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[liberationtech] Identi.ca, Diaspora, and Friendica are more secure alternatives to Facebook.

Petter Ericson pettter at acc.umu.se
Tue Jun 18 00:38:07 PDT 2013


Certainly they collect less of your data specifically, and thus have less to
leak. Furthermore, they have a smaller amount of users, meaning that they
are unable to do the sort of massive network analysis that facebook et al.
can pull off.

If that is "more secure".. Well, considering that the major players offer
exactly _zero_ security (your data is free for the taking by anyone with
enough dollars i.e. effort)...

Well, just my 0.000002BTC

/P

On 17 June, 2013 - John Adams wrote:

> <scarcasm>
> 
> I'm completely certain that these small, poorly funded projects have hired
> massive security teams (as the major social networks do) and provide a safe
> alternative to Facebook or Twitter.
> 
> </scarcasm>
> 
> 
> 
> On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 4:13 PM, Yosem Companys <companys at stanford.edu>wrote:
> 
> > Slate makes mistake of calling them "more secure."
> >
> > YC
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/06/17/identi_ca_diaspora_and_friendica_are_more_secure_alternatives_to_facebook.html
> >
> > How to Block the NSA From Your Friends List
> >
> > By April Glaser and Libby Reinish
> >
> > Posted Monday, June 17, 2013, at 11:12 AM
> >
> > If you don't trust this guy with your data, there are other
> > social-networking options
> >
> > After recent revelations of NSA spying, it’s difficult to trust large
> > Internet corporations like Facebook to host our online social
> > networks. Facebook is one of nine companies tied to PRISM––perhaps the
> > largest government surveillance effort in world history. Even before
> > this story broke, many social media addicts had lost trust in the
> > company. Maybe now they’ll finally start thinking seriously about
> > leaving the social network giant.
> >
> > Luckily, there are other options, ones that are less vulnerable to
> > government spying and offer users more control over their personal
> > data. But will mass migration from Facebook actually happen?
> >
> > According to a Pew study released weeks before news of PRISM broke,
> > teenagers are disenchanted with Facebook. They're moving to other
> > platforms, like Snapchat and (Facebook owned) Instagram, the study
> > reports. This is the way a social network dies—people sign up for
> > multiple platforms before gradually realizing that one has become
> > vacant or uninteresting. Myspace, for instance, took years to drop off
> > the map. By 2006 Myspace reached 100 million users, making it the most
> > popular social network in the United States. But by 2008, Facebook had
> > reached twice that number, less than two years after allowing anyone
> > older than 13 to join the network.
> >
> > Benjamin Mako Hill, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and
> > Society, thinks Facebook's ability to connect people and bind them to
> > the social network is overrated to begin with. "Facebook didn't exist,
> > what, 10 years ago,” he says, and in 10 years, he thinks, “a company
> > called Facebook will exist, but will it occupy the same space in our
> > culture? That's certainly not something I'm willing to take for
> > granted."
> >
> > Teens may be turning to Instagram and Snapchat, but those services
> > don’t offer the deeper levels of social networking that Facebook users
> > are accustomed to, with photo albums, event invites, fan pages, and
> > connections to old friends. Ultimately, teens may be smart not to
> > consolidate all of their social networking on one platform—but
> > Instagram, Snapchat, and some other new flavors of the month all use
> > centralized servers that are incredibly easy to spy on.
> >
> > But there are other places to go. For years, the free software
> > movement has been developing and using social networks designed with
> > user privacy in mind. Unlike Facebook, these social networks are not
> > hosted by a single entity's privately owned servers but rather by
> > volunteers across the world that share server space in order to
> > maintain a decentralized, robust network. When a company like Facebook
> > hosts the data of more than 1 billion users, it's not hard for the
> > government to simply ask for permission to access that data,
> > conveniently stored all in one place.
> >
> > Gabriella Coleman, a professor of scientific and technological
> > literacy at McGill University, points out that companies like Facebook
> > would be collecting data on individuals regardless of government
> > requests. That's how the vast majority of free online social networks
> > make money; they use data mining to sell targeted, contextual ads. "In
> > some ways,” she says, “that's the source of the problem, the fact that
> > we've just given up all of our data in return for free services."
> >
> > Community-hosted, decentralized social media, on the other hand, allow
> > people to maintain ownership of their data. These platforms use a
> > principle called “federation” to connect a vast network of servers to
> > one another. If the NSA wants to collect the data of all the users on
> > a decentralized network, it has to contend with a large number of
> > disparate server owners who could be anywhere in the world, a much
> > more complicated task than issuing a single subpoena or hacking into a
> > centralized server.
> >
> > "There's a resiliency to having data spread across multiple sites;
> > that's the way the web was intended to work, and we need to bring that
> > back,” says Christopher Webber, the founder of MediaGoblin, a
> > federated, free software replacement for YouTube, Flickr, SoundCloud,
> > and other media hosting services. Other projects, like Identi.ca
> > (which is similar to Twitter), Diaspora, and Friendica are
> > replacements for conventional social media networks, and they work.
> > The number of users on federated networks is hard to calculate—again,
> > their data are spread out instead of stored centrally—but Identi.ca
> > alone counts 1.5 million users.
> >
> > PRISM could be the impetus that gets more communities to begin using
> > these networks. As of Monday morning, nearly 200,000 people have
> > signed a petition that calls for an investigation of the NSA's spying
> > program, and last week activists launched prism-break.org, a site that
> > offers a menu of options for those looking to "opt out" of government
> > surveillance.
> >
> > The NSA’s spy apparatus worked because of the centrally owned and
> > operated networks we have relied on to socialize. How the PRISM story
> > will play out politically remains uncertain, but there are more
> > immediate ways for users to regain privacy. Try another social
> > network, and bring your friends to experiment with you.  If you oppose
> > turnkey government spying, go where the NSA doesn’t have a backdoor.
> >
> > Disclaimer: Libby Reinish is an employee of the Free Software
> > Foundation, which is a member of StopWatching.Us, a coalition of more
> > than 75 organizations calling for a full congressional investigation
> > of the NSA's spying program.
> > --
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> >

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-- 
Petter Ericson (pettter at acc.umu.se)
Telecomix Sleeper Jellyfish



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