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  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 7:06 pm on August 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , corporate surveillance, data harvesting, , , , ,   

    Judge Esther Salas – The Importance of Privacy 

    Today I watched a video of Judge Esther Salas, who’s son and husband were recently shot by an intruder at their home.
    The poor woman lost her son and her husband is still under intensive care in the hospital.

    Apparently the intruder dressed up as a delivery guy with a FedEx package.
    This intruder was later found dead in his car with a package addressed to the judge.
    He was an attorney, had a complete dossier on the judge and her family.

    Now, there are several conspiracy? videos on YouTube claiming that the judge was attacked because she did high profile cases and had taken on Epstein’s case.
    Since the judge herself hasn’t admitted any specific correlation between taking Epstein’s case and the attack at her home, I’m not going to pursue that lead.
    I’m not a crime detective so I prefer to stay out of the murk.
    Every time someone gets murdered, Hillary Clinton’s name comes up.
    How much money does Hillary Clinton have? It must cost a lot to hire all those hitmen.
    Anyway, Hillary Clinton and her crimes don’t concern me. If Trump didn’t throw her in jail, she must be innocent, right?
    I’ll leave that to the Democrats and Republicans to battle over.

    The judge talked about internet privacy. And that’s what this article is about.
    Esther mentioned that all the judges’ addresses and personal information is available online.
    But that’s not it.
    If you’re an adult living in America, there’s a 50% chance that your personal information is available online.
    There are numerous websites specifically dedicated to harvesting and publishing personal information.
    That information includes your full name, the names of all your family members, relatives, and associates, your address, your email, your phone numbers, your income and the list of all your previous known addresses.
    What I’m mentioning here are details that were readily available to me on open websites. And that’s without much digging.
    There are websites with a paywall that include details of criminal records, education, employment history, vehicle records and so much more.

    If someone doesn’t want to pay for that information, they can do a little digging themselves and gather pretty much everything they need by putting two and two together.
    There are websites that list the birthdays of celebrities. There are sites that list employment information and professional background e.g. LinkedIn. And of course, social media like Facebook and Twitter can provide the rest of the missing pieces.

    Now, most governments in the world are known to have some form of surveillance and they have detailed information about their citizens. But that information isn’t public. It is controlled by the government and accessible only by the government agencies.

    However, in the US, there are private companies that have set up websites that aggregate data about the population and provide them either for free or a minimal fee.
    The data business has thrived in the US. Marketers and data brokers are harvesting and selling personal information and making a profit from it.

    You won’t find these kind of publishing websites for any other country, especially India and China.
    The information is harvested, aggregated and sold among companies, but it’s kept secret. It’s not published for the general public.

    Now, will these types of websites pop up in the future? Probably.

    Imagine websites that catalogue the personal information of citizens of every country.
    That’s the future of online privacy.
    The US has proven to be a fertile testing lab for this type of privacy invasion.

    When your personal information is published online, it can be accessed by anybody. That compromises your privacy and safety. It’s easy to target someone and harm them when you have so much detailed information available online. All you need is a motive and a plan.

    I just watched a bunch of China videos by the YouTuber serpentza, where he describes the Chinese surveillance system and how he was constantly harassed by the cops and state officials for being a foreigner.
    Imagine constantly being followed by the state police who keep detailed logs of all your activities.
    Imagine how much harm these people can cause you if and when they have a motive.

    And this is the problem with surveillance and privacy. It’s not just online privacy but offline privacy that gets invaded. And you never know who might use that information against you. It could be some psychopath stranger, your colleague from work, your boss, your local cops or the government.
    Nobody can be trusted with your personal information.

    Most people aren’t concerned about privacy because they don’t care. They don’t think anyone could harm them with that information. Well, they’re wrong.
    You never know whom you might piss off and who may want to hurt you to take revenge.
    Even the most lovable folks have enemies. That’s just the way of the world.
    Better be safe than sorry.

     
  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 8:27 am on July 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ActivityPub, BBJ, , corporate surveillance, , email, federated, , Finger Protocol, , Gemini Protocol, geminispace, git, Gopher Protocol, gopherspace, IRC, , mailing lists, open source, phlog, plan, , programming, RSS, SFTP, SMTP, SSH, , Terminal, , Tildeverse, Unix, WebDAV, weechat   

    Tildeverse, Gopherspace and Geminispace 

    It’s been a while since my last article.
    I know I said I would post an article everyday for the month of July, but hey – I had a headache for a few days and then went exploring through the internet. And guess what I found?! It’s been totally worth the wait.

    Let’s start with Tildeverse.
    dun dun dunnnnn… boom! boom! Fireworks everywhere!
    Haha.
    Tildeverse is like the Fediverse but retro.
    Tildeverse is what the Fediverse would’ve looked like if it had been invented in the late 90’s.
    And I like it!
    How would I define the Fediverse? Open source, decentralized, federated social networks hosting different services that are integrated together by one protocol – ActivityPub. Phew! Did I nail it or what?

    Now the Tildeverse has some similarities with the Fediverse, and some differences.
    First of all, there is no single unifying protocol; BUT, there is the Terminal! Oh yeah!
    While exploring the Tildeverse, I discovered the use of SSH, SFTP, Gopher, Gemini, HTTP, IRC, Finger, SMTP, RSS, SIP, ActivityPub and even WebDAV! Is this cool or what?
    I think it is!

    Now, if I examine the Fediverse in a similar light, it also uses several different protocols, but the ActivityPub is the main unifying protocol.

    So what is the tildeverse? It is a collection of communities just like the Fediverse. But they’re all centered around one thing – *nix. That is, Linux, Unix, and BSD.
    Each community has a shared Linux system that users can log into via SSH and do various things like programming, creating web pages, play games, chat on IRC, read and send emails, browse and post on Bulletin Boards(Bulletin Butter & Jelly/BBJ), mailing lists, ttbp(tilde town blogging platform)/feels, ttrv(tilde town reddit viewer), use the finger protocol (for lack of better words), use git repositories and so on.
    Each community offers a given number of services, so don’t expect a server to have all services.

    Then there’s tilderadio, a really cool radio station.

    I like it. Tildeverse is sort of like an underground network of communities free from corporate spying, marketing and advertising.

    Okay. The Gopher protocol.
    This is a protocol that preceded the www in the early 90’s when computer resources were still quite minimal. The approach is simple, minimalistic and very resource efficient.
    Unfortunately due to corporate bureaucracy, the HTTP took off, and Gopher was slowly killed due to the lack of support by newer clients.

    As a 90’s kid, I’d never heard of Gopher until I stumbled onto Tildeverse. Then I came across Tomasino’s YouTube video explaining the Gopher Protocol and a few minutes in, I had to go explore it myself and do my own research.

    The Gopher protocol is mainly used for text based websites, though there are options for documents and images as well.

    To my surprise, there are actually hundreds of Gopherspaces existing underground, with thousands of users scattered across the globe.

    The Tildeverse refers to these sites as gopherholes while the rest of the Gopher community refer to them as gopherspaces. I like the sound of gopherspace. Gopherhole sounds like some garbage pit in the jungle.

    If you want to search for gopher sites, there’s the Veronica search engine which has a HTTP proxy if you’re using a regular Browser. I checked it out and it works pretty well.

    I spent two days setting up my own gopherspace.
    And then I came across the Gemini protocol.

    Now, the Gemini Protocol is a new protocol similar to the Gopher protocol that adds privacy and supports MIME and TLS.
    Essentially, the Gemini Protocol brushes up the shortcomings of the Gopher Protocol.

    Even though the protocol is new, there are already a few communities providing Gemini hosting. That’s nice.

    If you want to search for gemini sites, there’s the Gus and Houston search engines, as well as aggregators that show recently updated sites.

    I’ve yet to set up my own Geminispace, but I’m looking forward to it.

    Okay. There’s a lot more that could be said that I can’t remember or have yet to discover.
    But this article pretty much summarizes everything that I’ve learned so far.

    Personally, this is my alternative to SSB. Ever since my terrible experience with Secure Scuttlebutt, I’ve constantly been on the lookout for a viable replacement.
    This is it.

    Gemini and Gopher are low-resource, minimalistic and quite private.
    Anyway, as far as privacy is concerned, it’s quite a relative subject. How do you want your privacy to be implemented? Who do you want to access your information? Whom do you want to protect your information from?

    Using Gopher, I don’t have to sync several Gigs of data in a span of a few weeks of casual usage. Neither do I have to worry about my slow CPU throttling and crapping itself because of one application.

    I’ve downloaded and tested several gopher clients and all of them work flawlessly. Wish that could be said of the SSB clients.

    The only drawback for Gopher and Gemini is that there are no mobile clients.
    And I’m currently wondering if I could use a Terminal on Android to access gopher and gemini sites.
    Well, that remains to be seen.
    I’m not particularly worried about it though, as I’ve limited my use of phone to surf the web, browse 4chan, Reddit and HackerNews and set my alarm clock.

     
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