If You're Pissed About Facebook's Privacy Abuses, You Should Be Four Times As Angry At The Broadband Industry

from the selective-outrage dept

To be very clear, Facebook is well deserving of the mammoth backlash the company is experiencing in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica revelations. Especially since Facebook's most substantive reaction to date has been to threaten lawsuits against news outlets for telling the truth. And, like most of these stories, it's guaranteed that the core story is only destined to get worse as more and more is revealed about the way such casual handling of private consumer data is pretty much routine not only at Facebook, but everywhere.

Despite the fact that consumer privacy apathy is now bone-grafted to the DNA of global corporate culture (usually only bubbling up after a scandal breaks), the outrage over Facebook's lack of transparency has been monumental.

Verizon-owned Techcrunch, for example, this week went so far as to call Facebook a "cancer," demanding that readers worried about privacy abuses delete their Facebook accounts. The #Deletefacebook hashtag has been trending, and countless news outlets have subsequently provided wall to wall coverage on how to delete your Facebook account (or at least delete older Facebook posts and shore up app-sharing permissions) in order to protect your privacy.

And while this outrage is well-intentioned and certainly justified, a lot of it seems a touch naive. Many of the folks that are busy deleting their Facebook accounts are simultaneously still perfectly happy to use their stock smartphone on a major carrier network, seemingly oblivious to the ugly reality that the telecom sector has been engaged, routinely, in far worse privacy violations for the better part of the last two decades. Behavior that has just as routinely failed to see anywhere near the same level of outrage by consumers, analysts or the tech press.

You'll recall that a decade ago, ISPs were caught routinely hoovering up clickstream data (data on each and every website you visit), then selling it to whoever was willing to pony up the cash. When ISPs were asked to share more detail on this data collection by the few outlets that thought this might not be a good idea, ISP executives would routinely play dumb and mute (they still do). And collectively, the lion's share of the press and public generally seemed OK with that.

From there, we learned that AT&T and Verizon were effectively bone grafted to the nation's intelligence apparatus, and both companies were caught routinely helping Uncle Sam not only spy on Americans without warrants, but providing advice on how best to tap dance around wiretap and privacy laws. When they were caught spying on Americans in violation of the law, these companies' lobbyists simply convinced the government to change the law to make this behavior retroactively legal. Again, I can remember a lot of tech news outlets justifying this apathy for national security reasons.

Once these giant telecom operators were fused to the government's data gathering operations, holding trusted surveillance partners accountable for privacy abuses (or much of anything else) increasingly became an afterthought. Even as technologies like deep packet inspection made it possible to track and sell consumer online behavior down to the millisecond. As the government routinely signaled that privacy abuses wouldn't be seriously policed, large ISPs quickly became more emboldened when it came to even more "creative" privacy abuses.

Like the time Verizon Wireless was caught covertly modifying user data packets to track users around the internet without telling them or letting them opt out. It took two years for security researchers to even realize what Verizon was doing, and another six months for Verizon to integrate an opt out function. But despite a wrist slap by the FCC, the company continues to use a more powerful variant of the same technology across its "Oath" ad empire (the combination of AOL and Yahoo) without so much as a second glance from most news outlets.

Or the time that AT&T, with full regulatory approval, decided it would be cool to charge its broadband customers hundreds of additional dollars per year just to protect their own privacy, something the company had the stones to insist was somehow a "discount." Comcast has since explored doing the same thing in regulatory filings (pdf), indicating that giant telecom monopolies are really keen on making consumer privacy a luxury option. Other companies, like CableOne, have crowed about using credit data to justify providing low income customers even worse support than the awful customer service the industry is known for.

And again, this was considered perfectly ok by government regulators, and (with a few exceptions) most of these efforts barely made a dent in national tech coverage. Certainly nowhere near the backlash we've seen from this Facebook story.

A few years back, the Wheeler run FCC realized that giant broadband providers were most assuredly running off the rails in terms of consumer privacy, so they proposed some pretty basic privacy guidelines for ISPs. While ISPs whined incessantly about the "draconian" nature of the rules, the reality is they were relatively modest: requiring that ISPs simply be transparent about what consumer data was being collected or sold, and provide consumers with working opt out tools.

But the GOP and Trump administration quickly moved (at Comcast, Verizon and AT&T's lobbying behest) to gut those rules via the Congressional Review Act before they could take effect. And when states like California tried to pass some equally modest privacy guidelines for ISPs on the state level to fill the void, telecom duopolies worked hand in hand with Google and Facebook to kill the effort, falsely informing lawmakers that privacy safeguards would harm children, inundate the internet with popups (what?), and somehow aid extremism on the internet. You probably didn't see much tech press coverage of this, either.

So again, it makes perfect sense to be angry with Facebook. But if you're deleting Facebook to protect your privacy but still happily using your stock, bloatware-laden smartphone on one of these networks, you're just trying to towel off in a rainstorm. The reality is that apathy to consumer privacy issues is the norm across industries, not the exception, and however bad Facebook's behavior has been on the privacy front, the telecom industry has been decidedly worse for much, much longer. And whereas you can choose not to use Facebook, a lack of competition means you're stuck with your snoop-happy ISP.

We've collectively decided, repeatedly, that it's OK to sacrifice consumer privacy and control for fatter revenues, a concept perfected by the telecom sector, and the Congressional and regulatory lackeys paid to love and protect them from accountability and competition. So while it's wonderful that we're suddenly interested in having a widespread, intelligent conversation about privacy in the wake of the Facebook revelations, let's do so with the broader awareness that Facebook's casual treatment of consumer privacy is just the outer maw of a mammoth gullet of dysfunction.


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  1. icon
    Ninja (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 5:16am

    Amen. Poor security practices and pure disdain for privacy is pretty much the norm. Unless we start dealing with it seriously it'll be outrage after outrage as these practices come into light.

    That industry apathy is anchored firmly into the public own apathy when it comes to actually demand fixes. Until it becomes catastrophic.

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

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    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 6:29am

    Are YOU at Facebook? And what's your multiplier for GOOGLE?

    Techdirt has never previously worried about "commercial" surveillance, has in fact excused it as the exchange for a wanted service.

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

  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 6:29am

    Re: Are YOU at Facebook? And what's your multiplier for GOOGLE?

    But since YOU try to do "what about", then let's have YOUR position on ALL surveillance.

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

  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 6:30am

    Re: Re: Are YOU at Facebook? And what's your multiplier for GOOGLE?

    My position is that ALL surveillance is inherently bad, unnecessary, and that NO corporation has a right to do, let alone collate and sell it.

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

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    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 6:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Are YOU at Facebook? And what's your multiplier for GOOGLE?

    Otherwise, YOU must quit complaining when Gov't / police want to use those troves: if exist, WILL BE USED.

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

  6. identicon
    Vel the Enigmatic, 21 Mar 2018 @ 6:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Are YOU at Facebook? And what's your multiplier for GOOGLE?

    Stop replying to your own post. Your computer uses a keyboard, not a typewriter.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 6:48am

    the only way to stop this is for politicians to think about the people who voted them into office and give them the opportunity to keep themselves private rather than thinking about companies and giving them the opportunity to do whatever they want to gain personal info at every possible chance, in return for 'campaign contributions'!!

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 6:55am

    Plenty to be pissed about...

    Pissed about Facebook,
    Pissed about all the tools feeding it their private info,
    Pissed about ISP, the FCC, FTC, and their terrible oversight and enforcement.
    Pissed at all the beta's crying for government politicians to save them from big bad business with regulation.

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

  9. identicon
    mcinsand, 21 Mar 2018 @ 6:58am

    Mobile Networks and Privacy Rankings

    Is there a ranking for mobile networks and which is least bad at protecting user confidential information? Poking around with searches hasn't yielded much.

    As for Facebook, my wife and I had an argument some years ago when she wanted me to help her increase her privacy settings. When what she was doing didn't work, she was frustrated that I wasn't digging in for a solution. I told her flatly that the solution is to *never* put *anything* on Facebook that you don't want the world to know. I'd rather be tasked with trying to come up with a bag of unicorn poop than secure Facebook settings.

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 6:59am

    Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    >Pissed at all the beta's crying for government politicians to save them from big bad business with regulation.

    And just how do you propose that they are saved from big bad business?

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

  11. icon
    Ninja (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 7:02am

    Re: Mobile Networks and Privacy Rankings

    "I told her flatly that the solution is to *never* put *anything* on Facebook that you don't want the world to know."

    I'd make a more general argument. Never put anything on the internet that you don't want the world to know. If it's needed then proceed with great caution when choosing the service you'll be using and possibly include your own encryption.

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

  12. icon
    Ninja (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 7:03am

    Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    By voting with our wallets it (the original commenter) would reply, ignoring the fact that a lot of people would have to opt with going without because they either don't have any other choice or the other choice(s) are basically the same.

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 7:11am

    There's a fix for that

    "And while this outrage is well-intentioned and certainly justified, a lot of it seems a touch naive. Many of the folks that are busy deleting their Facebook accounts are simultaneously still perfectly happy to use their stock smartphone on a major carrier network, [...]"

    Don't use a smartphone, period. I don't, and while that's occasionally surprising to other people, it does have the huge advantage of removing an entire class of security/privacy threats. (Yes, there are plenty of others remaining, I know.)

    Everyone has to decide for themselves, of course, but I think we've hit the point where the drawbacks of smartphones outweigh the benefits. Yes, there are people -- a FEW people -- with the technical expertise to defend against the threats, but that's well beyond nearly everyone else. (It also takes a lot of time and effort.) I think it's easier to just avoid them and use the time saved to defend against all the other myriad problems.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 7:17am

    If you think the privacy issues of Facebook type accounts and ISP are bad just wait for driver-less cars.

    Already if one wants to go from the east coast to the west coast it is impossible without your travel being recorded. By plane, train, bus, or car there are cameras with facial recognition software.

    With paperless currency [ie debit cards and credit cards] banks have the ability to decide if you are allowed to make a purchase or not.

    In the future with driver-less cars you can then add in that the car, along with it master control system, will be able to decide where you can and can not go.

    What this digital economy is developing into is a social system of total control that will make federalism, Marxism and slavery look tame by comparison. Total control of all aspects of one's life in all aspects with all decisions made decided by all powerful elitist whose basic physiology is egocentrics.

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 7:26am

    Whataboutism's bad, Mkay?

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

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    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    A problem you betas created, but refuse to acknowledge.

    The ISP's would not have those monopoly had they not been blessed by the federal, state, and local agencies and oversight you all begged for.

    You have all been fear mongered into giving up your free market liberty for a little temporary regulatory safety, which means you neither deserve that liberty nor that safety!

    Now shut your yappers and sleep in the beds you asked for.

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

  17. icon
    PaulT (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Amazing, isn't it? Yet another opportunity to perhaps point out flaws and debate facts with potential peers squandered. Should he actually have a point based in reality, this would be the ideal opportunity to calmly and intelligently lay out the case against this site and turn readers to his point of view.

    Instead he just looks like a ranting nutbag more interested in self-righteous commentary about someone else's writing, and who can't even properly operate the spittle-soaked device he's using to do it.

    Coming up: more self-righteous complaining that his pointless comments have been hidden from view so that the adults can talk.

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    I like to take the non-regulation even further and just deny incorporation full stop. Big Bad Business can't exist without the regulation that allows them to incorporate and shield themselves from liability in the first place.

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:11am

    Re:

    "politicians to think about the people "

    Hahahahahahahahaha - pretty funny stuff there

    Apparently the only thing they think about is their own pockets

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    wtf is beta?

    Enough of the juvenile dog whistle crap

    You are delusional, but you knew that.

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

  21. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re:

    Apparently the only thing they think about is their own pockets

    Especially when it comes to extending or increasing their personal power.

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

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:16am

    Re:

    The Whataboutism defense is an intellectually dishonest attempt to escape charges of hypocrisy.

    Stop being a hypocrite and you won't be tempted to trot out whataboutism as a weak pathetic attempt to hide your rotten side.

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

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Mobile Networks and Privacy Rankings

    "Never put anything on the internet that you don't want the world to know"

    No need to worry, they do all that for you.
    Even those who have never created their own FB account or even placed anything on the internet themselves ... FB has a placeholder for them and fills it with their details gleaned from elsewhere. Isn't that nice of FB to do that for all of us?

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:22am

    Like deleting your FB account will stop any of it - LOL

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

  25. icon
    An Onymous Coward (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:23am

    Re:

    It seems you don't understand what "whataboutism" is.

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

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:29am

    Richard Bennett to the defense of the poor, impoverished broadband industry in 3, 2, 1...

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

  27. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    > Already if one wants to go from the east coast to the west coast it is impossible without your travel being recorded.

    That's reality without driver-less cars. Almost all cars sold today have OnStar type systems, collecting information to monetize you even when you don't subscribe.

    The local transit system here went to electronic fare cards a year ago. All travels are tracked, and the data has already shown up in a couple court cases.

    > In the future with driver-less cars you can then add in that the car, along with it master control system, will be able to decide where you can and can not go.

    Again, already a reality. OnStar type systems can disable a stolen car, and police will occasionally have that done in a police chase.

    The significant difference won't be totalitarian government. It'll be the ability of driverless car companies to map an area to fine resolution, convince the telecommunications companies to install sufficient wireless infrastructure to connect to cloud computing and convince the taxpayers to pay for new road markings and signs. And either and ban snowfall or convince the taxpayers to increase their snow clearing budget to the point where all road markings are always uncovered during any snowfall.

    You'll have coverage maps just like cell phone companies. And as long as there are significant blind spots, cars with the option of letting you drive will always be around.

    > ...that will make federalism, Marxism and slavery look tame by comparison

    Nonsense, despite what I wrote above. The country is still a democracy, and Americans do tend to react at the polls when they actually encounter consequences. Tracking them or selling their data can go unnoticed, but trying to control them gets noticed quickly.

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

  28. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    nothing is more juvenile than a bunch of kids demanding protection from something then turning around and whining about not being protected the way they wanted to be protected.

    it might suck, but this is your comeuppance!

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

  29. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    I like this idea, what I hate most about regulation is how it continually gets roped into protecting big business rather than protecting consumers interests.

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

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    Mr regulations are bad unless they are the ones I approve of emulates a anarchist again, rather than suggesting solutions.

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

  31. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    I blame the failure to enforce regulations on the soft money allowed by the FEC, for the most part. That corporations and other moneyed organizations are allowed to turn elected officials, and thereby those bureaucrats that they control, to showing favoritism to those same corporations and organizations is actually called bribery. At least by those who are not part of, or benefiting from, that system.

    Shame on the FEC, because they started this mess, and can end it. The political will to do so is lacking because politicians benefit from the bribery that allows them to enhance and extend their power. And it's the politicians who appoint and approve the members of the FEC.

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

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    Try living in any area of any South American country under the control of a drug cartel, and you will see what unregulated big business would really look like,

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

  33. icon
    Ninja (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    Told ya.

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

  34. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    That one is my line.

    How are those regs working for you guys? O right... still whinging about your failures.

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

  35. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    Right on, but you forgot something important.

    When the FEC fails, what do the citizens do? Cry for MORE! It is truly a win for regulation whether it succeeds or fails because when it works, they say... see told ya, and when it fails, they just say we needed more or better regs.

    The problem is not that regs are evil or good, it's they they are controlled by evil people looking to profit off the misery of those they claim to represent. And when so many citizens are apathetic about the politicians and their corruption there is no relief except the relief we are "granted".

    This problem is not going away any time soon. History is pretty clear that the only direction we can go is to collapse in on ourselves until enough pressure builds up to cause an explosive reaction. And there is no telling if the fallout of that will be good or bad!

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

  36. icon
    PaulT (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    "How are those regs working for you guys?"

    Perfectly fine over here, thanks. It's only the US that's this screwed up, and that's because of ineffective regulation cheerled by your type.

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

  37. icon
    PaulT (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    "The problem is not that regs are evil or good, it's they they are controlled by evil people looking to profit off the misery of those they claim to represent."

    So... why do you keep voting them in instead of demanding effective regulation?

    "This problem is not going away any time soon"

    Nope, because people like you demand all the power to be given to the same corporations doing the damage instead of demanding that your elected government do their job.

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

  38. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    I do make suggestions, you just keep lying and say that I don't. But yes, I do spend a lot of time picking on you folks for shooting yourselves in the foot.

    And this is the usual hypocrisy you guys advance as well, for example...

    You said...
    "Mr regulations are bad unless they are the ones I approve"
    is the same as accusing me of advocating anarchy because you don't like my solutions.

    I am not advocating anarchy, just saying your solutions are going to bring about that which you "claim" to wish to prevent. You would not happen to be a shill would you? I am betting you are the same fearmongered beta that keeps letting corrupt politicians and think tanks tell you that we need regulation to save you all from big bad business.

    Let me help you out. The moment a politician says they want to help you is the moment you know they are lying. If you believe it... then you are a sucker. And yes, they definitely know it or they would not be saying it otherwise.

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

  39. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    Look PaulT, just because you are getting screwed WITH lube while we are are getting screwed without it does not mean that you are not getting screwed too.

    Yes, if I had to pick between what we have now and what you have, I would take what you have, easy. But again, that is just the choice of being lubed before getting screwed anyways!

    The only difference between you and me, is that I am not going to all of a sudden like being screwed just because they used a little lube.

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

  40. icon
    PaulT (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    "it might suck, but this is your comeuppance!"

    You know what's amusing? The way you welcome, nay, demand this. Yet while gloating about it you don't seem to realise you'll suffer as much as everyone else.

    Picture this scenario - two guys are sinking in quicksand like in one of those old adventure movies. One of the guys was trying to ask for a rope to help them out, but the guy with the rope was a policeman. Guy 2 hates cops. When the cop throws an old rope that broke, guy 2 just hurls abuse at him, and mocks guy 1 for asking for a better rope that can support their weight. So, instead of helping out, the cop gets tired of the abuse and wanders off. Guy 2 now mocks the first guy for even thinking that a rope would help them, as they both inevitably sink to oblivion.

    That's what you look like now. It's pretty pathetic.

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

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 9:56am

    Statistically, we are

    Studies repeatedly rank the major broadband companies as the most hated in America. Don't say we "should" be angry, as if we're not already.

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

  42. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    "So... why do you keep voting them in instead of demanding effective regulation?"

    It's really hard to get people to stop voting for politicians by their party affiliations. Take this thread, most people are going to think I am republican when I am actually independent. Republicans are pro-regulation to the benefit of big business, so are democrats as well but just not as bad as as the repukes. The problem with democrats is that they believe lies faster when those lies resonate with their bleeding hearts. The republicans believe lies faster then it resonates with their bank accounts.

    I hate them both.

    "Nope, because people like you demand all the power to be given to the same corporations doing the damage instead of demanding that your elected government do their job."

    That is a lie, I advocate for free-market and regulations that only work towards keeping one as free as possible from natural monopoly while interfering as little as reasonably possible.

    If a corporation is allowed to do that damage or control the market, then it is no longer a beneficial market or a free one now is it?

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

  43. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    if you want to live under the threat of a cartel and will not put your life on the line to help fix problems while expecting someone ELSE to accommodate you then you can go and fuck yourself.

    If you want to be a little beta human, you get ruled over! You get ruled over how the Alphas or Sigmas decide. At the lead of every pack is an alpha and they know they have your mindless undying support and that you can be easily fear mongered into accepting any limitation on your liberty for the illusion of safety.

    I only feel sorry for the children that have to live under weak willed and fearful parents not willing to risk themselves to better the future of their children in a meaningful way!

    Give me liberty or give me death! That is what makes a great nation... not give me protection or give me safety!

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

  44. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    How is your comment related at all to what you replied to?

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

  45. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    Oh hi - its mr anarchy guy

    how's that anarchy working out for ya?

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

  46. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    lol, yes, come up with an unrealistic scenario AND advance the notion that I would spurn people away from helping me.

    I have the integrity to say thank you to people that actually help me out. No I would not refuse their generosity, unless they had to harm someone else to help me out.

    Now, if you are advancing the notion that I should be thankful to the person that gave me a slice of pie they just wiped their ass with... well... maybe you need to work on that.

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

  47. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    If it went over your head, I am afraid you need to play a different game today.

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

  48. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    You people? Real intuitive there, you really know to whom you are talking - must be the life of the party everywhere you go.

    Is this the only blog to which you provide your highly detailed steps for improving our world today?

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

  49. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    quick couple of questions Einstein

    Are we currently in anarchy? No.
    Are we currently in regulatory capture? Yes.

    Do you have any additional groundbreaking comments that reveal how stupid and ignorant you are? I may be as entertained as the next guy with your antics, but perhaps if you could provide a bit more "informed" wit to go along with it?

    I am relevant, you are not.

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

  50. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    You need help.

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

  51. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    "You people? Real intuitive there,"

    Do a quick search on the page... you are the only person, as of this post, to have said "You people".

    Look, I already know you are not playing with a full deck, but if you could just maybe stop assuming I wrote something and read what I actually wrote instead then perhaps you could... afford, get, or accidentally stumble upon a clue!

    "Is this the only blog to which you provide your highly detailed steps for improving our world today?"

    I bet this is not the only blog you fail to comprehend and prance about with your dogmatic limited world views attacking people you won't read or comprehend.

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

  52. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    Telling people to not let others oppress and to fight for themselves them is bad?

    No wonder you are not a happy person. A coward dies a thousand deaths, which death was this for you?

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

  53. identicon
    Thad, 21 Mar 2018 @ 11:16am

    Re: tl;dr

    It would be great if everybody else would stop replying to his posts, too.

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

  54. identicon
    Thad, 21 Mar 2018 @ 11:18am

    Re: tl;dr

    So... why do you keep voting them in instead of demanding effective regulation?

    Gerrymandering, mostly.

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

  55. identicon
    Thad, 21 Mar 2018 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re:

    The country is still a democracy

    Oh God, now you've done it.

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

  56. identicon
    Thad, 21 Mar 2018 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re:

    But what about all the AMERICANS who don't understand what whataboutism is?

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

  57. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 11:38am

    "Ignore our paymasters transgressions and look over here!"

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

  58. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    Oh lookie another basement keyboard cowboy virgin in his moms basement calling everyone betas cause he’s mad life won’t just hand him everything. Pathetic.

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

  59. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    So can we just skip the the end where you run off like a bitch because you got your ass handed to you again because your ego can take criticism about as well as stained glass handles an earthquake? Though you do get points for being the second most self deluded twat blast on this site. Which I suppose is an accomplishment.

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

  60. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    "But yes, I do spend a lot of time picking on you folks for shooting yourselves in the foot."

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

  61. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 12:23pm

    Re:

    Already if one wants to go from the east coast to the west coast it is impossible without your travel being recorded. By plane, train, bus, or car there are cameras with facial recognition software.

    Hitchhiking, walking, bicycles, dodgier buses...and apply some CV-dazzle facepaint to avoid facial recognition.

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

  62. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 12:29pm

    Gerrymandering

    It is one of the problems that rises when a party has taken to election fixing to stay elected, after that we don't know if they could have won their seats and titles in a fair election, and it becomes easy to assume they couldn't.

    Is the nation still a democracy?

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

  63. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re:

    And start out with enough cash on you for the whole journey, and hope a cop does not discover that you are carrying it. Otherwise cash withdrawals and use of cards will track your travels.

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

  64. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    More like a well educated conservative minded independent that got a wild hair and decided to own a bunch of self important snowflakes.

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

  65. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    You got a problem with lube?

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

  66. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    “Well educated” & “Own”. You do at least have a sense of humour.

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

  67. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 1:38pm

    By that logic, we should also be 8 times as angry at Facebook and Google for attempting to help broadband companies kill privacy regulations in California?

    https://www.dslreports.com/shownews/EFF-Large-ISPs-Lying-to-Californians-to-Kill-New-Priv acy-Law-139963

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

  68. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    WTF is a beta?

    I'm not sure either. Looks like another term cooked up by the way-right, Ann Coulter, or such. Like SJW.

    Really though, it's the same as "ginks, gooks, jerries, sand-n****s" etc. Take your pick.

    It's an effort from the propaganda wing of the alt-right to dehumanize people with different opinions, who should be considered as on the same team with different views. It helps drum up the divisions and fear of the "other", and it makes it easier to vilify and fight them.

    Small-minded people tend to accept, then use these shorthand terms as badges on their quasi-uniform.

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

  69. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    He's just still sore about the Internet shipping him and his buddies barrels of the stuff while they were at Malheur.

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

  70. identicon
    Mike, 21 Mar 2018 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    No its not bad. Your approach, however, is.

    Do you think calling people betas and Einstein is really going to help persuade them? And if not, then why try? Whats your goal here?

    To say you "did something? "At least I tried"?

    You are super defensive and come off as arrogant. Get over yourself.

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

  71. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Mobile Networks and Privacy Rankings

    Dude, the invasion of privacy is NOT AT ALL what you seem to think it is.

    It's not about "What you put on Facebook". That's a big "duh". Of course anything you put up on the site is now out there. You can tweak the settings, but it's out there. Duh.

    It IS about "Everything you do, visit, read, dwell, mouse over, like, look at, and turn away from. It IS about how often you're looking, at what time. It IS about who you know, who you pay more attention to, or less. THIS is what Facebook and Cambridge Analytica are MOST interested in, not your fucking cat photos.

    The paragraph above is the stuff that tells them who you really are, what you're really into, and how to grab your attention - and manipulate it.

    As for mobile networks, yes. AT&T and Verizon, as former incumbents, have the longest histories of cooperating with gov't surveillance. Newer and smaller carriers, and MVNOs less so. But any cellular network, by default, collects lots of data about you by necessity, like your location. You could try a secure phone, like those from DarkMatter. At least the phone's Android OS has been tweaked to share as little data as possible.

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

  72. icon
    The Wanderer (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    I'm fairly sure it's by analogue to "beta male", i.e. the sort of person who - unlike any presumed "alpha males" of the group - doesn't have the ambition/drive/force-of-personality/whatever to rise to the top of the heap in life (or at least in the person's immediate circles) and make the world do what they want it to. (But may spend significant amounts of time and effort either trying without success to do those things, or talking about how they think the world "should" be.)

    It's a concept of dubious applicability to the real world, but some people do seem to adhere to that mindset - albeit usually from an "I'm one of the alphas (and therefore am better than all of you futilely struggling betas)" perspective. This is the first hint I remember having seen that Mr. Paint Chip (do we have a better name for him?) might be one of those people, though.

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

  73. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 2:03pm

    Re: There's a fix for that

    I'm not sure what you're proposing would make any difference, at least for me.

    I mean, assuming I ditch my smartphone, but keep a dumb phone, I still get my location tracked. That's fairly powerful surveillance and privacy intrusion data. I would have to carry NO phone, and then worry about license plates, facial recognition cams, etc. But no phone would help keep my location private.

    So if you use a dumb phone, and your location is now known, what else does it protect you from? Nothing.

    I assume that, at home, you're still using the interwebs to look up the things you're interested in, right? So basically, your content choices, postings, communications are all about as vulnerable as your smartphone actions would have been.

    Nope, assuming you have a dumb phone, and still use the internet at home and work, you're not making much of a dent in your privacy at all.

    The "FIX" would be cold turkey. No phone, no home computer, no ISP.

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

  74. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 2:05pm

    Nice

    "you're just trying to towel off in a rainstorm."

    Is that yours? Never heard it before.

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

  75. identicon
    Chip, 21 Mar 2018 @ 2:15pm

    Because a am very Very "smart"!

    That is how you know I am Smart. Because I always Talk about how "Smart" I am. Which is what Smart people "Do".

    Every Nation eats the Paint chips it Deservse!

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

  76. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 3:12pm

    Emails from campaign season document that the Telecom industry was selling data sets for the same kind of analytics Facebook was doing. The Telecoms are logging all of your browsing history and selling it off.

    Bring the damn investigations into these practices already.

    Codify some fundamental data protection based on inherent liberties of the individual.

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

  77. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 7:46pm

    Re: Re: There's a fix for that

    Or, long shot here, we could get the Government to embrace the concept of privacy.

    I am not a Constitutional scholar, but I understand that some Constitutional scholars embrace the concept of privacy in the Constitution. I wish there were more, and wish also that the Government understood that, rather than embracing the concept of surveillance of everyone all of the time because it gives them more power over those we surveille.

    But, we come back to that old saw about 'absolute power' and the corruption derived thereof. When the outcome of their 'supposed' absolute power comes to fruition, are they gonna be surprised.

    The tree of liberty will be refreshed from time to time, but read the whole letter. In fact read all of Jefferson's letters. He may or may not foment continual revolution, but I do believe he means that when the Government seeks to oppose the rights of the people, that the people should do something about it. Even if that something might be perceived as drastic.

    That definition of drastic might mean various things to various people. In the end, if one thing does not work, then other things must be employed. This is not to say that any of those things should be violent. The human mind has great capacity for creativity. There is a lot of space between doing nothing and violence. We need more creative thinkers involved with the expression of privacy and the Governments adherence to that concept.

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

  78. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:06pm

    Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

    Zuck: Just ask

    Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

    [Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?

    Zuck: People just submitted it.

    Zuck: I don't know why.

    Zuck: They "trust me"

    Zuck: Dumb fucks

    Source: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mark_Zuckerberg

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

  79. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 21 Mar 2018 @ 8:59pm

    Blood of patriots and tyrants

    From what I've read of Jefferson's, he was pretty serious about the necessity of bloody revolution from time to time. Of course his opinions were before the French Revolution showed us what a it's really like.

    The American revolt involved the execution of fewer major political players, given the ones the victorious wanted to kill were safely across the pond. France's revolt happened right in Paris, and once the window of death was open for business, it was very easy to get caught up in the wind.

    I think that Jefferson imagined that we wanted the horror of purges in recent memory always, so as to keep our officials mindful of the people's fury lest they provoke it.

    While I don't necessarily agree with him -- purges are really terrible and we don't want to be going through them even every century, and yet our officials seem to have no fear of the people and rule with the forethought a Duke might give his lowliest serfs.

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

  80. icon
    PaulT (profile), 22 Mar 2018 @ 1:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    "It's really hard to get people to stop voting for politicians by their party affiliations."

    So... you admit people have been trying to get things changed but have been unable to do so thus far. Why do you keep mocking them then?

    "That is a lie, I advocate for free-market and regulations that only work towards keeping one as free as possible"

    Which you never define, you just attack people who point out that the rest of the Western world has effective regulation, and mock those who want the same in the US.

    "If a corporation is allowed to do that damage or control the market, then it is no longer a beneficial market or a free one now is it?"

    But, you openly oppose government regulation to stop them doing that and have advocated handing control over to the corporations wholesale rather than trying to fix the FCC.

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

  81. icon
    PaulT (profile), 22 Mar 2018 @ 1:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    But, you advocate them not only going in dry, but using sandpaper instead because you don't like the brand of lube that regulators might choose to use.

    I disagree about us getting screwed, there is effective competition at the very least as well as cheaper and faster internet options than much of the US has. But, even if you are correct, you've *demanded* the worst possible outcome because you don't think the better option is good enough. Then you're attacking the people who wanted better for you.

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

  82. icon
    PaulT (profile), 22 Mar 2018 @ 1:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plenty to be pissed about...

    "lol, yes, come up with an unrealistic scenario "

    It's called an analogy. Whether a good one or not, the image of a person mocking the one who tried to get them help as they both drown is the apt one for your actions.

    "Now, if you are advancing the notion that I should be thankful to the person that gave me a slice of pie they just wiped their ass with"

    Talk about unrealistic scenarios! Anyway, what you forget is that in that analogy you're locked in a cage and that was the last piece of food available anywhere near you, and you're now abusing your cellmate for wanting to accept it as you both finish starving to death.

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

  83. identicon
    Thad, 22 Mar 2018 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: There's a fix for that

    There are a whole lot of issues to consider in terms of a right to privacy.

    Assuming you have a right to privacy, do you have a right to give up that right? For example, through Facebook's terms of service?

    How far does a right to privacy extend? I think we can all agree that EU-style privacy laws go too far, and rules like the "right to be forgotten" violate free speech rights.

    And, keep in mind, the Bill of Rights is about restrictions against the government, not private entities. Even cases that do suggest, for example, a Ninth Amendment right to privacy, like Griswold, are about restricting what the government is allowed to do -- in that example, the government isn't allowed to ban birth control.

    I support stronger restrictions on how private corporations are allowed to collect and use user data, but I don't think it's an issue of a constitutional right to privacy.

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

  84. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 22 Mar 2018 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: There's a fix for that

    Right. A systematic fix would be far better than an individual exodus.

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

  85. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 23 Mar 2018 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re: There's a fix for that

    I'm going to correct myself.

    Now, after a couple of days, I'm going to agree with you. You were right that ditching the smartphone could improve your privacy.

    The reason I see is because, when we did stuff on the web via PC, say visit Facebook, what we did in facebook, and what they knew about us was limited mostly to that tab. Facebook was "siloed".

    But when we install the FB app in a smartphone, and give it Permissions during the install, it fully abuses those permissions, and goes to town sucking up all the data it can out of the phone. See this link for an example of how FB is watching EVERY PHONE CALL this guy makes: https://twitter.com/dylanmckaynz/status/976368845635035138

    It is our smartphones that are the nexus of companies leaking out of their silos. The permissions rubric is awful and broken. So, eschewing the smartphone would improve your privacy. But, maybe, you could use a smartphone, but just have fewer apps, and deny most permissions.

    Last note: you can go into your smartphone, apple or android, and reduce the permissions of your installed apps.

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


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