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Comment The final use for the information is obvious (Score 1) 41

This info was never for the student, teacher or school benefit as a whole. It's true purposes was political thought policing. Kind of obvious when you think about it. What is chilling, is that sp,e school voluntarily tried this out. Wonder of parents were asked for consent before putting the students on it....

Comment Re:..and the rest (Score 1) 194

I'm not sure Chomski or Snowden or even myself would agree with you there. While people have foolishly given a LOT of information to these companies, do not forget that these companies claimed openly verbally and in writing that they would not sell your information to third parties in an identifiable form. Now I suspect that is still true as the info to my knowledge wasn't sold, it was GIVEN to the NSA without any specific cause against any individual or even group of individual, because they were taking it ALL for use later to lookup anyone who challenged the status quo. It was never about selling data (as you put it), it was about giving (paid or unpaid) information it it's raw form, which identifies individuals which the public was assured in various ways would not happen. Of course they sell collective data, and most assumed this was going on.

The type of tyranny this represents is monumental and completely undermines the idea of any sort of democracy. Reason being, they can interfere with your opinion far more easily (and they already are) and target key individuals who might lead a group with a specific set of opinions those "upstairs" don't want expressed. An example of how this could be used can be seen in Watergate, where the Republican party did "rat fucking", sabotaging the political opposition, which destroys not only democracy, but in spirit a free market and certainly free speech.

If these companies did "all they could" to protect privacy, they would have told the agencies "no", possibly shut down the company and destroyed the data (not necessarily in that order). Sure, the NSA would have retaliated but given the huge public attention this would have gotten worldwide plus these companies are to this day contributing lots of money to various politicians, it probably would have gone the way it did with Clinton with her illegal email server: a public scolding, but nothing more. But the added benefit to the public would have been the NSA would have brought this project to a halt for fear of PR and economic repercussions. However, their only concern (as Greenwald pointed out) was their wallets and public perception. TrueCrypt people DID do everything they could to protect privacy by shutting down rather then building in backdoors and by doing so, told the public what was going on (without saying so, so they were gagged under threat). Of course a law was introduced later saying that you can't shut your company down if you get certain requests, which is basically exercising eminent domain on private enterprises; in essence, government slavery removing the very concept of private property or enterprise. Basically, a government state where the government owns everything. The true test of a company being prepared to do "everything it could" to protect privacy or anything, is it's demonstrated willingness to sacrifice itself (like a soldier in essence) to protect something important to it. No company listed on Snowden's chart (and certainly not yahoo) has shown it's willingness to do this. Apple so far, has come the closest of any worldwide corporation in recent history. It's not enough, but a step in the right direction even if it's stance was in the name of self interest.

Comment Alternatives to Yahoo (Score 1) 194

Okay, I listed this before and I'll do it again, because...this is important. There are alternatives to yahoo, MS and Google and we need to hold the to a higher standard. Checkout these web mail alternatives

(not encrypted but smaller country + company appeals to me ;-) ) there are others listed in this article:

we need to use alternatives to show there are choices and to make companies aware they need to work in OUR best interests if they want us to use them.

Comment Re:..and the rest (Score 2) 194

See Snowden's chart on video below. Google has been in bed with the NSA for at least 3 years. Apple for 2. Microsoft was one of the first way before Google as far back as 1999 I believe. See this video: Again, see how Microsoft is at the bottom left of this chart, meaning they were in "bed" the longest. And notice how MS got more and more aggressive since the WGA was introduced, and people didn't understand what it truly represented and didn't raise any objections. That was when I went full blown to Linux. was the best decision I ever made in IT.

Comment Re:The cart before the horse? (Score 1) 127

While nothing is foolproof, that is the general idea. Anyone who is a doctor, lawyer or handles confidential data should not be using MS Windows while viewing/interacting with that data. Cellphone too, Cyanogen is what I use for cell phone use (and I cover my camera :D) PrivatOS may have possibilities too. (Yes Blackberry was giving data to the NSA for a couple years, but I believe that was directly from Blackberry, not leaked from the OS directly. Time will tell.) Android and iOS I suspect are preinfected/compromised out of the box (or at least out of the service provider shops/stores)

Comment Empty Statement "We abide by US law", alternatives (Score 0) 194

Since those on top are either above the law (see Clinton family) or arrange the law/enforcement system so they effectively are, we clearly need a higher standard. Kind of like IBM doing business with Nazi Germany. Sure it was legal; The USA wanted business from Germany, IBM wanted to make money from Germany, it didn't affect us (or so we thought) so we went on ahead with no sense of morality. IBM knew what was going on. It didn't care. Yahoo (and others, yahoo the only one, see reports on Snowden's release papers) also had deals with China leading to the arrest and torture to human rights advocates there (as covered in a Senate hearing). there are outside alternatives Yes, some governments (Sweden, Germany, France I believe) are apparently working with the USA, but at least it's not likely to be accessed as quickly (and it's encrypted). Checkout these web mail alternatives

(not encrypted but smaller country + company appeals to me ;-) )
there are others listed in this article:

We all have a choice, if we decide to. Let's exercise that ability while we still have it. I believe in the idea "Use it or lose it". Like the election in the USA. Can can STILL vote for Sanders. Yes, you CAN fill in his name on the ballot. It's not necessarily A or B as the two parties would have you believe. We can still choose. Like web mail, we have other choices than the big 3 (Microsoft, Gmail, Yahoo). Time to think outside the boxes put in front us. And to Yahoo, well, didn't have much faith/trust in them before, I have even less now.

Comment The cart before the horse? (Score 2) 127

Gee, doesn't it make MORE sense to run Windows in Linux (VirtualBox, Proxmox, KVM). Safer, easier to audit network activity. It's amazing how people don't seem to see the light, even when the potion is on the table in front of them saying "drink me" AND they know people who have already tasted the potion and haven't died, or gotten sick.

Comment Is this news? Look like the same Canada (Score 1) 242

I think we all know that our governments are collecting our data on everyone in every way possible. I'm surprised they are using planes. Just use the cameras in People's cell phones. In Canada the RCMP mine cell phone data and we have planes patrolling Toronto in evenings. And to those playing Pokemon Go, you think the gaming companies are the only ones using that data you send during your hunts? This is beyond what I ever imagined after reading 1984. I think even Orwell would be surprised: People installing software on their mobile cell phones that are being used like voluntary tracking ankle bracelets. Tin Foil hat's and Fariday cages anyone?

Comment Does that mean our Win7 PC have been exorcised? (Score 1) 503

So does this mean people who haven't disabled the Windows Update Service can breath easy knowing their PC's will no longer "upgrade" to Windows 10 without explicit permission from the user? (Those who DID disable their windows update service as we all should should probably keep it that way, these days nothing seems to be beneath MS these days). For those who need their PC's exorcised I say these words: "The Power of lawsuits, compel you, the power of lawsuits compel you". If that fails, remember, these is always the power of Linux. (Suggest ElementaryOS or Linux Mint to start)

Comment About time... (Score 1) 105

People has been sheepish on this topic up to now. The "Ghost" upgrades I've had reported boggle my mind. For one thing, there are changes to the EULA regarding what Microsoft is allowed to collect (and put in) to your computer and since it's automated, there was no actual consent to these changes done by any human being, which I believe if tested by the courts, would prove to be illegal due to lack of "meeting of the minds" because the owner was not present to read it during the automatic upgrade. Wonder why MS didn't consider this one before trying to force feed this bloat/spyware on happy MS Windows 7 users.

Comment It's a sign of the times.. (Score 2) 465

I have told people in my circles for years that relying on "cloud" backups is an invitation for disaster for a few reasons: 1. It's not your server, even with legal agreements (how enforcible they are can vary from country to country), someone could hit the "rm" script and bye-bye data. Suing (even if it is an option) can't get the data back. 2. If you lose your connectivity to the Internet or the site, or the service provider is out of business, your data is effectively gone temporarily or permanently). 3. Any staff member can view that data. encryption (which can be intentionally weak or have a back door) can be used against you without you even knowing it...(until it's too late to do anything) We are a culture taught to "set and forget" and this artist, like most of us, got caught up on the idea that is data would be kept safe, which is exactly the mindset on that groups like Google, Iron Mountain, DropBox, Microsoft, Apple and many other "cloud providers" intentionally provide.The only way to be sure your data is secure (assuming you don't care who views it as much as making sure it's preserved) is to have your OWN local backup in addition to a cloud drive. You can create your own cloud drives to reduce the number of people likely to have access to the data (remember encryption is NOT a guarantee of security). There are many programs (free and commercial) that can help with your backups. Areca (open source/free/user friendly), Acronis (commercial, user friendly) and other products like Bacula (less user friendly), Bareos (Bacula fork). there are others, list here: http://www.enterprisestoragefo... Most people will be happy with Areca: We all have to remember we have to protect our own data and not get "headlight" frozen by everybody repeating "cloud storage" in our ears to the point it overrides our common sense. We have so many tools available to the public to protect ourselves and our data now. All we need to do is turn on our common sense/brains. I feel for this artist, but he should at least be a reminder to all of us of the truth we all know but somehow keep ignoring. Oh, at $150 CAD for 2 TB, we don't really have price as an excuse. Oh, also remember hard drives often die between 3-5 years (enterprise, Western Digital Black, Hitachi Ultrastar) or 1-3 years (Western Digital Black, i.e, green blue, red, purple, Hitachi Deskstar series). I don't mention Seagate because I've had too many bad experiences with them. I assume 1-2 years for their drives based on experience and test of Meantimes between failure, but Seagate drives are the cheapest, so for datacenters they are popular with their RAID 6 and RAID 10 setups.

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