Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Beware Big Brother

You know those cute photos someone sent you of their kids playing in the sprinkler on a hot summer day? Some machine is going to see "kiddie porn" and you may have to prove it is not! FYI, the default setting on my Android smart phone is to "back up" all my photos on the device to Google.

The big cloud computing companies have a "social contract" with the public. We share with them in exchange for valuable, largely free services on the Internet (email, one-click shopping, entertainment, etc.). Yes, they know almost everything about us, but they wouldn't "misuse" that information because then the game would be over, right?

Now it seems that the Government's spy and law enforcement agencies are in on the game, and it is all justifiable to protect homeland security and to enforce laws. However, prosecutors and spies do not have our individual interests at heart.

So what can and should a normal, patriotic, law-abiding person do to avoid being scrutinized by the Authorities, for such scrutiny can entail public humiliation and ruinous legal expenses?

"I've got nothing to hide," is a naïve justification for inaction. Context is everything; after you've done the "perp walk" on TV, your history will be seen a new, sinister light.

My recommendation is to lower you profile on the Internet. This means:
  • Avoiding social networking in favor of email.
  • Using/advocating for email encryption.
  • Using/advocating for encrypted texting.
  • Cover your tracks when you surf the Web.
  • Do not install apps on your tablets and smart phones that compromise your privacy (look at the access they will have on the device before you install them).
  • Do not store information in the "cloud" unless you know and trust the vendor. 

1 comment:

John Redmond said...

Advocate for email encryption by getting a cert and signing your emails. Ask your correspondents to get theirs so you can exchange encrypted messages. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2yKH49QNH4