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  • #51
    Originally posted by dee. View Post
    Well, in my experience, that doesn't seem to hold true. I don't personally know any paedophiles, but what I know of their methods, the ones who actually do it for profit/business - the real scumbags - are generally pretty careful people, and don't really care much about such things as "privacy" - they work in the dark, in the shadows, so it doesn't really matter to them if regular people get "privacy" or not. Pedophiles most often get busted by informants and former victims. Not because of surveillance.

    But enough about pedos. Want to talk about criminals?

    In my country, the corrupt police is collaborating with organized crime. The leaders of our national police force have been making insider deals with a company that is strongly tied to a criminal organization. What does that company do? Well, they manufacture surveillance equipment. Particularly, the kind of equipment used for spying on people, listening people's phone calls, tracking their movements or online communications...

    So just to hammer this in: the police (by which I mean the leaders of the police, the real higher-ups) are making insider deals and buying surveillance equipment from an organized crime syndicate. Crazy, I know! But that's how things are these days...

    And now, there are also people, with ties to the police force and/or military, who are campaiging for tighter online surveillance laws. They want to basically imitate the NSA. Because safety! Or something. But it's not hard to see where the real motivation lies - more surveillance, more contracts with surveillance equipment maker => more bribes from organized crime...


    So ironically, it seems to me, that the very biggest criminals are trying to erode our privacy. Although, so is the police... but if the police are collaborating with the criminals, doesn't that sort of make them into criminals as well?


    Mostly it seems to me, that people who don't want privacy, are people who have something to gain from eroding people's rights. It maybe a case of criminal corruption like in my example, or something more "lawful" - like a business who profits from data mining, but there's always some kind of vested interest. These are the people who make arguments like "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear"...

    The true criminals don't really need privacy - real big criminals can do their crimes out in the open, they have money and friends in high places... they can just make their problems go away.
    I just explained at length that I am not against privacy, when used appropriately, in a legal/moral context. And yes, the statement "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" is generally true, and always used to point out people who ABUSE privacy to cover up their wrongdoing, including the hypocritical leaders in your country who do NOT practice what they preach.

    Because I do not follow a rule of law or a moral law, that does not invalidate the intent of that assertion (about hiding wrongdoing). Does that make sense?

    If I acted like a liar or a hypocrite because the leadership of my former country (Yugoslavia, and Macedonia) was corrupt - and it was, down to the core level, much like your country, then I am no better than them.

    Quite frankly, morals and values, as well as following man made laws, only matter when we are faced with adversity and when no one is watching. Acting one way in public and another in private when it comes to morals or the law, is hypocrisy. Again, this does not invalidate the rule - this just makes one a hypocrite.

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    • #52
      I just explained at length that I am not against privacy, when used appropriately, in a legal/moral context.
      Well then, you have to define "legal" and "moral". Laws are written by people, and people are fallible - and that aside, every country has different ones. Morals on the other hand are subjective, what you find moral another may find immoral.

      Obeying laws is not necessarily moral if the laws themselves are immoral. And some people may have such morals that what they consider good and moral is against the law.

      So it's not really useful to speak of laws or morals as ultimate authorities on anything. Ethics are more useful but then, many times they are also subjective or debatable. Some things can only be solved by consensus.

      And yes, the statement "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" is generally true
      It's true in the sense that "if you build a ladder to the moon it's possible to climb it backwards" is probably true. Since it's impossible to build a ladder to the moon, the question whether such a ladder can be climbed backwards is merely academic. The same thing holds true here: there is probably no one who has nothing to hide. Everyone has some things they want or need to keep private.

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      • #53
        Originally posted by dee. View Post
        Well then, you have to define "legal" and "moral". Laws are written by people, and people are fallible - and that aside, every country has different ones. Morals on the other hand are subjective, what you find moral another may find immoral.
        Yes, man-made laws written by men, are indeed fallible. Since this would open a whole debate on whether morals are subjective or not, I only ask you read the following two URLs:

        http://carm.org/moral-relativism
        http://www.gotquestions.org/moral-relativism.html

        and as with the other responders, without you citing specific examples and creating a context around something specific, I cannot enter into a hypothetical discussion or debate on whether something is wrong or right. You can respond an infinite amount of times with your -position- about whether you think something is subjectively moral and I could do the opposite, and we'd just keep going into a circle. So if you want me to show you where I'm coming from with my assertion that there is no such thing as moral relativism when it comes to certain issues, you're going to speak of the issue, in as close as 3D terms as possible. It doesn't have to be your issue, but pick something that is real and that happened and we can apply my filters and tests of morality (based on the Bible, God's word) and yours, whichever those are and you can tell me what is moral and immoral after we're done dissecting it.

        Originally posted by dee. View Post
        Obeying laws is not necessarily moral if the laws themselves are immoral.
        That too implies a supreme standard of morality. I hope you see that. Because if the laws are immoral, there had to be laws that were moral to begin with. And to what source you turn to for this axiom - the source of all truth and knowledge, is going to make ALL the difference on how you view morality.

        Originally posted by dee. View Post
        And some people may have such morals that what they consider good and moral is against the law.
        Maybe. Again, no specifics, no argument.

        Originally posted by dee. View Post
        So it's not really useful to speak of laws or morals as ultimate authorities on anything. Ethics are more useful but then, many times they are also subjective or debatable. Some things can only be solved by consensus.
        Ethics, morality and integrity are orthogonal views of one and the same thing - what's it mean to BE a human being, what is the source of truth, what is the source of good, why is there pain in the world if God is good, and all kinds of similar interesting questions that I can discuss at length with you gladly, but not on Phoronix . The issue of secrecy and privacy, will always always without exception bring up this kind of talk, which to me is the most interesting kind given a shitty pattern of behavior I had for a number of years before I woke up and saw what, or rather, Who truth is (Quid est veritas? - asked Pontius Pilate... and didn't stick around for the answer even though it was in front of him .

        Originally posted by dee. View Post
        It's true in the sense that "if you build a ladder to the moon it's possible to climb it backwards" is probably true. Since it's impossible to build a ladder to the moon, the question whether such a ladder can be climbed backwards is merely academic. The same thing holds true here: there is probably no one who has nothing to hide. Everyone has some things they want or need to keep private.
        I don't doubt that. I've got some things I don't disclose - at least not without knowing you in person first, becoming friends, and knowing each other well enough to trust each other with our crap as well as our good things . It is the nature of things we keep private that has keenly interested me. You can rest assured that even those things that everyone want or need to keep private fit within a moral context, and often times, are things aimed at the person himself or herself, such as "I am not good enough in X, Y or Z" or "I'm not strong enough..." or "Not wealthy enough" or some kind of "not enough" or "not good enough" kind of lie that we perpetuate from childhood, or some other type of non-acceptance of ourselves, which again is BASED off something that happened in 3D .... and meaning was asserted around that event, most of the times without proper guidance or context from adults who themselves carry a bag of guilt/shame bricks around on their backs and give over lavishly to their children....

        I can go on and on, but like I said, I think you get the idea as much as I could convey it without getting any more specific with examples from our 'real lives' (i.e. in your immediate vicinity .
        Last edited by MartinN; 12-26-2013, 02:40 AM.

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        • #54
          LOL the discussion veered pretty far from the original question i.e. are we skeered that teh evil NSA is looking through our webcam. I'm fairly confident that the NSA will find nothing interesting in my puny little life even though quite ironically just typing stuff that refers to them probably has flagged me in their surveillance system

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          • #55
            Originally posted by MartinN View Post
            Criminals is most definitely a category for whom privacy is a requirement. I did NOT equate people who care about privacy with criminals - YOU said that. My argument piled on what Acid said, which is that pedophiles and criminals are probably the most ardent and zealous supporters of privacy, albeit for all the wrong reasons, to cover up their criminal and/or immoral behaviors.
            Both you and Acid said that most of the heavy privacy advocates are criminals. I'm a heavy privacy advocate. Therefore that's a clear implication that I'm one.

            So if I am hearing you right, you believe that without privacy, your power to do X, Y or Z is gone.
            No, not my power to do X, but the power of others to use X over me. To blackmail me, to harass me, or to insult me with.
            It doesn't have to be immoral or illegal, or even remotely true; it's enough for a person to have the opportunity and motive.

            Just to conjure up an example, a picture of someone watering flowers could be used to spread news of them being gay. The person may very well be straight, and homosexuality may very well be immoral to the photographer, but they have no right to take and spread that picture because of privacy.

            If it were a muslim country, that could even get the person killed. In a western country, they may "just" lose a job, or get beat up. Or perhaps nothing would happen outside of insulting comments in public.

            Hiding your wads of cash is the acceptable application of privacy. I am in no way against this kind of privacy. I don't want you peeking inside my home from the street or with a telescope just because you can. I'm not doing anything immoral or illegal inside my home, and I still don't want people peeking in.

            Anyone, on the other hand, using privacy in his or her own home so that he/she can view or peddle child porn (for example), nullifies the right to privacy.
            This is the main part where we disagree. I believe the right to privacy is absolute, and nobody has the right to decide that according to their morals, someone doesn't deserve privacy.

            It's a slippery slope. Can you see how it could go wrong? What if the person in charge decides today, that licking stamps is immoral, and installs cameras everywhere to prevent people from licking stamps?

            Let me know if I can be any clearer than this.
            You're quite clear, this is an interesting discussion. I write in a trollish way, because that tends to expose people for their real views.

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            • #56
              Originally posted by curaga View Post
              Both you and Acid said that most of the heavy privacy advocates are criminals. I'm a heavy privacy advocate. Therefore that's a clear implication that I'm one.
              By definition if you are extremely worried about NSAs interest in you, I certainly don't want anything to do with you. That makes you suspicious as hell also in my eyes

              If NSA combing through my e-mails may prevent one terrorist attack from happening, I say go for it. As long as its the government antiterrorism use and not any malicious party that might leak my info to the wrong hands as I do have high level business secrets etc. on my e-mails.

              The problem is that once you start to think the government as your enemy it pretty much stops any possibility to succesfully participate in the social or business life. You'd have to stop reporting taxes, using credit cards and whatnot
              Last edited by ACiD; 12-26-2013, 08:27 AM.

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              • #57
                Originally posted by ACiD View Post
                If NSA combing through my e-mails may prevent one terrorist attack from happening, I say go for it. As long as its the government antiterrorism use and not any malicious party that might leak my info to the wrong hands as I do have high level business secrets etc. on my e-mails.
                That's funny, because they are that malicious party

                NSA is known to leak high level business secrets of abroad companies to their own US equivalents. China does the same, as does Russia. So while the NSA won't probably leak american company secrets, the other agencies will.

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                • #58
                  Originally posted by curaga View Post
                  That's funny, because they are that malicious party

                  NSA is known to leak high level business secrets of abroad companies to their own US equivalents. China does the same, as does Russia. So while the NSA won't probably leak american company secrets, the other agencies will.
                  If the NSA leaks any information about their activities outside I'm sure they're violating several US laws and breaking their own rules as well. But that doesn't matter much since the stuff I handle are pretty much limited to my country and the information is not useful for anyone abroad unless they have subdivisions in my country. Even then its very very far fetched to think that anything siphoned from my mails, one of a billion others, would end up to anyone interested. Even smaller chance is that anything seen from my web cam would interest anyone, unless they find me particularly attractive.

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                  • #59
                    I like this comment from http://arstechnica.com/security/2013...de/?comments=1

                    Originally posted by KhepryQuixote
                    1) If it's not open-source, it's likely compromised
                    2) If it's not open-verified, it's likely compromised
                    3) If it's proprietary, it's likely compromised

                    Unfortunately for the IT industry as a whole, it seems we need to start over from the beginning.

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                    • #60
                      Originally posted by MartinN View Post
                      Yes, man-made laws written by men, are indeed fallible.
                      All laws are man-made, as in: written by human beings. There is no written law on this world that wasn't written by fallible human beings. Therefore, all written laws are fallible.

                      Since this would open a whole debate on whether morals are subjective or not, I only ask you read the following two URLs:

                      http://carm.org/moral-relativism
                      http://www.gotquestions.org/moral-relativism.html
                      And I'm going to decline. From the context and the website names I can already pretty much guess what they're going to say. There isn't going to be anything I haven't heard many times.

                      The bottom line is, you want to argue that moral relativism doesn't hold, because you have an absolute source of morality, "god". I'm not going to even get into whether such a thing as "god" exists or not, because it's pretty much irrelevant at this point. What matters is where you get your "absolute source of morality" from. I'm guessing that it's the bible.

                      All the arguments used in these kind of discussions go by the same pattern: "there's this thing and most people agree that it is wrong/right, therefore there must be some divine will/god/absolute morality that deems it wrong/right".

                      However, the problem is, that there are thousands of religions on this planet. None of them really agree on every thing. Some say it's wrong ("immoral" or "sin", whatever) to eat pork, some say the same about drinking alcohol, some say we should only eat vegetables, some say we should sacrifice a chicken every saturday. And then there are the various sects of each religion, each having slight variations in how they interpret the holy book of the religion.

                      So what it comes down to is, that people who appeal to religion as an absolute source of morality, are simply imposing their own moral views on others, and using religious texts as a tool to this end - after all, religious texts can be interpreted in many ways, and even when they can't, no two people agree 100% on which parts are "absolute" and which are up to interpretation.

                      and as with the other responders, without you citing specific examples and creating a context around something specific, I cannot enter into a hypothetical discussion or debate on whether something is wrong or right. You can respond an infinite amount of times with your -position- about whether you think something is subjectively moral and I could do the opposite, and we'd just keep going into a circle. So if you want me to show you where I'm coming from with my assertion that there is no such thing as moral relativism when it comes to certain issues, you're going to speak of the issue, in as close as 3D terms as possible. It doesn't have to be your issue, but pick something that is real and that happened and we can apply my filters and tests of morality (based on the Bible, God's word) and yours, whichever those are and you can tell me what is moral and immoral after we're done dissecting it.
                      All morals are subjective. I don't need a specific example. I don't recognize any absolute source of morality, no one has the authority to unilaterally decide the morality of some thing.

                      That too implies a supreme standard of morality. I hope you see that. Because if the laws are immoral, there had to be laws that were moral to begin with.
                      I think it was implied by the context that I was talking about subjective morals. But in case it wasn't clear, let me clarify: all morals are subjective. A law may be immoral to some, while others find it moral. There can be no law that everyone agrees is immoral - if everyone thinks a law is immoral, it ceases being a law, because that's how laws work.

                      Maybe. Again, no specifics, no argument.
                      There's no maybe about it. There are many things that are against the law, in many countries, even when many people disagree with the law. For example, homosexual marriage. Illegal in many places, yet many people see allowing homosexual marriage as an extremely moral and good thing to do.

                      Ethics, morality and integrity are orthogonal views of one and the same thing -
                      Now you introduced another vague term. Define "integrity", what do you mean by it in this context.

                      Ethics and morality do not necessarily describe the same thing. Depends on context.

                      I don't doubt that. I've got some things I don't disclose - at least not without knowing you in person first, becoming friends, and knowing each other well enough to trust each other with our crap as well as our good things . It is the nature of things we keep private that has keenly interested me. You can rest assured that even those things that everyone want or need to keep private fit within a moral context, and often times, are things aimed at the person himself or herself, such as "I am not good enough in X, Y or Z" or "I'm not strong enough..." or "Not wealthy enough" or some kind of "not enough" or "not good enough" kind of lie that we perpetuate from childhood, or some other type of non-acceptance of ourselves, which again is BASED off something that happened in 3D .... and meaning was asserted around that event, most of the times without proper guidance or context from adults who themselves carry a bag of guilt/shame bricks around on their backs and give over lavishly to their children....
                      No. Privacy is a basic human need. It's not just that you don't want to share some things because you're ashamed or something. It doesn't mean that you're hiding something. People are allowed to have privacy, because it's a fundamental need, and also a fundamental human right. We all have a right to privacy, just like we have a right to freedom of expression or freedom to believe in whatever religion we choose (if any).

                      It's better explained as people having a right to personal space. Everyone has a right to have their own personal space that others aren't allowed to violate. For example, you're allowed to tell other people that they can't hug you or touch you in any other way if it makes you uncomfortable (or even if it doesn't, you don't have to give any reason or justification). This right is granted by consensus, just like any other human rights. Or laws. People need that personal space in order to feel secure.

                      The expectation of privacy is the same thing, only applied to information rather than physical contact. You're allowed to decide what you disclose about yourself, how specific details you give, how much information you share and to whom.

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