Who’s watching? Some thoughts on Big Brother in cyberspace


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  • (So yeah, slideshare killed the structure of my answer. But you're certainly smart enough to know what I mean by it.)
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  • Very nice presentation. Enjoyed myself. Really stimulating. Had a lot of comments yesterday, but didn't want to interrupt your talk. Some notes that I still remember.

    #32. More recent example of wrongful shaming is the witchhunt that happened on Reddit after Boston marathon bombing. Very good example of how things can escalate very quickly in the wrong direction.

    #33: These days 'Antwerpse hoeren' has been replaced by 'Parels van insert-school-name'. This stuff usually happens during exam periods. Consider it the new 'normal' young-adult behaviour.

    #34. Eric Schmidt talked about a proposal to erase/hide/lock your online identity when you become 18 years old.

    To answer your final question: how can we solve this online privacy problem?

    A. Either spam your own name with enough data to make it harder for uncontrolled information to surface. (This is what I do.)

    B. Give your child a celebrity name, knowing that speficif information about them will become much harder to surface. Example: name you daughter Clo Willaerts, and people will have a hard time finding info about her because they keep ending up with _your_ data.

    C. Social search. (This is what Google tries.) Your friends will see more about you than people who don't know you. Custom search results.
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Who’s watching? Some thoughts on Big Brother in cyberspace

  1. 1. Who’s watching? Some thoughts on Big Brother in cyberspace Clo Willaerts (@bnox) Belgian Internet Security Conference 2013
  2. 2. Clo Willaerts (@bnox)
  3. 3. “Since the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four the phrase "Big Brother" has come into common use to describe any prying or overly-controlling authority figure, and attempts by government to increase surveillance.” BIG BROTHER
  4. 4. Big Brother’s Telescreen
  5. 5. The Prism ecosystem
  6. 6. Security breaches in the news
  7. 7. The spying business
  8. 8. Transparency battle
  9. 9. Cameras
  10. 10. Adam Harvey: cvdazzle.com
  11. 11. Adam Harvey: stealthware
  12. 12. Big Data in action: Italy’s redditometro
  13. 13. Malte Spitz vs cell phone data http://www.zeit.de/datenschutz/malte-spitz-data-retention/
  14. 14. Legal investigation vs private data
  15. 15. Predict crime?
  16. 16. Conclusion?
  17. 17. ““Don’t be evil.” Googlers generally apply those words to how we serve our users. But “Don’t be evil” is much more than that. Yes, it’s about providing our users unbiased access to information, focusing on their needs and giving them the best products and services that we can. But it’s also about doing the right thing more generally – following the law, acting honorably and treating each other with respect..” EVIL EMPIRES
  18. 18. Google Streetview
  19. 19. Google Ads with user endorsements
  20. 20. Identity platforms: Facebook vs Salman Rushdie
  21. 21. Identity platforms: Opensource Obscure vs Google+
  22. 22. The Nym Wars: Christopher Poole http://www.ted.com/talks/christopher_m00t_poole_the_case_for_anonymity_online.html
  23. 23. App permissions: mypermissions.com
  24. 24. Profiling business
  25. 25. Profile brokers
  26. 26. Conclusion?
  27. 27. “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” WATCHMEN
  28. 28. Being watched in a pre-digital era
  29. 29. Josh Harris: We Live In Public (2009) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XSTwfdFwIY
  30. 30. Public figures vs Little Brothers
  31. 31. Priorities: help wife or take pictures?
  32. 32. Shaming: Peopleofwalmart.com
  33. 33. Shaming: Antwerpse Hoeren
  34. 34. Privacy: the right to be forgotten?
  35. 35. Conclusion?
  36. 36. Thank you! My slides: http://www.slideshare.net/bnox My blogs: http://www.conversity.be/blog http://www.bnox