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posted by Blackmoore on Friday December 05 2014, @06:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the room-101 dept.

Julian Assange writes in an op-ed in the NYT that we are living in a surveillance society where totalitarian surveillance is embodied in our governments and embedded in our economy, in our mundane uses of technology and in our everyday interactions. Companies like Google and Facebook are in the same business as the U.S. government’s National Security Agency says Assange and their business model is the industrial destruction of privacy. This destruction of privacy widens the existing power imbalance between the ruling factions and everyone else, leaving “the outlook for subject peoples and oppressed classes,” as Orwell wrote, “still more hopeless.”

According to Assange, the very concept of the Internet — a single, global, homogenous network that enmeshes the world — is the essence of a surveillance state. "The Internet was built in a surveillance-friendly way because governments and serious players in the commercial Internet wanted it that way. There were alternatives at every step of the way. They were ignored." But if there is a “democratic weapon,” that “gives claws to the weak” in George Orwell's words, it is cryptography. "It is cheap to produce: cryptographic software can be written on a home computer. It is even cheaper to spread: software can be copied in a way that physical objects cannot. But it is also insuperable — the mathematics at the heart of modern cryptography are sound, and can withstand the might of a superpower." It is too early to say whether the “democratizing” or the “tyrannical” side of the Internet will eventually win out says Assange. "But acknowledging them — and perceiving them as the field of struggle — is the first step toward acting effectively."

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Friday December 05 2014, @01:07PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Friday December 05 2014, @01:07PM (#122908)

    The rest of the world needs to ostracise the USA until they bring their government and corporations back under control.

    Right problem, but wrong solution. The rest of the world turning against America would only accelerate the slide into fascism, because the fears of the people are so easily exploited. In Serbia in 1999, president and war criminal Slobodan Milosovec [] was unpopular and barely clinging to power, until NATO started bombing. The Serbia rallied behind him. An external enemy only reinforces a tyrant's position, which is why the US government blathers about "terrorism" every ten seconds.

    A better solution would be internal reform through the democratic process. Some may scoff at that possibility but it has worked before: women's suffrage, the civil rights movement, the Freedom of Information Act. I'm coming to the belief that dropping out of the political process because it's too corrupt is *exactly* what the corrupt officials and their corporate patrons want you to do. To quit, to give up, and to naysay any grassroots political movement to discourage it before it can start. Cynicism serves the oppressor.

    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by cykros on Friday December 05 2014, @02:32PM

    by cykros (989) on Friday December 05 2014, @02:32PM (#122921)

    I'd have to agree about dropping out of the process being somewhat counterproductive. In my experience, the push to do so seems to come as a response to the rallyers urging people to get out and vote, slap some stickers on your car, and then go back to your day to day, and frankly, that's not really much better either.

    Get out, campaign for change, vote for change, and after election day, continue to serve as an agent of change. Either one of the extremes on its own simply serves the status quo. Oh, right, and for the love of god, vote for what you want, not against what you fear.

    • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Friday December 05 2014, @05:14PM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Friday December 05 2014, @05:14PM (#122969) Journal

      Do realize that stepping outside your allotted role makes you are a terrorist in the eyes of the government, and once you are branded as such, you can be tortured, black bagged, and/or disappeared.

  • (Score: 2) by rts008 on Friday December 05 2014, @04:01PM

    by rts008 (3001) on Friday December 05 2014, @04:01PM (#122948)

    The only real solution is getting money out of politics, not making it easier to buy congresscritters as is currently in fashion.

    I've been throwing my support behind [], and they are actually starting to show positive results.(not because of my support:)