By: Kelly Diamond, Publisher
Privacy is a hot-button topic and will probably remain so well into our future, especially if the government insists upon creating a bigger market for the tech industry to respond to.
It would seem that the social media giant, Facebook, is also investigating new and special ways of tracking its users. Sadly, Facebook… among other outlets… was complicit in cooperating with the government in giving the NSA access to user information. So while this is not directly government snooping, neither is taxation directly neighborly theft.
So the latest is Facebook is considering using a cursor tracker on the users to see where their cursors hover or spend the most time. Ostensibly this is for advertising purposes, but our logins were supposed to be for security purposes, and our profile information was supposed to be for socializing purposes… and yet the NSA will likely get the tracking information of our cursors now too.
I, for the most part, am clicking between friends and on articles. And like most, I don’t have anything to hide. But I no more enjoy having a boss breathing down my neck or a creep on a train track me with his eyes than I do enjoy knowing that my virtual social endeavors are being monitored and then stored. The cynic in me would finish that thought with, “…to later be used against you in a court of law…”
But this is not meant to only serve as a further reminder of all the intrusions and invasions of the aspiring deity we call the state. It’s meant to hold a candle to the hope to the renegade defiance that is found nestled in our technological innovators. By the looks of things, it would seem that some of them feel the gauntlet has been thrown! (Which I find thrilling!)
The first is a follow up to Silent Circle and Lavabit. The latter provided email services to Edward Snowden, Silent Circle folded their email service “Silent Mail” after Lavabit folded shop over the Snowden ordeal. Well these two likely friends came together and recently announced the Dark Mail Alliance:
“Today at the Inbox Love conference in Mountain View, CA, Silent Circle along with Ladar Levision, Founder of Lavabit officially announced the creation of the Dark Mail Alliance.
“Silent Circle and Lavabit, as privacy innovators have partnered to lead the charge to replace email as we know it today – fundamentally broken from a privacy perspective – we have collaborated in developing a private, next-generation, end-to-end encrypted alternative.
“Together our mission is simple:
“To bring the world a unique end-to-end encrypted protocol and architecture that is the ‘next-generation’ of private and secure email. What we call ‘Email 3.0.’ is an urgent replacement for today’s decades old email protocols (‘1.0’) and mail that is encrypted but still relies on vulnerable protocols leaking metadata (‘2.0’).
“As founding partners of the Dark Mail Alliance, both Silent Circle and Lavabit will work to bring other members into the alliance, assist them in implementing the new protocol and work jointly to proliferate the world’s first end-to-end encrypted Email 3.0 across email software developers and service providers globally. Our goal is to open source the protocol and architecture and help others implement this new technology to address the privacy concerns over surveillance and back door threats of any kind.
“We are excited about our solution and collaboration with Lavabit and look forward to sharing our progress with you!
“For the latest news updates from the Dark Mail Alliance visit: www.darkmail.info.”
Not that there is any way to keep cream at the bottom of the bottle, but I’m happy to see them resurface so soon after the whole ordeal… and that they’ve been putting their heads together to address this demand for more encrypted options and services to protect the average citizens’ privacy.
Happily they weren’t the only ones to respond to all this surveillance and prying activity. Controversial and eccentric innovator, John McAfee intends to roll out a product called “D-Central” (AWESOME NAME!!!) for under $100 that will protect private citizens from the NSA’s “Eye of Sauron”. He accelerated the development of that product upon hearing about Edward Snowden.
“It’s possible that the US would not allow McAfee to sell D-Central in the country after it’s developed. That prospect, however, didn’t worry McAfee, who said he’d sell it anywhere in the world.
“’This is coming and cannot be stopped,’ he said.
“McAfee declined to share more details on D-Central, but a Web site for the product has a countdown of 174 days, indicating more information should be coming around that time.”
McAfee is undaunted by any potential obstacles and dismisses any criticisms of his product out of hand. “During the talk, McAfee acknowledged that the device could be used for ‘nefarious purposes,’ but brushed aside any criticism, adding that ‘the telephone is used for nefarious purposes.’”
His ultimate ambition, it would seem, is to make the internet unhackable. Just have it float out there so no one can pin down anything enough to break in.
“As the Contra Costa Times reports, McAfee told it: ‘My new technology is going to provide a new type of Internet, a decentralized, floating and moving Internet that is impossible to hack, impossible to penetrate and vastly superior in terms of its facility and neutrality. It solves all of our security concerns.’”
I say YAY!!! Admittedly, I’m one of those people who doesn’t know a damn thing about technology. But I’m also not that spoiled brat that condemns that which I don’t know. Quite the opposite, I’m grateful that someone has the intellect, the savvy, the inclination, and the know-how to rock this sort of stuff out for folks like me!