steal money from all other people from
their taxes and use this money to regulate this Facebook, because you don't 
like it and because you think you know what is good for Facebook users.

But you can make non-government/non-profit organization and make big awareness
why Facebook is so bad and why we should not use it.

Regulations and enforcing regulations means that you have to steal money from
tax-payers just because you think that people are too stupid to use Facebook
and they do not care about their privacy. It's their voluntarily choice and
they should bear all consequences. And if you don't like it, don't hesitate
to create your own Facebook privacy-awareness organization, but don't use 
money from my taxes, because I really don't care that people are too stupid
not to aware of security implications of using Facebook.

>    for iOS, Windows, and Linux (generally) are; how many companies Apple is
>    now suing for patent infringement because their flagship smartphones look
>    too much like the iPhone; how strong the expectation has become that
>    people should have a social networking presence of some kind, and how
>    little difference there are between the available modes of expression on
>    most of those platforms.  Is the existance of 300 slightly-different
>    microblogging GUIs evidence of true innovation? 

I really don't understand these patent things, because in the EU we are 
fortunately free of software patents :-)

>    As far as I can tell from having lived in a pretty staunchly free-market
>    society for all of my life, in a free market companies aren't really
>    trying to compete (eg, offer a variety of different interpretations of a
>    product); they're trying to be the absolute best in their corner of the
>    market.  It stands to reason that the most efficient way to do this would
>    not necessarily be to innovate, but rather to simply copy whatever the
>    current market leader is doing to the greatest extent legally possible. 

All my childhood I lived in the socialistic regime (Czechoslovakia) and I can
say that even your deformed free market society was definitely better that 

This is quite interesting regarding many Americans I know, they have no 
practical experiences with socialistic regime, so many of them really tend to 
these crazy ideas.... :-) Unfortunately I have these experiences and never 

>    Unbridled competition can thus be seen as an impediment to, rather than a
>    catalyst for, true innovation - and a powerful driver of the expansion of
>    the influence of the corporate world on individual behavior. 
>    My point is simply that corporations exert plenty of regulatory power in
>    and of themselves, even in the presence of so-called competition.  And if
>    there are no external mechanisms for reigning large corporations' pursuit
>    of market dominance, they may end up regulating us in ways that are far
>    more disturbing and dangerous than the government regulation that so many
>    seem inclined to vilify.

Personally I believe in the decentralized reputable legal systems (for more 
info see David Friedman books/videos) that can solve these bad things in case 
that some corporation start to exploit its position on the market against some

[Pavol Luptak, Nethemba s.r.o.] [] [tel: +421905400542]
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