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[liberationtech] a privacy preserving and resilient social network

David Golumbia dgolumbia at
Sat Jun 29 08:53:37 PDT 2013

I really think that is wrong, because it looks at the problem from a purely
technical level.

We already know that in any given network, if the snoops cannot penetrate
it technically, they will penetrate it socially.

They do this either through setting up puppet accounts (very visible all
over Facebook, if you know what to look for), and if that fails, they
simply pay the most vulnerable member of the network, and/or blackmail

This is documented spy operations 101, all over any history of CIA, NSA,
etc., you care to read. In fact, it's old-fashioned spying, and the fetish
for pursuing technological intelligence makes it easy to overlook the more
pedestrian kind.

if you put your personal information out there in any kind of centralized
shared environment (I mean: an environment which others know about, has a
name, etc., not necessarily technically centralized), and the snoops want
to know about the network, they will find out about it.

Look at how easily they penetrated very small networks of what one would
have expected to be extremely like-minded, security-conscious and very
small networks: WikiLeaks, LulzSec, using just these methods. There is
nothing paranoid or conspiratorial about this observation. the danger is
inherent in the network itself, and the solution is to craft laws and
oversight that prevent organizations like NSA and CIA from thinking they
have the authority to snoop. Otherwise, the snooping will occur, full stop.

On Sat, Jun 29, 2013 at 11:18 AM, Eleanor Saitta <ella at> wrote:

> Hash: SHA256
> On 2013.06.29 11.09, David Golumbia wrote:
> > put more simply: the notion of a "privacy-preserving social
> > network" is an inherent contradiction in terms.
> No, it's totally not.  You can definitely build systems that allow
> people to have meaningful levels of privacy toward anyone not in the
> set of people with whom they choose to share data, while still letting
> them reasonably efficiently speak with those they want to speak with.
>  I don't see why there's anything inherently contradictory in this.
> E.
> - --
> Ideas are my favorite toys.
> Version: GnuPG v2.0.17 (MingW32)
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> =aa3t

David Golumbia
dgolumbia at
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