Tin Foil Hat – Part I “Nothing to Hide”

I’m picking up where I left off here. In the introduction I discussed online privacy and technology.  What I didn’t mention in that initial post was an insight from Bruce Schneier.  Large corporate institutions and the government (at least in the US) cooperate in order to evade the law.  Public institutions are restricted from collecting some kinds of information whereas corporations are not. So you have a situation whereby cooperating they can both avoid the spirit of the law and keep to the letter, clever and despicable.

Moving onto our main topic.  Where you do fit with respect to your privacy concerns?  Pick one of the descriptions below that matches your world view then you will know which part will address your concerns.

I.  I just love social media and telling all my friends where I am and what I’m doing.  I think it is really cool that we can track each other on weekends with mobile apps because it makes it easier to hook up at clubs.   I like getting free stuff so I fill out all the surveys for things I am interested in.  I have nothing to hide.  My life is an open book.

II.  I live in a mostly free country.  I am not too concerned about privacy.  My life is pretty normal and perhaps boring to others.  I don’t particularly like all the snooping and profiling by corporations just to try and sell me junk I don’t want or need.  If I want something I will find it;  you don’t need to find me.

III.  I live in country with some censorship and constraints or I live in a mostly free country and despise the idea of surveillance.  I consider myself free and I would like to access what I deem appropriate not the state.  I realize that I will always leave some digital footprint but would like reduce my digital signature as much as possible.

IV.  I am currently engaged in an activity which if discovered could land me in jail for a long period of time or possibly be executed.  I’m a target of a state actor.

In this post I will take up the first case, the one in which a person sees themselves as open book, “I have nothing to hide” approach.  Even if you have a relaxed attitude toward privacy, I assure you have something to hide.  If you truly believe that you have nothing to hide then email me the following so I can add them as an update to this post:

  • Current address
  • Annual income
  • Social Security Number
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Credit Card numbers with expiration and the CVV/CVC code off the back.

It’s a fact that the more that can be known about you the more likely you are to be an easy mark for exploitation.  What minimal things can be done to reduce your footprint?  One empty your browser cache and clean all history from time to time.  Install a product like Abine’s DoNotTrackMe. There are similar tools also;  find one you like and stick with it.  You can also enable “do not track me” in the browser but few companies will respect it.  Let’s face it, most corporations are run by a self-serving, crass, and rapacious to the limits of the law executives.  I have no hard proof but I would guess it works about as well as opt-out does for email.  If you want to avoid marketing email you can set up an account exclusively for that or purchase a service from a company like Network Solutions.

With your mobile devices you should be very selective about which applications have access to your location.  In general the “free” applications are most likely to abuse your privacy.  Facebook and Google being the devil’s unholy twins.  The information and profile these companies have on you is not as high a risk as when the data is stolen or lost due to incompetence.  The more public your life, the more you need a service to protect you from identity theft.  There are many good ones seek them out and purchase the service.

A Bitter Cup for “Male Feminists”

Drink hardy lads. Salon breaks the silence where the author writes about the reality of her basic nature versus her feminist instruction.  Anytime someone puts “I love I hate” in the title of their article there is real passion being felt (barring hyperbole).

“Male feminists” should read the article and take notes.  A woman will never feel for you the way this woman feels for Russian men.  They psychologically can’t and your cloying, servile, boot licking, obsequious, approval seeking can only generate contempt.  Grow a pair. Note also that her sharpest criticism for Russian men surrounds signs of neediness.

 It’s them never respecting that I have my own schedule and that I can’t exist exclusively around their time frame. It’s them calling me every hour to check up on where I am and what I ate, like a needy parole officer. It’s them taking a cup of coffee out of my hands as I’m about to sip it, chucking it into the trash, and saying, “That’s enough. You’ve had too much caffeine today.” I may have been born in Russia, and I may have two passports, but I grew up in New York, and no one gets between me and my coffee.

And after that she heartlessly drives her bilingual shiv into the male feminist heart.

And still, sometimes, when I’m in my egalitarian relationship with an American guy, and I’m freezing my ass off in a mini-skirt outside while being eyeballed by some pervert and my boyfriend is giving me the “You’re an independent woman and you can handle this yourself” look, I can’t help but long for the protective paws of a Russian man, can’t help but feel torn between what I learned at my feminist university and what I grew up with in my patriarchal community, can’t help but feel an internal battle between my rational beliefs and my emotional desires, and I think what every person thinks when they are frustrated with their love life: Man, my parents really fucked me up.

In the war between the animal brain and the neocortex, the animal brain wins every time.

Meshnets

This is a useful initiative.  What is to keep the FCC from simply writing a regulation that bans the activity once criminals start using it?  The many must be punished for the few. It would not surprise me:  Across the US, from Maryland to Seattle, work is underway to construct user-owned wireless networks that will permit secure communication without surveillance or any centralised organisation. They are known as meshnets and ultimately, if their designers get their way, they will span the country.

Renunciation & Separation

As long as things continue in the US as they are, especially in light of the IRS, NSA scandals, the intrusive, massive surveillance programs, and increasing taxes more people will renounce their citizenship as noted here. People want to be free and remain free. Frankly, I don’t want the government to protect me against low odds at all costs. I am far more likely to be hurt by a large multi-national corporation’s defective product than killed by a terrorist, more likely to die in car wreck, from a bee sting or struck by lightning. And even with this massive program they were unable to prevent what happened to Boston. Your billions in taxes don’t buy you much.  However, a health amount of personal wealth can purchase you an exit plan.

It should be unquestioned at this point that the Federal Reserve Banking system is a massive failure, that Congress and the President are disconnected from reality.  I am betting on reality, though and of course, pain. Perhaps, I should be betting on Russia as the depressingly named “Economic Collapse Blog” notes.

Then there is this.

Income Inequality Global Look

There is a post at  Zero Hedge that shows the current levels of income inequality world wide.  It is not typically what one would expect to find in competitive markets.  It is what one would expect to find in a rigged game.  There is a downside to rigging a game and that is eventually people stop playing, reality sets in and the whole thing collapses.  Nearly every period of asset inflation spurred on by government manipulation ended badly.  This will too.  It’s inevitable.  Now, I find nothing inherently wrong with inequality.  It’s how you arrive that counts.  I am not upset that some can run faster than me or are smarter.  What annoys me is when people are permitted to avoid the consequences of their actions via state intervention whether that is using welfare money for drugs or the financial industry bail outs.  It bothers me when people use the state to block competition and politicians help rich friends establish near monopolies.  Life is not fair and it never will be.

Note that in the video he sites the UN as a reliable source.  It is not.  They have a long record of numeric manipulation to drive their policy initiatives.  The UN is  one massive fraud at worst and a colossal waste of money at best.  One need only look at the climate change committee reports for recent examples.

One final note, the richest are rarely the same people year after year.  You can almost measure the health of an economy by how many move up and how many move down.  When the richest are not dethroned across generations you have a sick system.