About privacy

By on 4 February 2014, in Blog, Privacy

DISCLAIMER: this is a work in progress; argumentation is incomplete; it may or may not reflect my opinion, given when you read it, the direction of the wind, and if anything made change my mind between the time I wrote this, and now.

My 2 cents on privacy

Anonymity. Privacy. We don’t have any, nowadays. At best do we still think we have.

If you want some, encrypt your files with any good software, and store them on a machine not connected to the internet. Print it on paper and keep it safe.

NSA seems to know everything, including the ability to decrypt the undecryptable. It’s not yet confirmed, but I assume it’s true, given they budget. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and all other know everything about us.

But we gave them all the data, didn’t we? We agreed to do it by using their technological gadgets. Glitter.

Still a problem : even if a fraction of us are aware of that, most of the population is not.

Under the cover of “bringing new experiences and services”, new startups gather any remaining information that is not already gathered, to sell us useless things or to sell us (period).

Example 1: Do-not-track

Let me laugh.

It’s a web-only and remote-advertising-only workaround measure. It’s a recommendation only.

And it’s not enabled by default, even in Firefox, which is the freedom-wise-reference web browser.

It’s a joke.

Just switch to pr0n mode with Adblock Edge enabled, it’s nearly easier to find and really does the job.

Example 2: Bitcoin

Bitcoin, which some people have stumbled against, claiming it allows people to buy drugs and more, isn’t currently. Not at all. It requires some hard work to have just a decent level of anonymity with it.

As every transaction is tracked and advanced blockchain explorers exist, even splitting transactions and sending coins to unique addresses makes the whole thing a mess for normal people. Needless to notice that to get your money back, you need an ID and a bank account. Who is anonymous?

So what?

Privacy. I could want it, but I don’t. To understand why, ask you this: “to accomplish what?”

What is the real purpose of privacy?

I strongly think that if Snowden had stayed anonymous, he would be dead.

I don’t see any valid reason to keep things private, besides the jealous-neighbor-syndrome, and to buy forbidden things; which forbidden state strongly depends on law and is fluctant in history and countries; think about alcohol and meth in the U.S, canabis in Nederlands… And read this.

Wanting these forbidden things — like weapons — should be public and known to everyone. They are dangerous, and wanting to possess it denotes of a greater problem.

If you want a weapon, why? Drugs, Why? We should solve the why, instead of crying for privacy to be able to buy these kind of products under the hood.

Privacy is not freedom

Yes. Don’t take privacy for freedom.

If we have to fight for something, it’s freedom.

Privacy, anonymity are just a small fraction of what freedom really is. We are free to do things not publicly. To some extends only, thanks to NSA. Even if it’s not true, at least are we free to [think we] do so.

On another level, the coming changes are huge. Great. Scary. Overhelming.

  • SOPA, fasttrack. Stopping them is just a step. More will come. “No privacy” will help us in the fight (see below); no freedom will kill us (idem).
  • Deep climate changes. Whatever the reason, they are just coming. We are observing them everyday, be it in some foreign parts of the world. Deadfull and hopefull energy sources.
  • 3D printing, even houses.
  • work replaced by robots in years.
  • global financial crisis.
  • foolish banks and governments (whoever is responsible, I don’t care). Same statement about privacy and freedom.

Abolishing real-life privacy should allow us to know who is to blame. If we don’t find them — and honestly, there is no need to care about the past — we will know who wants this rotten system to stay in place. Who kills and enslaves us now.

The 85 are only foolish capitalists that have understood the system. We know them. They aren’t the problem, they are a diversion.

The ones who destroys us are anonymous lobbies, opaque politics, shadow organisations. They are and want to stay private and undisclosed. Abolishing privacy is a mean to put them in front of the public and stop their actions.

You see, what Greenpeace does is simply bring facts and people from the shadows to the public. They are, in a way, putting an end to harmful privacy.

As it would be too difficult to discuss about good and bad privacy, debate what should stay hidden for good reasons and what should not, I prefer having all things transparent.

Others already said it before. Loosing privacy is not the problem. It’s even part of the solution for the big laundry.

Loosing freedom is not an option. This would prevent us to act.

But… privacy is important, isn’t it?

Yes, of course. I fully back the idea.

If you think I’m schizophren, you could be right.

I’m used to live with my own duality. I can’t make a decision until I’ve heard and understood all arguments of both sides.