Sunday, October 09, 2011

Privacy Becomes Premium

Over and over the point made here is you are never, ever in a private place on the internet. No more so than you would be in the uber-watched England of the 21st century, where you are almost always on a security camera, once one joins the internet and begins to post -- you are traced, tracked, recorded and analyzed.

Thus with some interest I read the technology piece a few weeks ago in The Chronicle about the move of many on campus to begin to build an alternate internet. Fears that the United States government would invoke "the kill switch" if a true Arab Spring began to grow here (Occupy Wall Street? Please, America was more violent and effective in the 60s with the SDS or the Hoovervilles of the 1930s).

A long but informative read, particularly referencing the efforts to make self-cloud internets and local mesh networks. Reminds me a bit of the old tinkering that once was the proud domain of amateur radio operators.

The story talks about Eben Moglen, a law professor at Columbia, and what motivated him: William Cronon. The Wisconsin professor had his email FOI'd by political opponents, looking for violations of the Wisconsin state law that prohibited use of state university accounts for political speech. I find that a fascinating law -- and reinforcing to one of my great cautions.

Moglen is a key face for the Freedom Box, a project to make plug servers to scramble and anonymize simple and appliance-like for the public.

Don't do anything on a state computer -- or a state network -- that you don't want to see public or dragged into court.

No comments: