Linked by David Adams on Fri 11th Dec 2009 01:25 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption I was reminded of Sun Microsystems' Scott McNealy's infamous sound byte (used as the title of this article) when I read about Google CEO Eric Schmidt's foot-in-mouth moment during a recent CNBC interview (YouTube Link). Here's what Schmidt said: "I think judgment matters. If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines -- including Google -- do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities."
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RE[2]: Individuality != Privacy
by orfanum on Fri 11th Dec 2009 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Individuality != Privacy"
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

Hi Not so much as a reply but I found your post a good place to leap from on a tangent.

In a slightly different context, William Burroughs if memory serves talked about spies being blackmailed during the Cold War for being homosexual; the answer would be in Burroughs' eyes for the spy in question to roar: "I'm a queer, and I luuurve it". So, one defence against all this is to be exactly true to yourself,

In the real world, though, I can be selective about who knows what about me. I tell my friend, not my mom, for example. It's to do with an admixture of trust and utility (and a whole load of other interactions) - what will mom gain from this were I to tell her, what would she think of me, do I know myself how to fully explain it? - You get the picture.

In the Internet world, what is happening isn't really to do with some lofty goal of global self-realization and authenticity, or even, on a more tawdry but still insightful level, with the Warhol idea of all being famous for some brief span.

It's to do with the major search engines wanting to bolster their relative offers of accommodating real-time information gathering, so that they can beat each other in the market, so that (the irony) *private* companies can benefit from telling me that the world is going that way.

I suppose let's just make it equitable - let's lift privacy for everyone: companies, the military, corporations, the police, as well as the ordinary citizen. otherwise, there still must be value in privacy that I, or anyone else for that matter, can claim is real, and pertinent.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Individuality != Privacy
by AdamW on Fri 11th Dec 2009 16:41 in reply to "RE[2]: Individuality != Privacy"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

"In a slightly different context, William Burroughs if memory serves talked about spies being blackmailed during the Cold War for being homosexual; the answer would be in Burroughs' eyes for the spy in question to roar: "I'm a queer, and I luuurve it". So, one defence against all this is to be exactly true to yourself,"

Except that at that point homosexual acts were still illegal in many places. So doing that would've been a one-way ticket to prison. (There's another great indicator of the importance of privacy).

Reply Parent Score: 2

orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

Point taken but the reason why homosexual relations no longer constitute a criminal act in many states now is that people went out on the streets and turned private "shame" into public pride. This process will continue, and it's already shaking the foundations of some very conservative institutions - i.e., the Christian Church (look at the turmoil in the Anglican Communion at the moment on account of someone who is frequently named as "the *openly* gay Bishop". Everyone in the AC knows there are hundreds of "screaming queers" (not meant in a derogatory way) in its ranks. It took just one person to voluntarily shed their privacy to trigger the public debate that will change that particular branch of Christianity fundamentally (it is to be hoped, at least!))

Reply Parent Score: 2