5 comments from Google's CEO on privacy

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by MrBrian, Oct 28, 2010.

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  1. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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  2. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    Just gotta love this one don't you ..... :rolleyes: And this is the guy driving google!

    I know there are a few "unsecured networks" in my area so yesterday, i walked the neighborhood and took a few images. Weird how i "wasn't able" to "accidently" capture wireless info while taking images :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  3. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Funny :D

    But i don't find them annoying . . . Still :rolleyes:
     
  4. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    Perhaps he has some secrets that belong on Wikileaks or wherever? ;)
     
  5. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    I think googleleaks is a distinct possibility;)

    Here's a good Schmidt quote:

    "In a world of asynchronous threats, it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you. We need a [verified] name service for people. Governments will demand it."

    Note: I provided a link to this cite, but I'm removing it, because I don't like how it's acting. If you want it, im me or :p google it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010
  6. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    The only asynchronous threat here is this Schmidt!

    People have warned us in the past of such men and one such man that spoke great truth that I personally would esteem higher then any Schmidt and I would hope to believe so would many others do around the world came from Ben Franklin;

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

    I'm sorry but no matter what, there are NO EXCUSES for giving up our freedoms, NONE!

    And that's the problem with people around the world, they've given it up, or they are giving it up and those that do, don't deserve it! :)
     
  7. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    Just exactly what is an "asynchronous threat"?

    Does he mean "asymmetric threat"?
     
  8. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    That's NOT Schmidt's view, that's just hysterical and nonsensical hyperbole from someone who gets their panties in a knot whenever their computer so much as establishes a connection to Google. Schmidt's view is "In a world of asynchronous threats, it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you". You can have your anonymity and there can still be some ways to identify you if you are doing illegal activities and becomes a threat to others.

    For example, you can anonymously organize a terrorist attack on the internet, and the government agents can get alerted and check your IP and trace you back to where you live and arrest you before you blow up some buildings.

    Schmidt's view is just that it's dangerous if there's no way to identify people when there's such a case. That has nothing to do with anonymity nor privacy. You can have your privacy and the government shouldn't be able to put surveilance camera in your bedroom, but if you go out and murder people, there should be ways for the government to identify you, catch you, and send you to jail.

    If the government have some hard evidence that you may be involved in some serious crime and that a gmail account is linked to you, then the government should be able to check your gmail contents. And just like we have freedom of the press as a critical check on government, it's also a critical check on big companies like google, to make sure they don't abuse their power. But that doesn't mean there should be "no way to identify you".

    Bottomline is, you should have your anonymity for your legitimate needs, but there should also be some ways to identify you for some legitimate needs too.
     
  9. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    There is no such thing as anonymity for "legitimate needs." Anonymity is a "state" just like a chemical state. Either it has been established, or it has not. If it has, it is opaque. That is the goal. It works regardless of the intent of the user. In this, it is exactly like encryption. Or a gun.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  10. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    Of course there is. The government doesn't waste its time watching the general public surf for porn, celebrity gossip, and sports news. If it suspects a particular group or individual of a crime, or if they want to find out who's been downloading - for example - child porn, then they have the means to move in and investigate.

    You may not agree with Schmidt's views, but he's absolutely correct. It'd be crazy if people can simply go out and do whatever they want, and governments and law enforcement are helpless to track them down because they're completely anonymous. We're not talking about dissidents hiding from an oppressive regime, we're talking about the government's responsibility to provide security and protection for its citizens from criminals. The authorities can identify you in the real world, why do you expect it'd be any different online?
     
  11. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    The government suspects a lot of things. And they utilize vast resources in their investigations. Crimes generally consist of overt acts. Communications made in conjunction with criminal activity may or may not be a separate crime itself: consider sedition. The crime is the communication itself. No other act is required beside the transmission of the seditious thought to another party. Contrast this with the crime of possession of prohibited pornography. Normally, there is an underlying (and separately prosecutable) criminal offense in the composition of the porn, unless it is animated or virtual. But communication of the image renders a separate crime. It is not that the porn is worse than act. It is rather that the porn is evidence of the act itself. Thus, the intercept of communications is often done for evidentiary ends.

    LE often monitors communications when there is not enough evidence to prosecute the prohibited act itself. In other words, it takes place because there is suspicion. In the U.S., there is a whole body of first and fourth amendment law that tells us when such suspicion is warranted. It is a nightmare morass for LE, probably unworkable in the end, especially in an internet environment. There cannot be a wholesale transfer of existant wiretap law to the internet, because the internet, like it or not, is an inherently differnet medium than, say, the phone. It just is.

    The internet allows us to utilize communications applications like anonymity and encryption, and applications have metrics. In other words, we can measure, for instance, how effective is our chosen encryption. We can break it apart and perform rigorous analysis on it in an effort to determine under what conditions it is useful. Just like anonymity, it either works for our purposes, or it does not. It is like a machine. It doesn't care if we are subversives, patriots, or pornographers.

    Encryption backdoors, and enforced attribution subvert the applications of encryption and anonymity themselves. It means that the applications will not work as well for "legitimate" users, either. Either they exist for all, or they exist for none. When they exist only for some, by fiat or grant, they will be weak and subject to political whim.
     
  12. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    Of course it is, that's the whole point of my post. That's where the other checks and balances come in, to make sure that the authorities do not abuse their power. And if you live in a region where there are no such checks and balances and the government (regime) holds absolute power, online anonymity is probably the least of your worries.
     
  13. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    But how does your reasoning work out for those countries where dissidents are considered criminals?
    Those countries also include (so-called) 'democratic' states.
    Not just those openly totalitarian states with labour camps et al..

    I'd say online anonimity is a must for dissidents living and working in oppressive states.
    How on earth would that be the least important to those people.
     
  14. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    I'm no expert on law, and I'll leave that to those qualified to thrash out the details. Still, it seems to me that it's easily differentiable to any reasonable person when you apply some simple common sense to it.

    But even then, it hardly matters. The fact is that governments and law enforcement cannot afford complete online anonymity for the general public; I think that's inherently obvious.
     
  15. tipo

    tipo Registered Member

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    if you were talking about 5 words on google privacy, they probably were: "there is no such thing" ...:cool:
     
  16. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    I agree that the technology presents intractable problems for LE. That's why I'm worried about draconian anti-privacy measures. Like most communication problems, this one has a field and ground aspect. The technology also hides illegal LE activites from oversight. I wrote about this in February, in conjunction with an idea of crytocommunication:

    "Many economists and legal scholars have argued that the efficient introduction of all relevant, new information to a market benefits investors. Information seeks to disseminate itself. And people, as communicative devices, seek conditions wherein they can facilitate the transfer of private intelligence to others.

    The availability of anonymity and encryption allows for exchange of both unregulated and prohibited goods. Cryptocommunication cannot distinguish between unregulated and prohibited goods. It is clear, however, that anonymity is a central piece of emergent cryptonetworks, be they social, political, and economic. From EFF:

    Anonymous communications have an important place in our political and social discourse. The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that the right to anonymous free speech is protected by the First Amendment. A much-cited 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission reads:

    Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.

    The tradition of anonymous speech is older than the United States. Founders Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers under the pseudonym “Publius,” and “the Federal Farmer” spoke up in rebuttal. The US Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized rights to speak anonymously derived from the First Amendment."


    http://www.eff.org/issues/anonymity

    In a very real sense, the access to the tools of cryptocommunication allow for a personal and economic cyberrevolution, as it it is clear that the value of private intelligence can be maximized with anonymity and encryption techniques. This fact alone inevitably ensures the development of private bidding or information platforms. These platforms will function as an emergent markets that will require us to reconsider the role of regulatory bodies as rule-making and enforcement agencies.

    The management of one’s personal information, proprietary information, or proprietary intelligence, is akin to managing a resource. Cryptocommunication requires its users to rethink their relationships and obligations to each other, their government, and their role as private contractors of their proprietary intelligence."

    As a note, this was written before the Wikileaks war diaries releases, but it is clear that Wikileaks is a prime example of a "private platform." Also, no one is more aware of the value of private information than Schmidt. It is highly disingenuous of him to devalue anonymity. It is, in fact, dishonest. His whole googleplex-sized business model processes open information into proprietary information.
     
  17. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    I'm curious to know where and when he did that.
     
  18. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place" CNBC interview link

    Thereby suggesting that all anonymous acts are questionable.
    Sounds like a different state of mind then that of the founding fathers of the US and the court rulings quoted above in nix' post.
     
  19. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    The full quote is, in fact:
    The context of his words was, of course, that "if you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it on the Internet in the first place." I don't see that as questionable, I see that as common sense. With or without Google, the Internet is public domain, and the authorities can trace you if need be, as Schmidt explained. If you post hate speech on a public forum like Wilders, for example, the police can demand your IP address and track you down. The same principles as with real life apply: if there's something you'd rather people not know, then don't do it in public. The Internet isn't some fairy-tale world where your real actions have no consequences whatsoever.

    Schmidt is right on the mark again. Unfortunately, he's not popular because he's telling the truth as it is instead of what people want to hear. For the life of me I can't imagine why this is the case though; what Schmidt is saying should be nothing more than simple common sense.
     
  20. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    Perhaps he's also not that popular because of stuff like the CNET affair.
    What had CNET done?
    It showed what can be retrieved about mr Schmidt through Google...:rolleyes:.
    Mr Schmidt was terribly upset and retaliated by banning CNET from Google press conferences. link

    Apparantly mr. Schmidt's opinion on privacy/sharing of (private) information, should apply to everyone except to mr. Schmidt.
    In my book that's not being on the mark but being a ginormous hypocrite.

    But, regarding anonimity, let's just agree to disagree.
     
  21. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    So you think his comments are wrong because you don't like him personally?

    A "ginormous hypocrite" would be more along the lines of indexing everyone else's information in Google's databases but purging his own. That was clearly not the case.

    That's called being on the mark because it applied even to him. But people continue to refuse to see the truth because it's not the sweet stories they want to hear.
     
  22. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    Whether they can afford it or not, it will be available. Whether the "general public" will wake up and use it is another question. Perhaps it's Schmidt's intention to spread the word ;)
     
  23. SIR****TMG

    SIR****TMG Registered Member

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    What a read indeed
     
  24. Fiat_Lux

    Fiat_Lux Registered Member

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    After having read some of your posts in this thread I have got the impression that you are really up on the barricades about all this stuff....
    So could you please allow me to make just this one comment , state my opinion - without we have to have either engage into a "war" over this or without that we have to keep discussing things endlessly... (?)

    My opinions differs *very* much from yours. I understand the argumentation you come with , have heard it many times before (and medias, where I live, have been programming people to the this kind of attitude for many years) and I do understand why some may think that your opinion is the only valid one....
    However as written my point of view is completely different.
    I think that the "bottomline" is that it is all an illusion. Those that have the real power and who wants surveillance and control does not only make people wish for such measures but they also most often in one way or another helps creating the situations that makes people cry out for surveillance and stuff. I know that you will not believe this, but for me it is a fact like the fact that the sun rises on the sky each day.

    I do not wish to have a long, complicated or endless back and forth discussion with you over this. I would however just like to voice/state my opinion as you have youself.
    You of course have the right to have your opinion on the subject as I have the right to have mine.....
     
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