December 6, 2012

Word: How the Internet cuts the costs of governmnet spying

Julian Assange: We all think of the internet as some kind of platonic realm where we can throw out ideas and communications and web pages and books and they exist somewhere out there. Actually, they exist on web servers in New York or Nairobi or Beijing, and information comes to us through satellite connections or through fiber-optic cables.

So whoever physically controls this controls the realm of our ideas and communications. And whoever is able to sit on those communications channels, can intercept entire nations, and that’s the new game in town, as far as state spying is concerned – intercepting entire nations, not individuals.

.... So what’s happened over the last 10 years is the ever-decreasing cost of intercepting each individual now to the degree where it is cheaper to intercept every individual rather that it is to pick particular people to spy upo

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What people without a background in computational psycholinguistics don't get is that while the snoops can hoover up an immense amount of our communication (not all of it -- that's still physically impossible), what they have after doing it is data, not information.

We do not yet know how to represent world-knowledge -- the knowledge we all routinely use every day as we go about our lives -- in any general way.

Researchers have nibbled away at the edges, but mostly what that's yielded is a better appreciation of how sodding enormous the problem is.

All they're doing when they indiscriminately hoover up our comm is violating our Fourth Amendment rights. They are not doing anything at all to benefit community wellbeing because data is useless until turned into information, something that can only be done by humans in the traditional human way.

And that doesn't even take into account trying to cope with people who are trying to hide the information content of their communication by using speech codes, verbal steganography, etc.

We humans can barely understand one other when we're trying to be understood. How much harder does it get when we're trying not to be?