Has Privacy Become a Luxury Good?

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by ronjor, Mar 5, 2014.

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  1. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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  2. DoctorPC

    DoctorPC Banned

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    Comparison to the organic food was pretty good! I recall buying organic for years, and it was difficult back then. Or I remember paying a tremendous amount for purified water in the home when nobody considered purifying their water. (Reverse Osmosis back in the early 1990s) Yet those things are pretty cheap, and common these days.

    She has a good point - the commercialization of privacy will become big business, and most likely spawn an entire industry in itself. Big players are already ramping up big privacy projects (F-Secure Freedome for example). This is all bad news for data miners, and the NSA, and good news for us. NSA will find more and more people increasingly 'going dark'. Every person that opts for more privacy, is also removing themselves from many vectors of NSA snooping.

    All good news in the end. But for now, privacy is really a rich or intelligent mans playground. You either have the cash to pay for the extras, or you don't. You either know how to set them up, and validate integrity, or you don't. It's becoming mainstream due to Snowden's work, but has a ways to go.
     
  3. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    The problems with the commercialization of "organic" will most likely be seen with privacy as well. Privacy and organic share common problems. Both are intangible. Both are impossible to quantify. Without expensive equipment and/or a lot of skill, both are impossible to measure or verify in any meaningful way. When "organic" became an advertizing term, its definition was weakened to accomodate commercial interests. If privacy becomes a commodity, the same will happen there. The "big players" can make any claims they want and the users won't be able to verify any of them. No company can offer someone protection from NSA snooping. None of them can even make a real attempt unless they're located in a country in which the US has no political pull.

    Privacy, like security, organic, green, HIPS, and a host of other terms have become little more than advertizing buzzwords. They mean too many different things. Some like "green" have almost no meaning at all any more. Others like "security" have no meaning unless they're quantified with an adversary and a time period, secure against who and for how long. Privacy will end up like security in regards to how it's marketed.

    If you want real organic produce, you learn to grow your own or become friends with someone who does. You buy it from them or work out an exchange of services. If you want real privacy, you learn to use the available tools properly. Real privacy, like real organic produce comes at a price and usually involves tradeoffs. You don't get blazing internet speeds through Tor just as you don't get rows of perfectly shaped, defect free produce in a real organic garden. In your own garden, you decide what is and is not acceptable in and on your produce. When you build your own privacy package, you decide what is and is not acceptable in content and traffic, then you filter and route it accordingly. In both cases, it's much easier if you take the time to learn them. Both can be very rewarding as well. Unlike commercial products in either case, you know exactly what you're getting in exchange for your time and labor.
     
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    There are many sorts of privacy.

    With enough money, you can be as isolated as you like from the proles. You move from one private space to another. You associate only with other similarly privileged people. But of course, you can be pwned, if you or your support staff mess up.

    You can also be as private as you like on a budget. For online privacy, all of the required software is free. Good VPN services cost 50-200 USD per year. I'm working now on an old gaming PC that cost about 500 USD used in 2009 or so. It also has about 400 USD worth of Western Digital RE3 low-end enterprise SATA HDDs, but that's totally optional.

    I'm spending lots more these days, but that's all funded by a huge Bitcoin windfall over the past two years. And in truth, I need to spend it, because I can't get it out without unacceptable risks.
     
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