Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 4th Jul 2013 12:33 UTC, submitted by twitterfire
In the News "Internet users worried about their personal information being intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies should stop using websites that send data to the United States, Germany's top security official said Wednesday." Cute, but pointless. France does it too, as does the UK. Documents from the Dutch intelligence agencies indicate that they, too, are involved in mass surveillance, the extent of which will supposedly be investigated by parliament.
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RE: Actually...
by Doc Pain on Fri 5th Jul 2013 01:25 UTC in reply to "Actually..."
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

I think there may well be a way to screw those who spy on us. If there were enough people who felt comfortable with it...


"Ordinary people", i. e. the majority of Internet and phone users, simply don't care.

"I've got nothing to hide."

"This happens to the others, not to me."

"I am too un-interesting to them."

"They're just doing their normal work, why complain?"

"I should not avoid surveillance. They protect my freedom."

"Why should I say something against the democratically elected government? All they do is for my best!"

We ALL include a paragraph in ALL of our emails that says something like "Please do not send me any mails that include words like ---------- (all of the words we suspect will be identified in mail scans at the NSA and other spy agencies), because I do not want any spying agencies to think I am a terrorist. Thank you."


This would simply cause many "false-positives" upon first scans (simple keyword matching), but the evaluation algorithms on the "next stages" are smarter than that. Keep in mind that governments spend a lot of precious tax payers' money to companies who develop "solutions" for evaluating the mass of data obtained.

I imagine the spy agencies' computers would suddenly discover perhaps hundreds of thousands of potential terrorists!


Resources don't matter. If a computer farm, a datacenter or a storage complex is considered "loaded", a new one will be built. The people are financing this with their taxes. The more "hits" the "early stage" scanning algorithms can identify (even if it's just false-positives), the more storage is required. Remember: Nobody deletes anything. Data may be "shifted" from disks to tapes (for archival purposes) and index data will be kept, so even 5 years after a certain phone call has been made, recoded, and considered "irrelevant", it can still be brought up for proving a suspicion or constructing evidence material.

That may well cause pandemonium in the corridors of power. Even if they work out a solution, it would at least bend them over for a while.


They can perfectly scale. Just hire more contractors. Money doesn't really matter. There's plenty of it.

To do this may reduce the value of their methods to almost zero since they wouldn't be able to tell which messages were likely terrorists and which not, without a LOT Of resources being put into investigation. If this led to them revising the value of their methods then maybe that's a win for liberty.


Sadly no. I assume the opposite will take place: Better filtering, more storage (just in case something has been missing, and a positive slipped).

Still I believe there is a way to deal with this system: Make it turn against itself. "Itself" can mean two things here:

a) Make the system act against those who run, advocate, justify or enforce it. Those are individuals. They can be tracked and monitored in the same way as everyone else (i. e., innocent people). Gather their information. Make it public. Start with politicians, higher-level executives of the participating parasite companies, lobbyists and the like.

Why will that work? Because the mechanism that will be triggered could already be seen in action. Members of national parliaments basically have no problems when national and foreign agencies spy on people. On the people - not on their "elected representants"! In case that would be true, they threaten involved companies with recovation of their operating license (works for telecommunication operators) or causing other kind of trouble. Another example is how wealthy Germans and politicians acted when google streetview started: They insisted on blurring ("pixelating") their houses. (From their logic, that would imply they have something to hide, which again imples they are... the nasty word with T... you know...)

b) Make the system attack itself. Feed it nonsense data. Do it anonymously. Do it creatively (so it won't be identified as false-positive too early). Let it work for nothing. Make it an expensive game for those who are running it. This combines with a) - let the system identify those who run it as potential targets. Use sloppy security, incompetence and stupidity of those who are in charge. Exploit the weaknesses of the parts of the system.

And finally:

Make the system's work hard. Encrypt what you can encrypt. Educate yourself about your possibilities. Closely watch what you're doing. Value your privacy and even your anonymity where it makes sense. Think about social networks and e-mail services. Are you sure you want (you "need") to use them? Where can you improve how you interact with people on the Internet or with the medium itself?

You can't change a system that defines its own rules. If the system declares itself to be "democratic" or uses words like "freedom", you cannot legally oppose to it. Politics is not a solution. It simply won't work. People need to understand (again) what power they have. "The state" is not a mythical cloud unicorn somewhere in heaven. The state is the people. And as long as people accept what's being done to them, things won't change. Which means: Things will only get worse. History has proven this several times. But people don't learn. Therefore, they repeat history. And most important: They don't want to hear the truth.

I'd be more than happy if someone can prove me wrong on this topic...

The tinfoil radiation is very strong. My brain hurts. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Actually...
by usodoff2 on Sun 7th Jul 2013 07:39 in reply to "RE: Actually..."
usodoff2 Member since:
2012-03-23

That's a very extensive response. You've certainly educated me on those things. I stand corrected.

Reply Parent Score: 2