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January 20, 2006


Don Dodge

Tim, I think you have missed the points. The first point is write your email as if it were copied to your boss, your competitor, or your spouse. The second point is to keep your personal activities off your employers computers. The overall point is to conduct your life as if you were being observed...because you probably are. Once you understand that everything becomes easy...not depressing.


What would happen if all those emails you wrote at napster would have been encrypted in say PGP? Would you be forced to give up your personal key to decode the messages?

Don Dodge

Barry, that is an excellent question. I don't know but I suspect we would be required to hand over the keys. It is after all a court subpoena. They can confiscate your computer, office files, phone records, or anything else they want. They can require a deposition, and can jail you if you don't comply. So, yes, I am pretty sure you would be required to hand over any keys and passwords.


I think we also have to reflect on the traditional environment, pre internet. Everything is visible and observable there too, and we have become used to that. Internet is just new, and being electronic, trackable in every minutiae.
I would add to Don's list one more - do not change your behaviour patterns - its ok to be tracked and their might even be advantages in the future such as proof that you did NOT do something or other.
I like the word transparency in this context, and transparency is what will help us retain our freedoms.


I may be being a little naive here, but assuming that we only ever had the perception of privacy in the first place, isn't the real problem that we're being watched, but we're not watching ourselves?

To my mind, it isn't so much that someone who doesn't have your best interest at heart is watching you and taking notes; it's that you, while being observed, aren't keeping your own set of notes. In that situation, you have no means of rebutting the information that may have been collected. And let's be honest, if the collected info isn't damning enough, someone will make something up to make it look bad, if they want you badly enough.

The cynic in me believes that should the government find the need to manufacture details about where I have been and what I have done, they will. So that they are watching me, doesn't really phase me.

What matters is that when someone attempts to use details about me against me, I have material with which to counter the attack. I have my own records of where I was and what I did, safely put away somewhere.

It may sound paranoid, but BCCing myself on my email, keeping logs of my IMs, and backing it all up eases my mind. And I know someone out there in Web 2.0-land is thinking about this problem, and is going to offer a solution to it.

Heck, maybe it should be me.

Christine Scharfen

We profit form new technologies.
We can easy get a lot of information out of our computers, transfer money at 12 in the night, send letters and photos in seconds
or feel a bit more safe in places that are observed by video cameras.
But on the other hand we can´t prevent from getting caught step by step in the digital world. Small post offices get closed,
Bank-companies reduce their counters,
video cameras are installed on big places and shops, without internet it was hard do get a footballticket for the WM 2006 .
and with GPS and Tollcollect “Big Brother” is able to safe all informations about our moovings. What we need is an international, neutral comission to controll the system
and prevent it from abuse.
And who controlls this comission ?….
Christine, Germany

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