Assange believes too late for any pervasive privacy

Steve Kinney admin at
Fri Dec 11 15:55:26 PST 2015

Hash: SHA1

On 12/11/2015 02:25 PM, juan wrote:
> On Fri, 11 Dec 2015 11:54:14 -0500 Steve Kinney
> <admin at> wrote:
>> The disadvantages of a world with little or no privacy are 
>> counterbalanced by significant advantages that are inherent
>> in a world of "networked everything."
> ...such as?

Oh, a few little things...  Job hunting, marketing one's products
and services, comparison shopping, commercial and educational
research, distributing propaganda, conventional and radical
political organizing, 24/7 access to a library that dwarfs all
previous ones in history combined...

A highly productive "office worker's desk" that fits in a small
tote bag has its uses as well.

>> The Panopticon is a prison where the guards can watch the
>> inmates but the inmates can not watch the guards.  The
>> Internet is a prison where the inmates can watch each other,
> Last time I checked, the 'internet' is a bunch of servers 
> controlled by google and the pentagon and I don't happen to
> have the password(s).
> Please, any hacker out there, post the password(s) so I we can 
> watch the guards. Thank you very much.

Just for starters check out CopWatch, referenced in my earlier
post.  We might also factor in a half dozen or so investigative
journalism outlets, document distribution sites like Cryptome and
Public Intelligence, one's news aggregators of choice, access to
foreign press outlets, various spook watching sites, the mass of
raw data contributed by Manning, Snowden et al...

The Internet is billions of people, interacting through the
world's first many-to-many communications medium.  The "Web 2.0"
buzzword denotes a real thing:  Millions of users as content
creators and content promoters, the appearance (as predicted) of
swarming behaviors on the networks with social and economic
impacts in the real world, smart mobs, pathologically stupid mobs,
etc. etc.

>> Secrets that could once be kept until after their exposure
>> could make no difference are now breaking open before the
>> protected operations are completed:
> sorry, not bothering with pptx, whatever that is.

Micro$oft's latest and greatest incarnation of PowerPoint.  Works
in Open / Libre Office, and I can't be bothered to convert the
file to ASCII art for security purposes...

>> The availability of more and better political intelligence 
>> formerly concealed from the public is growing exponentially.
> Sorry, that's exponential bullshit.

- From this I can only you don't take any interest in politics, or
your definition of the word is very different from mine. or that
you just don't use the Internet much.

>> This is one of several drivers of fundamental change in large
>> scale power relationships that is causing a panic among our
>> present rulers.  The United States is preparing to put down
>> major civil uprisings inside its own borders,
> I'm guessint that the government having full access to all 
> communications will come handy, don't you think?

Yes it will.  But will that be a sufficient advantage to
compensate for the ones our rulers lost when the Internet became
too important to commerce to "just turn it off"?  Little Brother
is watching Them, and there are enough /clever/ Little Brothers
(and Sisters) out there looking to pull Big Brother's pants down
that they are becoming a real world problem.

>> again in full view of interested members of the general
>> public.
>> I sometimes compare paranoid reactions to the "loss of
>> privacy" in the networked world to mental telepathy:  The
>> prospect of someone reading your mind is frightening, until
>> it turns out that your own deeply held secrets are not
>> special or unusual to a telepath who has already "seen it
>> all" and has /far/ worse examples to compare your most
>> heinous and embarrassing inner thoughts and motivations to.
> Sorry, that's not the point at all? The problem with people 
> reading your 'private' mail or your mind is that it that it 
> enables them to attack you way more efficiently.
> We are not talking about your neighbor reading your mail or 
> your mind(none of his business anyway), we are talking about
> the sickest nazis on the planet doing it.
> Surely you realize that's a bit problematic?

Yes, it gives the opposition a potentially useful tool.  As there
are FAR too many dissidents of various types wandering around
loose for it to be possible to personally persecute more than a
tiny fraction of them, the main value of mass surveillance is for
aggregate content analysis, social network mapping, and predictive
modelling of large scale social behavior.  This may be useful for
targeting and calibration of propaganda, and advance deployment of
physical assets to counter populist political actions.  But so
far, Big Brother seems to suck at that kind of work...

Do the new surveillance capabilities the Internet gives military
and police agencies outweigh the educational, intelligence,
propaganda and organizational capabilities the Internet has given
to radicals of all stripes?  That remains to be seen, but I am
fairly sure that obsessive attention to "privacy" shifts the
balance of power somewhat toward those whose whole job is to
maintain the status quo.

Of course, any political organizer with any common sense knows
well enough when to keep some specific information OFF the
networks and out of the hands of uncommitted "hang arounds" at
public meetings.

>> Old Farts have major problems wrapping their heads around
>> the concept that a world where privacy is shrinking fast and
>> expected to nearly disappear is a Good Thing.
> How old are you?

Very old.  Sometimes I wonder, "when did I get so damned old?"  I
watched Mercury and Gemini launches from my back yard.

>> People who grew up with the Interet, not so much.
> You want more age-based 'analysis'? The old farts you
> mentioned have raised generations of clueless young retards.

I didn't start the "age based" comments, but srsly, it doesn't
take THAT much effort to find plenty of clever young radicals to
play with IRL - if you're OK with exposing your identity as a
"political dissident" on teh interwebs.


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