I've been watching the Jason Bourne movie series, and I noticed they depict increasingly creepy surveillance capabilities (although our favorite protagonists never fail to outrun and outsmart the intelligence agencies).

The movies depict the facility to tap any phone, camera, computer in the world but they precede the Snowden leaks by several years.

Was it exaggeration for fictional convenience? Or did the public already suspect the global dragnet at that time such that the writers extrapolated easily?



No exaggeration. Siemens and Xerox have been backdoored since pre-digital days. All printers. All international cables. etc.

@hhardy01 @uranther Just read how the British intercepted the Zimmermann Telegram in 1917 (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimmerma). The international cable surveillance is literately started 100 years ago.

One of the big Snowden revelations was that US citizens are being surveilled too, and not just suspected criminals but mom-and-pop.

The panopticon effect was bolstered with recent advances in technology, i.e. big data. So what seemed implausible and impractical before (maybe in the 90s) now is just a search query away.

Well, people nowadays still don't encrypt their comms, and still see no problem with Facebook.

@niconiconi @hhardy01 @h3artbl33d @bob @Shufei @h @saxnot @drwho @princessgentoo @jerry

We're all just eager and happy to hand over every personal and private detail of our entire existence. The stasi wouldn't dare to dream about such a gigantic database that (almost) every citizen in this world adds to without giving it a secomd thought. We're fucked. Humanity is fucked.

@niconiconi @hhardy01 @bob @Shufei @h @saxnot @drwho @princessgentoo @jerry

@h3artbl33d @jerry @princessgentoo @drwho @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi @uranther

I don't think so, because the era of "everyone in a big database" will end eventually. Partly for social reasons. Partly because there will be a future war in which the big data warehouses are all destroyed in the initial "shock and awe" phase, then people will realize that location of data matters.
@uranther @niconiconi @hhardy01 @Shufei @h @saxnot @drwho @princessgentoo @jerry @h3artbl33d

Above ground and highly vulnerable to attack from the air. In the not too future every nation state and some other organizations will have drones capable of delivering conventional kinetic strikes against targets half way around the globe.

I expect that Utah facility is modelled upon similar ones used by Amazon and Facebook.
@h3artbl33d @jerry @princessgentoo @drwho @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi @uranther

It wouldn't, but other data warehouses are similar and the loss of those would be catastrophic to the current digital economy which is based around centralised database systems.
@h3artbl33d @jerry @princessgentoo @drwho @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi @uranther

One thing about decentralization is that it's not just the design of the software which matters but also the physical distribution of data.

Exactly the reason I use decentralized apps and infrastructure whenever possible. I don't use anything by FB, Amazon/AWS, Google, Microsoft, CloudFlare and others.

The only exceptions are Signal, AOSP (Android - without Google) and Plex. The latter one is going to be replaced by Emby on short term.

@jerry @princessgentoo @drwho @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi @uranther


@bob @h3artbl33d @jerry @princessgentoo @drwho @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi

Their budget was probably strapped so they lift-and-shift on commercial data center design. I figured by this point they're not trying to hide it because they don't need to - the public still doesn't bat an eye.

@bob @uranther @niconiconi @hhardy01 @Shufei @h @saxnot @princessgentoo @jerry @h3artbl33d Other way around. Private sector data facilities have been using the security requirements for hardened data centers since the days of the Rainbow Books.

Did you know that, some time ago, the Utah facility had 700GB storage per breathing human - worldwide? It is scary.
@bob @jerry @princessgentoo @drwho @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi

@h3artbl33d @uranther @bob @jerry @princessgentoo @drwho @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 source? I once made an estimation of the data storage capabilities but cannot find the exact numbers.

@h3artbl33d @uranther @bob @jerry @princessgentoo @drwho @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 But one thing is certain - once a practical quantum computer has been built, every piece of encrypted data transmitted through the modern Internet will be decrypted... 😱😱😱

Except for those experimental communications encrypted by one of the PQC candidate algorithm.

@h3artbl33d @uranther @bob @jerry @princessgentoo @drwho @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 It doesn't matter if the Internet community managed to deploy a working PQC solution within five years - well, it would be great. But it doesn't make any difference for the previous encrypted data which already transmitted.

This is exactly the reason why I advice against using the blockchain. Whomever thought it would be a good idea encrypting data and syncing it up in a way that is impossible to pull offline once it's there, deserves a slap in the face.

Once the encryption is broken, shit is really going to hit the fan.

@uranther @bob @jerry @princessgentoo @drwho @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01


Mankind is unfortunately rather reactive - as opposed to proactive. The FB-gate happened, but no thought is given on a party like Google - which has even more data about users/citizens.

I really do hope you are right, but right now I am a bit more pessimistic.

@jerry @princessgentoo @drwho @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi @uranther

@h3artbl33d @bob @jerry @princessgentoo @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi @uranther I think thought is being given, but few want to find out what the big G will do when its users start bailing in droves. At the very least, Google is one of the biggest identity providers out there.

My personal opinion: we all have responsibilities. Hackers, tech enthousiasts, privacy fundamentalists in this area. By educating and informing friends, family and beloved ones, we can -at least- make a start and open dialogue. An advice like using Piwik/Matomo takes very little effort and might go a long way.

@bob @jerry @princessgentoo @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi @uranther

@h3artbl33d @bob @jerry @princessgentoo @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi @uranther It's a good way to get a co-op going.

"I can run $foo for all of you to use," where $foo is Piwik, Bolt, Wordpress, Etherpad, whatever.

Someone else says "I can run $bar for all of you to use."

And so on.

We shouldn't compete if the endgame is taking back privacy. Nor should we force products and services on users, but rather educate them so they can make their own choice.

Misinformation, FUD and fanboyism only has losers in the long run.

@bob @jerry @princessgentoo @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi @uranther

@h3artbl33d @bob @jerry @princessgentoo @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi @uranther I don't think of it as competition. It's making offers to people within the first one or two jumps of the social graph - I want to help, I'll run this thing you might find useful for you. Maybe it's more like running stuff for family.

Or maybe I'm just assuming too much about how social graphs work these days, which is entirely possible.


It is a difficult discussion. The people close to me, care about privacy. Unfortunately, that doesn't represent others.

I've setup decentralized services (like NextCloud, Searx, hosting) - that I offer to beloved ones for free. For me, it is more important that their privacy is respected than my earnings.

@bob @jerry @princessgentoo @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi @uranther

@h3artbl33d @bob @jerry @princessgentoo @saxnot @h @Shufei @hhardy01 @niconiconi @uranther I have done something very similar, granting them access to some parts of my exocortex. Whether or not they choose to use that access is a different matter entirely.

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