Privacy is een functie van veiligheid

– Dit blog verscheen eerder bij Data denkers, een site van het Rathenau Instituut. –Deze week bleek dat zelfs de mobiele telefoon van Angela Merkel wellicht doel was van de aftappraktijken van de NSA. Douwe Schmidt vraagt zich af of het opgeven van onze privacy wel daadwerkelijk bijdraagt aan een veiligere samenleving, en waar wij met onze digitale bezigheden allemaal zonder te denken data achterlaten.

Sinds 2009 blog ik. Een kleine en krimpende minderheid van mijn lezers heeft geen Facebook. Bijna één op de zes wereldburgers heeft tegenwoordig een account. Het meest populaire netwerk ter wereld is sinds augustus 2013 meer dan 100 miljard dollar waard door al die miljarden uren die de gebruikers op het netwerk doorbrengen. De wereld heeft voor meer dan 100 miljard dollar gratis arbeid geleverd aan het datahandeltje van Mark Zuckerberg. Deze data wordt doorverkocht aan de hoogste bieder. Of gratis aan de overheid gegeven. Als dank hiervoor hebben we een blauwe like-knop op elke webpagina en inzicht in de meest onnozele kanten van onze vrienden. Thanx Mark. De minderheid die niet op Facebook zit is zo gek nog niet.

Continue reading Privacy is een functie van veiligheid

Quantifying yourself without giving it all away

One new project just cropped up in my mind: I’d like to quantify myself more. You know, keep track of my sleeping and moving patters so I can learn and improve them.

But all the stuff I find online, by Nike or by Fitbit, requires you to register online and compare results and blah blah blah; send all your data all over the place and god knows where!

I don’t want that! If I have to pay a steep €100,- for some plastic wristband I don’t want to pay again with my data. So, where are the privacy aware self quantifiers?

Looking forward to hear from you.

Why Glenn Greenwald’s new media venture is a big deal

There’s too much information out there for most people to pay attention to, let alone figure out whether they believe it or not. Hence, most people rely on other institutions such as media organizations to tell them which information is worth caring about. Not only do people not pay much attention to information until it gets the stamp of approval from some authoritative institution, but this information is transformed, because everybody knows that everybody else is paying attention to it. It stops being mere information, and becomes knowledge — generally accepted facts that people use to build their understanding of what everybody knows about politics.

via Why Glenn Greenwald’s new media venture is a big deal.

Emancipation of the Internet

Technology is the language of modern communication, we all have to learn it, guard it, and rediscover its beauty as we’d do when reading an old book.

The Internet is the embodiment of our freedom. Programmers can straighten up its spine and we, the security geeks, can strengthen it.

You, my friend, are the muscle to operate it.

via Emancipation of the Internet — Medium.

A case for the ban-opticon by F. Stalder

From the Nettime mailinglist came this post which I want to remember and therefore post on my blog. It was written in reaction to a link posted by P. Riemens:

Thanks to the author Felix Stalder

The concept of the panopticon has been very popular ever since Foucault
elevated it to the rank of a central metaphor for modernity in
“Discipline and Punishment” (1975). And the NSA revelations seem to
confirm its usefulness once again.

But I think this is mistaken. We are not living in a panoptic world at
all, at least not in the Bentham/Foucault sense of the term (is there
any other?).

I follow here largely Zygmunt Bauman, one of the last negative thinkers
in the European tradition. He makes two arguments against in this regard:

First: “Today’s Big Brother is not about keeping people in and making
them stick to the line, but about kicking people out and making sure
that when they are kicked out that they will duly go and won’t come back.”

And, more importantly, Bauman argues, power hates the
responsibility/costs that comes with being a prison guard / running a
prison (assuming they have not been turned into a source of profit).
They don’t want to be tied down, together with the inmates. They want
to be mobile, weightless and separate.

So surveillance has been decentralized and turned into task performed
by the prison inmates themselves, and make into a precondition for
staying inside: think credit ratings, facebook friends, google ranks
etc. You have to make yourself continuously and actively available for
surveillance, provide your own data, in your own time and at your own
costs, in order to avoid big brother to jump into action and kick you

Some people are using the concept of “ban-opticon” to express this.