Who do you fear more, government or hackers?

Discussion in 'polls' started by I no more, Oct 9, 2009.

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Which of these are you more concerned about?

  1. Government/FBI/NSA (or other 3-letter agency) snooping and data mining

    55 vote(s)
    67.9%
  2. Hackers, phishing, computer-related theft, and/or other non-government related data collection

    26 vote(s)
    32.1%
  1. I no more

    I no more Registered Member

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    The FBI chief, Robert Mueller, was recently almost the victim of a phishing attack. When speaking at the Commonwealth Club of California, questions from the audience were posed to the chief. One began as follows:

    To which Mueller replied:


    So, which concerns you more, government snooping or hackers/phishing/theft?

    And why?

    Edit: Let me add that under the government snooping option should also be all law enforcement agency snooping and all government data retention laws, including the use of public data mining for purposes of government and law enforcement. Just to be clear, RIAA/MPAA data collection do not count as government snooping because they are private institutions dealing in civil matters. Option 1 is only concerned with high level government/LEA snooping not private institution snooping of their own volition.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
  2. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    I no more than U, in case you are wondering, I removed your duplicate Poll post.

    JR
     
  3. lifetweaker

    lifetweaker Registered Member

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    We security people should not fear hackers, for we know how to stop them. But we should fear what hackers do to others, who don't know how to stop them.

    (Just a personal opinion)
     
  4. I no more

    I no more Registered Member

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    Let me chime in on this. To me, it's a matter of fearing Big Brother vs. fearing many little brothers. While I don't really fear either, Big Brother concerns me more because government and other types of law enforcement have the authority and the capability to cause much more damage.

    While I don't like the likes of Google or my ISP doing data mining on me, I don't really have any concerns until it falls into the wrong hands (e.g. government/law enforcement).

    So, I do side with the anonymous questioner who would rather have a hacker have his personal data than the FBI, or God forbid, Mr. Mueller himself (even if he is computer illiterate).

    And, if anyone is in doubt about what the FBI can and does actually do, read this article about the continual harassment (including bugging and sending threatening letters) of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/31/mlk.fbi.conspiracy/index.html

    I'm not saying they're still like this, but anyone can clearly see that an average citizen would be totally powerless against these people. Many people like to assume that that a government agency will exercise restraint, but it's clear that like all people, they'll push what they do to the limits of what their leash (and questionable ethics) will allow.

    Unfortunately, their leash is much, much longer than for the rest of us. If you want to know what the government is doing, it's very simple to answer. Just ask yourself what can they do and get away with it. Then you'll have your answer.

    BTW, I'm not into conspiracy theories if anyone is getting that impression. I base my opinions on facts. The MLK story is not a conspiracy theory. It's not widely known but it is well grounded in fact. We have this information now because so much time has passed. One can only imagine what they're up to now. I guess we'll know in 30 years. I hope this post isn't too political.
     
  5. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    Since govenrments already have access to all personal info, people just do not care or do not know about it (they should watch Discovery), I vote option 2. :rolleyes:
     
  6. I no more

    I no more Registered Member

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    Not at all. They have access to the information you make no effort to protect. If you properly encrypt (with a good password) and secure your computer, there isn't a government on the planet that's going to break in (absent the use of physical force or some other threats I suppose).

    Probably right. The herd mentality of the human race doesn't surprise me anymore. It seems that about 95% of people will believe any propaganda shoved in their faces.
     
  7. Keyboard_Commando

    Keyboard_Commando Registered Member

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    I definitely fear the "government" more than some random hacker. I mean, I fear the mindset that seeks to have you arrested for your opinion expressed, but just to make an example of you for political gains, etc.

    I think governments everywhere are thought policing and not missing a trick to clamp down on dissenters, whereas before ... the internet was pretty much an unregulated zone for people to express themselves ... to say what is REALLY going on in many areas of life. Anonymity probably did exist ... more a less. Now I know it doesn't. You have to police your own thoughts carefully or negative repercussion will entail.

    Many internet users express opinions, lets say ... controversial opinions online ... that they would not freely express in real life. And this leaves them wide open to misinterpretation - especially wide open to bureaucratic morons with the power to investigate & arrest. You can become more of a marked figure online than off it - I think.

    This recent case in UK will quietened many on the internet that were feeling safe speaking under forms of anonymity.

     
  8. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    I wonder how many are afraid to even answer. BB may be watching :ninja:
     
  9. sevenup

    sevenup Registered Member

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    I know you wanted to know which I feared most but I have to say I fear the government hackers most of all.
    Hackers with authority that skirt privacy laws/polices scare me more than rouge hackers.
     
  10. SammyJack

    SammyJack Registered Member

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    good point.
     
  11. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Probably goverment, they can do whatever they want, at least hackers are limited sometimes :D
     
  12. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    In some countries (we won't mention any specifically as it may offend the pride of some of their inhabitants), the internet is obviously monitored and clearly filtered as preemptive action to discourage any kind of anti government activities even though these might be based on the most fundamental democratic rights for freedom of speech. In these countries I would fear the government.

    It is also true that in even in countries with long democratic traditions it is likely to have violations of privacy, but not always for the wrong reasons: how do people expect authorities do investigate murderers, child prostitution, fraud, terrorism (I know the latter has been one of the main reason for abusing privacy and getting very sensitive information about good citizens).

    We don't live in a perfect world, and the USA, after a long period during which I thought democracy was drifting dangerously towards unknown territories, has reestablished faith in the very institutions that the free world has always cherished. I'm an optimist, forgive me for stating the obvious. By the way, government agencies would eventually hire hackers to do the job, basically we ought to fear the same crowd.
     
  13. Get

    Get Registered Member

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    There isn't a "neither one"-one option, so I chose government, because they're the one to fear if you want to fear. I don't have secrets on my pc, so I don't really care, but still I hope my security will prohibit intrusion from whatever *******.
     
  14. Saint Satin Stain

    Saint Satin Stain Registered Member

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    I fear the government because it has the resources; it is somewhat on the inside since some of the security corporations and government agencies exchange personnel. When I go to government sites I run my browsers sandboxed. One of my security apps has special settings for them. I also use encryption, PGP.
     
  15. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    The hackers can take my digital data and money...the govt can take all that and ME too. So I fear the govt more.
     
  16. guest

    guest Guest

    Same reasoning here.
     
  17. progress

    progress Guest

    I don't fear the government because I don't live in China :D
     
  18. culla

    culla Registered Member

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    government :rolleyes:
    hackers :rolleyes:
    be afraid very afraid

    no but seriously they can fear me cause i ain't scared :D
    so i didn't vote
     
  19. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    You have to remember that this is a story from The Times though...
     
  20. ameyap

    ameyap Registered Member

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    tough one but i guess the govt. snooping is most frightening so my vote goes there
     
  21. 0peratorX

    0peratorX Registered Member

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    Seriously... If anything does go down, those without enough sense/ give a **** to be scared will be the ones who will be feared the most :D
     
  22. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Fear really isn't the right word. "Concerned about" would be a more accurate description. On that basis, I'm not concerned much about hackers. I trust my defenses to protect me from attacks from the web. I'm am concerned about those who can get physical access to my PC whenever they choose, using any real or fabricated excuse, or thanks to the Patriot act, no excuse at all. I'm not concerned that they'd get access to things I want kept private. There's nothing illegal on my system to find. My concern is that there would be such material there after their "investigation". It doesn't seem to matter what a person is accused of. It's grounds to search their PC. You hear it constantly on the news, someone being found with child porn on their PC when there's no clear reason for them to search it in the first place. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if law enforcement is planting that material on people who are too vocal in their criticism of the system and its policies. Yes, I'm definitely more concerned about our government, their abuse of power, and their spying on our own citizens.
     
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