Monday, June 10, 2013

An Expectation of Privacy

Grow the fuck up.

What I write for dissemination on the lovely little media called the internet has no chance of being “private”.  This goes for e-mail, blogs, FaceBook (were I sufficiently puerile to want to join such a circle jerk) Skype, Twitter, etc., etc., etc.

Phone conversations are a completely different story altogether.  Though that thought is continually eroded by the headlong rush into internet telephony and other means of communication over the Internet.   I am still mulling this one.  It appears that he case law and the wiretapping laws when applied to twisted pair wire lines is pretty damn well established.

My big trouble is that when I hear the “privacy advocates” get all up in a twist about their “rights” being infringed, I want to laugh out loud.   Especially when it comes to written words on the internet.

But let us get this straight, I am not supporting the intrusion of a state into private affairs of it’s citizens. 
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.[1]
But the other side of the issue is that the technology profile of the Internet is such that there can never be an expectation of privacy, any more than there is an expectation of privacy when having a physical conversation in a public space.

What we have now is a bunch of technical morons wanting something that the medium cannot provide.  The physical act of connecting your computer to the internet makes it de facto insecure.  Writing something, then sending it over the internet is roughly akin to:
  1. scratching out a note on a piece of paper,
  2. folding it in half
  3. writing a name and address on the outside of the sheet
  4. handing it to the first guy passing you on the street and telling him to hand it to the next guy he sees until someone sees fit to drop it off at the address and name on the note.
Look, say what you want on the net.  I have spoken on any number of things and put it up for all to see on the internet.  I have written things and stored them on servers, I have written confidential e-mails.  I have never expected for even a second that these things were secure.  I have even gone down the anonymous paranoid path with TOR and Tails.  But when I look at the physical structure of the seven layers of the OSI model, there is only one (the physical layer) that is not imminently insecure.  So I said fuck it.

What you say on the internet, even in secure/encrypted/trusted sites is public.  The internet is a public space.  If you write something and publish it in any form on the internet, it is subject to being read by any number of actors.  You wanting to be “private” in your internet ravings is not a reasonable expectation.

If you want privacy, go have a face to face in the woods somewhere.

File:William Hogarth - John Wilkes, Esq.png

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