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I've really seen some documentaries of what is coming in the future and it kinda scares me. Also, I hear often that google tracks and records all data they get such as browsing history, gmail uses, phone gps tracking etc, and they give information to agencies if asked for, is that true?

As for survalence Cameras: This is a hard debait. If you're out in public, is it breaking your privacy if someone records you? Is it ok for people to be looking at footage if there was no crime in question?

For the computer end of things: there are things you can do to protect yourself. Not everyone online is trying to find out everything about you. Lot's of companies make a buisness of protecting your privacy in fact (in countries with nicer laws on the subject). Also, criminals and signals intelegence organizations arn't magic and are bounded by the same laws of mathematics and laws of physics as all of us, which gives us a means to protect ourselves. This includes cryptography as well how software/hardware is used.

they give information to agencies if asked for, is that true?

First off: I do not beleive that most companies will break their own Privacy Policy and risk the trouble. If you give information to a company, I would read through their TOS as well as their Privacy Policy.

Secondly, they generally don't intentionally give information out without a warrant or government requirements. If some agency just asked for information, I dout they would just hand it over (unless they've mentioned otherwise in their EULA). Though with laws in the US, there might be ways around requiring a warrent. Or sometimes information can be collected in other (illigal) ways, such as physical taps in between servers (this was one method the NSA was using to get information from google, and google corrected it by encrypting all channels between servers).

It's not like signals intelegence can wave a magic wand and decrypt all of your valuables and get into your computer. There are steps you can take to even prevent tailored access to your system. You can oliminate the problem by filtering everything you put online, and encrypting everything (well) that shouldn't be seen by others. It's a bit inconvieneint to filter everything you post online though; so you can always go for my approach of "only post relavent information where it's needed on trusted services."

_NSAKEY was a variable name discovered in Windows NT 4 Service Pack 5. It was accidentally released with symbolic debugging data included. The variable contained a 1024-bit public key. You can be sure if it was there then, it's still there now, just better hidden.

I read recently that researchers, using a high speed camera, were able to take video of a potato chip bag through a sound-proof window, analyze the vibrations and reconstruct the audio from the room.

Is privacy over?

Short answer - yes.

I think if they are doing what they are with survelliance cameras, they should be used ONLY on purpose, such for crime investigation etc and noting else. I don't feel like people knowing where and when I go, not because I have something to hide just because I don't like it personally

Yes. They should only use it when absolutely required and then only with permission of the courts. It is quite clear, however, that if the government has the capability then it will make use of it.

not because I have something to hide

i think the "i've got nothing to hide" argument is irrelevant. You should never give anyone including governments the right of your privacy, period.

governments will treat your privacy like they treat your money.

i think the "i've got nothing to hide" argument is irrelevant. You should never give anyone including governments the right of your privacy, period.

Not to mention: There are democratic reasons why you would want to hide something. My answer to 'What are you hiding?' is that the mentality of the statement is already non-democratic and I'm attacking it on that basis before I even considered the answer.

Though there are some places in the world (like the UK) where passwords can be requested by a warrent for a case. In which case you would probably want to employ some kind of plausable deniability. (right now I'm investigating my idea for a phone app that xor's a password known to the user with some data in ram. If the app is left alone too long, a trigger is entered in, if a text is sent by a laywer or someone or the phone is powered down, then the data is erased like an inverse deadmans switch. This effectively erases stolen encrypted data post-mortem. You don't actually need to use the app for it to be used as plausable deniability. I would make the app privately and with traps (and suggest that individuals write their own) so that investigators are unprepaired).

This whole question of "What do you have to hide?" is a subtle case of the "loaded question" fallacy (like "Do you still beat your wife?"). This fallacy is about loading the question with a premise such that whichever answer is given, the premise is implicitly accepted or acknowledged in the process. In this case, the premise is that you have no right to privacy and the only reason you would seek privacy is for doing criminal or otherwise immoral things. If you say you have things to hide, you acknowledge that this is your reason to seek privacy. And if you say you don't have anything to hide, you acknowledge that you are willing to be an "open book", so to speak, with no privacy.

The reality is, everyone has things that they would prefer to keep private. And the vast majority of those things are not illegal or even immoral, just maybe a bit embarrassing, or personal, or simply "none of your business".

The real purpose of the invasion of privacy is to do thought police. People tend to have this unrealistic idea of what "thoughts" are. People picture "thoughts" as being what you think about when you're at home alone, in bed before you sleep, or on the bus or whatever. In reality, thoughts consist of much more than that, they are the things you are curious about and might look up on the internet, they are the things you read, the things you watch, the things you talk about with others. In any case, these are the thoughts that can be dangerous to some people, and they are the thoughts some people would like to control and police, and that is exactly the purpose of the surveillance state, 1984 kind of shit. You don't watch 100% of people because you want to catch the 1% that commit crimes, you have to be an idiot to believe such a stupid idea.

We have to stop caring about obviously contrived rhetorical questions like "What do you have to hide?", and instead ask the more potent questions like "What gives you the right to control my private thoughts?", "What scares you about what I could think about?", "In the case of an actual crime having been committed, a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but for a hypothetical and very unlikely crime, supposedly committed in my own private life, I'm presumed guilty and it is demanded of me that I prove my innocence, why is that?".

If you're out in public, is it breaking your privacy if someone records you? Is it ok for people to be looking at footage if there was no crime in question?

Actually, there was a very interesting research about that, that I pointed out a while back. In short, the conclusion is that individual instances of being filmed, seen or watched in public are not invasions of privacy, but the ability to record it all and analyse it in a way that can essentially re-trace your every step is indeed an invasion of privacy.

To make a simple analogy, if you're walking in public and some guy happens to walk behind you for a couple of blocks, he is incidently watching your every step but we wouldn't consider this as invading your privacy because all he saw you do is walk a couple of blocks in a particular direction at a particular time. But if instead, the guy follows you around all day every day and keeps a log book of everywhere you went, then that is an invasion of privacy.

The law generally recognizes this in "real life" through laws against stalking, harrassment, extended police surveillance (without a warrant), and so on, but it is not yet recognized for things like online activities or some new technologies like automatic license plate recognition and logging systems and other big-brother-ish systems.

commented: your post are long but are filled with so much interesting facts and opinions that I can't stop reading them +0

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Ha , nice story but still just a story =)

To expect privacy from the likes of Facebook, Twitter etc. would be silly.

if you willingly spill your life on some website, you need to be delusional to expect that nobody will ever see that information...
Even if there's "protection" so "only friends can see it" what's to stop someone from "retweeting" that information? Or from an error causing it to be spilled? Or from some tech support person from taking a look at it (most likely not even because they're snooping, but because they're trying to analyse a problem and your data comes up as a possible cause or symptom of the problem)?

If you're so narcissist that you're spilling your life on facebook or twitter, you should be happy that everyone knows all about you, that's what those sites are for after all...

I've read stories of peoples'houses being robbed while they've gone on vacations, of course, notifying Facebook that they will be gone for a certain period ..

everything u say, do, look a,comment on, like, reblog is saved on a bigger server somewhere in the country. not to mention google uses your location to give certain results so let's say I look up where the nearest pet shop is at google will automatically take ur location and give u what they deem the best results for your location.

Technology is good but like everything else in this life it will be abused.

I just found out about Google location history, wtf it has track of my location during the past couple of years. Is there any way to remove that track from their servers? I assume the "Delete all history" will just disable my access to it?

privacy is a nice thing, but complete privacy is a thing of the past.
maybe better as well: complete privacy implies that nobody knows you, and that seems a pretty dull life.

as for all the security camera's they have out there, and all kinds of recording material ... they do tend to go to far. as an example:

where I live, there are camera's everywhere, yet the images are not used (yes, we know who did it,, but we can't legally touch them, not based on the footage we have. we're not allowed to use it.) so ... what's the use of putting the camera's in the first place?

if you have a store, and you put a security camera in it yourself, that won't show anything but your own window (unless said window is smashed and thus not longer there), so you can record those who every now and then throw rocks through your window(s), you're not allowed to use those images (well, it violates their privacy). In the end, a lot of material, both paid for with tax payers money and paid with private money (those who secure their own building) and it's all a waste.

as for recording sound: for some reason the police assumed it would be wise to move their office from the town center to somewhere not even within the actual town. Brilliantly. now, if there's trouble, and you call them for help, instead of waiting three minutes, they'll be around in (at the quickest) half an hour, and that is, if they show up at all.

in order to test the soundnorms the government has installed, they want all the barowners to install an installation (cost several thousand euro's, which could mean bankrupcy for several smaller bars) and that is stricter then need be (it must be configured stricter then the law that was passed)
"yes, we want that, because we're not near enough anymore to just go there and check" ...
brilliant move, only, nobody asked them to move away. several store and shop owners have, however, asked them to maintain a permanence there, so there would be people always quick on the scene. yet their excuse: "nobody wants us there".

so, this installation is fact. what they forgot to mention, though, is that the installation doesn't just record the decibels produced in the proximity, it can also be used to record conversations, not just a bit of gibber clouded by the music, but the actual, understandable conversations, that can easily be filtered out, and thus monitored.

sure, they can continue to say that they only mean to use it to find offenders, but in a way it's like leaving an open box of candy near a five year old. he may intend only to eat one, but the temptation .... ooh, that temptation.

there's no such thing as guaranteed privacy, not in a modern society. if you want a thought of yours to be truly private? never say it out loud, never write it down, never allow anyone to know. after all, even the privacy of your own home 'll just be there until a judge signs a peace of paper.

instead of waiting three minutes, they'll be around in (at the quickest) half an hour,

You assume that all of the cops just sit at the station waiting for calls. That is not the case. They each have areas that are regularly patrolled.

At this point in time your thoughts are private, just don't record them in any way!

You assume that all of the cops just sit at the station waiting for calls. That is not the case. They each have areas that are regularly patrolled.

yes, the coffee machine, the cafetaria, the toilet...

Reverend Jim: of course I don't expect them all to be available, but if none are available, and that goes for about ... every single time they are needed ...

my point wasn't that they don't want to come, my point was: if you have a police station that is about 10 meters away from the place that is bound to attract the most problems, and which is right at the center of the town, is it really a good idea to say "let's not use this building anymore, there's a nice building about half an hour from here" (which isn't even in the city anymore)

whenever something goes wrong now, those making the trouble are long gone before the police has a chance of showing up, so ... what's the use?

Yes. It makes sense to put the station in the centre of the area it serves. Sometimes this is not practical. In the case of my city (Winnipeg), the city council had a choice between renovating an existing police HQ ($$$) or buying a vacated building (post office HQ) and renovating ($$). Naturally they chose the $$ option which turned out to be $$$$$$ because they all had their heads up their asses.

A location in the troubled downtown area would be less safe for the police.

commented: Riiiiiiiggggghhhhtttt! +0

^Although they seem to like those that are out of that area, and sell daughnuts near by :p

but only if the doughnut place has free delivery...

Reverend Jim: there was no renovation that had to be done to the building they were in first, they just decided they needed a more 'modern look'. the network they work on (still some hours of the day) in the old building works just fine. I admit, it's far from the systems you see in movies, but does a system has to look as if it costs 2 million € for it to be effective? I don't object them moving certain services to a new (bigger) location, I do object, however, them keeping the old building (still paying for it with tax payers money and all) and not using it the hours of the day it's most vital that it is used.
even the mere sight of the police wagons in front of it used to be enough to make trouble makers going to the bars realize they should keep it down.
while they're paying for it anyway, why not use it?

Vegaseat: I'm not talking gangs with drive-by shootings here. I'm talking bar brawls and small conflicts, that used to be rapidly solved because the police were less then 5 minutes away. it's gone from mildly bad to "we have a serious problem here, but we'll just blame it on the university students" (even though the most trouble are caused during the time the students aren't even in the city. why did the trouble get out of hand in a few years?

well, cause trouble all you want, even if the police decide to show up, you have plenty of time to get away before they get there.

There may be such tracking procedures but they tend to do it with certain policies and rules. Since every information is sensitive they are changes to keep them more secure than to disclose them, as it may be a violation.

The bare selfies of the not-so-smart starlets where only as private as the username/password protection they used. If they pass around the username/password combo to the boyfriend-of-the-moment by social media, then even some lower NSA staffer can see them.

Passwords like '1234' are simply not that good.