Search Mailing List Archives


Limit search to: Subject & Body Subject Author
Sort by: Reverse Sort
Limit to: All This Week Last Week This Month Last Month
Select Date Range     through    

[liberationtech] [Freedombox-discuss] Happy Creepy February!

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 10 12:51:16 PST 2013


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

> From: Nick M. Daly <nick.m.daly at gmail.com>
> To: freedombox-discuss at lists.alioth.debian.org; Liberation Technologies <liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu>
> Cc: 
> Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2013 2:47 PM
> Subject: [Freedombox-discuss] Happy Creepy February!
> 
>T hanks to investigative work by the Guardian, we can tell just how many
> steps back online privacy's taken this year.  It's unfortunate:
> 
>     
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/10/software-tracks-social-media-defence
> 
>     A multinational security firm has secretly developed software
>     capable of tracking people's movements and predicting future
>     behaviour by mining data from social networking websites...  [T]he
>     Massachusetts-based company has acknowledged the technology was
>     shared with US government and industry as part of a joint research
>     and development effort, in 2010, to help build a national security
>     system capable of analysing "trillions of entities" from 
> cyberspace.
> 
> In developing this product, Raytheon seems to make two fundamentally
> flawed assumptions:
> 
> 1. That people never make invalid interpretations of the data.  Read up
>    on Type I errors for the details:
> 
>       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_I_and_type_II_errors
> 
> 2. That collecting and sharing this data (and those invalid assumptions)
>    is ever desirable.  This is what Daniel Solove was warning about in
>    his "I've Got Nothing to Hide..." article.
> 
>       https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=998565

There are quicker and more effective arguments against the I've-got-nothing-
to-hide red herring.  One is this: however one defines public vs. private, there
are burdensome economic costs to moving data from one sphere to the other,
regardless of the underlying content:

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/02/new_york_times_security_breech_how_a_chinese_hacker_tried_to_blackmail_me.html

That's the effect of one highly-targeted data breach.  Imagine the same company
have a similar one every month, for a decade.  This isn't a matter of having nothing
to hide-- it's a matter of paying lawyers, admins, and consultants to quantify the
cost of an unplanned data migration.

The other is that, unlike civil rights activists from the 60s, the
I've-got-nothing-to-hide proponents have no history of action in support of
their cause. If they had a Nietzsche-level of reflection on what their words meant,
they would never password protect anything and make their normative
private lives subject to complete public scrutiny.  If they had a fly's speck
of reflection, they would at least refuse to prosecute anyone who hacked
data related to their private affairs, or violated NDAs, etc.

Seriously-- if you've got nothing to hide, then why go to the trouble to
hide anything at all?  The glaring contradiction between deed and action
makes it a textbook example of hypocrisy.

-Jonathan

> 
> I wish I knew more about how Raytheon was accessing the data and what
> the lag times were (between tweeting and when the tweet is searchable,
> for example).
> 
> Nick
> 
> _______________________________________________
> Freedombox-discuss mailing list
> Freedombox-discuss at lists.alioth.debian.org
> http://lists.alioth.debian.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/freedombox-discuss
> 



More information about the liberationtech mailing list