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/tech/ - Technology

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TLE made a video where he points out that the surveillance danger is encroaching. In the comment section of his video there were bot accounts that tried to argue that people should just accept this attack on their liberties and political rights. So that means there definitely is a conspiracy for a population monitoring system afoot.


<TLE also attacks China and Russia on this issue, i don't get the political logic behind that. The faction most hellbent on surveillance and censorship are the neo-con warhawks, they get politically boosted every-time anybody says chinabad or russiabad. The clever political calculation would be to withhold criticism of China and Russia until the Neocon warhawks stop trying to trample on our civil liberties and political rights.

The main argument:
The mass surveillance is a kind of aggression, because it's like a predator looking for pray. For a meat-space analogy you could look at the act of stalking people, where it is recognized as aggression and will result in restraining orders.

But there is more too it, mass surveillance monitoring of all people also is a type of legal accusation against the entire population, and is kind of reversing the presumption of innocence. But in a new way where actions can be criminalized retro actively, which can be abused in lots of different ways especially for persecuting certain groups of people.

There are biological effects too. Monitoring people causes an effective violation of self-determination, because feeling watched interferes with the brains ability to exercise free expression and free action. For a lot of people being watched is a form of psychological torture, that causes a type of permanent stress that will lead to long term health injuries.

Mass monitoring will always be abused to subvert political processes. It begins with powerful people being able to target their critics. But it also means that politicians will always be afraid that any of their past conduct can be weaponized against them politically. A democracy is probably impossible under such conditions. This is not hyperbolic the complete contempt from political norms has already been demonstrated by the Julian Assange case.

As far as predictions go, this won't be normalized, it'll never be accepted and there will be a enduring struggle until the freedom from monitoring is won. The struggle in the west will be extremely fierce because governments and the large corporations in the private sector have burned the trust of the general population by doing the exact opposite of what they promised roughly 80% of the time. But even in places where trust in government is high, the human need to not be watched still exists, so this is an ongoing battle to have a freedom respecting internet, which definitely requires that people not be systematically stalked.

The strange thing is that at the peak of the cold war the Soviet Union surveilled about 2% of the soviet population, and at the time that was considered a dystopian surveillance state by many. Fast forward to today where only putting 2% of the population under surveillance makes the Soviet Union a champion of privacy by comparison. That brings us to a potential solution. We could simply limit the number of people that can be monitored. For the state security apparatus, the Soviet 2% figure probably still was excessive, something between 0.1% to 0.5% is probably more reasonable. To facilitate the surveillance of a fraction of a percent the need for mass surveillance infrastructure goes away, and tools can be optimized for quality rather than quantity. So there is no need to intercept, collect and/or store data of the masses at all.

For the private sector they don't need the resolution down to the individual level, they can get accurate enough data from representative sampling which can be done with perfect privacy and perfect anonymity. Obviously pure technical telemetry devoid of personal identifiers in technology products is not objectionable if it is optional.

The last part is that the watchers have to become transparent, because there is such a thing as information power and if there is an imbalance you're no longer free. There even is an argument that the inherent power advantage of large organizations might require individual people be opaque while large organizations be transparent.

Lastly the consolidation of the web into a small number of large sites might be a major amplifier for these negative developments. So re-dispersing the web into many smaller websites would be beneficial. There are other reasons for doing that, for example shrinking communities will bring back more sanity to online discourse. https://farside.link/invidious/watch?v=fuFlMtZmvY0


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I'm posting this in this thread because it's vaguely related

Latest Draft of UN Cybercrime Treaty Is A Big Step Backward

<A new draft of the controversial United Nations Cybercrime Treaty has only heightened concerns that the treaty will criminalize expression and dissent, create extensive surveillance powers, and facilitate cross-border repression.

<The proposed treaty, originally aimed at combating cybercrime, has morphed into an expansive surveillance treaty, raising the risk of overreach in both national and international investigations. The new draft retains a controversial provision allowing states to compel engineers or employees to undermine security measures, posing a threat to encryption.

It feels almost like there is a cabal going around that is inserting their poising into all kinds of political institutions, in the form of horrendous policy drafts. That cabal seems to have a special hard-on for surveillance and fucking with encryption.

<This draft retains the concerning issue of expanding the scope of evidence collection and sharing across borders for any serious crime, including those crimes that blatantly violate human rights law.

That probably means that if some country goes bad and makes nonsense laws like for example, classifying insulting the flag as a serious crime, every country that is a treaty signatory would be compelled to help persecute people for making the pole-cloth feel bad.

Was it always like this ?
It feels like it's gotten worse somehow.
Was there ever a time when people decided that the risk of enabling persecution was too high and policing powers had to be reduced to protect people from overreach ?

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