Bonum Certa Men Certa

The War on Privacy Escalated

No encryption



Summary: People's ability to behave freely and speak freely (without scrutiny from above) is running out of time; the tracking of people's every word, movement and thought is a tyrannical pivot many are conditioned to accept as "necessary" even though those standing to gain the most are perpetrators of abuse at higher levels

EACH time I travel it seems like counters (manned by operators) gradually vanish, cash payments are not allowed (or discouraged), 'free' Wi-Fi means bandwidth in exchange for very aggressive spying and transport is closely tracked, usually through phones. We're supposed to believe that this is done for our convenience or for collective security, yet there's no evidence to support that. Now that we're in Ireland it initially seemed like surveillance was decreased somewhat, but we soon saw cameras in 'smart' stations in the streets and Wi-Fi is prohibitive unless or until one provides a lot of personal details. Sure, one can provide fake details, but that's not the point.



"The common tale told by mainstream media is that privacy is only important to drug dealers, child molesters and terrorists. Nobody wishes to be classified as an apologist of these groups."In our daily links we've had a section dedicated to privacy for nearly a decade. It's a digital rights or a tech rights issue. Things have gotten considerably worse since then, despite Snowden's leaks, Cablegate and so on. It's like no matter the extent of public backlash -- while it actually lasts -- spies and spying corporations carry on as if no controversy even exists and they just need to label their surveillance operations "confidential" and "secure" (thanks for that, Linux Foundation).

The relative absence of resistance to this war on everyone's privacy (treating law-abiding citizens like potential/closeted/wannabe bombers) motivates us to write more on the subject of privacy, as we did yesterday in the early morning. What we include in our daily links is insufficient and unoriginal. One way to tout the advantages of Free software is to speak of the privacy impact -- an aspect which sadly enough the EFF barely mentioned (it continued to back proprietary software) and the FSF has never exploited much. Surveillance does not only harm liberty, discredit the governments and corrode people's dignity; it also helps shield powerful/well-connected criminals from scrutiny, e.g. by identifying who speaks about them (and who with). Surveillance is all about control. It is a form of oppression. Apathy towards it is typically a product of indoctrination. The common tale told by mainstream media is that privacy is only important to drug dealers, child molesters and terrorists. Nobody wishes to be classified as an apologist of these groups.

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