Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 21st Jun 2011 09:33 UTC
Internet & Networking Remember when Altavista was the search engine? Or Yahoo? They stuffed their search pages with useless, distracting crap, and using them became unpleasant. And then, bam, along came Google, with a simple, clear search page and uncluttered search results. However, now that Google has become this massive behemoth, tracking our every move, and tailoring our search results, leading to only being fed those pages you agree with - isn't it time for something new? Something simple? It might be, and you've undoubtedly heard of them: DuckDuckGo. I'm switching. Update: Just got an email from Gabriel Weinberg, the guy behind DuckDuckGo. The OSNews !bang (!osnews) is now live!
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RE: I don't see the problem...
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 21st Jun 2011 15:20 UTC in reply to "I don't see the problem..."
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

This notion that if the "government" has access to my online browsing habits, "it" will at some point come and destroy me is utterly misguided to me.


That;'s fine - you seem to have some sort of trust in the governmental system you currently live under. I find such notions cute and naive, but you're free to hold them. I mistrust the government deeply for the simple reason that a government - as an entity, so not on an individual basis - always strives for more control, more power. Having access to everything we do will tilt the balance of power even more towards the governments - and thus, towards the large companies that have the financial means to influence policy.

The role of the internet should be to shift the balance of power back to where it belongs: the people. The government ought to be our employee, not the other way around. Laws exist to serve us, not the other way around. The government should fear us, and its individual members ought to be wholly disposable. This is the only way to ensure the government follows the will of the people, instead of the will of a few powerful individuals.

Why? Because if they do and it turns out he's a lunatic, an explosion that could potentially kill my two daughters can be prevented.


It's all about how willing you are to hand over core freedoms and rights in exchange for "safety" (between quotes, as history has shown that giving up liberties doesn't make the world ANY safer).

If the government proposes to track everyone via a chip, promising it would make your daughters safe - would you do it? Would you find it worth it? What about cameras in all homes and buildings? Would you find that acceptable if it makes the world a safer place? I am NOT willing to give up my right to privacy just because a terrorist *might* someday blow himself up somewhere. That's a risk I'm willing to take.

There have been several totalitarian states where citizens were continuously monitored. Did it make those countries any safer?

Edited 2011-06-21 15:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

leonalpha Member since:
2011-02-02

Having access to everything we do will tilt the balance of power even more towards the governments

Well, you and I disagree but that's cool. We can agree to disagree. Now, 1. Can you explain what "power" this info will give governments? 2. Can you site some examples where this "power shift" has proven to be hurtful for citizens.

Laws exist to serve us, not the other way around.

The way I see it, laws exist to bring order and protection — protection from the government and protection from citizens themselves.

You seem to have missed the gist of my argument: as a normal US citizen, I don't consider the government having access to my online browsing data as a threat to me. You (and many others), on the other hand do, and what I ask is that you please elaborate on WHAT that threat is. Saying that "power will shift" towards the monster who will eat us all might be eloquent, but isn't sufficient enough to justify a semi-schizophrenic mentality where every single governmental action implies the Illuminati will take over the world and enslave us all.

I do not want to give up my rights. As you say, that would be cute and naive. But again, I don't know how to label those who fear others are watching their online activity and using that info to prepare for an attack.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You (and many others), on the other hand do, and what I ask is that you please elaborate on WHAT that threat is.


Oh that's so simple I assumed you figured that out by yourself.

As LulzSec and Anonymous have shown - no data repository is safe from hackers. Say Google gets hacked, and search data, purchase data, and god knows what else is out on the street. Criminals could simply take a peek at the data, see when you booked your family vacation, and burgle your home. They don't even need to stake out any more. A simple peek at such data, et voila.

The data doesn't even need to be leaked. You have no idea what kind of people have access to this data at Google, or, in the case of a subpoena, who in the government has access to it. What if they sold such data to criminals? Such data is incredibly valuable, and there's no reason to assume that just because people work for the government or Google that they won't be susceptible towards abuse of the access they have.

This has nothing to do with weirdo black helicopter bullshit - these are real and valid concerns, especially after what LulzSec, Anonymous, and others have shown us.

Reply Parent Score: 2

marblesbot Member since:
2009-12-25

2. Can you site some examples where this "power shift" has proven to be hurtful for citizens.

Really? An entire tribe of people ran out of Africa because of Pharaoh! Or, have you heard of the Dark Ages in Europe? Do you know why the Renaissance was so important? Did the American and French revolutions just slip your mind? Do you know anything about slave trade? You should learn Chinese history. They were about 2000 years ahead of the western world, until one day... How about modern times? Nazi Germany? Look at USSR under Stalin, or China under Mao (is that controversial?). Democratic People’s Republic of Korea? We could just look at the USA since September 2001, or even earlier. November 1963? March 1929?

Reply Parent Score: 3