Edward Snowden’s not the story. The fate of the internet is | Technology | The Guardian

The press has lost the plot over the Snowden revelations. The fact is that the net is finished as a global network, and that US firms’ cloud services cannot be trusted, writes John Naughton

Source: Edward Snowden’s not the story. The fate of the internet is | Technology | The Guardian

 

If businesses or governments think they might be spied on, they will have less reason to trust the cloud, and it will be cloud providers who ultimately miss out. Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets, if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes? Front or back door – it doesn’t matter – any smart person doesn’t want the information shared at all. Customers will act rationally and providers will miss out on a great opportunity.

— Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission

 

The real threat from terrorism is not the harm it inflicts directly but the over-reaction it provokes. We saw that with the invasion of Iraq. We’re seeing it with security-state overreach.

Source: Why NSA Surveillance Will Be More Damaging Than You Think | The Atlantic

Now That It’s in the Broadband Game, Google Flip-Flops on Network Neutrality | WIRED

In a dramatic about-face on a key internet issue yesterday, Google told the FCC that the network neutrality rules Google once championed don’t give citizens the right to run servers on their home broadband connections, and that the Google Fiber network is perfectly within its rights to prohibit customers from attaching the legal devices of their choice to its network.

the door is open for the FCC to show that it’s serious enough about the principle to take on its former corporate ally

Source: Now That It’s in the Broadband Game, Google Flip-Flops on Network Neutrality | WIRED

Online Privacy: How Did We Get Here? | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios – YouTube

As technology has evolved over the past two centuries, so have our expectations about privacy. This new digital world allows us to connect with each other with increasing ease, but it has also left our personal information readily available, and our privacy vulnerable. Cultural norms have pushed us all online, seemingly at the mercy of whatever terms of service are put before us. Cookies and tracking allow companies to collect limitless amounts of information about us, often more than we’d share with family and friends. And in the push for national security, the government has collected vast amounts of information as well, often without our knowledge. With the NSA leak reigniting this important debate, we take a closer look at the state of privacy in the digital age.

Are the Feds Asking Tech Companies for User Passwords? – The Atlantic

The secrecy surrounding the tactic, alleged by CNET sources, is as alarming as the potential abuses.

Even as the Obama Administration avows that it welcomes a civic debate about the surveillance state, it preemptively short-circuits citizens’ ability to assess and debate policy. It’s disingenuous, illiberal, anti-democratic, and imprudent. The notion that self-government, secret policy, and secret law can coexist is Obama’s folly, and the folly of his predecessors.

Source: Are the Feds Asking Tech Companies for User Passwords? – The Atlantic

 

Secret policy and secret law make for secret police and dictators.

A Shuffle of Aluminum, but to Banks, Pure Gold – NYTimes.com

The maneuvering in markets for oil, wheat, cotton, coffee and more have brought billions in profits to investment banks like Goldman, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, while forcing consumers to pay more every time they fill up a gas tank, flick on a light switch, open a beer or buy a cellphone.

Source: A Shuffle of Aluminum, but to Banks, Pure Gold – NYTimes.com

McDonald’s Can’t Figure Out How Its Workers Survive on Minimum Wage – The Atlantic

In a financial planning guide for its workers, the company accidentally illustrates precisely how impossible it is to scrape by on a fast food paycheck.

Of course, minimum wage workers aren’t really entirely on their own, especially if they have children. There are programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and the earned income tax credit to help them along. But that’s sort of the point. When large companies make profits by paying their workers unlivable wages, we end up subsidizing their bottom lines.

Source: McDonald’s Can’t Figure Out How Its Workers Survive on Minimum Wage – The Atlantic

Why ‘I Have Nothing to Hide’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance | WIRED

Many don’t understand why they should be concerned about surveillance if they have nothing to hide. It’s even less clear in the world of ‘oblique’ surveillance, given that apologists will always frame our use of information-gathering services like a mobile phone plan or Gmail as a choice. If everyone’s every action were being monitored, and everyone technically violates some obscure law at some time, then punishment becomes purely selective.

WE WON’T ALWAYS KNOW WHEN WE HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE

If the federal government had access to every email you’ve ever written and every phone call you’ve ever made, it’s almost certain that they could find something you’ve done which violates a provision in the 27,000 pages of federal statues or 10,000 administrative regulations.

Source: Why ‘I Have Nothing to Hide’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance | WIRED

Thurgood Marshall’s Prescient Warning: Don’t Gut the 4th Amendment – The Atlantic

His dissent in a 1989 case stated that “today’s decision will reduce the privacy all citizens may enjoy.” And so it has.

You’d think that avowedly originalist conservatives would embrace this dissent and contest the wisdom of a secret court that has gone even farther than the wrongheaded precedent set by a 1989 majority opinion. Instead, conservatives by and large argue that the FISA court’s decisions properly render legal the sweeping, warrantless surveillance being conducted on American citizens, without any hint of individualized suspicion. In doing so, conservatives are signing onto the notion that there are special, judicially created exceptions to the Bill of Rights. So are many Obama Administration supporters.

Source: Thurgood Marshall’s Prescient Warning: Don’t Gut the 4th Amendment – The Atlantic

 

But ultimately, today’s decision will reduce the privacy all citizens may enjoy, for, as Justice Holmes understood, principles of law, once bent, do not snap back easily. I dissent.

— Justice Thurgood Marshall

Tools For Treason | TechCrunch

Our rights are extended and limited by the tools we use. The Internet has magnified our capability for free speech, but has pared down the reasonable expectation of privacy.

if we are to start over again, the founding principle of our tools for communication cannot be the establishment of trust, but the impossibility of trust.

The trick is to treat every communication as a potential act of terrorism. After all, isn’t that how the NSA does it? For them, it’s an excuse; For us, it should be a method. Start there, and you can build a system that works. Start there, and you will be told that you are building tools for treason. You are. … But your tools are neither necessary nor sufficient for such atrocities. Every kitchen knife is sharp enough to cut your fellow man; every hammer is hard enough to split skulls; every car is fast enough to mow down pedestrians. They have to be to fulfill their purposes, and it’s the same here.

because freedom is the freedom to do wrong as well as right

Source: Tools For Treason | TechCrunch