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[2]: Good luck with that....
by Alfman on Fri 5th Jul 2013 04:30 UTC 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

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

galvanash,

"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."

Well, then arguably the NSA isn't eaves-dropping on your communications - if you use providers that 'trust' the NSA to install their hardware or whatever you are indirectly 'trusting' the NSA. Of course it's not exactly the same thing, but I hope you can appreciate the privacy concerns.

The privacy concerns really aren't limited to google, but they get so much attention due to their sheer size. I'm not sure you (and certainly not most people) realize how widespread google's network is. Of course they've got their bigger services like gmail, youtube, blogger. But they also have lesser known ad/tracking networks it bought including doubleclick, adscape, invite media, admob, etc to supplement it's own.


Edit: Back in 2012 google updated it's policy to implement more tracking across services:

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/25/business/la-fi-google-20120...

Edited 2013-07-05 08:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2