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[liberationtech] The Paradox in Privacy Paradox

carlo von lynX lynX at
Fri Mar 3 13:30:00 PST 2017

Alright, so a friend suggested I should take a look at this
new podcast from WNYC, a "non-profit, noncommercial, public
radio station located in New York City." It's supposed to
tell you all about privacy, so it makes completely sense
that the first thing you bump into as you try to find the
RSS podcast button on the website is an e-mail dropbox where 
you are invited to identify yourself in order to get information
about how to keep your anonymity.

Wait, there are play buttons. Maybe I can download the shows 
as I don't want my browser to expose how many times I skip back 
in the show because I misunderstood or fell asleep. No- wait!
I'm not allowed to do that. I need to enable Javascript so I am
permitted to listen to the radio show *under the condition*
that I relinquish some of my private data - whatever Javascript
can access.

Of course WNYC would say they are noncommercial, they are not 
making any use of Javascript against my interests, so I should 
trust them! Then WTF is that code block of Google Analytics 
doing just there at the end of the HTML source? Isn't that a
radical departure from your claim of being noncommercial? Oh,
YOU are not making any profit with it? You are ONLY letting
Google have all the data about your listeners? Are you nuts?
Are you completely irresponsible?

Now that I am looking at the source.. what about extracting the 
mp3 links from it? Indeed, here's one:

Oh no, it only downloads the first minute of the show which
mostly contains advertisements for other privacy promotion
institutions such as the recently scandal-shaken Mozilla
(Have you heard, "Firefox Focus" sends data to 
without prior consent. Good job, Mozilla!).

Let me try the next episode:
Dimples. No luck here, either.

So exactly how am I supposed to listen into this show if I'm
not allowed to maintain my privacy? Is this the Ghostery sort 
of deal where you are granted privacy except from the company
granting it to you?

After all we all need a business model somehow, in the US of A.
No wait, WNYC is noncommercial, so I MUST BE DOING SOMETHING 
WRONG! I must simply be missing that link to a regular RSS file 
that I can use with a regular podcast player, free and happily 
anonymized via Tor. With all the liberty of not letting anyone
know my listening habits and who I am.

Dear WNYC, it's not like it cannot be done. German state media
give out hundreds of television and radio shows to the Internet
for free consumption EACH DAY. Alright, Germans pay a lot to 
finance that, still it is out there - excellent independent
journalism dismantling the political situation in the USA and
the world better than any English spoken media I've bumped into
on the net. Telling you the truth about inequality, globalization,
climate collapse, the true face of capitalism and the demise of
democracy. And we have the by far largest number of compelling
documentaries on privacy, anonymity and the Snowden revelations.

If Germany has a better democracy than the US, this is one of the 
reasons. Whereas declared noncommercial radio stations in NYC are 
selling out their visitors to Google Analytics. SHAME ON YOU.
Your belief in oblivious capitalist methods is not only killing
the Internet, it is breaking YOUR democracy.

Want to get some news, even in English language, without activating
Javascript, just using torify youtube-dl? Try these sites:

It's all out there, paid by German citizen. For you to peruse free
of charge and surveillance. Go ahead, get some!

Let me know when there is a free, libre and tracking-free RSS
file listing the mp3s of the shows, dear WNYC. I know you're not
doing it on purpose. And German media sites have tracking scripts,
too - but at least you can opt out by turning Javascript off.

Have a nice evening.

  E-mail is public! Talk to me in private using encryption:

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