Jun 052014

You may have noticed a vivid popup when you first visited DDOGamer (or GamerGeoff.com) today. Or maybe you did not, perhaps your popup blocker overpowered it, or perhaps I applied the script incorrectly. Hopefully it worked, and you were rudely interrupted on your way to enjoying what is normally a nice, quiet, escapist read where the worst thing you might encounter is bad haiku.

Because today I am grabbing your attention. On purpose.

Just to get this out of the way right up front; I am not political. On the civic spectrum, My brother is to my right, my wife to my left, and I muddle about in the middle. File me somewhere between “centrist” and “apathetic”.

But this goes beyond politics. This is just insane. How can any of us know that all of this is going on and not care?

This is wrong.

And this is wrong.

And this is wrong.

And especially, this is wrong.

And we have no idea what else is wrong because the programs are so secret that even the Senate Intelligence Committee does not have sufficient clearance to be told everything. When they do learn something, they are gagged and unable to tell us about it even when it alarms them.

The court that supposedly adjudicates surveillance activities is secret too. Secret judges meeting in secret to make secret rulings after secret hearings that only the government is allowed to attend.

And when somehow, someway, information makes it out to the public in spite of all this, the NSA is perfectly willing to lie about it.

To me, the most amazing part of this entire story is how little everyone appears to care. The secrets are out, and our response seems to be a collective yawn. Why? Do you think all of this makes us safer? Because it doesn’t.

Just to double-check, you’re cool with the fact that the government is building back doors into your computer and router before it leaves the manufacturer? It doesn’t bother you that the GCHQ (the British NSA) watches you through your webcam?

It bothers me. It bothers the hell out of me.

And it bothers a few other people too. I’m participating in the Reset the Net campaign because I have too. I have to. I doubt it will do anything. We seem powerless against the faceless minions plotting the end of our rights and privacy in their DC conference rooms and white board sessions.

But we have to try even if all we are doing is flipping a nicely-designed graphic finger at The Man. Screw you, NSA, and all those like you, screw you! There are tools and practices available to protect ourselves from the worst of your abuses. More are coming online all the time, easier to use and more powerfully encrypted.

Today we talk, and dress up our websites, and make obscene gestures in your direction. Webcam this, NSA!

Tomorrow we install real encryption.

Shame on you NSA! Shame on you GCHQ! And especially, shame on you James Clapper! Shame on you all for what you have done. Shame on everyone who helped you, whether Democrat or Republican, you’ve undone us all, turned us over to the modern day equivalent of the Stazi.

And shame on us for sitting back and just taking it.

No more. It is time to take our net back.

  8 Responses to “Nice Internet Ya Got There. Be a Real Shame If Anything Happened To It.”

Comments (8)
  1. Yes, popup did pop up, so you used it correctly. Thanks for the reminder Geoff.

  2. There is also https://www.dontspyonus.org.uk/pi for any UK readers.

    Unfortunately because I have a hosted WordPress site – I can’t add the popup to my own blog. Tried this morning 🙁

  3. I find it interesting that many who are ‘outraged’ by government agencies doing this, yet take a “ho-hum” attitude when Facebook, Yahoo, and numerous other websites basically do the same thing (if you have not read Yahoo’s latest “privacy” [really, “lack of privacy”] policy, you should – it’s very scary and the reason I no longer use Yahoo as my primary e-mail, even though I’ve had an account with them practically since they first came on-line [give or take a couple of years]).

    Unfortunately, we are all forced to “accept” outrageous demands that are put in EULAs, ToSs, T&Cs, etc. just to do simple things on the ‘net. And unfortunately, most people can’t be bothered to read them before clicking “I accept”, either. If everyone did, and then took a stand against such nonsense, then maybe we could actually get things changed – Turbine’s recent backlash with the Akamai NetSessions install, for example. But even if things DO get changed, often, they will simply do a stealth change back and it’s up to YOU to keep checking the EULAs, ToSs, T&Cs, etc. because, well because they say you have to in the EULAs, ToSs, T&Cs, etc. Facebook loves making broad security changes and opening up all your information ALL THE TIME (OK, just a little bit of hyperbole there – but not much). And how many of us actually READ them, let alone re-read them every time they change? I will usually read (or at least scan) them the first time, but even I get tired of reading “lawyer-speak” (it is soooooooo boring…and long…and repetitive…and long…and repetitive…and boring…) – so who can blame us? It’s what they count on.

    Anyway, looking forward to your next installment(s). I’ve looked into personal encrypting a little, but honestly, it has all seemed a bit complicated and unclear for exactly how to get it all properly setup to make sure you’re not locked out of your own stuffs (and I’m an engineer).

    Hopefully, we’ll get the “personal encryption techniques for dummies – and ENGINEERS” edition.

    PS – IE8 (yes, I still use IE8; scoff all you want, I don’t care) blocked the pop-up nicely (it will block 97%+ pop-ups, pop-unders, pop-whatevers when set to it’s highest level; I used to have a 3rd-party blocker, but even it let more through than IE8), but Chrome (even with pop-up blocker turned on) did not.

    • I understand your point, but there is a difference between Yahoo (which you can stop using) and your government (where you have no choice about anything).

      Did you check out the Reset the Net site? They have links to a couple of different tools for Windows and IE.

      • Oh, I absolutely agree that there is a difference. And I agree we should take a stand against “government spying”. But we should also take a stand against “corporation spying”, as well. That’s alls I’m saying.

        And yeah, I took a quick look at the website. I’ll look more in-depth later.

    • Ignoring the I didn’t didn’t read, I agree, except I do get annoying when Fb, Google, etc do what the governments do, not that anyone listens 😛

  4. Then again, for some of us this is old news.

    The oldest _specific_ example of a government-installed backdoor in internationally sold communications equipment that I could name is only from the early 90s, but I’m quite confident it wasn’t the first of its type…

What do you think?

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