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[liberationtech] Why Metadata Matters

David Golumbia dgolumbia at gmail.com
Thu Jun 6 14:45:27 PDT 2013


let's just presume that there are parallel arrangements with every other
major provider of not just telephony but other forms of electronic
communication. and a Google-like persistent shadow copy of whatever parts
of the web can be reached. and some neat layers of indexing and
categorization metadata of their own. that should bring the disks up to at
least 5% full.

which definitely leaves no room for a copy of the Bill of Rights (or, for
that matter, the Constitution itself).


On Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 5:34 PM, Bernard Tyers - ei8fdb <ei8fdb at ei8fdb.org>wrote:

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> I'm glad someone brought up the NSA datacentre. I was thinking is there
> any connection to this? How far is it to being finished? Is that public
> knowledge/possible to find out?
>
> It wouldn't warrant this amount of data, which I would expect is pretty
> small in comparison to the capabilities of this NSA datacentre?
>
> Probably too far fetched an idea...
>
> On 6 Jun 2013, at 22:27, Bruce Potter at IRF wrote:
>
> > The other point worth keeping in mind is that NSA can keep this data
> forever (hence the humoungous cyber farm NSA is building in Utah) --
> >
> > So a decade from now they can check the metadata to see if it fits some
> theory a paranoid analyst thinks might have happened half a lifetime ago.
> >
> > bp
> >
> >
> > On Jun 6, 2013, at 1:44 PM, Griffin Boyce <griffinboyce at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >>  I see a lot of people wondering why metadata matters.  "But they
> >> don't know *what* you're doing there!"  So I'll give a short example
> >> to illustrate how metadata can be used to not only determine who
> >> someone is talking to, but also to invade their privacy and uncover
> >> the most intimate details of their life.
> >>
> >>  Jane is at 16th & L Street for an hour.
> >>  Carla is at 16th & L Street for four hours. She's had a short visit
> >> previously.
> >>  James is at 16th & L Street for twenty minutes. He comes back at the
> >> same time every week.
> >>  Kris is at 16th & L Street for ten hours.
> >>  Rick is at 16th & L Street for eight hours every night.
> >>  Samantha has been there for three days and four hours.
> >>
> >> 16th & L Street is the address of a Planned Parenthood in Washington,
> DC.
> >>
> >>  Jane is having a physical.
> >>  Carla is having an abortion.
> >>  James receives his medication there. By visit time, location, and
> >> frequency, he is likely a trans guy. If his appointments were every
> >> two weeks, the metadata would indicate that James is a trans woman.
> >>  Kris is protesting there.
> >>  Rick works in an office in the same building.
> >>  Samantha dropped her phone in the Farragut West Metro Station and
> >> has been looking for it ever since.
> >>
> >> And that's just location data. If one calls a physician every day,
> >> perhaps they have a major medical problem. If a crime happens on the
> >> other side of town, and you suddenly start calling attorneys... did
> >> you do it?  There are numerous explanations for either of those
> >> scenarios, but this kind of metadata in isolation can be used to tell
> >> almost any story you want.
> >>
> >> Stay safe out there.
> >>
> >> best,
> >> Griffin Boyce
> >>
> >> --
> >> Technical Program Associate, Open Technology Institute
> >> #Foucault / PGP: 0xAE792C97 / OTR: saint at jabber.ccc.de
> >> --
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> - --------------------------------------
> Bernard / bluboxthief / ei8fdb
>
> IO91XM / www.ei8fdb.org
>
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-- 
David Golumbia
dgolumbia at gmail.com
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