"Like" this if You are Against Corporate Spying

Fuck me on social media

After the clear explanations of how various governments are spying on everyone using mostly popular web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Hotmail, Skype, etc etc, it's almost a surprise that nothing has changed. Half of the web still uses Google Analytics and an array of interactive "Like me" buttons on par with the animated GIF era web pages.

The worst comes from the "Pro Privacy Anti Spying" crowd. Not all of course, but enough for it to shatter any hope for progress. While most individuals might not understand how the spying works nor what to do, most of these "Internet Privacy Stop the Internet CCTV" groups should and do. Yet they continue, as if they weren't actively participating in the problem.

What I mean to say is, if you organise a protest and ask people to go to some obscure Facebook page for details and/or to RSVP then I can't take you seriously and I wish that you live in a totalitarian surveillance state ASAP.

What I also mean is if your "pro privacy" organisation runs a website that asks your visitor's browser to make themselves known to Google, Facebook and so many other compromised web corporations by simply loading your homepage then don't count on me ever again and I hope you realise you're failing your members/signers.

The saddest part is that the analytics, "likes", external JS, fonts, and all those other privacy compromising things are put there intentionally by the website operators. Up to recently some have been evading reality (they called it paranoia) still believing that Google would never do evil, even if Google is obliged by "laws". Now it's crystal clear, anyone that uses 3rd party services on their website has zero credibility when they speak against any form of spying.

If you are against government spying then why aren't you against corporate spying ?


David - http://conexcol.com

Interesting...however while is true in America (and friends), in China or any other non-us goverment can't see inside Google's servers. That said, if you organise a protest in China using facebook, I think you and your friends are safer than hosting the sites themselves.

David - http://colombia.ms

Also, the goverment (US and friends) is pretty much sniffing everything even without Google's and Facebook's help including this post. If they are not, they are working on it and they will get to that soon.

In Brazil for example they are trying to get a law to enforce Google and others to host their sites in Brazil because at the moment they are not able to get access to Google servers whereas US goverment can (that's what the politicians behind it are claiming anyway).

I'm not sure what would the US goverment would do if you are a kid in Cuba wanting to say something bad about comunism on Facebook. I don't think they are interested in that and I dont think they bother Google about it.

manu - http://manurevah.com

The thing with this website is that I don't help data gathering in any way. If your connection is tapped than that's that, but if you manage to get here without being followed than yay for you.

With sites that include 3rd party content it doesn't matter how secure your connection is. Even if you are using Tor, when you visit such a site every 3rd party knows which IPs have visited.

Those JS-like/tweet/+ buttons know if you are logged in to their services, it means they can personally identify you without you having to click "like/tweet/+", they know where you have been. They can confirm that it's not another user with the same IP.

Hence by not making your browser connect to any 3rd parties, I am not actively aiding the spying. This is what privacy advocating websites should be doing.

manu - http://manurevah.com

Also, of course the USA doesn't care about people who complain about communism or anything slightly red. They just want to have a database of everything and everyone.

As for Facebook protests being organised in China, I wouldn't trust Facebook to not help the Chinese government find the dissident.

Regardless of that, China blocks Facebook when the feel like it. Same with Twitter.

That last link reminds me of the riots a few years ago, Cameron wanted to shut down Twitter for a few days. The UK also cracked down on Facebook.

It seems much harder to ban some rogue websites than to just call Facebook or Twitter and politely ask to remove a page or two. (Twitter officially and openly supports per-country censorship BTW).

Andrew Roffey - http://andrew.roffey.org/

This is why I hope that more people use separate browsers or browser profiles. Have one browser with cookies enabled (and JS only if you must) and have another with both disabled for normal web browsing.

At the moment I have over ten browsing profiles, most with different user agents and options for sites I use. I change my Tor identity when using different profiles. For some profiles I set Firefox to only allow SSL traffic (by setting the proxy settings for HTTP, FTP and SOCKS to a non-existent localhost/port combination, and point SSL to Polipo).

Is this too paranoid? Maybe. But for most people, I think two profiles is easy enough to use and manage. I've already convinced a few non-technical people to do it, without any complaints or issues.

David - http://colombia.ms

Aren't you gathering information of us? What if your goverment just torture you to tell them our IPs? (lol)

manu - http://manurevah.com

David, that's a very good point. However, imagine if all, or at least most, websites operated independently. The government would have to go to each server to get the data. Nowadays they just need to infiltrate the top 10 used servers.

Now imagine the government trying to get into all these independent servers. The efforts needed would be insane, but mostly, the chilling effect the tangibility of this surveillance would have on us would be very different than what we have now.

David - http://www.conexcol.net.co

But you know they just need to ask your provider to hand over your hard drives anytime or just ask your provider to tamper your connection. With just an email asking for it.

Also they are going to were going to have a black box on the big network providers some years ago... Imagine what they have now.

I believe some governments are just able to route all the traffic to their servers for periods of time and well... it all will be tampered at some point.

I believe Internet has no privacy nowadays even if you use TPB as a search engine instead of Google. You can try using your own versions of jquery, fonts or anything that Google CDN offers for no money (with the argument that if you already have a font or js library cached its good user experience for your users), not visiting any site, etc.

I don't like surveillance, I don't like either US politicians behaving like Chinese politicians chasing a kid for telling the world the truth, I like the Internet, I don't like bad people using Internet as a tool to harm others, I hate the fact the new Internet services are comercial as opposed to open distributed standards like email used to be, and I hate facebook, google and ms for that reason, I know the Internet will be redesigned at some point. Even if you use pen and pencil to get your statistics instead of Google analytics, even if you have to send a physical letter to share a website instead of Facebook, I don't think that it's useful to keep your privacy or the privacy of anyone.

At the end of the day, there are idiots who like facebook and there are idiots who need to hide their identity because they have enemies, there are idiots who are willing to do anything to find their enemies and there are idiots who get elected.

I just got a message saying. Please enable cookies to post comments btw.

manu - http://manurevah.com

I understand what you are saying David. My point and reason for not wanting to make users load 3rd party content is to make it harder, not impossible, to collect data on everyone.

I believe it is the technical possibility that is the primary motivation for all this spying stuff. "Because we can". When it's not so easy, then chances are it would be more targeted.

Same for getting hard drives, re-routing traffic, faking SSL to do MITM, etc etc. It's all possible. But the harder it is for them the less likely they are to do it gratuitously and on everyone and all the time.

As for the cookies, yes, you need to enable cookies to post comments, this is to reduce comment spam. That said, cookies that originate from the website you are visiting don't hurt much (just delete them after if you are worried). I could do the same without using cookies, for the user's privacy it would be the same situation, you know that. (Maybe if I have time I'll do it just for you).
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