Another perspective on privacy..

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by dogbite, Aug 25, 2013.

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  1. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

    Dec 13, 2012

    I was just wondering...because of this NSA scandal many of us and many web users (which are not on wilders) are now looking for something safer, more private, out of US monitoring etc.
    Ok, that is fine, but what happens when we consider the figures? When we go to statistics?
    Let's make a real example. Would some 10k rise-up or A/I users hit the interest of NSA more than 1 million Gmail users?
    What I am trying to say is that being an individual among 400M (I guess that is the number of Gmail active accounts) is maybe going to be "more private"* than being one of the 10k (or more..but for sure a much lower number than Gmail) of some more privacy-conscious service.

    What is your view?

    *actually "more private" is not the right adjective, we know that Gmail is not private, but when it comes to the probability of being screened that could be appropriate.
  2. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

    Aug 8, 2008
    I would imagine users of a group like riseup or austici gets their attention more than Gmail users, partly because those groups have publicly stated their opposition to such activities, and partly because they already have access to Gmail. After the Snowden/Lavabit revelations, there's no way they'll ignore smaller organizations, especially if those organizations haven't given them the total access that they want.

    Regarding the probability of having your mail screened when you're one of about 400 million, I'd be inclined to believe that all of Gmail and the like are screened to a degree. I'd expect that it's all sent through a series of filters that selects anything containing certain keywords, is from or to specific IPs that they monitor, is encrypted, etc. It would be the data equivalent of having manufactured parts passing under high speed cameras for quality control. Assuming that Riseup and Austici are what they claim to be and are not something they set up to monitor the privacy conscious, they'd have to intercept the traffic on the way in and out, which would make correlating it a lot more demanding on their equipment.
  3. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

    Jan 20, 2007
    European Union
    I think that the probability of being monitored is pretty high in both cases. IMO, the only difference is made by the people that are accessing the recorded/monitored data about you; and in this particular case, being a client for a privacy service might raise a red flag for whatever agency is doing the monitoring. But from a technological standpoint, I'm sure that it is equally easy for them to scan your data among 10k users or among 400mil. users.
  4. Techwiz

    Techwiz Registered Member

    Jan 5, 2012
    United States
    The government focuses on groups that it deems to be radical. For example, over the past several years the FBI has been working to infiltrate biker gangs, small militias, and even dooms day prepping groups. Additionally, they've been operating within the various "darknets" and virtual realms frequented by hackers. So I would say yes they would focus on the 10,000 privacy conscience users as opposed to say 10 million g-mail users. We simply need to look at how the government reacted to groups like the Tea Party and the Wall Street Protesters. These groups rallied peacefully, but were still subject to investigation by the government. Now we know that some federal institutions were willing to violate the law in order to disadvantage these groups. I can only image what extents the federal government would go to if it wanted to shut down these types of services or worse exploit them in order to keep track of potentially extreme/radical individuals.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  5. PaulyDefran

    PaulyDefran Registered Member

    Dec 1, 2011
    We already know that *anything* encrypted is considered suspicious (how wonderful, eh?), so I look at it this way: Have fun with my pseudo-random data. I refuse to go "in the clear", in the hopes that I "disappear". Here's all my stuff...good luck cracking it. PGP through Bitmessage, LOL! I just may plan on putting laser beams on sharks :D

  6. JackmanG

    JackmanG Former Poster

    May 21, 2013
    " don't have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody — even by a wrong call — and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you've ever made, every friend you've ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life, and paint anyone into context of a wrongdoer."

    --Edward Snowden

    Quoted earlier here. More here. (Be sure to check the links included in those posts.)
  7. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

    Aug 25, 2013
    Hello, my 1st post here. Interesting comments.

    OP, I don't believe any one group is really targeted more than any other, as far as plain data collection goes. In other words, nobody is safe. They want to grab it all with the view that if there's something they can't decipher now, they might later.

    In the wake of the admission of "collecting it all" it stands to reason, then, we are all deemed as "guilty until proven innocent". In some jurisdictions at least, it used to be the other way around but not anymore. Daily our privacy is being eroded on an unprecedented scale everywhere. It's all about control, and we know control is synonymous with dictatorships.
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