Internet privacy is dead, redux


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place


  • sockdevs

    /me sighs and adds another to the alarmingly long list of reasons not to move to the US



  • @RaceProUK
    Except what the article didn't tell you: The regulation that was disapproved only applied to ISPs -- it didn't apply at all to companies like Google or Facebook.

    The regulation was never about creating or enforcing a "right to privacy" with respect to your browsing history. It was about protecting Google from competition, by preventing the ISPs from shoehorning into their business. Coincidentally, Google happened to be one of the biggest contributors to the Democratic party during the election cycles of 2008 and 2012: https://www.cnet.com/news/google-learns-its-democratic-political-ties-have-bounds/


  • sockdevs

    @izzion True, but to avoid Google and Facebook et al would require me to move to Mars or something.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    The regulation that was disapproved only applied to ISPs -- it didn't apply at all to companies like Google or Facebook.

    Well, yes, but I'd rather that privacy be enforced on every company that does business on the Internet, or that carries Internet traffic. This goes precisely in the wrong direction, especially since your ISP knows everything you do on the Internet via the pipe you buy from them.



  • @lolwhat Whereas google doesn't know about the websites that don't use google analytics, and facebook doesn't know about the ones without a like button.

    What a relief.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    Except what the article didn't tell you: The regulation that was disapproved only applied to ISPs -- it didn't apply at all to companies like Google or Facebook.

    ...perhaps because Google and Facebook aren't in the same business as the ISPs. (And stuff like Google Fiber, which is in the ISP business, would be bound by these rules.) Please leave the silly strawmen at the door; this isn't the garage.



  • @lolwhat
    Then you should hold the DEMOCRATIC commissioners on the FCC responsible for that. Since they, by a vote of 3-2, passed a regulation that violated the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, rather than using their opportunity to pass a regulation that would apply equal privacy requirements to all companies that do business on the Internet.

    Congress revoking the regulation before it went into effect and saving the US court system the long and costly lawsuit over it is a feature, not a bug.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @izzion Again, websites are not in the same business as ISPs. Why should Equal Protection apply here? This makes exactly as much sense as saying that the same rules should apply to car dealerships that apply to shipping companies, because they both work with motor vehicles.



  • @PleegWat
    Yeah, we would be really screwed if Google ever got their hands on an application that recorded every single web request users of that application made. And also potentially had access to every password used on every web site that the user visited.

    Heaven help us if they ever get such an application to #1 market share of 45-50%: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers


  • sockdevs

    @PleegWat said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    @lolwhat Whereas google doesn't know about the websites that don't use google analytics, and facebook doesn't know about the ones without a like button.

    And for those that do, that's where uBlock Origin comes in and stops those scripts running, meaning Google and Facebook ain't got shit on me :D

    (Except the stuff I've explicitly told them, of course)



  • @masonwheeler
    Yes, you're right. One company is in the business of providing Internet access, and the other company is in the business of selling private information about your search history, e-mail, and other browsing activity to advertisers.

    Which one got regulated what they can sell to advertisers again?


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @izzion First off, [citation needed]. Do you have any evidence, provided by a source more reputable than shoulder aliens, that Google uses Chrome to spy on my browsing habits and sell that private information to advertisers?

    Second, as a general principle with applicability far beyond this particular issue, just because one company is doing something bad (or, in this case, accused of doing something bad) that should not be used as justification for someone else doing the same bad thing. It's a bad thing and it should not be done by either of them.

    And the ISP industry (hint: there's more than one company in the ISP business, even though it often doesn't feel like it due to regional monopolization) has actually been caught being in the business of selling this private information to advertisers, and frequently trying to hide it, which they would not have needed to do if they didn't know they were doing something wrong. And that's why they got regulated.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @masonwheeler said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    First off, [citation needed]. Do you have any evidence, provided by a source more reputable than shoulder aliens, that Google uses Chrome to spy on my browsing habits and sell that private information to advertisers?

    Dude, Google is the advertisers.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @blek No, Google is the advertising agency. The advertisers are the people who buy Google ad placement.



  • @masonwheeler said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    It's a bad thing and it should not be done by either of them.

    100% in agreement.

    But if government is going to make a rule, it needs to apply to everyone. Not just a few large ISPs (the disapproved regulation didn't apply to small ISPs either, and there was concern that the large ISPs would evade it by "breaking up" into small regional ISPs held by a holding company").



  • @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    @masonwheeler said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    It's a bad thing and it should not be done by either of them.

    100% in agreement.

    But if government is going to make a rule, it needs to apply to everyone. Not just a few large ISPs (the disapproved regulation didn't apply to small ISPs either, and there was concern that the large ISPs would evade it by "breaking up" into small regional ISPs held by a holding company").

    Yes. And who exactly is currently running the government?



  • @Rhywden
    Obviously the Illuminati shadow banking consortium corporate overlords

    :p


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    Then you should hold the DEMOCRATIC commissioners on the FCC responsible for that.

    Not my damn fault the guy who wrote the article did the Red Team / Blue Team bullshit. I'm just pissed off regardless of who did exactly what.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    @masonwheeler said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    It's a bad thing and it should not be done by either of them.

    100% in agreement.

    But if government is going to make a rule, it needs to apply to everyone. Not just a few large ISPs (the disapproved regulation didn't apply to small ISPs either, and there was concern that the large ISPs would evade it by "breaking up" into small regional ISPs held by a holding company").

    So are you saying that even though you're 100% in agreement that this shouldn't happen, that it's bad to have a rule that specifically targets the companies who have been caught doing this thing they shouldn't have been doing?

    While I agree it would be ideal to have it apply to all ISPs, you seem to be on the wrong side of "perfect is the enemy of good" here.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @masonwheeler Ok, fair enough. So Google doesn't give advertisers your private info - but it still uses your private info and sells targeted ads based on that info to advertisers. It doesn't seem like a very big difference to me, from an end user's point of view.



  • @lolwhat This is what you voted for. Rent seekers seek rent. It's what they do. Don't say you weren't warned.



  • @Rhywden said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    @masonwheeler said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    It's a bad thing and it should not be done by either of them.

    100% in agreement.

    But if government is going to make a rule, it needs to apply to everyone. Not just a few large ISPs (the disapproved regulation didn't apply to small ISPs either, and there was concern that the large ISPs would evade it by "breaking up" into small regional ISPs held by a holding company").

    Yes. And who exactly is currently running the government?

    Russia?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Captain said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    This is what you voted for.

    If you're referring to my supposed vote for Trump, I regret to inform you that I did a write-in vote in November.

    Everyone also keep in mind that we're not in the Garage, so watch your shit.



  • @masonwheeler
    I mean, if you want to regulate the crap out of the tip of the iceberg, I suppose we're going to have to agree to disagree on "perfect is the enemy of good"

    0_1490797838186_upload-1976717e-179b-4680-a88b-9d1cb2bf14cf


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    if you want to regulate the crap out of the tip of the iceberg

    I want the whole iceberg to be regulated. The Garage is :arrows:.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @izzion Again, [citation needed]. You've presented nothing to support your conspiracy theory that Google is using Chrome to spy on us.

    Meanwhile, ISPs have literally been caught spying on their users and trying to hide it. (Verizon "stealth cookies," for example.)

    So when one problem has not only been verified, but has demonstrated signs of a guilty conscience, and the other only exists in the minds of @izzion's shoulder aliens AFAICT, yes, I find it more expedient to disproportionately focus on the problem that's actually real.


  • :belt_onion:

    @izzion ISP sits between you and the Web, they are literally the man in the middle :giggity: . Theoretically you can avoid Google, but there is no escape from ISPs. I hope it is clear now, I mean your browser history.



  • I find it kind of ironic that Europeans, many of whom can't walk from point A to B without being recorded by 3 separate surveillance cameras every step of the way, also tend to have the strictest regulations to prevent them from being tracked going from point A to B on the internet. That seems pretty incongruous.



  • @masonwheeler
    I used the Chrome thing as a rhetorical device. I guess I should rescind it, since it's taking away from any consideration of the other things Google already does spy on you with (your search history, the contents of your e-mail, Google Analytics on websites you visit).

    But obviously, as noted in the post I replied to, the majority of websites already have Google Analytics running on them. Plus most people use Google search and/or Google Mail, and your information is being sold (anonymously) to advertisers through that. And the FCC chose not to regulate that while they were so worked up over ISPs doing the same thing with your browsing history. :shrug:

    @dse said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    Theoretically you can avoid Google, but there is no escape from ISPs.

    What % of the websites that you currently visit would you have to stop using to avoid Google Analytics?


    As per requests, I'll defer future responses until/unless a garage version of this post occurs, since apparently my comments are being seen as political rather than logical.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    As per requests, I'll defer future responses until/unless a garage version of this post occurs, since apparently my comments are being seen as political rather than logical.

    Gasp! I can't imagine why anyone would interpret that from comments like:

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    Coincidentally, Google happened to be one of the biggest contributors to the Democratic party during the election cycles of 2008 and 2012: https://www.cnet.com/news/google-learns-its-democratic-political-ties-have-bounds/

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    @lolwhat
    Then you should hold the DEMOCRATIC commissioners on the FCC responsible for that.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    apparently my comments are being seen as political rather than logical

    No. You were misconstruing my posts, in a way that could be considered by an outside observer to be trolling. Of course, it also doesn't help that someone else brought up voting.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    your search history

    Trivial to circumvent if you actually care about that

    the contents of your e-mail

    Now we're back in shoulder-alien territory. What evidence do you have that Gmail collects and sells the contents of your emails to any third party?

    Google Analytics on websites you visit

    Also trivial to circumvent with stuff like uBlock, as noted above.



  • @masonwheeler said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    What evidence do you have that Gmail collects and sells the contents of your emails to any third party?

    The process by which ads are shown in Gmail is fully automated. Nobody [no person] reads your emails in order to show you ads.

    They make money by selling ads that are based on the content of your e-mails. Yes, that's not giving the content of your e-mails to a third party (unless they do something extremely stupid or underhanded with how they tell the third party which ads were placed where such that they inadvertently disclose email content with that -- which I am not asserting, nor do I expect that they have ever done). But it's still selling the fact that they have access to my private information.


  • area_pol

    A countermeasure to traffic analysis is to fill the unused bandwidth with fake traffic.

    This approach is already being used against advertising:


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    Yes, that's not giving the content of your e-mails to a third party (unless they do something extremely stupid or underhanded with how they tell the third party which ads were placed where such that they inadvertently disclose email content with that -- which I am not asserting, nor do I expect that they have ever done).

    Well, you did assert that Google:

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    is in the business of selling private information about your search history, e-mail, and other browsing activity to advertisers.

    Are you saying now that they don't do that afterall? I'm a bit confuzzled here...



  • @izzion Google gives pretty good value for the data though. You get a free mobile OS, the fastest browser, infinite video hosting, 15GB of free online storage, a good email service, an office suite, the best search engine, free maps... because they are competing with others. And you can even block Google and Facebook tracking on other websites.

    American ISPs (and in most other countries, to some extent) are like... how about you pay us $40/month for crappy service because you have no choice? Oh and we'll sell your data too lol.



  • @masonwheeler
    You're right, I went for a sweeping statement and got sloppy with what I wrote.

    I would expect that some (anonymized) information about what ads get placed next to e-mails would have to go to the advertisers, since I personally wouldn't just randomly pay a bill for advertising without knowing where my dollars went, but I've never personally used AdWords so I don't actually know what information is and isn't available to AdWords consumers during and after their campaigns.

    At any rate.

    • I don't think the concept of regulating resale of private information is bad.
    • I do think regulations targeting activities by specific people, which don't apply to the same activities by other people, are in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment
    • I misinterpreted the point of @lolwhat's original post as a "oh look, Evil Republicans don't care about your privacy" and got too rhetorically involved in the political aspect of the article from Vox.
    • My apologies to @lolwhat and others who were offended by my politicization of whatever this thread was supposed to be.
    • I'll show myself out :door:

  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Adynathos This is in a similar vein - does random searches at random intervals on major search engines:


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @dse said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    Theoretically you can avoid Google, but there is no escape from ISPs.

    VPN, TOR...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @izzion Hey, no need to apologize. I can see now why you went down that path. I should've tossed something in my original post about me not agreeing with the Red/Blue spin in the article.



  • @Adynathos I like it. Even more effective than blocking. Though only slightly, because I'm sure it's pretty easy to distinguish those patterns and filter them.

    0_1490800059304_upload-f75fba0c-afce-459f-97ed-31709a287dd7

    Seems like someone just realized how walled gardens work! Good luck with your demands. See if you can get Microsoft to include LibreOffice on Windows while you're at it.


  • :belt_onion:

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    What % of the websites that you currently visit would you have to stop using to avoid Google Analytics?

    With ublock origin and Ghostery, and 3rd party rules, last time I checked (few months ago) it was nil.



  • @dse The weird thing is I had ublock installed right now on Chrome, all social and ad filters selected, no whitelist, and I could still see Facebook and G+ buttons on pages (yes, the real, iframe version).

    I replaced it with Ghostery and now they're gone.


  • area_pol

    @anonymous234 said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    I like it. Even more effective than blocking. Though only slightly, because I'm sure it's pretty easy to distinguish those patterns and filter them.

    Yes, it should send requests for a subset, based on a fake profile you want to create.

    Seems like someone just realized how walled gardens work! Good luck with your demands. See if you can get Microsoft to include LibreOffice on Windows while you're at it.

    Google refusing to host this extension on their service shows that the idea is effective.
    You can install it on Chrome, with the added satisfaction that you do it "without google's permission".

    @dse said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    With ublock origin and Ghostery, and 3rd party rules, last time I checked (few months ago) it was nil.

    And since we are on the topic of trash-filtering extensions, I recommend uMatrix as it shows you the blocked requests and allows to configure filters visually.

    0_1490801148877_scr_2017-03-29_17-25-04.png


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @anotherusername said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    I find it kind of ironic that Europeans, many of whom can't walk from point A to B without being recorded by 3 separate surveillance cameras

    …let me stop you right there. Outside of the UK, there are not that many security cameras. In fact, there are strict regulations on where you can point cameras. Both cities and private organizations/people cannot just use security cameras wherever they want.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @izzion said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    But it's still selling the fact that they have access to my private information.

    Which is a big difference from "selling my private information"



  • @asdf said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    @anotherusername said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    I find it kind of ironic that Europeans, many of whom can't walk from point A to B without being recorded by 3 separate surveillance cameras

    …let me stop you right there. Outside of the UK, there are not that many security cameras. In fact, there are strict regulations on where you can point cameras. Both cities and private organizations/people cannot just use security cameras wherever they want.

    Many Europeans live inside of the UK.



  • @Captain said in Internet privacy is dead, redux:

    @lolwhat This is what you voted for. Rent seekers seek rent. It's what they do. Don't say you weren't warned.

    Like there was a non-rent seeker option.



  • So, I've heard a lot of hyperventilating about this vote and hadn't seen the justification from the other side. Here's an op-ed by the guy who wrote the bill:

    tl;dr; Some key bullets from that:

    • FCC unilaterally declared a new power to regulate this sort of thing from the FTC
    • All web browsing data was to be considered as sensitive as, e.g., health information (which sounds to me like it could have some far reaching unintended consequences)
    • "The new rules also restrict an ISP’s ability to inform customers about innovative and cost-saving product offerings."
    • 'President Obama noted in 2012 that “companies should present choices about data sharing, collection, use, and disclosure that are appropriate for the scale, scope, and sensitivity of personal data in question at the time of collection.” In other words, privacy rules should be based on the data itself.'

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