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posted by takyon on Monday December 10 2018, @04:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the giant-leap dept.

Aral Balkan has a blog post about taking small steps to end surveillance capitalism. In particular he focuses on the need for federated services. He points out that the move to re-decentralize the WWW is difficult and needs to start at the beginning, using a comparison of Apple's original computers to their latest generation of tablets as an illustration.

Five years ago, when I decided to devote myself to tackling the problem of surveillance capitalism, it was clear what we needed: convenient and beautiful ethical everyday things that provide seamless experiences1 on fully free-as-in-freedom stacks.

This is as true today as it was then and it will remain so. The only way to compete with unethical products built by organisations that have control over hardware + software + services is to create ethical organisations that have control over hardware + software + services and thus have at least the possibility to craft competitive experiences. We remove our eyes from this goal at our peril.

Related: Tim Berners-Lee Launches Inrupt, Aims to Create a Decentralized Web


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Monday December 10 2018, @08:06PM (19 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Monday December 10 2018, @08:06PM (#772530)

    Let's get that dictionary: LOLROFLLMOAWTFBBQ ! (did I do it right?)

    The US government has just allowed surveillance to move all the way to the edge. Your giant ISP can now spy on you at will, block you from using VPNs, MITM your encryption, and ISP alternates are being roadblocked. That's not all in place, but the decisions have been put in place by Verizonthe FCC. Just cranking the temp on the frog, now.
    Your giant ISP is (or will soon be) part of a giant conglomerate. No escape.

    To the paranoid upthread about the government : The government knows about you. Everything already (optionally, it knows more after asking, but if it wants, it knows). Yet, it actually doesn't care about your puny little secrets. You're not important to the government, you're just one more person, who on average alternatively votes for or against the people in power. But if you're posting your government hate on SN, you're classified as mostly harmless.
    The corporations want to know more than the government, and want to actively manipulate you to squezze as much of your cash as they can. Stop fearing the wrong enemy.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @08:30PM (14 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @08:30PM (#772542)

    That's why corporations love working as government contractors; it gives them access to that gun-backed cash grab.

    Otherwise, they have to convince people to trade.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday December 11 2018, @12:33AM (10 children)

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 11 2018, @12:33AM (#772669) Journal

      Daily reminder that your worldview's fatal flaw is assuming government and business don't overlap. Get either one strong enough, and they become the same thing. And I'm gonna keep pushing this in your ignorant fucking face until you get it.

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @01:52AM (9 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @01:52AM (#772710)

        It is YOUR world view that ignores the problem with a monopoly, especially a monopoly that is violently imposed (e.g., the one you call "government").

        Thank the gods that there has never been One World Government; it is the competition between nation states that has saved our planet from global tyranny, and that's even despite the fact that nation states have an utter lack of respect for capitalism or the rights of the individual.

        I'll borrow your phrase: "I'm gonna keep pushing this in your ignorant fucking face until you get it."

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @02:05AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @02:05AM (#772714)

          Do you think that the nation-state system is compatible with anarcho-capitalism? To put it a different way, if we implemented anarcho-capitalism tomorrow, would we still have national boundaries?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @07:06AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @07:06AM (#772781)

            The owners of "private" property tend not to like trespassing.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday December 11 2018, @04:54PM (6 children)

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 11 2018, @04:54PM (#772937) Journal

          And what exactly do you think capitalism + globalism is leading up to? You don't get it: government is not a first-order phenomenon. It emerges from sufficient centralization of power, wealth, and resources. Government and business are two forms of the same thing when they get powerful enough.

          --
          I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12 2018, @09:29PM (5 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12 2018, @09:29PM (#773693)

            Getting out of the failure state is removing coercion (i.e., taxation); well, that's the [probably asymptotic] ideal.

            Staying out of the failure state is achieved by competition.

            Competition is maintained by establishing self-reinforcing, "anti-fragile", decentralized protocols for interaction.

            Good centralization is then just a local efficiency in the solution space, and when a centralization goes bad, then participants can fall back on the underlying decentralized protocols so as to abandon that centralization and then create a new one. Spend your time figuring out how to make this description actionable.

            • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday December 13 2018, @01:55AM (4 children)

              by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 13 2018, @01:55AM (#773834) Journal

              Enough centralization will ensure that people can *not* fall back on decentralized protocols, as you put it. That's my point. For all that you insist on saying "men are not angels" at every turn, you assume far more angelic and intellectual capabilities of humanity than I do. Does that make me a tab Hobbesian? Perhaps so.

              --
              I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13 2018, @02:54AM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13 2018, @02:54AM (#773856)

                The worse mankind is, the dumber your approach is.

                • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday December 13 2018, @03:44AM (2 children)

                  by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 13 2018, @03:44AM (#773875) Journal

                  Still waiting for you to show me the foolproof contract-enforcement system in the absence of government of some description. Until you can produce one, your entire worldview is moot, based on falsehood. I know that stings, but it's the truth.

                  --
                  I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13 2018, @01:40PM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13 2018, @01:40PM (#773948)
                    • Straw Man. What I describe doesn't require perfection; it doesn't require being "foolproof". Quite the opposite in fact: As an iterative process, it assumes that foolproofery is at best an asymptotic ideal.
                    • No True Scotsman. No matter how close to that ideal one could get, you'd still cry out "But that's not TRUE foolproofery! That's not TRUE freedom!"

                    The point remains: Your system is the failure mode of my system; that makes my system inherently better than your system, which is why history has Civilization slipping, though kicking and screaming in defiance, towards evermore Capitalism.

                    • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday December 13 2018, @05:27PM

                      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 13 2018, @05:27PM (#774033) Journal

                      Again: until you can provide us a foolproof contract-enforcement system, government of some form is necessary. Until you do, you're blowing bullshit bubbles.

                      --
                      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @01:57AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @01:57AM (#772712)

      I do not envy the task Azuma has set before herself.

      To your credit, you are the one person who was capable, though our debates, of helping me realize the inherent contradictions of capitalism; spend some quality time with Marx, Engels, and Trotsky; and move on from libertarianism to socialism.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @03:46AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @03:46AM (#772742)

        More reading material:

        https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/360 [gutenberg.org]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @05:00AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @05:00AM (#772753)

          Fair enough. The anarchists came up during my reading on the Russian Revolution.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by shortscreen on Monday December 10 2018, @08:45PM (3 children)

    by shortscreen (2252) on Monday December 10 2018, @08:45PM (#772556) Journal

    Might as well beware of both, because government and corporations are joined at the hip. We just had the story about "Amazon" Cuomo handing out a billion $ tax credit to Bezos. And Trump's first argument in favor of the Sauds is that they buy weapons from Lockheed/Northrop/etc. Let's also not forget about for-profit prisons, companies that install red-light cameras and take a cut of the fines, and banks with perpetual bailouts.

    • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Monday December 10 2018, @09:17PM (2 children)

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday December 10 2018, @09:17PM (#772572) Journal

      companies that install red-light cameras and take a cut of the fines

      And here's a perfect example on how to fight back [thenewspaper.com]. Power to the People!

      --
      Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @01:44AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @01:44AM (#772707)

        Reading that made me want to drive over and punch the Governer in the face. After the referendum had a huge majority wanting to get rid of the cameras, the prick decides to veto the change due to the significant revenue it brings in. Seriously, how is that clown still in office.