firefox, trackers and ghostery

pete smout psmouty at
Wed Jul 17 11:39:17 UTC 2013

On 17/07/13 11:58, Sajan Parikh wrote:
> On 07/17/2013 04:23 AM, pete smout wrote:
>> On 17/07/13 08:28, Sajan Parikh wrote:
>>> May I ask in what out any individual's liberty has been infringed upon?
>>> In what way have Governments imposed any sort of 'control' upon its
>>> citizens with all of this?  Let's say PRISM began in 2007; How has your
>>> life in terms of liberty or deliberate personal invasion changed since
>>> then?
>> Here in the UK our liberties have been infringed upon since 2007 for
>> example: data collected on the internet can now be used to start a
>> police investigation, a friend of mine disagreed on a message board
>> with a certain government policy and had a knock on his door from the
>> police, whilst I would be the first to admit his language could have
>> been phrased better this is an infringement of his 'freedom of speech'.
> Removing the anecdote in that, "data collected on the internet can now
> be used to start a police investigations."  No offense, but I'd quite
> hope so!  If the FBI sees a large amount of fertilizer being delivered
> to connected individuals at the same time, I honestly hope that would
> start an investigation.  I'm sure the average Joe doesn't mind telling
> the government what brand of shoe they buy online to allow that
> investigation to start, and if they do, it's only
>> And now we have to 'pre-book' any demonstrations, if you are guilty of
>> trying to instigate an unlawful protest you can be arrested.
> Registering to protest in a public place is not unreasonable, and I'm
> not sure how it relates to this discussion.  If law enforcement were to
> see a potentially controversial protest forming in advance, they can
> better prepare protecting the protesters or handling them if it became
> violent.  Also, not sure how it relates to this discussion or is
> violating any sort of 'liberty'.  Unless of course you're angry about
> losing the liberty to randomly go wild on the streets whenever you feel
> like it.
> Please don't rebut this with anecdotal stories of law enforcement
> abusing protesters.  Yes, it's happened.  Yes, it's been bad.
> However...really?
>> Not to mention if you were to sign a legitimate petition on a 'genuine
>> site' (38 degrees or Avaaz for example) you are then placed on a
>> 'potential dissident' list and have your life monitored more closely,
>> there have been reports of people homes being watched by mysterious
>> vans outside their homes, and I have heard of one case where the
>> police turned up a place of work saying that an employee has been
>> 'trying to stir up a violent reaction' to whatever it was that upset
>> them on that particular week.
> Are you trying to say that signing a petition should be...anonymous?
> How would that work?
> The petition itself is a list and in most cases public, how external
> groups label that list is up to them.  If the petition is to start a
> "Hail Hitler Day", yeah you'll have the Government take an extra look at
> that list and the people on it.  I highly doubt anyone signing a
> petition to make all M&Ms blue has any scary vans outside their homes.
>> The obvious conclusion of this along with the plans of the almighty
>> net companies of this world is a two-tier internet with the best and
>> fastest access being given to 'drones' who just  follow the crowd and
>> anyone who questions this being classed as a 'second class' user and
>> his / her traffic of less importance.
> That's because the money is in appealing/targetting the critical mass of
> the population.  Take Linux for example, aren't we all viewed as second
> class computer users by many software developers? Why?  Because we're
> not the critical mass.
>>> Everybody things that there's some personal file that identifies
>>> everyone by name and email address.  Sorry, but nobody is that special.
>>> We're all just numbers and datapoints aggregated together. Unless of
>>> course you personally find time to fill out every survey you find.
>> Of course this assumes that some nefarious individual / organization
>> doesn't want to split the data down to the individual and possibly
>> start creating false information online to discredit a person or
>> organization or remove them completely and create a person-non-grata
> and do you really think that person is you?  Do you ever think it's
> going to be you?  Or someone you know?  Do you honestly believe that
> there's a chance the Government will be scared enough of /you/
> /personally/ to do something like this?  We don't live in that era
> anymore.  If anyone truly believes that they are special enough to get
> individual, personally targeted treatment from an organization like
> this...sorry, but that's a bit delusional. That...or you've been
> Googling how to make bombs.
> Again, I really don't care that General Keith Alexander saw me buy that
> laptop cooler on Amazon last week.  I really, truly honestly don't.
> It'd be the same as if I ran into someone at a physical store while
> buying it.  The people getting outraged by all this are hyping up
> something that really, truly has zero impact on their individual,
> personal lives.
>> Perhaps I am overly paranoid, but with so much of our everyday lives
>> on the net these days, it being so easy to leave (sometimes
>> unknowingly) a large data trail behind us, this debate is long over
>> due over what happens to this data, and who or what it belongs to.
> The data trail is only exists where you actually go.  If you don't want
> Microsoft to share your internet habits with the Government, I'm
> sorry...but stop using a email address.  That's a little absurd.
>> Hopefully Mr & Mrs J Doe are now having this conversation and a wider
>> awareness of what we leave behind on the net and what can 'possibly'
>> happen to that data.
>>> Sajan Parikh
> Furthermore, that whole line about trading liberty security is a bit of
> BS as well.  The world is so much more complicated than, "Unless I can
> do whatever I want without the Government looking over me, we'll never
> be secure."
> Sajan Parikh
Of course you are absolutely correct, on all counts & spouting privacy 
whilst using a email address is a bit daft!

And of course the law enforcement agencies should monitor for *possible* 
illegal activities. The world would be a lot less safe if they did not. 
But if for example i were to buy some fertilizer for my allotment my 
card number (and possibly delivery address) can be checked to see if I 
have an allotment, or I hold extreme political views, but is this not 
the job of the responsible vendors? And if they have any suspicions they 
should be handed to the relevant law enforcement agencies? Surely the 
law enforcement agencies time would be better spent looking for the 
un-responsible vendors that will supply fertilizer with no checks?

I am proud to live in a 'free society' where we have the freedom of 
speech, and the right to protest, and I am concerned that these founding 
principles of my country are being eroded, but you can not have 100% 
security & 100% freedom and there has to be a balance. So the question 
we should all ask is has the balance tipped to far in any one direction?

Another question that we should be asking is who said that private 
companies could become the dominant agencies, for example when Google 
Analytics gathers all this data what happens to it in 5 or ten years 
when it ceases to be relevant to anything? are we all naive enough to 
believe it just disappears, before we know where we are the large 
private companies will be more powerful than our democratically elected 
governments and I *did not* vote for that!

As with any argument there are two sides and I can see both, but the 
larger questions are if nothing else interesting and as the world moves 
ever further into the digital age they need asking and discussing, if 
only in an abstract and philosophical way!

I hope you take no personal offence to any of my comments I have no wish 
to upset anyone, I just enjoy these debates, and feel strongly that they 
are important and must be had


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