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  #1  
Old 09-29-2010, 09:40 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

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  #2  
Old 09-30-2010, 05:11 AM
CHUD CHUD is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

From the Times piece: "There is no public data about how often court-approved surveillance is frustrated because of a service’s technical design."

That's a really key part of the debate. Presumably neither Farrell or Sanchez would be as steadfast against new wiretap legislation if a significant portion of terrorist/criminal chatter could not be monitored.
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  #3  
Old 09-30-2010, 11:01 AM
JulianSanchez JulianSanchez is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

I don't know if it would make that big a difference. Criminals and terrorists will always be able to encrypt their communications. Unfortunate, but not a lot the law can do about it—beyond breaking the Internet in a doomed attempt to pretend otherwise.
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  #4  
Old 09-30-2010, 05:59 AM
dannyc dannyc is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

This was really great. I really hope these two come back at some point to talk about privacy issues in the future, especially with the government wiretap issues.
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  #5  
Old 09-30-2010, 10:18 AM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Purpose of law; gov't gain inherent omniscience or total omniscience?

I don't get computer security. Time complexity makes my head spin. I've been told common security problems, RSA being one common example, are NP-Complete* problems.

Question: How many computer hours does it take, using brute force algorithms, does it take to solve these NP-Complete security problems. This is important knowledge to have for this discussion, yet neither Mr. Sanchez or Mr. Farrell supply this information. Perhaps this is common knowledge for people interested in these matters.

If it is only a few thousand, or maybe even a few tens of thousands computer hours then the government already has inherent omniscience. This means the government can already get the contents of flagged messages and the only purpose of mentioned laws would be to give the government the ability to sift through huge amounts of information without notifying a corresponding large amount of people. In effect: The government is trying to get total omniscience. If, on the other hand, it takes hundreds of thousands or even millions of thousands computer hours then the government is only trying for inherent omniscience. Much more of a gray area.

If the former answer it true, I am firmly against mentioned laws. If it is the latter, I would still probably be against mentioned laws, but I wouldn't think the people proposing them are hysterical bed-wetters**.

*Informal Definition: A problem solution can be verified quickly, but the solution cannot be created quickly. Other commenters, if anyone is interested, can explain this better then I.

**Sorry, but even after 9/11, the fear of terrorism isn't proportional to the level of threat.
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  #6  
Old 09-30-2010, 11:48 AM
cragger cragger is offline
 
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Default Re: Purpose of law; gov't gain inherent omniscience or total omniscience?

The answer to how long it takes to break encryption is, of course, it depends. On the algorithm, key length, and the amount and type of resources one throws at the problem. Lots of encryption is reasonably secure against random folks who might intercept it, but when you get into the realm of governments, the potential amount of power that can be applied to the problem is the next best thing to unlimited. An organization with time and money that is interested in breaking encryption isn't constrained by the properties of off-the-shelf hardware like standard PC's either, they can (and almost certainly do) design dedicated hardware that is far more powerful and tailored for that specific task. And have few constraints on getting another million, or 100 million, or billions of dollars worth of additional gear.

This isn't to say that the problem is trivial. If it is necessary to apply brute force techniques to crack a particular encryption method, and it takes significant resources to do so, while any given message may be decrypted it would still be a problem for the agency hacking in if all traffic was encrypted and they had no way of distinguishing particular targets of interest. Of course, that isn't generally the case. Additionally, encryption users can make the job easier through poor dicipline of various types. Still, I would expect that various three-letter agencies are busily decrypting away on all sorts of traffic as you read this. After all, the US admits to a three-fold expansion of "black budget" programs in the last decade and a good part of that is certainly monitoring any and every sort of communication that happens in the world. If any agency submits a request for another billion or ten to spend on the project it is pretty unlikely that this government will say no. There is a lot of info on the net regarding encryption, cypherpunks, and so on if you are interested in the subject.

It is undoubtedly the goal of the government to obtain the omniscience that you mention. Perhaps you heard of the rejected "Total Information Awareness" proposal that was re-branded and sold as the "Patriot Act". The government has tried to force encryption producers to provide back-door access in their products, tried to force digital telecom equipment producers and providers to implement means for the government to monitor 10% of all traffic through their equipment at any given time, and so on. In the latter case, someone would listen in for a while, cull out the vast majority of traffic that they aren't interested in for one reason or another, keep monitoring the rest and move on to the next 10% and keep cycling around.

Big Brother is watching. And listening.
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  #7  
Old 09-30-2010, 04:30 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Purpose of law; gov't gain inherent omniscience or total omniscience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
I've been told common security problems, RSA being one common example, are NP-Complete* problems.
RSA can be broken on a (fictitious) quantum computer and no one believes quantum computers could ever crack NP complete problems. But there are many other technical reasons (like the belief that NP is not co-NP) why no one believes breaking RSA (i.e., factoring) rises to the level of NP hardness. I, for one, believe that it's not even hard in any sense of the word "hard." That we can't do it now doesn't prove anything. But that's off topic.

In the real world, meanwhile, 2000-bit RSA is entirely secure (not even the NSA can do anything about it).

But if you're a bad guy you can always revert back to private-key cryptography, which is mathematically 100% secure.

Last edited by ohreally; 09-30-2010 at 04:40 PM..
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  #8  
Old 09-30-2010, 10:17 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Purpose of law; gov't gain inherent omniscience or total omniscience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
But if you're a bad guy you can always revert back to private-key cryptography, which is mathematically 100% secure.
I thought any key system was subject to attack, assuming the key is reasonably short. A one-time pad is unbreakable. That's like an extremely long private key.
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  #9  
Old 09-30-2010, 10:31 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Purpose of law; gov't gain inherent omniscience or total omniscience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
I thought any key system was subject to attack, assuming the key is reasonably short. A one-time pad is unbreakable. That's like an extremely long private key.
Any key system is subject to attack. Even a one-time pad is theoretically breakable. But a brute force attack requires something like 2^(bitlength of key - 1) units of time to produce a solution. For long keys, it doesn't matter what a unit of time is equal to - it adds up to a really long time.

Quantum computers have, so far, been used to factor the value fifteen (unless something new has happened recently.) It's not yet clear that there's a path to practical systems, I think. So factoring as a method of encryption is probably safe (when used effectively) for a while yet.
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  #10  
Old 10-01-2010, 03:45 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Purpose of law; gov't gain inherent omniscience or total omniscience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
Any key system is subject to attack. Even a one-time pad is theoretically breakable. But a brute force attack requires something like 2^(bitlength of key - 1) units of time to produce a solution. For long keys, it doesn't matter what a unit of time is equal to - it adds up to a really long time.

Quantum computers have, so far, been used to factor the value fifteen (unless something new has happened recently.) It's not yet clear that there's a path to practical systems, I think. So factoring as a method of encryption is probably safe (when used effectively) for a while yet.
Correct. D-Wave makes all kinds of claims about having a real quantum computer but so far only their investors seem to believe them... OK, the cynic will say maybe these are the only people you need to convince...

The unbreakability of private-key encryption is not just the time it takes to guess the right answer but the impossibility to check that it's correct, since an encrypted message is entirely random.
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  #11  
Old 10-01-2010, 04:03 PM
cragger cragger is offline
 
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Default Re: Purpose of law; gov't gain inherent omniscience or total omniscience?

Nothing is unbreakable, and meaningful messages tend not to be random.
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  #12  
Old 10-01-2010, 05:49 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Purpose of law; gov't gain inherent omniscience or total omniscience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cragger View Post
Nothing is unbreakable, and meaningful messages tend not to be random.
Nothing is unbreakable - that's true. One of the characteristics of good encryption is that its output masks the apparent information content of the input massage. The output of a good quality method has high entropy content, which is information theoretical equivalent of saying that it's highly randomized.

The point about private key encryption is that, since the data is effectively random, there's no a priori way to determine what method of encryption was used to create it, while with public key methods the public key itself can provide various clues. So, just starting to crunch primes is no guarantee that you're going to get anywhere with a given set of assumptions. That adds the equivalent of additional bits to the keylength, since it's very likely you'll need to repeat your search many times, with different sets of assumptions.
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  #13  
Old 10-01-2010, 06:03 PM
cragger cragger is offline
 
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Default Re: Purpose of law; gov't gain inherent omniscience or total omniscience?

I'm fairly familiar with encryption. Yes, the intent of encryption is that the resultant cyphertext is pseudorandom. What I took Ohreally's statement to imply was that having hit the key, perhaps via brute force, one would be unable to determine so because the resulting, decrypted output would still appear random.

Hence my reply that in the general case, decrypted data isn't random. Data with informational content isn't. Scatterbrained though my posts may be, this text for example isn't random and is readily recognizable as such. And as I tried to say in an earlier post, an interceptor with the resources to throw at decrypting a message that uses a good technique may or may not be in the dark about the algorithm, key length used, likely format of the source message, and so on. They (read government agency here) may know that the message was sent from a commercially available device using a particular method, or have information about the sender that indicates likely techniques and so on. It all depends.
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  #14  
Old 10-01-2010, 07:03 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Purpose of law; gov't gain inherent omniscience or total omniscience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cragger View Post
I'm fairly familiar with encryption. Yes, the intent of encryption is that the resultant cyphertext is pseudorandom. What I took Ohreally's statement to imply was that having hit the key, perhaps via brute force, one would be unable to determine so because the resulting, decrypted output would still appear random .
No, that's not what I meant. (Sorry if my comment was confusing.) A one-time pad (as was used, say, for the Red Telephone between the White House and the Kremlin) is 100% secure because the encrypted message is completely random. This means even if you decrypted it into a perfectly fine English sentence (hence one not random) you couldn't tell that it's the correct one. The reason you couldn't tell is that any sentence of the same length is equally likely to be the answer. This in turn implies that all English sentences of that length are equally likely.

It's not useful to think of breaking a code as finding the original message. That cannot be the right definition, since you can always hit it by chance (hence no code would be unbreakable). The correct definition must be statistical. It is that your chance of finding the right answer is 1/#possible strings of the given length. Only in that sense can we say the one-time pad is unbreakable.

Things are very different for public-key crypto because such systems are self-verifiable. Since I know the public-key, if I can get the private key then I can certify it, too, and confirm to myself that I lucked out (something the adversary cannot do with private crypto).
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  #15  
Old 10-01-2010, 09:14 PM
cragger cragger is offline
 
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Default Re: Purpose of law; gov't gain inherent omniscience or total omniscience?

A couple points. First, there are avenues for obtaining information outside of a given encrypted message. These may relate to why one is breaking the encryption on that message and may suggest things about both the format and content. A reasonable interceptor will not consider any combination of letters, should the message happen to consist of ASCII text for example, equally likely nor any combination of words in any given language, nor any sentance, or series thereof. It all depends on context.

Second, you refer to breaking a code. Codes and cyphers, with digital encryption being a case of the latter, are different things.

Beyond this, I think I'll pass on a potentially increasingly technical discussion here and agree to disagree on the "100% secure" question.
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  #16  
Old 10-01-2010, 08:43 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Purpose of law; gov't gain inherent omniscience or total omniscience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cragger View Post
I'm fairly familiar with encryption. Yes, the intent of encryption is that the resultant cyphertext is pseudorandom. What I took Ohreally's statement to imply was that having hit the key, perhaps via brute force, one would be unable to determine so because the resulting, decrypted output would still appear random.

Hence my reply that in the general case, decrypted data isn't random. Data with informational content isn't. Scatterbrained though my posts may be, this text for example isn't random and is readily recognizable as such. And as I tried to say in an earlier post, an interceptor with the resources to throw at decrypting a message that uses a good technique may or may not be in the dark about the algorithm, key length used, likely format of the source message, and so on. They (read government agency here) may know that the message was sent from a commercially available device using a particular method, or have information about the sender that indicates likely techniques and so on. It all depends.
I hope it didn't seem as if I was trying to be condescending; encryption is far from my area of of expertise. It just seemed as if the conversation was moving at cross purposes, and I wanted to try to add some clarity, if I could.
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  #17  
Old 09-30-2010, 04:19 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

Sanchez illustrates all that's wrong with today's libertarianism: corporate freedom trumping individual freedom. You'd think a libertarian would take a nonnegotiable stand on matters of individual privacy, since that goes to the heart of the very concept of human freedom. But, no, Sanchez prefers that individual privacy "be negotiated" with the commercial sites. As in, go ahead and negotiate your privacy with a multibillion dollar company like Google.

Libertarianism has become the art of shilling for corporate power.
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  #18  
Old 09-30-2010, 04:27 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
Sanchez illustrates all that's wrong with today's libertarianism: corporate freedom trumping individual freedom. You'd think a libertarian would take a nonnegotiable stand on matters of individual privacy, since that goes to the heart of the very concept of human freedom. But, no, Sanchez prefers that individual privacy "be negotiated" with the commercial sites. As in, go ahead and negotiate your privacy with a multibillion dollar company like Google.

Libertarianism has become the art of shilling for corporate power.
I think this is about right. I like Julian very much, but I would have hoped that people like him, who I believe to be basically rational and even somewhat left of center on at at least some issues, would believe that any such tradeoff between corporate freedom and individual privacy must be decided in favor of individuals - simply as matter of property. The assumption should be that I own my data, and everybody else is required to petition me for it.
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  #19  
Old 10-01-2010, 08:52 AM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
The assumption should be that I own my data, and everybody else is required to petition me for it.
Yep. I think part of the issue is that there aren't enough consumers who actually feel strongly about this. I've written a few pieces about Google and Facebook and other sites vis-a-vis privacy, and the letters to the editor are always something to the effect of 'oh, come off it, we're happy this way' or 'privacy is so 1990s.' Which, for someone who's pretty much a privacy hawk for everyone except public figures, is deeply dispiriting.
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  #20  
Old 10-01-2010, 11:59 AM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

Prep, do you have links to the articles you wrote on these topics? I'd be curious to check them out.
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  #21  
Old 09-30-2010, 09:30 PM
JulianSanchez JulianSanchez is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

I'm pretty averse to the idea of treating facts as things that can be "owned" by anyone. Anyway, the policy question isn't whether privacy should be protected, it's what the appropriate locus of control is given the heterogeneity of privacy preferences. I think a regulatory regime that enables control at the browser level makes more sense for most purposes—though maybe not with respect to certain sector-specific regulations of stuff like medical data. Whether this is right or not has very little to do with some cartoon battle between individual and corporate freedoms.
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  #22  
Old 09-30-2010, 10:01 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianSanchez View Post
I'm pretty averse to the idea of treating facts as things that can be "owned" by anyone. Anyway, the policy question isn't whether privacy should be protected, it's what the appropriate locus of control is given the heterogeneity of privacy preferences. I think a regulatory regime that enables control at the browser level makes more sense for most purposes—though maybe not with respect to certain sector-specific regulations of stuff like medical data. Whether this is right or not has very little to do with some cartoon battle between individual and corporate freedoms.
I obviously disagree with Julian's first assertion here. How are the basic facts about my life not my intellectual property? And why shouldn't I be the primary locus of control over those facts? I really don't care about the difficulties Amazon.com or my health insurer incur as a result of my wish for privacy. The "friction" represented by what I believe to be my core right to control access to those facts seems like a cost of doing business - and avoiding that cost by defining my right away seem to me like a less than optimal solution to a fundamentally important problem.

I'm not certain that the sort of browser level control that Julian is proposing is necessarily incompatible with my notion of privacy here, however. It depends on how it's implemented - whether I can make these decisions at a sufficiently granular level, and whether the software interface would be sufficiently clear such that people generally could understand what the decisions they were encoding mean, and what the implications of those decisions are. I certainly don't think that these concerns are based on a "cartoonish" view of individual freedom. I'll note that I'm not concerned about data that's been reliably detached from personally identifiable information. I'm not going on here about the anonymous collection of statistics.

I think there also concerns regarding inducements, e.g. businesses making it impossible to engage in transactions unless prospective customers grant to them free access to personal information - but that's another conversation.
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  #23  
Old 10-01-2010, 10:11 AM
JulianSanchez JulianSanchez is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

Well, for one, a regime that allowed facts about the world to be privately owned would almost certainly be unconstitutional.
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  #24  
Old 10-01-2010, 10:28 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

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Well, for one, a regime that allowed facts about the world to be privately owned would almost certainly be unconstitutional.
My health data is a set of facts about the world that I think I ought to be able to own and to which I should be able to dictate access. Aggregated data regarding what my health care provider has payed for or Amazon has sold to me seems like data to which those corporations have a claim of ownership, so long as the data doesn't contain personally identifiable markers. My specific purchases would seem to be in the same category as my health data.

I don't clearly see the Constitutional line being asserted here. Which facts about me are private, and which are "facts about the world" that I shouldn't presume to reserve? I assume what I do in private is private, and I further assume that my relationship with an insurer or with an online vendor (for example) are conducted privately.
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  #25  
Old 10-01-2010, 10:18 AM
cragger cragger is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
How are the basic facts about my life not my intellectual property? And why shouldn't I be the primary locus of control over those facts?
The concept of property, intellectual or otherwise being a human construct, I wonder both why you suggest "basic facts" about life should be categorized as such, and how that could possibly work. I can understand and sympathise with a desire to be able to use the 'net without everyone or anyone being able to know every site visited, forum post made, associated with your name, address, bank balance, credit history, recent purchases and so on, but isn't this a question of aggregation of information already in the public domain? Your name, address, and phone number have been information traditionally published expressly for the access of others. Certainly many people know your name, address, age, where you work, went to school, and so on. Various corporations and the government know all of this as well as your financial information. Do you really "own" that information? Could or should you be able to prevent a neighbor or old classmate from saying what they know about you?

There seems to be a degree of loss of freedom in the loss of relative anonymity that existed before changes in information storage and dissemination. A situation related to privacy, in which our concepts and expectations were formed in an era where privacy just wasn't that much of an issue because it was the default condition before expansion of government powers and development of enabling technologies accessable by governments, corporations, and individuals changed the conditions in which we live. I think a similar issue exists regarding property, a conceptual construct that probably goes back to or nearly to hunter-gatherer days and which has accumulated associated ideas that became accepted under conditions different than those in which we now live.
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  #26  
Old 10-01-2010, 10:33 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cragger View Post
The concept of property, intellectual or otherwise being a human construct, I wonder both why you suggest "basic facts" about life should be categorized as such, and how that could possibly work. I can understand and sympathise with a desire to be able to use the 'net without everyone or anyone being able to know every site visited, forum post made, associated with your name, address, bank balance, credit history, recent purchases and so on, but isn't this a question of aggregation of information already in the public domain? Your name, address, and phone number have been information traditionally published expressly for the access of others. Certainly many people know your name, address, age, where you work, went to school, and so on. Various corporations and the government know all of this as well as your financial information. Do you really "own" that information? Could or should you be able to prevent a neighbor or old classmate from saying what they know about you?

There seems to be a degree of loss of freedom in the loss of relative anonymity that existed before changes in information storage and dissemination. A situation related to privacy, in which our concepts and expectations were formed in an era where privacy just wasn't that much of an issue because it was the default condition before expansion of government powers and development of enabling technologies accessable by governments, corporations, and individuals changed the conditions in which we live. I think a similar issue exists regarding property, a conceptual construct that probably goes back to or nearly to hunter-gatherer days and which has accumulated associated ideas that became accepted under conditions different than those in which we now live.
What I do in the public sphere, I have to assume has passed into the public domain. What's at issue is where the boundary between public and private is going to be drawn in the future. Peer to peer communications, such a telephone calls have been assumed to be private up until now. Why should digital network access be treated any differently? That's one of the question I'd like to assert an opinion on.
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  #27  
Old 10-01-2010, 12:19 PM
cragger cragger is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

We can all assert an opinion about anything, but that in and of itself isn't really all that interesting. "Ping-pong is the best sport, period". Umm, ok.

In fact, my gut reaction is similar to yours in your example which I think would be more often related to privacy than to property. I too would like to be able to communicate whether over an analog land line, through the digital telecom network backbone, via VOIP, email, or whatever on a peer-to-peer basis (and there's a new term from our changing times) and have that communication remain between myself and my intended conversant.

I'm not arguing that privacy is wrong, or that it should or should not be guaranteed in some manner, or anything of the kind. Not suggesting any answers, just trying to open up the questions. Is privacy really related to property? I suppose it could be, since both are conceptual constructs they can mean whatever we want them to. Are there other ways to consider it that might serve our desires better? In what ways are our ideas shaped by past conditions that no longer obtain, how are they changing and under what forces, and what interests are involved in shaping them (or freezing them) and to whose advantages?

So yeah, keep communications private, no backdoors for anyone in encryption, and my instinct is that I'd just as soon nobody monitored my every expendature, position on the planet, and so on. Just saying that isn't all that interesting though, and doesn't give me anything to think about or lead anywhere regarding building future concepts based on real current and likely future conditions rather than remaining stuck with those developed by various interests active in the distant past.
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  #28  
Old 10-01-2010, 12:50 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

Shouldn't privacy not be based, at least solely, on the particular medium that the information is being propagated in, but on the social consequences that would result if said information became widely known? No one cares if you prefer Brawny and Tide so that information does not need to be protected. People do care if you peruse gay porn so that information needs to be protected.

Question to all: How do you feel about Canada's mandatory long form census? Is it okay to demand, with legal repercussions to those who refuse, very personal information if said subsets of the total information cannot be tied to a specific person?
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  #29  
Old 10-01-2010, 01:01 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cragger View Post
We can all assert an opinion about anything, but that in and of itself isn't really all that interesting. "Ping-pong is the best sport, period". Umm, ok.

In fact, my gut reaction is similar to yours in your example which I think would be more often related to privacy than to property. I too would like to be able to communicate whether over an analog land line, through the digital telecom network backbone, via VOIP, email, or whatever on a peer-to-peer basis (and there's a new term from our changing times) and have that communication remain between myself and my intended conversant.

I'm not arguing that privacy is wrong, or that it should or should not be guaranteed in some manner, or anything of the kind. Not suggesting any answers, just trying to open up the questions. Is privacy really related to property? I suppose it could be, since both are conceptual constructs they can mean whatever we want them to. Are there other ways to consider it that might serve our desires better? In what ways are our ideas shaped by past conditions that no longer obtain, how are they changing and under what forces, and what interests are involved in shaping them (or freezing them) and to whose advantages?

So yeah, keep communications private, no backdoors for anyone in encryption, and my instinct is that I'd just as soon nobody monitored my every expendature, position on the planet, and so on. Just saying that isn't all that interesting though, and doesn't give me anything to think about or lead anywhere regarding building future concepts based on real current and likely future conditions rather than remaining stuck with those developed by various interests active in the distant past.
I'm concerned that we have explicit opinions on the underlying issues in this debate, which is why I think we need to be talking about what we believe, and why we think other people ought to draw similar conclusions. I was disappointed that Julian put down the expression of these concerns as "cartoonish," since I believe we all, as individuals, have a strong need to understand specifically what our rights are in regard to personal privacy - and how the tensions between that and our relationship to a free society are going to be parsed.
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Last edited by AemJeff; 10-01-2010 at 01:17 PM.. Reason: ugh, awful phrase
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  #30  
Old 10-03-2010, 10:35 AM
cragger cragger is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I believe we all, as individuals, have a strong need to understand specifically what our rights are in regard to personal privacy - and how the tensions between that and our relationship to a free society are going to be parsed.
I agree with this, though I would say we need to establish what our rights are, rather than simply understand them. The latter implies that rights are either grants from some outside agency or are some sort of principles found in nature rather than a set of principles that we are willing, able, and committed to fighting for. That seems to me the only definition of rights that matters. Certainly though, we need to consider and understand in order to make such a determination and commitment.
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  #31  
Old 09-30-2010, 10:22 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

It's terrible that the works of James Joyce are still under copyright protection.
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  #32  
Old 10-01-2010, 12:48 AM
chamblee54 chamblee54 is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

This was great fun to listen to. It also didn't have any moments where I felt obligated to comment, as a result I got a lot of photo editing done. I am working on a collection of photos by the Matthew Brady studio.
There was something said towards the end that caught my attention. You were discussing the possibility of a facebook like application warning you about products you were about the buy. The examples used were a restaurant with lousy labor practices, and a shaving cream tested on animals.
What is to stop a competitor from lying? Say if you decide not to patronize that restaurant, and you wind up walking down the street to another one. What if the second restaurant trashed the first one to get your business? With improved communications, there is also the ability to spread lies faster and more effectively.
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  #33  
Old 10-01-2010, 09:05 AM
cragger cragger is offline
 
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Default Re: Geek News (Henry Farrell & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by chamblee54 View Post
There was something said towards the end that caught my attention. You were discussing the possibility of a facebook like application warning you about products you were about the buy. The examples used were a restaurant with lousy labor practices, and a shaving cream tested on animals.
What is to stop a competitor from lying? Say if you decide not to patronize that restaurant, and you wind up walking down the street to another one. What if the second restaurant trashed the first one to get your business? With improved communications, there is also the ability to spread lies faster and more effectively.
Say something like this?

http://www.xkcd.com/796/
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  #34  
Old 10-01-2010, 01:21 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: American vs. European Conception of Privacy

There are important differences between Europe and America when it comes to the protection of privacy, related to very different ideas about what constitutes privacy. I highly recommend the following article, although it is 71 pages long.

http://www.yalelawjournal.org/pdf/11...itmanFINAL.pdf
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  #35  
Old 10-01-2010, 08:21 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: American vs. European Conception of Privacy

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
There are important differences between Europe and America when it comes to the protection of privacy, related to very different ideas about what constitutes privacy. I highly recommend the following article, although it is 71 pages long.

http://www.yalelawjournal.org/pdf/11...itmanFINAL.pdf
Thanks Florian, that article is really interesting.
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