Freedom and the internet

There are two parts to this assignment. Both parts are due by Wed, Feb 4th, by noon.

Part 1:


“Boing Boing co-editor and sci-fi author Cory Doctorow explains the idea behind his novel Little Brother, which he describes as “related” to George Orwell’s 1984 in that both explore similar themes of technology and control. Although Doctorow argues that Orwell may have underestimated the ability of technology to empower individuals, he warns that future technologies may allow governments more control over their citizens — and parents more control over their children — than ever before.”

Assignment: Watch the video and write a 300 word reflection piece. What’s one thing about which Doctorow strikes you as clearly right? What’s one thing about which you think he’s wrong? What’s one question you’re left with at the end? Give examples and reasons.

Part 2:

TED talk

Technoblogger, activist, and science fiction writer Cory Doctorow talks about three things: 1. The internet is broken. 2. We can fix it. 3. This is not a foregone conclusion.

Assignment: Watch the video and write a response piece explaining why he thinks the internet is broken and how we can fix it. On what does fixing it depend? 200 words.

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16 thoughts on “Freedom and the internet

  1. Elizabeth Ellis says:

    Part 1: The video on Doctorow talks about important issues such as authority, control and freedom. Doctorow talks about how since September 11th he feels that that freedom and rights have really lost track. Before the government had control over citizens but not in the same way, people were able to slip through the cracks as Doctorow says. Now, this is almost impossible because technology gives authorities more power. I agree with Doctorow in the fact that with technology there is less freedom because everything that is on the Internet is for everyone to see and this can be controlled. For example, when he mentions that every library and most parents have censored applications to protect their kids but the companies send information to advertisers. I think that what Doctorow does not talk about is the fact that everything on the internet is there for everyone to see and by this, information is everywhere there is an overload of information and this can be sent to everyone. What Doctorow does not mention is how much control, or how much of our personal lives does the government or authorities have power over? This is the question I was left with in the end. If authorities can access our information and use it as their own, should we be freely posting everything about our lives online when we know this will or can be taken. One thing that I think is wrong with this short video is that Doctorow does not mention the positives of having authority control citizens with the use of technology because this has been shown to be useful, for example with the children having location real time for their children, yes this is an evasion of privacy but this could help if the child ever goes missing. There are positives and negatives to the fact that authorities can have more power and control over someone, but I’m not sure which outweighs or if this can even be stopped.

    Part 2: Doctorow thinks that the Internet is broken; it knows everything we do, who all your friends are, where you go. Everything is in arbitrary interpretation and we have to be accountable for everything, singled out. Doctorow brings up privacy issues about passwords and credit cards being taken for information. He talks about how we can fix it by making security stuff easy to use because right now “normal” people cannot use it. People need to know that computers can carry flaws. To crack a system you have to find a flaw, so if you want to stop people from breaking digital locks you wont be able to do it until you criminalize people for talking about flaws in digital locks. He ends by talking about how there will be computers who betray their owners, giving examples of computers as 3D printers and self driving cars, their computer flaws will not be disclosed. There should never be a reason to stop everything from knowing how their computers work and how it is broken. I agree with this because so many people do not understand the risks in technology because these flaws are not being advertised, the magical abilities are what we see in advertisements and this is problem.

  2. Nathan Fabiano says:

    Part 1:
    In this video, Cory Doctrow discusses the current state of technology. According to Doctrow, the ‘global effect’ of technology is to upset what is currently considered as normal. Thus where before it was normal for humans to enjoy freedom on the Internet, technology has now multiplied the power of the state, moving us towards a world full of censorship. Doctrow, however, asserts that this control by the state will be demolished. He believes that the seeds have been planted for another generation to bring us back the freedom we have before.
    One thing about Doctrow which strikes me as clearly right is his claim that technology has multiplied the power of the state. Ever since Edward Snowdon’s leaks, we are now aware that the state is using technology as a form of mass surveillance. Technology has made it easier for the state to obtain information about us (ie. looking at our search history), and even watch over us. As this is so, I believe Doctrow was right in asserting that technology has multiplied the power of the state.
    However, I think that Doctrow is wrong in asserting that another generation will bring us back to the freedom we had before. As the state becomes more knowledgeable with technology, I am of the belief that they will be able to find ways to prevent people from doing this. It seems almost as if the NSA knows one’s every move, and thus would be able to detect any attempt to destabilize the states current technological power.
    I am left with the question “Ought we go back to the freedom we had before, or just ensure the state uses this power for the people, and not against; could the states current technological power not serve to benefit the state and its citizens (ie. collecting Intel on domestic terrorists)”?

    Part 2:
    In this TEDtalk, Doctrow asserts three things: that the Internet is broken, that we can fix it, and that this is not a foregone conclusion.
    Doctrow believes that the Internet is broken because currently we are witnessing many instances of the Internet being used against the people. He states that as Snowdon has shown that the government made the Internet a surveillance state, and with attacks such as Heartbleed and the Target credit card exploitation, we are being exposed to a world where computers are betraying their users.
    Doctrow, however, believes that we can fix the Internet by making security technology like encryption easy to use. Currently, the only people utilizing these security measures are the technologically sophisticated. Thus Doctrow believes that once we get these forms of security into the hands of all Internet users, we can fix the Internet.
    Doctrow believes that we ought to be fearful of a world full of closed-source technology. He asserts that a security system is useless until you let others exploit it. Thus if we keep network free and open so there are no digital locks to prevent us from finding security flaws, this is not a forgone conclusion.

  3. Ruizhe Zhang says:

    Part 1:
    The one thing Doctorow mentioned that speaks to me is the fact that technology has amplified the power of the internet user. In the example Doctorow has given where governments acquiring the latest technologies can become a superpower in terms of surveillance and control. There is the performance aspect of technology, where the latest technology (in the hands of the elite) will triumph over the less advance technologies (in the rest of majority).
    There is one thing I believe Doctorow got wrong which is the negative connotation revolving the advancement of technologies. We do not necessarily lose freedom whenever technology is introduced, as a matter of fact humans in general depends on technological breakthroughs. Technology advancements has always been parts of our history and for the majority it has made lives better.
    The one question we ought to ask ourself is “Is technology advancements the real culprit to the end of freedom? Or is the lack of access to resources that will prevent us from attaining freedom.”

    Part 2:
    Doctorow mentioned some of the major issues with the internet being: state surveillance and control, identity theft, security breaches, and security loopholes. All these problems are targeting the “21st century internet nervous system” which our society depends upon. Subsequently affecting us in a negative way both on the personal level and the financial level.
    However, there is a fix to all the problems and that is educating people with ways in which they can protect their information through easy to use encryptions. There are many conflict of interests between businesses and consumers thus this institutional inertia will prevent the public from accessing certain information as a security measure. For example, the autonomous driving cars not allowing you to program in a way that will endanger other motorists on the road. Ultimately, the government must maintain social order, any freedom fighter’s intention that will align and cooperate with the vision of the government will be welcomed.

    Interestingly, there is another person in the IT realm, Kim Dotcom founder of Megaupload who personally experienced state control because of conflict of interest between large businesses. Kim is now working on an encryption service for the public to protect their identity from anyone. But this encryption service can act like a double edged sword. Encryption can protect information, on the other hand encryption can lead to and facilitate illegal activities and stall lifesaving investigations.

  4. Marc Stahl says:

    Part 1:

    When Cory Doctorow explains the idea behind his novel Little Brother, he portrays a back-and-forth struggle for control and privacy between two parties: the government and the individual. He describes this back-and-forth as each side keeping the other in check. However, the balance has tipped massively in favour of the party with the greater financial resources and power: the government.

    Since 9/11 we have seen the power of the government grow enormously, with data centers capturing every phone call and every piece of email crossing the United States (and beyond). The government mandated that cell companies retain years’ worth of text messages, and that search engines retain years’ worth search history. Some governments, like China, even attempted to influence the thinking of their people by promoting some search results while blocking access to massive portions of the internet.

    At the same time we have seen the power of the individual shrink, ever under the guise of greater privacy. Doctorow gives the example of widespread use of encryption allowing individuals to protect their communications. However, Doctorow fails to mention that the NSA has restricted the use of “strong encryption” to protect its surveillance capabilities. In those cases were it could not control the encryption used the NSA bypassed the security altogether by creating “back-doors” into the software and services offered by private corporations.

    A government by the people for the people may have seemed achievable at a time when the government simple couldn’t afford to monitor and control its citizens. However, the internet has created a cost-effective means to do just this, bolstered by governments interpreting laws in ways which allow them to act without accountability, or hide behind existing laws (such as FISA) to justify actions that were not even conceivable when the laws were written. The question begged by these points is where will it end? Do citizens of the world need another Bastille Day to storm the government data centers and reclaim their privacy?

    Part 2:

    Cory Doctorow describes the internet a massive network of computers holding public and private information. He equates the ability to see and understand the inner working of the internet with individual freedoms and security. Doctorow is concerned with a trend that limits the transparency of the internet, and is turning the internet into a black box through the use of digital locks. At the same time, private corporations are wielding their power to digitally lock that which was once open and transparent.

    Without the ability to see and understand what is happening in the black box, our private information is put at risk, and our health and security are threatened as only the government and private corporations decide what’s in our best interest. Doctorow describes the solution to the problem as challenging laws which increase the internet’s opacity, and supporting organizations which champion the internet’s transparency.

    The reason that Doctorow’s proposed solution is not a forgone conclusion has to do with the balance of power. The influence of wealthy individuals and corporations on the government has never been clearer, with the 1% becoming richer and the 99% becoming poorer. Unless the 99% organize and exercise their rights quickly, they will soon find the entire internet has become a black box.

  5. Laura Pond says:

    Part 1:
    Cory Doctorow is clearly right that with the popularization of the Internet, parents have more control than ever over their children’s online activities. He is also right to claim that this is worrisome. Now that parents are more Internet-savvy (assisted with the advent of features like “parental controls” that can be enabled on personal devices), they can keep constant tabs on their children. This could reveal uncomfortable and private information, like their whereabouts and their personal online conversations. For example, if a child purposely does not disclose their location to their parents, but the parents can track their children’s location via an online app, the child’s decision to remain un-locatable is violated (regardless of his or her reasons for wanting their location to remain unknown). However, I think that Doctorow is wrong to claim that the technology of the present (and future) has the capacity to alter the surveillance power relation (where parents are the powerful, omniscient group). It might not matter that new technology allowing children more freedom from their parents online could plausibly develop, because if parents are becoming more Internet-literate anyways, they might also easily adapt to the technology that subverts their power to keep tabs on their children online. This raises questions about the degree of privacy a minor should be able to have. It also draws attention to the effects that this technology has, both on parents and on children. For example, parents today might have more anxiety than ever before. If a child does not respond to their text or online message immediately, or if the child is located somewhere they should not be, parents are unnecessarily worrying themselves, children are constantly bombarded, and children are not being trusted enough to make their own decisions.

    Part 2:
    Cory Doctorow thinks the Internet is broken because computers are designed to lie to and betray their owners by keeping them ignorant of how their devices work. For example, Doctorow notes that spies from the U.S. and the U.K. turned the Internet into a surveillance tool to use against citizens by collecting private information from them through their computers. This is sufficient to encourage submission to authority. Doctorow thinks we can fix the Internet by making security features easy to use. Fixing the Internet depends on simplifying digital locks for “normal people” to use – it depends on the “smart people” who already know how to use it (and who design it) to make it accessible for non-Internet savvy users. Doctorow argues that unless we can tell people that there are flaws in the computers that they rely on, they will not know that those same computers can be used against them. We need to be informed about the flaws in our devices (i.e., insecure features), but this is not possible if talking about insecure features is criminalized. It is unethical to design computers that withhold important knowledge to the people who depend on them, because this undermines our freedom online.

  6. Konrad Pfundner says:

    Part 1: I strongly agree with Doctorow that Orwell was wrong in thinking that technology only gave the powerful more power to continue oppressing the weak. As he said: “by my adolescent technology was giving power back to individuals” this is very true because when people started to get computers with internet a whole new world opened up. From here the internet only got bigger and bigger giving individuals access to all the information they could ever dream of. Then Doctorow begins talking about the next swing where he states that: “technology gives authorities power to assert even more control than they’ve ever had before” but here I think Doctorow is very wrong as he talks about some extreme cases about censorware that parents use for their home network. I’ve never heard of anyone using this kind of software and in fact I’ve only ever seen it at schools, but it’s still incredibly easy to get around. Any kid can simply access any website through proxies that fetch all the information for you and there is nothing censorware can do about it even then kids have cellphones to go on the internet too. Also getting around using the gps tracker in our phones is too easy, as for it to work you need the gps tracker app installed on both phones, the one being tracked and the one doing the tracking so all you need to do is uninstall the app. Many people are lead to believe extreme things through movies too, as it’s true that facial recognition works quite well as demonstrated by various phones that check your face before unlocking the phone, but is this really a viable way to find someone? In movies they are somehow able to analyze the data coming from every security camera in the country but in the real world wouldn’t this take months if not years to analyze that much data?

    Part 2: Doctorow believes the internet is broken because of all the vulnerabilities it has for example: smart people are able to hack into other people’s computers (Miss teen USA). More scarily though, our government is able to see everything we do, resulting in knowing everything there is to know about us as said by Edward Snowden. The above aren’t very scary to the average person as why would they actually take action against a random person and the only people at risk from hackers are celebrities. Except when huge organizations such as Target gets hacked and lose 110 million credit cards, or when a firewall software used around the world has a flaw that has been known for several year before it was fixed, this is clearly very threatening to everyone.
    The way he goes about fixing the internet is through encryption. So far only the geniuses who know everything about encryption are protected because they have been encrypting all of their data. Only if they can simplify doing this and teach/convince a normal person to use security software to encrypt their data will they also be safe. He then stresses that the internet is going to be further broken by the implementation of digital locks which we need to do something about as they bring in a whole new world of problems.

  7. Philip Thingbø Mlonyeni says:

    1st video

    The point where I’m in absolute agreement with Doctorow is his critique of the Orwellian concept of technology as ever-decreasing our autonomy. I think he is very right in saying that modern technology has uses that give us more autonomy and undermine authority. Technology, it seems, is one of the centrepieces in the modern dialectic between people and authority, and can be used by both agents in pursuit of their goals. On this note I think Doctorow is a bit too optimistic, and that although the ‘seeds’ of new liberating technology may be in our current technology, to use his analogy, much is required for the fruits to be healthy. The Jasmin revolution was helped by new media and technology, but was unsuccessful in the end because of circumstances that technology couldn’t help (that easily). Lack of education, poor infrastructure, and unemployment and so on are factors that are not easily dealt with and might compromise efforts to liberate people from authority. Technology may very well help us with these issues, but we should also recognize that their scope go well beyond technology. If there is one question that is left on my mind after watching Doctorow it’s where do we go from here. Leaving it up to people to invent technology that can liberate us from authority might be too optimistic. Should we form a political party, start a mass movement, read a particular author? It seems to me in any case that the concerns Doctorow raises will need a broader scope if the issues are to be tackled effectively.

    2nd video

    Doctorow thinks the internet is broken because it allows exploitation by those who know it, and mentions the documents released by Snowden and ‘sextortion’ online. He also mentions a flaw inherent in the internet that wasn’t known until recently. The underlying reason for why the internet is broken is because it is set up in such a way that to get security one must know how the security system works, and that information is only available to those who care enough to understand why it works. Most people are ignorant of how security works and because of this gap in knowledge between the producers of technology and its users the latter’s rights are compromised.

    To fix this issue, Doctorow thinks we need to democratize internet security, and make it available to the general public. This is hard to do because there is an incentive for the producers of technology to keep the flaws in their systems hidden from the public, and so Doctorow thinks that digital rights groups and movements are important for stopping this thing, as a mere consumer has little to no influence.

  8. Megan Craig says:

    Part 1:
    During Doctorow’s talk about the empowerment given by technology and relation to surveillance and state intervention in personal life, the thing that struck me as clearly right was the major encroachment on personal autonomy in the current technology swing. He suggests that technology has given authority the power to assert more control and surveillance. Examples he gives include use of censor-ware, monitoring IM conversations, and cell phones reporting kids’ locations. Additionally, I read an article recently about a woman who discovered her husband using an application to spy on her and her children (White, 2015). This app allowed him to read her messages or emails and track her location. Although she feels that the one-sided surveillance is acceptable, to me this is an extreme use of control. This violation of autonomy is not something I would be comfortable with if it was to become the norm, yet unfortunately aspects of it are already commonplace.
    However, I disagree with the statement Doctorow made predicting a future swing where a new generation of cryptography and homebred tech will be able to shift the control back to individuals. Although new techniques will undoubtedly be discovered, I believe that the government will have the power to shut them down or acquire them to protect their authority. As quickly as individuals begin to attack or rebel, the powerful authorities will maintain their defense.
    One question I was left with after the video is the dilemma of whether this increased surveillance is really a bad thing. This technology may allow potential terrorist attacks to be discovered and prevented, may help find children who are lost or kidnapped, and would definitely help catch online predators. Are these benefits worth the cost of losing privacy and autonomy to the higher powers?

    White, A. (2015, January 22). The internet is flipping out over this woman who lets her husband spy on their family with an app. Buzzfeed. Retrieved from http://www.buzzfeed.com/alanwhite/a-lot-of-people-are-flipping-out-over-this-woman-who-claims

    Part 2:
    Doctorow begins with the importance of the Internet because it provides free speech, education, political engagement, better health outcomes, and etcetera. He believes the Internet is broken because it has been infiltrated for surveillance states, social control, and personal breaches like stolen credit card information and passwords. Among other things, it knows what you do, who you know, where you go. To fix it, we need only to employ security techniques! However, this requires making those devices more usable for the general public, as well as convincing people that they need them. It would not be a difficult task to simplify the access if the resources were allocated; the problem lies in showing people that it is required. The public needs to know that there are flaws in the system, but giving information about the breaking of digital locks is now illegal. Some people know how to take advantage of these flaws, like spies, perverts, and voyeurs, but to disclose the security flaw to the public is inadmissible. These digital locks will lead to betrayal by our devices. So to fix it, we must simplify security programs and find a way to express to society the necessity for protection.

  9. Max Donsky says:

    Part 1

    Cory Doctorow discusses his novel “Little Brother” while emphasizing the fact that authorities are constantly asserting control over the online activities of individuals, resulting in an intrusion of their autonomy and privacy. Doctorow explains how the recent advancements in technology have continued to place the power in the hands of the elite for control purposes, and this is something I agree with. From location service applications (which allow individuals to track each other – specifically parents surveying their children) to online restriction controls such as censorware, authorities have gained more control over online activities. Doctorow relates the authoritative infringement on personal autonomy to jailed parole officers with their ankles tied, to illustrate the aggressiveness of this control – which many children feel. Although Doctorow is not wrong when he states that we are experiencing an “encroachment on personal autonomy greater than ever before”, location services which allow for tracking, can be useful in dangerous times, and that is something he fails to mention. Doctorow exemplifies surveillance/privacy issues through the example of a company who sold the instant messages, and email conversations, of children to market research companies with the intention of “protecting the kids” when in reality it was for monetary incentives. Doctorow is wrong when he claims that future generations will regain personal autonomy. It appears our online privacy days are over as there will always be strict authoritative control due to the amount of online cracks/private conversations that could cause threat. The question I was left pondering is, whether Government control over citizens is truly a bad thing? Recently, individuals were recruited to join ISIS via social media and without Government surveillance, many more acts of terror, or crime could take place. The Government should ensure that surveillance is used strictly for protecting society and not for invading autonomy.

    Part 2

    Cory Doctorow thinks the Internet is broken because of the major security flaws within our computers that are designed to betray and hide information from us owners. Doctorow explains that on June 16th 2013, the Internet broke when Edward Snowden discovered that spies from the US and UK used Internet for creating the surveillance state. This allowed for every detail of information about individuals to be disclosed and further instilled tremendous amounts of fear into our lives. Doctorow raises the issue of online breaches to demonstrate flaws in the Internet security infrastructure that many of us are unaware of. Doctorow says the way to fix the Internet is by making security easier to use for individuals that are not technologically sufficient. He explains how we are uneducated of our computer’s processes, and we need to spread these details to the non-technologically advanced people so that “usability” of proper security programs increases. In order to fix the Internet Doctorow explains that we need to eliminate digital locks by banning the communication about flaws in them, and following activist groups that are fighting for having open and free network so that we can regain control of our computer systems.

  10. Jen McKibbon says:

    Part 1
    One thing which I think Doctorow states which is clearly right is his view that our current technology does empower the state in the notion of censorship. The reason that I believe that he is correct on this is due to the new introduction of the anti-terrorism laws in Canada. These laws are using technology to censor our activities, while be it to protect us it is just the most recent view on how the state uses censorship and technology.
    While I agree with most of what Doctorow I do think that his view in regards to a shift of empowerment back to us and suppressing the censorship is bound to happen may be wrong. While many would argue that technology has allowed people to come together to rise against oppressive states it has not stopped states from censoring or monitoring our online life. There is no indication that this momentum shift will occur on its own, it needs to be precipitated. This leads me to the one question I’m left with, if this shift away from censorship/monitoring and state empowerment by technology is to happen how would this happen without the input of state since most technological developments are in some manner funded by the state. Most technological advancement is funded in some way or another by the state, if not most people who work within technology are cared for or developed by the state, their education for example is funded at least at the early stages by the state.

    Part 2
    Doctorow thinks that the internet is currently being used as a surveillance mechanism, this was shown to us by Edward Snowden. Doctorow states that the internet wants us to have secrets and not to be a place of surveillance as it currently is. To fix the internet he argues that we need to make security for the internet easy to use, it is the usability which needs to be taken into consideration.
    This fixing is depended upon the current security available to be scrutinized by those who are not the creators to show flaws within the program. This will allow for discussion of where security is broken. Not only that but we need to make our computers incapable of locking us out from understanding how they work and how they faultier. If we can do this is will ensure that the liberties of the real world and the digital world are the same that they do not fall away due to current standards.

  11. Ellie Palikko says:

    Part 1: Doctorow outlined the increasing presence of surveillance that comes with technology, for example, parents watching their kids – and he presented some clear issues with it. Lack of privacy, and trust, as well as the serious issue of companies selling private messages to marketing groups. I absolutely agree that this presents a major concern as to how far surveillance ought to go. The way he presents the dangers of one side having too much control on the other side’s activities are very convincing. However, when he claimed that Orwell was “wrong” in his novel, about the surveillance state, I was lost. He advocates for a state in which the general public takes to their computers to win back their privacy, to fight against those who are watching us – it is not clear that he’s simply attempting to make a different premonition rather than explaining the world as it is. It is not that Orwell was wrong and that his concept is right, because really, neither world is completely true. He talks about creating a world in which the masses “take back” technology to “form groups more readily and […] undermine surveillance”. The question I am left with at the end of the video is: Is he advocating for anarchism? When these groups are formed, if there is no leader it could very well lead to chaos.

    Part 2: Doctorow believes that the internet is broken because rather than working solely for our benefit, it is designed to essentially betray us. He makes reference to a leak that the government was using the internet for surveillance purposes, which was revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. Doctorow believes that those who have a better understanding of how the internet works are at a major advantage over the general public, whose rights and privacy are being infringed upon. To solve this issue, he believes that a simple encryption system will do. If the information necessary to teach the general public how to go about privatizing their personal information was made available, then we would no longer have this problem with the knowledge gap. Education and encryption are necessary to “fix” the internet – to ensure that it is not working against us, but for us.

  12. Jordan Tite says:

    Part 1:

    One thing Doctorow said that struck me as clearly being right was his reflection on George Orwell. He stated that Orwell got it wrong, because he saw technology as giving power to the powerful at the expense of the powerless. Technology has in many ways liberated people in many ways that have granted them more opportunities for freedom and personal liberty than ever before. To take from Friedman, the internet and technology has made the world flat, enabling the users of technology to transcend traditional boundaries and state boundaries to communicate and facilitate the flow of information, knowledge and progress. One need only look as far as the uprising and global context of the Arab Spring to see the effect technology had on facilitating a revolution. Now that is not to say that some states have not taken advantage of technology and censorship to control their nation, but technology has a way of providing everyone with a better opportunity to level the playing field. This brings me to my second point, being that I do not agree with his point on how technology enables the “powerful‘s” encroachment on personal autonomy, especially when it comes to parents control over their children. What comes to mind when monitoring children’s activities via cell phone is not the parent’s ability to infringe their personal movements, but rather help in times of need. As likely, if governments or parents were to utilize technology to gain more control over their wards, just as likely would be advancement of technology blocking the utilization of such features. The question we are left with then is this: what will be the catalyst to send us down the slippery slope of total monitoring, if it will occur, and finally has it already happened?

    Part 2:

    Cory explains that the internet is broken by informing on the fact that there is currently no privacy available to users. Any one of us is just as guilty at signing our privacy rights away in waiver after waiver, but this is in turn hurting us. He spoke briefly about how the dissidents are marginalized and feel the brunt of surveillance (or rather an utter lack of privacy) and that mass surveillance is in itself sufficient to stifle dissent, and people become compliant and fearful. But, he quickly follow-up by stating that the internet wants us to have secrets, and that we can use computers to scramble messages to make them unreadable. The path to doing so lies in our ability to make security programs easy to use for the everyday consumer, and convince them to use these programs to protect themselves. First and foremost, this depends on disclosure, as we need to let people know how the system works in order to find the holes in the program, thereby making the security tighter. We need to talk about places where security gets busted, rather than make laws protecting technology breaking.

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