Is Security a hypothetical topic to everyone. OR

Considering just those in US, or in Western Europe. I have never read anyone on Security forums mention they have been threatened or pushed around by governments, power groups. Sometimes I read of an individual who has problems with an Ex.

Are we chasing a Security problem few of us experience. I know if I lived in China, I better not say a negative word about the government, power structure. I know if I was living in Hong Kong now, I should realize the Chinese government has a lot of computer types, who I would expect have spent a lot of hours in training.

But here in the US. Is this just a hypothetical exercise in worry?

I mean yeah they can watch us, probably do, but has anyone inside the US been harmed by that surveillance?

DIdnt people pay bounty hunters in the US and they then use cellphone location data to track someone? Would you count that?

I feel like you are confusing security for privacy and that giving up privacy is somehow acceptable. Federal prisons are secure. Even there you can be threatened and pushed around by the guards and the various gangs.

Still too vague?

What about facial recognition software triggering randomly on black people that just happened to walk past by and cops arresting them? These are the direct affects of increased security surveillance.

I guess if you are white, it probably doesnt concern you.


If your question is if there are direct consequences as a result of not having a right to privacy, the answer is no. However, there’s also no direct consequences as a result of not having a right to vote, to free speech, to free press, to freedom of assembly, etc.

How about free healthcare and free education? No one is really getting harmed directly by not having those rights. Just get a job and pay your massive debts, easy!

The whole point of having a right to something is to guarantee a standard of living, dignity, equality, opportunity, etc.

I mean yeah they can watch us, probably do, but has anyone inside the US been harmed by that surveillance?

Probability has nothing to do with anything. Government surveillance is a well documented fact. And as it just so happens, people are easier to manipulate when they are misinformed, uneducated and indebted.

I think i am probably very close to agreeing with you guys. I want to think about any reply I make so to not inflame others feelings. I prefer this thread to stay open.

My question being, anyone here have actual experience with situations they either suffered, or witnessed first hand; concussions, blood on the floor. Individuals feeling too fearful of speaking about what they have witnessed. Details or identification not necessary for this thread.

For this thread, I would prefer not to have posts that are similar to BLM, which is a legitimate problem, but has a great amount of publicity already.

It is easy to feel like I am one of the few in the world who cares, or understands. If the other posters do not care, they likely would not be here. OR, we should be understanding and convert them with information, knowledge, not angry confrontation.

Obviously, if there is “blood on the floor” then there are bigger issues to worry about than keeping your vacation photos private.

May I ask why are you asking about this? It seems to me that any affirmative answer to this question can only come from a pre-existing extreme situation.

Let us look at some scenarios.

A few months ago in Russia there were several suicides in Russia of Medical Doctors who threw themselves out a two story Window while giving a telephone interview describing, what was it, a lack of supplies treating Covid19.

If agents of a government are willing to put “blood on the floor to,” prevent embarrassment to the government. Then one must consider what such agents would do to the suppliers of computer software to persuade them to give them access to the messages sent by such software. We could make several presumptions.

Thinking of the opposite. Kaspersky was once based in Russia, and has now moved to Switzerland because they became involved in Russian government acquiring, appears the entire library of CIA hacking tools. Russia did not stop Kaspersky from moving. I will not repeat that whole story of why Kaspersky said they were innocent in Russia getting CIA hacking tool kit.

If Signal was written, maintained in China (Red China) would you trust it with your secure communications? Actually, at one time, all communications using Zoom went through servers based in China. Leaving us to believe that the Zoom encryption was secure.

Let us expand on that. Some of the companies mentioned are Encrypted Messengers, like Signal. Many of those in the privacy-security have a relationship with the guy who built Signal. I think Signal is a US based company, and those involved with its maintaining are in US. But I have not looked that up. The a guy they believe built Signal to be secure in nearly all circumstances. I don’t question his integrity. If the US government does more to persuade the writers of Security Software to than serve warrants by tough, but legally minded federal agents we are in trouble.

A good way to determine whether the writer of Security Software is being threatened by, non legal ways to give up the Security of his software. For us to suspect that, is for us to be aware that government agents are leaving “blood on the floor,” in other ways and times.

No one I have heard on these boards has ever said that, the (US government-Western Europe) , to their knowledge, has’ left blood on the floor,’ of their own citizens. The US government drops cruise missiles in places like Afghanistan, and even an Iranian Quds General in Iraq.

Several years ago, BlackBerry was trying to recover. Saudis were on the verge of banning Black Berry use in their country when they struck a deal with Corporate Black Berry. A question was asked of BlackBerry senior operating officer concerning use of Black Berries in Saudi Arabia. The senior operating office of BlackBerry, during an interview, was not willing to discuss the deal with the Saudi Government. Leaving many to think that corporate Black Berry could be coerced in some undefined way by any major country.

Within recent years. Saudis murdered a Journalist that criticized the Saudi power group.

If we can determine that in the (US-Western Europe) that ‘blood is not on the floor.’ And. We can feel that the writers, maintainers, providers of Encryption-Security Software are able to do what they do without threat. If their personality is known such they can not be bought out. We can make the conclusion we can trust the system of 'Canary Warrants" that is currently used to let us know when to take caution.

I would also conclude that many who are into Security Stuff are, protecting their idea property. Amateurs on this forum, are just messing with the man. Wink.

I totally stay away from “Here in the US” topics as I am not in America, nor am I American :slight_smile:

But I do have a comment about the title… we can be scientific about this:

If you want to try an experiment and post your IP address somewhere and then also say you no longer care about privacy or security. and you can switch to google gmail, on microsoft windows, using microsoft edge - without Tor and everything. Maybe include your gmail address, twitter account if you make one, and facebook accounts if you make one of those too…

Does anything bad happen ? I don’t know because I am not really in the US. BUT it is hypothetically possible something inconvienent or unpleasant COULD happen :slight_smile:

or maybe u could like… send your CV/resume to the CIA & NSA and tell everyone online that you applied for a job and the CIA and NSA lol

Do you think that if individuals were being targeted by state agencies, they would publicly announce this?
Coercion doesn’t just include violence.
Blackmail. Harassment over longer periods of time. Being surrveild.
And a million other ways of subtle or not so subtle methods of stopping or intending to stop or intimidate are available.

I such intimidation is successful, I don’t see why the majority of people wouldn’t go quit and certainly not post about it on the fora on which like-minded interested people hang around.

I think this is a very personal subject, for everyone to decide for themselves.

My personal opinion (living in Germany) is: If my government wants to spy on me, they probably can, no matter what precautions i take. Unless i go to absurd, impractical in daily live, lengths to prevent this, one can be targeted. If you are subject to a targeted attack, few precautions actually help. Heck, if they (who ever “they” are) really want your data, they can get it. Worst case, they raid your home and get your local files.

But the fact that this is the case doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care. There’s a huge difference between being secure from being tracked by your government and handing over all of your personal data to any company’s site you visit in passing.

We can practice good privacy in our daily lives with a small amount of setup and minimal impact on our daily habbits to keep our information secure from being sold and used to market us. That’s the main point for me. Keeping my Data aways from Google, Facebook or any other company that i don’t feel like sharing info with.

So yeah, when it comes to targeted attacks and governments, all bets are probably off. But in our Daily lives we can do a LOT to not share our Data with third parties and to keep some kind of control. And there are 100$ real world implications to sharing that information with companies like Google and Facebook. Those aren’t hypothetical at all.

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I understand what you mean, there are real cases of people having their communications monitored for the benefit of few. Sometimes this leads to very real consequences through use of force or coercion. But those are preexisting extreme situations, and while privacy is needed more urgently there it doesn’t mean is not needed elsewhere. Spreading awareness of privacy rights is one way to start mitigating these issues. For instance this can help to prevent governments from passing bills that would break encryption purposefully. A topic that has also being brought up in the forums.

Amateurs on this forum, are just messing with the man. Wink.

Privacy is not a right restricted to those who have “something worthy” to keep secret. Many of the privacy issues today revolve around encryption, and that means that it’s pretty much a black or white choice because there’s no in-between state for encryption. This in turn means that either everyone has privacy, or no one has. People hanging around forums such as this one are not messing with anyone, they are just concerned about their right to privacy (that’s certainly my case and the impression I get from others, but I speak for myself only).

If Signal was written, maintained in China (Red China) would you trust it with your secure communications?

I trust the laws of mathematics (encryption) over the laws of any country. Human laws can be bent, the laws of mathematics can’t. Would I prefer Signal to be hosted in a country with friendlier privacy laws? Of course. But I don’t have to worry about that, only about the code written and running on my devices, which I can review at any time. Even if the developers at Signal go rogue, there’s a pretty good chance it’ll be detected because of the nature of open-source. If someone tries to gain access to my communications by means of physical force or coercion, then I would say I have bigger issues that require my immediate attention.

If my government wants to spy on me, they probably can, no matter what precautions i take.

I completely agree with this, governments are the kind of actors that have enough time and resources to pull this off. However there’s a big difference between targeted surveillance and mass surveillance; I guess you can compare those to spear fishing and drag fishing. Unironically, drag fishing at industrial scale causes a lot of unintended harm to other forms of life, including catching protected species and other forbidden catches.

In the last year.

Some Demonstrations for BLM ended in burning buildings.

Hard Line pro Trump invaded the capitol. Some having posted the intent to cut of the heads of prominent politicians they see as enemies.

Threats have been made against elected Republicans, like the Governor of George. By more hard line Trump supporters. (The Governor of Georgia refused to try to change his states Votes in support of Trump, although he himself voted for Trump, and wanted Trump to win.)

It is the quiet people who become mass murderers.

The US government surely sees all citizens as potential enemies to it.

The more people who use a particular software tool. The more the government becomes interested in co-opting it to watch others.

that stuff as well…yeps. being outside the US i dont really know if everyone in the US is actually all respectful to everyone and there are no issues with corrupt law officials and such…

but the way news stations seem to report about things across the US - it seems as though they paint a picture of people being at each others throats… people losing their jobs over going on social media and supporting a centre-right politican.

IFF that is at least mostly accurate about the US lately… then I am totally confident in saying there are of course lots of people reading these forums in the US with a realistic and completely reasonable opinion that they need privacy and are simply not replying to this forum.

BUUUT i could be wrong too. it could be the media exaggerating idk - i dont really trust news too much meh

funny story tho, i once logged into gab (its free speech - not something i would feel is secure or private lol) and there were like strongly political people saying to ban abortion and such. then i read the terms of service and its like … wow california law for the planet … hmm… but the ppl there ; i was like WOW i totally do not belong here at all lulz and so i left and never went back hahaha… i do just stay out of american affairs, especially after seeing gab lul. kinda funny heehehehe i really dont picture gab being popular outside of the US. i was left with a feeling of ‘i wasn’t supposed to see that or be there’ lul

Someone was supposed to say, 'US government is not supposed to surveil citizens inside Country without a FISA warrant."

Let us not talk politics. It is good to observe there is something really weird with US public psyche. It’s true.

Computer security, yes. A bit of the motivation for security. Good.

I don’t want to drag this into politics so this will be my last response.

I’m not a psychologist, sociologist, criminologist or anything like that, but I’m not aware of any studies that actually suggest that quiet people are more likely to become murderers.

Even if that were true, I don’t see how that has anything to do with privacy. The people who rioted the Capitol Building were not even trying to hide their intentions, and authorities knew about this threat and decided to do nothing. The same can be said about rioters during BLM protests. Maybe the first burst of unjustified violence came as a surprise to the authorities, sure, but afterwards they failed to do anything to stop it from spreading.

The yet-to-be-proven-true excuse that surveillance will prevent terrorists and violence remains just that: an excuse, a myth.

The more people who use a particular software tool. The more the government becomes interested in co-opting it to watch others.

I understand this and I’m fine with it. I wouldn’t trust a tool to protect my communications if it only works when low numbers of people are using it.

It it’s true however that the narrative that those who seek privacy are ill intended will grow stronger in people’s minds, even without any evidence. But this is hardly news, stereotypes are common in every human society, from the shy and socially awkward geek to the dangerous tattooed criminal. More people today have tattoos and computer literacy is thriving, so I guess we are all geeks and criminals now right?