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: Good luck with that....
by galvanash on Fri 5th Jul 2013 03:59 UTC in reply to "Good luck with that...."
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

That means ever visitor to such a site hands Google a referrer of the page they're on, their IP address and browser fingerprint.


Why on earth is this modded up?

Your right to privacy ends at the point where you stop protecting it. If your house is made of glass don't complain about the neighbors snooping on your activities... If you don't want someone to overhear a conversation go somewhere they can't hear it. If you want to go somewhere, and you don't want anyone to know about it, you try to hide your identity...

This is all common sense stuff that no one questions.

On the internet, your ip address is public knowledge, and on the web your browser sends referrer headers and identifies itself - all for sound technical reasons. If you don't like that figure out how to protect your communications - there are ways to do it, many of them trivial... But it is a public communications medium. Its like complaining that someone is listening in on your conversations using a CB radio - if you don't want 3rd parties to hear what you are saying you don't understand what CB is...

Can we all please stop bitching about a 20 year old status quo? Google is not the NSA collecting phone metadata, the difference is everyone knows about it and has all along.

Its the internet! Unless you know your communication channel is encrypted, and you know the encryption is effective, and you know the identity of the party on the other side of the connection, and you trust them completely with handling your data and communications, you may as well be broadcasting what your doing over a loud speaker.

This obsession with privacy is getting down right silly. Yes, you have a right to privacy - but only if you make some effort to protect it. Use Tor, use an anonymizing VPN, whatever - if it concerns you do something about it. But can we please stop blaming companies for mining the information we casually give to them everyday? If you don't trust Google don't use the internet to communicate with them, and don't use the internet to communicate with anyone who does trust them.

Yes, that severely limits your ability to protect your privacy. So does going outside...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Good luck with that....
by Alfman on Fri 5th Jul 2013 04:30 in reply to "RE: Good luck with that...."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

galvanash,

"But it is a public communications medium. Its like complaining that someone is listening in on your conversations using a CB radio - if you don't want 3rd parties to hear what you are saying you don't understand what CB is... "

Strongly disagree with you here. CB radio was designed to be a public medium. Part of the fun in using it is that you don't know who's going to respond on the other end. Unicast network traffic between internet hosts/peers is not intended to be public any more than a 2 party telephone call is. In both cases the service providers are entrusted with our privacy. Keep in mind ISPs who systematically violated our privacy (aka phorm) were sued because *they* weren't allowed to spy on customer traffic.

You suggest we should be using cryptography to secure private communications instead of trusting our service providers, and I would agree that's wise to the extent possible.

It seems that you don't care about your own privacy, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't respect other's IMHO.

Edited 2013-07-05 04:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Unicast network traffic between internet hosts/peers is not intended to be public any more than a 2 party telephone call is. In both cases the service providers are entrusted with our privacy. Keep in mind ISPs who systematically violated our privacy (aka phorm) were sued because *they* weren't allowed to spy on customer traffic.


I was using CB as a loose analogy of another public communications medium - maybe that was a poor choice because the issue I am talking about doesn't involve a 3rd party at all. The specific example I was responding to (ip address, referrer, and UA string) is not an issue with 3rd party communications - it is unicast - its between you and google.

If you don't want to communicate with google directly thats easy - don't do that. If you don't want to communicate with them indirectly (as in when they are used as a CDN for scripts or images) you can block them. The point is if you don't like how Google uses such information you don't have to let them - but it is information that everyone has considered non-privelaged for 20 years now.

Google isn't eaves-dropping on your communications - if you visit sites that "trust" google to server up their version of jQuery or whatever you are indirectly "trusting" Google. Its not like it is being hidden from you - its right there in the source code. It is absolutely trivial to block such traffic.

It seems that you don't care about your own privacy, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't respect other's IMHO.


I do care about my own privacy. What I don't care about is having google use basic information such as my ip address and what sites I might visit to target me - because whether they are doing that or not I still see ads, mostly because I am too lazy to bother blocking them (which isn't that hard to do either). I can't say I like seeing them, but then again I don't like seeing commercials on TV either. I ignore them.

The point is if it did bother me enough I would do something about it - I don't see the point in complaining how Google uses such data when I am giving that same data to every single website I visit every day I use the internet. If I felt that data was private I wouldn't be giving it to them.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Good luck with that....
by BushLin on Fri 5th Jul 2013 08:55 in reply to "RE: Good luck with that...."
BushLin Member since:
2011-01-26

First of all, I made a comment about the general public looking to avoid being tracked by US companies who sell personal information or hand it over to the NSA, under circumstances which we could do with further detail on.

I am well aware of the technical methods one might use to circumvent being tracked but this isn't about you or me.
This is about the masses who won't understand such methods or even know how much is being recorded about them.
They're being told by a government minister that to avoid being tracked they should avoid US websites except many of the alternatives will still have ties to US companies and that is what I highlighted.

FTR, I don't have a problem with security services targeting specific individuals based on evidence and snooping on their traffic. Hell, if they suspect me then I don't have a problem with them looking at my traffic but this isn't the problem.

People with technical knowledge can avoid being tracked, presumably terrorists apply similar methods to avoid detection but the people who've done nothing wrong are having the details of their lives recorded and the captured information is available to individuals who don't have to justify their access or sold to marketers. That's the problem.

Reply Parent Score: 3