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[wlug] On Internet Privacy, Be Very Afraid

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Peter Reutemann fracpete@w...
Wed Aug 30 09:06:21 NZST 2017

'Cybersecurity expert and Berkman Klein fellow Bruce Schneier talked
to the Gazette about what consumers can do to protect themselves from
government and corporate surveillance. From the interview:

GAZETTE: After whistleblower Edward Snowden's revelations concerning
the National Security Agency's (NSA) mass surveillance operation in
2013, how much has the government landscape in this field changed?
SCHNEIER: Snowden's revelations made people aware of what was
happening, but little changed as a result. The USA Freedom Act
resulted in some minor changes in one particular government
data-collection program. The NSA's data collection hasn't changed; the
laws limiting what the NSA can do haven't changed; the technology that
permits them to do it hasn't changed. It's pretty much the same.
GAZETTE: Should consumers be alarmed by this?
SCHNEIER: People should be alarmed, both as consumers and as citizens.
But today, what we care about is very dependent on what is in the news
at the moment, and right now surveillance is not in the news. It was
not an issue in the 2016 election, and by and large isn't something
that legislators are willing to make a stand on. Snowden told his
story, Congress passed a new law in response, and people moved on.
GAZETTE: What about corporate surveillance? How pervasive is it?
SCHNEIER: Surveillance is the business model of the internet. Everyone
is under constant surveillance by many companies, ranging from social
networks like Facebook to cellphone providers. This data is collected,
compiled, analyzed, and used to try to sell us stuff. Personalized
advertising is how these companies make money, and is why so much of
the internet is free to users. We're the product, not the customer.'

-- source:

Cheers, Peter
Peter Reutemann
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Waikato, NZ
+64 (7) 858-5174

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