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[liberationtech] FB-like "Twitter-connect" soon. How can we avoid all this tracking?

Sarah A. Downey sarah at
Fri May 25 10:54:08 PDT 2012

Thanks for the thoughtful reply; it makes sense.  I could provide you with
an objective, third-party review, like this
CNET, but it doesn't seem like it would make a difference if you can't
see the source.  You make a good point about providing a license to independent
auditors.  If you or anyone else reading this are interested in seeing the
DNT+ source with those use limitations, just email our CTO, Andy Sudbury,
at Andrew at


On Fri, May 25, 2012 at 12:37 PM, Eleanor Saitta <ella at> wrote:

> On 2012.05.25 16.37, Sarah A. Downey wrote:
> > I'll respond to your "everything must be open source" statement,
> > although I'm fairly certain it won't have any effect on your opinion
> > that "closed" always equals "bad."  And please keep in mind that we're
> > giving away a /free /add-on with /zero /tracking of or advertising to
> > its users.
> >
> > It's an unnecessarily restrictive and self-handicapping position that
> > software /must /be open source to be useful for privacy.  Plenty of open
> > source privacy tools have come and gone in the past because they aren't
> > sustainable without funding.
> >
> > Our software does what it says, and it's designed to be simple enough
> > that the vast majority of Internet users--people who aren't coders or
> > particularly tech savvy--can use it.
> The problem here is that we don't trust you.  It's nothing personal.  We
> don't trust anyone, unless we can verify.  If we can't see exactly what
> the tool does, we don't have a way of verifying what it does.  This is
> critical normally, but much more important for tools that claim to
> provide privacy or security protection.
> There are a lot of ways around this.  Open source is one of them.
> Providing source access to independent auditors under a license that
> does not restrict them from talking about what it does and how it does
> it is another.
> If you're not willing to be open about exactly how your tool protects my
> privacy, why should I trust that you got it right?  No, I don't expect
> all users will check, or care, but some of us will, and we tell others
> what they should use.
> Privacy, like crypto, is *hard*.  Would you trust someone who claimed to
> have a super-secure crypto algorithm that they wrote themselves that's
> never been peer reviewed?  No.  Why should we do it with a privacy tool?
> E.
> --
> Ideas are my favorite toys.
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*Sarah A. Downey*
Privacy Analyst  |  Attorney
Abine, The Online Privacy Company
t:  @SarahADowney  |  p:  800.928.1987
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