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Comment Re: Reputation (Score 1) 3709

We need to talk, discuss, and use diplomacy instead of force.

Not "instead of force", rather before force. When diplomacy fails, use force. Which has been the policy of the Bush Administration whether you are willing to accept it or not.
Force can never be taken off the table, as unpleasant as it is. If you can't back up your words with anything meaningful, your words are meaningless. Economic sanctions and other means of non-violent coercion only go so far with irrational people.

Comment It's only yours if you never give it away... (Score 1) 110

The concept of "owning" any kind of information once you've given it out is certifiably insane. You might be the creator, but bottom line is once you've given it away (i.e. storing it with something you have little to no control over) the best you can be to that little tidbit of data is a viewer, maintainer, or, if you're very lucky, administrator.

I think most people simply have a problem of mapping physical things (where there's a relatively easy means to establish ownership) to meta-physical things. If I give you one of my cookies, it's yours to do with as you please. The same holds true if I give you my name, address, phone, birthday, etc. You could make your own copies in your own places, or hand that information out, or even modify your versions of that information. It doesn't matter how many instances of that information exist in other people's hands, the only instance that I control is the one in my own hands.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. I give some website credit card information about me that is stored in my user profile. A few weeks later I cancel that credit card and am issued a new one with a new number. Now last time I checked, credit card companies don't ask you, "Would you like to change all your user profiles everywhere to reflect the canceled status of your old number?" The profiles that have that old credit card number will still have that same old credit card number until you or someone else who has access to that profile goes in and modifies it. Consider this: Sites aren't required to allow you to modify that bit of information. They're not even obligated to allow you to see it again if they didn't want to. In essence, once you gave them that information, they owned that *instance* of information. That information may not have any worth attributed to it, but they do own it. Bottom line, being able to access (in any way) the information you've given to a 3rd party is strictly a privilege granted by that 3rd party should they be so inclined.

Obviously many places that have even an ounce of credibility to their name go through the process of defining terms and conditions of the data they collect and how it can be used. However, even with terms and conditions agreements, it boils down to the trust one can put into a recipient vs. the intrinsic value of the having information to be provided. So everyone out there saying that "their" information has just as many rights to privacy as "they" do should just check themselves into a loony bin for thinking they have any control over something they willingly gave away (regardless of price or even "agreements").

Most security buffs will tell you that if you really value your milk and cookies, then don't hand them out.

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Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.