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[liberationtech] Google keeps the chat history even you enabled the OTR

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at
Sun May 11 16:04:49 PDT 2014

On 05/09/2014 06:13 AM, Anthony Papillion wrote:
> On May 9, 2014, at 4:42, Ximin Luo <infinity0 at> wrote:
>> On 09/05/14 02:31, Anthony Papillion wrote:
>>> On 05/08/2014 08:23 PM, Doug Schuler wrote:
>>>> Realistically we need to develop an entire suite of publicly owned
>>>> tools. Could the development and implementation be massively
>>>> distributed?
>>>> Or is it over?   We lost all the other media....
>>>> "In just a few short years, starting in 1998, this company has
>>>> grown to employ almost 50,000 people worldwide, generated sixty
>>>> billion dollars in revenue last year, and has a current market
>>>> capitalization of more than 350 billion dollars. Google is not only
>>>> the biggest search engine in the world, but along with Youtube (the
>>>> second biggest search engine in the world) it also has the largest
>>>> video platform, with Chrome the biggest browser, with Gmail the
>>>> most widely used e-mail provider, and with Android the biggest
>>>> operating system for mobile devices."     From:  An open letter to
>>>> Eric Schmidt: Why we fear Google
>>> I fear we've already lost. I used to think that it would just take
>>> some sort of major scandal to wake people up to the fact that
>>> relinquishing their privacy wasn't such a good idea. Then, I thought,
>>> they'd stand up in outrage and take their privacy back with
>>> pitchforks. Then Snowden showed up and nothing really happened. Most
>>> people didn't actually change the things they do because, well, it's
>>> not convenient.
>>> I see a future where the world, not just the digital world, is divided
>>> into two camps: those who are technically literate and willing to take
>>> the sometimes inconvenient steps to protect their privacy and those
>>> who aren't.  The first group will be in the minority but will enjoy
>>> privacy and anonymity while the second group will be pretty much at
>>> the mercy of whoever can figure out how to access their data.
>> Please stop moaning and do something about it instead.
> I don't see it as moaning. If we are going to fight back, we need to 
> look at reality. The reality us that I can write all the software I 
> want and I can rah-rah team all day but none of that is going to make 
> people care or get invested in their own privacy. 

I'd really like to see an easy-to-use piece of software that analyzes a 
body of text and warns on potential sexism.  "Warning: you've been 
consistently using female imagery to describe unwanted behavior, and 
male imagery for desired behavior.  Continue?"

I'm sure I've done it, too.  But here's it's particularly distracting, 
because there aren't that many steps necessary to help get people 
invested in their own privacy:
1) get up from your computer
2) go to where non-technical people are
3) listen to them
4) find the (admittedly small) subset of usable privacy-preserving 
software that will fit their needs
5) set it up for them or at least show them how it works

Here's an exercise: fill your subset from #4 with a single piece of 
software-- the Tor Browser Bundle.  Over the next week keep your ears 
peeled for a non-technical user making a joke about Google or the 
government knowing what they search for.  (This could be a joke in a 
conversation about a search term setting off a "flag", what Google knows 
about their porn habits, etc.)  After the joke, tell them about TBB.  
When you get the next joke about being targetted _because_ one is using 
Tor, tell them how many people use it. Demonstrate your own casual use 
of it.  Show them how it can help them be safer when they want to browse 
on a wifi connection at a cafe or at the airport.

Showing people who trust you how to use privacy tools on the internet 
actually _changes_ the way they talk about privacy. Consequently it will 
change the way you think about non-technical users.


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