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posted by martyb on Monday June 13 2016, @11:13AM   Printer-friendly
from the going-fishing dept.


Speaking at the Decentralized Web Summit conference in San Francisco run by the Internet Archive, the engineer [Inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee] joined other internet notables including "father of the internet" Vint Cerf and Mozilla head Mitchell Baker in discussing how to strengthen the open internet as well as ensure its contents are retained over time.

"The web is already decentralized," Berners-Lee told attendees. "The problem is the dominance of one search engine, one social network, one Twitter for micro-blogging. We don't have a technology problem; we have a social problem."

[...] founder of the Internet Archive, Brewster Kahle: "Edward Snowden showed we've inadvertently built the world's largest surveillance network with the web. We have the ability to change all that."

The conference featured the developers of many tools that aim to retain the internet's decentralized nature, such as Blockstack, Ethereum, Interledger, IPFS and others.

It's not just the World Wide Web, it's the entire internet: your phone reports on your location at all times, apps on it flush contents of your phone to the owners of the app, almost all websites do some sort of tracking (most of them using Google Analytics), e-mail providers happily hand over anything to anyone asking, and the rest is vacuumed up automatically by the NSA.

So with that in mind: how are Soylentils protecting themselves online aside from the usual (i.e. not running javascript or 'use a VPN')?

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  • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Monday June 13 2016, @03:19PM

    by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 13 2016, @03:19PM (#359380)

    > the location was limited to the cell tower where it could find you, for technical reasons.

    Er, no. For technical reasons it was a lot less limited than that:

    a) the towers always have multiple antennas, therefore the tower and the direction are known - it may only be a 120deg arc, but that is still three times better than which tower
    b) range from the tower can be estimated from transmission time (my educated guess is this is less accurate in built-up areas due to buildings causing multi-path interference)
    c) you will often be in range of more than one cell tower (esp. in built-up areas), and as the networks have built out this has become more and more often, this allows for triangulation

    My last phone had no GPS, it could still get usually my location down to half km or better, typically dropping to 2km in rural areas.
    Also worth noting that they can easily tell from cell signal if you are moving and in which direction.

    GPS is a better locator, sure, with GPS they know which road you are driving on and if you are breaking the speed limit, but just from the cell system they already knew which area of the city you were in and when and which direction you were going when you left.

    If this bothers you (or if you think it is not worth the benefits of the cell phone system) then use burner phones, turn them on only intermittently, and burn them, often.
    Or just stay the f*** on the far side of the moon, which should be good for avoiding surveillance for another few years...

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