Another PRISM poll-type thingy - Attempt 2

Right. My 1st poll-type thingy regarding the NSA's 360 degree snoopery went swimmingly depressing over here - with pretty much no reply.

So I'll try again:

Are you bothered now?

Does it bother you that Lavabit, a US-based email provider closed shop because its founder feels that he couldn't continue to run the company without committing "crimes against US citizens" - i.e. collaborating with the NSA's dirty little spying game.

You can laugh it off, of course. What are his 350,000 customers compared to Google's 100s of millions? Yahoo's? Microsoft's?


Have recent revelations made you change your online behaviour?
Have you canceled any cloud service accounts or looked into alternatives to the big boys such as the 'more private' options suggested by PrismBreak?

Or, does it honestly not bother you?

In my first 'poll' matt suggested there was no point getting all paranoid about it because there just isn't any online privacy anyways. Is he right? Is 'don't worry be happy' the only available solution?

Is it okay for Barack Obama to appear on the Jay Leno show to openly lie? ("There is no domestic spying programme") only to hours later announce there is going to be a reform of just that domestic (and world-wide) spying programme...

Don't worry, be happy?

Please. Do tell.

Add a comment

theunforgiven  Aug. 12, 2013 at 21:42

thinking about it, no. Fair enough now i know for sure that all my internet activity is being tracked and its not just all science fiction stuff, but my internet habits are pretty much the same as before. maybe because i'm so addicted to the internet its kinda hard to change the habit or maybe because I know i'm not doing or have done anything illegal (well apart from a little bit torrrenting here and there).
I personally think that we are so desensitised to all these things happening to us from movies and science fiction that fair enough there was a big hoo haa when the news broke but subconsciously we all kinda knew that it was happening anyways. that's just my take on things anywho.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 12, 2013 at 21:57

Thank you for the reply. Some good points.
Worth noting that most Guantanamo inmates hadn't done anything illegal, either...

You're right, though: 'we' were all expecting it. Sadly it is similar to the way we accept that our food is poisoned etc etc...

It seems we really don't learn until it hits us directly.
Reminds me that during WWII jewish KZ inmates were writing letters to relatives on the outside where they expressed disbelief and the hope that "soon the NAZIs must realise they made a mistake... I have been a good German"... after 2 years + inside. Denial seems hardwired.

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 12, 2013 at 22:19

My views haven't really changed, but my browsing habits have. The vast majority of my data is now routed through an encrypted VPN with servers located in a country which, as far as my legal digging can tell, doesn't cooperate with: EU, UK or US law enforcement agencies or Governments.

I already had access to an encrypted VPN, I just use it a hell of a lot more these days. I'm sure with enough digging the NSA (or any other Govt. agency) could see what I do on the internet, but they'd have to try bloody hard and acquire data in ways which would be entirely inadmissible in a UK court.

Beyond staying off the internet, I don't know what more these is I can do.

Side note: in a moment of weakness, I signed up for Google Music All Access earlier this week, it's bloody fantastic :p.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 12, 2013 at 22:25

hahaha You so f*cked :p

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 12, 2013 at 22:28

I was actually considering the opposite of reducing my online activity: upload sh*tloads of pointless data to every cloud there is; all tagged "da bomb" ...

Seriously though: I have a paid for Opera mail account. Opera were harping on and on about their role in the so-called Arab Spring. But if you think they say anything about their email services in light of Lavabit's closure?!??? Nada. Zip. Pretty sad.

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 12, 2013 at 22:34

I was actually considering the opposite of reducing my online activity: upload sh*tloads of pointless data to every cloud there is; all tagged "da bomb" ...
Tag it all "terrorist plans lol"...give the NSA something to do haha ;)

Also, no doubt that line ^^^ got their attention on some data mining server somewhere haha :p. Happy time wasting, NSA. I'm sure the US taxpayer's money is being well spent...

Nevasleep  Aug. 12, 2013 at 22:42

Forgetting about the rights issues etc.......It's a bloody cool set of systems, considering the huge amounts of data they are going through. Would love to work on that.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 12, 2013 at 23:09

Forgetting about the rights issues etc.......It's a bloody cool set of systems, considering the huge amounts of data they are going through. Would love to work on that.


socialjeebus  Aug. 13, 2013 at 06:40

The problem is, I think you're [email protected] regardless of which services you use.

Bear in mind, Edward Snowden wasn't all that high-up the food chain, so it's not inconceivable that PRISM, etc is just the tip of the iceberg.

I'd be very surprised if they didn't track everyone's movements via their phones too for a start.

It's convenient timing once again, that as Obama makes a [email protected] pledge about Prism that we have several days of Embassy closures due to unspecified terrorist threats (where the embassies only have sparse use - mostly for intelligence gathering as it happens.too).

No doubt they'll claim the fact that there was no attack as a sign that Prism is working.

The irony of the feeble arguments in favor of Prism is that it failed miserably to prevent people who were already on the FBI radar from bombing the Boston marathon.

CTPAHHIK  Aug. 13, 2013 at 08:22

Good point, Social.
With Google, Microsoft, RIM, Apple, etc. under NSA surveillance it's quite easy to track anyone with a smartphone.
No more private Skype conversations, Google Hangouts, etc.
I guess this gives a tremendous boost to open source projects that are in the works - Mozilla and Ubuntu.

Regarding Boston marathon it simply underlines that PRISM might be collecting loads of data, but nobody is looking at it. Without human element technology is not there yet to make any kind of intelligent decisions.

I haven't closed any cloud storage accounts, but did remove all private files and made the rest public.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 13, 2013 at 10:38

Yes, absolutely - rolling out the Al Qaeda thread? Farce. Like when Blair rolled tanks to Heathrow.

And good point about Boston.

Personally, I'm not surprised by any of Snowden's or Assange's revelations. The companies who develop and sell the required hard- and software 'solutions' have been doing so openly (more or less) from the day the internet was born. It is logical to assume someone's buying their services.
Just as it is logical to assume somebody is buying tiny cameras to keep an eye on staff etc....

Which reminds me of a documentary I once watched about 'evil nannies'. A couple suspected their nanny was physically harming their child. So, they installed hidden surveillance. Turned out the nanny was just dipping into their booze while being perfectly nice to their kid. WHAT GOT ME WAS THIS: IF you genuinely believe someone is harming your kid, do you wait until it happens again so you get your clip for candid court cam? Risking your kid's health? WTF? No, if you have doubts, deal with it openly. Legally.
Which kind of ties into the point about the Boston bombers, doesn't it?

Anyhoo. I grew up in a country where people once voted for 'change'. Not for fascism or war. No, they wanted hope and change. They got Hitler instead.
There IS NO guarantee that 'your' government will always and forever be on your side.
So, I have always been careful with regards to what I put out.
I'm not on Farcebook and never will be. And I use online services very seldomly.
But I have no delusion: if 'they' want you, they'll get you.
If they'll want you, then NOT HAVING an online footprint will be taken as proof that you're hiding something.
So, I understand where matt was coming from in my other PRISM thread. You may as well enjoy it.

I am however deeply disturbed by the reactions or lack thereof - Google, MS etc.... And Obama's fan choir etc... Yes he lies and lies, but he gave SOME people SOME healthcare, and he will bring back unicorns. Hope!
Consider what got Nixon into trouble. 2 bugged rooms.
Consider what happened after Ellsberg spilled the beans: government agents and politicians ACTUALLY went to jail.
Nowadays? Lets watch X-f*cktor.

socialjeebus  Aug. 13, 2013 at 13:17

I agree with a lot of what you've all said.

I don't want to go into a lot of detail but I used to work for the largest German electronics company a few years back. I've also worked for several of the largest Korean conglomerates too.

What I observed on the job (even as low down the totem pole as I was) was that how different the reality of things like sanctions, anti-bribery laws, etc to what people (including myself) have been misled to believe.

The reality is, that the government is not on your side, and I'm never sure it was.

Governments are solely motivated by a single factor - whether it be a democracy or a dictatorship and that is self-preservation.

They government couldn't give a toss about the ordinary citizen because they know that come election time, their huge PR budget and marketing campaign will be able to trick enough people into voting for them.

Look at the MP expenses scandal. all swept under the carpet - MPs guilty of dishonesty and fraud being punished by being allowed to keep their jobs and pay some of the money they defrauded the taxpayer out of back.

Obama is the worst example of this, with George W. Bush people were resigned to his stupidity and he largely got in for the 2nd term because the Democrats inexplicably [email protected] their pants and gave up challenging the result too early.

But Obama came in on a bill of hope and change but pretty much from day 1 he went to town on the Bush blueprint.

Take the example of Chris Huhne, a prison sentence, a proven liar, forced out of his previous job - all this would make the average Joe unemployable - yet a few months out of prison and he get a top job with a US energy company.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 13, 2013 at 15:08

Yes, social... You are unfortunately totally right.
In 1979 Bertram Gross published a book titled "Friendly Fascism".
It reads as though he wrote it yesterday.
But sadly, 50 Shades of Same Sh*t is what engages people.


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