If You've Got Nothing To Hide, You've Actually Got Plenty To Hide

from the some-analysis dept

The line "if you've got nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about" is used all too often in defending surveillance overreach. It's been debunked countless times in the past, but with the line being trotted out frequently in response to the NSA revelations, it's time for yet another debunking, and there are two good ones that were recently published. First up, we've got Moxie Marlinspike at Wired, who points out that, you're wrong if you think you've got nothing to hide, because our criminal laws are so crazy, that anyone sifting through your data would likely be able to pin quite a few crimes on you if they just wanted to.

For instance, did you know that it is a federal crime to be in possession of a lobster under a certain size? It doesn't matter if you bought it at a grocery store, if someone else gave it to you, if it's dead or alive, if you found it after it died of natural causes, or even if you killed it while acting in self defense. You can go to jail because of a lobster.

If the federal government had access to every email you've ever written and every phone call you've ever made, it's almost certain that they could find something you've done which violates a provision in the 27,000 pages of federal statues or 10,000 administrative regulations. You probably do have something to hide, you just don't know it yet.

Furthermore, he points out, that one of the big reasons why laws are changed is because people realize that the laws don't make sense for the current times -- but that's much more difficult if law enforcement is sniffing through all your data and penalizing you any time they've found you've done something wrong.
Imagine if there were an alternate dystopian reality where law enforcement was 100% effective, such that any potential law offenders knew they would be immediately identified, apprehended, and jailed. If perfect law enforcement had been a reality in Minnesota, Colorado, and Washington since their founding in the 1850s, it seems quite unlikely that these recent changes would have ever come to pass. How could people have decided that marijuana should be legal, if nobody had ever used it? How could states decide that same sex marriage should be permitted, if nobody had ever seen or participated in a same sex relationship?

The cornerstone of liberal democracy is the notion that free speech allows us to create a marketplace of ideas, from which we can use the political process to collectively choose the society we want. Most critiques of this system tend to focus on the ways in which this marketplace of ideas isn’t totally free, such as the ways in which some actors have substantially more influence over what information is distributed than others.
Meanwhile, over at Mashable, Julian Sanchez gives a much more direct explanation for why everyone has something to hide:
Some of the potentially sensitive facts those records expose becomes obvious after giving it some thought: Who has called a substance abuse counselor, a suicide hotline, a divorce lawyer or an abortion provider? What websites do you read daily? What porn turns you on? What religious and political groups are you a member of?

Some are less obvious. Because your cellphone's "routing information" typically includes information about the nearest cell tower, those records are also a kind of virtual map showing where you spend your time — and, when aggregated with others, who you like to spend it with.
Furthermore, he points out the elitist obnoxiousness of the claim that you shouldn't worry about overly broad surveillance, just because you might not be a target:
However, that seems like an awfully narrow way to think about the importance of privacy. Folks don't usually say (aloud, anyway), "I'm white, why should I care about racism?" or, "My political and religious views are too mainstream to ever be restricted, so why should I care about the First Amendment?"

We don't say such things not only because we care about other people's rights as well as our own happiness, but also because we understand that we benefit indirectly from living in a certain kind of society. You may not be interested in protesting, criticizing the government or debating fringe political views — but as a citizen of a democracy, subject to the laws the democratic process produces, you're better off in a system where those things are allowed to happen.
So, yes, even if you don't think you have something to hide, you do, and you should be concerned about the basic civil liberties and civil rights of those around you.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 2:34pm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 2:39pm

    Speeders

    Have you ever looked down at the speedometer and noticed that you were traveling faster than the posted speel limit?

    If the government has your GPS data then they should have the ability to issue you a ticket. Afterall, if we stop just one accident happening due to speeders it would be worth it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      OldGeezer (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:44pm

      Re: Speeders

      I'm 60 now and a very conservative driver especially compared to my younger years. I learned from a cop friend that police here will not stop you for 5 miles over unless they have another reason and usually not for less than 10. I break the law every time I drive when I go a little over the limit, not come to an absolute standstill at a stop sign or just push the yellow light a little. (No cameras here yet)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 4:37pm

        Re: Re: Speeders

        Your license is hereby suspended due to the numerous infractions you have admitted to.

        BMV

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 2:04am

        Re: Re: Speeders

        That's because it's a waste of time- if a cop pulled over everyone who was going over the speed limit, he'd be doing nothing else. Wheras if there are automated systems to issue tickets, the time factor is irrelevant.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 7:11pm

      Re: Speeders

      Yes, governments have attempted to issue speeding tickets based upon mechanical means, cameras with radar, etc - but I think it is the insurance companies one needs to be wary of. They have already fielded onboard black boxes for use in determining your premium and these people are outright evil when it comes to their bottom line.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 8:29am

        Re: Re: Speeders

        The problem, really, is that the need to get insured is government ordained and the government does a lot to reduce competition in this arena while allowing the insurance companies to do what they want, under the pretext that this is a free market (when insurance is required by law), with no restrictions. The government should pass stricter restrictions.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 8:31am

          Re: Re: Re: Speeders

          We have the same issue with the electric companies. They get to now monitor when you're using electricity (which can let others know when you are home, maybe when you wash laundry, etc...) and charge you based on how much electricity you use and when you use it. The electric companies do this so they don't have to upgrade their infrastructure and invest but they can keep on collecting your money without doing any work. But there is no free market, the electric companies are a monopoly by government decree. They are an unregulated government established monopoly and that's an economic no-no.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      d's advocate, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 10:34pm

      Re: Speeders

      I actually think your straw man has a point here. Countless highway fatalities could be prevented and fuel efficiency improved if there was a gps in every call that would warn people when they exceed the speed limit, and then, if they don't reduce their speed quickly enough, charge them a fine.

      It would also reduce racial/age profiling in the enforcement of speeding laws (a huge problem in some areas)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Aunty, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:53am

      Re: Speeders

      A ticket sent to you days after you we're speeding could be sent to a corpse, coz it's too late to prevent any accident.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Mary Ann Ludwig, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 2:43pm

    Nothing to hide

    Hello...what about that pesky Fourth Amendment that says: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects from unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue but upon probably cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized."

    You don't need anything else to justify a need and, indeed, a right to privacy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 2:44pm

    Quote:
    If everyone’s every action were being monitored, and everyone technically violates some obscure law at some time, then punishment becomes purely selective.


    We are all criminals in one way or another, law enforcement is about selective punishment and we all accept that, we all know that the government can put you "under the microscope", and make your life hell and somehow people accept that, they shouldn't.

    Laws should be simple so everybody understands them so everyone can follow them, otherwise we are just creating a mechanism where some will abuse power for their own purposes and desires.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 2:46pm

    'as a citizen of a democracy, subject to the laws the democratic process produces, you're better off in a system where those things are allowed to happen........and you should be concerned about the basic civil liberties and civil rights of those around you.'

    now look at how things have changed in the USA. look at the road that we're going down. look at how the things held most dear, freedom and privacy, are being taken away, bit by bit, day by day. look at where control of the country and the people is going. towards big corporations to increase their profits while limiting our choice and access! constant surveillance by the NSA or others surely is not what this country is about or what it wants either. we are being made to fear our own government and that cannot be right!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

    The problem with total surveillance, is that short of software issuing the punishments, there are not enough people in law enforcement to deal with every infringement of the laws. However, it can be a very useful political tool, as it can be used to find a reason to arrest someone on demand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 4:41pm

      Re:

      Or better yet use the information to influence/oppress someone.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Lyle, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 6:35pm

      Re: Total Surveillance

      This was first discovered with Prohibition, when the Volstead act required jury trials, and there were not enough federal judges, prosecutors and the like. At the time congress was not willing to spring for them. Read Last Call for more on this. Ever since that time it has been the dirty little secret that prosecution for a lot of offenses is to make an \
      example of and thereby deter others.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 2:52pm

    This surveillance will be farmed out to bots. And we know from how well bots worked for DMCA takedowns what that'll be like.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    I want to click "insightful" on the entire article.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:10pm

    If you've got nothing to hide, you're not human.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:17pm

    There is a Bed Intruder song here somewhere I know it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Tom (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    You don't have anything to hide until you do

    The beauty of collecting exabytes of data about average citizens "just in case" is that if you, for whatever reason, decide to get into politics, public life, legal trouble or any other situation that suddenly makes details about your life valuable, there they are. It allows for amazingly accurate retroactive targeting to eliminate enemies. Maybe you think your government today has good intentions, but will you think the same in 20 years? If not, how do you get your personal information back?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    There were only a handful of people involved in the July plot to assassinate Hitler. So how many people were punished? ~7,000 people. All killed.

    These people had nothing to do with the plot; they were friends, family, neighbors, sympathizers, etc--anyone and everyone who was in any way related to the plotters.

    You may have nothing to hide. But that is totally irrevelent when you are living under a corrupt government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    Wasn't there a Nazi who used the same justification for government intrusion? Something to the effect of, "If you got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

    Just like in the Spanish Inquisition, if you still have absolutely nothing, they'll still come up with something. And if they're fine with the Bush or Obama Administrations having these powers, would they be fine with Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, or Hillary Clinton having these same powers?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:42pm

    Famous quotes

    Top 15 of Eric Schmidt's Remarkable Quotes - State of Search: 2. “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place”
    At a CNBC interview

    Sun on Privacy: 'Get Over It': The chief executive officer of Sun Microsystems said Monday that consumer privacy issues are a "red herring."

    "You have zero privacy anyway," Scott McNealy told a group of reporters and analysts Monday night at an event to launch his company's new Jini technology.

    "Get over it."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 4:57pm

      Re: Famous quotes

      Top 15 of Eric Schmidt's Remarkable Quotes - State of Search: 2. “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place” 

      If we use Eric Schmidt logic then the only right choice is to not ever do anything and bury your head in the sand because what is ok today will not be ok tomorrow.

      When Bush was in power being a right leaning person was great, with Obama in power you get the full wrath of the IRS brought down on you.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 7:18pm

      Re: Famous quotes

      “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place”

      Considering the existence of secret laws and secret interpretations of public laws ... the above statement implies that Mr Schmidt is ignorant sarcastic or an ass - maybe all three.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 7:49pm

        Re: Re: Famous quotes

        Considering the existence of secret laws and secret interpretations of public laws ... the above statement implies that Mr Schmidt is ignorant sarcastic or an ass - maybe all three.

        It was a interesting comment about from the guy running Google.

        Silicon Valley CEOs are not necessarily sympathetic to protecting your privacy.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:44pm

    "You may not be interested in protesting, criticizing the government or debating fringe political views — but as a citizen of a democracy..."

    We live in a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    FM Hilton, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:51pm

    Nothing to hide, everything to lose

    How many criminal cases have been brought based on 'circumstantial' evidence, false witness testimony and false id?
    How many criminal cases have been rigged with improvised/false testimony, and years later, the defendant sits in prison pleading for another trial because he's not guilty, but was denied the power to prove it?

    How many innocent people are now in prison because information/witnesses/testimony was tainted, forged and ignored by the prosecution?

    Then you throw in all this 'metadata' to sweeten the pot.

    Giving the cops more ways to screw you into a criminal case before you can say "But I'm innocent!" is one way this information can be used against you without your knowledge.

    Everyone's got something to hide.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Anonymous Howard (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 2:05am

      Re: Nothing to hide, everything to lose

      Especially when the data used selectively by the prosecution to further their cause, but denied to you when you need it to defend yourself.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    A nonny mouse, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:52pm

    Give me six lines written by the most honest man, and I will find something there to hang him.

    and I suspect the NSA have far more than six lines...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    Right, REASON to not let the Google snoop on you!

    That's been so obvious to me all along that I just assumed everyone was aware that with the multiplicity of statute and regulations masquerading as "laws", you're ALL guilty of something. That's what "law enforcement" is for, to try and figure out WHICH to pin on you, not whether. It's only a matter of their taking the time to focus on you.

    But specifically for pirates: Google records all your searches and nearly all websites that you visit -- and will know exactly what you've downloaded because Google runs the captcha! Besides that, if you're fool enough to use the services that give it your explicit details, it reads all your emails. -- In short, Google is the all-in-one source that has enough to convict you.

    Of course, you'll roll eyes and say that's not going to happen.

    But as a practical matter Google is your biggest threat, especially when you believe that it can be trusted.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      AC Unknown, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 5:25pm

      Re: Right, REASON to not let the Google snoop on you!

      The difference between Google and the Government is you can opt out of Google's surveillance by not using Google's services. You can't opt out of the Government's surveillance. Then again, you've become infamous for constantly bashing Google.

      In other words, leave Techdirt and start your own blog.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 6:19pm

        Re: Re: Right, REASON to not let the Google snoop on you!

        You can't opt out of the Government's surveillance.

        The government is using the same forms of technology that other companies are using. You could choose not to use telephones (esp. mobile phones), etc. Look, the people putting tracking devices in your technology are the techies, not the government. Silicon Valley believes it is a very good thing to be able to keep tabs on everything you do.

        As I have said multiple times, all the government needs to do is become a data-buying customer like all the other companies that are sharing and selling data to each other.

        The data collection/surveillance isn't going away because that's how lots of tech companies make their money.

        The very tools that Silicon Valley has invented to serve itself are the same tools that DC is using. The technology isn't being abused by government until it begins locking up the wrong people. But trying to keep government from using the same tools that private companies are using is trying to put the genie back into the bottle.

        As some observers have been pointing out, many companies have been happy to provide data to government. They may not want to say so publicly, but if they are making a profit by serving government, I doubt they really want that opportunity to go away.

        And as I hope to illustrate with the quotes I have posted, some of the leaders of Silicon Valley don't give a shit about privacy.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    steell (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 3:57pm

    Older Geezer

    Good thing they didn't have this kind of stuff 40 years ago!

    Almost enough to make me get rid of my internet connection, and throw away my cell phone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    CK20XX, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 4:09pm

    Allow me to condense the issue.

    Good reads, but they have to use a lot of writing to make their points. I have a better idea.

    Statement: "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got no reason to object to being searched, right?"
    Retort: "You could make the same excuse for peeking in on a girl in the shower, slimeball."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 4:09pm

    MIKEY has oodles to hide. That's why he runs away every time. Bawk.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    meddle (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 4:53pm

    I've been saying this for years. The potential misuse of the data that is being collected is frightening. I am sure that I have broken many legitimate laws. I have no idea how many secret laws, or secret interpretations of laws that I have violated if somebody decided they wanted to persecute me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 5:05pm

      Re:

      No person could ever know every law and as such will be in violation of them at some point in their lives.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 6:06pm

      Re:

      I've been saying this for years. The potential misuse of the data that is being collected is frightening. I am sure that I have broken many legitimate laws. I have no idea how many secret laws, or secret interpretations of laws that I have violated if somebody decided they wanted to persecute me.

      It costs money to keep people in prison. Seems to me that most people aren't at risk of being thrown in jail. Now, of course if you're black or Latino, it's another matter.

      U.S. incarceration rates by race | Prison Policy Initiative

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    LJW (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 5:04pm

    I remember the 70's and 80's with all of the talk and cultural reference's to the surveillance state in the USSR. What a joke!

    No totalitarian government has even though of this kind of surveillance. I'd bet China is jealous that they hadn't gone this far yet! It's getting to where you have to travel with ID, err, papers comrade.

    The effect of terrorism is that the terrorist won. They have conned us into giving up our basic freedoms to protect us from attacks that aren't coming. They won, plain and simple. they scared us a little, and we collapsed. We forked over our freedoms, we ditched any sort of morals we had about torture, and laid down like toothless lions.

    Our founders are turning in their graves, the NSA is monitoring them too! :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    horse with no name, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 5:40pm

    Crying because of effeciencies

    It's absurd to the point of being criminally bad comedy to read this sort of post here on Techdirt. I had to re-read it a couple of times to get a grip, because I was laughing so hard watching you twist and turn and try to justify your positions which is just not justifiable.

    Quite simply, all the PRISM really does is use technology to collect and catalog more legal information than generally could be obtained by an agent working alone. It's a use of technology, no different from any other, and the use of such technology in law enforcement is inevitable. What is theoretically public knowledge (essentially anything shared with a third party) can be collected, and with the right technology, it's possible to collect it and index it in a manner that some meaning can be extracted.

    It's no different from the basic axiom here that piracy is an inevitable result of technology. If you think that piracy is unstoppable because of technology, you need to accept the idea that PRISM (and other similar programs) are really no different. You may not like their goals or results, but the source is the very same: technology.

    Remember, 30 years ago you could copy music to a cassette tape and share it, but the ability to do it at a volume level that really meant anything was limited. Now it is not. Prism is the same thing, while collecting those records and information might have been impossible 30 years ago, today technology allows for it.

    All the whining about the 4th amendment doesn't add up to much, mostly because, when applied to each single piece of information, their is no violaiton of the 4th amendment, no different than the theory here that there is no law broken for sending a 0 or a 1 to someone in pirating a file. When you stand back a bit and realize that the 1s and 0s add up to a pirated file, the situation looks different - but you argue routinely that it is not or should not be. Well, when you step back from the fine grain of a single data point, you can't suddenly claim that the 4th amendment is violated because of the volume of non-offending actions.

    You don't like it, I get that. Your objections go against you general world view however. If technology allows, where is the problem?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      RadialSkid (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 6:04pm

      Re: Crying because of effeciencies

      no different than the theory here that there is no law broken for sending a 0 or a 1 to someone in pirating a file.

      I've been reading TechDirt for about four years now, and I'm at a complete loss as to when this alleged theory was put forth. I certainly don't recall any articles that state as much.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
         
        identicon
        horse with no name, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 6:37pm

        Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

        You may want to go back and re-read. There has been plenty of discussion here that piracy is inevitable because of technology. It's one of the major themes, actually, that you cannot fight piracy because technology allows for it.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 6:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

          I thought this was the theme:

          We think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem," he said. "If a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable." - Gabe Newell

          But I guess you know more about this stuff than Gabe Newell.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
             
            identicon
            horse with no name, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 7:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

            Nice try, but you fail. The "service problem" gets back to the technology - piracy allows for a level of service that cannot exist in the business world, for various reasons. Technology allows, and you can't stop it.

            Nowhere do I claim to know more than Gabe Newell. Why troll me with that? Why not address my point instead? Does your pay depend on trolling people who speak out?

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 7:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

              Hell, we know that anything you say is bullshit. You sing the praises of Prenda Law. You demand the head of Otis Wright on a stake. You insist that people have to have lived a substantial amount of time in a country in order to judge their policies. (Hey, how much time of their lives have most government people spent in the countries they're making laws against?)

              Your side "speaking out" constitutes no more than "milky milky cluck cluck bawk bawk"s these days. If someone is trolling you, your side deserves it. Richly at that.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                 
                identicon
                horse with no name, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 10:39pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

                Your side "speaking out" constitutes no more than "milky milky cluck cluck bawk bawk"s these days.

                Again, an excellent trolling attempt to kill my point, but you fail. You just don't understand that there is no "your side" just my personal side. As soon as you say that, it's clear that you are a paid troll (not sure who's payroll yet), and your only goal is to derail discussions that your masters don't like.

                You are too obvious. Keep it up and you won't get your paycheck anymore.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 7:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

              The "service problem" gets back to the technology - piracy allows for a level of service that cannot exist in the business world, for various reasons.

              It cannot exist in the business world? I guess that explains why no artist makes any money because piracy. Got me there.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                identicon
                horse with no name, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 4:57am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

                Piracy allows it because there is no consideration for making a profit against costs of production, only those smaller costs of distribution. In the real business world, you can't just toss stuff out there and hope someone does something that makes you money, that is give it away and pray and that just isn't a sound model.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  icon
                  nasch (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 3:09pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

                  In the real business world, you can't just toss stuff out there and hope someone does something that makes you money, that is give it away and pray and that just isn't a sound model.

                  Yeah... if only there were some other model for making money from this stuff. Maybe there's a web site somewhere that discusses that kind of stuff.

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

              The problem with your argument is that there is nothing stopping the labels to offer the music in the same manner as the pirates, just legitimately and at a fair price. Are you going to ignore the artists that offer this from their own sites and make boatloads of cash?

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          RadialSkid (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 12:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

          You may want to go back and re-read. There has been plenty of discussion here that piracy is inevitable because of technology

          Correct, but that's not what you said and not what I objected to. The line I responded to was:

          no different than the theory here that there is no law broken for sending a 0 or a 1 to someone in pirating a file.

          Id est, the party line to toe here is that piracy is not illegal. I've still never read that one here, and neither have you.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      ho with no name, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 6:37pm

      Re: Crying because of effeciencies

      "Your objections go against you general world view however. If technology allows, where is the problem?"

      That's a strawman right there. Masnick's position is not "if it's possible, it's okay." His position is piracy is unstoppable so wasting time and money trying to stop it is foolish. While Masnick does seem to believe that piracy is not really harmful, this is not because it's technologically possible to pirate, but because a number of studies appear to show that it's not harmful. You can dispute the validity of those studies if you like but to characterize his position on the issue the way you have is ignorant at best, disingenuous at worst.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
         
        identicon
        horse with no name, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 7:30pm

        Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

        His position is piracy is unstoppable so wasting time and money trying to stop it is foolish.

        It's amazing that you wrote this and didn't get it. It's unstoppable because the technology allows it, pure and simple. Rewind back to the days of vinyl records and such, and the technology didn't allow for piracy in any meaningful way, so it didn't happen. The current scale of piracy (and what makes it "unstoppable" in your words) is the technology.

        Technology makes it possible to pirate. Technology makes it possible for the police to gather large amounts of legal data and put them together.

        Let's add this in: For all of the kicking and screaming, you do realize that Google knows almost as much about you, and they are a private company, right? Every one of your searches, every page you visit using their browser, their smart phone OS browser, their properties, all of your gmail mail, all of your google plus groups...plus all of that data they cache from other sites... it's all there. Technology allows, and it's all legal. You should worry more about that.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 7:48pm

          Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

          I didn't know everyone was forced to use Google products. Damn, looks like I'm going to jail because I use Duckduckgo.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 7:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

            I didn't know everyone was forced to use Google products. Damn, looks like I'm going to jail because I use Duckduckgo.

            If you use any company's mobile phone, you are being tracked by someone.

            If Google becomes the best place to supply broadband services, will you opt out because it is Google?

            As Google maps the world, will you find a way to hide?

            And as you use any sort of digital product/service, how do you know that Google isn't getting that information? If Google has the capacity to connect every dot in the world, how to you avoid the company?

            As Google sucks up every piece of info in the world that it can suck up, how to you avoid having info about you being added to that database?

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 10:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

              I'll toss this out to add to the discussion.

              If you want minimal government regulations so that private companies are free to do whatever they want, and if you don't want government to do anything, then what will eventually happen is that "government" will become a private company and also to be free to do whatever it wants.

              Whatever activities people don't want government to do, but are okay when private companies do them, then those functions are just taken over by private companies.

              If we are okay when private companies attach monitors to everything, and if we are okay when private companies "own" that data and can do whatever they want with it, and if we are okay when private companies either create partnerships or expand their operations so that everything piece of info in the world passes through the same collection point, then we have created a system that functions like a government-run surveillance state, but is "private."

              So we just need to call "private" anything that isn't politically popular, and if we get rid of restrictions/regulations on everything that is "private," then "government" surveillance discussions go away.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 8:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

          For all of the kicking and screaming, you do realize that Google knows almost as much about you, and they are a private company, right? Every one of your searches, every page you visit using their browser, their smart phone OS browser, their properties, all of your gmail mail, all of your google plus groups...plus all of that data they cache from other sites... it's all there. Technology allows, and it's all legal. You should worry more about that.

          Yes, that's the point I have wanted to make, too. Why does anyone think that technology created by private companies and available to just about anyone for a price would somehow NOT be used by government?

          Let's say some private company invents the ultimate weapon, and sells it. Does anyone realistically think that individuals and companies can purchase this weapon but some governments can not?

          If the technology is invented and if it is being sold, it is available for government, too.

          These tech companies don't want laws to limit what they create and what they do with it, so why do people think such a free system would at the same time prevent government from purchasing and using this technology?

          You can't realistically have a system that is available to everyone and yet off-limits to government. What are you going to do? Create more laws which then require even more government to enforce them?

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
             
            identicon
            horse with no name, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 10:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

            Thank you for getting the point. Your personal information is being minded all over the place by third party companies, and as a result, that information is also generally not private - they can sell it on to others, they can market based on it, and yes, they can pass it on to the government.

            PRISM appears to be a very good tool that collects data from many, many sources, and puts them together and pieces them together based on known factors, to look for patterns, for activities, and such. I don't think of it as any different from noting license plates of passing cars, or your credit card company that keeps an accurate track of every purchase and every location you purchase from, or your bank that knows every ATM machine you have withdrawn from, at what time, etc. They know the information, it's out there, and like it or not you are exposed.

            Getting upset because the government does it well seems to be exactly against the very nature of Techdirt's stand on so many things, which is what technology allows and permits.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              ottermaton (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

              Thank you for getting the point. Your personal information is being minded all over the place by third party companies

              Thank you for entirely missing the point. Last time I checked I'm pretty sure Google (or any other private company) could NOT put me in jail.

              That is the point.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                icon
                Valerie (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:38am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

                How funny that your comment was right after mine. Fortunately for me, you saved your vitriol for someone else.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              Rapnel (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 6:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

              Because telecom buys your banking buys your service provider buys your ... forfeiture of rights?

              I see what your arguments are but I don't think you grasp how foreign signals intelligence has made the leap to domestic signals, records, history and location, past, present and predicted. Conflating this country's constitution with, relatively speaking, business intelligence is confounding at best and willfully ignorant at worst.

              Stop pretending what Google has is what the NSA has. It's not the same thing so stop comparing it as if it were.

              We have restricted travel (if not restricted then heavily intimidating - I'm just not sure what the difference is).

              We have cops heavily armed enforcing non-violent crimes.

              We have "looks of contempt" as authorization to beat down children holding puppies.

              We have "stop resisting" as an excuse to deliver death.

              We have criminal enforcement of capture the video capture.

              We have PMIC (prison and military industrial complexes) completely off the ranch.

              We have aggressive attempts to "free up" six months or more worth of data collections for the same data mining "privileges" that the NSA now has to be used to investigate infringement and other "it's for the xxxx" crimes.

              We, apparently, now have complete city lock down authorization for a guy with a gun on the run.

              We have a two(one)-party system that, seemingly, can weather any challenge.

              We have a secret court and secret law interpretations.

              We have bankers with an all but completely free pass to risk all of our well being. (over and over again)

              We have the people's representatives, some of them far, far to comfortable where they are, completely and irrefutably selling out the rights, liberties, security and stability of hundreds of millions of people in our, what was once a model, society.

              We have no hemp production (boggles the mind).

              And now we have you, anti-privacy apologists.

              Terrorism both starts and ends at home. Only this time, it looks like the ends is justifying the means and giving an entirely new meaning to "freedom fighters".

              If you have nothing to hide you're wasting your lives.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                icon
                Rapnel (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 6:23am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

                Oh and I forgot a couple of obvious "inconsistencies"

                We can order the killing of citizens.

                We can order targeting of a sovereign country's citizens via unmanned death machines regardless of civilian casualties.

                I'm sure I've missed other obvious things but "authorization to deliver death in someone else's country" seemed rather important.

                Attempts to arrest the Bin Ladens I get. Special missile deliveries not so much. We're wreaking fucking havoc on the world via IP, Oil and terrorism.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  icon
                  Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 6:50am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

                  Oh and I forgot a couple of obvious "inconsistencies"

                  We can order the killing of citizens.

                  We can order targeting of a sovereign country's citizens via unmanned death machines regardless of civilian casualties.

                  I'm sure I've missed other obvious things but "authorization to deliver death in someone else's country" seemed rather important.

                  Attempts to arrest the Bin Ladens I get. Special missile deliveries not so much. We're wreaking fucking havoc on the world via IP, Oil and terrorism.


                  There are two different issues: (1) collecting the data and what is done with it and (2) using the data to make wars and put people into prison.

                  Given that many companies want to continue to collect data and it will be very unlikely the data won't get to governments, trying to control this will be hard.

                  Therefore, it might make more sense to make sure countries like the US don't fight wars and laws are changed to minimize imprisonment.

                  All I have been trying to do is suggest that when tech companies themselves want data collecting and analyzing technology, and want the freedom to use it, it will be hard for them to also limit government access to it, particularly if government is one of their customers.

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                icon
                Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 6:44am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

                And now we have you, anti-privacy apologists.

                The anti-privacy apologists are the tech companies like Google. That's what I keep trying to point out. Google doesn't want any laws to get in the way of what it collects and what it does with it.

                And if you have private companies wanting complete freedom to monitor people and accumulate data, OF COURSE government has access to it too. Even if government doesn't participate, it can BUY the data. Once the data exists and once there is a market for it, government can get it just like a company participating in the marketplace.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  icon
                  Rapnel (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 7:26am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

                  I appreciate your clarification, thanks. Though I must disagree with your narrow scoping of anti-privacy apologists. They're inclusive, clearly, however the more damaging membership are citizens and law makers. Corporations will do anything for money and governments will do anything for more control.

                  Personally, I'm of the mind that if we could overcome resistance to a digital bill of rights and craft one that effectively makes the leap from pre-digital texts we take a crucial step towards securing our digital privacy on all fronts (save the NSA). Corporate collections do indeed require some limiting.

                  Where I think current realizations, revelations and discussions are going astray is that these "corporate records" data do not comprise the totality of NSA data hay. Not by a long shot.(*)

                  I do also believe that the most critical aspect of all of this is that our foreign policy (the combined overt and covert) is *the* most egregious player in this over-acted drama. Money and control are, after all, very close associates.

                  (*) It's not classified if I'm just guessing. Go away.

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  •  
                    icon
                    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 9:28am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

                    I appreciate your clarification, thanks. Though I must disagree with your narrow scoping of anti-privacy apologists. They're inclusive, clearly, however the more damaging membership are citizens and law makers. Corporations will do anything for money and governments will do anything for more control.

                    The reason I keep jumping into these conversations is that I want to suggest an alternative to the Techdirt point of view. I am more concerned about corporate power than government power. I think corporations are collecting far more data than government and will push for far less accountability than government.

                    My bias is to keep government, but adjust it to best fit the needs of citizens. I support the expanded use of commons, which is a form of government. Not necessarily national government, but a form of government none the less.

                    I am most wary of concentration of power and I see that happening most with the way corporations are owned and how wealth is accumulated.

                    If I am going to wave a red flag, it would be the close association between big corporations and big government, and how they operate to serve each other's needs. I think private data collection and government data collection are ultimately so closely linked that it is misleading to suggest government operates independently from tech companies.

                     

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    •  
                      icon
                      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 9:56am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crying because of effeciencies

                      Here are some other people saying that Silicon Valley has its own value system that isn't necessary what the rest of the country values.

                      A Reply From Silicon Valley: Apple, Taxes, and Tech Libertarianism : The New Yorker: "The technology industry remains another special interest, as intent as the oil and pharmaceutical sectors on maximizing profits and minimizing its obligation to pay taxes."

                      Douchebags Like You Are Ruining San Francisco: "Now it’s worse than it was in 2000. Now it’s only about the money. Now the only diversity we have left is ethnic diversity. Everyone is rich and privileged and entitled or hustling as hard as they can to become rich and privileged and entitled. A city once defined by people wanting to change the world is now defined by people who just want to be among the world’s richest. A culture that once understood history and tried to create it now has a memory that’s about 2 fiscal quarters long - and a vision that goes as far out as their funding allows."

                       

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 7:28pm

      Re: Crying because of effeciencies

      At least the content creeps are up front about how they frame, extort and bribe.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 6:10pm

    I think anyone in a congressional hearing being pinged with the "I (and/or 'decent people') have nothing to hide" crap should remind the assembled dignitaries that they are all clothed so as to, at least in part, conceal their genitals from public view (as mandated by law in many municipalities and by decorum). Having rendered the statement ridiculous, may be please move past it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Crashoverride (profile), Jun 13th, 2013 @ 7:24pm

    The whole statement can be reversed if this is all legal then the government has nothing to hide. Thus all details should be revealed.

    Murders still occur despite uncountable movies and tv shows and court tv that shows us daily how the person can be tracked down and singled out. I know that a traffic cop will azp me with a fancy radar gun yet I still speed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 7:30pm

    Is it ok now to lie to congress?

    Sure looks like it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Zeugma (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 2:11am

    Some people should read this...

    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matin_brun

    Not yet translated in english...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Woadan, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:22am

    What if you've done nothing wrong but your views are unpopular? Then you get nailed for something in that treasure trove? Did the air just get chilled in here?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Valerie Cloud, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:24am

    I sure hope you smoked the entire joint before you wrote this article and didn't have to hide any roaches. After all, it is every day that we hear of cops busting down doors to recover a doobie. Paranoid much?

    "Stop with those effing drugs. They're making your mind into mush." Jimmy Conway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 8:25am

    The better law enforcement can enforce laws the more government can pass more ridiculous laws to enforce. If a bad law is unenforceable then the government will be less likely to pass it. If it can be better enforced then they maybe more likely to pass it. Then we can have a government that micromanages every aspect of our lives.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Arthur, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 9:38am

    Really?

    Is anyone actually suggesting that survalliance be used to flag inappropriate crimes like harvesting an adolescent lobster?

    If you want to get technical like that, the same logic would suggest that you are infringing on someone else's right to capture a fully mature lobster at any given time. By having a lobster that is too young, you could be preventing someone from eating a legit/legal sized crustacean... A crime is a crime, because it is wrongfully diminishing someone else's rights...

    Speeding... Is denying someone else's right to commute safely past you while you are on the same road...

    I weigh in again... I have nothing to hide, and if I do... Hopefully reason will teach me why I should not be breaking the laws to begin with, because most of them are there for good reason... Even if I can commit them in the privacy of my own home.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      RonKaminsky (profile), Sep 5th, 2013 @ 2:23am

      Lobster law

      I find the most likely reason that the lobster law is on the books is that the catch-wild-lobster lobby has more money than the (as yet unborn) raise-cultured-lobster lobby, rather than your (intentionally?) silly justification --- which, by the way could easily be extended to making it a crime to catch adult lobsters, since this behavior, if unregulated, could lead to over-catching and to the extinction of the species, thus depriving future generations of the ability to enjoy... er... watching them from scuba dives.

      Raising cultured lobsters is a $100 million dollar industry in Vietnam (not without its own problems, however)...

      And of course, recent events would lead one to think that it could well be that both of these industries will be largely put out of business by culturing lobster cells in large vats (if the combined lobster lobbies don't manage to make it illegal before that industry gets its product on the market).

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 11:39am

    To me it is simple. I don't listen to that argument from anyone wearing clothes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    cosmicrat (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 12:32pm

    Reading this could be a crime...

    If you are reading this on a computer at work, you are probably in violation of some fine print of your employer's computer use policy, which means you could be charged for felony hacking under the CFAA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    terry wagar, Jan 27th, 2014 @ 5:43pm

    Police Allow Women To Poison Off Husbands!

    The Portland police are womanizing with other people's wives and are granting those women permission to poison off husbands and police are using their police powers to cover up victims 911 calls and to deny victims help at emergency hospitals!

    http://wifepoisonedme.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/police-and-hospitals-protect-poisoners-from -prosecution-by-denying-victim-emergency-services-and-cover-up-of-victims-calls-for-help/comment-pag e-1/#comment-155

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This